Take two [desserts]

Better late than never here’s the literally sweet follow up of WIAW’s snackyness. Because that’s what desserts actually are, right?! Sweet snacks :).

Thinking about restrictions I noticed one in an area I’d convinced myself I wasn’t struggling with: desserts.  Seeing as I allowed myself a generous amount of dark chocolate daily I hadn’t considered myself to restrict in that area. That was the point, though. I did have chocolate every day without a fail but I wasn’t particularly flexible with the kind I chose and allowing other desserts the same day? Rarely and even then only by downsizing my other meals and with guilt included. Trying an intriguing premade dessert from the freezer aisle wasn’t in the cards. Not because I’d ever gotten really into clean eating or given up sugar.

Fruit – despite its high sugar content – has never been a problem for me.

Fruit – despite its high sugar content – has never been a problem for me.

It was once more my previously mentioned fear of wasting calories and the idea of picking dark chocolate as the healthier dessert choice. What if I allowed myself to have one of those tempting desserts and ended up not liking it? I wouldn’t be able to have my usual sure-to-satisfy snacks and most definitely not my usual chocolate that day anymore because I’d end up eating above my allotted amount of calories. It’s only been during these past weeks or even just days that I’ve dared including not only new lunches but also snacks. More indulgent snacks – or desserts, that is. No healthified treats but real desserts.


Semolina pudding was one of those desserts I finally allowed myself buying. A former childhood favourite of mine it had vanished when my ED deemed it void of nutrition. Having kept myself from eating this for a long time I had imagined an over the moon eating experience. Needless to say I ended up being disappointed just like with other foods in recovery so far. Of the two kinds I tried – one whole-wheat variety and another regular one with added fruit sauce – none wowed me. Yet I’m not actually bugged by this because it once again was a learning experience. I’ll dare a guess and say that likely many of those intriguing desserts in the supermarkets wouldn’t be able to live up to my expectations – simply because restriction heightened them too much.

Giving different varieties and brands a try was necessary.

Giving different varieties and brands a try was necessary.

Liking the added fruit sauce a lot, though, it was only natural to go for a traditional German dessert next: Rote Grütze*. It’s basically a [more often than not vegan] pudding prepared with various kinds of red fruit like strawberries, cherries, red and black currants. Eating it brought back memories of my mum preparing Grütze with fruit from our garden in Summer. The result of allowing myself to have this despite the amount of sugar in the premade variety? Blissful. Maybe because I hadn’t actually meant to try it and therefore didn’t have any expectations.

*The name might not exactly sound appetizing but the taste more than makes up for it.

Looking back on my diet these past weeks I’ve had a lot more previously deemed “unhealthy” foods and might have gone slightly overboard on them, too. Still, nothing bad has happened yet. I didn’t miraculously gain pounds overnight or feel sluggish. Food can obviously be awesome but we shouldn’t make it play too big of a role in bringing us joy or making us unhappy. And: it’s no sin to have two desserts in one day if you feel like it. Balance is key here once more.

I can’t deny I’m not yet at a point where I feel a hundred per cent comfortable and had stopped labeling foods completely. What I do know, though, is that I’m on my way and hopeful to find a balance eventually.

Happiness inducing today: Chatting to my sister for a bit – even if it was only via Whatsapp.


Do you eat real desserts regularly or go for healthified versions?

What are your thoughts on having [more than one] dessert every day?

In case you’ve recovered from an ED: How long did it take you to stop going overboard on foods you’d previously restricted? Encouragement would be appreciated as this is admittedly making me anxious.

6 thoughts on “Take two [desserts]

  1. Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie says:

    I love that you tried former favorite desserts, even if one of them wasn’t that great! I’ve definitely focused on eating cleaner or healthified desserts and I’ve even been too afraid to eat coconut milk ice cream due to its sugar content but I think being less restrictive around desserts will make me less restrictive and obsessive in general, and I might rediscover some old favorites!

