I love sugar. It’s no secret. If you know me, you know I will never turn down dessert unless I’m pregnant. This seemed to be the only time I wasn’t craving sugar. And the last few weeks my sugar cravings have been out of control especially in the middle of the night. My solution? Exercise, extra dinner and Piña Colada Energy Balls. That’s right Piña Colada is the solution 😋
Yep my stress food of choice is sugar. Chocolate tends to be the main culprit although desserts in general make the list. In college I opted for candy. Now I reach for dark chocolate or or ice cream. Normally my sweet tooth is in check with the occasional crazy night but nothing out of control. Lately though, with this whole house thing, my sugar snack attacks have come around again.
In the past I was pretty bad at addressing the cravings. I was young, had a better metabolism and exercised a ton via college tennis team. Not having the same metabolism nor the tennis team workouts to fall back on, I’ve had to come up with healthy ways to nip my sugar cravings in the butt.
Before I go into what I DO, let me tell you what I DON’T do. I don’t deprive myself. If I’m craving sugar, I try to find a sugar option that is healthier and more nutritious. Or I have a few dark chocolate pieces. Saying “no sweets at all” is unrealistic and honestly doesn’t work. At least not for me. I tried that when I was younger and it was a joke. It probably lasted like 2 days. Not worth it. Plus I think of sweet things as one of life’s many pleasures, in moderation of course.
How I fight my sugar cravings:
First, I exercise. This seems kind of counter-intuitive but when I exercise, I don’t crave sugar as much. If anything I just crave liquids and real food. Aside from my race a few weeks back, I have not been able to regularly exercise with all the house stuff going on. Until now. I’ve gotten some good workouts over the past 5 days and I can already feel the difference! Sugar cravings haven’t been as intense. Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t
shoot their husbands turn into the sugar monsters at the sign of stress, they just don’t. – Elle Woods. This quote completely explains what I’m talking about.
Second, more dinner. When I’m stressed out, my mind skips over dinner and just wants desserts. Yes I always always eat dinner but often times not enough to stay satiated through the night. And since I’m still breast-feeding, the extra calories help. So that means “seconds please.” I’ve been forcing myself to eat a little more dinner which makes me not crave sugar at 2 or 3 in the morning when I wake up with the baby.
Last and definitely not least, ENERGY BALLS. I have shared 2 other energy balls before (Peanut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls and No-bake Chocolate Energy balls) and you guys really seem to like them! What’s not to like, they are little sweet treats packed with good stuff like fiber, protein, antioxidants and omega-3s boost. My last 2 energy ball recipes were peanut butter based with chocolate so I thought I would share one of my other favorites that is sweetened with Medjool dates, dried pineapple and coconut.
Piña Colada Energy Balls. Sweet, coco-nutty, satisfying, soft, tropical… mmm soooo good! Don’t worry these little guys are sans rum. I pop 1-2 of these after dinner or in the middle of the night when I’m up with the baby, and it totally kicks my sugar thoughts. I’m tell you they are amazing, easy, no-bake and quick. Plus they are the perfect dessert, snack or breakfast (why not!?).
Stress comes and goes but at least with an action plan and piña colada energy balls, I feel ready to tackle my sugar munchies. Now onto the recipe and some appropriate music….
If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for, write to me and escape
Piña Colada Energy Balls
Makes about 18-20 balls. Paleo, gluten-free and naturally sweetened.
Notes: *I like soaking the dates in a bowl with hot water while I gather, prep and measure the rest of the ingredients, 5-10 minutes. This way the dates are nice and soft before processes.
- 10-12 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked*
- 1 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup dried pineapple
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup flax seed, ground
- 1-4 teaspoons liquid as needed (milk, non-dairy milk, water)
Soak dates in a little bowl with enough hot water to submerge them for 5-10 minutes while you gather and measure the rest of the ingredients. Drain and add dates to food processor or high power blender. Process until broken up into tiny bits. Add cashews, coconut, pineapple, chia seeds, flax seed and process until well combined. Add liquid if needed.
Roll into 18-20 balls and put in the freezer on a plate or flat surface until firm, for about 15 minutes.
Store in fridge for up to 3 weeks and in the freezer for a 1 month.