This past weekend I taught my 3, almost 4, year old niece to say, “trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.” She delightedly repeated it over and over while sticking her little toes in my face. While my niece and I giggled, my sister, her Mom, tried to remind my niece that asking people to smell your feet is not good manners. Hopefully, little niece sticks with the polite “trick-or-treat” followed by a “thank you” when a kind stranger gives her a piece of candy.
I’m pretty sure I was just fulfilling the part of the aunt job description that says something like, instill your impressionable niece or nephew with the knowledge of all things silly, useless, obnoxious and occasionally mildly inappropriate.
The trick-or-treating talk made me think about how much candy that little one will get this Halloween. I’m not trying to rob children of the tradition of raking in a full king size pillowcase of Halloween candy, but trick-or treating is not the one and only celebration for most kids. There’s the school party, the church party, the trunk or treat, the neighborhood block party…you get my point. It adds up to a lot of sugar and not so healthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils in a short period of time.
Instead of giving in to a candy crazy week, prioritize the treats that make Halloween special for your family and enjoy those whether they are healthy or not. In my family, it’s not Halloween without a graveyard which is a giant dirt pudding topped with crushed Oreos for dirt, Milano cookies for headstones and lots of gummy worms and harvest mix marshmallow pumpkins. So not healthy, but nostalgic and so good!
Substitute quality-ingredient sweets or non-food treats in between those super special goodies to keep your little (or big) one healthier this Halloween.
Homemade gelatin gummies – a quick Google or Pinterest search will give you hundreds of recipes to choose from.
Candy with quality ingredients meaning no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, MSG or numbered dyes. YumEarth is one clean brand that offers a variety of products including lollipops and gummy worms.
Let us know your healthy(er) Halloween treat ideas in the comments!
I am not affiliated with the companies of any of the products I recommended or linked to in this post.
For years of my life I saw food as numbers – the number of meals, the number of snacks, the number of calories, the percentage of carbs, fat and protein. My brain was a database of portion sizes, calories and macros. I could estimate the calorie content and macros of an entire menu in under 5 minutes. I learned this information to make myself healthier but in the end all this mental math landed me in a confused and unhealthy place. The focus on numbers replaced all other ideas about food.
Do you think your great-grandmother counted calories? What about her great-grandmother? Hell no. You know what they cared about? What their brains were busy thinking about as they fed their families? Nutrients! Nourishment! Robust health!
It’s not the calories but the quality of the calories that matters. One hundred calories of Cheetos is not the same as 100 calories of avocado. Foods devoid of nutrients and high in calories are in large part to blame for the obesity epidemic. How many Snackwells star-shaped cinnamon cookies could you eat back in the day? Don’t lie…you know the answer is the whole box. You know why? Zero nutrients means zero nourishment and zero satiation. You need fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to feel satisfied, to feel energized and to supply your body with the building blocks for growth and repair.
Let’s shift our focus from numbers to nutrients. Nutrient-dense foods are unprocessed, unaltered, whole foods that your great-grandmother and her great-grandmother would recognize as food. This includes pastured meats and eggs, grass-fed dairy, fruits, vegetables, nut, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Food quality plays a huge role in nutrient-density as well. Learn more about food quality here.
Aim to fill the majority of your snacks and meals with foods that naturally contain a wide variety of nutrients. Then, forget about the numbers and take the time to really enjoy (and chew) the food in front of you.
Optimal health is in the nutrients not the numbers!
I am a little behind on posts this week so I thought I would combine an awesome workout with Food Log Friday.
I’ll be honest with you. I am a little behind because I had way too much fun at a local food and wine festival last Sunday. There were hundreds, freakin’ hundreds, of wines and champagnes to taste as well as beer and bourbon. I really went for it and probably tried 99 wines/champagnes and some bourbon for good measure. It was an epic Sunday Funday followed by an epic three day hangover.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, I find myself craving smoothies. Smoothies are considered a “health” food but with the wrong ingredients your smoothie may be as healthy as a Butterfinger Blizzard.
There is a vast nutritional difference between a smoothie made with sugar-filled ingredients like fruit juices, yogurts and agave and a smoothie made with frozen berries, spinach, collagen, avocado and water.
What are you up to this weekend? You know what you should do?
Go see Beaty & the Beast 3-D! I went last night with a friend who was seeing it for the second time. It’s that good!
For those of you, like me, who saw the animated version one million times as a child, prepare to be amazed. It blows plain old animation out of the water. The 3-D element is amazing and Emma Watson is a perfect Belle! Josh Gad plays Gaston’s sidekick LeFou. He his hilarious as always but it’s so hard not picture him as Olaf the whole time. My point is – go see it for yourself!
In his song Juicy, Notorious B.I.G reminisces about when he used to eat sardines for dinner. He’s pretty much saying that now that he’s a super famous rapper he doesn’t have to eat cheap, simple fish from a tin anymore. Well Mr. B.I.G., you don’t know how you good you had it with those inexpensive, super nutrient-dense little fishies.
Sardines are little nutrition powerhouses that everyone, kids and adults, should be eating. You eat them whole so you are getting nutrients from the skin, bones, and muscles. Don’t be a weeny and get grossed out. First let’s talk about their benefits; then we’ll talk about how to eat them.