May 31, 2018

Cutting Back on the Ice Cream

I don't do diets (especially not the low calorie / sugar substitute ice creams), and naturally my winter "puni puni" (chubby) belly usually slims down a little during Japanese humid summers. I'm feeling a little more cautious about eating healthier these days, which means fewer snacks and cutting back on the ice cream and shaved ice this summer.

Normally, I can easily finish off a 200ml Super Cup ice cream on my own. If I'm being nice, I'll split one with my husband.

Ice cream bars and servings seem a lot smaller here than where I'm from, but I know it's still not healthy to eat them all the time. Soon it will be so hot I'll want to eat them all day.

Cutting Back on the Ice Cream photo

These coffee flavored Pino are way too good. I can't just eat one.

There are a few ideas I have but I'm not sure if my self control will work out. One is to simply stop buying ice cream. Another is to stick with the tiny ice cream bars or ice creams like Pino that come in tiny bite size servings. While technically it might be easier to just have one bite, I could still easily have 'one bite' a few times a day.

Cutting Back on the Ice Cream photo

There are a few non-ice cream options that might be healthier, and cheaper too. Of course there's shaved ice, and depending on the toppings, it can be a lot less sugary than ice cream.

Also mentioned in the above shaved ice article is 'frozen yogurt' and ice pops. I accidentally discovered that if you put a small cup of yogurt into the freezer for an hour or two, it's just as cold and creamy as ice cream. I'm not going to guarantee that it's any healthier, but it's a different option with other flavors for sure.

We have one of the 100 yen shop 'ice candy' molds and a tiny blender. I've been making smoothies sometimes and using the same mix for the ice pops. My recent favorite is a blend of frozen ripe banana, soy milk, a little honey, and powdered Shizuoka green tea. I really like this option because I can save money and use soy milk, as dairy isn't something I like to have much of.

Cutting Back on the Ice Cream photo

The last option is these little konnyaku jelly mini cups, but frozen. The magical thing about konnyaku is, it's high in fiber and has almost no calories. You can find it as a fake sashimi or in oden and niku jaga sometimes. I don't care about it much in that form as it doesn't have any flavor (and doesn't absorb flavor the way tofu does). It's made from a sort of root vegetable called konjac, (not to be confused with the alcohol).

The photo above is pink grapefruit 'Konnyaku Batake' with a little illustration warning kids and older people especially to chew carefully to avoid choking. There are a variety of fruit flavors available in just about any supermarket or drugstore, a bag is usually under 200 yen. Because it's filling but low calorie, one of these frozen will satisfy my need for something cool to refresh me, but the 'one bite' theory actually works more often.

Staying really hydrated is probably always a good idea too, so I've already started on making a liter of iced tea overnight in the fridge this year.

What are your favorite healthier summer treats to stay cool?



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