May 06, 2018

How Much Dessert Should You Eat?

“You don’t have to believe the truth, but it’s there if you want to see it.”

When Lee & I started Paleo Treats (along with Dave) in 2009, dessert was basically a “cheat.” 

Sure, you could find “healthy desserts”, but at the time that meant one of only two options:   A: It tasted like cardboard, or B: It wasn’t actually healthy and you were just pretending.

When we started making the Cacao Now and the Mac Attack (a paleo chocolate bar and a paleo macaroon, respectively), our Paleo friends were stoked.  Finally, they could have a dessert that conformed to Paleo ingredients.  We were stoked too; not only could we eat a paleo dessert, we could build a business out of making healthy dessert available to anyone.

Still, desserts were considered “cheating”, and only supposed to be eaten occasionally.

Fast forward 9 years (as of 2018) and it turns out you can have a dessert every single day without it hurting your health.  Exhibit A and B, my wife and I.  Sure, we skipped some days, like the time we did a 5 day water fast

Still, if I had to guess and bet my life that I was right, I’d guess that 90% of the days we’ve lived through since starting Paleo Treats, on average we’ve each eaten 1 Treat every day.  Yep.  1 Treat per day.

If you listened to common wisdom, we should be overweight, unhealthy, with joint problems, or rotten teeth.  None of ‘em apply.  I’m 5’8 and weigh slightly less at 40 than I did at 23.  Lee is 5’7, and looks as good at 52 as she did at 34 when I met her.  Yes, she’s 12 years older than me, but that’s another story.

Ok, so we’re an N of 2.  What does that prove?  Obviously, nothing (proof is a serious word), but it does indicate you should pay attention. 

Why do the 2 people who eat the most Paleo desserts in the world seem basically unchanged after 10 years of eating them daily?

I can hear you yelling at your computer screen, “It’s your genetics, you fool!”  You’ll get no argument from me there, we were both genetically blessed to be naturally slender, “ectomorphic” if you want to get all science-y.

Still, we’ve met a LOT of people over the years of selling desserts and here’s one of the most fascinating things I’ve noticed: 

The people who eat the most Paleo Treats tend to be the slimmest, well within normal weight ranges, and usually slightly above average athletically.  The people who eat Paleo Treats less frequently tend to be the unhealthiest.

Now, let me clearly state:  Paleo Treats are NOT a cure for weight problems. They are NOT guaranteed to make you above average athletically or to be the cause of your perfect health. However…

I think there’s a pretty clear case to be made that some desserts can actually support your health, that dessert isn’t inherently evil, and that you should consider eating a dessert every day.

Yes, I know I run a dessert business and I have a vested interest in selling you desserts.  Relax, Sherlock.

Here’s what I think you should ponder:  Maybe this whole war on desserts, and cheats, and treats should shift its focus from being destructive (remove this, get rid of that, no more of the other!) and become creative.

Maybe we should think about having meals we enjoy that support our health.  Maybe we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater (Gawd, I love that image in my head) and should consider that all baths (and desserts) aren’t equal.

I mean, if I look at our customers who buy the most Treats, they’re usually the healthiest AND the people who’ve had the greatest health challenges.  They’ve had heart attacks, cancer, diseases of all kinds, or just been swamped with kids and a family.  They’ve turned to Paleo Treats as the dessert that actually tastes good and supports their health goals.

What if I told you that you should enjoy every meal? What if I told you that dessert is just as important as the main course?

Hell, I’ll go further and challenge you to eat a Paleo Treat every day for 30 days in conjunction with just a few other actions and tell me at the end of it you’re not healthier and happier.  In fact, if you do what I suggest and don’t get the results I’m promising, I’ll give you all of the money back you spent on that 30 day supply of Paleo Treats!

What are my suggestions?

  1. Get 6-8 hours of dark, cool, quiet time every night to sleep.    
  2. Elevate your physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes 4 days a week (at least a brisk walk), with one of those days being seriously elevated, like wind sprints or heavy deadlifts or something more difficult than normal.   Don’t go shorting me by pretending your 6 minute ab workout counts.
  3. Share a meal with someone you really like AND are getting along with 7 times a week.
  4. Do not eat sugar or sugar substitutes during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Eating dessert at any time other than dessert time will ruin this experiment.  Read the ingredients and imagine asking me, “Nik, is this OK?”  Your pretend-healthy vanilla almond milk will NOT make the cut there.
  5. Spend 20-30 minutes every day outside.  The wilder the place the better, but you can walk around your neighborhood and meet the minimum requirement.
  6. Eat a Paleo Treat every night after you’ve eaten dinner.

Of course, you can go off the deep end with any of this and do ice-baths or cold showers or super squat workouts (20 squats with your body weight on the bar) or sprints or 24 hour fasts, but…you don’t have to.  You’ll improve your life just by doing those 6 things.

Notice I’m not saying you’ve got to cut gluten or only eat broccoli, or live on room temperature water or never salt your food.  I’d recommend going generally light on the meat.  We used to say “protein the size of your palm” for every meal, but I’ve been cutting that in half and skipping meat 3 days a week lately with noticeable improvements.  Granted, I’m not training for a 100 mile run any more so my protein requirements are down, but it’s working for me.

Obviously, I can help the most with point number 6.  If you want to take the challenge, I’ve set up a special deal for 30 Paleo Treats for you, you can find it here. 

Yes, you can build a custom box, I’ll tell you how in the product description.

Purchase the box, bung ‘em in the freezer when they arrive and start the “Paleo Treats Happiness and Stoke Protocol” the next day.  30 days later if you’ve followed the protocol to the letter and you’re not healthier and happier than when you started, write me and I’ll refund your Paleo Treats purchase.

That’s it.  Not every business will make that promise or give you that advice, but I’m confident enough after 9 years of watching Paleo Treats and a healthy lifestyle work their magic to put my money where my mouth is (when my mouth’s not eating dessert.)  Enjoy!


Nik Hawks

Author

Nik Hawks helps run the show at Paleo Treats. Fascinated by humans in all their strange glory, Nik is harnessed in and pulling hard in pursuit of excellence with the rest of the PT Crew. Enjoy!


Too much reading...
How about dessert?

Too Much Reading...How About Dessert?

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