October is here – my favorite time of year. I love the autumn colors, cooler temperatures, the fun of Halloween, the family time at Thanksgiving and the gift giving in December. With all this good cheer, comes the challenge of holiday eating.
My first – maybe my biggest – hurtle is Halloween. Let me explain. While I do not have many of the traditional vices, I do have a sweet tooth. In fact, I have a whole mouth full of them. Well, except those with fillings, ah but that is another horror story.
Candy is plentiful in October and not just at the end of the month on the 31st. Halloween candy, riveled only perhaps by Valentine’s and Easter candy, is made to consume. I am challenged enough at the grocery store by full size candy bars lining the checkout lanes but around Halloween, the candy bars shrink into minis. They are everywhere – work, stores, the counter at the doctors office, grandma’s house, holiday events. All last week at the office, I walked past a nice bowl of gummy eyes, brains and candy bone bracelets tempting me with each pass. Because Halloween candy is so cute and small, I feel compelled to eat one. One bite later and it’s gone so you must eat another and then another. Even the frugal shopper is tempted to buy the bag of minis this time of year because the sales are so good. All in the name of saving money, of course.
This year, I have an intuitive eating plan. I am going to treat myself every time I am tempted by the minis, lolly-pops, candy corn or orange and black kisses. What is my treat you ask? My treat of choice is the good old fashioned jelly bean but not just any jelly bean. Much like Ronald Reagan, my gourmet preference is Jelly Belly beans.
One Jelly Belly is only 4 calories per bean – not that I am counting – and is fat free – not that I am counting. This is compared to a mini Snickers that is 42 calories and 2 grams of fat. Post Halloween 2014, I found that I had gone through a dozen minis in a matter of minutes. Not this year.
Jelly Belly beans are small enough to fit in my pocket and they do not melt. I was surprised to learn they are gluten free, peanut free, dairy free and vegetarian friendly. They come in over 100 flavors. Okay, I know they are pure sugar and not the healthiest choice in the overall scheme of things but they are better than a mini candy bar.
So each time I am tempted, I will delight myself by eating a single bean. I will be surprised by the random flavor and really try to appreciate the experience. Another benefit of Jelly Belly beans is that you will usually not enjoy a handful popped into your mouth. Too many flavors at once – disgusting. Halloween! Bring it on!