Actually… if you are anything like me, you have ice cream cravings year-round.
However, there are two problems I face:
- I am lactose intolerant, and
- I am trying VERY hard to eat healthy.
Here is a little background on myself, and this current dilemma I’m facing…
My name is LB. For most of my life, I have had an awful relationship with food. When I say “awful”, I REALLY mean it. Food has always been a crutch, a reward, a way to make myself happier in any given situation. I love to eat. I LIVE to eat. And… I live to eat… junk food.
Cakes. Cookies. Pies. Candy. CHOCOLATE. Ice cream. CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM. You name it – if it’s sugary, I love it and would want to eat it at any given moment of the day. I am addicted to sugar.
Over time, this sugar addiction has turned itself to very bad eating habits. And when those habits were paired with not exercising, I started to gain some poundage.
I was like a lot of people who work full-time. I would come home stressed out from a long day of work (I teach), and I would just want to stuff my face and go to sleep. We’ve all been there. And that is what I did for a number of years. Bad portion control, no gym membership, desserts every day. I’m very fortunate that I have a fast metabolism, and my body could put up with this lifestyle without any noticeable evidence to an outsider.
On the inside though, I felt gross. I was always feeling sick due to the foods I was eating, and the amount I was eating. I wasn’t sleeping well. I felt weak – I couldn’t even do a push up (those of you laughing, laugh it up. I still suck at push ups. I seriously hate them and think they’re hard). My skin kept breaking out. Being an adult with acne sucks. I really was not happy with my eating habits, or exercise habits (or lack thereof). I felt really unhealthy. I needed a change, and I needed it sooner rather than later.
One day while perusing facebook, I noticed that a friend of mine had purchased a groupon deal for a gym membership. It was super reasonable, too. I decided to give it a go. I purchased the same deal – and this promotion lasted for a month. When a month was over, I would have the option to join the gym as an actual member.
I remember my first week clearly. I did exercises that I never did before, and boy did they make me hurt. I haven’t felt that sore since I played volleyball back in high school. I remained very sore for the entire first month of the deal I purchased. I did kettlebell squats, dumbbell bench presses, barbell deadlifts, resistance band curls, sit ups, push ups, etc. Soon enough, I was progressing on to squats and bench presses with the barbell. I was getting stronger. I decided to become a member.
I hated every minute of it. Working out really hurts. A few times I wanted to throw in the towel. But then one day, I looked in the mirror. Even though I didn’t look different, I noticed small changes in myself. I had more muscle definition in my arms and back. My jeans fit me better. I had more energy, and it was easier falling asleep at night. I had doubled the amount of weight I can lift, and I’m continuing to go up.
SO… 1/2 of my poor eating & exercising habit was being taken care of. I was working out and going to the gym a few times a week, and making real progress. Now, I just had to tackle my junk food problem.
Learning how to eat properly was even harder than getting used to working out regularly. I’m not kidding.
This requires a LOT of discipline. I am still a work in progress, and getting used to eating the right way. A lot of the changes I made to my diet were recommendations from an awesome nutrition coach who happens to also work as a trainer at the gym I belong to.
I TRIPLED the amount of protein I was previously eating. Each meal (or snack) I have, now includes some type of protein. This is very important. Protein keeps you very full. If you are full, you are much less likely to binge on junk. I get my protein from meats, fish, nuts, eggs, and select dairy products (I always have lactaid pills handy). Each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) is also LOADED with veggies. For those of you who don’t like vegetables, fear not! I will be sharing many delicious veggie recipes with you in due time. It is also important to eat healthy fats – butter is actually much better for you than margarine. Naturally made food is always the best way to go. I usually cook my food in butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. For snacks, I keep it basic. I eat a lot of fruit. Fruit has natural sugar, and this can sometimes curb a craving. I’m not saying I’d rather eat an apple than chocolate (who would?!), but in a pinch, an apple will satisfy a sweet tooth (especially a crunchy, sweet-tart granny smith!) Other snacks I have started eating (and enjoy) include greek yogurt, jerky, and popcorn.
You probably noticed that I didn’t touch upon starchy carbs. That’s because I drastically decreased the amount that I eat. These starchy carbs turn into sugar when you digest them, and they aren’t too good for you. Don’t get me wrong – I STILL EAT CARBS. I just do so sparingly. And I am very choosy about the kind of carbs that I take in. I’ve been allowing myself to have 1 serving of a “healthier” carb a day. By healthier carb, I mean the following: sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, oatmeal, or brown rice. I have been limiting bread and/or pasta to 1-2 servings per WEEK. This has been hard – but it is not impossible. Once you get in the habit of eating healthier and trying out new recipes, you start to really enjoy it.
NOW, finally, to talk about sugary foods and desserts. This was something I would eat 3-4 servings of PER DAY. My favorite thing in the world was to go home from school and eat a jar of nutella or cookie butter with a spoon. Though I would love to do this still, it’s irresponsible and was making me break out badly. I now limit myself to eating 3 servings of a dessert PER WEEK. And the three days that I allow myself to eat a dessert are the days I train at the gym, when my metabolic rate is highest. It’s also important to note that I do NOT allow myself to binge on dessert. I follow an actual serving size of whatever I am eating. It isn’t as fun, but some dessert is better than no dessert. And my skin has been glowing. 🙂
AND NOW FOR WHAT YOU CAME HERE TO SEE. An “ice cream” recipe of epic deliciousness. I put “ice cream” in quotes, because this version is NOT made with dairy. REJOICE, FELLOW LACTOSE-INTOLERANTS AND VEGAN FRIENDS! Sometimes I forget to buy lactaid pills, so having a non-dairy dessert on hand is a blessing.
This SIMPLE ice cream recipe has ONLY 3 INGREDIENTS, all of which can be found at your local supermarket. And, you don’t even need a fancy ice cream maker.
ALMOND COCONUT ICE CREAM!!!
First, make sure you have the following on hand:
- almond extract (I prefer McCormick)
- can of coconut milk (not coconut water! I prefer Goya)
- can of coconut cream (again, I prefer Goya)
***please check info. on all ingredients to make sure you aren’t allergic to anything!***
Next, find a GLASS bowl with a TIGHT-FITTING LID. A tight lid is going to help prevent ice crystals from forming in your ice cream. I use my glass bowl from my pyrex set.
In the bowl, dump out the can of coconut cream, making sure to scrape down the sides of the can. Use a spatula to get all the sweet cream out of the ridges. Then, measure and add 1 tsp. of the almond extract. Give the mixture a quick stir.
Now, vigorously shake the can of coconut milk. Once shaken, pour the coconut milk in to your concoction and gently stir until all 3 ingredients are incorporated. It is OK if the mixture is a little lumpy – that is normal when using coconut milk. It should look a bit like this:
Tightly cover your ice cream, making sure to get all of the air out when you put on the lid. Put the bowl in the back of the freezer. Every 2 hours or so, remove the bowl and give the ice cream a stir. It should start to firm up and solidify, like this:
Freeze your ice cream until you have reached a consistency you enjoy. Obviously, something like soft-serve wouldn’t take as long to freeze as a harder, more traditional ice cream. I prefer to freeze mine for at least 8 hours, or until it reaches a consistency similar to this:
Time to eat! A serving is approx. 1/2 cup, and this batch will make around 5-6 servings. Don’t forget, even though you didn’t add any additional sugar, there IS sugar in coconut cream already… so this isn’t sugar free, just dairy free!
I hope you enjoy this wonderful “ice cream” as much as I do!