Nutrition – Sweet (Healthy) Snacks

There’s really no need to reach for candy – I know it’s delicious BUT…when you haven’t had it in a while, it truly becomes TOO sweet.  It tastes unnatural and overboard, and never as good as it sounds.  That said, cravings are notorious for overriding your best efforts and willpower from time to time… A great option?  Nature’ sugar…!

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Eating TONS of grapes or mounds of fresh fruit isn’t necessarily recommended…but generally you don’t need nearly that much to satisfy a sweet tooth.  A small amount, a snack here or there…that WILL do it. Fresh fruit is also best (as opposed to dried, in which your sugar concentration is much higher) because it’s VOLUME – you get to eat a good amount of it.  The water and fiber content will help to fill you up, and it will be more than a spoonful of the other stuff.  

My favorite options are a couple of sweet grapes – I LOVE Grapery! Cotton Candy grapes, Moon Drops grapes – organic Fuji apples, or pineapple.

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Give your body a healthy option first – you might be pleasantly surprised that the craving for something that will derail you actually disappears.

Other in the world of DELICIOUSness…

Spring / Summer Sweet Tooth

I’m not going to say I don’t have chocolate cravings…or that I wouldn’t *want* to devour a lava cake just because…but I know that my body not only doesn’t respond well to sugars, but that eating like that would absolutely show.  My personal goals are more important to me than having something I know I will feel disappointed about later, especially because I work incredibly hard.  

It’s important to say…staying fit is not only about the “looks” – there is so much more to spending time at a gym, and watching what we eat.  Indulging in some foods will actually make me physically unwell, and that’s a great a reason as any!  Sugars, processed carbohydrates and heavy (trans and saturated) fats can render me anything from lethargic, to puffy, to cramped.  No good!  Every person is different, though, so I steer clear of proselytizing (which drives me bonkers!)  My triathlete friends and I eat very differently because our needs, bodies, and goals vary – we are all right.  The way that I eat actually does make me very happy – I love the foods, and I don’t skimp!

Since I do LOVE chocolate, I keep individually wrapped sugar-free dark chocolates in my cabinet.  I will just have one if I want to satisfy a craving.  But often I’d rather have something that I know is good for me, and simultaneously squash the craving from the get go.  I realize that not everyone believes this idea works, but it is worth a try if you are struggling with eating too many desserts.  Not only do fruits provide that sweet taste, but often the water and fiber content helps you to feel full…keeping you from over indulging!

I was at my parents’ last night and had a total sweet tooth – not sure what prompted it, but let’s just say I made a bee line to the GINORMOUS bowl of red grapes!  

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I prefer red to green, primarily for taste reasons…but it’s nice to note the added benefits of having these little (technically more-purple-hued) guys.  Red grapes contain vitamin c, vitamin k (as well as other trace vitamins), a good amount of potassium, as well as the pholyphenol antioxidant resveratrol.  Resveratrol is touted for various benefits, including its anti-inflammatory and antiestrogenic effects, as well as potentially playing a role in both  the prevention of heart disease and cancer (I won’t delve into specifics, as I am neither a doctor nor a scientist, but it is fair to say red grapes are a much better choice than processed desserts!)  

I also like to keep pineapple in my fridge, whether already cut or one that I’ve chopped myself – YUM!  I’ve been known to sprinkle cinnamon on mine, which probably sounds quirky…but it’s delicious.  Pineapple is also high in vitamin C, A, B1 (Thiamine) and beta-carotine, as well as manganese and phosphorous.  The key enzyme in pineapple, bromelain, is its own powerhouse, contributing to better digestion, lower inflammation (including post-operative), and reduced hypertension.  

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So you can basically have your cake and eat it too with these fruits, and many others…figuratively speaking, of course! 🙂  If you are battling a sweet tooth, and concerned about maintaining goals – whether regarding how you FEEL, or your waistline – it’s worth asking for a bowl of fresh fruit or berries.  

You may be pleasantly surprised – you can be just as satisfied, and forgo the personal guilt trip!  Isn’t THAT a nice break! 😉