The fall colors paint the trees and the air is crisp. Aromas of pumpkin spice lattes, pecan pies, and caramel apples fill the air around us. Images of these goodies call our names everywhere we go. Why are we so drawn to the food we know is bad for us?

For many of us, it’s the memories those foods conjure. The apple picking, fall festivals, leaf piles, and pumpkin carving memories are often evoked by the foods we are drawn to this time of year. Many retailers and advertisers amplify this effect by taking advantage of emotions tied to those memories. We associate food with love and as we take a sip of that pumpkin spice latte, it’s like we are wrapping ourselves in a big hug of memories!

Why Should We Choose Better?

What’s wrong with a big hug of memories? It’s all the sugar. Sugar is one of the most detrimental foods you can put in your body. Sugar and fructose will disrupt your gut flora, compromising your immune system. Since 80 percent of your immune system is in your gastrointestinal tract, you can’t afford to attack it. Consequently, eating more sugar means you’re going to be more susceptible to all the bugs going around.

Studies have shown that most Americans consume 10 percent of their daily calories from sugar and approximately 10 percent get a quarter of their daily calories from sugar. It’s time to put down that pumpkin spice latte and step away from the pecan pie! (1)

People often associate the changing seasons and onset of the holidays with “flu season.” In reality, the added stress, less vitamin D due to lack of sunshine, and less physical activity combined with a higher sugar diet are setting people up for poor health. They are more susceptible to illness due to these factors.

But don’t let the upcoming holiday season disrupt your health and happiness. Keep these tips in mind to help keep you on track!

Tips for a Healthy Fall Season

  1. Eat chocolate! Yes, you can eat some candy! But make sure it’s organic dark chocolate (cacao). Cacao is good for you if it hasn’t been processed with heat and added sugar or dairy. It’s a great source of magnesium, helps women release serotonin, and support neurotransmitter health.
  2. Find healthy recipes to replace the ones you love. Try our Pumpkin Chip Bread recipe.
  3. Enjoy warm drinks like homemade chai tea and organic apple cider. Try this Organic Apple Cider recipe or check out the Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe in the video below!
  4. Make time to for yourself. Exercise daily to help support detox and your body’s innate immune system.
  5. Be prepared with healthy meals to keep you from snacking or making poor choices on the fly.
  6. Offer trick-or-treaters healthy alternatives to candy so you aren’t tempted to graze the candy bag. Small toys, pencils, and stickers are great substitutes.
  7. If you can’t make that leap to healthy candy alternatives, wait until October 27 to buy Halloween candy. It’s the cheapest day to buy and won’t leave you much time for your willpower to weaken. (2) Pro tip: choose a candy that you don’t like to make it even less tempting.
  8. Control your thoughts and try to keep yourself from associating the season with junk foods. Focus on activities like fall festivals, haunted houses, and the traditions that you make with your family. You will be healthier while setting good habits for the future.

This season, focus on the memories and traditions. Give your body healthy food it will actually love, but don’t associate junk food with love.

Want more fabulous guilt free and allergen free dessert recipes? Download our FREE Healthy Desserts eBook

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24493081
(2) https://www.aol.com/article/finance/2017/10/12/halloween-candy-cheapest/23241804/