Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth - without blowing your healthy lifestyle!

Cravings are inevitable in life. They can be the reason most people can't stick to their diets. And whether you're a newbie to eating clean, healthy foods or a pro-clean eater, the challenges our taste buds present us with seem to always crop up.

The best way to stave off cravings is to be prepared - have a healthy alternative to cookies and cake at the ready when traveling or at work to resist temptation if you know you really can't afford it. Here are some tips and recipe ideas to keep your sweet (or salty) tooth cravings away:

Be prepared with keeping in your purse or car at all times several 100 calorie packs of unsalted nuts - I like any mix where almonds are involved. Another good idea to have on you is a water bottle with a scoop of your favorite protein powder - add water when needed for a quick fill up.
 Nuts and protein are both filling and will keep your stomach happy for a couple hours before you can access a real meal.

Running Errands for the Day?
 Plan ahead by making your own homemade batch of protein bars or protein bites. Put a few in a plastic baggy or container and keep them with you for when hunger strikes.
Some of my personal favorite, easy to grab on-the-go snacks include homemade PB and Chocolate protein bars, Yogurt Bites, and Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies:

Afternoon Energy Slump?
 If you're at home and need an afternoon (or after workout) pick me up, try making a protein smoothie with lots of sweet flavor that won't burst your clean eating lifestyle. My personal favorites include my Chocolate Chip Cookie Smoothie or my new Chocolate Covered Strawberries Smoothie. 

Smoothies take all of 5 minutes to prepare, and can be changed in so many ways depending on your cravings - try experimenting using a non or low fat milk as your base, one scoop of your favorite flavor of protein powder, and 2-3 servings of fruit. You can mix in some greens like spinach or kale, or add some healthy fats like peanut (or almond) butter, almonds, or walnuts.

Need some ideas? Check out Kama's Protein Shakes and Smoothies e-book

Dessert Time?

 This is the one that gets me the most - nighttime desserts. I don't know why, but post-dinner time I am ready for a sweet treat. While the occassional small piece of dark chocolate usually does the trick, other days I need to have a little something more.

My best weapon against the nighttime sweet tooth cravings is my absolute favorite, the clean Moose Tracks Bar Ice Cream. Using nonfat, plain Greek yogurt as a base you can make any number of healthy ice cream alternatives, from fruit to chocolate and peanut butter.

Still not satisfied?
 Try using my Healthy Alternatives Chart to tame your cravings before you give in completely:

All else fails?

 Allow yourself that cheat. Keep it in a small portion size, and limit it to one time a week. Just remember to get right back on track with your next meal and keep going - Just like one healthy meal won't make you skinny, one bad meal won't make you fat :)

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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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