Sweet(free) Halloween


 

The other day, Sean asked me what I was going to be for Halloween.  I told him I was already wearing it:

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(The lighting is bad, but it’s black crackle on an orange base)

I love Halloween.  I’m not really sure why…I’m not a very dark person, I don’t dress up anymore, and I’ve never even seen Nightmare Before Christmas. Still, it’s pretty high up on my “favorite holidays” list.  I think it’s a combination of childhood nostalgia, my love of autumn, and the fact that theatrics and imagination play such a big part in Halloween fun. 

Oh, and candy.  Lots of free candy.

Except this year, I’m not going to have any!  I think I challenge myself year after year not to have any Halloween candy. Every year – total failure.  I have a major sweet tooth and once I start, I keep going until I feel sick. Moderation is not one of my strong suits.  But this year is actually different.  We’ve had Halloween candy in the house for about 3 weeks now – including Reese’s peanut butter cups and Butterfingers, some of my favorites – but I haven’t even been tempted to eat any! And I’m not worried about tonight, either. 

My overnight oats were sweet enough:

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Almond butter? Nope!

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Bam.  Oatmeal, chia seeds, 1/2 banana, coconut extract, a dollop of grape jelly, and yes, almond butter at the bottom.

I attribute this newfound willpower to 2 things: 1. Being vegan has really become a part of me.  It’s no longer just something I practice – eating vegan just feels natural.  All of those chocolate candies (which I value way above such non-choco sweets as Starbursts and Jolly Ranchers) have milk in them!  Yay!  Now, don’t get me wrong: veganism isn’t about making rules and boundaries and saying “I can’t eat that anymore.” But being aware of what’s in those candies in relation to my ethical beliefs sure makes it easier to resist them!

The second source of control stems from my newly (re)discovered love of running. Fitness classes are easy for me to power through regardless of I treat my body beforehand.  I could probably eat 5 pieces of cake and take a perfectly fine Zumba class afterwards.  Running, however, requires me to be smart about fueling.  Since I run almost every day, I’m discovering how great certain foods (ahem, kale) give me energy and make me feel fantastic while others (too many carob chips) make me feel disgusting and slow down my running.  Without giving myself strict dietary guidelines, I’ve naturally settled into eating just what works with my body.  It feels so good and liberating to have come to this point where I really don’t want what’s bad for me.  Every so often, someone will say to me, “But don’t you just want a big, custard-filled donut with chocolate icing?”  In the past, yes, I’d have stuffed in my mouth without hesitation.  Now, I honestly don’t want it.  I know how I’ll feel afterwards, and it’s just not worth it.  Do I still believe in treats and little indulgences? Of course! Hence the baklava Sean and I shared a few weeks ago:

But even though I won’t be pigging out on candy tonight, I’m still having a sweet day! In place of al the mini Almond Joys I would otherwise have eaten, I’ll be sipping on my new Red Velvet Chocolate tea:

Munching on one of Averie’s Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls, the rest of which went to my Grandparents and my Smoothie King coworkers:

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And making sure I have plenty of (chocolate) protein to keep me full all day:

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So how about you?  Do you try to keep healthy, or is it anything goes on Halloween? Does anyone have any fun plans?  Sean and I are going out for dinner with another couple – it’ll be fun!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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