On day 271 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I enjoyed a sweet treat.
There are two desserts in this world that I find nearly irresistible (on an obnoxious scale): key lime pie and pumpkin bar cookies.
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 ingredients a couple of years ago.) Instead, I crave light and fluffy pumpkin bars with orange buttercream frosting.
Knowing that we’ll be 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 limit the frequency of my indulgences carefully, and I’ve had to learn to say no to treats that I don’t absolutely love – and savor every bite that I do.
I’m well aware of the impact sugar has had on our health, and with the growing obesity epidemic and high incidence of diabetes that often follows, 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?