Julieanna Hever: If you are healthy, and your weight is where you want it to be, or within 5 or 10 pounds, and your cholesterol levels are good, then you have room for fun. And I do, I make Beverly’s recipes sometimes the ‘real’ way because I want to enjoy them sometimes too.
But I work with people who are at stage IV metastatic cancer and I’ve got these people who are really end stage heart disease, and kidney disease, and all that. And that’s when you have to be more careful. I work with such a broad spectrum of people that that’s where we had to kind of modify for the book, and here are the two options. You can go really full-on low fat, or you can indulge a little. And that was our compromise, in the book. It depends on your audience. We were trying to reach a larger audience. And I’m OK with compromising. It’s so funny Beverly, I talk about you all the time with the sesame oil, because you say that the flavor is going to be obvious, and you are really going to miss that, and like with the crispness, like when doing something with the oil it will be more crisp. But for the people that are sicker, that is something that they have to give up. So you don’t get the sesame oil flavor. But you still can have these delicious meals, and you may not even know what you are missing. It’s so interesting, there’s such a spectrum.Beverly Lynn Bennett: I keep constantly cutting out more and more fat and switching up the sweeteners that I use. I don’t know if you’ve ever used it, but if you ever see coconut sugar, I highly recommend that. It’s something that I like it has the caramel flavor, the coconut sap….
Julieanna Hever: You’ve taught me so much Beverly!Beverly Lynn Bennett: We decided to call our last chapter ‘Occasional Indulgences’. When it’s a special occasion and you kind of want to go there. And so, it’s like we have to have a cupcake with buttercream frosting, – you’ve got a little kid who’s going to go to that birthday party and they want to have a cupcake like everybody else. It will be their version. So I will keep the fat down as much as I can in the cake part, and in the frosting. So then the compromise flip side was, I played around with a carrot cake recipe I have. And so we have a carrot cake recipe in the book that has no sugar, no sweeteners at all. It’s sweetened with dates and orange juice, and it has no oil in it either. And it’s moist, and sweet, and it is sooo good!
Lani Muelrath: I think that Julieanna makes a really good point here and we’re probably all on the same page with this. If someone is really ill, and really sick – and that can show up in a lot of ways – then it is much more imperative that they stay on the straight and narrow.Yet fortunately for most of us, we can do those ‘feast’ days. And it’s just when they become twice a week, three times a week, whoops – pretty soon it’s four and five times a week that you’re having the whatever, that it doesn’t work. But if you – and everyone knows their own degree of sensitivity and how easily they pack on weight if that’s their problem – or how much their blood profile changes because of what they eat. So that’s where personal responsibility comes in. But it’s nice to – I think it’s really important to emphasize that too, for someone with a healthy body, and they’ve reached a certain level of resiliency, there’s a whole other level of joy to this as well. And celebration is fine. These don’t mean ‘slippages’, they mean incorporating different perspectives in your eating year.Julieanna Hever: That is very well said Lani, I love that! That’s exactly right. That’s exactly it. I love it.
Dessert with a capital D. Feast with a capital F. Special edibles. Whatever you call it, how often should you have the occasional indulgence?
First and foremost, for those who aspire to healthy living and a slim, energetic body, the operative word here is occasional. But what does ‘occasional’ mean? At what point does it cross over to license and just plain bad habits? For indulgences can easily become just that – a habit. Give me pastries 2 days in a row and I think it’s my birthright. Know what I mean?
Occasional indulgences, it just so happens, is a chapter title in the book by Julieanna Hever and Beverly Lynn Bennett featured in last week’s Gluten-free vegan cooking Teleclass. Not surprisingly, indulgences were a feature of the conversation. Here are some outtakes from the conversation. I follow with some closing thoughts and an invitation for you to share yours below.
We each have our own requirements within the spectrum of Dessert. Special indulgences. How often? depending on our own goals and individual health profile. “Ill” and “sick” don’t need to mean death-bed intensity. They can be a chronic weight problem, junk in your joints, or fizzled vitality. For some of us indulgences need to be only very occasional – if at all – for us to be well. Each person must find the degree of quality to which they must align and eat to get where you want to go with your health and your weight.
At the same time, it’s important to understand that those of us working to help you achieve your best in health and fitness are not (necessarily!) mendicants. Between you and me, I have had people approach me in the market and rifle through my shopping cart, eyes wide with surprise that I have anything more than sprouts and carrots. They are always relieved to find the bread and potatoes in there, too. It’s not a religion, it’s a lifestyle.
Now tell me what you think. Do you find it too easy to fall of the healthy food wagon when you ‘indulge’, and do better without fancy foods at all? Is the slope too slippery? Or does occasional indulgence serve your needs and bring you joy without sending you into a downward spiral? Please share your thoughts in replies below.
You can obtain a full recording of this hour long Teleclass here.
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This is great! This has been one of my central questions–How often to indulge! I do love something sweet after dinner…Any suggestions that aren’t true “indulgences”? I am not sure that just a piece of fruit will do it! Thanks.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to become acquainted with fruit, in most instances, ‘doing it’. Make it a bowlful, filled with color. Your tastes become rarified and the fruits deelish the more you let them take the center of the dessert stage.
At the same time, I know exactly what you mean – sometimes you just need a little extra somethin’ somethin’! On occasion I’ll whip up frozen fruit with a splash of non-dairy milk in the vitamix for a freeze. On other occasions, some dry cereal with a pile of fruit (yes, it sounds like breakfast!) is just the perfect thing. These are all progressions to more fancy fare, best left to the rare.
