Secret Divulged; How to eat dessert every night without gaining weight

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In my previous article, I shared the bare minimum families can expect to spend on groceries and still provide proper nutrition based on Food Pyramid guidelines.

As an experiment, my family put together a meal plan to satisfy the Thrifty Plan.  We wanted to see how much we can save.  We plan to divert those funds to debt reduction and business building.

Adhering to the Thrifty Plan proved challenging as we decided what foods are important to us.

My daughter begged that we keep some fruit in her day.  I took that a step further and added I need to have a little banana in my day.

It’s important to me to have some fresh vegetables.

My daughter wanted a lunch that wouldn’t require cooking or reheating in a microwave.

I like eating something sweet immediately after supper.  Could we satisfy that as well without blowing our budget or our diet?

Combining requirements to make it work

bananasI recently created sample meal plans for a client.  I never include recipes my family hasn’t tried so that meant enjoying a recipe I dubbed Frozen Fruit Dessert Smoothie.

Both of my kids agreed Dessert Smoothie never gets old, especially since I make it even more fun by serving it in wine glasses.  It satisfies my daughter’s wish for keeping fruit in our diet.  It satisfies BOTH of my wishes for getting some banana AND something sweet after supper.

The challenging part was making the ingredients fit into the USDA’s Thrifty Plan.

Combining desire with sacrifice

It’s all about priority.  Our family is very clear on where we want to be a year from now.  So I use the word sacrifice, but it’s not about feeling like we’re lacking or that we have lost the sense of abundance in our lives.

We desire to be debt free and to build our businesses (yes, plural).  So in the short-term, we’re willing to sacrifice how much we spend on food.

We desire to keep the Dessert Smoothie in our life so what else could we sacrifice to make it happen?

Making substitutions

My original plan was to use frozen vegetables and canned beans in our meals.  In order to make the ingredients for the Dessert Smoothie fit, we had to be willing to drop a notch lower.

By switching to canned vegetables and dried beans, we can afford to have our Smoothie (and eat it, too).

It also allowed us to keep fresh veggies in our diet at lunch time and canned tuna, so lunch doesn’t require heating.

We need to be disciplined so the dried beans get soaked and cooked ahead of time for use in our meals, but we’re meeting that challenge head on as well.

The dessert that doesn’t blow the diet

blender for smoothiesOur smoothie has the consistency of Cool Whip, tastes great and is loads of fun to spoon out of a wine glass.  The ingredients make three servings.  It satisfies our sweet tooth without the guilt and without blowing our diet.  I eat with mindfulness and feel like I’m in heaven.

In a food processor, combine:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 medium banana (7 – 8 inches long)
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Pulse until milk begins to combine with frozen ingredients and banana begins to mash.  Then turn on medium to medium/high for 3 to 5 minutes until smoothie is completely chunk-free.

Scoop evenly between three glasses, grab a spoon and enjoy!

Each serving is:

  • 131 calories
  • 1.4 g fat
  • 0.6g saturated fat
  • 0.3g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0.3g monounsaturated fat
  • 4.0g cholesterol
  • 38.7mg sodium
  • 452.7mg potassium
  • 28.7g total carbohydrate
  • 4.4g fiber
  • 18.0g sugar
  • 3.8g protein

Your turn

When you make sacrifices to reach goals, do you still feel abundant?  What are some substitutions you’ve made to bring about the best of all worlds for you?

Please share in the comments below!

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  1. Rosemary says:

    This dessert sounds great. However, my husband doesn’t like anything with bananas in it. I wonder what could be substituted that would help provide the right texture and still taste good?

    • Lori says:

      Hey Rosemary! Welcome!

      I did a quick google search on what fruits have the same consistency as bananas. I found an article over on theKitchn for good substitutes for bananas in smoothies. The comments give even more ideas. You can check it out here:

      I’d love to hear what you try, how well it works and if you and hubby liked it!

  2. Tammy R says:

    That dessert does sound yummy, Laurie! I really love how you make goals as a family. Can you imagine if all parents led by example? Wow! What a world!

    I had a friend tell me, “You guys have sacrificed so much.” I am assuming she meant money because we are not working what most people consider full-time. I remember thinking, Sacrifice? I am so happy. I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off, sapped of any/all energy, and hating life. I will gladly make sacrifices (diet, money, having “things”) in order to feel healthy and happy.

    Our big dessert “sacrifice” is dark chocolate chips and walnuts. Our version of brownies! 😉

    • Lori says:

      Tammy, your “brownies” sound yummy! We have some leftover almonds at home. Maybe I can sneak a dark chocolate bar or a bag of chips into my next grocery run to surprise my kids. 😉

  3. cj says:

    That is a crazy-delicious dessert!!! Love all those foods. A little flax seed may be added at the Hoombah House, but it is marvy as is. Yes indeed, we are feeling the abundance even more when we sacrifice something of little worth for something of far greater worth. I guess that really cannot be called a sacrifice, can it? Ha!

    • Lori Stalter says:

      Ground flax seed would be a great addition!

      Our dessert smoothie started life as a breakfast smoothie – only with a few more ingredients. It included ground oats, ground sunflower seeds (unsalted), and a bit of canola oil so all of our macronutrients would be fulfilled.

      But no matter how well I ground the oats and sunflower seeds, you had to chew your smoothie. They like Dessert Smoothie a lot more!