Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Food: Comfort With A Twist


I've been struggling lately. With my oldest daughter officially hitting the teen years, we've had a couple of hiccups in our way of doing things, which hasn't been helped by the situation of her feelings of abandonment with my split from her dad.

It doesn't help that she and I are SO alike - I often tell her that I'm proud to be her mother, because she's made up of so much of the best of me, but that it's incredibly hard to be her mother, because she's made up of so much of the worst of me, too. I see so much of what I love about myself in her - my inner strength and fire, my sense of justice, my need for respect and validation from the people important to me. But I see the things I'm not so crazy about, too - my stubbornness, my determination to "win," sometimes even when the "battle" doesn't even matter. My standoffishness, my guarded nature. My obsessiveness. My ... well, you get it. We butt heads.

So take mom guilt and roll it all together with the overwhelm of bored kids on spring break, then sprinkle a dash of PTSD-therapy-is-hard on top of it, and you get a messed up woman who mostly smiled all the way through therapy this past Monday but has cried herself to sleep three times in the last five days.

Lately I've been noticing - sort of in the back of my mind, slowly making its way to the front - that when I'm in therapy, I talk about my own issues in an afterthought sort of way. It's as if I'm talking about someone else, passively, mixed in with things I say about other people - my kids, my ex, my ex ex, my parents, my childhood. It's all together, mixed up in this soup of impersonal conversation that doesn't even feel like it's about me at all sometimes. That makes it easier to talk without crying though.


Is that dissociation? I don't know what the label is - I just know that it bothers me, and that I could go to therapy every day of the week and still get NOTHING out of it if I can't find a way to make myself engage.

Knowing this, that I'm going to have to step beyond the things that are relatively easy to talk about and move into exploring the deeper places inside me that are aching and injured and hurting, knowing that I'm going to have to get really personal, that I'm going to have to FEEL ... well, it doesn't feel good at all. And then there's PMS, which is just the icing on the proverbial cake.

Which is where Halo Top Ice Cream comes in. Of course.

Photo thanks to this post on thedieline.com.

I love ice cream. It's one of those easy comfort foods that makes everything better, and I love that ice cream comes with so many options. Chocolate, vanilla, cookie dough, butter pecan. With or without candy, caramel, syrups, toppings. In a bowl, a cone, or even right out of the carton, ice cream just seems to be made of magic. And don't even get me started on fresh hot brownies topped with melty goodness.

I still remember how utterly satisfying it was as a kid, to sit down with a bowl of ice cream and stir it until it was mush, then set the spoon aside and drink it down like a milkshake. I haven't done that in years, but simply the presence of the memory is comforting.

But ice cream is a guilt food, right? So many calories, so much BADNESS! Plus I'm somewhat lactose intolerant, so it's even more BAD. Not only is it sugary and fattening and unhealthy, but I also know that I'm going to pay a digestive price for my indulgence.

Some days, it's worth it, and I go for it anyway. Like this week, when everything in my mind was crap, and I just needed to sit down with something sweet.

How timely that early in the week, I received a text from a friend, recommending that I try Halo Top Ice Cream because it's so totally low calorie that you can eat AN ENTIRE PINT virtually guilt-free.

Uh, yes, please.

So when I got groceries for the household, I picked up a pint of Halo Top in Vanilla Bean (partly because yes, I'm actually that boring, and partly because so many other flavors begin with basic vanilla, so I figured this would be a good starting point), thinking that I'd give it a shot. Guilt-free ice cream?

Again. Yes, please.

Imagine my delight when I also discovered that it's high in protein, which is likely due to the egg content (See? I do read the labels, even if I don't always respect what's on them.). I also noticed that, also probably due to the egg content, this ice cream has a somewhat different texture. Not so much "creamy with the little air pockets" that you expect from a typical ice cream, but more like, "frozen custard met pudding, and magic happened."

It's just so good.

Seriously, you wouldn't expect "health food" ice cream to be delicious, but this totally was. The texture was YUM, the flavor was spot on and perfectly vanilla, the melt-factor was pretty close to zilch, which allowed me to enjoy the ice cream longer, and I was actually so satisfied with it that I didn't eat the whole pint. I'm calling it an utter success, a total repeat buy.

And then the fact that I've found another way to up my protein without having to constantly live on meat, cheese, and protein shakes - ice cream with 6g of protein per serving!

Do I really need to say, "yes, please" again?

Yeah. I didn't think so. So I bought mine at the local Food City grocery store, but it's also available (near me) at Kroger, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Publix. You can even search for where to find it near you by clicking here, where apparently, you can also search BY. FLAVOR.

Seriously.

And with more than 15 low-calorie, high-protein, probably completely delicious flavors to choose from, what have you got to lose? On the company website, you can find recipes, merch, and even a contest where you could try to win a full year's supply of this ice cream!

And now - input from the Peanut Gallery:

  • Joey's Point of View: "I thought that it was really good actually. You said that it was healthier, and usually things that are healthier ... it doesn't have lots of sugar in it so it doesn't really taste good. So I was surprised by how good it tasted."
  • Eden's Point of View: "It tasted so delicious, and I never knew it was really healthy, but it was just so good. I really liked it - and we really need to get more of that ice cream!"

Also ... "No, this wasn't a sponsored or affiliate post." I bought the product with my own money, ate it with my own face (except for the parts eaten by children's faces), and loved it with my own heart-filled tummy. Although if Halo wants to pay me in pints, I'm ready to sign a contract Right. Now.

