Can you eat candy and still be healthy? I get asked this question at least once a week! The easy and ‘right’ answer is of course, YES! As fall approaches, the body’s need for sweets and carbohydrates skyrocket. The cooler weather instinctively tells the body to stock up on food; namely those that are rich, warm and comforting. Why? It’s a survival instinct and that’s just how we are hard wired. But that doesn’t mean you use this as an excuse to stuff your face with butter tarts, sour keys, molten chocolate lava cake and all the fettuccini Alfredo you can get your hands on (ok well maybe it does). It just means you need to give yourself the permission to indulge responsibly so you’re body gets all the adequate nutrients it needs during the season transition.
What do you mean ‘indulge responsibly?’
I thought you were going to ask this question! Well, let me start with always reminding you that life is delicate dance of finding that sweet balance between work and play. I’m not only talking about professional work and personal play. This philosophy also translates directly into the realm of nutrition. How? By spending time ‘working’ towards healthy eating habits and behaviours while also leaving room for your favourite ‘playful’ delights.
Plus, halloween is just around the corner. There is no need to restrict yourself entirely. Enjoy your treats while keeping these five strategies in mind. These strategies can also be used with your kids.
5 Strategies to Eat Candy and Still be Healthy:
#1 THE 80/20 RULE:
I like to use the 80/20 rule when it comes to this! Let yourself indulge 20% of the time while staying on track 80% of the time. You can use this in a daily or weekly context. I like to use it daily, because who doesn’t like to get a treat DAILY, right? Here, 80% of my day is focused on healthy, clean eating, where I then save 20% of my day (typically used either for a snack or evening dessert) to ‘treat’ or let myself ‘indulge.’
#2 GUZZLE YOUR GREENS:
For every molecule of sugar you consume, it takes over 50 molecules of magnesium to process it. YIKES! That’s a lot of magnesium. Magnesium is a miracle mineral that helps calm the nervous system, maintain normal muscle function, stabilize blood sugar and regulate the rhythm of your heart. A potent source of magnesium comes from dark leafy greens, such as spinach and swiss chard. Guzzle some greens, in the form of a fresh pressed juice, thoroughly blended smoothy (like my Green Digestive Machine Smoothie), or sautéed in the frying pan within a couple hours of consuming your sweets. The phytonutrients and antioxidants from green vegetables help counter the negative effects of the influx of sugar.
#3 FLUSH WITH WATER & Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
Apple cider vinegar is another great nutrient that dramatically helps the body naturally lower blood sugar levels. It has shown to reduce insulin sensitivity in high carb meals by up to 19-34%. Consume between 1-2 tbsp of AVC within 1 hour of eating your candy, or take it right before bed if you forgot or didn’t get a chance to take it earlier. If you find ACV too potent to take on its own, pair with 5-8oz of filtered water.
#4 REINOCULATE WITH HEALTHY BACTERIA
Excess sugar feeds bad bacteria, so I always make sure to pair my treats with a probiotic rich food. Supplementing with fermented foods help reintroduce healthy bacteria to your gut which also strengthens immunity. You could consume 1 cup of kombucha or Kefir, a couple tablespoons of sauerkraut of kimchi or just pop a good’ol probiotic supplement.
#5 MAKE ‘HEALTHY’ CANDY!
A great alternative to the store bought candy is to make your own at home! This recipe is super simple and doesn’t require a ton of time or ingredients. Surprise your colleagues, family and friends with your homemade gummy treats. Then tell them they just treated themselves to a superfood, kombucha gummy! Well maybe save that line for after they try it :).
Check out these delicious Acai Kombucha Gummy Treats.
- You can whip these up in under 15-minutes and enjoy them almost immediately.
- Try them out and let me know what you think.