It’s almost summer. The temperatures are already climbing in a lot of the country, and although that means we’re entering bathing suit season, it also means we’re entering the time of year when something cold sounds delicious and refreshing. People are pulling out their ice cream makers, heading over to Yogurtland or Sonic for a frosty treat after dinner or meeting friends at the DQ.
You know I’m all about balance, and you might also know I have a sweet tooth. Because of these traits, I definitely like to have a cool summertime dessert, but I do try to make sure I’m not going for a huge Blizzard every night. What I do for myself, and what I strongly recommend for you is pre-planning.
What I mean by pre-planning is a mix of two things. #1 is stocking up on healthy choices.
If you know you have a weak spot for something sweet and cold when you’re hot, stock your fridge with watermelon, freeze a bunch of seedless grapes or chunks of banana, buy bags of frozen berries and make your own popsicles from smoothie ingredients. You can make sorbet at home with a food processer and mangoes—no additional ingredients needed. Need something a little more ice creamy? Have you ever had Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream? It’s coconut milk based and sweetened with agave—so far the only in-store ice cream I’ve found that’s sweetened with a natural alternative to sugar.
#2 is doing a little research before going out.
If you’ve been invited to a potluck or barbecue at someone’s house, if you’re going to a parade or baseball game, if you’re heading to a camp-out or beach bonfire, not only are you extremely wholesome and a lot of fun, you also have a chance to volunteer to bring some healthy dessert options. Someone else might want to have s’mores, so let them bring that. You can take care of yourself by preparing some cold fruit or picking up some extra dark, fruit-sweetened chocolate and bringing enough to share.
If you’re going out to a restaurant, try to sway your crew to choose a place you know you’ll feel good about going. Whether you get a say about the destination or not, go online and look at the menu beforehand to see what the best options are. If there are no good dessert options, make a deal with yourself to skip dessert in the restaurant and indulge in something better when you get home.
I know that in real life you won’t always even want to say no when someone offers you something delicious. And I know that there are evenings when you’ll just want to head to the boardwalk or the county fair and eat ice cream on a stick. I can relate! But I also know that if you pre-plan most of the time, the cumulative effect of cold summertime sweets will be less intense.