Get control over your sweet tooth

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Halloween is just around the corner, and that means a lot of scary sugar. From parties, to trick-or-treating to grocery stores, candy can be found everywhere.

In fact, I started seeing big bags of candy on the grocery store shelves as early as August. As much as I love M&Ms and the occasional piece of candy corn, I know they are not healthy. The bakery aisles usually try to compete with their creatively decorated cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. Everywhere we turn, there seems to be items just leaping of the shelf and into our grocery cart!

Yes, we buy it for the adorable trick-or-treaters, yet somehow we always find ourselves mindlessly munching on these tempting treats. If you have children, it’s hard not having sweets in your house. For others, it’s about moderation and keeping it out of sight. For myself, there are parties, festivals, and other events, that just beg for the attention.

Stay on target with your healthy eating plan

Halloween is a festive holiday, and candy is to be enjoyed. But due to the rising rates of obesity, chronic disease, dental disease and lack of vital nutrients in the diet, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that sugar should be no more than 5% of an individual’s daily calories. That means elementary-school-aged children should limit their added sugar to no more than 15 grams a day and older elementary-school-aged children may be able to consume as much as 30 grams a day. What’s scary is that the fun-sized Snickers bar your child ate after school contains 17 grams of added sugar! That’s more sugar than a young child should consume in an entire day.

Moderation is key

Enjoy Halloween with your children, but carefully plan healthy eating habits ahead of time. I know this is a challenge; I used to sneak my leftover candy “stash” into my bedroom all the time! Teach sensible eating so your kids can make wise decisions when faced with an overwhelming amount of temptations. Also make sure your child gets a well-balanced meal before trick-or-treating; it’ll reduce the urge to snack afterwards.

Offer alternatives

Don’t be afraid to offer healthy trick-or-treat alternatives! As mentioned above, obesity rates are climbing at an alarmingly high rate; in fact, childhood obesity has doubled over the past 30 years. Healthier and fun options include 100-calorie packs, hard candy, Cracker Jacks, graham crackers, granola bars, or single-serving packs of hot chocolate or hot cider. You can also offer fun toys and old fashion games such as glow sticks, funny Halloween glasses, costume jewelry, pencils, coloring books, bubbles, or temporary tattoos.

Inspection!

I used to always get frustrated when my parents made me wait to eat my candy until after they inspected it. Rule of thumb — if the wrapper looks suspicious, tampered with or you’re not familiar with the brand, toss it! Another wise rule, let your child choose a few pieces of candy to eat on Halloween night and then a few pieces each day after that. Restriction can often backfire, leading to an obsession with candy. Use this time as an opportunity to teach about healthy, nutritious diets. Combine a miniature snack bar with a piece of fruit and then teach the benefits of the fruit while encouraging healthy eating habits.

Be a healthy host!

Finally, Halloween isn’t just for kids these days! Adults like to attend and host parties for friends and families. If hosting, incorporate other fall favorites, such as pumpkin, squash, apples, and other fresh produce. Check out Genesis PURE’s Pinterest page for some delicious, healthy food choices that all your guests will love!

How do you celebrate Halloween? Share your fun Halloween goodies below!

By Amy Kurtz BA, BS, Certified Health Coach, CI-CPT

Wellness Education Specialist

Invigorate your senses with essential oils!

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Of all the five senses, our sense of smell is one of the strongest. Scents conjure up emotions. Our mouths water at the smell of freshly baked cookies. We use fragrances on our bodies. You might remember the first time you smelled a pine tree. Essential oils deliver very pleasing, and therapeutic, scents.

Natural, aromatic extracts from essential oils are derived from plants. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence of” the plant’s fragrance. If you’ve ever rubbed rosemary or mint leaves between your fingers, that lingering scent comes from the oils that are released from the plant. Aromatherapy is the act of diffusing these oils to promote well-being through the senses.

Unlike commercial products that contain unhealthy chemicals, essential oils are natural. Diffusing them can calm or stimulate, improve mental clarity or help clear congested nasal passages. Diffusing essential oils also helps to remove odors in the air, and can destroy airborne germs and bacteria.

Choosing a diffuser

Select a cool water diffuser for maximum health benefits, like the Genesis PURE™ Ultrasonic Diffuser. Heat can destroy the beneficial properties in essential oils. Diffusers are easy to use and generally run about four hours.

  • Ultrasonic, cool water diffusers use high frequency ultrasonic technology, instead of heat, to vibrate the water inside the unit, and release a fine, fragrant mist, or small oil particles, into the air. Generally you add water and the water and oils are distributed into the air.  This is particularly good in drier winter months because moisture is added to the air.
  • Nebulizing diffusers do not use added water, so the oil itself is broken up into tiny molecules.  Because this type of diffuser disperses the entire oil into the air and breaks it up into much smaller particles than other diffusers, it generally has more therapeutic qualities.

Depending on the essential oils selected, diffusers can be used indoors in every room in your home. Use them to refresh and invigorate, to soothe and calm, to eliminate unpleasant odors and kill germs, to purify the air, ease a headache, and enhance concentration when studying or working at a computer.

Choosing an essential oil

Synthetic fragrances are not a good substitute for pure, therapeutic essential oils. Dispersing artificial fragrances into your home can lead to allergies and asthmatic reactions. Always use pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.

Genesis PURE essential oils are 100% pure, 100% organic and USDA certified. Essential oils are made by the plant to defend against attack, disease, damage, or severe weather conditions. Choose from ten aromatic oils and three oil blends and order them at genesispure.com.

  • Tea Tree
  • Peppermint
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Bergamot
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Grapefruit
  • Eucalyptus
  • Boost8 – blend of eight oils including Frankincense and Thyme
  • Breeze7 – blend of seven oils including Cypress and Lavender
  • Ease8 – blend of eight oils including Wintergreen and Blue tansy

One of my favorite essential oils is peppermint. Inhaling the scent invigorates the lungs and increases alertness when you’re feeling groggy. You can also add it to water in a spray bottle and mist your body when you feel overheated. I also apply it to my neck and forehead, along with lavender oil, to calm headaches.

How do you use essential oils? Do you have a favorite scent? Please share with us.

Jennifer Evans
Genesis PURE™ Marketing Copywriter/Editor

Jennifer Evans is passionate about the written word and has self-published her own poetry anthology. She enjoys teaching piano and grammar to children, including her own. She caught the travel bug while attending high school in The Netherlands many years ago. You can usually find Jennifer working on her memoir, reading a novel, or bike riding with her family.