Another Halloween Post

covid food choices & feeding immune health mood learning & behaviour nutrients & supplements parenting
Sugar and Halloween

It's that time of year again - the time when my inner growl starts to gnaw at me and the mom-anger starts to bubble up and twist and make me feel oh so uncomfortable. 

Sugar Season. 

You too? It's this time of year - every year it gets a little more intense - when I think "what the heck are we expecting??" 

As global conflicts, climate change, viral pandemics, concern about indoor mold, stress, economic uncertainty, and all the things continue to spike... why celebrate with sugar??

Why do we insist on sabotaging ourselves and our kids with sugar?

We have no nutritional need for sugar and it....

... Blunts immune response

... Accelerates the excretion of crucial nutrients

... Eats up magnesium leaving less for our brain, immune, and nervous systems

High Fructose Corn Syrup and the companies who produce it deplete soil quality and contribute to economic disparity

Sugar increases the risk of metabolic illness and obesity and mental illness and every single chronic disease that is crippling hospitals and health services

Sugar disrupts the oh-so-crucial microbiome - the one in our mouth and the one in our gut


I'll stop there. But sheesh!!


So that's my mama-bear rant. 

And then...

I watch my 11-year-old get up early to dawn the amazing costume he designed with his dad, excited to show his friends and wander the neighborhood, giddy with the anticipation of the sorting and the trading and the laughing he'll do afterward...

Deep Breath Jess.... Deeeeep Breath. 

My kids will Trick Or Treat. They will have candy.


Here's what I'm gonna do to protect them.

  1. I'm not going to buy any of it. None of my money is going to candy this year. I just can't stomach supporting those companies.
  2. I'm not going to eat any of it. My body and my health are worth saying NO to the candy. It's not about weight gain for me (though that's a thing). It's about protecting my metabolic health, so I have the energy and mental stability to raise my kids.
  3. I'm allowing the kids to eat what they want and throw out the rest. It's not staying in the house for longer than a week. I'd rather they binge it all in a time frame I can manage than have this linger for days and days and days. Halloween's on a Tuesday; candy needs to be gone by the weekend.
  4. I'm loading them up with extra nutrition and telling them why it's a must. 


Here's what I give my kids when I know a sugar storm is coming:

  • Double their usual dose of Magnesium Glycinate (so that's about 10mg per lb body weight, more if they get constipated cause sugar can constipate).
    • Sugar requires magnesium for metabolism so this essential mineral quickly gets depleted in the midst of a sugar storm leaving them vulnerable to muscle cramps, constipation, moodiness, sleep trouble, reduced immune resilience and more.
  • A full dose of Juice Plus (this one).
    • Plant nutrients protect and nourish the gut microbiome and the immune system and help bring down inflammation. There's no way I could get enough veggies into them to balance out the sugar havoc so I turn to this supplement when I need it.
  • A Probiotic.
    • Sugar stresses the microbiome balance so we bring in this added probiotic support to keep the peace. I know you'll ask me which one, but honestly it depends. My kids do really well on MegasporeBiotic so that's what I tend to use. You'll find an article on probiotics linked below and can browse the ones I like on my stores. 
  • Zinc/Elderberry lozenges
    • Tasty and easy to give chewable tablets to support immune and digestive health. Zinc is also crucial to a strong stress response
  • Vitamin D
    • A staple for immune health and regulation of inflammation. Sugar increases inflammation so I want regulators on board. Plus, they're getting less sunlight this time of year.
  • Fish Oil
    • Also helpful for managing inflammation and needed to counter all those nasty inflammatory oils used in candy

Those are the staples when my kids are going through any stress storm. If you're able to go the extra mile I also love... 

  • Biotoxin Binder (this one)
    • This is my favorite binder of toxic things. And let's be clear, sugar is toxic. When sugar is on board a body is more prone to the negative affect of things like indoor mold and chemicals in food. Plus toxic metals have been found in candy and all those additives and colors add tons of stress. So I use this (1-2 a day) to support the body through that. 
  • MegaIgG2000 (this one)
    • This also works as a binder in the gut and is fabulous support for the gut immune system. I give my kids 2 a day.

Yea.. it's a lot. But I'm on a mission to help my kids grow strong and healthy. I want resilience for them - emotionally and physically. 

That means I always have my eye on supporting... 

  • Their gut
  • Their immune health
  • Their energy production 
  • Their brain 

It also means I'm always on the lookout for things that interfere with...

  • The microbiome
  • Mitochondrial health
  • Their sleep
  • Their stress response
  • Their ability to think clearly and feel strong

Junky candy and sugar blow all that out of the water! Which means I need to support them with extra good nutrition. This time of year I focus on good meals with as much color and fiber as I can get in, but since sugar's making a mess of things I call on these encapsulated nutrients that help the body overcome stress.


Wondering about my favorite brands?

=> If you're in the US you can see the supplements I like here.

=> If you're in Canada you can see them here.



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About Jess Sherman, FDN-P, M.Ed, R.H.N

Jess is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition¬ģ Practitioner, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a trauma-sensitive Family Health Educator specializing in brain health & resilience for kids.¬†She is also a teacher, with a Master's degree in education. Her¬†Calm & Clear Kids¬†introductory course,¬†her Amino Acids (with kids!) Quickstart program, and her signature¬†Roadmap to Resilient Kids,¬†¬†along with her book¬†Raising Resilience,¬†have¬†helped families¬†in at least 44 countries¬†improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, and mood disorders and reduce¬†their reliance on medication.¬†She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work¬†with families, and she¬†continues to¬†bring an understanding of the Nourishment Needs and Biological Stress to the mainstream conversation about children‚Äôs mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses, workshops and as a contributor to print and online magazines.¬†

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