‘Cheat’ meals. I cringe at the words. To me it just has a really negative vibe. If you eat a ‘cheat’ meal, can you really enjoy the food? Or do you just end up feeling guilty.
Guilt is another one of those useless emotions, especially when it comes to food. Food is meant to be enjoyed! My personal mantra is that there is no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. Labeling food like this just creates an unhealthy mindset:
‘Good’ food thought: Broccoli is good for me! I shall relish the mighty green trees. and worship all their benefits!!! The diet gods will look down on me in praise’
‘Bad’ food thought: Potato chips are bad for me and should be shunned for all time! I feel like such a glutton for eating this salty sin filled with fat.
I know what you are thinking…this girl is crazy right?!?!? The Healthy Diva advocates eating potato chips? Yep I sure do! And all treats for that matter. Sure we should eat some foods, like broccoli, more than others, but there is no need to deny yourself of the things you love! The key is moderation and portion control. Life is too short to restrict yourself.
But the trick is to actually learn to enjoy the things you love. First of all I want you to ditch the ‘cheat’ mentality. It’s negative and unnecessary. Instead put a positive spin on it. For example, ‘I’m going to enjoy this sweet treat. It’s delicious, made with love, and I want it.’
The next step is savour the flavour! Put your chosen food on a plate, and sit down at the table while you eat it. Notice the texture, aroma, and taste of the food. I find this really enhances the experience.
The final step is to lick your lips, and rub your belly. You can even add an ‘mmmmm that was good!’ for extra effect.
These three steps will help you master the art of satisfaction. And you know what they say, practice makes perfect! So I thought I’d help you out by sharing a recipe for one of my food favs; Carrot Cake. This is seriously sinless recipe, so feel free to ‘practice’ as often as you want. Let’s all stop ‘cheating’, start ‘treating’, and live a guilt-free life. Why? Because The Healthy Diva said so!
Carrot Pineapple Protein Muffins
These marvellous muffins are gluten free, dairy free, high in protein, and FODMAP friendly. Enjoy them plain of with a smear of cream cheese icing for extra decadence. **UPDATED RECIPE: I’ve removed the sugar from this recipe as I found them to be slightly too sweet. Enjoy this new improved sugar free version!**
Prep Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 25 mins
Makes 15 muffins
- 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour (ground almonds)
- ½ cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs, separated
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 225g can pineapple pieces in juice, drained and juice reserved
- 3 tbsp reserved pineapple juice
- 2 cups grated carrot (about 3 medium carrots)
- ¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts or pecans
- 2 tbsp raisins (optional)
- 15 walnut or pecan halves (garnish)
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (355°F) and line muffin tin with baking wrappers.
- Sift the dry ingredients together two to three times through a fine mesh sieve. This will ensure a light texture when baked. Transfer ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Place 2 egg whites into a stand mixer and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile place egg yolks, vanilla, pineapple, pineapple juice and carrot into another bowl. Mix to combine.
- Combine egg yolk mixture with dry ingredients and blend.
- Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the batter. Once incorporated, transfer remaining egg whites, walnuts or pecans and raisins (if using) into batter and mix to combine. Do not over mix as this will knock the air from the beaten egg whites.
- Drop heaped tablespoons of batter into lined muffin tin and garnish with walnut/pecan halves. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack. Once cool, store in a sealed container for up to 1 week in the fridge. Muffins can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
To download a printable version of the recipe click here: Carrot Pineapple Protein Muffins