For the past little while it seems all I’ve posted is recipes for baked goodies, desserts, and *SANE versions of all those things we love to eat but hate what they do to us. Consequently, I regularly get asked whether these SANE versions are really SANE, and how much or how many you can really eat, so I thought it was time for a little clarity. I have focused on creating SANE versions of your favorite treats because the majority of you repeatedly tell me your biggest struggle with maintaining a SANE lifestyle is the feeling of having to “give up” all your beloved foods – many of which are just downright emotionally comforting. When you realize you have to give up the regular versions to reach your goals you feel deprived, and that feeling is never going to help you stay on the right path. My goal is to give you baked goods, desserts, and treats that taste better than the regular ones, while supporting you in your health and fat-loss goals. We all recognise that we’re WAY more likely to stick with a healthy eating plan when it involves fantastic-tasting food, and we’re not constantly battling hunger pangs. We’re also agreed that deprivation does not help us reach our goals long-term. You tell me I am filling that void for you, and helping you stay the course. That makes me hugely happy. But to be sure we are on the same page, let’s get down to some nitty-gritty for a moment.
Are these SANE cupcakes, muffins, pancakes, desserts and other treats really SANE?
Not necessarily, especially when you eat them on their own. Remember that *SANEity focuses on protein, fiber and water. My recipes are all wheat-, grain-, unhealthy fat-, and sugar-free, so they are a HUGE step forward in the health and SANEity stakes, but they generally contain a relatively large amount of nuts and seeds, which are lower down the SANEity scale than non-starchy veggies and good sources of protein. It’s worth repeating the PSA I wrote in my first SANE baked goods post: Cheesy Scones (Biscuits):
“When we say these are *SANE, what we really mean in this instance is that they do not contain any sugars, starches, grains or unhealthy oils. They do not provide a huge amount of protein, fiber or water which is what makes a food truly SANE. They DO provide healthy fats, some fiber & the other nutrients that almonds bring to the table. So, enjoy these as a treat, but not to the detriment of your day dose of SANE protein, fiber and water.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. HA. Plus I got an A++ on my report card from Bailor for that. So how do you recommend that I include these in my SANE lifestyle?
- Continue to focus on the basics of SANEity – protein, fiber, and water – for the majority of your meals and snacks.
- Generally speaking – eat these SANE treats in moderation. I have found these SANE versions are WAY more filling than their wheat-, unhealthy fat, and sugar-filled counterparts, so it’s much easier to stop at one or two instead of downing half a dozen.
- Look at your food choices for the day and adjust the other amounts of fat in your intake accordingly to allow for the higher fat content of any baked goods or other treats you choose to consume. For example, use egg whites instead of whole eggs in your breakfast scramble with your SANE Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes. Or leave the avocado out of your SANE Green Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie when you feel like enjoying a couple of SANE Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies with it. It’s all about balance.
- Take into account your own unique health and fat-loss goals. If you have a large amount of body fat that you want to lose then you will want to be more careful with fat intake, and bump up the proteins and non-starchy veggies in your day. If you are nearing your desired body fat percentage you can enjoy more SANE baked goods and other treats. It will be different for everyone. Check where you are now, and where you want to be, and adjust your intake accordingly.
- Don’t hold back on special occasions. Enjoy. You can easily adjust your intake the next day or two to allow for any perceived over-indulgence.
- Remember that per portion the amounts of fats and xylitol are small, unless you are planning on eating the whole batch! For example, in these SANE Orange Coconut Cupcakes, you are only eating ONE FIFTEENTH of the recipe, per cupcake. Totally nothing to be concerned about. Enjoy!
- A lot of the recipes are fortified with whey protein or egg whites, and also usually have fiber in the form of fruit, nuts, and / or seeds, which makes them more SANE.
- If you live with other humans who are not following a SANE lifestyle, it will be easier for you to stay the course if you keep these SANE versions in the house for them to eat rather than the regular versions from the store. They won’t be able to tell the difference if you do not tell them they are SANE. I have blind taste-tested these recipes extensively on people who do not know what I do and they were stunned to find out afterwards they are wheat-, grain-, and sugar-free.
- If you are having desperate wheat, grain, starch, or sugar cravings these SANE versions are a FAR, FAR BETTER choice. Overeating on these SANE versions would always be preferable over the regular alternative. You can compensate once the cravings have subsided. Don’t panic!
- If you have allergies, or are intolerant to xylitol or nuts, be careful. You will need to manage your consumption of anything that irritates your body or has an undesirable side-effect. This management may mean not-at-all or small amounts, depending on your individual situation.
There are no hard and fast rules here, so – bearing the above points in mind – strive for balance between SANEity, your current state of health, your fat-loss goals, taste, emotional comfort, and banishing feelings of deprivation. Whatever keeps you on the SANE path most successfully is what you should do.
Progress not perfection! Especially if perfection is so hard that it makes you throw up your hands in desperation and give up, or stop progressing altogether.