Taking care of our bodies is an important part of enhancing our connection to the life-sustaining forces in and around us. We do this by engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors and choices, of whi ...View Article
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Posted on 09-26-2011
As the temperature rises it is tempting to look for ways to cool down. A trek to your favorite ice cream stand is as American as baseball and apple pie. Unfortunately, a growing obesity epidemic is also an American phenomenon. In our quest to offer up healthier alternatives to our favorite guilty pleasures, we are taking on one of our favorite frozen treats.
USDA estimates that every person eats about 23 quarts of ice cream each year. To give you an idea of what that equates to in calories for just one-half cup of regular vanilla ice cream, expect around 260 calories or 520 calories in a cup. If you multiply that by four cups per quart and 23 quarts per year it comes out to 47,840 cal. That is the equivalent of over thirteen lbs of fat. The numbers only go up from there when you start to add other ingredients and toppings.
In my quest to find healthy alternatives I was feeling less than excited by what I found. The options either seemed unappetizing or were not really any better than ice cream in terms of nutrition. The obvious choice of frozen yogurt turns out to be more hype than substance. Many frozen yogurts have as much fat as ice cream. Other varieties with less fat often have high levels of sugar. However, there are several recipes on line for making homemade frozen yogurt that are much healthier from a fat and calorie perspective. Also, when making frozen yogurt at home I suggest replacing sugar with stevia and using fresh or frozen fruit instead of canned. This will cut back on unnecessary calories and provide more nutritional value.
Lately, at the SeBastian household, we have been beating the heat and the sweet attacks by eating fruit-sicles. Some brands are made with no additional sweetener, and are quite healthy. I know they have been turning up at the front desk regularly - Robin and Joy eat a few coconut-sicles every week!
Another fun option is Banana-sicles. Simply peel a banana, cut it in half and stick a popsicle stick in one end. You can cover the banana with some of your favorite pureed fruit, sprinkle with some crushed nuts if you like, and pop it into the freezer. If you want, you can even use a bit of dark chocolate to get that chocolate fix. Like many things that are good for you, this will take some pre-planning and effort on your part. If you have children around, get them involved in the process. Children are more likely to eat something if they helped make it plus you will be teaching them some healthy habits along the way.
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