How To Handle Your Sweet Tooth

Where do sweet treats fit into a lifelong eating plan? The trick with desserts is to acknowledge your cravings and make informed choices about your indulgences. Sweets are not taboo–the occasional reasonable dessert definitely fits within the framework of a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some guidelines to help you make informed choices about your treats:

Cravings are temporary –

If you always have a sweet snack from the vending machine around 3:00, go outside and go for a walk instead. A craving is temporary, and may well disappear when you step away from the environment that induces it.

Be prepared –

Anticipate your cravings, especially in the beginning of the year. During 2016, eat a bit more protein to derail your craving ahead of time. And identify your trigger foods so you don’t get caught in a vicious blood sugar cycle.

Savor the flavor –

Register every creamy bite of your chosen treat very, very slowly. The experience of the food is a big part of the satisfaction derived, and you’ll need less food to be satisfied if you enjoy it slowly.

Be choosy –

If a treat isn’t absolutely fabulous, stop eating it! Why waste calories on a piece of chocolate or slice of cake that’s just OK? If you’re going to go for it, have something divine. Anything less is just not worth it.

Dine for dessert –

When you sit down to a meal and know you intend to have dessert, eliminate the starch group from that meal. Your dessert here will count as a starch.

Be guilt-free –

Eat your treat, enjoy it slowly and smile afterwards contentedly. Instead of making sweets off-limits, change your relationship with sweets so you control them instead of them controlling you.

Snack healthy –

Here are a couple of quick, easy snack substitutions that hit the spot (and you won’t miss the extra calories):

• Instead of brownies and ice cream (with a chocolate drizzle on top), cut the calories with my absolute favorite fudgy brownie recipe. You won’t guess the protein-packed secret ingredient 🙂

• Instead of a piece (or two) of cake towering with sugar-filled frosting, try an individual greek yogurt cake pop! You’ll enjoy a mouthful of cake and a layer of guilt-free frosting.

Relax and indulge in this recipe from the Cal-A-Vie Living Gourmet Spa Cuisine. It tastes every bit as divine as it looks, and with the added protein from the tofu and yogurt, it won’t spike your blood sugar like other desserts!

Mocha Mousse

Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. Kahlua 1 Tbsp. Instant coffee granules (optional) 2 (12-oz.) packages of light extra-firm silken tofu 1/2 C. baking cocoa 1/2 C. pure maple syrup 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Directions: 1. Heat the Kahlua in a small saucepan. Add the coffee granules and stir to dissolve completely. Combine the tofu with the baking cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processor fitted wit ha metal blade. 2. Add the coffee fixture and process for 7-10 minutes or until thickened and smooth. Spoon into a bowl and chill for 20 minutes or longer. Garnish with raspberries and fresh mint. 3. For a nice presentation, alternate layers of the mousse with Siggi’s fat-free greek vanilla yogurt. Yields 6 servings.