“It’s Halloween, it’s Halloween! The moon is full and bright! And we shall see what can’t be seen on any other night. Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls, grinning goblins frightening duels, werewolves rising from their tombs, witches on their magic brooms! In hats and gowns we haunt the street and knock on doors for trick-or-treat. Tonight we are the king and queen, for O, tonight is Halloween!”
October 31st is one of my favorite days of the year! In fact, it’s the only holiday around which I grew up with tradition. Every year, we would play our Halloween tape (from whence the song above comes) and sing along to start the day, dressing up on the way to school, and coming home excitedly for the evening’s events. Unlike Halloween here in Calgary where kids are often dressed in snowsuits under the costumes, Halloween in California meant cool evenings perfect for running around with friends from house to house and getting piling as much candy as possible into your pillowcase in the waning light of the night. For dinner my parents always invited all the neighborhood kids over for “Calico Stew,” a fall-ish meal full of vegetables and flavor, served always with some french bread on the side. [It’s a recipe I have to get from my mom and is from my Grandma Ruby in Scotland!] Then we’d all head out for trick-or-treating madness, running between homes and laughing excitedly before returning to our living room floor when we’d all dump our candy out in our own little sections of carpet and divide the spoils. Trading ensued and there was no limit to how much we could eat that night. Oh – another tradition occurred on November 1st: it was mandatory in our house that we have candy for breakfast on this day. Then we’d hide our pillowcases, at my mom’s request, while we were at school and she was at home. Definitely my favorite holiday! Here’s a look at some recent Halloween get-ups:
Okay, okay. So
most some of these photos are me in every day life. Still, good costume ideas, right? Well if you’re someone who likes to dress up on the scarier side of things, how about some SPOOKY facts for you?!
Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.
Fun-size Butterfinger has 83 calories.
Fun-size Mounds has 92 calories!
Fun-size Twix (only?) knocks you back 50 calories.
Reese’s PB Cup – 88 calories.
Good to think about before downing several fun-size bars (it’s so easy to do!). Side-note: my nickname from one of my friends was “Fun-Size” because I’m small…it always made me smile and now when I see them I always think of her. Hi, Linn! This is not a post about how to make Halloween healthy or how to help monitor your kids’ candy intake, because I kind of believe in going all-out on this day of the year! It is, however, a look ahead at how to prepare yourself for the onslaught of free candy bowls, holiday parties, colder weather + less movement, and busy days. Being prepared is the first step to staying on top of your health and fitness in the holiday season. Here are a few of my top tips to enjoying the holidays (I’m one to still indulge!) and maintain:
Stay Consistent. Plan to stay regular with your workouts and with getting healthy foods into your meals. Here’s the thing: Consistency is Key! This goes for daily life as well as special times like holidays and vacations. If you don’t plan on treating the next few months as any different than usual, you’ll simply keep up your routine, and staying steady in your moves and meals will help you maintain even if you end up skipping some workouts and eating more than usual.
Remember, you NEVER regret a workout after it’s over! Even when you’re dressed up, throw in a few squats or push ups and stick with it.
Say No to Free Food. This is one I learned from Dawn Blatner but admittedly have a hard time putting into practice in my own life. However, the truth of it is solid: if you don’t eat the free food around you (think: extra office parties and bowls of free candy), you’ll spare yourself of many extra calories and keep your sugar intake at a more regular level. Even if you’re eating greasier, less healthy and more sugary foods at parties, if you keep it to your meals and don’t take the freebies throughout the day, you’re in a better position than saying “yes” to every fun-size treat available.
Treat Yo’self (and scale back accordingly). I’m not one who can simply say “no” throughout a whole season of good eats in good company, and I think food is a big part of enjoying life. So while others might be able to go cold turkey (and well done to you guys!), I cannot, so I know ahead of time that I’ll be treating myself to something fun. But this makes me scale back on the “regular days,” meaning that if I know I’ll be going out and undoubtedly eating extra dessert at a Christmas party, I’ll watch it the rest of the day and make sure to keep my eating clean and exercise consistent. This helps me realize it’s a treat and allows me to simply enjoy it and relax when I do treat myself!
Change Your Definition of “Celebration.” Very often our culture celebrates with food and indulges in decadent delights, which is fun and tasty but not the healthiest way to think of celebration. Why not celebrate with others with a morning walk instead of a huge buffet? Grab a cup of coffee or tea to go and walk with others before enjoying a healthy, tasty morning breakfast. Or go to the movies with friends. Why not bring a healthy dish to a party or event? That way you at least can count on one healthy option to enjoy, or host a party of fresh, fall foods that are tasty and good for you too. I challenge you to not just celebrate with a molten hot lava cake (oh man those are good! ) but try to find new ways to enjoy this time. Let the focus be on the people and experiences rather than the food itself.
And of course, enjoy the time spent with people, the good tastes of food you don’t normally eat, and the accomplishment of heading into the holiday season with a plan to stay consistent. Think of how you’ll feel if you go into this time fit and ready to celebrate and come out of it feeling strong, healthy, and happy to have enjoyed it all in moderation and while maintaining your fitness.
Got any tips to add?
Do you have any Halloween traditions? And any fun costume rec’s for me? I’m out of ideas and we’ll be traveling…something suitcase-friendly!
Have a great rest of your day and 3 cheers for this fun season we’re approaching! Live well and be well, friends, and HAPPY HAUNTING!