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happy hydrated holidays

I know I’ve been MIA the last month. Life just keeps happening and my fitness goals are taking a backseat. I will take the opportunity to renew my commitment with the new year. In the meantime, my one goal (and advice I would share) is to make sure I am drinking my 8 glasses of water each day. When I make sure I’m drinking water it helps my skin (which is dying from this crazy unusual California cold), my appetite (oh so many plates of hand delivered, homemade treats!), and keeps me away from those unhealthy beverages.

May your Christmas be merry, bright, and full of love!

Happy Halloween Tricks to help you with the Treats

First I’ll punch in my update:  I’ve found a new status quo.  It’s 10 pounds lighter than my last one but I seem to be a little stuck around 165.  I’m still running, in fact, I’m participating in the COLOR RUN this weekend!  It’s not a fast race but a fun one.  I thought the idea of physical activity with friends in a fun environment sounded like a great addition to this time of year. I’m signed up for the Turkey Trot in my local area.  If you’re local too, we’re team Cold Turkey – JOIN US!  So, I’m staying positive & enjoying my run endurance lengthening during my 30 work out runs. Making this thing happen!

During this time of year, I love all the pumpkin treats.  I found a replacement for me.  I use a vanilla protein shake base, add a heaping tablespoon of pureed pumpkin, add some pumpkin pie spices, half a banana, and some ice.  I VitaMix it up and it’s a tasty holiday treat for me.  You can leave the pumpkin out and just put the spices in, also tasty!  Thought I’d share…

So, Halloween!

I was reading an article from Active.com (want to give them all the credit!) and thought it was a perfect one to share here.  Thanks to them for some useful TRICKS and better TREAT options.  Happy Halloween.  Of course it’s still not too late to join me in a Candy Free October and November…and likely December too!  

Perhaps you have meandered into Target or your local grocery story lately and noticed the enormous amounts of tantalizing treats throughout the store. Maybe you even felt tempted to buy some, because you’ll pass the candy out to all of the neighborhood kids. But, if you buy the candy days or weeks before Halloween, you’ll have the desire to eat the candy.

Here are a few helpful tricks to avoid the treats.

Purchase Candy you Don’t Like

If you don’t pass out candy then the kids will probably be disappointed, and you don’t want that. Instead, pick up candy that you don’t like. If the candy doesn’t appeal to you, then you won’t eat it. It’s a win-win situation. You won’t snack on candy and the kids will be happy.

Pick Up Candy Last Minute

The day of Halloween is when candy is significantly marked down. You’ll save money on candy and you won’t have the lingering temptation around your house for weeks. Make sure you pass out all the candy by the end of the night. You don’t want to munch on any leftover sweets.

MoreHalloween Candy Deconstructed

Here are nine Halloween options to pass out:

  1. Three Musketeers Bars: These bars are considered the low-cal chocolate candy bar. They are bite-sized candy bars  that are 24 calories each and less than 1 gram of fat.
  2. Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops: Lollipops take a while to finish, so it keeps you from eating more treats. At 60 calories and .5 grams of fat, you can have the tangy caramel pop and be satisfied.
  3. Dum-Dum Lollipops: 0 grams of fat and only 20 calories.
  4. Rice Krispy Treats: For a healthier version, mix or substitute Rice Krispies for brown rice puffs. Use brown rice syrup instead of sugar.
  5. Mini Water Bottles: Parents and kids appreciate a sip of water while on the hunt for candy. Arrowhead and Kirkland make 4-ounce water bottles, perfect size to grab-and-go.
  6. Glow Bracelets: Glow bracelets, fake tattoos and stickers are great alternatives to candy and get the little kids excited.
  7. Dessert-Flavored Gum: Extra gum makes dessert-flavored gums such as Root Beer Float and Mint Chocolate Chip. They are heavenly and are only 5 calories per stick.
  8. Nabisco 100-Calorie Snack Packs: From cookies to pretzels, the little ghosts and goblins will love these snacks.
  9. Trail Mixes: Individually wrapped packages of nuts and trail mix bars are great alternatives to the Halloween candy. Not only are these healthier and lower in sugar, but they offer nutritional benefits as well.

10 Tricks and Treats

1. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are great for a lot more than making jack-o’-lanterns. One cup of mashed pumpkin has only 49 calories and is loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. It also has nearly 3 grams of fiber and 564 milligrams of potassium. Pumpkin also contains vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin (good for eye health), as well as iron and zinc.

2. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin K, zinc and protein. One ounce has 158 calories, 8.57 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fiber and almost 25 percent of the recommend daily value for iron. Pumpkin seeds also have plant sterols that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and fight cancer. They are also a fantastic source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Wash them, dry, and then toast them with garlic and onion powder and a bit of salt and pepper. They take about 30 to 40 minutes at about 300 degrees to toast.

3. Know What You’re Eating

Hershey’s Fun Bar vs. Tootsie Rolls vs. Nestle Crunch: Each Hershey’s “Fun” bar has about 75 calories. A Nestle Crunch mini-bar has 60 calories, and just three Tootsie Roll Midgees have 70 calories. What about those Hershey’s Special Dark miniatures? They’re each 38 calories.

