Self-Care Challenge (Day 271): Enjoying a Sweet Treat

Whipped cream covered whisk

There are two desserts in this world that I find nearly irresistible (on an obnoxious scale): key lime pie and pumpkin bars.

In the summer months, it’s hard to beat the cool, citrusy flavor of key lime. It helps offset the sun’s brutal intensity, and the tartness is refreshing.

But the moment fall arrives, my mind turns immediately to pumpkin. (Except I have no desire for pumpkin spice lattes after reading the ingredient list years ago.) Instead, I crave fluffy pumpkin bars with orange buttercream frosting.

Knowing that we are heading out of town later this week, my self-care activity yesterday was to make a batch of pumpkin bars for us to enjoy as a pre-vacation treat. And I enjoyed every single bite.

There’s just something heartwarming about that flavor combination: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg. Yum. And since these little bars from heaven do pack significant amounts of fat and sugar, a little goes a long way.

But it’s the frequency of our indulgences that have the greatest impact on our health. With that in mind, I have to be careful about the frequency of my indulgences. I’ve had to learn to say no to treats that I don’t absolutely love, and savor every bite of those I do.

I’m well aware of the impact sugar has had on the health of Americans. With the growing trend of obesity and diabetes in this country, it’s hard to ignore the correlation between our increasing sugar consumption and chronic disease. As of 2015, it was estimated that the prevalence of obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 30) was 36.5% among U.S. adults, and 69.5% are now classified as overweight (BMI great than or equal to 25).

But that’s where the idea of moderation comes in.

What is your favorite sweet treat?

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