I often get asked questions like “what’s your favourite cheat meal?” or “do you ever eat bad food?”
Personally, I don’t view food as good or bad, and I don’t ever feel like I need to ‘cheat’ because no food is really off-limits.
Attaching words like “good” or “clean” to certain foods, and “dirty”, or “cheat” to others implies that certain foods are off bounds and those who eat those foods should feel guilty. Having a black and white view like this can be quite dangerous. It creates an unhealthy relationship with food in which some foods are completely avoided, and almost feared.
This instills a mindset of restriction, which can lead to frustration, lack of motivation, an unsatisfying diet and uncontrollable cravings. It’s almost impossible not to come to a breaking point which spirals into a binge and the feelings of guilt that often come with it.
How do we stop these cycles of restricted and binge eating? Say YES to dessert!
I know it may seem daunting to allow yourself to have something sweet, especially if you’re currently looking to improve your diet or lose some weight. However, when you have the option to eat something you enjoy every day, the temptation to eat a full tub of ice cream, rather than just a few scoops, is massively reduced.
Your aim should be to prioritize your health, but no one expects you to be perfect. Base your meals around good quality carbohydrates, such as wholegrain and pulses, lots of fruits and vegetables, a source of protein such as eggs, fish, or poultry, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
Treats such as curling up with a bowl of ice cream on a Sunday night or sharing a pizza for a friend’s birthday are completely healthy practices – in fact being relaxed enough with your diet to allow yourself to do this on occasion is a very healthy approach to eating. By focusing on making your diet more INCLUSIVE of lots of good stuff, by default you will end up turning to sweets and snacks less to keep you satisfied.
Personally, I enjoy a sweet treat after my dinner every evening.
This is usually 2 squares of dark chocolate and a mint tea, or on the weekends I will make up a little bowl of Alpro ice cream with some stewed fruit and chopped nuts. Alpro ice cream is completely plant-based and is so near to dairy ice cream in terms of taste and texture. It also comes in three new flavours: Hazelnut Chocolate, Coconut and Vanilla. I’ve shared some of my favourite topping combinations with you for inspiration to try at home!
Alpro Chocolate Hazelnut ice-cream with toasted hazelnuts and crushed dark chocolate.
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This post is sponsored by ALPRO. All opinions are my own.