Limiting sweets is a constant struggle at my house. But I'm rather self conscious about bringing up the topic. Those of you who know me are rolling your eyes. For those of you who don't know us personally, lets just say that neither Ed or I have ever been told that we need to lose weight.
But fast metabolisms and skinny genes are no excuses for reckless calorie intake. And, sorry to rain on the picnic, but if I'm going to share yummy recipes (and this one is REALLY good) then maybe I need to give a balance by talking about moderation.
My head aches when I try to sort out all the conflicting nutritional information out there. But in the last 50 years, despite all the diets, calorie counting, low-fat, skim fads, and whatnot - heart disease, obesity, and Type-2 diabetes are skyrocketing in our country. We are killing ourselves with food. And that scares me.
While I wish I could suddenly wake up and never want to eat chocolate and ice cream again, until that miracle happens, I've decided balance is my only option. My biggest concern is to help my children build wise food habits.
Some of the deliberate steps I've made are...
- Choosing healthier dessert options. (Hence adapting some favorite recipes.)
- Cut desserts into smaller serving portions.
- Pass the dessert around the table once and immediately remove the plate from the table.
This last one is a biggie to me. I can always justify another helping since it is small/made with whole wheat/been a hard day/fill in the blank!
I recently enjoyed Michael Pollan's Food Rules. One of his rules is "the banquet is in the first bite". The first bite is wonderful, the next less so, but we eat another brownie, and another, because we remember how good that first bite was.
Wouldn't it be better to serve up a small portion of dessert, put the serving plate away so we are not distracted with considering "do I want another piece", and slowly savor a few delectable bites?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you find balance in our sugar-loaded society.
And now, for a really GOOD brownie!
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Bars
Adapted from Go Lightly Gourmet
1 cup butter
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup natural peanut butter
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar together. Blend in eggs and peanut butter. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Mix half of chips in dough.
Spread dough in greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.
You could up the peanut factor by using peanut butter chips instead of chocolate and adding a cup of chopped peanuts.
Linked at Tasty Tuesday