I don't believe in diets, I believe in moderation. I believe in healthy eating, I believe in minimally processed food, but I also believe in not depriving yourself of a decadent meal once in awhile. I believe food is meant to be enjoyed and I believe when it comes to recipes, less is more.
Spring is a busy time in a photographer's life (aside from Fall which is arguably more busy). This April/May, my calendar was full. Like most humans, when I'm busy or stressed and don't plan accordingly, I binge eat. An evening session resulted in grabbing a pizza or burger on my way home, indulging in one too many delicious cookies from Sugar Brown Sweet Treats, or unwinding with a glass or three of wine. My "everything in moderation" mentality was out the window.
As my family trip to Mexico was fast approaching I realized that my clothes became tighter and my body softer. Unless you count chasing kids or weight lifting with a Canon Markiii and an Sigma 85mm lens, exercise wasn't a priority either. I only had a few weeks until vacation and I was feeling sluggish and had no desire to spend money on a new bathing suit when I had some perfectly decent ones in my closet. I decided to get into gear or face the dreaded dressing room mirror. I chose the former.
My "diet" was really just clean eating, portion control, drinking a ton of water, limiting alcohol, and very few desserts. Pretty much how I should be eating on a daily basis. When I had a sweet tooth, I grabbed an apple or banana with peanut butter and it satisfied my chocolate craving while giving me a protein boost. I also indulged in the seasonally fresh berries.
One night, when I had a particularly tough craving, I reached for the ice cream. While I was about to fill a bowl and drizzle a jar of chocolate sauce, guilt riding up, it dawned on me, there was a way to have my cake and eat it to. In this case, the cake was ice cream and I wanted a bowl full. While I've heard of celebrities who can have a bite of dessert and be completely satisfied, I'm not a celebrity so that rule doesn't apply to me.
So, I put the chocolate sauce away, grabbed the berries, and created my new favorite guilt free dessert.
Instead of a bowl of ice cream topped with berries, I did the opposite. I took my ice cream bowl (perfectly sized bowl from Pier 1) filled it with ripe deliciously sweet berries and spooned out 1 tbsp of ice cream (add a dash of cinnamon or a spring of mint for a divine flavor). Creamier and more flavorful than whipped cream, when the ice cream melts, it enhances the flavor of the berries instead of masking it.
My craving was satisfied and I also didn't feel bogged down like a large dessert can make you feel. I made some for my husband who has been struggling with his sweet tooth ever since I was pregnant with our almost two year old, and he loved it. We both decided this is how we wanted to indulge in ice cream from now on.
A simple dessert full of flavor and non of the guilt...doesn't get much sweeter than that.