It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means… well it really means that we need to remember all those who died while serving our country. We have a lot to be grateful for! But it also happens to be the un-official start to summer. Woo-hoo! Which means the official start to ice cream season. Uh-oh.
“But I love to go out for ice cream in summer….”
I’ve been hearing this one since the beginning of May. 🙂 I cannot give you an answer to how many times you can have it either. That’s up to you. You think you want it because it is delicious but you also believe that it’s a “bad” thing to do. So you wind up in a conundrum. Relax. Don’t feel torn about eating ice cream if that’s what you really want to do. Stop beating yourself up and feeling as if you should not have done it once you’ve eaten it. Enough with the regrets and the guilt!! Either eat it and love it OR… skip it. It may not feel like it, but you have a choice. But how do you skip it when your brain keeps telling you that you want it?
Someone recently asked me “Do you ever get ice cream?” And this really got me thinking. It’s interesting– after just telling him it’s perfectly fine to go out for ice cream once in a while in the summer– I had to be honest and answer “No, I don’t.” (Used to, sure. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cave in and try the new cashew milk So Delicious Salted Caramel Cluster ice cream when it first came out.) Anyway, the truth is I do THINK about getting ice cream. Especially since I live near a popular ice cream place and I find it fascinating enough to slow down as I drive by to check out all the cars packed into their tiny lot on warm evenings. I love seeing all that job security! 🙂
Here’s my conclusion about how to avoid things you want to avoid: It can’t be about denying yourself. Seriously, it will not work. If you look at it that way, you’re going to want it more. It has to be about a choice. You have to change your mindset from “I shouldn’t” or “I can’t” to one of “I can have it but I’m choosing not to.” What really works for me is the realization that I feel better not having ice cream than I do having ice cream. And also knowing that I CAN have it whenever I want to. I think that is what it comes down to.
Being involved with nutrition for so many years, I have developed a solid understanding of how detrimental sugar can be for the body. Does that mean having one ice cream cone is going to kill you, ruin your health or cause a disease? Of course not. But everything you eat has an effect on your body, for better or worse, and over time your choices add up. I want mine to add up in the healthy direction.
When I drive by, I do sometimes think it could be fun to stop and I wonder what flavor I would get. But I have never stopped, and it’s because I know it’s my choice. To me, not eating it makes me feel good. I stay satisfied with better quality foods which dulls the desire for junk food. It’s not a holier-than-thou attitude; it’s simply knowing what I want for myself at the time. And leaving life open to the fact that perhaps one day, if the right mood strikes, I can and just might stop and buy one.
Remember, we are all free to make our own choices! Do what makes you happy and what supports your goals. I believe that things like an occasional ice cream can fit into a balanced lifestyle if they make you happy. It’s the guilt and self loathing that are really damaging. Please don’t live your life that way. When health is important to you it becomes so much easier to make decisions about how much you want to indulge in things like ice cream.
Happy Memorial Day! Try my favorite way of making ice cream with frozen bananas…