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Top 5 Tips for Staying on Track this Halloween: Gillian's Journey

Hey everyone!

Who else besides me gets anxiety this time of year with Halloween and Christmas lurking in the wings to sabotage our healthy eating efforts? November finds a lot of us heading to various functions and holiday parties that can wreak havoc on our weight loss efforts. It's such a busy time with shopping, baking and get together's which usually revolve around food and drink.

But, we still have to get through Halloween first though.

I always get a little overwhelmed in October because of Halloween and all the sugary sweets that are readily accessible. For someone like me who has had a sugar addiction most of her life, this causes me some anxiety.

Bless her heart, my mom loved making up treat bags for the kids back when we were getting lots of Trick or Treater's.

Boxes of chips, Cheezies, suckers and bite-sized chocolate bars covered the table as we stuffed bag after bag. Mom was always prepared for loads of little ghosts and goblins. Over the years though, these little kids grew up, our neighborhood changed and there weren’t as many little ones coming to the door anymore. Still, she had to have an abundance of goodies in the house "just in case". Ha-ha, I finally caught on to her antic. Mom had quite a sweet tooth herself and knew darn well that what was left over at the end of the night, would be consumed by us. Leftovers were always an excuse for a "pig out”. You don’t think it’s doing much harm, after all, those little bags of chips and Cheezies only have a small handful per bag so they aren’t going to hurt. Same with those little bars. It's only a bite, right? 


Those little bags of chips and Cheezies clock in at 90-100 calories per bag and the bite size chocolate bars have 40-65 calories per bite (sometimes more). Who eats just one? Not me...ha-ha. Seriously, for those of us who can’t stop once we start, it means big trouble when we are trying to lose a few pounds (or as in my case, a lot). 

This is the stuff that contributed to my mom’s diabetes and heart disease over the years and I found myself heading down the same road.

I am fighting back this year however. I bought one box of 50 bite size bars. No chips or Cheezies coming through my door this year. I can almost hear my mom whispering in my ear "That's a sin for you! Don’t be so stingy with the treats”. Oh yes, I can hear her voice in my head; (ha-ha) sorry mama, I’m doing Halloween my way from now on. I'll be doubling up on the bars if I find I have lots left over towards the end of the evening. I must do what’s best for me if I’m going to stay the course. Right? Right!

As if Halloween wasn’t stressful enough, along comes Christmas.

Oh my, the food! Our upstairs hall closet was always packed with an assortment of chips, Cheezies, pretzels, crackers and loads of assorted was a junk-food-junkies paradise!  As if the big meals weren’t enough, there was always an endless supply of cookies and cakes in our house too. It was more of the same when visiting friends and neighbors.  We ate, drank, and made merry without a care in the world. Those habits can come back to bite you on the rear end though.

Times are different for me now.

Parties and socializing tend to cause me some anxiety since starting my journey to better health. I’m always scared of not being in control in social gatherings. I’m trying hard to take that control back this year.  

Other than my cookie and fudge orders, the only treats I'll be making for myself are my Nutracelle protein treats and snacks. That’s just one way I plan to keep on track this Christmas. 

In order to combat my anxiety, I've made a list of my top 5 tips for staying stress-free during the holidays.

  1. Always have a healthy snack before going out to a party. It will keep you from overindulging at the buffet table. A Nutracelle smoothie before you go will stave off hunger and temptation for hours. Or, even better, bring your own! This is especially helpful if it's a potluck.  See how many you can trick into eating your healthy dish unbeknownst to them!

  2. Go easy on the wine and spirits. They are full of sugar and empty calories. Always have a glass of water between drinks. It's healthier and will prevent you from overindulging in liquor. Overindulging in liquor allows you to throw caution to the wind and be careless in your food choices as well.

  3. Always scope out the buffet table first. Choose the healthiest items and help yourself to smaller portions, then step away from the food altogether. Hanging around the food table or buffet makes it too easy to go back for seconds. Head for the veggie platters and low-sugar fruit trays first. Those will keep you full and help you resist the sugary desserts.

  4. Sucking a sugar free mint or chewing a stick of gum will help keep you from reaching for chips and other snacks too.

  5. Seek out a friend who is also watching their diet, be each others’ support system! Or even if they're not watching their own eating, ask them to be the voice of reason for you.
There's even a Christmas cookbook on the Nutracelle website, so I’ll definitely be checking that out! (You can find it here!)

I had a little fun in the kitchen again this week making the Double Chocolate Fudge Protein Cookies.

I sure love these decadent chocolate cookies. They are full of fiber and protein and low in carbs and sugar. You wouldn't even know they were a healthy treat, they're SO good!

One tip of advice: the More Than Smoothies cookbook recipe for these cookies has an error, so use the website if you want to make these babies! I used a mini tart pan to bake mine. They turned out amazing!

Well everyone, that's it for another week. I hope some of these tips will be helpful to you in keeping you on track this holiday season!  Hope to see you all again next week!! 

Have a healthy and happy week!