Here we go! Every candy company on planet earth is now making a killing due to skyrocketing sales for Halloween. And while they are making millions of dollars, you are beginning your downward spiral of holiday stress and weight gain. A lot of people assume this starts with Thanksgiving because we literally eat until we hate ourselves, crying in a fetal position with our pants unbuttoned. And, ultimately, the real blame gets put on Christmas because it has all the traditions that last the entire month of December: marshmallow snowmen, hot cocoa, eggnog, alcohol, baking cookies and decorating gingerbread houses, parties and family gatherings etc etc yada-yada. All of which you HAVE to do because it’s “tradition” and you simply can’t have a true, genuine holiday experience without all of the above. And, per the usual, Christmas and December get the blame… and around the corner its the savior of all holidays; New Years Eve. The magical time-stamp of promise and hope that the layers will miraculously be shed if you make a goal at midnight…. so you allow yourself to make excuses until then. But guess what man, you don’t gain your “winter coat” in December. Do you really want to know how this all starts?
This begins at the end of summer as vacations wind down, kids go back to school, schedules get booked, a new cold and flu season starts, … and football season returns (hello buffalo wings and beer!). And you are already mid-way through every mental roadblock listed above when October hits. Suddenly it’s Fall and you have to start baking. Ever wonder what it is about cooler weather and the color orange that makes you want to strap on an apron and bake enough muffins, bread, cookies and casseroles to feed the national army? And everything is “pumpkin flavored” and you have to try it all because pumpkins only come once a year. Or something to that extent.
By the time Halloween comes around you’ve already determined you will avoid candy no matter what, only buy the crappy kind you hate so you’re not tempted to grab 1….2… 3 or 7 throughout the day each time you pass the candy bowl (that you’ve prepared 3 weeks in advance of Halloween for some reason). And you’ve done okay. Thus far. But then the festivals, parades, parties and trick or treating arrive. It’s too much all at once. Screw it. Happens once a year… paint your face, put on a wig and dive into the chocolate.
If that all sounds familiar… you’re the average American. Unfortunately, our country is a big, giant sucker for commercialism and we somehow get zapped into believing that holidays and tradition have to be encompassed by food and drink because intelligent advertising and sneaky media marketing convinced you of such. A lot of pricey research goes into finding successful ways to trick consumers (you, me) in order to achieve high quarterly gross sales. Think about it: everyone loves ice cream in the summer, right? It’s cold and helps you cool off. Well, what about the winter? How will Blue Bell maintain profits if we’re all freezing? Oh yeah… just make a Pumpkin and Eggnog flavored ice cream! And next thing you know- that is your “tradition” every year, along with the 5,093 other traditions you’ve collected in your lifetime.
Here is our Halloween tradition that we do every year, that saves us a lot of sugar crashes, mood swings and cavities:
“The Switch Witch lives on the dark side of the moon. And she LOVES candy. Of course, ALL witches love candy, but none as much as her.
She LOVES candy so much that she’s eager to trade the best toys to little boys and girls in exchange for their candy stash.
Of course, the boys and girls can keep a LITTLE candy for themselves (our rule: 3 pcs), but the more they give the Switch Witch, the better their toy will be.
She eats the boys and girls’ candy over the course of the year. As just as she runs out, it’s Halloween again – time for another visit from the Switch Witch.”
Be mindful that the Fall is just the beginning of the “winter spiral” and you can prevent that spiral from getting out of control by staying proactive and making intelligent, well thought-out decisions. Do you have to go with the grain? Do you have to do x, y, and z because everyone else is doing it? Or because that is what years and years of expensive market research and advertising has led you to believe? Don’t get me wrong… I promise you I am just ask crazy about the Fall as everyone else. In fact, it’s my favorite time of year. Pumpkins, cinnamon, harvest moon, cute boots over a pair of faded jeans and a mug full of apple cider…. anyone!!? But years ago I realized I put too much excitement into things that I didn’t actually care about, and you know what? That s**t makes you gain a stupid amount of weight. I don’t like that. So I put excitement into other things, like my awesome list above. But what about the sunsets and how they change in the Fall? Or the smell in the air? The leaves, the seasonal vegetables, the cooler breeze! Sit on those thoughts for a minute.
Meanwhile, here’s a “taste” from last year’s October newsbits (see what I did there?!):
(grain free, sugar free, SCD, paleo, gluten free)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbspn pump
kin pie spice
- 3-4 drops pure vanilla
- salt to taste
- optional: unsweetened coconut flakes
Mix and blend all ingredients together and bake in greased custard cups or one small, oblong baking dish at 350 for about 30 minutes. Top with coconut flakes if you wish. If you’d like it to be a bit sweeter you can add 1/3 cup of honey and or stevia. I like to make extra and save for pre-workout snacks or as topping for my fish, steak, turkey or chicken! Skip the mashed potatoes and dressing!! PUMPKIN! You can use pureed pumpkin (shown to the left) or you can follow my steps for using your own pumpkins to make puree (easier than you think!)