Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Healthy Relationship with Food

Transitioning Health-Minded Menus from Summer to Fall

September 6, 2017

Just as you shift your wardrobe from dresses and shorts to cardigans and pants, recipes also go through a transition to the flavors and colors of fall. I always get questions from my clients about what they should be eating in the fall, and especially about how to start preparing for upcoming holidays (I’m looking at you Halloween!). I always reinforce that you’ll be ready for any season, or any occasion for that matter, if you have a healthy relationship with food.

What is a Healthy Relationship with Food?

A healthy relationship with food is different than a healthy diet; it doesn’t refer to what we eat. Rather, it refers to how we eat and more than that, how we think about eating. Food, diet, and our bodies are such personal topics, and often, can be pretty emotional! You might get nervous thinking about the food at a social event or feel like there are foods you “shouldn’t” be eating. You might decide certain foods (or food groups) are “bad,” and eliminate them entirely. Regardless of how the behaviors might present themselves, each of these thoughts can add unnecessary stress, pressure, and negative connotations to something we do every day – eating.

In a healthy relationship with food, these thoughts should not come up nearly as frequently. I don’t say they would never come up – it’s inevitable that many of us might get stressed about food occasionally. But in this case, the occasional thoughts are typically short-lived and will not interfere with your life or ability to enjoy food (which is something I think everyone should enjoy, even on Halloween!).

In a healthy relationship with food, you’re able to confidently make decisions about what you eat. You allow all foods and instead of seeing foods as “good” or “bad,” you simply see food as food. In this situation, you should have no problem eating outside of your usual routine or adjusting your routine (e.g., in the changing of the seasons). You feel comfortable with yourself and in your skin. You accept others for food choices and philosophies that might be different than yours. It’s a very freeing feeling!

Where Do SPLENDA® Sweeteners Come In?

One of the key things I mentioned above was the concept of allowing all foods. No food is inherently unhealthy. Rather, it’s the entire picture that matters most. Unfortunately, low-calorie sweeteners have been subject to multiple myths lately, typically claiming they have unwanted side effects and negative consequences. Not only are these myths based on junk science that uses unconventional or poorly designed methods, but also, demonizing these sweeteners is the same as demonizing any other food – it’s a somewhat extreme behavior, reflecting negative thoughts about food. Simply put, vilifying these sweeteners is not part of a healthy relationship with food.

There is room for all foods and food groups when you have a healthy relationship with food. Personally, I love sweet foods. For me, SPLENDA® Sweeteners are an integral part of my daily food choices – I add two packets to my coffee each morning! Since I know I allow for more than the occasional sweet treat in my diet, I’ll often sweeten foods and beverages using a SPLENDA® Sweetener to cut down on the total added sugar I’m eating (for example, this banana bread made with SPLENDA® Sweeteners, check out the recipe below!). Many of my clients love a little sweetness in their beverages rather than drinking plain water– another perfect time for SPLENDA®.

Of course, portion control is important to keep in mind, but remember, no food alone is bad, and there is no benefit to food shaming specific foods or food groups. In a healthy diet and healthy relationship with food, there’s a time and place for all foods.

Chocolate-Tahini Banana Bread Recipe

This banana bread is a perfect recipe for fall and has the amazing taste of traditional banana bread, but with less added sugar. It is made with SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated and SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend. Perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without all the calories – a win-win!

Servings Per Recipe: 12


  • Cooking spray 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt (not Greek-style)
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste), well stirred
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • 1/4 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
  • 6 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined. Add SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend and SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated; beat until combined.
  3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until combined. Fold in chocolate.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake at 350° F for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe adapted and modified from Cooking Light:

I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

Sammi Haber is a New York City-based Registered Dietitian and founder of her private practice, Nutrition Works NY. Sammi received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics with a Clinical Nutrition concentration from New York University. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Sammi completed her one-year intensive dietetic internship at the James J. Peters Bronx VA Medical Center. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and the Greater New York Dietetic Association. 

September 6, 2017  |  POSTED BY: Sammi Haber, MS, RD, CDN  |  IN: Healthy Lifestyle


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