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The fall colors paint the trees, and the air is crisp. The 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 about the memories those foods invoke. The memories of apple picking, fall festivals, leaf piles, and pumpkin carving are often evoked by foods associated with this time of year. Many retailers and advertisers amplify this effect by taking advantage of the emotions tied to those memories. We associate food with love, and as we sip that pumpkin spice latte, we’re 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 and compromise 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’ll be more susceptible to all the different illnesses common this time of year.

Studies have shown that for most Americans, 10% of their daily calories come from sugar, and approximately 1/10 of the population gets 25% 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, reduced vitamin D due to lack of sunshine, and reduced physical activity combined with a higher sugar diet set people up for poor health. They’re 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 yourself 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 with a high percentage of cacao (70+). 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 supports neurotransmitter health.

2 – Update Your Recipes

Find healthy recipes to replace the ones you love. Try our Pumpkin Chip Bread recipe.

3 – Embrace Healthy Fall Drinks

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 – Prioritize Self Care

Make time to for yourself. Exercise daily to support detoxification and your immune system.

5 – Plan Healthy Meals

Be prepared with healthy meals to avoid snacking or making poor choices on the fly.

6 – Buy Healthy Tricks & Treats

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 – Wait till The Last Minute for Halloween Shopping

If you cannot transition to healthy alternatives to candy, wait until October 27 to buy Halloween candy. It’s the cheapest day to buy and won’t leave time for your willpower to weaken. (2) Pro tip: choose a candy that you don’t like to make it even less tempting.

8 – Focus on Fun and Family Over Sugary Treats

Control your thoughts and keep yourself from associating the season with junk food. 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 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.

Originally posted October 19, 2017. Updated September 22, 2023.

References:

  1. Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults – PubMed (nih.gov)
  2. The cheapest day of the year to buy Halloween candy, revealed (aol.com)

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