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Preserve Your Vision by Saying "No" to Pesky Halloween Candy

I know that it seems like my diet may only consist of spinach, yellow bell peppers, and blueberries because many of the articles I write center on doing just that. But, that really isn’t the case. I LOVE FOOD! And... ummm... not always the healthy kind. Every day for me is a constant battle of, “How badly do I want that ice cream from Dairy King?” as I often painfully place my pre-made salad in my lunch bag instead of the kids’ leftover pizza from the weekend. Insert eye roll here.

Why I eat healthy

You may be wondering, then, why I spend so much time writing articles about healthy eating and posting eye-healthy recipes. The answer is simple. I want my eyes to keep seeing for me as long as they possibly can. That means it’s imperative to not only avoid unhealthy, greasy, and sugary foods that I crave (most of the time), as well as nourishing my body with eye-healthy nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Halloween candy doesn't help

It’s that time of year again that promises comfort foods and sweet treats and it feels like everywhere I look there’s a tempting bite to eat. Plus, Halloween candy is mini-sized... and I don’t know about you, but that tricks my brain into thinking that it’s not enough candy to make a difference. WRONG. You know why? Because, I can NEVER just eat one, that’s why. If I eat one, I usually end up eating more than a full candy bar’s worth of chocolatey, nougaty, carmely goodness by the time it’s all said and done. Add a heavy, dramatic sigh to that eye roll. There are a few things I do to lessen the temptation of the foods I have a love/hate relationship with.

Avoid overindulgence

I try not to buy it. Those Halloween themed Oreos with the orange cream inside? Yeah, they’re cute and totally delicious, but... if it isn’t readily available to me, I’m less likely to eat it. This can be a bigger challenge for me because I have young children and though I also try to keep them on a healthier diet, kids are kids.

I’m not going to completely deprive them of Halloween Oreo cookies. So, then I just keep them tucked away in the pantry - hoping for ‘out of sight, out of mind’ to be something that is actually a thing. Ha!

Be prepared

I prepare and pack meals for health. I try to meal prep on Sundays for the rest of the week. Doing this allows me to make healthier meals during the busy school week. I work full time and pride myself on packing only healthy lunches for work.

My thought behind this is really not very scientific. Basically... if I only pack a grilled chicken salad for lunch and an apple for a snack, thennnnn that’s all I have to eat. Plus, I think of my lunch as a way to get all my non-negotiable nutrients in for the day. I load my salads with all the good stuff so that I know that even if I indulge later... I at least got all of my nutrients in.

So no to sugar

Sugar has been a hot topic in articles that I’ve written in the past. And, Halloween just SCREAMS sugar... see what I did there? If I know that I’m going to eat a festive fall treat, say, a pumpkin muffin (with powdered sugar and butter of course)... then I am sure to be careful to not add any extra sugar to my diet the rest of the day.

If you’re interested in learning more about sugar and the implications it has on our eyes, I have written an extensive four-part article series. Because of the research in these articles, I TRY to follow some personal rules in order to maintain a healthier diet and weight for my eyes AND enjoy some favorite not-so-healthy treats too.

For us, treat day is one day of the weekend, usually Sunday... but if we’re going out to dinner to to a birthday party or other celebration on Saturday, I’ll change it up. Many people call this a ‘cheat’ day, but I don’t like the negativity of that so I call it a treat day.

When to say YES to treats

Okay, so let’s get to the good part of this article. I have just as much passion about enjoying life and living it to its fullest as I do about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the health of my eyes. Really, for me, vision preservation is my top priority... but I do allow myself the satisfaction of eating meals or snacks that aren’t at all healthy for my body. You know, because sometimes it’s important to also take care of our souls. One way humans do this is to eat comfort food.

I’m not saying that being sad or anxious (or any other difficult emotion) is a reason to constantly feed my soul nachos and that pecan pie concrete that’s calling my name. I’m saying that it’s more than okay to give ourselves a break from the stresses of eating healthy all.the.time. Let’s face it if we’re all being honest here... eating healthy isn’t always an easy thing to do. It can cause a little stress here and there on its own. We just have to find the balance of what works for our unique needs and situations.

Trick-or-Treat!
But not too much,

Andrea Junge

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