Friday, October 31, 2008
Ah, Halloween. Here at last.
For those of you who are wondering about me and my secret boyfriend Mr. Peanut Butter Cup: we met in real life. I couldn't resist him. And I don't feel guilty. It is what it is.
So today I got an email from those friendly South Beach Diet folks. They want to help me manage my candy eating today, so they sent me some Treat Tricks. They're so nice. So helpful. They care about me, I think.
Here are their helpful hints, followed by what I think about said hints in bold italics:
1. Provide healthy alternatives for you and your kids. Keep a ready supply of nuts, reduced-fat cheese sticks, and fresh fruit on hand throughout the day. This strategy works for two reasons: It satisfies your hunger so you won't need to snack on candy to fill you up, and it keeps blood-sugar levels stable and thus moderates cravings, minimizing your urge to splurge on sweets.
I tried this today. After my egg white/chicken and spinach scramble at lunch, I promptly ate one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, one snack sized Kit-Kat, and a Mini Mr. Goodbar. Yum. Is this what they meant?
2. Hand out inedible treats. consider handing out inedible treats instead. Stickers, colorful Halloween pencils and erasers, and trading cards are some good options.
Whatever. Who wants an eraser for Halloween? You can't eat an eraser.
3. Keep a snack stash at the office. Be prepared for the fact that many coworkers will bring in leftover candy. Store South Beach Diet–friendly snacks (such as high-fiber whole-grain crackers, dried apricots, and roasted soybeans) in your desk so you're prepared with alternative munchies.
I work at home, and all my secret stashes involve candy. I know where the pantry is. I can eat soybeans and apricots any time I want. I just don't really want to.
4. Delight in dark chocolate. The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle that allows for occasional indulgences. This means that it's okay to have a piece (or two) of Halloween candy. The best choice is a small amount of dark chocolate, since it's rich in antioxidant compounds that have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve blood-sugar metabolism in healthy individuals. No matter what type of candy you choose, Marie Almon, MS, RD, nutrition director of the South Beach Diet, offers this advice: "Take three bites and savor each one."
This is my favorite tip so far. I savored the three bites of dark chocolate three different times to test the theory. I think that equals nine bites, but who's counting? I mean, besides Marie?
5. Steer clear of the clearance rack. After Halloween is over, stores will put candy on sale to make room for other seasonal merchandise. Keep in mind what you've gained by adopting the healthy eating principles of the South Beach Diet — more energy, self-esteem, and best of all, better health — as well as the weight you've lost. Staying focused on your goals and accomplishments will help you stay on track — and leave the sale candy on the shelves.
Okay, I agree on this one. I don't really buy candy after Halloween, except when the Christmas-colored Reese's minis start showing up. But that doesn't count, 'cause it's not on sale, right? I'm hoping this strategy will improve my self-esteem.