The Trick With Desserts

I love chocolate as much as anybody out there, as eating sweets for most of us is a real source of pleasure. The trick with desserts is to acknowledge your cravings and make informed choices about your indulgences. Sweets aren’t necessarily off-limits, and the occasional dessert can still fit into your healthy lifestyle. Here’s how:

  1. Work Off The Calories Before You Eat Them

    One of the things I love about strength training is that it revs up your metabolism allowing you to change your body fat composition. And, a big part of this equation is that after you work the muscle, it’s important to feed the muscle. Try endorphins instead of sugar. Sweet goodies don’t do much to make us feel better, but they’re often used as comfort foods anyway. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or feeling blue, instead of reaching for the cookie dough, try getting just 10 minutes of exercise. When it comes to boosting self esteem and clearing the mind, sometimes a little endorphin boost is just what you need.

  2. Be Prepared!

    Anticipate your cravings, especially around the holidays. During these times, you might want to eat a little more protein. Also, think about chewing a piece of gum or putting a piece of hard candy in your mouth to keep your cravings in check.

  3. Dine for dessert

    When you sit down to a meal and you know you want to have dessert later, take out the starch group from that meal. Your dessert will count as a starch.

  4. Savor The Flavor

    Register every creamy bite of that cake very, very slowly! The experience of the food is a big part of enjoying it, and you’ll need less to be satisfied if you enjoy it slowly.

  5. Be Choosy

    If a treat isn’t absolutely fabulous, stop eating it! Why waste your calories on a piece of chocolate or a slice of cake that’s just okay? If you’er going to go for it, have something divine!

The best way to enjoy treats is to eat them guilt-free. Don’t make them off-limits, just enjoy them slowly and change your relationship with sweets so you control them instead of them controlling you. When you’re in the mood for something sweet, try my favorite Chocolate Fondue recipe (with some fresh fruit, of course!)  from the Cal-A-Vie Living Gourmet Spa Cuisine. It’s tastes every bit as divine as it looks!

fondueChocolate Fondue
Courtesy of Cal-A-Vie Living Gourmet Spa Cuisine p. 44

1/4 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Combine the Kahlua, milk, honey baking coco, arrowroot and vanilla in a saucepan and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened and smooth, stirring constantly.

2. Serve warm with bananas, strawberries or other fresh fruit for dipping.

Yields 12 servings

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories – 56
Carb. – 11g
Protein – 1g
Fat – 1g
Fiber – 1g
Cholesterol – <1mg
Sodium – 7 mg