If you’re like me, when you’re trying to eat “healthy,” you suddenly have a craving for sweets. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or spectacular, but that sweet tooth shows up on occasion, and it NEEDS to be dealt with before you lose your mind! But of course, sticking to “one milk chocolate kiss” is crazy talk. It’s going to take a little more than that! So before you end up with six handfuls of foil-wrapped chocolate, let me give you my favorite list of snacks that not only will satisfy your sweet tooth – but they won’t bust your nutrition plan.
- Shakeology – You shouldn’t be surprised to see this one topping my list. This is my 100% go-to option. I have Shakeology every single day, and it not only kills that sweet tooth nag, but it keeps me full, gives me energy, and it tastes like dessert. I’m totally addicted to the new Café Latte flavor, but if that’s not your style, try out one of the six other flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Greenberry, Vegan Chocolate or Vegan Tropical Strawberry. Use it to replace a meal or as a snack to get you through the day. It’s packed full of superfood nutrition, proteins, fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, adaptogen herbs, prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes – Shakeology is absolutely a no-brainer.
- Quest Bars or other protein bars – The argument for or against protein bars is one that will never go away. Personally, I don’t like to use them daily, but I love to have a few on hand for those particularly hungry & particularly “raging sweet tooth” days. (You know, like when you had a GREAT leg workout so you’re hungry all day, and work is stressful and you just really want something sweet…yeah, those moments.) My personal favorite kind of protein bar is the Quest brand. But really, any protein bar that packs tons of protein and is lower in sugar will suffice. Obviously, the more “natural,” the better, but again, I don’t use these every day, but there’s some days that I just need to devour and chew something that tastes like apple pie!
- Fresh fruit – Nature’s candy. If you eat a clean diet on a regular basis, you know that fruit truly tastes like candy. Right now, I’m in the last week of the Ultimate Reset, and any time I get to have fresh fruit, it’s like a treat! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Go for an apple with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter. Make yourself a fruit salad with whatever is seasonal in your area. Blend some up with ice and water to make a smoothie – just eat some fruit! The sweet will calm your cravings, and I’m sure by now you already know that fruit is good for you! And don’t worry about the “sugar content” of fruit. Many fruits are super high in fiber, so you’ll probably be full LONG before fruit would make you obese! Eat your fruits. Really.
- PROgurt – If you have ever eaten cake frosting right out of the jar, this one is for you. (No, I’ve totally never done that…not ever…right?!) If you need a snack that’s substantial, sweet and feels as sinful as diving into the frosting when your kids aren’t looking, try mixing 1 scoop of protein powder with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt. Just a spoon and a bowl is all it takes. You’ll have to stir it up pretty well to get the texture you want, but man is it worth it when it’s done! More yogurt makes it a little thinner, and less will make it thicker like cake frosting. And obviously, this treat is TOTALLY protein packed, so you know it will fill you up fast! This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy dessert, whether after dinner or at 2pm at work.
- Banana ice cream – Get on Google and search “how to make ice cream from a banana” and I’m sure thousands of ways to make it will pop up. This is one of the coolest “tricks” I ever stumbled across, and I feel like everyone needs to know that this is possible! You can make yourself ice cream with just one ingredient – bananas! Bananas + blender = YUM. This website gives you the basic instruction, as well as explains why it works. Once you master the basics, try adding an ingredient or two – vanilla extract, caramel extract, cinnamon, powdered peanut butter, a couple of tablespoons of mini chocolate chips – there are tons of ways to make this YOURS! And as long as you’re not going add-in crazy, it’s a totally healthy way to get your dessert in!
- Dark Chocolate – Chocolate lovers rejoice, I’m telling you it’s okay to eat it! But of course, not just any chocolate bar will cut it! Dark chocolate is totally the way to go. Not only is it easier to limit your intake, but eating chocolate that’s more than 70% cacao lacks the fat and sugar of the classic milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and even has been shown to help regulate levels of cortisol (stress hormone.) And here’s a fun tip – you can make yourself a quick DIY chocolate bar with just 2 ingredients! Take 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil, melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, and add 1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology. Stir it up, put it in a container and pop it in the freezer for about 8-10 minutes. Simple, easy, vitamin packed.
- Homemade peanut butter cups – One of my favorite flavor combos is chocolate and peanut butter. But those dang Reese’s cups are NOT on my list of foods I can eat on the regular! Thankfully, one of my favorite bloggers, “Chocolate Covered Katie,” took the classic treat, flipped it INSIDE OUT, and made it lower in sugar and calories – perfect for those late night snack cravings! Check out her recipe and try it here. You can also do this with Shakeology!
- Baked apples – Need a warm, comforting, decadent treat? Craving apple pie but don’t want the blow to your nutrition budget? Bake some apples! It’s so easy anyone can do it. Slice up an apple into rings or slices. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the slices in a baking dish and sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of Stevia. Put a small amount of water (think ¼ inch) in the bottom of your dish and bake the apples, uncovered for about 30 minutes or until they’re soft.
- Frozen Grapes – Have you ever tried frozen grapes?! Unlike freezing a strawberry or other fruit, when you freeze grapes they still maintain their texture and don’t give you that weird “chill” up your spine when you eat them. Take a cup of grapes and pop them in the freezer overnight to take with you for a nice mid-morning snack. They’re long lasting, pack just enough “sweet” to hold you over, and they are PACKED with antioxidants and nutrients! It’s like eating little bitty frozen sorbet bombs!
- Halo-Top or Arctic Zero – Now if banana ice cream doesn’t do it for you, and you just have to have your ice cream fix, there are two brands out there that can let you get away with eating an entire pint for under 300 calories. (Try THAT with your Ben & Jerry’s and see how that works out for you!) Arctic Zero and Halo Top ice creams are starting to pop up in more and more stores, and you can buy them online if you’re looking for a specific flavor. Arctic Zero carries flavors like Snickerdoodle Dandy, Brownie Blast, Salted Caramel and more. Halo Top is newer to the scene, and you can find their product at Whole Foods. The major difference is that Halo Top packs way more PROTEIN into their ice cream. But either way, for those ice cream nights you just NEED, either one of these bad boys will do the trick without the guilt!
Between these 10 sinful-yet-smart treats, there’s bound to be something that satisfies your cravings as well as fills you up. Just because you like your sweets doesn’t mean you can’t live a healthy lifestyle and eat clean! We are all deserving of “the real deal” from time to time, but on a somewhat regular basis, when you’re having a sweet tooth attack, reach for one of these before you give in to temptation!
Hungry for more? Check out all the recipes that Shakeology has to offer! From bars to ice cream to shake creations so decadent you’d think they were straight out of the creamery, the possibilities are endless!