“It’s Halloween Time!”
That’s what my preschooler has been saying since he saw the spooky decorations at Party City two weeks ago. He’s right, though; Halloween is one of those holidays that is celebrated on not just one day but all month long, with themed parties, costume parades, Fall festivals, scary movies, spooky decorations, sexy costumes, and—the most dreaded for us on AIP—chocolate, candy, and treats. Sweets can be so hard to resist, especially when the candy is flowing so freely all month long.
So how do you make sure that Halloween is “not so scary” for your AIP Lifestyle?
- Get clear with yourself. You want to be clear about why sticking with the Autoimmune Protocol is important, and all the things that will happen if you don’t. Write it all down and read it when you know you’re going to be faced with temptations. The clearer and stronger your reasons are, the easier it will be to stick with it
- Have a plan for parties. I’m not one to miss a party, and I usually have to be kicked out the door at the end of the night. I didn’t want to miss out on a social life just because I changed my eating habits, so these days I plan in advance for the situation:
- What time of day is the party? Do I need to bring a full meal with me, or should I eat beforehand?
- What snack am I going to bring for myself or to share with the group (I ALWAYS do this, even if the hostess hasn’t suggested that I need to—it’s always appreciated!).
- Do I need to look at a restaurant menu in advance?
- What fun water bottle or AIP beverage can I bring to sip on?
- Is there anything else that I am going to need or that will make me feel more comfortable?
- Just say NO. So I’ll tell you a little secret. I don’t particularly like cake. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE desserts—I could eat ice cream, pie, or cobbler all day long. For some reason, though, every time I was at a birthday party I would take a piece of cake and eat most of it, even though I never thought that it was more than just ok. Somehow, I had gotten it into my head that the hostess would think that I was rude if I didn’t. I was wasting tons of calories and making myself sick for something that I didn’t even like that much! Now I just say “No, thank you!” And you know what? No one says a word about it! They don’t even care! So you do what’s healthy for you, because you’re the one that has to go home and live with the consequences later, whether it’s an immediate reaction or a longer-term effect like eventually gaining weight.
- If you screw up, just keep going and don’t look back. You can’t beat yourself up to success, so forgive yourself and move on. So many people let one slip up mean that they are right back to the square one, but the great thing about eating is that you always have another chance to get it right. Each meal you eat—no, each bite you put into your mouth—is another chance to make a healthier choice. You can literally stop right in the middle of a cupcake and make a different choice!
- Keep some AIP treats in the house for yourself. I’m always a huge advocate of AIP snacks, but I think it’s especially important during the holiday season (and that starts in October!). When I deny myself of the very thing that I want, it makes me feel deprived and crave sweet treats even more. If I have nothing around to satisfy that craving, I will eventually give in and eat the bad stuff. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, agrees: “The people who appear to have the greatest self-control actually are just tempted the least. So they face temptations less frequently, and therefore have the reserves and resources to resist it when it occasionally comes up.” This is especially true with AIP, since we can’t just run to the 7-11 down the street and pick up a quick snack when we feel tempted. Be prepared for the season and make yourself a batch of AIP Pumpkin Pie Bars or AIP Orange Cranberry Bliss Balls (recipes are in this month’s box!) or let Simply AIP come to the rescue with a selection of treats each month!