The holiday season is upon us, starting with everyone’s favorite sugar explosion- Halloween. While Halloween can be a fun and playful day for kids and adults alike, it also inundates our homes with an overload of processed sugar. Sugar has been in the spotlight in recent years as the major culprit in a host of health issues, weight gain and the obesity epidemic in our country. On top of that, sugar is majorly addicting. A 2009 study by Dr. Serge H. Ahmed, “Is Sugar as Addictive as Cocaine?" published in the journal of Food and Addiction, proved that sugar was eight times as addictive as cocaine. So once we get on that rollercoaster of a daily sweet treat, it’s hard to get off. Overconsumption of sugar can throw off everything from energy levels to sleep to mood and of course the dreaded holiday weight gain. This year, prepare yourself in advance with a few of our holiday season survival tips!
- Plan to do a cleanse or meal plan right after the holiday.
After any period of overindulgence, one of the best ways to reset your body, energy and overall wellness is with a few days of eating super clean plant based foods. Our Green & Tonic cleanse & meal plan program offers options to suit every need and lifestyle with low sugar, fiber rich foods and nutrient dense juices. Giving the body a break from all processed sugar, chocolate, dairy and gluten is a quick and easy way to get back to balance.
- Keep the house stocked with healthy snacks and fresh veggies
Prep some leafy greens in advance to throw together a quick salad and have veggies, hummus and fruit on hand for when you need a snack. Stock up on healthy crackers, kale chips, energy bars and try to keep indulgences out of the house during this time when temptation is everywhere
- Practice Good Digestive Health
Sugar cravings often intensify when our digestive system is out of balance (a hugely common problem in today’s world). Be sure to supplement daily with a probiotic and fermented foods like raw sauerkraut. Aim to get the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber per day so the sweets and treats have less of a negative impact.
- Ask Yourself Whether it’s worth it
That candy may be a sweet treat in the moment but is it really worth all that comes with it? Energy crashes, cravings, weight gain, headaches…. Sometimes the answer may be yes but be reasonable about the amount you consume and how it’s affecting your well-being.
- Get the Candy out of your House ASAP!
Allow your kids to keep a small amount of their candy as a treat for the first few days after Halloween and work out a trade with them for the rest. For example, 10 pieces of candy = 1 hour of video games or a day at their favorite amusement park. Teaching kids that treats don’t always have to come from food sets them up for a lifetime of better choices.
Cai Pandolfino, co-founder Green & Tonic. Green & Tonic is a casual quick service health food café with locations in Greenwich, Cos Cob, Darien & New Canaan. Visit Greenandtonic.com or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org