Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Sudden Appearance of a Sweet Tooth

Growing up, I didn't like sweets, especially not chocolate. I remember being thoroughly disappointed whenever I received chocolate as a gift when I was little. I just did not like it! My dislike for sweets, and especially chocolate, continued for many years. Sometime around my 30th birthday I noticed that I found the thought of something sweet not so bad anymore, but in no way did I crave sweets. I started to eat a piece of chocolate here or there and also enjoyed a piece of cake or a cookie once in a while. But overall sweets were never a problem for me (not something I can say about cheese and salty foods...).

My disinterest in sweets and chocolate completely changed when I became pregnant with my second child several years later. All of a sudden, I started craving sweets and chocolate A LOT. During my pregnancy I "discovered" ice cream, graham crackers, cheese cake, chocolate chip cookies, pies, milk shakes... It's not like I never bought or made these items before, I just had never had a desire to eat them, especially not in large quantities.

During my pregnancy, I exercised regularly and ate pretty healthfully except for my overindulgence in sweets, and I am sure that the large amounts of chocolate & co. were a significant reason for my whopping 50 lbs. weight gain.

All through my pregnancy, I hoped my cravings for sweets would "magically" disappear after my pregnancy. No such luck... While my cravings are not as extreme anymore, I still crave chocolate and other sweets a bit too much and a bit too often. It's easy to go overboard... I therefore decided that I should have an "action plan" for how to handle these cravings. The following "sensible sweets" satisfy my recently acquired sweet tooth without causing me to overdo it too much. I think it's especially important to incorporate several of these items into my eating plan each week (another reason to finally write that meal plan...:0):
  • 100 calorie, dark chocolate bars - they do a good job at taking "the edge off" my cravings
  • Skinny Cow ice cream bars - I especially like the ice cream sandwiches, the cookie is so nice and soft and slightly "chocolaty"... :0
  • Frozen yogurt - I enjoy the new, real yogurt kind with interesting toppings
  • Chocolate & vanilla pudding with blue berries - I like mixing half a small container of each and topping the mixture with blueberries
  • Graham cracker & a glass of skim milk - this was my favorite snack while I nursed my second child - What happy memories! (I ate WAY too many while nursing and now try to eat only one at a time.)
  • Cereal - Before I developed my sweet tooth, I never was much of a cereal eater...
  • Fruits - While I love salads and vegetables, I have never been a big fruit eater; in fact, in the past I could have easily lived without fruits (unless you count tomatoes, my favorite food ever). Interestingly, I have found that incorporating more fruits into my diet has helped with keeping my sweet tooth under check...
Be well,