Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Week Begins!

How to Have a Happy Healthy Halloween

At Halloween, we are annually bombarded with ooey-gooey delicious treats. Whether you opt for a bag of miniature candies, the Tombstone Cookies (aka crushed Oreos with a Milano sticking out the top) that are oh so popular with the little ones (heck, adults too!), or the sweet-n-salty Candy Corn Chex Mix, the caloric content of these tasty treats can cause you to consume upwards of 500 calories in one sitting. How is this possible? Well, think about it. Who can really have just ONE serving?

As a dietitian, I too struggle with balancing portion size and moderation when it comes to the sweets, so you are NOT alone! However, there are some tactics I use to help make sure I don’t go overboard and lose all control as the holiday season begins to get fully underway.

·         Recipe redo. Being an obsessive pinterest-er, I typically create numerous boards around the holiday season. I pick out my top favorite recipes & prepare them with simple swaps to make a “healthier alternative”.  I suggest replacing butter or oil in recipes with pureed pumpkin or applesauce. This lowers the saturated fat of your recipes AND increases the fiber! Try making the cake recipe into muffin tins so you can freeze half for a later date J.

·         Plan ahead. If I know I am going to a party where there will be an abundance of goodies, I take a quick walk through to see what is available. I put my eye on two or three of the “must try” treats and forego the ones I can get anytime. Does this work every time? No, I’m human! But, it helps me stay on track so I don’t feel like going home and crashing in a ball because of my self-induced sugar coma J.

·         Mindfully munch.  As hard as it can be to control yourself and not rip into the bag of Snickers on your way home from class, resist! Wait until you are somewhere where you can truly enjoy each bite. Allow yourself the ability to tackle your sweet of choice one bite at a time, engaging in a “mindful munch.”

·         Pick & pair. Craving the Death by Chocolate Cake that your roommate made? Dig in (with an appropriate 2x2 slice); just make sure to pair that with a glass of milk. The protein from the milk will assist with the spike in your blood sugar that occurs after eating a simple carbohydrate based snack.

For something sweet to make, check out Earl’s market on Warren to pick up some delicious apples and caramel sauce. Cut your apple into slices, drizzle with a light caramel, then top with chopped candy (I like Snickers) & voilĂ … Candy Apple Nachos (courtesy of butterwithasideofbread)!


~ Candy Apple Nachos ~

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at tastebuds@ucsd.edu or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!



  1. Thanks for all the good tips Elizabeth. This is the time of year when we all need to try our best to plan and balance out what we eat so we can still enjoy all the good food we are constantly confronted with.

  2. Love your blog, Elizabeth! Great tips. :)