Ahh. Donuts, cookies, pies, cakes, and all the other sweet wonders out there. Who doesn't love them? I know I do. My husband, Scott, jokes that when we're on vacation, my compass is the donut shop. It's the place I have to try out in any city. It's true. I love donuts. But, I can't have them every day. That's why I enjoy having them on vacation. It's occasional. And I love trying new treats in new cities we visit.
Sure, I love sweets. I also love being healthy. I have to find the balance between those two loves of mine. It's a tricky balance that many of us don't do well. For some, sugar is a slippery slope. One donut and next thing you know, you've had four. And since you've already blown it, you figure you may as well have that ice cream after dinner, and what the heck, those donuts were great, let's have them again for breakfast!
For others, you are such a stickler for not indulging, you haven't had anything you really enjoy in months. You freak out over any morsel that isn't "on plan" and you obsessively track your calories, macros, and your fitbit stats to make sure you're doing everything perfectly.
Those ways may work for some people, but most of us need a sweet treat every now and then. And we want to enjoy it without overdoing it or regretting it the next day. No sugar comas need apply!
I'll share with you what works for me. I indulge once a week. When I was doing the show, we got one reward meal each week. Knowing I could work out my cravings each weekend, I was able to ward off the worst of my cravings during the week.
Scott is off on Fridays and we typically go out to breakfast. French toast, please! We usually end up not even eating lunch, then having a little reward meal, without overdoing it, for dinner. I also look ahead each week to see if there are any other commitments we have that will challenge my eating plans, and see if we need to adjust what day is reward day.
I know I am only talking about sweets here. But that is my kryptonite. I rarely crave salty foods. It's all about the sweets. And before you all tell me I am a sugar addict. I know. I am sure I am, but honestly, I am not ready to give it all up forever, I did do a Whole 30 in January and gave sugar up for weeks. It was a dark time in my life and I don't like to think about it.
I like the way Melissa Hartwig, the creator of W30, thinks about food. Ask yourself "Is it worth it?" Do I really want this treat enough to work it off? Do I actually want this (insert your craving here)? Or can I wait for this? When your co-worker brings donuts, do you really want one? Or do you think you do because they just happen to be there?
Holidays are also a time I think it's worth indulging a little. You don't have to make Grandma's chocolate cake, Aunt Linda's pecan pie, plus 7 layer cookies and a layered trifle, like at Thanksgiving, every time you get together. But when you have family around for the holidays, it's ok to splurge. No one looks back fondly and talks about the time Grandma served vegetables and dip. We all have great (or cringeworthy) memories of family time spent over a good meal.
For Spring Holidays like Easter or Mother's Day, I love to have a light, fruity dessert. I make a mean Lemon Ice Box Pie, or this year, I am going for Whole Foods Chantilly cake. It is AMAZING!
Call me crazy, but I am not a chocolate kinda girl. I am all about a good sugar cookie, some dense pound cake, or just good white cake. Yum! My favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla. Don't judge! I promise I'm not as boring as that sounds!
So, back to this Chantilly cake. I first had it at a friend's birthday party a couple of years ago and I could not get over how delicious it was. I haven't forgotten it since. It was right out of my dessert dreams. Fluffy cake layers, light and airy icing with fresh berries? Get in my belly!
My friend at Whole Foods recently gave us a Chantilly cake to enjoy as a family and it was a huge hit. My daughter, Chelsea, who usually doesn't like cake, because she doesn't like icing (how is this even possible?! If I had not given birth to her, I'd swear she's not mine) asked for seconds. It's the cake that won her over.
Here's my suggestion for this weekend- Grab your family. Go to church for Easter. Hide your eggs. Enjoy the outdoors. Eat some ham and deviled eggs. And have a Chantilly cake. They are even $5 off now through Saturday, April 15th. You will thank me. Seriously, you will find yourself emailing me to tell me how your life was changed because you had this cake. Or because you had a great weekend with family.
No matter what you decide to reward yourself with, enjoy it guilt free! It's one day. One meal. As they say "Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake!"