I confess, I love sweets. There’s nothing better than a chocolate chaser after a meal (I have a secret stash of chocolate in the cupboard). But springtime means swimsuit season and a sugar craving is definitely not what the poolside lounge chairs ordered. So what’s a girl who loves sugar to do? Easy (or at least easy in theory)—find a healthier option to satisfy sugar cravings.
My new “treat” of choice, which I truly do love as long as it’s prepared and ready to go, is fresh fruit. Summer is the perfect time for us Twix and KIT KAT lovers (and all things baked with chocolate chips or cocoa) to make the switch from candy bars and cookies that pack oodles of fat and calories to bowls of fresh fruit, which has a lot of natural sugars. It’s summertime so think watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, mandarin oranges, kiwi, strawberries and all the other delicious berries.
I previously thought I wasn’t a fruit person (just ask any of my friends), and though my idea of a fruit smoothie is still one that tastes less like fruit and more like a pina colada, I’ve discovered I do like fruit…I just don’t like preparing it. If a table is laden with washed and cut fresh fruit, I will pile it on my plate and even head back for seconds. But if I am required to do more than peel a banana or wash a basket of strawberries, I’d rather reach for a few Girl Scout Thin Mints and call it good.
But my metabolism is definitely slowing down as I get older, so this year I’ve made an extra effort to buy more fruit no matter the work to prepare it. I recently bought a few cantaloupes, a watermelon and a pineapple. I then set aside an hour or so one day and washed, peeled, scooped, scraped, cut, sliced and diced all that fruit. I kept it in Tupperware FridgeSmart containers with adjustable airflow so the fruit stayed fresh for days on end. In fact, it was even still fresh after a four-day trip to southern Utah!
Now when I feel a sugar craving come on, I can easily pull a container of bite-size cantaloupe or pineapple pieces out of the fridge and snack on those until the craving has been satisfied. And if it’s not, I allow myself one Thin Mint cookie and that does the trick. It’s a lot better than a handful of Thin Mints followed by some Swedish Fish!
Another added benefit of satisfying my sugar cravings with fresh fruit? My family is doing the same.
This summer, stockpile your fridge with as much fresh fruit as possible and reach for it first when those sugar cravings hit. Your swimsuit will thank you.
Image by justinknol, shared via Flickr.