This post is for one of my clients who asked me a diet question this evening that I was unable to answer on the spot.  It was simply “I have a sweet tooth and I have to have something for dessert after dinner.  What should I eat?”  Initially I gave her the typical personal trainer/ bodybuilder answer and said go for cottage cheese(you should see the picture that came up when I googled cottage cheese…uughh)  and throw in a scoop of whey protein powder.  You see, personally, this is a difficult question for myself because I don’t really eat “dessert” and if I do it’s usually for a special occasion (or after a particularly grueling workout) to reward myself.

I eat when I’m hungry which is pretty much every couple of hours or so and I don’t necesarilly consider my “meals” the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner so why would dessert be any different?  I typically nourish my body with whole foods to fuel my activity and avoid the overly processed crap that plagues the supermarket.  The less ingredients the better therefore an apple is a better choice than apple pie and honestly both are equally satisfying for me so why not stick with the better choice?

Fruit is always my top pick when I have a craving for something sweet but for most people that is not enough.  For a healthy dip try combining a tablespoon of peanutbutter and mixing with plain yogurt and a dash of brown sugar.  Fruit parfaits with either yogurt or low-fat whipped cream are super tasty if you top them with some dark cocoa or a dash of cinnamon.

Another simple way to bring out the sugars in any piece of fruit is to grill or saute it.  Try cutting an apple or peach in half.  Spray it lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle it with brown sugar and grill until soft and fragrant.  Top with some sugar free Monin syrup or low fat whipped topping.  Heaven.  One of my favorites is sauteed bananas with cinnamon (and yes cottage cheese).

Smoothies are always a great and healthy idea but for a great summer treat try preparing your own fruit sorbet.  Take a handful strawberries and blueberries and place them along with 1/4 cup of water into a blender.  Add some splenda and puree until smooth.  Pour the pureed berry mixture  into a freezer safe container.  Freeze for around 2 hours and allow it to thaw a few minutes before serving.

Alright, I’ll admit it.  I have one weakness and that is ice cream.  I love ice cream and ice cream loves me.  And sometimes you do have to just indulge.  But all things are not created equal and there are always better choices.  For instance, the Skinny Cow products are low in calories and low in fat.  They don’t taste all that bad either.  And if your looking for a real treat then check out Stonyfield Farm’s frozen yogurt lineup.  Mint Dark Chocolate Chip… unbelievable and it is actually much better for you than ice cream.

When it comes to dessert or a sweet treat, stick to what is natural.  Yes fruit has sugar in it, but there are also tons of nutrients as well as healthy fiber.  Bon Apetite.

Written by Steve