Surviving Halloween Without Candy- A dramatic story of upheaval and food.
Act 1: The Upheaval & The Food
On November 22, 2010 our family embarked on a massive lifestyle change. In short, we began the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Following the SCD basically means that you forgo virtually all processed foods, all grains, all starches, and all sweeteners except for honey. Because gums and starches are considered illegal (and are added to most prepared foods in some way, shape, or form) most of the food you eat on SCD must be made from scratch. Want ketchup for your squash fries? Make it with tomato juice and sweeten with honey. Want mayonnaise in your sandwich (with bread made from pecan flour)? Make it with eggs, oil, and vinegar in your food processor.
What does this mean for the person who’s the primary meal maker? It means that I spend an average of 4-5 hours per day making the food that we will eat. Since I was never someone who liked spending much time in the kitchen there was a significant learning curve. The depth of which ate up most of my spare time and explains my prolonged absence from blogging.
In June of this year I finally figured out what I needed to do so that I didn’t have to spend my most productive hours in the kitchen every day. I basically do a massive preparation of all vegetables and proteins (chicken and or fish) on Sundays and then all I have to do during the week is cook the actual food at meal-time. I’ve also pretty much given up on condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise etc… As time goes on I’ll be sharing more and more about why and how we are embarking on this journey.
Is all of this stress worth it? Hell Yes! I saw MAJOR behavioral and communication gains three weeks into the diet. There was no turning back, we were going to be that family who has to bring their own food everywhere and who doesn’t let their kids eat anything.
Act 2: The
The point of sharing this was to provide context for the amount of stress I felt as this year’s Halloween approached. Not only did I have the usual costume making to do (with much less time to do it) but how was I going to handle the CANDY???
We decided to forgo trick-or-treating this year and sent Kamikaze out to trick-or-treat with his friends. (Kamikaze, Vic and I aren’t strict about adhering to the diet unless we are with Tremendo and Sweet Coco.) Instead, we bought some SCD legal treats from Digestive Wellness and I baked pumpkin muffins. We went to a nice hiking spot and took pictures. We came home and hung out in our costumes. We became THAT HOUSE as we handed out stickers, pencils, tattoos, erasers, mini mazes, and plastic ninjas. Since we only had about 4 trick-or-treaters it may take a while for the news to spread. Sadly, those kids were disappointed. Their parents seemed happy though.
Perhaps next year we’ll try the whole “trick-or-treat but trade your candy for toys” thing (we did do that with Kamikaze this year) but we decided against it for this Halloween. I wasn’t sure that I could keep them from eating the bad candy while going door to door. I felt we had to totally disengage from the previous years before I could expect that degree of self-control, and as you’ll read more about in the future, I didn’t want to risk the reactions that said candy would produce in my kids if they got to have any.
All in all, it was a peaceful and pleasant time. Tremendo and Sweet Coco didn’t even seem to mind that we didn’t trick-or-treat. Yay for new and healthier traditions!!!
I think the sword and shield sets were in large part why the kids didn’t seem to register the lack of candy.
There are more pictures on Flicker.
Here’s a link for those of you looking for more ideas about how to do Halloween on SCD.