Celebration Alternatives?

Last night I stopped at the store to purchase cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. I never considered getting anything else (except maybe cookies) – it was almost like I was on autopilot. Now, this friend isn’t watching what she eats so I’m sure she’s perfectly happy to get the cupcakes but still, it got me thinking. What are some healthy alternatives to the standard birthday or celebration desserts?

Don’t get me wrong. I love me some birthday cake and I’m all for taking a break from eating right on special occasions. Otherwise, I think you fall into that trap of depriving yourself too much and you’re likely to fall off track. However, more often than not, celebrations don’t come with just one dessert. For my birthday this year, for example, I had birthday cake with family, received boxes of birthday cookies from two different friends, and was also treated to birthday cake at work.

And what about cases where celebrations are grouped together? Maybe you have an anniversary and several birthdays grouped together. When everything comes with cake, cookies, or cupcakes how do you stay healthy while not feeling like you’re missing out on things?

Of course, there is the option of using healthier cake recipes or something else designed to trick you into feeling like you’re still indulging. I’m not saying those are bad options but I’m looking for something else. Something that I can honest-to-goodness feel ok eating but still feel like I’m celebrating. Has anyone found this healthy alternative? I’m searching for one but I’m interested to know if anyone else has already found a favorite approach.

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