If I’m being completely honest, I feel a little hypocritical writing this post because desserts are the thing I struggle with the most. When I started transitioning over to a mostly whole foods diet, I did it in stages rather than a total overhaul because I didn’t want to scare myself away.
Now let me make one thing clear – I am not saying at all that you should stop eating processed foods if you like them and are able to make them part of your healthy diet. I just find that for me, I feel a lot healthier, have better skin, and have more energy when I cut out these foods. I also have had a long road getting here, and I recommend you not give up the things you love, especially not all at once, if you want any changes to stick. Now that that’s out of the way…
When I rejoined Weight Watchers in December 2010, there were still two main areas I struggled with in terms of eating processed foods – bread and dessert. Those 100 calorie sandwich thins, bagels thins, and flatout wraps were just so good and I felt like I was getting a lot more bang for my buck than with regular bread. It wasn’t until WW launched the new plan and these things tripled in points value that I started to look for alternatives.
After hearing a lot about it, I tried Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Sesame Bread for myself and it changed things for me. Yes, it’s 2 pts+ a slice instead of 1, but it is sooooo much more satisfying than the airy light bread. And I also learned to embrace open faced sandwiches, which helped a lot too in terms of staying on points during the day. Since then, I’ve also introduced whole wheat pitas and English muffins into the mix, and those three things make up most of my regular bread intake. So bread down, onto the next.
Here’s the thing. Weight Watchers brand Ice Cream Candy Bars taste so good. They taste like the ice cream snickers bars from my youth and just melt in my mouth for 4 delicious PointsPlus. Same story with sugar-free italian ices that are just 2 pts+ when the sugar-laden counterparts are double the points (granted neither version is very good for you). I may or may not have recently finished a box of both of those things. Mostly may.
The problem comes when you make yourself look at the ingredient list, which I am really good at not doing when it comes to desserts. In my beloved oh-so-delicious weight watchers ice cream bars, here’s the list of what is in each and every bar.
Low Fat Ice Cream: Milk Fat and Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Polydextrose, Flavor Base (Peanuts, Peanut Oil, Salt, Mono & Diglycerides), Maltodextrin, Cellulose Gel, Mono & Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Caramel Color, Vitamin A Palmitate. Caramel Sauce: Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Buttermilk, Skim Milk, Butter, Pectin, Mono and Diglycerides, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Sorbate (as a Preservative), Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum. Peanut Splits: Peanuts, Peanut Oil, Salt Chocolate Flavored Coating Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk, Chocolate Liquor, Butter Fat, Soybean Oil, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Artificial Flavor. “
So all of this is a very long-winded way in saying that I’m really trying to make the switch to eating more whole foods desserts and I’m definitely not the most qualified person to help in this area since I struggle myself. I came up with a list of ideas and have started implementing some of them, but would love if it you guys could chime in with more ideas on some good treats to eat, made from things I know how to say!
- Banana Softserve – Take frozen bananas and place in a food processor until combined. Turns into creamy deliciousness and you won’t even believe there’s only banana in there! Top with chocolate chips and crushed walnuts.
- banana pops – take 1 banana and slice in half lengthwise. Place popsticle stick in each half, drizzle each with 2 tsp chocolate chips and 1 tsp almond butter, melted. Optional: roll in coconut or nut of choice.
- dates stuff with almond butter – take 3 dates, remove the seeds, and put 1 tsp of almond butter in each one. Close back up, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze. 1 pt+ each!
- banana split with 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, 1 tbsp fruit preserves, and 2 tsp mini chocolate chips
- 1 slice Angel food cake (2 oz) w/frozen berries (melted in microwave into a syrup)
- Frozen Smoothie – 1 cup milk of choice with banana, frozen fruit of choice (no sugar added), and dash vanilla extract. Placed in freezer for 1+ hour.
- No bake chocolate chip cookies (recipe here)
- Cinnamon Dunkers – Ezekiel 4:9 bread toasted, sliced into strips and sprinkled with cinnamon. Dip in unsweetened apple sauce.
- Maple Yogurt Dip – 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt mixed with 1 tbsp maple syrup, with apple slices for dipping.
- Bananaleche (c/o my sister Wendy) – Mix 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt with 1 tbsp brown sugar, and then stir in a sliced or mashed banana.
Do you have a sweet tooth? What are your go-to desserts? Also, are there any areas in your diet you struggle with more than others? I use the term diet to mean what you eat, not a strict plan you’re following!