Donut do-overs

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

Welcome to June!  This summery month offers up many highlights: lazy sleep-late days for the kids, afternoons at the pool, camps and family vacations…and oh yes, let’s not forget National Donut Day, celebrated this year on Friday, June 2.

Whether your sweet spot is Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’s, or the grocery store variety, donuts are a breakfast favorite for many. They give off a heavenly aroma, melt in your mouth, and then somehow exercise control over the brain as you find yourself reaching for a second one from the box…and perhaps a third. We may not realize that a single doughnut can harbor more than 300 calories, and up to16 grams of fat.   (Do not even bother thinking of ways to justify this; I am guessing you did not plan for an extra hour on the elliptical machine in your busy day, did you?)

Rather than label these delicacies as taboo or forbidden, there are ways to have your treats and your healthy lifestyle too. By tapping into creative culinary skills, you can prepare and enjoy other options that can be just as delicious without the devilish calories. 

If this is your week to bring treats to the office, perk up everyone’s morning coffee break with homemade Energy Balls. Prepared with unsweetened dried fruit, oats, honey, and ground flaxseed meal, these gems are easy to make and require no baking. The flax adds healthy omega-3 fatty acids for energy.  Peanut butter or chopped nuts added to the mix can pack a protein punch, and even a handful of dark chocolate mini-chips will add not only sweetness but also antioxidants.  Simply blend all of your chosen ingredients in a food processor with just enough water to moisten the mixture.  Form into 1-ounce balls, and you have a delightful sweet treat that provides ~ 3 grams of protein and~3 grams of fiber, all rolled into a mere 100 calories! They also refrigerate and freeze nicely.  Toss a few in your gym bag, too, for a post-workout boost.

If your usual morning routine is a quick breakfast at home while watching the news, cinnamon toast is a great accompaniment to that cup of java.  Toast a slice of whole-grain bread, and as soon as it pops up, sprinkle it lightly with cinnamon (and Stevia or sugar, if you really need a sweet fix). The toast weighs in at about 70 calories a slice, and ½ teaspoon of sugar only adds 8 more.  There is nothing quite like warm cinnamon-y sweetness to make you forget all about that donut craving!

Homemade muffins are another idea.  Prepared at home with whole-wheat flour, egg whites, honey, coconut oil and fresh fruit, a warm and satisfying treat awaits your hungry breakfast or post-workout crew.

If all else fails, most bakeries come to the rescue with the ingenious creation of donut holes. By only partaking of the “center”, that 300-calorie treat just dropped down significantly, while still being able to offer up a traditional donut-shop experience for your taste buds.

Celebrate on June 2nd with a Donut Do-Over Day.  It can be just as much fun, just as deliciously satisfying, and you might just start a new office tradition!