Summer Sweets: Alternatives
I, the ice cream-loving, sweet tooth savvy, indulgent-to-anything-with-frosting girl, have been trying to make a change… And a good change at that!
I’ve been trying to lead a healthier, more mindful lifestyle in what I put into my body. You know that age old saying, “Your body’s a temple. Treat it as such.” ? Or something along the lines of that. That old chestnut.
Well, I’m starting to think it’s true. I had started to get into some not-so-great eating habits the past two years and it has shown a little around the edges. I’ve been okay with that! I think it’s important to embrace your body, no matter what stages or looks it may go through. So what? You have a little pudge on the tummy or a jiggle in your thighs? Embrace that pudge. Embrace the jiggle.
Body confidence has always been key and in the time of significant change that was live in, it is especially prevalent within many aspects of the world we're surrounded with (our own lives, the media, the opinions of others). But, it is much more than just loving your body and treating it like a temple, so to speak.
I know that for me, it is not the look that I want to change the look of my body as much as the feel of my body. Every since I’ve gotten into these habits of over-indulging on the things I love to eat, I just feel a bit more sluggish, less energized, and a little uneasy. There’s just something that has caught up to me with all the sugar I was intaking. So, I found alternatives. And, who doesn’t like a good alternative? And, I think, they’re good for summer snacking, as well!
A Pint of Ben & Jerry’s (Which I know we all know and love)
My pick: Jello’s Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding (60 calories a cup)
I know this may seem completely different than a pint of ice cream, but if you get creative, you could have something totally delicious on your hands. What I like to do is to put a dollop of Cool-Whip on the top of the pudding. You could also sprinkle some cinnamon, granola, or even a little drizzle of chocolate syrup to make your own sort of healthier option of an ice cream you love. The sugar and fat within a creation like a “pudding sundae” is way less than an entire pint of Half-Baked. It will still satisfy your sweet tooth and keep everything calorie counted to your heart’s content!
Another Similar Option: Jello’s Sugar-Free Creme Brûlée Rice Pudding (has texture and tastes exactly like a creme brûlée!)
Jumbo Bomb Pop (Red, White, and Blue Popsicle)
Mini Bomb Pop; Red, White, and Blue Popsicle (40 calories a pop) or Popsicle Brand Sugar-Free Orange, Cherry, and Grape Popsicles (15 calories a pop)
A lot of the times, the beach and other summer eateries/food trucks sell jumbo versions of our favorite treats. This isn’t a lesson on what else to eat, as much as how much to eat. My mother works for a very well-known nutritional company and is always very careful about what she eats. But, there is one thing I’ve taken from her advice on eating that I will carry every day with me when making choices on what to put into my body:
“You can eat anything you want in moderation.”
-Mama Franny (and probably a lot of other mamas too)
You could have a cupcake, but just don’t get the giant cupcake with all the fixings that may make you feel extra icky after eating too much of. This is the same for our favorite summer treat, the popsicle! Popsicles are generally low in calories, but some of the jumbo sizes can really add up when it comes to the sugar and all. So, eat a smaller version of the food you love! It will provide the treat you want without all the bad benefits of eating too much of it. When you are trying to make healthy changes, portion control is very important.
Some other yummy Summer Snacks/Refreshers to try:
- Orange Juice (50 calories per cup)—> Get some of that OJ, okayy? This is a drink, but it is surprisingly filling. Tropicana 50 is a great one. It has half of the calories and sugars… And, in addition, has no artificial sweeteners. It’s always nice to add a few ice cubes and put it in a fancy cup to give it a sophisticated Florida pool-side vibe.
- Cherries (74 calories in one cup) —> Summer is the season for big, bing cherries! I get so excited for this because they are easy to eat and you can eat a lot of them for a small amount of calories.
- Watermelon (85 calories per slice) —> So refreshing on a hot day! Pack it in a cooler and bring it to a picnic, beach day, or otherwise!
- Red Table Grapes (104 calories per cup) —> Grapes have always been a staple snack in my household, ever since I was a little one. They are awesome to eat because they do have a lot of health benefits: they contain lots of water, which is paramount for hydration. They are also high in antioxidants. However, there is lots of natural sugars in grapes, so be mindful of how much you snack on if you are watching sugar intake.
Though this was focussing more on the feel good benefits of summer food, some may be wondering what it will do for diet plans. I'm on a diet plan myself- lots of lean proteins, vegetables; things that don't come from a processed bag. My diet plan is no where near perfect. I do occasionally have one too many snacks or something. But, the changes I have seen by finding enjoyable, delicious alternatives has been super beneficial to how my body feels too, in the diet respect. Making these healthy choices can give you the benefits of feeling more awake, more energized, and more ready for the day.
Listen… I know I'm not perfect and I'm comfortable with that. But, like I said, personally, just feel terrible after eating so much junk all the time. And I think sometimes that is what bothers people in a majority of cases… They just want to feel good about what they eating, while feeling good about themselves. It’s starting to really dawn on me. However, I think it is safe to say that it is near impossible to give up the things you love completely. You could try, but it would probably only lead to bingeing on 3 Ben and Jerry’s pints or breaking out those Tostidos chips and eating the entire bag- the family style one. It is okay to indulge on what you want, if you really want it. I really dislike when people say that you have to give up what you love to eat completely… It’s a treat. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
Until later, Sparkies. x