Use Fruit as Your Base
When we think of desserts, we generally think of decadence. We don’t want our treats to feel like “diet food.” However, there are ways to get your sweet fix without derailing your healthy eating habits. Experiment with fruit-based desserts; fruits are naturally sweet, so there is little need for added sugar. Plus, as we’ve discussed in the past few weeks, fruits are packed with disease-fighting vitamins, fiber, and phytochemicals.
- Berries dipped in melted dark chocolate are a classic antioxidant-rich treat.
- Toss tropical fruits with unsweetened coconut and pistachios.
- Yogurt-Dipped Banana Bites: Dip sliced banana in low-fat vanilla yogurt, top with a few chocolate chips, and freeze for about an hour.
- Crustless Apple and Pear Pie: In a mixing bowl, combine 3 apples and 2 pears, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces. In a separate bowl, whisk 1 tbsp. cornstarch, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/3 cup apple juice, ¾ tsp. cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves. In a medium saucepan over medium to low heat, add the fruit and then pour the cornstarch mixture over the fruit and mix well. Bring to a simmer and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened and the fruit has softened, about 6 minutes.
- Try new varieties of fruit. Persimmons, for example, are good sources of fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin C; plus, they’re in season right now! Try a Persimmon Parfait: Combine a ripe persimmon, half a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, slivered almonds, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Add other fruit as desired, such as apple or mango slices.
- Caramelizing fruits on a grill brings out their natural sweetness. Try this with plums and peaches – yum!
Studies have shown that grateful people are more likely to take care of their health, exercise more often, and experience less stress.
It's easy to see exercise as a chore, something that we HAVE to do to be healthy. This week, we challenge you to practice gratitude by acknowledging the things that your body is capable of, and how physical activity enhances your life. Remember, you don't have to exercise, you GET to!
For the next two weeks, share with us (in words or pictures) what you're grateful for in your active life. "I CAN take the stairs." "I CAN keep up with my grandkids." "I CAN bike to work." There is always something to be grateful for.
Share it with us in the comments here or on our Facebook page to be entered into the drawing for a special gift next month! What are YOU grateful for?