That’s me and my two brothers pictured above, looking super cool back in the early 90s.

It’s Halloween tonight, and that means one thing… CANDY. Delicious sweet, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, chocolaty candy. Wait I’m supposed to tell you that candy is bad and not to eat it, right? WRONG.

Believe it or not, I’m only human and think candy is DELICIOUS too. But let’s face it. There’s a lot of crap in there that you may not even realize. If I look at the label of some of my favorite candies, that’s usually incentive enough to put them down. Here are a few I just looked up: Snickers bars have corn syrup, lactose milk fat, and partially hydrogenated soybean oil (hello, trans fats!); Skittles contain corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, dextrin, modified corn starch, and 9 cancer-causing dyes, including Yellow 6 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 1); Reeses contains a preservative called TBHQ, or Tertiary Butylhydroquinone, a chemical preservative and a form of butane. It is a very common food preservative and can be found in everything from candy to pet food. Mother Nature News indicates this preservative should be avoided as it can cause can cause nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and vomiting. There are also suggestions TBHQ can cause hyperactivity in children as well as asthma, rhinitis and dermatitis, and an aggravation of ADHD symptoms.

Well that was a bit dark. Let’s move on. I’m not here to tell you don’t eat this and don’t eat that. I am here though to bring you useful tips you can actually use when you DO have these sugar cravings. Here are 5 techniques I use on a regular basis and share with me clients. Hopefully some of them will resonate with you!

1. Drink water: Sometimes when we have cravings, especially for sweets, it’s actually a sign of dehydration. If I start feeling a little coo-coo with the cravings I’ll down a glass of water and wait a few minutes. Sometimes I just plain forget I had the cravings in the first place.

2. Have healthy sweets available: Munch on apples with cinnamon and honey (maybe some almond butter too!), red peppers, grapes, bananas and peanut butter, or other fruits and sweet veggies. You may satisfy your sweet tooth this way.

3. Brush your teeth: Nothing feels better than a minty fresh mouth, and sometimes this is all I need to kick those cravings to the curb. You can try bringing a toothbrush to work for after meals, or having one on each floor of your house for easy access. Try stepping it up with some mouthwash (I love Tom’s Peppermint Mouthwash– holy wow).

4. Make some tea: Sometimes after a meal I’m just craving finality. When I get those cravings to eat more, more, more, I’ll make myself a tea. You can add honey for a little sweetness and almond milk for a little creaminess.

5. Get busy: Cravings can, at times, be caused by pure boredom. Try to catch yourself when you have the cravings and ask yourself what is going on for you? A lot of my clients find that they eat out of boredom. This is your cue to get active. If it helps you can make a list of activities ahead of time to satisfy the need to be active, and instead of running your mouth over food, you can run it to a friend through a phone call, or run your thoughts past a journal, work on a project, or get involved in an activity with friends or your community. For Halloween, try to think of activities you can do in between trick-or-treaters.

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