At some point about a year and a half ago Ben and I decided that we were eating too much sugar and needed to cut back. We ended up with the idea that we should try to eat desserts/sweets only twice a week, excluding major holidays(our birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving) and family trips. Our usual weekly schedule had/has us eating dinner with others mid-week (Wednesday, usually) and then Saturday or Sunday, so those are the days we picked for our experiment. December through mid-February tends to involve a lot of holidays and visiting and cheat days, and afterwards there is a tiny re-adjustment period as we get back to our schedule, but after all that partying getting back to our healthy habit is a relief.
I’d like to think that we didn’t go overboard TOO much with the sugar previously but I love to bake and I know that we almost always had mini-chocolates or cookies or some kind of yummy sweet thing(or the fixings) in the house and we didn’t really think too much about having a couple little things in the afternoon and something for dessert for dinner any and every day. There was definitely an adjustment period, cutting down from that to sweets just twice a week. Remarkably quickly though, I adjusted. I stopped thinking seriously about desserts on non-dessert days. It was maybe a placebo effect, but I felt healthier. I felt like my exercise was more effective. I felt proud of myself for the required self-control and for the way it makes my brain feel healthy and strong.
These days our dessert/non-dessert days are fairly straightforward to me. My dessert day sweets have to fit pretty closely into my calories, which I track daily. I’m not depriving myself by any means(I know baby needs to grow!) I’m just not allowing an “eating for two” mentality, so my dessert needs to fit into the general plan. If I see a recipe online that I just HAVE to try, but it’s not a dessert day I pin it and come back to it later. Every now and then I’ll cheat and grab a pinch of chocolate chips, but I’m getting better about grabbing an apple or an orange(tis the season!) instead. Good fiber, takes longer to eat and there’s no guilt involved. In the last couple weeks I’ve been wanting ice cream really often, much more often than dessert days, but I’m totally blaming the baby and I’m not giving in to his demands, haha. The self-control practice is good for me. I’m also getting good at thinking ahead about what kind of dessert I’m really wanting, not just eating cookies or chocolate kisses because I can.
I definitely think that this has been a really good thing for us. We can both tell when we’ve had too much sugar and junk and we both feel better when we’re being pretty faithful to our plan. I think the fact that we keep coming back to it and have for this long means that it’s an easy, doable change that makes a difference without depriving us.
Today my dessert was apple pie and ice cream(and froot loops for breakfast, lol). Last fall I made and froze apple and pumpkin pies in those little tins the size of personal pot-pies. I thought they’d be perfect for making pie convenient and making it in a size that would be gone after one serving each. See, before our dessert day resolution I would have made a full size pie and we would have had a slice every day for four days. Yum, but so much sugar! This way we each got a nice generous serving of pie with ice cream and then it was gone. Nothing to sit around tomorrow and tempt me/us. Perfect.