What is your favorite part about Halloween? As most kids do, I used to love Halloween!
Not because I got to dress up, I actually didn't like that part all that much.
I loved Halloween because of the candy!
I remember going out with my pillowcase, knocking on doors, saying trick-or-treat, and getting candy!
When my brother and I got home, we'd dump the candy on the living room floor and trade what we didn't like with each other.
We'd hover over our newly collected candy as if it were a treasure we'd found at the bottom of the ocean.
And a treasure it was because our mom would only let us have one, maybe two, pieces before bed.
It will rot your teeth, it will keep you up all night, it's not good for you...
I remember thinking how can something that taste so good, be bad for you?
Of course I am an adult now and I understand so much more about sugar and it's destructive effects on our body.
Mainly, our gut!
For example, did you know that when you consume processed sugar en masses, you actually starve your good gut bacteria?
Not only that, but high-fructose corn syrup has been linked to increased inflammation.
Shockingly, gut inflammation can cause any number of horrific disorders such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS) and Crohn's Disease.
So what do you do? Say no to Halloween? Never indulge in your favorite sweet treats again?
To that I say, heck no!!
I refuse to give up on Halloween!
So I went on a mission and found several sweet options that can actually have a positive impact on your gut microbiome with a few being probiotics that help aid in anti-inflammation efforts!
Here are a few candies you can feel guilt free giving to your kiddo's and enjoying yourself this Halloween. In moderation of corse!!
Dark Chocolate: Make sure it's at least 70% cocoa! Cocoa contains probiotic superheroes that can ferment dark chocolate into short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and acetic acid that help to fight off harmful microbes that helps to reduce inflammation and reinforce the gut barrier against antigen and invaders.
Honey Candies: Honey is a prebiotic and helps to increase the growth of certain good bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. It is also a non-dairy probiotic which is a huge plus if you are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products. Just make sure to read the label to make sure there are no other dairy products being used in the candy.
Nutty Candies: Nuts contain fiber which helps to move the rest of the stuff you eat through the digestive track. Honey nuts, dark chocolate covered nuts, nut clusters, all of them work to help keep things moving along down there.
Gummy Bears and Gelatin Candies: Gelatin contains a substance called glutamic acid which may help promote a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach helping to aid in digestion by stimulating the production of gastric juices and helping food move through the digestive system.
Coconut Candies: Coconuts are high in fiber which helps bulk up your stool and supports bowel regularity, keeping your digestive system healthy. Coconut is also considered a healthy fat that doesn't require bile to break down in the body. If you don't have a gallbladder, like me, coconut is a great option as a healthy fat.
Candies to stay away from include sugar-free candies with sugar substitutes, processed candies that contain a lot of sugar, and milk chocolate candy without nuts.
In addition, the Celiac Disease Foundation has a great list I found that you can print off and stick to your fridge. Download it here.
I have to confess, I struggled for a long time when the holiday season rolled around. I'd feel guilty for indulging in my favorite sweet treats or deprived when I said no and restricted myself.
I finally said enough is enough and did something radically different than anything I'd ever done before! I started LISTENING to my body and what MY body was telling me I needed for the first time in my life!
I stopped counting calories and started counting on my body to let me know what it needed.
What I didn't realize until I had lost all my weight is that I actually adopted two powerful lifestyle changes that are simple, effective, and sustainable for life.
They are so simple in fact, anyone can do them even you!
I no longer feel guilty or deprived when the holidays roll around. I no longer avoid holiday parties or the candy dish at work.
I actually enjoy the holidays now! I love to plan fun get-togethers with my family and friends knowing that I can be around food and not feel guilty or deprived.
So, let me ask you, where are you struggling?
Does your love for the holidays turn into hate once you start thinking about all the food you can't have?
Are you ready to end the fear and guilt you feel during this time of the year and finally make lasting, sustainable changes to your weight and overall health?
How can I help you finally be successful with your weight loss goals?
I can't wait to hear from you!