Thanksgiving Sweets and Beyond…
To celebrate the wonderful holiday weekend it was decided that instead of featuring Thanksgiving candy, such as foil-covered turkeys (which are just mediocre chocolate, nothing special candy-wise), we would feature one of the BEST candy items on the PLANET – frosting and cream-filled licorice! Do you know what this is? Ever had any? Can you even envision what kind of candy this might be???
The following video and first part of this post will explain more about frosting/licorice specifics; afterwards, we will discuss a few fitness and food strategies to help us eat our treats in moderation. A happy holiday season is a healthy holiday season…you can have your cake and eat it too!
Hopefully everyone has a newfound appreciation for the intricacies of licorice and cream! I have yet to meet someone who knows what cream-filled licorice is before I show them; once introduced, people fall somewhere on the continuum from pleasantly surprised to completely dumbfounded by tasty awesomeness!! Any way we cut it, these candies are worth your calories.
Besides the Dulce De Leche licorice from Sugarfina (dulce de leche licorice plus a creamy caramel fondant and a little more licorice in the center), the rainbow licorice from Sugar & Plumm (fruit flavored rainbow licorice pieces around a hard vanilla creme center) and the smaller candy cane stripe licorice from Dylans Candy Bar (a fruit and cream delight that we will see again for our Christmas and Hanukkah candy episode), everything else came from Sockerbit. The big candy cane stripe licorice (alternating strips of strawberry licorice and vanilla creme), the lemon-filled raspberry licorice (light lemon fondant and a raspberry/rhubarb licorice), the strawberry and cream flower licorice (thin strawberry licorice filled with sweet vanilla frosting in a flower shape) and the strawberry licorice with strawberry cream and crunchy candy bits (a thick strawberry licorice tube around hard strawberry creme fondant with tiny pieces of crunchy strawberry candy bits inside) all hail from Scandinavia! Eating these candies makes someone want to go to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland as soon as possible! Check out our post on Scandinavian candy to learn more about the tasty wonders of Northern Europe!
Some takeaways from this episode –
1 – Sockerbit is a great one-stop shop for cream and frosting-filled licorice; if you get lucky, other select candy stores might also stock one or two of these delicacies.
2 – Cream-filled licorice is one of the most fun candies to play with – you can pull it apart, separate the licorice from the cream, make designs, and otherwise goof off. We should all play with our food because it is fun and youthful!
3 – If you are going to consume “junk food” calories (something other than whole foods), it should be something you really like. Cream and frosting-filled licorice is really, REALLY likable!!
4 – Don’t waste time on chocolate turkeys and the ilk. Spend your calories on something better, and JUST SAY NO to mediocre sweets!!
Speaking of calories…let’s talk reality for a moment. The holidays (between Thansgiving and New Years) tend to bring on weight gain. Regardless of existing myriad confusing health information, weight gain is pretty simple…eating more calories than we burn. While nutrition labels assume a 2000 calorie daily intake, 1700 or 1750 is more realistic for an average woman with a lightly active life. Even if we only eat an extra couple hundred calories each day, over a month that can be upwards of an extra pound; in a year, an extra 15+. The average person gains 6-7 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years, so the best thing to do is have some easy tricks to avoid this pesky problem. As a candy-loving fitness instructor and nutritionist, yours truly has many tips to share. Here are a few:
1 – Get at least 30-45 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week. Not only will someone burn 150-500 calories in this time frame (depending on type of exercise and physical makeup of the person exercising), but also exercise relieves stress and the holidays can be stressful!
2 – Follow an 80/20 rule – If we eat 1750 calories a day, then 80% should be whole, nutritious foods and 20% can be discretionary foods. This means 350 calories of pure candy fun! That is roughly 3-3.5 ounces of candy, 87 Jelly Belly jelly beans, or a couple glasses of wine and some squares of dark chocolate. Future blog posts will talk more about calories and amounts of specialty candy.
3 – Watch out for things like egg nog and other rich drinks – not only do drinks fail to satiate us (our bodies do not recognize liquids as food, so the calories do not fill us as they would in real food that we chew), but also creamy drinks can have upwards of 500 calories per typical cocktail serving! That is insanely unhealthy…plus most people have more than one drink. You might as well eat a massive brownie fudge sundae for those kinds of calories! The best bet is to stick to clear beverages and drink a lot of water…always a good rule of thumb, 365 days a year!
4 – Last but not least, make sure you sleep 7-8 hours a night. Sleep helps us to stave off hunger while a lack of sleep kicks up our need for food / sugar in an effort to keep us motivated and alert. Eating some sugar is fine, but when we get tired we have less control when it comes to stopping when we’ve had enough. Stay well-rested, stay slim.
Feel free to email with any questions you may have; we are happy to answer them. Also, come back for more fitness and nutrition tips alongside the candy-idolatry. This time of year is such a FUN time for candy! Next week we will see Part 2 of the gummy animals episodes, then one more awesome episode before our big Christmas and Hanukkah candy blowout! Learning about all the fantastic holiday candy might be the best holiday gift ever…you’re welcome! Well…that, and knowing that on December 26, a lot of the holiday candy goes on sale for 50% off!! Now you know my real special secret!!
See you next week!