We all know the familiar motto, ‘all work, no play,’ and that is how most diets tend to feel. We count our macros, ditch the dessert, keep calories to a minimum and shred the rest with a daily workout. It can be tedious, but earning a great body is a reward we have all deemed worthy. Still there is that little gnawing for a guilty splurge, a full dive into rich, creamy and sweet. We deserve it. Right?
The truth is most studies show an occasional treat or reward for reaching fitness goals can actually help to keep us on track. Denial and restriction are the typical culprits for completely falling off the health wagon. So when you know you deserve that little extra for a killer workout or meeting a fitness goal, go ahead and give yourself a tasty pleasure.
The trick is to keep that dessert or snack within some sort of healthy boundaries. Going out and eating an entire turtle cheesecake is not a reward. It’s a setback. Enjoying a boost of all-natural sugars and nutrient packed deliciousness is the goal.
Take a look at a super sweet treat that will cure your craving while still staying within the bounds of health!
Vegan Chocolate-Date Smoothie
2 cups unsweetened nut milk
4 dried dates, pitted
2 medium frozen bananas
2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 scoops of Terra Origin Plant Protein - Chocolate
Place the nut milk and dates in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth to break down the dates, about 30 seconds. Add the bananas, cocoa powder, almond butter, cinnamon and Terra Origin protein powder. Blend on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 45 seconds more.
The natural sugars in the dates and bananas will have this smoothie rivaling any great dessert, so we don’t recommend combining the two all the time, as the extra sugars should be for a special occasion. The unsweetened cacao powder is full of antioxidants to fight free radicals in your system. The bananas will help boost your potassium levels after an intense sweat session. Almond butter is a great source of healthy fats adding some staying power to this smoothie. And the protein powder will give your muscles some much needed support to help repair and rebuild broken tissues.
You can cut down on the dairy free milk to make a thicker and creamier dessert. If you start with ½ a cup, you can actually make an ice cream instead. It all depends if you’re more of a sip it or eat it type. You can also make it as is and place it in the freezer for a few hours, perhaps before your workout so it is ready when you return.
The recipe quantity is enough to serve two, but the amounts are very easy to cut in half if you prefer a sneaky, solo dessert.
No matter how you choose to make this treat, be sure to give it to yourself. You’ve earned it!