Eating Your Favorite Treats with Guilt on the Side

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The idea of eating healthy is sometimes intimidating. I like food. Even though I know that a side salad and chicken are a better option than two slices of pizza, sometimes I just want to eat something unhealthy. I like to get a little creative with my treats so I can still feel like I am treating myself without completely killing my routine. If you feel like splurging on something a little irresponsible without completely blowing your diet (or as I like to call it, “healthy eating lifestyle”), here are a few treats you can enjoy without the guilt.

Cheese Fries: Yup. You can have some of these. The key is to make them at home using real potatoes and baking them instead of bathing them in fatty oil. Simply cut washed potatoes into French fry slices, layout on a cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Top these with a little sea salt and garlic powder and bake at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes. Remove fries from the oven, top with shredded cheese and bake for another four minutes and there you go! Easy, healthier (and still super yummy) cheese fries. My kids gobble these up like crazy (and so do I).

Ice Cream Sandwich: If you feel like splurging on something sweet without inhaling 600 or more calories, try a family favorite ice cream sandwich replacement. Top one whole graham cracker (I prefer the chocolate kind, but cinnamon ones are good, too) with low-fat whipped cream and sliced banana. Place another whole graham cracker on top to make a sandwich, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. When you pull it out to eat later, the whipped cream will be cold and ice cream-like with far fewer calories. If you are feeling creative, try different flavored whipped creams as filling.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: You can have your cake and eat (less of) it, too. Prepare a pineapple upside down cake batter per the usual recipe (here’s my favorite recipe). Put 1 tablespoon of melted butter and two tablespoons of brown sugar in each cupcake mold of two cupcake pans. Fill the cupcake molds about ¾ full of cake batter and bake according to cake recipe. When you pop these out of the oven, you will have single cupcake size servings. If you do not trust yourself to keep from inhaling five or six of them in one sitting, keep one aside and freeze the rest for an easy treat later.

I enjoy food, but I want to eat healthier so that my kids learn to eat healthier, too. I just think that you can eat healthy without cutting out all of your favorite foods. I have found that making things at home helps reduce how much I eat (oddly enough, cooking or baking a food makes me crave it less) and allows me to control what goes in it, letting me make healthier versions of my favorite foods. Do you have a favorite healthy version of a sweet or savory treat?

 Photo credit: Thinkstock

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