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Room for dessert

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Sometimes, you just need chocolate.

Sometimes, you just need chocolate. by Sarah Henning

This January, I’ve been making it a point to write about healthy eating and how to get started if your resolutions included cleaning things up a bit.

And, honestly, I could never, ever think about eating — healthy or otherwise — without thinking about dessert.

The need for something sweet is what kills many a healthy eating goal, including mine. And for me, and maybe for you, the worst offenses I’ve made have been because I’ve totally made sweets completely off-limits. If I ban something, I only want it more.

Therefore, I’ve gotten really good at almost exclusively enjoying healthy desserts.

The secret, in my opinion, to a healthy dessert?

Chocolate.

Honestly, I have chocolate every day. Every single day. High-quality, good chocolate is not something I ever feel guilty about. And you shouldn’t either.

Here’s my theory on this: If you let yourself have a little bit of something sweet — but not too sweet — daily, you save yourself from binging on it later on. Many times I’ve quit sweets for a week, only to overdo it dramatically once the floodgates open up again. It’s not pretty. And it never ends well.

But if you have a little bit every day, it doesn’t become this big deal or big event to have a little something sweet.

Of course, I’m not suggesting you eat a doughnut every day and try to call that healthy. But a square of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate? Or a few chocolate chips? Both are a good investment. And it’s satisfying enough that you probably won’t need more.

Another tip? Find recipes that use maple syrup or honey as sweetener. Sure, those liquids are still sugar, but I firmly believe they’re not as horrible for you in small doses as white sugar.

The key words there: “small doses.”

Overdo it on maple syrup or even dark chocolate and you’ll need to hit the reset button the next day.

But eating healthy isn’t just a resolution, it’s a lifestyle. And it’s necessary to learn to live within the parameters you consider healthy. And you can’t get through life without dessert.

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