secret ingredients

If you like doughnuts or cookies, then you most likely can’t stop at one.

You may decide that you’re only going to have one, but then end up eating the second one thinking, “ Well….it’s just two cookies, not all the bad”.

Then your fingers move towards the 3rd or 4th one, and you are saying to yourself- “Don’t have it”, but still do and feel guilty about.

I’ve been in your shoes, as I’ve always had a sweet tooth.

But then I did not understand what caused cravings and how to fix them!

Let me fill you in with one secret…..

I still have a sweet tooth….yikes!
Well that is not going anywhere, but I don’t go bonkers seeing dessert anymore.

I was recently in Lisbon home of the world famous Belem Pastry; and was left speechless and awestruck at the variety of sweet goodies available!

There are tarts of all sizes and shapes, chocolate drizzled to chocolate covered croissants, éclairs, cream filled rolls, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, pies….phew. Just writing about them is watering my mouth.

Here’s picture of one of the stores.

belem pastry

It looked so inviting!
But I was very anxious to step into the store- least I go on an uncontrollable sampling spree!!

So the first day I just skirted the pastry shop, and admiring the delicacies from the window and imagining the ones I wanted to savor. I was selfish enough to not even let my family go in and eat some, least my sweet tooth went out of control!

On the second day though I succumbed to the increasing pressure from my son and husband and ofcourse my inner devil aka the sweet tooth!

While they went ahead and ordered cream and chocolate laden treats, the cliched nutritionist in me tried to be cautious. 😉

So I order a small almond tart.

In my head though I knew I wanted to try the chocolate éclair next and was already planning the excuses to eat one after finishing my tart.

Now here is the most interesting part of the whole story….

As I took my first bite into the tart, I experienced such a bliss!
I have never eaten a better tart in my life!!

The flavor was so subtle, the ingredients so fresh that I really savored that first tiny bite of the tart for almost 5 minutes.

It took me almost half an hour to finish that tiny 2.5” tart!

By the time I finished it I had absolutely no desire to order anything else.
I was super satisfied.

Here I was surrounded my desserts, with a fresh supply coming up from the store’s bakery every few minutes. And yet I did not want to try another item.

That’s when it hit me!
The secret to satisfying meals that satisfies your taste buds and satiates your hunger is using REAL and FRESH ingredients.

Sounds too simple, right?

It was from that moment that I started noticing during my entire 2 week trip that the ingredients in all these local bakeries, cafés and restaurants were so fresh and so real that the food tasted amazing.

The quality of the chocolate, the flavour and aroma of the cheese, the softness of the croissants and breads are quite the experience you need to have for yourself. Foods would melt in your mouth.

We wanted to slow down and savor each bite, instead of rush through our meals.

I’m not much of a coffee drinker as I find it too bitter. But even the coffee there was so smooth and rich tasting!

Sorry Starbucks and Tim Horton’s, your coffee now tastes like mud to me.

And the best part about eating real food in Spain and Portugal?
The food was amazingly affordable and abundantly available.

They don’t eat the mass factory produced doughnuts and cookies we get in North America, which are laden with sugar, fat and preservatives. There is no flavour to these foods just an overbearing taste of sugar.

Honestly, I think we seem to be eating ‘food-like items’ here.

I guess that’s why we enjoy the ‘gourmet’ chef’s creations at high end restaurants here. They use good quality, real ingredients.

And if you’ve noticed these gourmet creations don’t come in jumbo sizes. Eating smaller portions of these dishes satiates your taste buds and your appetite.

You don’t want to upsize these meals.

When it comes to real foods with fresh ingredients, LESS is MORE. That is the secret to satiating meals!

That’s how my grandma and mom used to cook- the minimalist way.

Indulge in fresh, wholesome fruits, vegetable, cheeses, meats and grain products. These foods support your digestion and curb cravings.

What’s more, you won’t need to manage your portions and count calories. And as I experienced- I could have my ‘tart’ and eat it too!

If you’d like to find out more on how you can eat sensibly and reap the benefits of real foods, I’d be happy to chat with you.

Just click here to schedule your complimentary phone in discovery session with me.

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