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OT - Tone-up Tuesday

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Happy Tuesday, STalkers! How goes it?

What do you do when you're craving sugar? Do you give in to your craving or do you have a satisfying substitute?

I am a chronic insomniac and caffeine does nothing for me when I’m tired, so I’ve developed a bad habit of using sugar to give me boosts of energy. It’s a habit I need to break, so I need some substitutes.

Prunes have a bad rep. They’re dried plums and naturally sweet. (Much tastier AND moister than raisins, IMO!). A serving of six is just 100 calories.

Brew Tea
Try a naturally sweet or spicy tea, like hibiscus or chai. Did you know that Chocolate Tea is real?!

Make a Latte
Steep a chai tea bag in a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Heat the liquid slowly over low heat in a pan with a cinnamon stick and a few cardamom pods. Right before it boils, pour into a mug. Add stevia as needed for sweetness.

Grab some Berries
A cup of mixed berries is only 65 calories!

Try Sweet Veggies
They may not be the first things that come to mind when you want cookies, but sweet-tasting vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots are a great choice when you are craving something sugary. Their natural sweetness is concentrated if you roast them. Their nutrient density and high fiber content makes them a great choice to curb sweet cravings.

Make NICE Cream
Nice cream is homemade, soft serve ice cream that is (typically) made with a frozen banana. I want to try this recipe for Stress Relief Lavender Blueberry Nice Cream!

Mix Chocolate with Fruit
Melt one or two squares of 70-80% dark chocolate and drizzle over berries or banana slices.

Keep Healthy Desserts Handy
Peanut butter protein balls are packed with protein and healthy fats. They’re naturally sweet and a good To Go snack.

  1. Mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2/3 cup protein powder, and 3 tablespoons honey in a bowl.
  2. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls.
  3. Roll them in unsweetened coconut or flax seeds, or a few dark chocolate chips.
  4. Put them on a plate, cover with foil, and place in the refrigerator to harden.

Make Cocoa from Scratch
Homemade cocoa allows you to control the sweetness and calories while still getting the health benefits found in other ingredients. Cocoa powder is high in flavonoids and milk contributes to your daily protein, vitamin D, and calcium needs.

Crack Open a Coconut
Coconut is rich in satiating fats and has a naturally sweet flavor. Try munching on unsweetened coconut chips or shreds or add coconut milk to your coffee.

Fire Up the Grill
Sprinkle pineapple wedges with cinnamon and clove and grill them! Serve warm or chilled with a dollop of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt and some lime zest. Bonus: protein!

Head for the Freezer
There are quite a few low-calorie/low-sugar varieties of frozen treats on a stick. Some are chocolate covered!

Sprinkle on Cinnamon
Cinnamon has a natural sweetness and can help curb cravings. Bonus: cinnamon may help lower your fasting glucose levels. Sprinkle it on popcorn, oatmeal, in your coffee, or in yogurt and use as a fruit dip.

Eat Beans
Say WHAT?? Yep. This recipe is supposed to be dense like a brownie.

Garbanzo Bean Cake

  1. Process 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup of sugar, and a 19-ounce can of garbanzo beans.
  2. Bake on 350°F in a 9-inch round cake.
  3. Cut the cake into pre-portioned slices, wrap individually, and keep in a sealable plastic freezer bag.

Make a Parfait
For a sweet treat that packs on the protein, top a plain zero or two percent Greek yogurt with a few dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, and almonds. Indulge yourself by layering some fruit in there.



ESMOD's picture

I bought some maple flakes and I will eat a teaspoon

Fruit... seltzer spiked with juice... and in the end, if it is a true craving for a sugary snack, I try to go for something like a glazed donut that isn't horrible calorie wise.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Maple flakes?! I've never heard of those. Bet they'd be tasty on oatmeal or add a nice flavor to chai.

I admit that I would want TWO donuts...

Letti.R's picture

I'll admit it: I am addicted to sugar.
Sugar is my only vice

Chocolate bars and coke - not the diet crap please.
The REAL stuff.
I used to drink about a litre of coke a day!
(Thats about 33 ounces in the US - per day. Full sugar coke.)
And yes, I submit to those wonderful cravings... Smile
Or used to.

I also like my tea and coffee and used to add a single spoon of sugar.
Without changing my diet at all, I elimated any sugar in my tea and coffee and am down to 3 litres of coke a week - probably HALF of my usual coke habit.

In the last 2 months, just by changing my soda habit and no spoonful of sugar in tea/coffee, I have lost 6 pounds.
No diet, just less sugar.

So although I love my sugar, the sugar loves my hips!
And those hips are shrinking ... Wink and I dont crave sugar so badly.
When I do,it is still a chocolate bar, but I am happy to reduce my intake further. Smile

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Sugar is ONE of my vices, but it's definitely my most horrible one. The worst part is that, when I eat sugar, I lose control. I don't want ONE donut - I want two. One cookie? Make that 3-4. It's like my hand is possessed and I can't stop stuffing that sugary junk into my mouth. I really need someone to follow me around and knock the bad foods out of my hands.

Congrats on your shrinking hips! Biggrin

ESMOD's picture

I'm like that too... If I buy a box of sweet cereal (lucky charms I'm looking at YOU)... I will eat several bowls (which are multi serving) at once.  Box of donuts.. yep.. I will eat more than one.

So, I do have to somewhat plan how I scratch that craving itch.

Like this past Sunday.  I was on the way back from seeing my DH.  It's a 7.5 hour drive on a good day and I stop once at a Sheetz to refuel, hit the bathroom and get a drink/snack.  I usually let myself have a treat and don't worry terribly about it.  So, this week I decided I wanted a chocolate covered donut with the custard.  So I bought ONE... and a sparkling water to go with it.  Got back in my car and went on my way.  No way to eat a 2nd donut because I am NOT stopping again and I only bought one!

So.. no buying in bulk for these things.  I buy a single serving....enjoy it while I have it and move on.

Letti.R's picture

Yeah, my self-control with sugar is bad.
As is seen in my coke habit...
Not just one, many! Wink

I watched a very interesting documentary on sugar.
It basically is metabolised in the same way alcohol is: shocking!
That's why it is so addictive.

I stay away from anything with high fructose corn syrup though - which is just plain evil stuff - and anything that is sweetened with artificial sweetners.
I would rather be overweight due to sugar (and I am not overweight or even "chubby")  than poison my liver and the rest of my body with chemical crap.

ESMOD's picture

I have had decent luck with the muscle milk bars and also the lara bars.  Muscle milk has a lemon bar I like a lot.