  2. Kat says:

    Honey,do you really think you’re going overboard on anything? – Believe me,you’re not – except on vegetables and fruit,maybe.
    I know it’s dumb to hear this from ME who is so afraid of sugar and who has done so much macro-whining when you were just trying to help me,but now it’s ME who has to say: Stop it!
    Look at those people around you: Does anyone of them actually eat as much organic stuff as you? Does anyone count the grams of chocolate or the tablespoons of “Rote Grütze” {I like Kirschgrütze better,by the way 😉 }?
    They don’t. And they probably wouldn’t even consider whole-wheat semolina pudding an “unhealthy” treat – just like the sugar-loaden fruit yogurt they probably eat for their “healthy” breakfast!
    For most of the people,desserts and treats are foods like chocolate,cream puddings as tiramisu,torte or cake. They’d probably be really confused if they read your post here,you know? 😉
    I don’t mean to tell you you haven’t made any progress or anything – not at all! Personally,I find foods like sweetened semolina pudding,yogurt or even “Rote Grütze” super challenging and even scarier than chocolate or cake… For the above-mentioned reason that they’re not typically considered as “desserts” everywhere and my parents keep telling me I should eat more dessert foods instead of that health-stuff.
    Anyways,you shouldn’t worry too much about it. Think back to the KlaK: I guess when I was inpatient,I ate like four times the sugar I eat now just because they fed us with sugar-loaden yogurt,rice pudding,AND sweets {and,in my case,four freaking Fortimel-drinks,each containing like 30g of sugar!} – and I don’t even want to add the sugar from fruit and dairy…
    Oh my god,I just realized what kind of a novel I am writing here – SORRY! – so I better hurry and come to a conclusion: The thoughts,the fears,the anxiety – it’s not necessary.
    What you are doing at the moment is approaching NORMAL eating habits,and that’s great!
    Don’t slip back.
    Let go.

  3. Sophia says:

    Oh my Gosh, please just have a slice or a bowl of something so delicous it takes your breath away! I have full fat real desert (cake, gelato, tiramisu, pudding….) I am healthy happy and full of energy 🙂 just treat your soul to something deeply satisfying 😉

  4. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish says:

    I can’t help but wonder how I possibly missed out on Rote Grütz during my escapades through Germany! I tried many sweet treats and pastries while I was there (strudel, Black Forrest cake and rum balls -yes, rum balls were a few of my favorites!), but sadly missed this one. I love jam, so I’m pretty certain I’d adore Rote Grütz, too. 🙂 I’m also intrigued by the semolina pudding – I think the closest thing we have to it in the States is rice pudding, however I imagine the textures are quite different.

    Enough dessert lusting! 😉 You should be so proud for stepping outside your comfort zone and giving yourself permission to taste test a few of your old childhood favorites. Even though they weren’t as delicious as you remembered, just the act of challenging restrictive rules is a huge step towards reclaiming a more relaxed relationship with food. I think you nailed it when you said that restriction heightens expectations. Denying ourselves something simply because it doesn’t fit conveniently into our calorie or macronutrient budget is a form of idolization. It’s as if that food is better than us, and therefore we don’t deserve it. So silly (food is just…FOOD!), yet so real. It goes without saying that I can completely relate to those feelings, as I was once there myself. I’d avoid foods for the same reasons you did/do – I was afraid that they’d disappoint me, I wouldn’t be satisfied, and then I’d have to cut back on my “normal” foods to keep everything “in check.” Gasp. It took me quite awhile to break free from that mindset, but many baby steps later, I feel 90-95% past it. I still experience occasional moments when I feel guilty about eating something, but the difference between “then and now” is that I’m able to quickly move on, and the experience doesn’t prevent me from eating the guilt-inducing foods again.

    I’ll eat more than one dessert in a day (this doesn’t include chocolate, which I eat EVERY day), if there are desserts to be eaten! In other words, I don’t hold back on holidays or during special celebrations. I never get out of control because I’ve given myself full permission to just enjoy what’s on my plate. I’ll usually take a small serving of whatever catches my eye, and then call it good. 🙂

    Okay, enough rambling for tonight! Bedtime! I leave for Montana tomorrow, but I’ve told my mom’s boyfriend to look out for your package…He’s on duty to take good care of it until I return (next Monday). I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival! Yours should be in Germany soon, too! ❤ xoxoxo

  5. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

    “Food can obviously be awesome but we shouldn’t make it play too big of a role in bringing us joy or making us unhappy.” <- LOVE this!! It's so true and something that I definitely need reminding of on a regular basis! And seriously? I'm right there with you…I NEVER would have taken the chance on a dessert I wasn't sure of when I was restricting and calorie counting because like you said, what would happen it it wasn't amazing? My entire day would be shot, that's what! I'm still struggling to find that balance now (as you know). I have days (or sometimes even weeks) where I feel totally in sync with my mind, my body, and my cravings…and then I have days (or sometimes even weeks) where one thought takes control of everything and I am consumed with guilt and self loathing. It's terrible what our minds can do to us isn't it? I'm just trying my best to see the light at the end of the tunnel and appreciating the little victories and the moments of renewed motivation to get me through!

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