6 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

I originally published this post last year around this time.  I thought I'd give it a little refresh this year and repost it since Halloween 2015 is right around the corner.  Hope you enjoy it!

Oh, Halloween.  The night where it seems like an endless supply of candy exists in the world, and it's all dumped out on your living room floor from your kids' epic adventures that evening (at least that's how it was when I was a kid).  You sit there watching them plow through their sacred stash digging for gold, wondering how many pieces you should let them have, where you will store the excess (inevitably, the cupboard), and how on EARTH you are going to resist the temptation of the good stuff when it's just within arm's reach.  Now, I don't have kids (yet), but I can take a wild guess and say that most, if not all parents have thought any or all of the above at some point during their kids' trick-or-treating years.  And I'm also sure parents, teachers, and coaches (not to mention, dentists) alike have all seen the effects that the sugar-crazed holiday has on kids' attention, attitudes and moods in the days/weeks following, not to mention your own!

6 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

That may sound all doom and gloom, but fear not!  As spooky as Halloween is in other respects, it doesn't have to be a scary, sugar-laden calorie-bomb that lingers for weeks.  Read on for my tips on how to trick AND treat yourself to make sure you and your family maintain that healthful lifestyle - even WITH candy in the house.

1 | Buy candy late and not much of it  

The stores tempt us with bags upon bags of Halloween candy long before the month of October is even here, and a lot of people can't resist the temptation.  Obviously the longer candy is in your house, the more likely you'll be to snack on it before it's needed.  That can add hundreds of extra calories throughout your day, and imagine how much that can add up to in one week!  To reduce the chance of reaching into the treat bag early, buy your candy only a few days before you'll need it.  Hide it away far back in the cupboard so it's out of sight until the night of.  Out of sight, out of mind!

2 | Or hand out no candy at all

Say what?  No candy?  Yes, that's right - no candy.  Think about little trinkets or toys that you could give the neighborhood kids.  Pencils, cool erasers, small figurines - think party-favor-type things.  You could also think about getting small baggies of trail mix, more wholesome snacks, or hand out granola bars instead of candy bars (good for snacks in school lunches).  If you know the neighborhood kids and parents well enough, you could even think about making little treats yourself, too.

3 | Eat before you go

Nourishing yourself and your kids before you head out to collect pillowcases full of sugar is a smart thing to do.  If trick-or-treating is starting earlier than dinner time, think about having a quick, but filling snack.  If you can fit in dinner beforehand, even better.  Filling up will reduce the chance of eating all the goods before you get back home. 

4 | Stay active  

So you now have all this candy in your house.  What do you do to combat the extra calories?  Stay active!  Increase your daily activity as a family.  Take a walk before or after dinner.  Or better yet, a bike ride.  Go on a trail walk or a hike on the weekends.  Get outside and play some games - disc golf, soccer, basketball, frisbee, the list goes on.  Make sure you and your kids get moving.  Who knows, the activity might even become a habit that you can stick with long after the candy is gone!

5 | Go to the dentist  

No, I don't mean for a check up.  Have you ever heard of candy buy back programs?  Dentists participate in them all throughout the country.  Not only does it get the candy out of your house and some money into your or your kids' pockets, but it benefits our troops.  For more information on the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program, click here.

6 | Enjoy - in moderation 

Yes, you can have the candy.  No, you shouldn't have it all.  I believe in "everything in moderation."  Speaking from experience, when you're eating healthy and you get one of those cravings for fried food or chocolate, you know what?  Sometimes you have to give in.  That's not a green light to go all out, though!  Enjoy a few pieces of candy to satisfy that craving, then put the stash away.

I hope these tips help you and your family have a healthier Halloween this year!  Be safe out there, and most importantly - have fun!  

Readers: chat with me!  Do you have any more healthy Halloween tips?  Will you be going trick or treating?  If so, what are your costumes this year?  What's your favorite treat (or trick)? 

3 Easy Tips for an Active Family Vacation

We're continuing the guest posts this week!  Yesterday's post was about the impact stress has on our bodies, and how to manage it (if you missed it, check it out here and be sure to enter The Food Dare giveaway!).  After talking stress, it seems appropriate to now talk healthy vacations!  Shannon Fujimura is a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador and she blogs over at Waits and Measure(ment)s.  She's guest posting today on her family vacation to Disney and giving us some great tips on keeping your family active while on vacation.  Check it out!

