A Guest Article: Sugar Free Candy

I have long recommended, among other low carb Halloween survival strategies, laying in a supply of sugar-free candy to help deter sugar binges. So when I got an email from a Tracy Linden, asking if she could write an article for the blog about sugar-free candy, I figured, heck, why not?

Tracy says she writes for Online University. I don't know much about Online University, but the site looked interesting and un-hype-y, so I figured it was cool. And she's recommended some sugar-free candies I was unaware of, so, hey, useful information! Thanks, Tracy.

A Guide to Sugar-Free Halloween Candy

As any diabetic knows, sugar driven holidays such as Halloween, can bring out the worst in those who have a sweet tooth but can't indulge in the candy eating festivities as their non-diabetic friends. It's was always the biggest struggle for one of my Online University peers, who was diabetic, to find candy she enjoyed but didn't push her into a bad state with her health. Luckily avoiding sweets gets way easier after you have some experience on the path to a healthy diet that is appropriate for a diabetic.

However, regardless of how much easier it gets, when cravings start to build up it can be hard to resist the holiday temptations. The good news is there are sugar-free options that will allow you to enjoy the splendor of Halloween candy--without the usual accompanying guilt. So fear not, because gratifying your cravings (in moderation) for the sumptuous sugary delights of Halloween without getting off track from your low-carb diet is indeed possible.

My go to Halloween sugar-free candies:

* Bazooka Sugarless gum or the Sugarless BubbleYum
* Chick-o-sticks
* Sugar free Reeseā€™s Miniatures- ALMOST as good as the real thing yet with zero sugar. Watch out, as sugar free doesn't mean fat or calorie free with these guys BUT they are well worth the splurge!
* Sugar free Peeps
* Sugar free Jolly Ranchers
* Cinnamon Go-Lightly sugar free candies - which come in a lot of flavors such as vanilla, mint, chocolate and butterscotch.
* Sugar free Swedish fish- I think these taste pretty much identical to the real thing.
* Sugar free Pop Rocks
* Sugar free Godiva chocolates

There is a wide variety of scrumptious sugar free candies to gratify your sweet tooth with this upcoming Halloween- so there's no need to miss out on all the "sweet" fun that we all enjoy so much. At one point in time this was a far-fetched dream, but thanks to the marvels of modern nutritional science, it is a graspable concrete reality available to anybody!

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As a pretty much lifelong English Wiccan....

... my family and I don't participate in the hoodlumfest. I'll have a party for my family and friends, but the underworld kids that infest the neighbourhood are NOT a part of Samhain (Gaelic/Wiccan for Hallowe'en). Yet another event highjacked by the marketing bods! Hallmark and Twilight - tchah!

Close on it's heels is Guy Fawkes night over here. 5th November. What an ancient politico-religious horror! But still fireworks and explosions all night centuries later. Who'd have a cat?

Having said that, this year has been the first when there has been serious online local debate about Trick or Treat (ToT). Mums of the under-fives are all for ToT as it's all about dressing-up and fun. That's pretty much where it ends. Year on year, the kids grow up and behave (parentless) appallingly. Imagine if Christmas was run on similar lines!

That is how it is in East London, England at the moment. Sigh!

Holidays

I'm well acquainted with Samhain, actually; I have many pagan friends. We don't have Guy Fawkes day over here, but given the number of Guy Fawkes masks showing up at the Occupy movement sites -- inspired by the movie "V For Vendetta" -- it starts to seem we must.

The autumn holiday I'd like to celebrate is Dia de los Muertos aka Dia de los Finados, the Mexican version of All Souls' Day. It is longstanding tradition for Mexican folks to go picnic on the graves of their ancestors on November 1. There are special foods, including candy skulls, and a whole school of art that have grown up around the holiday. It seems like such a nice tradition to me -- go visit the ancestors once a year, and have a good family time. If New Jersey gets a really nice November 1 some year when I'm flush, I'm going to go to New Brunswick and have martinis on my Dad's grave. He'd totally dig that.

Holidays

Samhain has similar elements to Dia de los Muertos. One tradition we have as a family is to lay a place at the table for 'the departed'. When I explained this to my daughter when she was little, she scowled at the empty placemat, looked up and said, "I do NOT want to sit next to the dead!"

On a similar note, my son became quite scared of skeletons one Hallowe'en when he was about four or five, so I explained that everyone has a skeleton inside them. As soon as I said this, I could see what he was thinking - a little skeleton dancing around in his tummy. With a look of horror on his little face, he replied, most emphatically, "Well, I haven't!"

It doesn't matter what you do as a parent, it's always not quite right.

Skeletons

I rather like skeletons, they seem very personable to me. We had a genuine articulated (put-together) human skeleton at massage school, along with a disarticulated one, and an articulated plastic replica. It was far more instructive to look at the real skeleton than the fake -- you could, for instance, see that the fellow had been right-handed -- the places where the tendons attached were more pronounced on the right arm than on the left, indicating greater use. Poor guy had a little scoliosis, though.

Anyway, some day when he's older you might point your son in the direction of a Ray Bradbury short story about a man who becomes hyper-aware of his own skeleton. He sees it as something alien to him, something that has invaded his body, and goes from doctor to doctor, saying, "But, doctor, you don't understand -- I have a skeleton in me!" He finally finds a doctor who offers to take care of the problem, with, uh, less than happy results. That Ray Bradbury has a sometimes-unpleasant imagination.

Halloween giveaways

I found 1 oz bags of peanuts at Sam's Club, 48 paks in a box for $8.12, not a bad price for a treat that won't give ME nightmares!!!

You can also give away

You can also give away stickers or temporary tattoos. Both are big hits.

Hmm, I've never found any

Hmm, I've never found any commerical sugar-free candies that I thought were decent enough to be worth eating, and most have maltitol in them, which I won't touch with a 10-foot pole. Eeek. Well I never tried sugar-free Jolly Ranchers, Swedish fish, Peeps or Pop Rocks - but since I don't like the orignal sugary versions of any of those I don't see why I would! If it's not chocolate it's not worth the carbs or the calories. ;-)

But even sugar-free chocolate? I've tried the sugar free Reese's Miniatures, Blech, nasty. So the bottom line is that I make my own SF candy if I need a hit. It seems to be something I can't buy.

I give away coins for

I give away coins for Halloween. The trick-or-treaters love it.