Getting Unreal With Candy On Halloween

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Did you survive the onslaught of candy last night? Everyone talks about Halloween being the challenge, but it’s actually the following days that most of the damage is probably done. At least where I work, everyone brings in all the leftover candy that they don’t want to eat and it gets picked at for days and days. One day of candy eating won’t pack on pounds, but days of it sure could.

Every year I fall victim to it. I get the honor of following The Kid around as she hits up the neighboring houses. Since she’s got a dairy allergy, she can’t eat most of the candy she gets. All the usuals are off limits – M&Ms, Mounds, Reese’s, Hersheys. I usually chomp down quite a few during the trick or treating process itself before we even get home. Hey, we can’t look a candy gift horse in the mouth! Once we’re home, we divide it into stuff she can eat and stuff she can’t.

This year The Kid made the announcement that she was too old to bother with trick or treating this year. Boooooo! She decided to stay home and hide in the dark with me watching horror movies instead. This year was the first year that I didn’t start November off with a chocolate hangover. The taste of victory is sweet! I didn’t want to go completely without celebrating so I stopped on the way home and picked up a bag of little tiny boxes of Junior Mints for her. Those are her favorite.

Since I read the labels on everything for the allergy reason, I know the kind of junk that is in candy. Preservatives, hydrogenated fats, and so on. I’m a big advocate in the idea that if you’re going to have a treat make it a high quality treat. If you want a hamburger, don’t go fast food. Get a high quality hamburger. If you want a cupcake, get a nice bakery cupcake and not a kreme filled toxic bomb. The same with ice cream. Get the real thing, not fat free/sugar free.

The treats are so much better when you follow this idea. I’ve found that high quality treats taste better, but not only that. I’ve eaten a kreme filled cupcake and still not satisfied my craving because it didn’t taste all that great. Afterwards I either beat myself up for eating something that wasn’t worth it, or I’d have another one or two (or more) hoping to kill the craving. With the really rich, yummy treats this doesn’t tend to happen.

Unreal-CandyOften the treat is so good there’s no question that it was worth it, and no regrets after. It’s rich and decadent enough that one is enough. I was thrilled yesterday to find a new brand of candy that cuts out a lot of the typical stuff you find in candy bars – Unreal candy. It was at our local drugstore and I’d never seen it before. They had several varieties to choose from and I went with my old nemesis favorite peanut butter cups. No trans fats, no corn syrup, no preservatives or GMOs.

I wasn’t sure how good they would taste, but I decided to give them a try. They were pretty darn good! They were the same size as the regular brand peanut butter cups and they had about the same number of calories too. I ate them slowly to savor them and I was remarking to The Kid that I was glad they didn’t seem as sweet as the regular ones. In fact, I could even taste salt in the peanut butter part. Not in a bad way but I noticed it.

I tweeted about them tasting almost like the real thing but less sweet. I got a reply from someone saying that she loved the salty peanut butter flavor in the real peanut butter cups.

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Funny, after pounding down hundreds of them over the years, I never once noticed that they tasted even remotely salty. It took breaking the habit to actually wake up my taste buds and appreciate it. 😉

I’ve also made it through today without giving in to the mountains of candy spread around the office. That is progress for sure and I’m proud of myself! So if you’re craving a treat or candy bar, aim for quality ingredients and savor the taste instead of mindless snacking. Even if the versions match calorie for calorie, ingredients can make a difference in taste and in how they affect your health.

PS – I’m in no way affiliated with Unreal and wasn’t asked to talk about their candy bars. I just found them by accident at the drugstore and was surprised something like them existed. If you try any other varieties, let me know what you think.

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