How to Have a Balanced Relationship with Dessert and Sweets
Good news folks, we’re never going to tell you that you can’t have dessert or to stop baking. There are two reasons why: 1. Because dessert is delicious, and 2. Because baking is such a great mindful activity to get your mind off any worries as well as have a break from phones and screens!
However, this doesn’t mean you should be having dessert every night or baking cakes every day. These foods do not have much nutritional value and we want to make sure that for the majority of the time, we are fuelling our bodies with food that keep us healthy, youthful and keep our minds feeling good.
If baking is one of your favourite “me time” hobbies, then the last thing we want you to do is stop. Instead, save the juicy stuff for the weekend, and during the week start playing around with healthy ingredients. That way you can have fun, feel good, satisfy your sweet cravings and fill your body with lots of fibre and vitamins all at the same time.
So here’s our advice to have a balanced relationship with the desserts and sweets in your life.
Keep desserts to only once or twice a week and ENJOY them.
Your health is priority
Your health is the most important thing here. Because the food we eat is the fuel for good physical and mental health, we want to make sure we are satisfying those needs first and foremost. This means eating mainly fruit and vegetables, high fibre wholegrains and some lean protein and healthy fats.
As delicious as dessert is, the high amounts of sugar, refined carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and preservatives do not have any positive impact on our bodies or health. In fact too many of these things can be detrimental to our physical and mental health. Which is why we recommend sticking to one or two serves a week.
You can eat dessert guilt free
You are allowed to give yourself permission to enjoy your sweets and desserts, guilt free. As if you can go to a birthday and not have a piece of cake? Not only is it anti-social, you’re missing out on something yummy! If you’re having a small serving of desserts or sweets a couple times a week, it won’t disrupt your health or make you gain lots of weight. So if you’re mainly filling your body up with healthy foods then please don’t feel guilty and ENJOY your dessert!
Handling cravings and controlling how much you eat
If you have trouble with cravings or stopping, then what we suggest is to take your portion, move away from the rest of the dessert or put it way, and eat it slowly. Notice the different flavours and textures, and how tasty it is. When you’re done, instead of going back for more just take a moment to reflect on how yummy it was and how satisfied you feel having enjoyed it. Then move on and find something else to do, preferably with your hands e.g making a cup of tea, cleaning up or engaging in conversation.
Make baked goods and desserts yourself
Homemade goods are delicious and this may be because they are made with so much love! But baking has many other advantages.
Baking is therapeutic
Baking a cake is an excellent mindful activity that will distract your mind from worries, bring you in the moment and bring you a sense of calmness. You are also bound to appreciate the taste more knowing the hard work that went behind it.
You know what’s going in it
The problem with store bought cakes, muffins, desserts and other sweets is that they are generally made with lots of added sugar, unhealthy fats, salt and preservatives. Baked goods do not need these ingredients to be delicious. When you use simple ingredients like flour, a little bit of sugar, eggs, milk and butter, there are much less hidden nasties and calories. You can also start to bake healthier items during the week using high fibre wholemeal flour, less sugar, more fruit etc.
You can share the love
Who doesn’t like receiving freshly baked goods!! Not only will sharing your baking with friends, family, neighbours or work colleagues help with your own portion control, it might just make someone’s day!
Here is a weekly ‘sweets’ guide to start with if you just don’t know how to control your sugar cravings!
Homemade healthy baking:
Make one batch a week – have 1 serve per day for 2-3 days.
Dessert or other high sugar sweets:
Have a maximum of two servings a week – one serving is about the size of two fingers.
Mid-week sweet cravings:
If you really need something sweet during the week try these healthy options – yoghurt & fruit, 2 pieces of dark chocolate, cup of tea.
Check out this week’s recipe which are sugar free muffins sweetened naturally with fruit, a healthy, high fibre snack to have during the week or to bake for your neighbours.
Healthy Banana berry muffins (with no added sugar)
Time: 35 mins Serves: 12 Cost: $3.70 ($0.30/muffin)
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 eggs
- ½ cup Greek or natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cups wholemeal sf flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cup frozen berries (defrosted)
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a muffin tray with 12 muffin liners.
- Mash bananas, add egg, yoghurt and vanilla. Mix.
- Sift the flour and cinnamon into the mixture. Mix.
- Fold through the berries.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into muffin liners.
- Bake in oven for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.