Is there such thing as … a healthy ice-cream?

Is there such thing as … a healthy ice-cream?

Is there such a thing as a healthy ice-cream? The results will surprise you.

Hi All. I hope that you have all had a good week. How did you find my blog post from last week? Did you take on board any of the advice about travel and the positive effects that travel can have for the mind and body? Let me know if you found it helpful. Plus if you want any more advice around that area please let me know.

As some of you know who follow my weekly blogs, each week I look at things which are either experienced by lived experience of the moment and or inspired by the fitness and wellness journey that I am currently on. Last week I reflected on travel as I had just come back from a long weekend away and wanted to share the benefits which I had experienced as a result of having this break.

This week, in the UK there is a lot going on. Apart from the sensational political updates, there is something else going on. There is….the heatwave.

As some may have already experienced, temperatures have been reaching record highs, as high as 39 degrees Celsius (or 102.2 Fahrenheit for those in the States). With such high temperatures, it is important to stay informed of how to stay safe and hydrated.

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Tips for coping in hot weather

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it’s hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it’s cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and do not go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this is not possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Water, lower fat milks and tea and coffee are good options. You can also drink fruit juice, smoothies and soft drinks, but they can be high in sugar. Limit fruit juice or smoothies to a combined total of 150 ml a day, and choose diet or sugar-free soft drinks.
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medicines you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

For those with pets, also, please keep an eye on your pets and make sure that they are also safe in this heat.

Here is a link to an article which looks at how to look after your pet in the heat. Also, please talk to your vet for professional advice:

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/how-to-keep-your-pets-safe-during-the-heatwave_uk_5d36ebf8e4b004b6adb5c42a.

It can therefore be suggested that as it is important to stay hydrated and look after yourself, it is also just as important to keep your pet hydrated and safe.

What may also be worth considering knowing how to treat yourself on a hot day without feeling too bad about it. Which leads to the invariable question…is there such thing as healthy ice-cream? 

Now I know you must be thinking to yourself, ok author, you must be running out of ideas. Really? Ice-cream? We’re not talking about calorie deficits?

No. Not today.

Because we are all human and holistic: we are the sum of many things. We are not just exercising clean eating machines. We are beings that have complex emotions and complicated and fascinating bodies. We are beings with cravings for different foods, drinks, experiences, climates and environments.

And on a hot sunny day, a cold drink is nice. But an ice-cream is nicer 😉

But as we are talking about health and wellbeing in these blogs, it is only fair to raise the question of whether there is something as possible as a healthy ice-cream. When people think of ice-cream, they generally think of delicious cold treats packed full of sugar and flavour. Which in a way is true. However sugar in excess is not good for you and can lead to weight gain and lead to other health complications. But that is a another chat for another blog 😉

So, can ice-cream be healthy?

Well….yes.

From ‘Ultra low-calorie ice-cream is flying off the shelves – but can it really beat Ben & Jerry’s?’

(https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/aug/23/ultra-low-calorie-ice-cream-is-flying-off-the-shelves-but-can-it-really-beat-ben-jerrys). 

 Oppo Colombian chocolate and hazelnut.
Oppo Colombian chocolate and hazelnut (475ml, £4.99, Waitrose – 380 calories) v Green & Black’s organic chocolate (500ml, £4.20, Waitrose – 910 calories)
Green & Black’s definitely triumphs on texture. It is thickly luxurious and smooth-melting, whereas Oppo is closer and more compacted. You don’t so much scoop it out as shear pieces off. G&B’s also has fuller flavour, but it is a sweet, juvenile one compared to Oppo’s persuasively grownup, bitter chocolate and hazelnut profile.
VERDICT: Oppo wins … by a whisker
Breyers Delights cookies and cream.
Breyers Delights cookies and cream (500ml, £5, Sainsbury’s – 350 calories) v Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough (500ml, £4, Sainsbury’s – 1,150 calories)
Awesomely sweet, overbearingly rich and mined with gritty cookie dough, the Ben & Jerry’s has me tapping-out after a few icky mouthfuls. Initially, the Breyers is a (less) sweet relief, although pedants may argue its cookie pieces are more brownies (a plus, no?). More damagingly, its one-dimensional creamy flavour is trailed by an unpleasant metallic aftertaste
VERDICT: Nil-nil bore draw
Halo Top sea salt caramel ice-cream.
Halo Top sea salt caramel (473ml, £5, Tesco – 320 calories) v Häagen-Dazs salted caramel (460ml, £4.20, Tesco – 1,128 calories)
The Häagen-Dazs salted caramel swirl needs more salt in order to assert itself amid that sickly sweet, cloyingly creamy ice-cream. The caramel brittle tastes more like butterscotch, too. But, it still trumps Halo Top, which has a pleasantly milky flavour but a strange texture (part mousse, part sorbet). The swirled-through caramel also lacks depth and character.
VERDICT: Häagen-Dazs holds on

By the way, I have no affiliations or associations with these ice-creams. I just like ice-cream and wanted to share some of the findings of the article. Of all of the ice-creams, if looking for a healthy alternative, Halo Top looks like the ‘healthiest’ option.

However let it be stressed: eating a whole tub of ice-cream is not a good idea. Even if it says it is low-fat / low-calorie. Accumulated calories is still accumulated calories. The best way to approach any treat on a hot day or a cold day is within moderation. So whilst some of the information may suggest, it is possible to have a healthy ice-cream, but everything in moderation 😉


In summary, 
it is possible to have a healthy ice-cream, but within moderation. And in this heat please remember to stay hydrated, look after yourself and others. Look after yourself but know it is ok to treat yourself at the same time 😉. 

I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. 

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A bit about the author:

I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders.

Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.

I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders.

In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.

In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.

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