Dessert Nachos - Very Low Cal Low Fat Fun & Romantic Sweets

Dear Veronica,

Things are going great with my new boyfriend with the exception of one thing - dessert! Maybe you have some suggestions to help me. I haven't said anything to him about this yet but I'm afraid this will be one of those dumb things that snowballs and winds up a big deal.

Before my bf I never ate dessert or sweets because I am watching my weight. My new boyfriend works second shift and doesn't get to have dinner until maybe midnight. This works out fine for me since I work from home and can adjust my schedule. Ok, so the thing is we are having dinner so late so we don't usually eat out. Mostly he comes to my place and I cook. I don't mind. He always brings a fattening dessert, from a great bakery. He likes to cut just one big piece of cake or pie and share it off the same plate together. To be perfectly honest, it is very romantic. I love the intimacy of it and I love how he wants to contribute something to dinners I cook. I sound like a jerk complaining to you about this, but I've gained at least 5 pounds since we're together and this needs to stop. I like the desserts but I don't love them. I made such a big happy deal over it the first time he did it. It was genuine on my part, but maybe I went overboard? I'm sure it's part of why he does this for every dinner now. I also really like that we are so together now that we have these routines. It feels really good.

How can I tell him to stop bringing over desserts? Am I being stupid?

SweetAndSour

Dear SweetAndSour,

Have no fear, Veronica is here!

First let's praise your excellent insights.

1 - He wants to be part of the meal prep.

He's not taking you and your schedule change-up and your cooking meals for him for granted. That's a great thing. He wants to be part of the preparations, doing for you as you're doing for him.

2 - The 2 of you are doing something intimate here.

It's not the food, it's the intimacy. It's the Lady & the Tramp spaghetti scene. It's romantic and personal to share a meal especially in this kind of way off the same plate. The act itself can vary from couple to couple, it doesn't matter. The important thing is you're recognition that this is something special the two of you are sharing.

3 - Rejecting his desserts could be perceived as rejecting more than the food.

You're right to be worried about how you handle this. He sounds like such a sweetheart, you definitely do not want to say the wrong thing and hurt his feelings.

4 - You can't go on eating this way.

If you've gained 5 lbs and you're not even loving the food, than this is physically unhealthy. You need to do something.

Instead of telling him to stop, how about asking him to exchange.

Ask him if instead of bringing dessert he can bring the fresh fruit for breakfast, because you have some dessert recipes you want to try to make for him, and you think they're very romantic.

It's important that you give him something else to bring, so you can honor his wanting to be part of the process.

It's necessary that you say "because" so he isn't left to wonder. Be clear that there is a reason for this, so that he doesn't create one.

If you don't insert something healthy like fruit for for breakfast, you will wind up with the same problem, sharing a bear claw for breakfast. Or ask him to bring the popcorn for a movie. Or the wine.

Also, keep in mind it's not just what you say, it's how you say it. Make the request for exchange while smiling, kissing, touching his hands, reinforcing the intimacy that you have enjoyed. And don't forget to say the dessert you want to try making is romantic. Acknowledge that your desserts have become intimate. It's date-like. Eating dinners at home can lose that feeling.

By the way, I'm assuming he doesn't cook or bake since you said he picks up these decadent desserts at Bakeries. You could ask him to pick up the salad or make the salad if that's somehow an option, depending on where you live and what his cooking/schedule is like.

It is important not to say, "Hey let's change it up." You've already noted how it's nice to have a routine. There's comfort in feeling like you can rely on the permanency of things. You don't want to say anything that counters that sentiment. The truth is you like the comfort of the new routine, so saying something like, "Let's change our routine," isn't being true to yourself or to him.

Dessert Nachos

Here's a recipe I make. For the dessert chips, I break up Kim's Magic Pop Cinnamon or Strawberry flavored crackers. (If you haven't tried these things, there's a bunch of flavors. They're very lite, puffed, kind of like chewing on air.) One huge 7.5 inch diameter cracker is only 10 - 20 calories depending on the flavor, and no fat. You can also use a sweet rice cake like apple flavored, or graham crackers, or a flat cookie.

Start with a platter and create that base dunk like the re-fried beans. In these photos I used 2 different pie fillings: strawberry and almond paste. The strawberry is only 80 calories for 1/3 of the can, and no fat. You can use pineapple, blueberry, cherry, whatever you want. Break up the Kim's Pops or graham cracker or whatever you're using for chips, and stick them in.

Next add some pudding. I used vanilla here, obviously you can use any flavor. Same with the whip cream, I use a fat free lite white whipped cream. Add more layers. You can also add in berries, sliced kiwi and banana.

You can make this as low calorie as you want. You can use fat free chocolate yogurt with the pie filling. You can add slices of pear and star fruit. Raisins, sliced almonds, anything goes.

For others reading this, you can also make this as decadent as you want. Peanut butter, Nutella, Fluff, chocolate Hershy's kisses, Butter Pecan ice cream, caramel sauce, Pizzielle cookies, unrolled waffle ice cream cones for the chips... there are so many things you can use.

Getting back to a lower calorie no fat smart foods choice, I believe with this you can eat about 100 calories worth with less than a gram of fat, and feel very satisfied. If you are watching your weight like you said, this is a great choice. Plus, as with nachos, it's hard to gage how much the other person ate. Unlike with a cake, you aren't going bite for bite.

This is the kind of dessert where you really do have to eat off the same plate. Like when you share a plate of regular nachos, this is fun for a whole table of friends, and romantic for two.

You can make this dessert be your ritual, your routine. Since you can make it as light and healthy as you want it to be you don't really have to worry about the weight watching. You can make it a little different each time depending upon what you have in the house and what you want to incorporate.

Once you've successfully made the "exchange," I want you to talk about it.

Tell him you're so glad he liked your Dessert Nachos, because you had gained a few pounds but you loved the intimacy of dessert time so much you didn't know what to do. You have to be careful with the wording. Don't say "his" desserts. It's important, because they are both your desserts. Don't say you gained a few pounds because of the cakes and pies.

I hope you'll keep the goal in mind as you experience this. Communication and honesty are important. In building a healthy relationship, you do need to learn how to talk to each other, and how to listen. This wasn't just about making sure he heard you correctly, it was also about making sure you communicated your meaning correctly.

Use this as an opportunity to build your communication skills together. Be aware of the fragility any new relationship has. Things are new, and fun, and great. But life isn't always new and fun and great. Building trust and creating a place where you both feel accepted and safe, is incredibly important. Being careful with his feelings is paramount when you want him to be careful with yours.

What I'm saying is, not only is the cake thing a communication lesson, so is the way you handled it. In a year when you two are still together, talking about this will be one of those things that proves your need for honesty was matched with your need to keep him safe. Managing to accomplish both proves that you are ready to be a partner.

Top Chef Desserts Finale

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