Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The scoop on ice cream

I admit my vices when it comes to food (we're all human) and I have a slight love affair with ice cream, always have, and most likely always will. The affair heats up when summer hits, nothing goes better with a hot Sunday evening than a scoop of delectable ice cream. My love affair got even more steamy last weekend when I ventured down to Soho to check out the new butter-yellow truck that dishes out Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (pictured above). I love that co-owning brothers Pete and Ben's motto is "Fresh. Local. Pure. Simple." And their ice cream really is just that (in addition to utterly amazing). They take pride in working with local dairy farmers, using organic cream and hormone-free milk, and sourcing some of the best ingredients around -- like fair trade Columbian coffee, Sicilian pistachios, organic peppermint and real, fresh strawberries. Not to mention the napkins, cups and spoons are made from environmentally-friendly renewable resources. Pretty nice guys, huh.
I can tell what you're thinking...how can a nutritionist encourage eating high-calorie, full-fledged ice cream? Isn't that a little contradictory to the idea of 'healthy eating'? Actually, it's not at all. Part of being healthy and eating well is enjoying small indulgences -- when they're REALLY worth it. I was completely satisfied with my small, single-scoop peppermint-chip cone this weekend. When we allow ourselves to eat real food made with fresh ingredients our bodies register the good stuff and we don't end up craving more...and more. We're satisfied and that's that. If fat-free, taste-free frozen yogurt doesn't really do the trick for you and you end up eating a huge portion loaded with too many toppings to count, what's really the point? You've probably wasted more calories than you would have with one small scoop of the real stuff and it wasn't exactly an enjoyable experience. Food should be enjoyable people--when it is, the less we end up eating overall. It's like magic! So here's why, when and how to get your kicks, have a good lick of your fave ice cream AND still strut your stuff at the beach this summer:
1. make it worth it -- don't just eat any old ice cream, only the best of the best will do
2. timing is everything -- if ice cream's your thang, pick just one time a week to have your little treat
3. flava flav -- order a single scoop of whatever you've got a hankering for, save on calories without compromising flavor
4. love every lick and don't dare feel guilty afterwards

My personal favorite ice cream flavor? That's tough one, I'd have to go with Mint Chocolate Chip, Pistachio (I know, random) or an incredibly intense Vanilla. What's your favorite?

(refreshing peppermint-chip...I'm in love)

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