Here are some great ideas that I use almost everyday to help curb my delicious carb & fat food thoughts. Which should tell you right there that if you’re like me and love those sweets that it will always be a battle of willpower. But don’t fret, you’re not failing if you need a little help from other items. It’s completely normal to not be able to shut down those cravings completely and replace them with desires for healthy options like kale.
I’ve talked about gum before, but I’m not sure I broke down the reasons why I love it. I think people who love food and eat just because, have an oral fixation. When we eat without even feeling hungry we’re eating because we’re attaching it to a feeling and at the time it might be the only solution we can think of to take our mind off of those feelings (boredom, stress, anger, upset). So we eat because we want the taste (a pleasure) & chew (an action)… not because we’re filling our tummies. Sugar-free gum offers all of that, and it comes in all types of flavors including dessert flavors (the cinnamon roll flavor is NOT gross). Sometimes I eat the dessert gum (it actually helps if you do have a meal coming up and don’t want to taint the flavor) or if I want to ruin all cravings of sugar I’ll eat mint gum. Mint gum prevents me from following it with a chocolate bar.
Have you heard of this ice cream brand? If you have a sweet tooth and feel like you need a quick fix that’s a little more than gum or maybe you want to join all your friends and family this summer during a hot day with a bowl of your own (not cone!), then this brand is of you. The container (a pint) is the same size as Ben & Jerry’s, but about 900 calories less. The whole pint is 150 calories! It comes in all sorts of flavors like Sea Salt Caramel, Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies & Cream, and many more. It does contain milk products (added protein), and the texture isn’t quite the same as normal ice cream (remember, it’s the healthy option and sacrifices had to be made), but it’s as good as you’re going to get in the ice cream world unless you can figure out how to cream ice cubes.
My best friend, Mrs. Coffee. Not only is it a great drink to have pre-workout (it amps up your energy helping you burn more calories), but it’s great all the time! I used to be a coffee snob before I really got into fitness, and while I could have remained one (and that would have been fine) it wouldn’t have led me to dessert flavored coffees. I know, I know, I have a problem with desserts, but hey… if I can curb it with these items, I’m ok! I just bought a Keurig system to have instant coffee that isn’t instant coffee. I needed to be able to not grind my beans anymore and make them in a French Press (my old coffee snob ways). I needed my drink, fast. If you have a coffee machine and aren’t a coffee snob (and do enjoy flavored coffees) then I recommend Dunken Donut’s Chocolate Donut. If you have a Keurig my recommendations go to Cinnabon’s Cinnamon Roll, or Green Mountain Coffee’s Mocha Coconut (another doughnut flavor — I LOVE doughnuts!)
One of the least healthy curbings on this list, but I do my best sometimes and sometimes my best needs a bad faux cheat. I don’t eat a lot of it because it’s pretty much all chemicals (I’m hanging my head in shame right now, don’t judge me!). Kernel Season’s popcorn seasoning is low in calories (0 to 5 calories depending on the flavor), and is mediocre in sodium levels, but because I don’t use the recommended amount I’m actually getting a lot less. This stuff on egg whites or your green beans (I actually use a tiny shake or 3 of Ranch seasoning on the beans) kicks it in the pants a bit. I want to do the whole kissing of my fingers to the air and say “bellissimo!”… But I won’t (I think only a quality meal deserves that phrase and not a chemical enriched meal). I’ve been eating plain egg whites for over a year now (every day about 5 to 6 egg whites depending on my eating plan that month), so after a while plain egg whites got really REALLY boring and so did all the salt-free spices I used with them. I go in taste rotations. Next month I could love plain egg whites again and do that for a while.
MUSTARD! The fitness person’s go-to for condiments! I’m not even kidding on this one. In my fridge I have about 5-8 different types of mustard (dijon, spicy brown, sweet hot, horseradish mustard, etc.). I just discovered this brilliant brand called Beaver who makes Hickory Bacon Mustard. It’s 10 calories for a tsp so you have to be nice about using it, but it’s low in sodium as far as mustards go. It’s my splurging mustard (is that sad to admit?). I maybe use a tsp of this as that favorite flavor I save till last and the rest of my meal is eaten with yellow mustard. By the way, did you know you can improve your yellow mustard by mixing it with a little Sriracha or adding a little bit of paprika, onion powder, some water, and a sweetener of choice (like stevia)? It’s damn good. I dare you to go experiment!
Sugar-free Torani Syrups. Oh yes, you are a perfect addition to my coffee. I know they make other sugar-free syrups that would be great with club soda (i.e. cherry lime, peach, etc — have you tried this out? I’d love to give that a go one day), but for now I strictly stick to sugar-free vanilla. A little bit of this, a sweetener (stevia), and a few shakes of cinnamon in one of my specialty dessert coffee flavors and its mind-blowing.
Zero calorie syrups by Walden Farms. YUM! Pancake, chocolate, strawberry and blueberry syrup are great in plain oatmeal. Just drizzle a little on top, add some cinnamon (maybe not for the strawberry flavor), and it brings your healthy oatmeal to a whole new level. They’re not really packed with crazy chemicals except for the flavors used to create these. Obviously, all these curbing foods I’ve suggested have chemicals in them to keep them low to no calories, so it’s a decision you need to make for yourself if you want to go this route. I applaud you and bow to you if you can make kale your go to curbing. Walden Farm’s also makes BBQ sauce (which everyone I know loves) and zero calorie salad dressings (the best are thousand island dressing and sesame ginger).
A little water love. Not too much to say about these because they are what they are. If you need to drink that extra flavor, you have a lot of options here. I love the Arnold Palmer Half & Half to drink and the Crush Grape flavor to make into popsicles (in disposable paper cups since regular popsicle molds won’t work — there’s no sugar or gelatin in these). Those of course being the really unhealthy versions. Then there’s the Skinnygirl brands which are made with Stevia! Just don’t go drinking your daily water gallon filled with these… I think that would be like considering diet soda apart of your gallon. Just doesn’t work like that, unfortunately!
I do love my Zevia! Made with Stevia (get it?!) and sold now at most grocery stores. They make a handful of imitation flavors to rival big brand beverages (cola, root beer, mountain zevia, grape, cream soda), and they’re all quite delicious. I drink these when I need that extra refreshing carbonation zing.