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Comments for the Comments Section:

  • Have you ever tried this ice cream before? If not ... WHY?

30 comments:

  1. Ok I need to so look for this ice cream so hubby and I can enjoy it again. You will get there with your therapy. I'm rooting for you

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    1. Definitely get some - it's delicious!

      And thank you. Your support means the world to me, truly. It warms my heart to have made such amazing connections with people through my writing.

      Delete
  2. I saw them the other day in my local store and I couldn't believe it! Finally I can get an ice cream without feeling guilty.

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    1. That was my thinking too - AND it ups my protein AND it's not milky enough upset my stomach! I'm in love.

      Delete
  3. Wow, that's something you will not be guilty of eating. Plus I've never heard of an ice cream which is high in protein. This is awesome.

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    1. For me that's the best part. I don't really count calories, but an ice cream with so little sugar and so much protein is amazing! And the fact that it's not gross is pretty amazing too.

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  4. Wow I've never heard of this ice cream 🍦 I need to go look for it! I can't imagine my daughter when she hits her teen years I know it's not the easiest age

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    1. Definitely go look for it! It's amazing!

      Yeah, the teen years haven't exactly been a shining light in our mother-daughter relationship so far, but I'm looking forward to this changing quickly. My oldest is pretty grown up for her age in many ways, and if this continues to hold true, she'll outgrow this phase quickly.

      Delete
  5. I have never seen this brand. I will be keeping an eye out for it now. Sounds delicious.

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    1. It really is. We were amazed at how tasty it really was, because we all expected it to be sub-par at best. Who wants health food ice cream, right? But it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

      Delete
  6. Looks like Ben &Jerry's might go out of business lol
    How is it price wise per pint?
    I've heard of and seen this brand but I didn't know it was health conscious!


    www.motherhoodgetsbetter.com

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    1. I'd say price-wise, it was on par with Ben & Jerry's. A little less, maybe, but close. Definitely more expensive than store brands and stuff like that, but since I don't actually treat myself to ice cream often, I felt that it was well worth the price bump to have such a great quality taste combined with lack of guilt.

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  7. I love ice cream so much! This brand seems great, also the packaging is so cute! I have to try it!

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  8. I have seen ads for this ice cream all over the place but have resisted it thus far. I think that's all over, you make it sound SO good! And I'm with you on the vanilla, love it!

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    1. I've actually never seen an ad for it on TV - but then I tend to watch most "TV" via YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix these days. I'm glad my friend told me about it though for sure!

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  9. Your review is very helpful to choose the better one for all ice-cream lovers.I will try this brand.
    My son is 15. Teen years are not easy for kids and also for parents.

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you liked the post! I'm agreeing with the teens-are-hard thing wholeheartedly. Motherhood is DEFINITELY not for sissies.

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  10. That Halo Top sounds AMAZING. I love frozen custard, so I need to try this!

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    1. I still can't get over how good it was!

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  11. I would probably be willing to try the ice cream more if Whole Foods was anywhere near me. I do know of one but it's a 45 minute drive and there are other closer options. I don't think you can beat that with the calories though. Also, about The disassociation, I'm not sure that's what's going on. You might be having some delayed reactions to what's going on in therapy when you are crying at night. You may steel yourself during the day but release all of the emotions later at home. I wouldn't worry about it too much unless you weren't ever feeling anything. I would bring it up to the therapist though. They might have an idea. Hope this week goes better. David Elliott
    http://singledadsguidetolife.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks, David. So far, this week has been much better - I did mention it with my therapist on Monday, and she wasn't really sure what to make of it just yet beyond what you've suggested here. She seems to think that's when I let my guard down - I'm single, so when I go to bed at night, that's when I'm alone. It's just me, my dog, and my thoughts, and apparently that's when it's safe for me to "process." She tells me to expect more of the same for a while as I go through different topics and things in our appointments.

      And really, next time you're somewhere that has Halo Top ... get some. You owe it to yourself, my friend.

      Delete
  12. Teens are tough to deal with, that's the first time that they're slowly realizing the realities of life and they are also going through so many changes. I think it's great that you're doing the best that you can. Nothing makes a day better than ice cream.

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    1. No kidding, right? In our family, we call it Ice Cream Therapy. In the meantime, we're looking forward to navigating our way past this rough patch - we want to be friends again!

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  13. Ice cream fixes all problems. We are excited that Ben and Gerry started offering a dairy free version. I think it is fun that you and your daughter are so alike. Once she is old enough to appreciate it, you will be the best of friends in her adult life.

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    1. It's definitely fun that we're so alike - we have a lot in common, so I'm going to be really thrilled when she outgrows thinking that having things in common with me is "so disgusting!" I do think we'll be friends when she gets older - once the rebellion passes.

      And you're right. Ice cream is like boo-boo kisses for adults.

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  14. I love ice cream too! It's my comfort food when I 'm sad, confused, mad or any emotion I have. How I wish that brand is available here for me to try. I remember when I was a teenager, I am my parent's problem, stubborn and all. Thank God He changed me :)

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    1. Yeah I am definitely loving being able to have a comfort food that's healthy for me!

      I'm with you on being thankful to God for His work in us, too.

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  15. I hope I can find Halo Top asap! This is just the kind of ice cream I need in my life right now.

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    1. Yeah I was pretty thrilled to have had someone tell me about this, too!

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