Halloween Humbug

Halloween Pumpkin

That I'm not a fan of Halloween is no surprise to anyone who knows me well. It went downhill for me after my mom threw out my favorite Dick Dastardly mask when I was 9. I rarely go to costume parties and I have been known to dim the lights and lay low on the night of in order to avoid even the slightest interaction with a 5-year old pumpkin. I'm the guy that leaves the candy bowl outside and trusts the honor system.

"..this year I'm not buying ANY candy"

Yes I'm a party pooper. But that's not news. The news is that this year I'm not buying ANY candy. Not one bag of “fun size" Snickers or Three Musketeers or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Oh I know that nearly $2 Billion will be spent on nearly 600 million pounds of the stuff regardless, but I will contribute nothing to those stats. I typically buy two or three bags of the aforementioned goodies. Truth is I don't think I've had five trick-or-treaters show up over the last five years combined, so guess where that candy went. Yep, right into my Type-2 diabetic mouth. And then I could look forward to gorging at the office the next day where half the staff would bring their leftovers to avoid doing the same.

I grew up in Queens, NY in an area rife with apartment buildings. We'd start on the sixth or top floor of each building, scrounge off all ten or so apartments, descend the stairs to the next floor, then move on to the next building. We'd score hundreds of pieces of candy. No, I was not a fan of Halloween, of dressing up, but I was a big fan of free candy. For most of us, the haul was gone within a few days. This went unchecked by our parents as I grew up in an era when kids could do pretty much anything without chaperones, bodyguards or GPS chips.

That the addiction to sugar sets in at an early age is not new to the current generation of kids. The “Big Sugar" cartels have made sure of it. Some of my revisionist historian peers claim that we were more active as kids and handled it better but I was overweight as a kid and stayed that way through most of my adult life. After being diagnosed at 45 with what I believed to be the inevitable onset of my father's diabetes, I continued to buy and eat the products of the sugar pushers. Despite persistent peripheral neuropathy, Hemoglobin A1C over 9% at my worst, diminished focus and consistently feeling lousy, I didn't change my diet much since my youth and sugar, which is in just about every processed thing I ate, was too much a part of it.

I finally gave up sugar for good on February 25, 2014, cold turkey, after reading Dr. David Perlmutter's best seller Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers

The book scared me in a way none of my health issues could. The notion that high glucose equates to early dementia hit me hard. I could not bear the thought of becoming a burden on my loved ones. The fear got me through the first week of carb addiction withdrawal. Shortly thereafter the cravings for carbs and sugars were gone. Over roughly 18 months I have lost nearly 50 pounds and my Hemoglobin A1C was 5.3% in my most recent blood test last month, considered normal. Translation: within 7 months of giving up sugar I was cured of diabetes.

So now I'm that guy, the evangelist, the reformed smoker who tells everyone to quit smoking at every turn. Took me 48 years to get it, but it's never too late. And so no, I will buy no candy this year. I will not “be a pusher" to any little princess that may make her way up to my front door. I will not tempt myself with stashing toxic “drugs" in the house and I will never give another nickel to those Big Sugar cartels who are systematically poisoning America.

The wife is getting flowers on Valentine's Day. But that's another post.

10/28/2014 7:00:00 AM
Rob Greenstein
Written by Rob Greenstein
Rob Greenstein is the Editor-in-Chief and President of Wellness.com, Inc.
View Full Profile Website: http://www.wellness.com/

For the last 10 years I have given out Act II Halloween mini microwave popcorn. I was so disappointed this year though when Sam's Club didn't carry it. This year I ended up giving out candy and didn't like it at all!
Posted by Sandy
We are Vegan and didn't buy candy this year either :) Love your article!
Posted by michelle
I give out pretzels, next year I am thinking of giving out quarters or 50 cent pieces, depends on the budget or little books from the dollar store, pencils sound good too.
Posted by Elizabeth
Thanks for this post! I am sharing it with my relatives and all the friends who will read it.

I am the only one in my family who does not have type 2. I think that is because of the exercise I have always done! I have some friends who don't eat wheat and I always feel healthier when I leave their house after a week.

I may start giving out copies of Grain Brain!

Thanks again.
Posted by Bonnie Thurber
God bless you for writing this! I buried my brother in January because he had a diet like a Hummingbird. Sugar took out his eyes and kidneys. I've cut out almost all sugar and have lost 20 pounds without much effort. I wish America would listen.
Posted by Angie
Great article Rob! I have also tried to significantly limit my sugar and gluten intake. My oldest son has a gluten intolerance, so I initially started to support him. But after I lost a good 10 pounds I realized the difference. Another good book I would recommend for you to read is "The Wheat Belly". Also very interesting.
Posted by Maria DiMartino
I am fit and very healthy; however, I believe that moderation is the key to a happy healthy life. Have fun and enjoy Halloween.
Posted by Debbie
I just purchased a bag of 50 satsumas to hand out tomorrow night, instead of candy. My kids (now 15, 17, and 21) have always accused me of being a party pooper, but I know there's always a parent (and child) out there than appreciates the healthier alternative!
Posted by Kim
Great post! We get over a 100 kids, and as adorable as they can be, I have never really enjoyed the idea of giving candy out to the little ones.
Congratulations on the reversal of your diabetes!! Amazing what we discover when we understand the concept of wheat and how it has changed over the years and the affects on our bodies.
Posted by Laura
Love this Rob..Great job!!
Posted by Kim
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