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Silencing the Drums
By Carolyn Allen


Often the most difficult period of managing holiday eating is not before or during,  but after the big day when the party’s over.  Here are 8 easy ways to establish personal control and peace with leftover Halloween candy.

Halloween Candy 081103


Author’s Note:  My apologies for the broken link in my last article for the special free offer to Meridian Readers at CLICK HERE

Once again the calendar page has been turned.  November brings the opportunity for U.S. citizens to vote responsibly and to be wise. The signs of the times are upon us as we face issues and perspectives that seemed unthinkable even a few short years ago and this year’s choices are extremely difficult.  For me, the election, the economy and the state of world affairs is an almost-audible rumbling, like the winds and rains of an approaching storm.  The rumblings will bring events, both wonderful and terrible, that we, by our birth into the last days, will witness and personally experience. 

November also brings the rumblings of stormy, difficult days ahead for personal health management that, in turn, affect how we fulfill our lives and personal destinies. Leftover Halloween candy, colder weather that makes it less pleasant to walk and exercise, magazines with tempting holiday fare to try, and our old nemesis:  the ” It’s the holidays, I’ll start in January” mentality have a way of creeping in and taking over despite our best intentions. These foreboding rumblings, like African jungle drums, are undeniable after Halloween and are easy to succumb to, especially when our bodies are on a sugar-high from Halloween indulgences.  It’s a choice to listen to them and accept them as prophetic warnings.

Today’s Quote: “Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb repose later on.” (Frederic Chopin)

How long has it been seen you saw “Jumanji”, the 1995 movie with Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst (when she was only 11 or 12?) It’s one of our family’s favorites and makes a dandy Friday night family movie.

The movie starts in 1700 New England with the sound of intense African jungle drums throbbing in the background. It is a dark and stormy night, and through the shadows we watch the footage of something evil being buried in a chest, then wrapped in chains and padlocks, then deeply buried in the ground while the drums continue to pound our ears.

The movie then snaps to the late 1960’s with a boy who hears the beating of the drums and digs out the old chest from what is now a modern day construction site close to his dad’s office.

Let the games and the trouble begin .  The movie, exciting and scary (though definitely in the 8 and above G range), moves from there. Those intoxicating jungle drums are heard throughout the movie as the roller coaster of very frightening events occur.

Are you with me? For the next several days, weeks and months, we’ve got our own evil jungle drums beating.  Chocolate Halloween candy is now everywhere.    Our Trick-or-Treaters will play with it and eat some of it, then abandon it as yesterday’s toy. Our co-workers will bring it in to work to get it out of THEIR houses.  Our teenagers will let it sit in their bedrooms for months on end.  Our favorite stores will have it front and center, marked down to prices that make it next-to impossible to not purchase. 

Others seem to have no problem forgetting it in a day or so.  For me, and perhaps for you, its call, like the throbbing drums, lives on and on.   What are we, who wants to look and feel great by Christmas to do?!  Back to the movie for an answer!

After several terrible days, they somehow manage to chain the evil up again and send it down the river, to the ocean and far, far away. That’s a good message for us. It’s our choice to silence the drums BEFORE the several days of damage can occur and then bleed into an un-focused November and December. 

Here are 8 weight-loss-made-easy strategies to silence the drums:

* Analyze it :  Which are your favorites?  Carefully and responsibly choose careful portions of a favorite just a bit.  You may even realize that you don’t even like it, but are eating simply out of habit and tradition.  (Think of the Lamanites and their foolish, nonsensical traditions …)
* Trade it: Got kids? Tell them there’s a special Halloween witch who’ll trade candy for a treat or special privilege.  Have them bundle it up and leave it on the front porch before they go to bed for her to pick upon her way back to before they go to bed.  Let them find a non-food treat in the morning.

* Buy it:   Teenagers, who often acquire more than younger children, may be willing to accept hard cold cash in exchange for their pillowcases full of chocolate, or at least a good part of it.

* Sell it:   Many orthodontists and dentists will actually buy candy after Halloween.  Ask yours!

* Donate it:
  *The trash or a homeless shelter are good places for candy.  After all, for the kids, the thrill is in the hunt and the fun of the big night.  The joy is in the doing and it’s OVER. Give them an opportunity to serve others with their booty.

* Envision it:   For over-flowing kitchens and employee rooms — Imagine the candy stale, old, crumbly and white as it would be a year or two from now and just walk on by while imagining what you’ll look like with all the pounds gone in the same period of time!

* Build it :  Bundle it up to stash at a trusty neighbor’s.  Then retrieve it for decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas time. 

* Ration it : Put 1-2 pieces in baggies and number them 1-30.  That’s a whole month’s worth of treats in moderation.  Throw the rest away!

OK!  Deep breaths … Let some dumb old Halloween candy throw off our good intentions and hard work? Not us! Not this year! : We know what to do!  The first few days of November are the perfect time to silence those jungle drums by 1) taking action and 2) singing the 4 th verse of I Am A Child of God and singing with joy:

I am a Child of God
His promises are sure
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.

Let me guide me, walk beside me
Help me find the way
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

Today’s Empowerment :  “Although difficulties and poor choices may surround me, I have a clear vision of what to do and how to get it done. I am not distracted.”

Today’s Recipe:

Something hot and spicy is a great way to get a sweet tooth in control and to eliminate the sugar-highs that too much candy bring.  Enjoy!

Becky’s Award-Winning Chili
(5 servings at 250 calories)

1 15 oz.

cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz.cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 oz. can of corn, drained
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup of onions, chopped
3 cups low-sodium tomato juice or V-8
1 package of chili seasoning
1/2 pound ground turkey or extra lean ground beef

1. Brown ground meat with onions and bell peppers.
Rinse under hot water to remove all remaining fat.

2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil to heat through.

3. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes and for flavors
to blend.

OR!  Brown the meat, onions and bell pepper as directed above then put everything into the crock pot and cook on hi for 3-4 hours, or low 7-8.

Serve with baked taco chips, shredded cheese, non-fat sour cream, etc. — just add the points/calories accordingly.


(6 g Dietary Fiber; 270 calories; 6 g fat; 22 g Carb)


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