Halloween is one of those holidays that has morphed into a strange tradition, especially in America, where most people associate it with dressing up and going trick or treating. How on earth did the evening before a day of honoring the saints, "All Hallows Eve" turn into such a ritual as it is today? A celebration where most people are candy crazed and ingest enough sugar to send themselves on an emotional roller coaster ride as their insulin levels spike thru the roof. It's insane to think most of us condone this behavior when we know the detrimental health effects even if it is "just once a year". Sugar is extremely addictive, it has been considered close to crack cocaine on the addictive scale yet we take our kids out all dressed up at night and the goal is to get as much candy as possible!
Then we have to try and regulate the consumption of the sugar-crack in the days following halloween when the sugar is sitting there, when it's everywhere, all dressed up in different ways and begging us to put it in our mouths. Our brains pleasure center making us crave more with each bite, so much so that most of us can't help but make an excuse to have just one more piece. I know that personally I often lack the self control to moderate when it comes to sweets. Like a lot of addictive substances abstinence is often the best remedy for those who lack the willpower to have just one... or two... or three and then stop. There are plenty of good reasons why we all need to know how to moderate or abstain from sugar and why it may be a good time to think twice about what this holiday is all about. Diabetes is a huge problem in the united states because sugar is so readily available and completely acceptable to consume. There's not much regulation on how much sugar we can consume and not nearly enough education about the detrimental effects of it either ;(unfortunately). Just look at the picture for this post and imagine it's me on sugar.
The crazed crack bear selfie created using a snapchat filter is how I feel on too much sugar, like a deranged animal that needs a muzzle to stop it from putting more candy in it's mouth. I fully admit that I am already a sugar addict, I do my best to moderate but it's a challenge when the temptation is everywhere. Especially when it's celebrated and acceptable to gorge on (even if only for some people just this one time per year). And the dressing up thing? It's fun but it's also one of those things where you wonder how it came to be and where to draw the line. There are some super scary snapchat filters I wish I could get out of my head after swiping left to see what was available for today. I don't use snap chat that much and my discovery of those filters during this time of year may have been a mistake. I still have creepy images superimposed on my own face that I am trying to shake off. It really makes me wonder what happened to the original meaning behind All Hallows Eve.
What were the original rituals performed on the eve of a day to honor Saints and martyrs? Who really knows what the true story is of our rich and varied history with all the different religious ideas of how to act accordingly? I was reading that some people abstained from certain foods to prepare for an celebratory feast on November 1st, which make makes more sense to me and sounds healthier... Therefore I hereby announce that on this Hallow 'een I'm going to do a fast of sorts. I will abstain from consuming sugar to prepare for the following day where I will honor the souls who have passed away by consuming healthy harvest foods (I smell roasted pumpkin coming;). I will also be abstaining from snapchat until the holiday is over to avoid more creepy halloween filter damage to my brain. The images I see in general don't easily leave my photographic memory and I need to be more careful this time of the year.
Regardless of your opinion on how to best celebrate this Halloween, I hope you have fun, stay safe and that you also have the ability to moderate as well as make good choices for your body and for your families too. My goal with this post is simply to offer my thoughts in order to raise awareness of a different perspective on a ritual that we usually don't think twice about because it's socially acceptable and commercially viable. It's actually often that the Treats are kind of forced on us and it's always good to look at the other side recognizing that we have a choice. Maybe that's the Trick part of the whole darn thing?
I wish you a healthy & happy Hallow's Eve!