I fell in love with ice cream as a kid while watching Sesame Street. Every time the Count added colorful scoops of ice cream to his huge ice cream cone my eyes lit up, and I imagined myself hanging out on the front stoop of Sesame Street enjoying ice cream with the whole gang!
My favorite ice cream was the ‘green’ one—pistachio, which is a pretty uncommon flavor choice for a kid, I think. But I LOVED it, and I always asked my mom for the ‘green’ ice cream whenever I had the chance.
Pistachio has been my go-to since the first lick, but I was never biased, and loved trying all the flavors!
While I never did get to go to Sesame Street as a kid, in 2001 I found myself in Italy savoring the rich and creamy flavors of Italian gelato. Every.Single.Day. Oh my—the Italians know what they are doing!
Breaking Up With Standard American Ice Cream
When I started to learn more about food and its effects on our health, I had no choice but to stop eating conventional American ice cream.
I learned that the ‘green’ ice cream I loved as a kid didn’t get that color from the pistachios, but artificial food dyes that have been linked to cancer and hyperactivity in children.
In addition to the dyes you can see, some conventional dairy is also loaded with a toxic cocktail of chemicals and hormones that you can’t see. This means that in addition to the chocolate, marshmallows, and peanuts found in your favorite Rocky Road, you’re also getting a healthy dose of painkillers, antibiotics, and growth hormones.
Would you like one scoop or two?
Finding A New Love: Coconut Milk Ice Cream
I’m not gonna lie: Breaking up with ice cream was downright difficult for me! Luckily, I found a healthy alternative that’s just as good as “the real thing” if not better.
Coconut milk ice cream! It’s creamy and yummy and absolutely perfect. I make my own so that I can control what goes in it (and what doesn’t).
Plus, it’s super easy to personalize this recipe by using the first 3 ingredients as a base and then mixing and matching ingredients to make your favorite flavors. For example, for fruit flavors, just mix in about ½ a pound of your favorite fresh or frozen fruit.
And get this…you can also purchase coconut milk ice cream in stores now! There are tons of flavors, and you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Here are a couple of tips on buying store-bought:
- Read the labels to see how much sugar each serving contains.
- Aim for ice creams that have the fewest amount of ingredients.
- Avoid brands that contain artificial anything: colors, dyes, and flavors.
Treating My Healthy Diet
Let’s get something straight right away: I don’t like the word cheat, and prefer treat instead. Why would so many yummy treats be on this Earth if we weren’t supposed to indulge a little, right?
People ask me all the time if they can eat this or that and still lose weight or be healthy, and my answer is always the same:
Yes, you can enjoy the things you like to eat in moderation.
This means living by the 90/10 rule: 90% clean, nutrient-dense foods and 10% whatever you want. For me that means indulging in real ice cream. And by real I mean the artificially colored green stuff I loved as a kid!
I can’t live by the 100% healthy rule 100% percent of the time. Because if I did, I would fail.
In addition to ice cream, I love French fries (not together, although I know some people who do), and I eat them both on occasion so that I don’t go crazy and binge eat everything under the sun. I am a recovering yo-yo dieter. I know restricting myself from my favorite foods doesn’t work.
Similar to the ‘green’ ice cream/coconut milk ice cream swap, I get a lot of satisfaction from making or buying healthy versions of unhealthy foods that I used to eat, including granola, smoothies, and burgers.
How To Love Your Diet And Eat Ice Cream Too
- Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love by declaring them off-limits. Often times in an effort to restrict certain ‘bad’ foods we end up binge eating other foods to satisfy our cravings for the forbidden foods.
- Follow the 90/10 rule, and be honest with yourself: Are you really only eating your favorite treats 10% of the time, or do you need to make some adjustments to your diet?
- Look for healthy alternatives to some of your favorite foods. Be sure to check out the recipes on my blog if you haven’t already!
- Indulge in healthy treats once in awhile without ever feeling guilty!
What’s your 10% food that you love treating yourself to? Share below!
And if you’re looking for a great way to start your health journey, grab my FREE resources to help you stop dieting.
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