Smart Snacking

I confess, I have a major sweet tooth. I could eat marshmallows, candy corn, and icing until I was sick to my stomach and I’ve done just that. Starburst Jelly Beans? I love them, but they are a food, like many of their sugar based friends, that I cannot eat in reasonable portions.  Note: I use the word ‘food’ loosely.  So, I don’t buy those things and keep them in my own home. When I’m at work or my parents house I have to face temptation, but if it’s not in my house, I can’t eat it at night when the sugar cravings kick in. Mine always hit right after dinner and I want something sweet.

We spent the second week of our trip on a cruise and ice cream was available at every lunch (with delicious sugared hazelnuts for topping) and I had a dessert after every dinner. While I want to limit my sweets, this past January I did a 30-day Paleo Challenge and I learned that I do not do well with complete restriction. I need to give myself some wiggle room so that I don’t become a hangry you-know-what. So, bringing this story around, I promise, we were spending too much money on pints of Ben & Jerry’s that were bought during the week when someone had a craving. They aren’t cheap, you know! So this week, I bought a gallon of ice cream and said that when it’s done, it’s done and we won’t get more until Sunday. Obviously the goal is to portion it and make it last!

I didn’t want any on Tuesday so it wasn’t a big deal, but last night was a different story. I’m trying to wean myself off the ‘dessert every night’ habit so I cut a deal with myself. I would have one scoop of ice cream and that would be it. Now, I know that often times one scoop turns into a second serving of another scoop and ends with the spoon in the container (please tell me that it’s not just me?), but I heard something recently that made a lot of sense as to why the one scoop would really be enough: it’s the first bite that tastes the best, the rest are just to finish the serving. How true! Think about a piece of homemade angel food cake with cream cheese frosting … (yum!) … after you eat the first bite, what do you do? “Mmmmmm, This is amazing, How delicious …” etc. etc. Do you say that after the 8th bite? How about 17th? No. The taste has sunk in and then you are just eating. So the first bite (and maybe second) of ice cream will be the exact taste I’m craving, but then I’ll finish my single scoop and be done with it.

Another tip: the smaller the container, the larger the serving looks so I usually eat my ice cream out of a coffee mug.  Two scoops normally fills it up.  The lemon is just for a size comparison 🙂 

Delicious and satisfying!