Every month The Go Get It Guide is your destination for motivation, musings on random goals and probably pop culture references. It's a space where we'll sort through the PR pitches and news, then share our honest thoughts on what's happening in the health and fitness world, what's on the horizon and just what we think of that video the internet obsessed over last week. Check in each month to Spark, Sweat, Smile, Savor and Shop with us!
Savor: Have Your Ice Cream and Be Healthy, Too?
Mint cookies and cream, black raspberry chip from Graeter's and a mix of strawberry and dulce de leche from Freddo in Buenos Aires. Ask me my opinion on sneakers or popular music and I'll go back and forth, never fully committing to a solid opinion or recommendation. Ask me about ice cream, though? I have my favorites, my reasons why and fight me if you think otherwise.
Yes, my name is Alicia and I have a sweet tooth that cannot be tamed. And yet, ice cream every day (or every meal of the day, if I'm being real), is just not in line with my ultimate health and fitness goals. In my attempts to give ice cream the "it's not you, it's me" speech, I've tried going cold-turkey, opting for pints of trendy "healthy" ice cream in various flavors and even tried talking my dad into pulling out the old hand-crank ice cream maker from the depths of their basement so I could control the ingredients. Nothing worked. So back to mint chocolate chip I returned.
Then, as if the internet overlords saw my search history, Instagram started recommending recipe pages with "clean" dessert ideas. Those kind-of-troublesome third-party ads and suggestions led me to Lacey, a supermom with a passion for clean eats. The summer heat must be getting to Lacey, too, because this summer she's been churning out recipe video after recipe video showcasing various ways to make everyone's favorite chilled treat. And here's the thing: They're not recipes trying to be ice cream, but rather, really simple recipes with just enough sweetness that you might forget you were ever addicted to Americone Dream (a.k.a. number four on my favorite list).
And so, my interest was piqued and I jumped all over Pinterest and Google search to seek out recipes. My requirements: Stick to mostly whole foods, no ice cream maker required and the sweeter, the better. Could this be the answer to my summer sweet tooth dilemma? As it turns out, kind of!
While many recipes recommend a common food processor, I used Hurom's gorgeous rose gold slow juicer—a fancy, versatile kitchen accessory that is slowly and surprisingly becoming one of my favorites—to create my frozen masterpieces. If you're an instant gratification junkie and find yourself running to the frozen food aisle mere minutes after that first craving hits, keep in mind that nearly all of these recipes require frozen fruit. I chopped up some bananas and a mango a few days prior to my experiments and made sure to add frozen blueberries to my grocery list so everything would be ready for me, and I recommend doing the same if you know your sweet tooth hits at 2 p.m. or after dinner every day.
The first and most important (and really the only thing) to consider is how you feel about certain fruits. Nearly all the recipes I found were simple, sticking to just three to five ingredients, meaning that the natural sweetness of your strawberries is going to shine. This is great if you're a fan of sorbet or fruit-based ice creams, but could be a problem if you prefer more luxurious flavor profiles. It's important that you freeze your fruits in the proper manner to avoid freezer burn or a peel that won't come off. Generally, you should chop the fruits into bite-sized pieces and arrange them on a baking sheet before popping them in the freezer for about four hours. Then, you can store the frozen pieces in a sealed bag or Tupperware until that familiar craving strikes.
When I first started poking around the many clean eating Pinterest boards, I was attracted to the recipes that sounded like they'd deliver the over-the-top sweet goods that I desired. However, as I started making different recipes, the simple options, particularly the ones that contained just one fruit, came out on the top of the taste bud score. In fact, of the four I made, my favorite was made with just one frozen mango, fed through the Hurom. Mix and match combinations until you find ones that best fit your tastes, adding in ingredients like cinnamon, honey or cocoa powder to boost the flavor. Lacey's lemon-blueberry sorbet is seriously good enough to serve to dinner guests.
Now, if you're someone whose indulgence is fudgy chocolate brownie cookie dough, then clean, homemade ice creams might not be enough to satisfy that craving. In that case, portion control is your best friend. But, if you love the texture and temperature of ice cream, but want to skip the sugar and calories, whipping up a DIY scoop or two could be the solution you've been searching for. It certainly worked for me. And while I'll probably chase down the neighborhood ice cream truck a few more times before those fall leaves start to turn, the simplicity and sweetness of this simple treat seem to be enough to satisfy most of my sweet tooth cravings and keep me on track with my big-picture goals.
Spark: Words of Wisdom from Gracie Lou Freebush
Leave it to Miss Congeniality herself to deliver a quote powerful enough to make anyone—man, woman, child, plus-size, petite, tall, short, athletic, fabulous, genius—feel a little more comfortable with the concept of self-love. Posted by the Huffington Post to celebrate her birthday, actress Sandra Bullock is quoted as saying, "I've made peace with the fact that the things that I thought were weaknesses or flaws were just me. I like them."
PREACH. Seriously, Sandy, you nailed it. Not to sound like your kindergarten teacher, but we are all uniquely flawed and uniquely beautiful. Our flaws make us human, but oftentimes it's our perceived shortcomings, ones that might not even be visible to the outside world, that make life more difficult to live. Second guessing ourselves, letting low self-esteem talk us out of taking chances or convincing ourselves that we're not worthy of something great leads to complacency, negative self-talk and, oftentimes, unhealthy habits. After all, if you don't think you're worthy of greatness, why would you take care of you?
Consider all the great things you could miss out on if you let your perceived flaws hold you back. I've always thought I was a weird runner. In middle school, my coaches would comment on my short stride, leading my teammates to call me S.S. It never got under my skin, but it did dig into my subconscious, making me feel like people would critique me if I were to ever take up running outside. So, I never did. Now, I run in an interval-based class and, yeah, my stride might be short, but I still get an amazing workout every time. Simply thinking you can or cannot do something, do or do not deserve something, are or are not worthy of something can hold you back from amazing experiences, great opportunities and incredible, life-changing surprises.
Really, this all comes down to self-esteem and self-worth. So often we see people writing about or discussing the things that make them less than—my skin breaks out too easily, I hate my laugh, my butt is too big, I have trouble making decisions—without recognizing that we all have those conversations in our heads. I guarantee there's a supermodel out there who thinks her ears stick out weird or a CEO who questions if people are judging how she walks in heels.
Strive to be perfectly imperfect and you'll find yourself walking taller, embracing your strengths and accepting that your flaws are part of the whole. And the whole is pretty great as is.
What is your favorite empowering quote? Share it in the comments!
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