Hi!  I’m, Shannon from over at Waits and Measure(ment)s and I am honored to be guest blogging for Ellyn!  As a new Sweat Pink Ambassador, it’s been great getting to connect with a group of empowered women who care about their health and that of their family!  

3 Easy Tips for an Active Family Vacation

I am in complete denial that my vacation is over.  We spent a magical week at Disney with our girls and Tuesday was my first day back to reality.  What a truly amazing place Disney World is for the whole family.  With that being said, I have to say... as someone who is more cautious of my food/fitness choices as I keep earning more years, I was delighted to see the new menu options Disney this time around.  

Every year when we go on vacation the mentality has always been, “It’s vacation, we can cheat,” and cheat we did.  Giant portions, fried EVERYTHING, no early mornings on the treadmill, no late night walks with the pooch.  It’s been glorious to not count calories and think about everything for a few days.  But I have been noticing more this year than most that those carefree days are harder to come back from.  The sad fate is that as I get older my metabolism starts to get a little slower... gross!  I hate it!  So this year we had a family challenge.

Like a lot of people that get caught up in life, we tend to go through cycles of good health.  We go weeks at a time hitting the gym and religiously entering our meals into Myfitnesspal, and then we have weeks where we... well, don’t.  Sometimes life does just truly get in the way.  I’m not saying it as an excuse, but as a truth.  So this year the hubs issued a challenge.  We started about 40+ days before vacation with the idea that we would do some sort of moving everyday leading up until vacation.  And guess what, it worked!  We successfully finished what I called the #FitFujiFam challenge and we were in good shape heading out to vacation!

The key is to maintain that momentum though, right?  Right!  So, here are some tips I’d like to throw out there for you as you plan your next vacation. 

1 | Look at a map  

We did amusement parks, so it was fairly easy to plan out how we wanted to try to hit various rides and attractions.  Now, I am a true Fitbit addict, so we used that as our main measure of fitness for the week.  The nice thing with Disney is you can fast pass rides, so when we did ours we looked at where they were located and PURPOSELY, yep I said purposely tried to plan things on opposite ends of the park so that we had to make sure we were getting in LOTS of steps each day.  Now, this can be hard with little feet in tow, but I have to say my mini me rocked it out.  She did get carried some each day by Dad (bonus points for “strength training” for Dad), but overall she did a really good job.  She knows all about Mom’s Fitbit, so she was just as excited to see the numbers going up as I was!

2 | Check out the menus ahead of time  

We did the Disney meal plan, but we go through all the possible spots we want to eat and make sure there is food that the kiddos will like (we have one VERY picky eater), and that there is stuff we like, and that the overall experience is a good one.  One night we did the Princess dinner, where mini me got to meet 5 princesses.  A win for her... the win for us was the amazing salad bar and dinner choices.  My girl and I had the most ah-may-zing grilled pork chops with veggies, hubby had a delish looking fish and mini me got veggies and mac-n-cheese.  We also planned in days where lunches could be salads and lighter fare.  Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed dessert at nearly every meal, but it is that much sweeter when you can enjoy it without guilt because you know you earned it!

3 | Take advantage of hotel amenities  

After a long day of walking around nothing feels better than a cool dip in the hotel pool.  I know that some days you just want to crash into the hotel bed, and believe me, we did that some, but making sure to plan some pool time is great too.  It is refreshing on a hot day, and moving through that water is a way to work SO many muscles without feeling strained.  Even if you are just paddling around, you are burning some major calories and just feeling good.

It may not seem like much, but every little thing helps and with a tiny bit of pre-planning, you can easily stay on track AND enjoy your vacation all at the same time.  Trust me!  It’s so worth it in the end.

Readers: chat with us!  How do you keep your families active while on vacation?  Have you done any of the above?  If you've been to Disney, what's your favorite part?


Shannon is a mom first and foremost, then a wife, then, well, herself!  Her girls and hubby are who inspire her to be the best version of herself that she can be.  Her ultimate goal is a happy, healthy life with no regrets, not just for herself, but for her family as a whole.

You can follow Shannon on her blog, Waits and Measure(ment)s, and also connect with her on social media here:
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