One of the most common challenges that I support my clients with is help in addressing their nagging sugar cravings. There are many things that lead to sugar cravings and various ways to combat them (that’s a post for another day!) – but one of the first things I recommend, and have great success with, is to take the ‘crowding out’ approach. This is the concept of adding in the good stuff which results in crowding out the bad stuff. The focus is not on what you cannot have, but rather on what you can have. How cool is that?! I can say from experience that past “diets” I’ve been on were heavily focused on the laundry list of things that were off limits. Looking back, this kind of restrictive approach is not something that is easily sustained, no matter how much self control you have. Instead, focusing on adding the good stuff requires much less ‘will power’, leaving you happier and more energized….and in a place where you are setting yourself up to succeed!
When it comes to crowding out those sugar cravings, the key is to add in foods that are naturally sweet, are nutrient dense and have less of an impact on your blood sugar levels. Here are some of my favorite sweet treats that pass the test:
- Fresh Fruit
- Dried fruit – eat in moderation (eating a whole bag of dried mango like I do from time to time is not suggested!)
- DIY Superfood bites such as this one are easy to make and freeze well too!
- Store bought pre-made bars like these or these are options I turn to. The key is checking the ingredient list and ensuring there are no added sugars or chemical ingredients.
One of my new favorites for when the cravings really hit…Chocolate Banana Ice Cream! It’s so easy and quick to make, fills my sweet craving, feels like an indulgence….all of that while being packed with nutrients and made of entirely healthy, unprocessed and natural ingredients.
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream – 2 servings
2 Frozen Ripe Bananas (it’s important that you freeze when fully ripe, see below for more on this)
Blend or food process until smooth (approx 2 minutes) & serve! I prefer to use a food processor since it does a better job and does not stick to the sides as much. If using a blender try chopping up the frozen banana first. If you prefer a more firm consistency then put it in the freezer for 1 hour…then serve. And that’s it! So easy and delicious.
Other ice cream flavor options:
- Strawberry Banana – Frozen or fresh strawberries in place of the cacao powder
- Peanut butter – Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter per serving in place of or in addition to the cacao powder
- Add in any other favorite fruit – I love mango 🙂
Tips on freezing bananas: I always over buy bananas (intentionally) so that I have them on hand for my smoothies and then simply freeze them when they get ripe. Prime ‘ripeness’ for freezing is when they have a decent amount of brown spots on them – just peel, break in half, place into a large ziploc bag and lay bag flat in the freezer.