A Little Word on Tiny Treats [The Traveling Bite]

Even I need to put down the food diary every once in a while to try a sweet bite. Holidays, vacations, and adventures abroad are all times when it’s necessary to relax and taste the sugar.

With surprise family visits and spontaneous trips to Boston, I couldn’t find a minute to finish up my weekend mouthful about my travels abroad until today! Many apologies for the delay.

In a mid-week update, I’m wrapping up my traveling adventures with a little word on managing and, most importantly, enjoying, the cultural delicacies, desserts, and sweets I found abroad.

One of Cooking Light Magazine’s 12 Healthy Habits is to “Be Portion Aware,” and while it may sound obvious, this is the key to enjoying an occasional sweet, sugary treat without the guilt those desserts sometimes pack. Cutting the size of “less-healthy or higher-calorie foods” makes it possible to sample sweets without breaking diets or filling your body with unhealthy sugars and fatty oils.

My LittleWordBites endeavor began with mini toasts – and I’ve taken the philosophy of tiny foods and applied it to dessert. Instead of buying more than I want to eat, I try always to seek the tiniest bite. In Amsterdam, it was mini stroopwafel. In London, a mini cupcake shop at Camden Lock Market was turning out big flavors in 1/2 the amount of cupcake batter as a standard cupcake. In Paris, I discovered the miniature version of the classic French macaron – and was able to enjoy more than one flavor with less sugar and fat than if I’d eaten one large macaron.

This bite-sized macaron let me experience the French confection without bogging down the rest of my day in granulated sugar and almond paste.

In a final note, I want to take a nother leaf out of Cooking Light – their reminder to “Eat Mindfully.” Food is about nutrition; energizing your body and fueling your life. But food is also about enjoyment, pleasure, and there’s no reason not to stop every once in a while and truly enjoy the food on your plate. Take a few deep breaths before that next cupcake – chew slowly, consider the flavor. You’ll slow down, eat less, and make the most of every little bite.

This was the best advice I can give – in food and in life. Be mindful of what you put in your body, and be mindful of the adventures you embark on. When you find something worth stopping for, truly take your time, and enjoy every little word, every little bite, every little moment.

Until next time, when I’m back to my regular routine and sharing with you my favorite healthy bites to make the best of every dietary restriction, click here for more healthy living tips from Cooking Light Magazine.