How to have a Healthy Halloween, *PLUS: 8 tips to bounce back from a night of drinking
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I get to dress up and be silly. Unfortunately, though, Halloween is also a holiday centered on the consumption of unhealthy foods full of sugar, dairy, artificial colors and flavors. You don’t want to deprive your kids the fun of dressing up and trick-or-treating, but you also don’t want to teach unhealthy behavior. I have a few suggestions on how you can turn your Halloween into a healthy Halloween, treats without the sweets. For my kid-less friends, skip down below to healthy Halloween tips that more pertain to you.
What will you give to trick or treaters? Think outside the candy box– here is a list of other non-sugary, chemical filled options.
- Non-candy items: bubbles, pencils, stickers, small toys, toothbrushes, glow sticks, mini tubs of play-doh, bouncy balls, mood rings, yo-yo’s.
- Natures candy: bananas, clementines with jack-o-lantern faces drawn on the peal with a sharpie, apples, and raisins.
Having non-candy items to hand out to kids is becoming increasingly more popular due to the amount of kids today with food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project is raising awareness of food allergies and promoting inclusion of all trick-or-treaters through the Halloween holiday by asking families to offer toys rather than treats to make Halloween fun and safe for all kids. You can signify your participation by putting out a teal colored pumpkin or one of their printable signs.
So what should you do with all the candy your kids bring home?
- As soon as you get home, empty their bags into a container that they cannot access and only allow them 1-2 treats a day. Eventually, they will forget about it, or you can pretend they ate them all. (Get rid of them!)
- Keep only a few pieces and then donate the rest!
- Save it for your kid’s birthday party or even to give away as treats during the upcoming Holidays.
- Freeze the chocolate bars so you’ll be less tempted to eat them
- Limit the time you spend trick or treating so you receive less treats.
- Offer another option to your kid, ask them “would you like to keep all this candy, or would you rather keep 2 pieces of candy and trade in the rest for a toy?”
I hope these tips help. And remember, it’s okay to be “that mom” that doesn’t give in to buying the high fat, high sugar, and chemical loaded junk. Candy is so expensive these days anyway! It may not seem like your kids will thank you, but their temperament will be much more grateful when they aren’t crashing from a sugar high.
8 tricks to bounce back from a night of drinking
For my kid-less friends, avoiding the Halloween candy is easy; it’s the Halloween drinks that are hard. As a kid I associated Halloween with candy and costumes, since college I’ve associated Halloween with drinking in costumes. A caramel apple martini or two, or several pumpkin beers, delicious and tempting! I’m not here to lecture you on whether or not you should go out drinking on all hallows eve. But rather here are some tips to set you up for success (i.e. less of a hangover, and a quicker rebound into healthier habits)
Instead of just de-toxing after a night on the town, get a head start and pre-tox. Alcohol is known to deplete an array of nutrients in your body including vitamins B1, B6, B12, folic acid, zinc, magnesium and more, making you feel edgy, anxious and exhausted the day after a long night out. Having foods rich in these vitamins and minerals is a good strategy to help lessen the hangover.
- Consume magnesium-rich foods during the day: seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame), raw cacao, avocado, almonds, cashews, spinach, beans, spirulina, coconut, brown rice, sweet potato, and swiss chard. Papaya, watermelon and strawberries are also good sources of magnesium and have other amazing benefits such as hydration, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes, key for feeling better the next day.
- Choose drinks with less sugar. Your best bet being liquor with water. If possible, go for organic sulphate-free wine, or clear spirits like gin or vodka mixed with sparkling water and lemon or lime.
- Eat beforehand. The golden rule of alcohol is to never drink on an empty stomach. A lot of the alcohol you consume is absorbed straight through the stomach lining. Have a hearty meal (with lots of magnesium ingredients) before going out.
- Avoid coffee on the day you’re going out. Caffeine is dehydrating, leading to a stronger hangover.
- Supplement with a B complex vitamin the day before, the day of and the morning after. Alcohol is an anti nutrient that depletes the body of nutrients trying to metabolize the alcohol out of your system, and B vitamins are hit the hardest.
- Start eating liver supportive foods in advance of a big party, ideally a week or two before. Beets, lemon, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and greens are super liver supporting.
- The morning after drinking re-inoculate your gut with healthy microbes. Eat some sauerkraut, kim chi or other fermented vegetables, drink kombucha, and take a probiotic. Drinking compromises your gut flora, eat something with beneficial bacteria.
- Stay hydrated! You don’t need me to tell you the old rule to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have, but do you ever really do it? Seriously? Remember how thirsty you woke up the last time you went out drinking? It is so much harder to come back from that than it is to just drink more water during your night out. Drink plenty of water before going out, between drinks, when you get home, just drink more water, ok?
Tip: Try soaking 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds in your water for 10 minutes and have before, during or after your night out. Chia is powerfully hydrating and it absorbs 10x its weight in water.
Wishing you the best of luck out there with the goblins, sugar monsters, witches, and zombies. Its always fun to have a night of debauchery and get off the health wagon, but set yourself up for success, and make it easier for yourself to bounce back, because you’re worth it darlings.