Halloween is this week and while you may be looking forward to all the candy and snacks that come with it, you may also be trying to calculate how many hours you'll have to spend on the treadmill in the days after just to enjoy a taste (or five) of the season.
Not to worry! There are ways to get all those yummy flavors you love without blowing your diet. Here are some of our favorite swaps to help you trick your taste buds with healthy treats:
SKIP THIS: Milk chocolate
EAT THIS: Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that help defend the body's cells against free radicals that can cause illness and premature aging. Milk chocolate may have a smoother taste, but it comes at the cost of greater fat, calories and sugar.
SKIP THIS: Buttery popcorn balls
EAT THIS: Plain, organic popcorn topped with nutritional yeast and garlic powder
Nutritional yeast, or brewer's yeast, contains B vitamins which support energy production and nervous system health and garlic powder supports the heart. Butter-covered popcorn is high in calories, fat and cholesterol that will slow you down.
SKIP THIS: Gummy candy
EAT THIS: Dried fruit
Cherries, blueberries, cranberries and pineapple all taste delicious dried and provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Fruit-flavored gummies have artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners and are more likely to give you cavities than nutrients.
SKIP THIS: Ice cream
EAT THIS: Banana "ice cream"
Blend a frozen banana with a dash of vanilla extract and you'll be amazed how close it tastes to your favorite scoop. Top it with nuts, cacao nibs or dried fruit for a healthier take on a sundae without the fat and calories.
SKIP THIS: Caramel apples
EAT THIS: Apple slices dipped in equal parts peanut butter and Greek yogurt with a pinch of cinnamon
Peanut butter and Greek yogurt provide protein and a decadent texture while cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar levels to keep you moving. Traditional caramel apples are literally dripping in added sugar when the fruit is sweet enough.
SKIP THIS: Cherry limeade made with soda
DRINK THIS: Tart cherry juice with sparkling water, lime and stevia
Soda is laden with sugar and empty calories that can not only pack on the pounds, but cause dramatic spikes and drops in your blood sugar. Tart cherry juice is a great source of vitamin C, along with limes, and stevia is a natural sweetener with no calories.
SKIP THIS: Pumpkin coffee drink
DRINK THIS: Pumpkin smoothie
Now that you can find pumpkin pie spice blends (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), there's no reason to shell out the money for a calorie-loaded coffee drink with whole milk or cream and sugary syrup. Combine vanilla protein powder with almond milk, organic pumpkin puree, ice and some spice mix in a blender and enjoy.
You don't have to miss out on all the treats that make Halloween so fun. Make healthy choices and you can keep the celebration going all fall long.
Shop for healthy treats at eVitamins and have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!