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‘Tis the season...for apple cider, finally breaking out the sweater collection, and pumpkin spice everything under the sun. For some of you, Halloween probably doesn’t mean much more than watching a few scary movies and (maybe) attempting to throw together a last minute costume, but for others, Halloween entails extravagant parties full of creative costumes, on-point decorations, and lots and lots of FOOD! As with any holiday, it can be hard to balance wanting to be a crowd-pleaser while still keeping your cool, having fun, and staying healthy. Here are some of my tips for a successfully spooky Halloween:
1: Meal Prep
Ah, meal prep, how I love you.
Sadly, as a freshman in college living on campus, meal prep is not as practical (R.I.P. beloved roasted vegetables and chicken), but if you have the means, I highly suggest it, as it reduces a lot of stress around meals. Especially in October, when midterms are in full-swing and there are fall activities galore, the last thing anyone wants to do is divert time away from studying and socializing to put together extravagant meals. Prepping food once a week to keep stored in the fridge for easy on-the-go meals saves so much time and effort. I recommend roasting up your favorite vegetables, prepping your favorite protein source, and maybe trying a side dish or snack recipe or two to keep your meals exciting. My favorite meal prep options are sweet potatoes, roasted zucchini and squash, turmeric spiced chicken, and fun-flavored hummus to put on everything!
2. Get Outside
Fall is such a beautiful time of year, so take advantage of it by getting outside, unplugging from social media, opting for outdoor events and festivities, and putting your stressful tasks and obligations aside for a few moments each day. Taking some time outdoors to refresh and recharge can give you the energy you need to attack your to-do list and channel your productivity into all your fall projects!
3. Sleep...as much as you’re able to!
I always emphasize how vital sleep is to well-being, boosting your mood, and maintaining an optimum energy level throughout the day, but let’s be honest...8+ hours of sleep a night is not a reality for everyone. Especially with all of the Halloween festivities going on, late nights tend to be pretty common this time of year. Try prioritizing late-night events and then choose one or two days to stay out late. One night of less-than-optimal sleep is far better than being sleep deprived every day during the middle of the semester or missing out on all the things you were looking forward to doing.
4. Make Your Party Food Palatable (and Healthy!)
Fall activities are not the best places to find healthy food options, but you can put your own healthy spin on your favorite party foods while still keeping them appetizing for your guests. If you’re having your own fall get-together, here are some tasty and festive recipes you can try:
2. Pumpkin Hummus
3. Pumpkin Spice Freezer Fudge
4. Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas
5. Have Fun, Stay Safe, and Make Some Memories
So while this may seem like three tips instead of one, they go hand in hand. Making sure that you’re spending time with people you trust (especially on late nights) ensures that you not only have a great time, but also don’t get yourself into a dangerous situation without a loyal friend by your side. Whether that means assigning a designated driver for Halloween night, staying away from places/people you know will lead to trouble, or simply deciding to forgo the party scene altogether and have a low-key Halloween night with your closest friends, it’s all about looking out for number one (AKA your health and safety). At the end of the night, make sure you’re taking care yourself in every way possible...and having a good time in the process!
I hope that you all have a healthy and happy Halloween full of great memories, great friends, and great food! Now excuse me as I go scout around eBay for a kale costume...
Freshman Foods and Nutrition Major