It’s that time of year when the stores are full of beautiful pastel candy shaped like bunnies and eggs. I love almost all Easter candy, especially stale Peeps, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs, black jelly beans, Robin Eggs, Chicks and Peeps Sweettarts, and those chocolate covered marshmallow eggs that come in an egg carton. I’ll stop there but the list goes on in case you’re wondering. I recently asked my Facebook followers what their favorite Easter candy is and the general consensus is that the Reese’s eggs are 100 times better than the original cups!
Ask anyone who knew me when I was younger and they’d tell you I loved candy. When I was in 5th grade Megan and I would run to the local gas station with coins in hand and stock up on whatever we could get our grimy little fingers on. When I was younger, candies like Skittles or Starburst would give me a rash on my face. Looking back I was probably allergic to some artificial dye used to make the candy so colorful.
It wasn’t until a year ago that I made a serious effort to cut back on sugar in my diet, especially sugar from candy. I really don’t have many food vices but I have always had a sweet tooth for candy. I’d say that in the last year I’ve cut back significantly on what I must call junk food because there’s really no better name for it. Here’s how I did it:
I avoid workplace candy bowls! I have a few good friends at work who constantly tempt me with a mini Snickers or Hershey’s Kisses. I usually had one or two each afternoon but last year I decided to just say no. I started bringing Greek yogurt or an apple for my afternoon snack and that seemed to make both my stomach and my head feel better at the end of the day. I believe many people fall under the false assumption that a few trips to the candy bowl every day don’t add up. Well guess what, they do.
I can’t have candy until I’ve had at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. This has been one way I’ve been successful in my avoidance of the workplace candy bows. It’s rare that I have five servings in before I head home for dinner so if I stick to my personal food rules, and I do 90% of the time, I’m avoiding candy and eating a lot more natural candy, aka fruit.
I rarely keep candy in my house. Any time I have candy or other sweet around it’s hard to say no and I end up feeling like crap for lack of a better term. I started keeping pistachios around to snack on as well as fruit like berries and clementines for when I want something sweet. I got these three seasonal favorites and that’s probably what I’ll limit myself to this Easter season.
The biggest change I’ve seen since cutting back on candy is that I have a lot more energy in the afternoons at work. I also don’t have nearly as many tummy aches as I once did. If you want to make a lifestyle change it takes a lot of determination and discipline. Once you get past the first three weeks or so you’ll notice how much better you feel physically and emotionally and won’t want to go back to your old habits. Now don’t get me wrong, I will have a few pieces of candy every now and then but I reserve it for very special occasions and things I know I really enjoy and might not be available year round, like the Cadbury Creme Egg! What’s your biggest food vice? Please share!