Ever wonder what a dietitian’s favorite food is? Probably salmon. Or spinach or almonds, right? Nope, I’ll admit without shame, this dietitian’s favorite food is ice cream!
The personal trainer in me teaches people to eat for function, to treat food as fuel and nothing more. But I love ice cream. It makes me feel happy, satisfied and like I’ve treated myself. As a dietitian, I was trained to teach people that food DOES provide for psychological needs and that all food can be enjoyed in moderation.
My favorite ice cream is from Culver’s, with eCreamery coming in a close second and YoZone’s frozen yogurt in third. (Yes, frozen yogurt counts!) These aren’t my favorites because they’re healthier (and they’re not) but because I truly enjoy the experience they create — My kids can sit on the stools in the heart of Dundee, which feels a world away from our west Omaha home. People are friendly and fun music plays in the background. In that moment, I’m happy.
And it’s important to draw the line at that moment. Let me explain.
Experiencing food is different from devouring it and going into a “food coma.” If you enjoy food, and it makes you truly happy, then great. If you need food to be happy and it controls you, not so great. Draw the line at enjoyment, don’t let yourself need food.
Here’s what I suggest next time you’re looking to indulge: Taste it, smell it, enjoy how it looks, eat it slow, make it last and enjoy the company you’re in. You can even use a sample spoon to make it last longer. Remember, it is food and you are human. You have more control than you think.
Enjoy and appreciate every second of the experience. Don’t do this with every bite of every meal or it won’t seem so special. But when it comes to a little splurge, really make it count. This rule is better than the cliché “everything in moderation,” trust me.