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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.

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3D

Delay

Distract

Distance

I need to practice my 3D’s much more.

Delay – waiting 10 minutes or so after a craving hits can sometimes be all it takes to help you “win”

Distract – I use this all the time on my kids…finding something else (non-food related) to take my attention from the wants I am feeling at the moment.  Especially when the distraction takes a decent amount of time (combining delay and distract)

Distance – Keeping the food out of sight is best, but if you can’t, make sure you’re not standing right over it, or beside someone eating it…or you’re sure to fixate on it and eventually give in.

I will be practicing my 3D’s this week to help me overcome my late night snacking issue I’ve got.  I know they are helpful at night when I remember to use them so I’ve got them on my computer.

I am up a couple of pounds from Thanksgiving and a desert trip…always tough to eat well at either of these.  I have been much more active lately which helped keep that number down.  The Turkey Trot was a great start to the day.  I also credit that from keeping me from eating too too too much.  But even keeping an eye on portion size, the foods that were at the table were all loaded with fat, etc which makes them taste SO good, but makes them not so great for a sensible meal…then there are the leftovers!  Black Friday shopping was a decent day of moving, and the weekend was full of fun on our new quad.  I am seriously feeling my muscles…now I just need to keep my moving grooving.  So, how was your Thanksgiving?  What are your plans to make it through the rest of the holidays?

The Big 0

Zero…Zip…Nada…Nothing…
That’s how much I lost this week according to my scale. Sometimes I really hate my scale. Of course, it’s really my way of directing my feelings toward an inanimate object instead of myself. I know it’s really been the slips (no candy bars) I’ve had this week. I have allowed myself too many this’s and that’s. I am stuck at 172. I’m not happy at 172 so I need to regroup, reassess, and re – get my butt in gear! How’s that for honesty!

I’m down a total of 9 lbs since I’ve started keeping track again. Time is tough to find, but the goal is important to me so I need to dedicate more time to it. I have some semi-worthy excuses…like having a cold (hard to exercise when you can’t breathe) and a UTI (too much info?) I’m feeling much better now, so it’s time to get my movin’ groovin’.

I did register for the Turkey Trot 5K and it would be smart of me to have a little conditioning before the day arrives. Team name Cold Turkey in case you wanted to join me huffing and puffing the whole way.
So–what do I plan to do?

  • Get on the treadmill in the morning before I get dressed
  • Start my day with a shake I’ve slacked on this and know it makes a big difference
  • Buy veggies and fruit I enjoy for the house tomorrow
  • Stop eating by 9pm – late night snacking is dangerous
  • Plan a menu and stick to it when camping this weekend.

That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.

Before I sign off for the night I want to introduce a new weekly contributor to our little blog. We will hear from her tomorrow (Tuesdays). She and I have known each other a few years but have gotten closer more recently and I am so thankful for that. I love her to pieces and hope you will too. She is a straight shooter with a warped sense of humor that I adore. She mentioned that blogging might help her in her battle to lose weight…I said, “Join the team!!!” I find it’s been helping me. I hope it’s helping you too. I hope it will help her as well…Welcome Jenn!

The Trifecta!

It seems that Halloween is the beginning of the Trifecta…the perfect set of stumbling blocks to any diet.  Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas…at least in respect to the yummy food that you eat too much of way too often.

During the month of October and more and more as you get closer to Halloween, candy is everywhere!  Thanksgiving give you free license to pack your gullet full of all the tasty food that puts you into a sleepy stupor.  Christmas brings event after event where you are walloped with scrumptious food right at your fingertips…and how can you not sample some since it’s the good stuff that you probably won’t see other times of the year.

So what to do?  It’s coming… Knowing that it is coming and I cannot stop it, I am working on goals to help me through.  Goals!  I may not meet them perfectly, but it will engage my mind into a deeper battle before I succumb or succeed in avoiding the traps in my journey through the end of the year.

I mentioned last week that I am not going to have a single candy bar during this month.  My hubby laughed at me and mentioned how convenient it is that Halloween is the last day of October and November is just a day away…so I can just mack on it all then  SO  I’m extending my goal through November.  I don’t usually eat the stuff but for some reason Halloween give you free license to eat a ton, so I won’t start.  Talking to my family about my goal also helps me…told them what my goal is and now I’m accountable to them AND they know not to offer me any candy!  If they do they are busted!  I’m going to find a way to include exercise into my Harvest fun as well.  There’s a HUGE corn maze close to us that takes an hour or longer to get through.  Since you don’t stand still in a maze, it means fun exercise!  I’m there!

Turkey Trot is my help for Thanksgiving.  Moving your feet before you eat!  It seems to  keep me from stuffing my face as much – wakes up my mind and I feel invigorated.  It seems to help me remember to keep my portion size smaller and make wiser choices.  After all, I don’t want to backtrack and undo all the good achieved by getting my feet moving the days and weeks before as well.  Hey, if you live near me, you should join me.  Our team name is Cold Turkey…mostly because we don’t do much preparing for a run like that…we do it cold turkey.

What to do for Christmas?!  I’m still working out a plan.  I’m hoping that keeping my exercise routine going and the successes that come from it will help me keep my head straight when temptation comes before me.  I’m going to keep my eye open for activities that get me moving instead of the ones that have me sitting and watching.  Let me know if you hear of anything that fits.

So, I didn’t see any weight loss this week, but I did find myself fitting into a couple of things that didn’t before.  Keeping on keeping on…

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