Check Out these ‘Tricks & Treats’ To Keep You On Track!

  With Halloween just around the corner your house is probably stocked with mini chocolate bars and sweets galore, and if you aren’t yet, you will be! Whether you have kiddos who will bring home their loot for you to “taste test” or you plan on sitting by the door and doling out the goods to your own neighborhood kids, the temptation remains the same…SUGAR!
We all love it from time to time and the more we eat, the more we crave! So here are a few tried and true tricks to keep you out of the treats 😉

1.  Eat Before You Trick or Treat

Serve a healthy family dinner before the fun begins, this way the kids will be less tempted to eat candy along the way and so will you! After trick or treating, offer a cup of warm sugar free hot cocoa made with almond milk or low fat milk with just one treat to ensure that blood sugar is stable before bedtime, and hold yourself to the same treat 😉

2.  Trick-or-Treat and Exercise  Make your children walk from house to house instead of driving them, and walk along with them. Parents can even encourage siblings or friends to wear pedometers or activity meters and start a friendly competition for who can be the most active while they are collecting candy.

3.  Keep the Best, Donate the Rest!

When children get back home from trick-or-treating,  have them make two piles: one for the candy they want to keep, another for the candy they will not eat. Consider donating the second pile to a local senior citizens home, food pantry, Ronald McDonald House, or children’s hospital.
My family personally donates our leftovers and extra to Operation Gratitude, where it is shipped over seas to our troops and brightens the day of a hard working soldier who is missing the Halloween fun! My kids look forward to doing it every year and it starts off the season of giving! Ask your dentist about it or find local drop offs here!

4.  Procrastinate

Purchase Halloween candy the day of trick or treating to avoid temptation. Buy less than what you think you will need to avoid leftovers and purchase candies that you do not like, if you still have leftovers donate them! If you really have a hard time with temptation choose to pass out non-candy treats such as bouncy balls, spider rings, pencils, erasers, bubbles or stickers.

5. Stock Up on Non-Candy Alternatives

Both for you and your kiddos, stock up on items you and they enjoy and offer those as alternatives to candy or in addition to eating 1 piece of candy vs. 2 or 3. Some great examples might be Trail Mix, Yogurt Covered raisins or pretzels, fruit for smoothies and frozen sugar free yogurt or popsicles. Non food items are great too like an extra 10-30 minutes of screen time, a special movie, a fun project, bubble bath, bubbles, nature walk etc.
When you’re tempted to grab a candy bar or your kiddos are begging you for them, reach for an alternate fun snack or activity and keep that craving at bay!

 

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Spread Joy, Stop Hate

My heart is breaking for the state of our country and the lives that are continuously lost on our soil in addition to all the lives out on the line and lost to fight for our freedom. We are blessed and surrounded with strong and brave men and women who fight for us to be able to go to movies, schools and dance clubs and live our lives safely and independently…yet there are terrible acts of hate taking place right here in our towns, Trying to push us into fear and doubt and submission. We can lock up our guns, we can ban them from the market, we can bar our windows and add metal detectors and give away the freedoms that those brave men and women are so selflessly fighting FOR. That might work for a while, it might make a dent, or it might not, it WILL push the hateful people to new means of harming others and to the black market (which is where most of their weapons are purchased illegally anyway) , it WILL take away decent people’s rights to protect themselves and others, It WILL instill a sense of distrust in our government and their ability to fairly protect us without taking away our rights, and it WILL NOT stop HATE. I am not saying I know what the “right” answer is, I am not saying I 100% agree we shouldn’t adjust some laws and regulations. What we should do: we should choose to spread joy, lead with love, and teach respect, responsibility and safety to our youth. We should speak with kindness to ALL people types at ALL times, we should show compassion and acceptance and humanity to all those who cross our path. WE are raising the generation who will run this country into the ground or out of it…We have the power to fight hate but the strongest weapon we have is not a gun or a bomb, it’s our words and our actions. Do not tolerate bullying, teasing, violence, foul speech or exclusion or others. Teach joy, love, kindness and acceptance, fight against making more monsters and towards making more heroes. People turn to hate and destruction out of fear and exclusion, don’t be a part of creating that environment. Be a part of eliminating it. I am not so naive to say that joy & love can fix all our problems, but they can lead us in the direction we need to go.

Strawberry Spinach Delight

Do you get late night snack cravings?  Need a little something sweet? 

One of my most FAVORITE creations and so simple to throw together for lunch, dinner or a late night snack! 

Ingredients:

Organic Spinach

2-3 strawberries

Small chunks Peppercorn Feta

A few pistachios (about 8)

Balsamic Vinegar* and 

Salt and pepper 

– Toss together and enjoy! 
*For a really yummy sweet kick I use Elderberry Balasamic Vinegar, yummy!