I’m a firm believer that so called “cheat days” are healthy for the soul – allowing yourself a treat here and there is a good thing. It helps to avoid the inevitable binge if you try to eat only healthy food 24/7. There are several ways to go about this, whether it be going all out and making a sweet dessert, an indulgent snack, or a meal that you wouldn’t normally eat. For me, I tend to switch up between the three options, easing my guilt with the knowledge that it’s all about moderation: allow yourself to eat that slice of chocolate cake, but just be aware of how much of it you’re eating.
Meals: One of my favorite cheat meals is something I only just recently discovered: peanut butter burgers. Now, stay with me: I’ve talked to a lot of people who thought the very idea of it was gross (spoiler: it’s delicious). The peanut butter doesn’t overpower the taste of the burger, rather it adds more flavor to the bun. These are super simple, all you have to do is follow your favorite burger recipe (mine is a classic burger with caramelized onions and garlic), then add peanut butter to the bun. Now, I don’t think ketchup would taste great with peanut butter (if you disagree, feel free to let me know!), so you probably shouldn’t add any to your burger, but if that’s a deal breaker for you, a regular burger is a great cheat meal on it’s own!
Desserts: One of my constant struggles is my sweet tooth: I love dessert, desserts of all kinds, and it’s been extremely hard to cut back and limit myself on this. However, I love to bake, and the times I allow myself to give into those sugar cravings are when I decide to have a cheat day. This week my roommate and I decided to make rainbow cake pops (I know, when I said it was going to be a cheat day, we really went all out with the sugar!). They were surprisingly easy to make, and a quick Pinterest search showed dozens of different decorating options. Tip: Use a colander as a stand to let your frosted cake pops dry!
Snacks: Another weakness of mine is honey-roasted almonds. They’re one of my favorite things to snack on, yet they can definitely get on the pricey side when it comes to grocery shopping. I’ve found a way around that by starting to make my own! Again, these are pretty simple to make, but involve almost constant attention as they can burn easily (they need to be stirred about every 2-3 minutes). When I made these I combined almonds with cashews, and the results were delicious! The recipe I used is here.
On the menu for this week:
Monday: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Tuesday: Huevos Rancheros Sheet Pan Nachos- Hint: make these healthier by buying unsalted tortilla chips and substitute the sausage with ground turkey! – Recipe Here
Wednesday: Avocado Chicken Salad – Recipe Here
Thursday: Roasted Shrimp & Asparagus – Recipe Here
Friday: Peanut Butter Burgers
Breakfast: Smoothie Bags
Snacks: Honey Roasted Almonds and Cashews
Dessert: Cake Pops!