Healthy Treats That Do + Don’t Hit the Spot

Committing to a healthy lifestyle means making some sacrifices.

When my inner fat kid — it’s true — wants ice cream, tacos, baked goods & pizza, I depend on my willpower to moderate my intake. I was never the type of girl who could eat whatever she wanted, which I’m still pissed about. ; )

Now, of course you have to treat yourself from time to time … life would be no fun if you didn’t. But for times when you’re not able to go for the real thing — I look for healthy substitutes hit the spot.

I’ve gotten used to my treats coming in “healthier” form, and I can make a mug cake like a boss. But honestly, healthy treats don’t always do the trick.

Today I’m highlighting a few different treats I’ve had recently, and talking about how well they do or don’t curb my cravings.

Mug Cakes – 4/5 stars

mug cake

Yeeeeesssss, I love mug cakes. The one I made on Friday was on a whole ‘nother LEVEL. I had a busy/crazy week at work, and all I wanted was a giant chocolate/peanut butter cupcake from Central Market. But I held out, and it was so worth it.

This was a variation of @pbeechie’s 1-Minute Mug Cake, subbing 1 Tbsp cocoa powder for 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour. I topped it with a cocoa powder/Greek yogurt/almond milk frosting, natural peanut butter drizzle, dark chocolate chips, sliced almonds and unsweetened coconut. I want this all day, every day.


Arctic Zero – 2/5 stars

After every spoonful of Arctic Zero I put into my mouth, I think to myself, “Wow, you’re still not ice cream.” I rarely buy it because it doesn’t truly satisfy what I was craving. I’d rather have a little real ice cream than a lot of fake ice cream. That’s just me.

However, I’m a fan of the new packagaing and am curious to try their new flavors.


Whole Wheat/Vegan Blueberry Muffin – 4/5 stars

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I discovered a new place by me. It’s called Mr. Natural, and they sell the previous day’s vegan muffins/cookies/cupcakes for like 4 for $2. I’m screwed.

I stopped in on Saturday and grabbed a whole wheat vegan blueberry muffin. It was made with natural ingredients and no refined sugar, which I love. It didn’t taste as indulgent as a “real” muffin, but it hit the spot. I’ll definitely be back!


Homemade Smoothie Bowls – 3/5 stars

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I know I’m weird, but I’m just not a big smoothie girl. On Sunday before the Super Bowl, I tried making a mock acai bowl with frozen banana, spinach, almond milk, cocoa powder and blueberries. It tasted pretty meh, but was still a good pre-game snack.

Granted, my Magic Bullet isn’t the most sophisticated blender in the world, but I rarely make a smoothie I really really love. I need to get on my friend Georgie‘s level.


The Perfect Cookie – 4/5 stars

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A few weeks ago, I talked about Oatmega protein bars. They are also the maker of The Perfect Cookie, a gluten-free high protein (10g), lower sugar (9g) cookie, rich with Omega-3s from chia seeds. While it’s not exaaactly like a real cookie, The Perfect Cookie is my go-to when I want to be bad, but know I need to be good. : )


Kombucha BBQ Chicken from MyFitFoods – 1/5 stars

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I’ve mentioned my love for MyFitFoods before, and I was excited to stop in again on Saturday. Keeping with my theme of trying something I never would make for myself, I decided to pick up the Kombucha BBQ chicken. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great. I’ve been too spoiled with real Texas BBQ.


While healthy treats like this sometimes get the job done, they can’t really replace the real thing for me. But by making the decision to be healthy 85% of the time, I honestly enjoy the 15% of the time when I do treat myself.

I think that making healthy swaps can be a tough habit for people to get into. I’m lucky that I enjoy experimenting with healthier versions of things. It keeps it interesting! : )

Your Turn-

  • Which healthy treats curb your cravings? Which ones don’t?
  • Thoughts on Arctic Zero?
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17 thoughts on “Healthy Treats That Do + Don’t Hit the Spot

  1. So funny, I JUST wrote a freelance article this morning on healthy recipes to satisfy food cravings! I’m with you, I will never be the girl that can just however much she wants and not gain weight. Actually, if I do that even for a weekend I gain a pound, no joke!

    I buy Arctic Zero not so much as a treat to sub for fro yo or ice cream, but more so as something I can have some spoonfuls of if I’m starving waiting for dinner to cook. For me, smoothie bowls definitely help with my sweet tooth. I often make a berry banana sorbet and top em with some dark chocolate chips and a TBSP of nut butter. It could pass for dessert but also passes for lunch, which I love 🙂

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  2. I can’t get in on the mug cakes. So sad. I never end up liking them. I want to so badly.

    There’s a place near work that does froyo-style juice/almond milk. And so it’s pretty low calorie for froyo, or really for any frozen treat, and I love it.

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    • Girl, you gotta step it up! I’ll be honest – sometimes they come out better than others. Once I perfect my recipe, I’ll share it with you! : ) And ahhh I remember seeing that in a post of yours – that’s such a cool idea, I need to try it!

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  3. I’m so glad you wrote this! I totally agree that there are some healthy swaps that really are satisfying and worth making, but there are some things that will never compare.
    I once tried to make super healthy cookies and they tasted like little dry dirt piles. Not satisfying what so ever.
    Bai and some Quest bars are some of the few items I can stand that have stevia/erythritol in them, but normally fake sugar just isn’t good. It usually winds up making me crave more sugar in the long run.
    What I think is a game changer for smoothies: the bananas have to be ripe when frozen(sweet bananas are totally key) and the berries I always use are some combination of blackberries, raspberries and cherries (Trader Joe’s has a great mix) and vanilla vega protein

    Ok, sorry for the novel! have a great week

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    • Thanks for weighing in, Georgie! Yeah, you should have seen my first-ever attempt at black bean brownies… oh boy, haha.. they tasted like beans. ;D I am so with you on fake sugar making you crave more sugar.. it’s such a viscous cycle. I’m honestly not sure if Quest bars have that effect on me or not … but I do know they’re addicting. Ahh, thanks for the smoothie tips – I still need to try Vega. =)

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  4. I’ve been curious about Arctic Zero. It seems like it’s one of those “too good to be true” things. I don’t have a lot of smoothies (mainly because they’re expensive and a pain to make) but I do enjoy them when someone else makes them for me! But they have to have some sort of nut butter.

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    • Mehh I wouldn’t run out to try it… I have had Nada Moo coconut milk ice cream, which is based here in Austin. It’s not as low cal, but it’s relatively low in sugar, and it’s 100000x yummier. =) Ha, and I’m glad someone else is with me on the smoothie thing!

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  5. I love mug cake! My fave “healthy” treat is Sun Cups! I love them and I know a lot of people think they are gross and a waste of calories, but I really like them. I have never tried Arctic Zero, I see it, but have never tried it. I totally should.

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  6. Mug cakes really are the best. Who needs store bought goods when you can make your own delicious treat however the heck you want it?! I do like arctic zero, but that’s only because I load it up with toppings! Chocolate chips, whipped cream, melted pb….. 🙂

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  7. Since I’m not a huge fan of cake, I don’t usually go for mug cakes, but maybe i’m just not making them right! My healthy dessert of choice is something I also often eat for breakfast- Greek yogurt protein pudding! I absolutely love that stuff… Greek yogurt + protein powder (has to be a good one- Vega works the best) + nut butter + chocolate chips!

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