What if I told you there were such a thing as healthy ice cream? If you love ice cream as much as I do, you’d probably be doing a little happy dance right about now! Well, we can all start twirling around the dance floor, because: it’s true! Eating mindfully and sating our taste buds can really be one and the same — it’s just a matter of finding foods (along with yummy treats!) that inspire our senses as much as they fuel our bodies.
We’ve discussed the benefits of mindful eating before, including the luxury of raw chocolate, and the importance of choosing food that works for us. Eating is meant to be an enjoyable activity, yet it can sometimes feel overwhelming with all of the new trends and conflicting studies that come out all the time. Diet trends like paleo, raw, vegan, and gluten-free sometimes take us further away from mindful eating, rather than toward: exerting too much unnecessary control over what we eat can actually prevent us from staying in the present moment, and naturally choosing foods we are hungry for.
As such, I really appreciate this advice from a trained nutritionist — and also a mindfulness coach! – who tells clients, “If you don’t suffer from a specific condition, I do not recommend any specific diet.” She further explains:
“We live in a world where contradictory studies pop up every week and even experts can get confused. How can ‘normal’ consumers possibly keep track of what they should or should not eat? (…)
Another reason why I do not recommend a specific diet is that I am not only an orthomolecular nutritionist but also a mindfulness coach. Our mind is a powerful tool we can use to achieve the most amazing results. But if we do something which is not in line with our personal mindset, the consequences can be detrimental to our health—no matter how well we eat.”
However, she does recommend that we eat as organically and naturally as we can. So, when my friend Anna showed me how to make this delicious, all natural ice cream, I wanted to spread the love — and share it with everyone!
Anna says that we could fool anyone with this all natural concoction — even hardcore ice cream snobs! She arrived at this recipe after experiencing a serious craving for ice cream. Though she briefly considered choosing a pre-packaged ice cream bar that was filled with sugar and chemicals, she had the presence of mind to think back to all the research she’s done on all natural, mindful eating. Even though a part of her wished she didn’t know so much (and could simply enjoy a sugary, chemical-filled treat, oblivious to its consequences!), she went home, and whipped herself up a bowl of organic, all natural ice cream. With this healthy treat, her craving was sated — and she also felt great afterward!
The recipe is incredibly simple:
1. Take some frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, a little raw honey, and coconut milk.
Tip: We can substitute the coconut milk with almond milk, or rice milk for an equally tasty dessert. Likewise, we can use any frozen fruits we wish — consider strawberries, or ripe mangoes for a sweeter taste, or pomegranate seeds for added visual sparkle.
2. Mix the ingredients, and blend together.
Tip: If the mixture is stubborn, blend it a few times, using a spoon to shift the mixture to the center in between blending.
3. Serve in a nice cup, put your feet up, and enjoy!
Tip: This is a really nice treat to make for a loved one that will leave everyone feeling both healthy and spoiled.
There are many recipes out there that show us how we can take typically unhealthy, sugary dishes, and turn them into organic, all natural treats. One example is this fantastic raw avocado cacao pudding, which is as delicious as it is healthy. What I like most about mindful eating is that it encourages me to eat whatever I want, whenever I’m actually hungry; noticing where my hunger levels are genuinely at, and knowing that it’s okay for me to choose anything that I want helps me to stay present when I’m deciding when and what to eat.
Another wonderful lesson I’ve learned over the years is that when we stay present with ourselves, we will usually naturally choose to eat healthy foods, or indulge in moderation. Playing around with the best of all food worlds (like vegan, raw, vegetarian, paleo, and so forth) lets us appreciate what each has to offer, without getting tied down to just one way of nourishing our bodies. Experiencing the pleasure of food is one of life’s great joys!
Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.
― Don Kardong