Treats play Halloween tricks
As I’m sure I’ve shared over the years, one of my usual evening routines at home is paging through a light-topic magazine, not only to unwind from the day, but to enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of feel-good journalism.
Until the other night.
With one of my favorite female-centric publications in hand and a delightful bowl of pre-Halloween-in-the-Malin-household candy within arm’s reach, I was happily thumbing through the highlights of fall on the North Shore when I happened upon an article detailing the amount of exercise one would have to do to burn off any number of Halloween candy servings.
I stopped. I stared at the page. I immediately dropped the unwrapped Bull’s Eye I was about to pop in my mouth.
Must we really undo the few simple pleasures left in our crazed daily lives by announcing that a few harmless Hershey’s Kisses wrapped in orange or black foil demand 40 minutes on the treadmill? Didn’t we choose the “everything in moderation” route to good health and healthy body images a few decades ago?
I personally try to subscribe to the 80/20 rule of 80 percent healthful eating and 20 percent “a few splurges here and there” in life. Forget the Halloween candy part of the equation, but I’m neither disciplined enough nor do I have the desire to maintain the consistency of today’s strict lean protein and veggies menu plan. And the absence of an occasional Cape Cod potato chips splurge or crusty Italian bread with olive oil and grated Romano cheese fest simply would not be life as I know it or want to know it.
So, what penance would I have to serve for a few handfuls of Cape Cod chips, anyway? Would I have to sprint to Northbrook Court and back?
What about my propensity toward a few slices of Lou Malnati’s butter crust deep dish cheese pizza on a Friday night during the cold weather months? I shudder at the thought of looking up that calorie count online and trying to come up with some crash exercise marathon to undo it on Saturday morning. Can’t you just picture me after a night at Francesca’s Intimo and my typical bread, olive oil and grated cheese indulgence, then running behind our car as my husband drives home?
Oh, the pain of what we’re forced to think about in the innocence of a quiet fall evening and the desire for some mindless reading. Oh, the pain of thinking about the damage of the undone calories I never gave a thought to before now. Then again, I really do eat a healthy diet the majority of the time. And olive oil is a good fat. And plum tomatoes on pizza have tons of Vitamin A. And Cape Cod potato chips are all natural.
A little Halloween candy? Easy. I’ll work that off on Halloween itself by doing jumping jacks on my way to answer the door for the trick-or-treaters.
Lake Forester columnist Maria Malin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.