One year ago, while pregnant with my first child, I founded a small business called Cissé Trading Co. We import Fair Trade cocoa from a farmers’ cooperative in the Dominican Republic to craft baking and hot cocoa mixes. My mixes support fair labor practices and ensure no child labor is involved in the cocoa production.
A side effect of this job is I that I'm eating dessert every day (and sometimes several times a day). Here are my thoughts on the best ways to indulge, mindfully (and without growing a pant size):
This is the main tenet of my food philosophy. Eat a few bites of something truly scrumptious—I mean full fat and sugar. Instead of losing self-control and bingeing on low-cal pudding cups, have one small and delicious cookie. This will satisfy your craving, feel like a real treat, and won’t leave you feeling bad about over-eating.
Embrace the experience.
Eating is emotional for all of us. When enjoying dessert, close your eyes for a second and really savor your treat. Tasting and interpreting flavors is a great way to be completely present in the moment – and it’s oh-so-satisfying!
Make it a family affair.
Whether you’re eating out or baking at home, connect with your friends and family by sharing a treat together. Cooking with kids improves their math skills and mental reasoning skills. (Think of all those ingredients to measure, read, and discuss!) Plus, when you make dessert at home, you control everything that goes into it: ditch the artificial sweeteners and replace them with just-as-powerful real flavors, like homemade caramel, sea salt, or orange zest.
Choose Fair Trade.
Don’t let dessert leave a bad taste in your mouth wondering whether child labor produced your indulgence. Many sweets are made with chocolate, which should always be labeled Fair Trade. Buying chocolate with this seal of approval means that the cocoa farmer who grew the beans was paid a living wage and can comfortably raise a family on his or her income, and no child labor was involved.