Sweet treats for Fall
Fall is such a magical time of year! Hands down my favorite. Little cloud bursts that send rain drops falling to the earth while the sun is bright and out in the open, making it look like glitter and making me feel like I’m in a snow globe, or I should say, rain-globe. The leaves start falling and changing colors and the scent in the air is sweet from the rain and leaves. In my little music class we used the fancy word, Autumn.
Autumn is so nostalgic for so many people. It is full of the smell of rain, the scent of leaves darkening and changing, a fresh breeze, cooler air, dark velvety clouds… and new sweet treats and traditional foods. Sweet treats and fun foods create memories for families and friends and add to the ambience of the season. But there is a dark side to this…specifically focusing on Halloween night and the parties surrounding it throughout the month.
The sugar, starches, poisonous food colorings, and toxic caramel coloring all create negative and inflammatory reactions in the body…in the brain tissues, the blood sugars and on a cellular and hormonal level. This is one part of it, another part is that of the addiction that is created by such an overload of sugar and chemicals on the body. An addiction that is so hard to break.
Caramel Coloring - (https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/01/caramel-color-the-health-risk-that-may-be-in-your-soda/index.htm)
The Brain - (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/neuronarrative/201204/what-eating-too-much-sugar-does-your-brain)
Children’s Brains - (http://www.aoafamily.com/blog/how-sugar-affects-a-childs-brain/)
Sugar and the brain - (http://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/sugar-and-brain)
Sugar and Hormones - (https://www.floliving.com/sugar-and-your-hormones/)
Dangers of Artificial Dyes - (https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelhennessey/2012/08/27/living-in-color-the-potential-dangers-of-artificial-dyes/#65778ca7107a)
Since my husband and I stopped giving out candy about 10 years ago, we have had so much fun filling a large bowl or basket with cute non-candy treats…here are some ideas:
Pencils, erasers, hair ties, slinky’s, fun socks, jacks, rubix cubes, tiny puzzles, headbands, stickers, books;etc. Costco had a lot of fun kids card games in bulk, Target has their fun dollar section and both Walmart and Target have their party sections where fun toys and favors can be purchased in bulk. Michaels also has a fun assortment and you can also head to the Dollar Tree. Here are some fun ideas I found on Amazon…
bouncy balls - https://www.amazon.com/Juvale-Bouncy-Balls-Party-
glider planes - https://www.amazon.com/iBaseToy-Pack-Flying-Glider-Plane/dp/B077N8DMGC/ref=sr_1_11_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1539060829&sr=8-11-spons&keywords=mini+crayons+party+favor&psc=1
Bubbles - https://www.amazon.com/40-Piece-Bubble-Wands-Assortment-Favors/dp/B06VTXPFHJ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1539035819&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=bubbles+party+favors&psc=1
toy cars - https://www.amazon.com/Dazzling-Toys-Pull-Back-Racer/dp/B00I2E8J04/ref=sr_1_5?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1539035969&sr=1-5&keywords=toy+cars+bulk
Stamps - https://www.amazon.com/Assorted-Self-ink-DIFFERENT-Stampers-Dinosaur/dp/B01N2W2KDL/ref=sr_1_3?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1539036039&sr=1-3&keywords=stamps+bulk
mini crayon boxes - https://www.amazon.com/CrayonKing-50-4-Packs-Crayons-Box/dp/B07193M77B/ref=sr_1_7?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1539036177&sr=1-7&keywords=mini+crayons+party+favor
Stickers - https://www.amazon.com/BeYumi-Different-Stickers-Scrapbooking-Including/dp/B071LGPLPW/ref=sr_1_8?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1539036271&sr=1-8&keywords=stickers+bulk
As the kids came by in their cute costumes, they would exclaim that ours was their favorite house on the block! I was surprised and touched. Surprised that they weren’t upset and touched that our offering was accepted and wouldn’t hurt their bodies. We were still able to participate in this fun tradition of costume donning and community fun and help make happy memories for our neighborhood kids and feel really good about what we had given to these children. It’s not an easy transition for everyone, especially if you have children who are used to and attached to this tradition or if you yourself absolutely love it, which I definitely used to! But for me, it’s just not worth it. These are some of the things that made me so incredibly sick growing up and I am sure contributed to my endometriosis, candida, depression, anxiety and other hormonal and digestive issues and I can’t knowingly give these things to others around me. Here are some cleaner and kinder alternatives to the sugary treats that are just as sweet and will create as many fun memories when associated with laughter, fun, playfulness, family, connection, even love….this isn’t to say that you cut everything out immediately forever, even though for all of us that would probably be ideal. But start where you are, do what you can, switch things out, have the chemical things much less often and enjoy the real foods around you. To start, even though the options listed below in the article I have attached have sugar in them, it’s a good starting point and better alternative to other ‘treats’. My first teacher Natalia Rose suggested things like this as well as a recent guest teacher at IIN, Vani Hari. As you transition and make lifestyle changes, food changes and health changes, be gentle and be kind to yourself and let the fun, not the food, be your focus. Happy Fall!