Do you have a sweet tooth?
Many of us do.
In fact, if you grew up in a household similar to mine, your palate salivates at the thought of dessert after a meal.
When I was in middle school - and even in high school - my dessert might have been a candy bar, or bowl of ice cream topped with some of my homemade chocolate sauce. The mere thought of that decorated dessert makes my taste buds jump for joy.
Don't be misunderstood, desserts do taste good - whether its cheesecake, ice cream, chocolate, cake, or pie. But, there is no question they are not good for us. Many of the dishes I listed are loaded with fat and added sugars. Sure, you can work off the calories, but in terms of nutrition, you are filling your body with a bunch of - you guessed it - nothing.
I'm going to throw a lofty challenge on the table for you. Lose the traditional desserts for a few days and dream up some new ideas that will be a little kinder to your personal health and well-being. Think of foods loaded with vitamins and minerals - nutrient-dense foods that also satisfy your sweet tooth.
Need ideas? Start with fruit. It is low in calories, free of added sugars, and, as my old college biology professor used to say, "chocked full" with vitamins, minerals, and age-preserving antioxidants. These natural nibbles are loaded with nutrition.
You could eat your favorite fruit plain, throw some strawberries, apples, bananas, and melon on a toothpick for a kabob, or dab some low-fat yogurt on top of your favorite berries. My new favorite? Green grapes, sliced bananas, fresh strawberries, and orange slices. Mix them up in a bowl and leave enough for family and friends to enjoy. It's a homemade fruit salad without any added sugars.
Our love for savory, chocolatey desserts is learned. Wean yourself from it. Have a healthy dose of cheesecake or ice cream once or twice a week, but no more. I have complete faith in your ability to do it, but you must also believe that you can do it and commit to making a change. Now, dream up some new dessert ideas, and let me know what you come up with.
As I love to say, Bon Appetit!