A Truce for the Treat in Halloween
Posted by Toni in Foodie Fridays
Candy Apples by markus941

From the moment Halloween candy first appears on grocery store shelves, something else wicked this way comes: "holiday survival guides" related to food and dieting lurk around every magazine, newspaper, and web page. Thus begins an entire season of treat avoidance centered around the sensible goal of preventing annual holiday weight gain.

I'd like to propose a different way of viewing the holiday season: sensible indulgence. After all, we're here to thrive, not just survive, right? This philosophy can be easily adopted no matter where you are on the fat girl spectrum, from "large and in charge" and rockin' the fat acceptance thing to the most emotionally-scarred chronic dieter.

FGG already advocates the mindful decadence approach via our delectable weekly Foodie Friday column (where Michelle is doing a fabulous job crafting recipes I actually use). I'd like to explain this philosophy a bit more as it applies to holidays where over-indulgence is an annual theme.

The idea is simple: life is short and food is delicious, so why not choose one or two things we truly enjoy and savor them instead of buying into the idea that deprivation is the only path to a balanced life or healthy body?

Have one or two really delicious seasonal treats and let the rest go. Trust yourself. Love pumpkin pie? Order a slice of the good stuff at a bakery instead of picking up a generic pie at the grocery store, enjoy the heck out of that slice, and look forward to having some more next year. I love caramel apples, but I don't treat myself to those most of the year. Halloween is a great time to indulge in one or two, especially from a specialty shop like Amy's Gourmet Apples.

Honestly, we've all broken into the Halloween candy meant for the neighborhood kids, or picked at our kids' goodie bags when they've gone to bed for the night. But that way of eating isn't any healthier emotionally or physically at any size, and I think the need to dig in comes as much from feeling deprived as it does from real hunger or craving. Making the conscious choice to treat ourselves allows us to appreciate some of the tastier things in life while also discouraging mindless eating.

What about you? How do you handle the succession of food-oriented holidays this time of year? If you're looking for some ideas for mindful indulgence, check out this brilliant - if labor-intensive - idea for bite-sized hazelnut creme brulee. Or how about a box of four adorable Halloween truffles?

Share your own ideas by leaving a comment!