Friday, September 11, 2009

Parfait Perfect

My son has it good. Everyday, I pick him up from school with a fresh yogurt parfait. He gets in, cleans his hands with a wet wipe, and indulges in luxury.

I don't make the parfaits. I could, but it would cost almost as much for me to make them fresh, and frankly, he loves the treat of having them from our favorite eatery, Heavenly Temptations. I always look to support family-owned local businesses, and theirs is the best that I've yet to find. They offer fresh baked goods, including pop overs, and sandwiches, homemade hummus, and a choice of fresh soups and beautiful salads. All of it is made right there in the kitchen, and is made with whole foods (not processed), so it's our favorite place to dine out. We've been going there since he was born, and I began introducing him to the parfaits this summer. They are prepared by the woman he lovingly refers to as "Miss Marion". The parfait is served in a clear cup, and is layered yogurt, strawberries, yogurt, strawberries. In a separate cup is a small serving of granola (to pour on top, if desired). 

I started eating them as soon as they were added to the menu. And as I started, it seemed that every magazine and publication was writing that an optimal breakfast (in terms of nutrition) is a yogurt parfait. The yogurt is a perfect ration of carbs, fat, and protein (energy in carbs, protein and fat to keep you fuller longer). The strawberries are packed with antioxidants, and the granola has more good carbs (oats, raisins) and adds crunch.

It's been reported that dieters (yes, I just used the 'd' word - argh!) who consumed three 6 oz. servings of yogurt a day lost 61% more body fat overall than those who didn't eat any. That's a big deal. Personally, I notice that on the days I begin with a parfait, I eat better all day. I feel full, my blood sugar is stable, and I am satisfied mentally because enjoyed my breakfast.

Yesterday, Miss Marion didn't make parfaits. I scrambled to pull together a healthy, comparable snack for my son: a cup of fresh cut pineapple, a Naked Juice (Blue Machine - a combo of blueberry, blackberry and banana (13 g fiber)), and a YoCrunch yogurt. When my son got in the car, he looked at me and asked disappointed, "No parfait?" While I did take that moment to give him a lesson in gratitude, I understood his feelings. Nothing beats a fresh parfait.

So today while I was getting my coffee, I noticed there were still no parfaits. Like my son, I asked, "No parfaits?" and was told that they were getting fruit and they'd probably be made by early afternoon. I ordered two in advance, for them to keep aside for me and my son, hoping they'd be available before school got out. 

After leaving my noon Vinyasa class, I received a message from long-distance runner and knitter extraordinaire, Anne, who works at Heavenly Temptations. She'd said that my parfaits were ready and waiting for me. Oh, happiness! 

Little Bear (my son) came marching to the car like the cool eight year old that he is, threw in his backpack, and grabbed a wet wipe. He looked at me with wonder, as if to ask without actually asking what his snack was. I proudly reached my arm to the back seat, lit up a grin, and handed him his fresh parfait. "Oh Mom," he sighed, heavily. "Thank you, Mom. These are soooo good." 

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