Have you a watermelon in the fridge? We had big bowlfuls last night. The night before, a bowl of blueberries and strawberries with some crispy rice cereal.
Sweet after dinner can be a habit – I used to be stuck on chocolate after lunch. Then it was chocolate after lunch and dinner. Talk about ‘progressive’ meals! Now I only have chocolate rarely. It was tuff at first, but now I rarely think of it. Creatures of habit! Just be sure you are eating enough real food all day long, and the sweet thing can take a natural dip on its own.
Exactly my thoughts after a meal. And for me, the slope is very slippery. I’m not about to taste even a bite of what I used to indulge in. What I do: with my apple, a little bit (1 tsp?) of almond or peanut butter….maybe dipped in dark cocoa powder. Strawberries or other fruit dipped in dark cocoa, or half a banana smashed up in it good till it’s a “pudding” and then dip fruit in that. A “dessert” made by smashing up some tofu and mixing it with cocoa or lemon juice with sweetener doesn’t really seem like a bad indulgence to me, but satisfies me well. And mostly the other stuff doesn’t “call” me anymore, even when I’m around it, for which I’m very thankful. (it’s been 5 months now. cholesterol down 64 points in first 2 1/2. Weight down quickly to normal.)
Wow Lois amazing number changes. Congrats.
Sounds like you’ve found your own way to ‘special up’ things. I do want to underscore again how when these become chronic daily ‘needs’, that we need to look elsewhere to root out causes. Yet if occasional, not to worry.
Lani, I didn’t see your answer while I was writing. (I kept editing and paring –ha) But I do the cereal thing too. I often mix carob powder in with it, because I’m still having trouble adjusting to plant-based milk.
Got it – thanks Lois!
When I’m craving something sweet (usually after dinner or the mid afternoon slump), I find that just a tiny amount of something with an intense flavor does it for me. A medjool date was my favorite for a while. Now I get a handful of dried cherries and extra dark chocolate chips. Just a couple of bites that I can really savor is all it takes! Also, taking it out of the kitchen keeps me from going back for more.
Smart Shaina. I had dates around for awhile because they can really do the trick. Sometimes, though, I just cruise by the date bag too easily and best to only bring into the house on occasion. These things can change from time to time and to know thyself is a big help.
I agree. Just knowing they are there makes me think about them a little too often. I find it helps to keep them a little out of sight and reach. I also go to the bowl of cereal with fruit when it gets late in the evening and my sweet tooth perks up. Sometimes making it in a coffee cup instead of a big bowl will be enough to satisfy.
What is it about cereal? It’s interesting to see, now that we are comparing notes, how many are finding answers in the cereal bowl. Last night for me the perfect nightcap was about 1/2 cup of raisen bran and Erewhon rice crispies with 1/2 cup bluberries and strawberries, and barely a splash of rice milk. I love the coffee mug idea! Thanks for adding your thoughts!
Thanks for this post. Wondering if you have any tips for busy, young moms. I am a stay at home mom of 4 wonderful children ages 1, 3, 6 and 8. I hardly have time to sit down and eat a meal and in addition, Ihave a sweet tooth. I see this type of lifestyle as much more doable for those that have lots of time devoted to preparing and planning ahead for food, healthy options, etc. I am very healthy and slim and do my best but can’t seem to break the daily desire for sweets.
I don’t know how you do it! 1,3,6,8? How on earth do you hold it together!
Were you on the teleclass with Julieanna and Beverly the other night? If so, then you heard me say I don’t like to spend time cooking. A recipe with more than 5 ingredients makes my eyes glaze over. So I’m cancelling out the thought about devoting lots of time preparing. Here’s what you do. You get a rice cooker. Rice takes, then, 30 seconds to prepare. You get large pots for soup, maybe even a pressure cooker or a crock pot, and cook large batches for the week. You get cans of beans, big bargain bags of greens, and grate mountains of veggies for salads in a food processor. Fruit is easy now, when out of season, bags of frozen. That’s how I do it.
As for the sweets. Look to breakfast. Big bowl of whole grains and fruit. Not a ‘sensible size’ – enough until you are full. Lentil soup for lunch – easy to make a big batch. These 2 things alone will slash the sweets thing more than you believe. Be sure not to go hungry when you get hungry through the course of the day as well.
My latest favorite thing is creating foods my mouth reads as “dessert” and my body reads as “healthy balanced meal”. Like the raw brownie recipe video you posted, Lani. I like to focus on food flavors that I love and figure out how to raise the protein and lower the glycemic index so that it’s not an indulgence. And when I really just want a certain dessert experience, I make sure there’s plenty of protein and eat if for my meal. I recently was craving a hot brownie with ice cream, so I made the baked brownie recipe I tweaked to be really high in protein with a low glycemic rate (sorry, Lani, there are more than 5 ingredients! LOL), put an all natural ice cream on top and thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing as my dinner. I was completely satisfied, cravings gone, without overloading my system with more calories/carbs than my body wanted and needed. This article has reminded me that I need to go locate that healthy fudgesicle recipe I saw online several weeks ago…..Thanks, Lani!
Moyne, well, you’ve got my mouth watering with that one! More than 5 ingredients? How many more?
Sometimes something like this is just the trick. I like to remind people that if this kind of ‘craving’ comes up more often than not, then to look for the cause, which is usually not eating enough on time or cutting carbs too severely, or both.
thanks so much for stopping to share your ideas Moyne!