Happy Halloween from Roper St. Francis! Our favorite tricks and treats for a healthier you.
Spoiler alert: candy corn is not part of this post.
Here’s a frightening fact: Halloween has become our second most commercial holiday – one pumpkin-carved carnival of sugar and costumes. Americans are on target to spend nearly $2 billion dollars today on candy alone. Of course it’s fun to dress up and trick or treat. What’s better than roaming the neighborhood in search of Snickers or Nerds? Well, a few things, we think, or at least they’re better for your health. If you’ve had your fill of M&M’s, then maybe try these tricks and treats – a few suggestions that are good for your wallet, your waistline and a less scary, more upbeat outlook.
Our favorite Tricks:
Walk – this one is easy and underrated. Going for a brisk walk is so simple yet so effective; it improves your cardiovascular system, your mood, your bones and muscles, and if you walk with a friend or loved one, it can help improve your relationships too.
Breathe – Take a deep breath in, then release. Do it again. And again. Focus on your breath. It’s the key to improving focus, mindfulness and relieving stress.
Sleep – Halloween typically signals the end of daylight savings time. Take advantage of shorter days but savor longer nights and develop more healthy sleep habits. Aim for seven to eight hours, and enjoy more energy, more clarity and maybe even weight loss, as fatigue is linked to over eating.
Play – Have fun! Schedule play time in your day. Maybe that means taking the dog for a romp, or an hour at the park with the kids. Maybe it means reading your favorite author, or a tennis match. Whatever equates to fun and play for you, do it. It’s not an indulgence but a necessity for a balanced, more healthier you.
Some yummy seasonal Treats:
Fresh crisp North Carolina apples – hard to beat the satisfaction of a juicy, crunchy, sweet/tart bite of Fall. We think all apples are “candy apples.” Get ‘em while you can!
Almond Joy – well, without the chocolate and coconut and candy wrapper. A handful of almonds (or walnuts, cashews) is a great way to curb your appetite, lower your LDL cholesterol and risk of heart disease and boost your Vitamin E and magnesium.
Leafy greens – Fall is the season for collards, kale, Swiss chard and other dark leafy greens that do wonders for you.
Sweet Potatoes – Packed with antioxidants and beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are delicious and yes, SWEET! – but also good for you. With loads of vitamin A and C, and even anti-inflammatory benefits, sweet potatoes are a fall favorite, just opt for the baked or roasted version and go easy on the fried.