dessertI wear many hats in my effort to help clients become more fit and eat mindfully. All my days are good days. Some are great ones. Last week I had a health and lifestyle coaching session that falls into the latter category. A fit and attractive Baby Boomer client named Katelyn tasked me with analyzing her options for choosing a desert at a dinner party she will be attending soon. Having recently lost a few pounds in anticipation of the holiday eating frenzy, she did not want to expend more calories on desserts. Her criteria for selection were designed to test my determination while maintaining her cool and waistline:

  • Can’t be an obvious low calorie choice like fresh fruit. “Too self sacrificing.”
  • Can’t be too plain like pound cake. “I have to exhibit a touch of decadence.”
  • Can’t be just coffee. “Too in-your-face-I’m-watching-what-I-eat.”
  • Can’t be something shared. “Too unpredictable and logistically complicated.”

With my marching orders in hand, I conducted a follow-up interview about the party and her preferences and then hit the calorie tracking websites.

The most likely to be served pastry desserts were set as benchmarks to compare against my selections. Gooey delights like a slice of pecan pie contained 500 to 700 calories, more depending on toppings. Crème Brulee has between 500 and 600 calories. Flourless chocolate tortes weigh in at 350. There’s a reason I say, “Leave the Cannoli,” as each one contains between 250 and 400 calories.

My follow-up interview revealed that the hosts have a well-stocked bar and an espresso maker. Also Katelyn is fond of Irish whiskey, lemons, espresso and cinnamon.

My dessert suggestions included pairing a decaf espresso with an after dinner drink. It is rumored that Audrey Hepburn, who was an avid exerciser and a very careful eater, would occasionally pair a small Scotch with her coffee for dessert. I could envision Katelyn taking a similar tact. The calorie count looked favorable, too. Espresso is one or two calories, tops. The dessert drink choices included:

• Jameson Irish Whisky 70 calories
• Sambuca 100 calories
• Limoncello Lemon Liquor 103 calories
• Hennessy Cognac 102 calories
• Goldschlager Cinnamon Liquor 103 calories

An icy cold Limoncello frappe balancing a steamy hot decaf espresso became Katelyn’s elegant and slightly decadent 100-calorie desert. Perhaps not ideal for a breakfast at Tiffany’s, but a great call for dinner in Colts Neck.

What do you choose for a great low calorie dessert?