5 Tricks & Treats For A Happy, Healthy Halloween!

It’s that time of year again!! Halloween is the beginning of the almost three-month-long holiday season by the time we get through New Years. The coming months are full of candy, sweet treats galore, parties, and indulgent foods every direction you look. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to have fun with this holiday, and enjoy it without a candy hangover! Here are a few tips so you and your family can do the same: 

1. Eat before you Trick or Treat

The temptation to dig into the huge variety of candy the kids collect while trick or treating is real! The kids want to indulge too! To ensure you and your kiddos get some good nutrition in and don’t just feast on candy for dinner, make sure to have a hearty, nutritious meal BEFORE heading out to collect all the goodies. How about this protein-rich turkey veggie meatloaf or some quick veggie-loaded peanut noodles? These Jack-O-Lantern stuffed bell peppers are a festive way to start the evening with your kids too! 

Photo cred: itsyummi.com

Photo cred: itsyummi.com

 2. If you’re throwing or going to a party, make a dish that adds value, not subtracts it.

You are in control of what you make, but not necessarily what others will make. If you make a dish you know is healthy, or at least upgraded from a less healthy version, you know you will have some options for a more nutritious meal at the party. You have two choices: 

  • Make food you think everyone will enjoy, AND know will fill the nutrition bank account of all your friends and kiddos in attendance.

  • Make food you think everyone will enjoy, BUT won’t leave anyone feeling healthier or better than they did before they ate it.

You know that food hangover I’m talking about. I love when I can add value to the lives of others, rather than be part of the battle they may be facing to make healthier choices themselves. Here are some fun, upgraded Halloween food ideas to get you started: http://howdoesshe.com/healthy-halloween-treat-ideas/

Roasted brain, anyone? 

Photo cred: cookingismessy.com

Photo cred: cookingismessy.com

3. Size Matters.

Use small plates at parties, get small bags or buckets for your kids to limit the amount of candy they collect, Choose mini sizes of candy to try instead of the full bar. Everything adds up, and on days like Halloween when there are small bites and tastes of goodies everywhere you look, do your best to keep portions and your family’s health goals in mind. 

4. Be that weird neighbor who hands out something other than candy.

How about little packets of trail mix, nuts or dried fruit, fun pencils, erasers, glow sticks, bubbles, yo-yos, or stickers? If you know it’s not doing you and your own family any favors, why add to the pile of candy trick-or-treaters are already getting? Also, if you don’t buy candy, it’s not sitting in the house tempting you. I always go by Dr. John Berardi’s (of Precision Nutrition) first law of food: “If a food is in your house, or possession, either you, someone you love, or someone you marginally tolerate, will eventually eat it” So if you or anyone in your house does not feel in control around candy, just don’t buy it. Here's a list with some fun candy alternatives: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/10/05/non-candy-halloween-treats_n_8234818.html

How fun would it be to have glow bracelets while trick-or-treating!?

How fun would it be to have glow bracelets while trick-or-treating!?

5. Be in control of your environment.

Continuing on the point above, halloween doesn’t usually end on October 31st. There is leftover candy for weeks, and possibly leftover party food in your fridge. If there is something in your house that doesn’t serve your family’s health goals, CUT. IT. OUT. (Sorry…child of the 90’s here…can’t pass up a Full House reference! :D)

Can you work out a plan with your kids to take most of their candy in to school to share, or donate to a homeless shelter? How about trade it for movie tickets, a day at the trampoline park, or a fun new board game? Can you take that leftover salami platter, or mac & cheese dish, in to work…or simply throw it out? Again, if the food is in your house, it will be eaten by someone at some point. Use this as a teaching opportunity for your kids. Indulging is fine every now and then, but having loads of candy every day isn’t going to make anyone feel healthy, wealthy, or wise. 

I’d love to know: what are some of your tricks and treats for having a happy, healthy Halloween! Share with the masses! We can use all the support and ideas we can get as the busy holiday season begins! 

Thanks as always for following me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and sharing me with all your friends, family, coworkers, and strangers on the street. :) I have availability for new clients at the moment, so if you or any companies you know are looking for food/wellness consulting, writing, or recipe development, send them my way!

Cover photo cred: Howdoesshe.com

Eat A Better Breakfast

Did you know September is National Better Breakfast Month? When hunger strikes first thing in the morning, starting your day off with a solid breakfast can make the difference between a great day and a mediocre one. A nutritious breakfast has been linked to better mental and physical performance throughout the day. So what exactly is a nutritious breakfast and how do you make better choices?

I teamed up with Flatout Flatbreads to help you find those answers and level up your breakfasts for good!

Start by taking a look at your normal breakfast choices. Are you a breakfast skipper? A pastry or pancakes kind of person? Oatmeal or toast? Do you make a green smoothie or veggie omelet for yourself most mornings?

Source: amysinvictus.wordpress.com

Source: amysinvictus.wordpress.com

What does your normal breakfast routine look like?  Is it hurried or non-existent? Leisurely enough to allow you to cook your breakfast most mornings? Depending on how you normally approach your first meal of the day, start by choosing just one single way to make it a little better (i.e. more nutritious) each and every day! Check out our suggestions below for some simple upgrades:

Source: www.multiplemayhemmamma.com

Source: www.multiplemayhemmamma.com

Make it Balanced

Look to get a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats to give you all the nutrients and energy you need to last you all morning. For example, most breakfast staples -  oatmeal, toast, cereal, pastries - are rich in carbohydrates, but don’t offer much fat or protein. Not only do protein and healthy fats help keep you satisfied longer after meals, they fuel your brain, your muscles, your hormone production, and help keep your blood sugar stable so you don’t have an energy crash soon after eating that bowl of cereal. Try adding some eggs, cream cheese and salmon lox, natural deli meats, chicken sausage, avocado, or beans to a Flatout flatbread for easy, balanced breakfast options. Bonus points for adding in whatever veggies you have on hand!

Veggies? Check! Protein? Check? Smart Carbs? Check! Healthy fats? Check!!

Veggies? Check! Protein? Check? Smart Carbs? Check! Healthy fats? Check!!

Make it Fiber-ful

Fiber keeps you full! No one likes eating a banana for breakfast in the car on the way to work only to be hungry an hour later in the middle of their morning meeting. Add some fiber to help you make it to lunch before hunger hits. Grab a whole grain, high fiber Flatout flatbread, spread it with a little peanut butter (or any other nut or seed butter you like), slice up that banana and wrap it up with the peanut butter for a portable, high fiber breakfast you can take on the go.

Source: www.flatoutbread.com

Source: www.flatoutbread.com

Make it Doable

If you have just 5 minutes every morning to make breakfast and usually grab a bagel on your way out the door, don’t commit to whipping up a homemade veggie omelet as a way to eat healthier. Instead, make it easy on yourself and choose something you’re confident you can do every day. For example, swap that bagel for a high protein, high fiber Flatout flatbread, microwave a couple eggs or egg whites for some quick scrambled eggs, toss in whatever veggies you have on hand and wrap it up for a quick and delicious breakfast wrap ready in minutes.

Source: www.flatoutbread.com

Source: www.flatoutbread.com

Are you up for the challenge to make your breakfasts just a little bit better each day to level up your performance?

Try out some of these other delicious, easy breakfast recipes using Flatout Wraps, FoldIt and Pizzas! Click here to find a variety of Flatout Flatbreads in the deli section at your local grocery store.

Thanks as always for following me on Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest and sharing me with all your friends, family, coworkers and strangers on the street. :) I have availability for new clients at the moment, so if you know any health-focused companies looking for nutrition consultant or coach, send them my way!

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