I have a bit of a sweet tooth…I love chocolate. I used to polish off the frosting left over when the cake was done. S’mores are one of the most delicious things out there, and there was a brief Pinterest-inspired frenzy during which I whipped up all kinds of S’more creations, each one more ridiculously sweet and delicious than the next. I could eat an entire pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream in one sitting. (Rocky Road was my favorite before nut allergies ruined the fun of that…how do they get the marshmallow swirl to stay so soft throughout the ice cream? I think it’s kind of a miracle really…and I could go on and on…)

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Sweet tooth, with a dash each of emotional eating and bingeing. I won’t go into details on the more personal issues at hand here, but I will say- eating clean and Shakeology have made a huge difference in my eating habits. I rarely binge and when I do it’s usually on granola and maybe some chocolate chips.

And my cravings are drastically reduced. I have sat in front of a plate of Girl Scout cookies, Samoas included, and not eaten one, and not felt at all deprived or tempted or anything. I have gone to the local ice cream place with my children and watched them eat ice cream and not felt left out or weird or sad. (I have also gone there and enjoyed a cone with them, but we live in walking distance to this place and if I indulged every time I don’t think that would be a good choice.) And even though I make my own frosting now, I throw out leftovers.

I don’t want to be a psycho (and no offense is meant to the psychos out there- part of me admires you and your commitment) who never eats cake or ice cream but I don’t want to feel like I have to eat cake or ice cream so people won’t think I’m a psycho either. Does that make sense? And it’s mostly my children’s perception of me that I consider. I want them to have a mom who can enjoy an ice cream with them, and munch on buttery popcorn with them on movie night. I also want them to have a mom who shows restraint and concern for her health, part of which is affected by food choices.

I do believe sugar begets sugar. So the more you can keep sweet treats (even if they’re clean- they’re still sweet) out of your life the better. But I’ve also heard deprivation can set you up for a fall. If you’re feeling constantly deprived you’re more likely to fail. I don’t really feel deprived when people eat sweets around me, but I still sometimes get that itch for something sweet- after dinner usually.

I also have my own nutrition and nutrition goals to consider. Cravings are a problem for me. I eat when I’m stressed. I want to have a healthy relationship to food. I want to eat good healthy food as fuel for my body. I want to enjoy treats now and then, and enjoy them without guilt, but I don’t want to feel powerless over food.

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So now I’ve gotten to a point where I feel pretty good about my habits, but need to tighten them up a bit. While I know the importance of planning and prepping, it’s still hard! Life is busy. There’s always something messing up the routine- that’s life. But I do feel more positive and more in control when I am planned and prepped. So I need to be more committed to making that happen. Do I plan for treats?

When I eat according to a plan (a general plan at least) I’m also less likely to give in to cravings. I definitely struggle with eating clean and making good choices 1) when I’m hungry and 2) when I’m tired. So getting a good night’s sleep is important, too! When I’m tired it’s too easy to say, “Screw it,” and eat the chocolate chips.

So this brings me back to the question that prompted me to write this post. Should I make “clean” treats to have on hand when cravings strike or does having “clean” treats on hand invite disaster? I made coconut oil chocolates today and they’re yummy. If I have a bad day tomorrow will I eat all of them? Maybe. But maybe it’s eat all of the coconut oil chocolates or eat an entire bag of chocolate chips. Or maybe if I didn’t have the coconut oil chocolates I’d ride out the craving and not eat any treats at all. Should I allow a little something sweet each day, having it as part of a plan and not as an answer to a craving? Hmmmm…

What are your thoughts on treats?

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