Pez vs. Smarties vs. Candy Corn: One (15-tablet) roll of Smarties has 25 calories and 25 grams of sugar. The candy corn has 150 calories for 20 pieces. That’s 7.5 calories each–about the same as one almond, except that the almond is a nutrition powerhouse. One roll of Pez has 35 calories and 9 grams of sugar. And remember that many of these candies contain dyes that have been associated with hyperactivity in kids.

Twizzlers vs. Peeps vs. Now and Later: Each Halloween-sized pack of Twizzlers has 140 calories- along with red dye number 40. For eight pumpkin Peeps (32 grams) the calorie cost is 110, with 26 grams of sugar (about 6.5 tablespoons). The Now and Later has 40 calories in each small bar.

Tootsie Roll Snack Bars vs. York Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Patties: There is some misperception out there that York Peppermint Patties are healthy, but I’m not sure why. Each 13.3-gram patty has 50 calories and 9 grams of sugar. Tootsie Roll Snack Bars are also 50 calories each.

Tootsie Pop vs. Charms Blow Pop (with Gum) vs. Dum Dums: That’s 60 calories for both the Blow Pop and the Tootsie Pop, and only 19.67 calories for the Dum Dum.

4. Burn it

When you go trick or treating, don’t just sit in your car and drive your kids from house to house. Get out there and walk the walk. Expect to burn about 176 calories per hour during a casual stroll.

5. Healthy Treats Exist

Healthy treats that taste good really do exist. For instance, Ghirardelli 60 Percent Cacao Dark Chocolate Squares (10.75 grams each) have 55 calories, but they also have at least 0.75 grams fiber, 0.5 grams protein and loads of antioxidants.

And then there are Snackimals (www.worldpantry.com) made with organic grains. I also like Pumpkin Seed Cheddar Dr. Krackers (www.drkracker.com), which are made with organic whole-wheat flour. Eight crackers have 120 calories, 4 grams fiber and 6 grams protein. Along the same cracker lines there are also Mr. Krispers (http://mrkrispers.elsstore.com/) and Mary’s Gone Crackers – Original Seed Cracker (www.marysgonecrackers.com )–for 13 crackers you get 140 calories, 3 grams fiber and 3 grams protein.

Popchips (www.popchips.com) are also tasty, and you get about 22 popped potato chips for 120 calories, almost double the number of fried or baked chips you’d get for the same number of calories.
And what about those delicious Triple Chocolate Chunk VitaTops? They have only 100 calories each, along with 5 grams fiber and other nutrients. Another good choice would be Brothers-All-Natural Freeze-Dried Fruit Crisps (www.brothersallnatural.com), which are nothing but freeze-dried fruit. An entire bag has only 39 calories. And last but certainly not least, Larabars mini-bars are lower in calories than other bars and are made with all-natural ingredients. They’re available in Whole Foods and Kroger Supermarkets nationwide. The suggested retail is $9.49 for 12.

6. Use the Research

According to research done at Yale University and reported in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, children are just as likely to choose toys as candy on Halloween. For the study, seven households offered 284 trick or treaters between the ages of 3 and 14 a choice between comparably sized toys and candies. The results showed that the children were just as likely to choose the toys as the candy. How about these toys: pencils (go to http://rootsandwingsco.blogspot.com/2009/09/pumpkin-pencil-topper-aka-non-candy.html for a way to make cute Halloween pencils), bubbles, play dough, Silly Putty.

7. Swap It Out

The kids are sorting through their take, and they’re loaded with candy or, in other words, junk. Obviously one day with candy is not so bad, but now you’re facing weeks of candy abuse. Why not offer to swap the candy for something bigger, maybe something the child has wanted for a long time? Sound far-fetched? Try it and you’ll be amazed. I’ve seen it work several times firsthand.

8. Don’t Go Too Far Out

Don’t buy Halloween candy too far in advance; that way you’ll have less time to eat it before you give it away!

9. Don’t Enjoy

Buy candy you don’t really like so that you’re not tempted to overindulge.

10. Fill Up

Eat! Make sure to fill yourself up with a nutritious lunch or dinner before trick or treating so that you’re less likely to dip into the candy bag.

Love it, Hate it, Can I Live Without it?

I’m 41, married, a mother to three kids and I live in my own mom’s house. It didn’t happen on purpose and we’ve been here years (YEARS). Some days I have hope (or faith or both) that we’ll get our own home and others I feel stuck. Today is a stuck day. Don’t get me wrong. There are some great things about being here. This is not one of them…

She (Mom) came home from a weekend away for a family funeral and this is what was on the counter when I woke up. She cannot throw food away. It might be a physical impossibility for her. She loves treats, too, and no matter how often I ask her not to bring things like this home….she ignores me and does it anyway.

Oh my mother. How I love her. How she drives me crazy.

This isn’t a blog post to complain about my mother. It’s about all the dang sugar! I have given in to the sugar too much lately. I need a clean slate. I feel totally addicted. I choose easy, grabable (it’s a word), food filled with refined sugar to snack on, to replace an actual lunch, to fill me when I’m tired….need I go on?

I’m diabetic for crying out loud! Iwasn’t even eating candy a few months ago and now I don’t seem to know how to eat without it being something sweet. After seeing the many treats this morning I decided I need to go on a sugar fast. I don’t know for how long. I’m afraid to put a number on it and discourage myself so much that I give up before I start. So I’m doing it for today. Tomorrow is another day. I pray for the courage to stick to it tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

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