I eat dessert every single day – sometimes twice a day. It dawned on me recently that I probably consume one third of my daily calories with sweet stuff. I suppose that’s not ideal. I could replace some of those dessert calories with some kind of proactive food that would help improve my health, like blueberries or quinoa. I do eat those things, but one can always eat more of them.
However, the reality is that my natural eating habits tend toward the sweet stuff and while I’m a firm believer in eating well-balanced meals, I’m also a firm believer in listening to your cravings and satisfying them – almost always. That thinking was instrumental in my losing 115 pounds in my early twenties.
The key to this system, for me, is that I always choose “real” desserts. (And the same is true for me when it comes to non-dessert foods.) I’m not going to waste my time and taste buds on low-calorie, low-fat crap. That stuff doesn’t taste nearly as good as the real thing and it’s packed with all kind of odd ingredients that you’d never find in a good ol’ fashioned brownie from Grandma’s kitchen. So when it’s time for dessert, I seek out a homemade cookie or an all-natural frozen yogurt. There’s always at least one sweet treat in my home kitchen – it’s usually some dark chocolate toffee, all-natural ice cream, or organic cookies, and when I’m really lucky, it’s leftover Fanny & Jane sweets.
My desserts don’t have to be all organic, that’s a little too limiting for me, but I do have to know what’s in them. I use this classic rule – if there’s a word I can’t pronounce, I’m not eating it. I make sure my portion sizes are sensible and that I’m choosing something I really want right now.
Then I sit down with my cupcake or dark chocolate and a big glass of water or a cup of coffee and I revel in every single bite. It’s one of the best parts of my day.
I’ve had lots of different relationships with my eating habits throughout my life so far and the place I’ve arrived at, the place that works for me, is that food is to be loved and enjoyed. You should eat what you want, when you want it, with balance and reason thrown in for good measure. And then you should exercise. Because that’s an activity that usually helps people to make better food choices.
And if you like dessert, you should eat dessert. Life is too damn short.