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WINNER: Molly McCarthy, Nashville, TN

AGE: 28

ACHIEVEMENT*: Molly, a psychiatry doctor-in-training, knows how important it is to stay fit. Working long shifts at a hospital, she manages her stress by treating herself well—both physically and mentally. She started running in college, discovered Tasti D-Lite in med school, and ever since, has sought out this lower-fat, lower-carb, lower-calorie treat as a guilt-free reward after workouts. Over 11 years, she’s developed healthy habits that will give her the energy to complete her residency, move into a fellowship, and then into her own practice.

OTHER TASTI HABITS: An athlete in high school, Molly decided to start running in college and really got into it. She runs about 6 miles a day, and has competed in a half-marathon. She eats a balanced diet, avoids fast food, and sticks to lighter fare—without totally depriving herself. Molly also maintains healthy friendships and stays close to her family, so she has support all around her.

WHY TASTI: The lower-fat, lower-carb, lower-calorie profile of Tasti D-Lite is what led her to try it. But when she found the creamy, delicious taste that was as satisfying as ice cream, she was hooked. Molly still loves choosing from more than 100 fabulous flavors… and named at least four favorites!

FAVORITE FLAVOR: Buttercrunch Mania, Rice Pudding, Cinnamon Crunch, PB&J

FAVORITE TREAT: Any of the above in a wafer cone

 

Molly's Story:

I’m in my third year residency at a hospital. The first two years of residency were really high stress. I was on call, admitting people to an in-patient hospital. Working the emergency room. Doing consults. In the second year I did a night shift from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., and I was the only physician in the psychiatry hospital, with cross-covered calls. Because I’m a resident, I work all the time, so I try to manage my stress levels. I’m now applying for a fellowship in children and adolescents … two years after that I’ll be an actual practicing physician. 

Running became one of my mechanisms for dealing with stress, especially through medical school. I grew up playing every sport, all year ‘round, through high school, but I used to look at runners and think that they were crazy. But in college, I started running just to stay active and maintain my health and I ended up really liking it.

Running became my time to really think about, and process things in my life. I feel so much more energy for the day when I run in the morning, so I always run before work.

In 2007, my third year of med school, I tried Tasti for the first time. I was in New York and spent a month there. I walked by, and thought to myself, “Hey, healthy ice cream.” So I tried it and it tasted so good. I quickly got hooked on it, and had it often while I was there.

When I moved to Nashville for my residency, they put in a new Tasti D-Lite center two months later! 

I was living with two other residents, and one of them was Regina, my best friend. We started eating Tasti five times a week. We’d go to the Y, work out, and have our Tasti D-Lite after. Partly it was the experience, because we loved going together. I knew I could eat it every day and not gain a single pound. We loved the feeling of a great workout followed by something sweet and delightful that didn’t completely ruin what we'd just accomplished. Plus, it tasted so delicious that I started craving it.

Now I exercise every day by running five to six miles. In addition, I take walks outside and try to be as active as I can. I try to get enough sleep, and go to bed earlier than most people. I also work at maintaining friendships and relationships – having support around me. I’m close with my family, too.

I’m also probably the healthiest eater that I know. I don’t think too much about calories, sugar, or fat. I don’t say, I’m going to cut out this or that. I just try to balance everything. I’m a fruit freak. I don’t eat fast food. I generally try to stick to lighter meals, salads and sandwiches, more frequently in the day. Nothing that’s fried. Grilled things and vegetables, rather than greasy food for lunch. We have a lot of free lunches—I eat pizza if it’s there, but I don’t usually seek it out.

Normally, I say no to most sweets. I do love ice cream, but eating Tasti D-Lite is a more feasible, healthy habit. I know it’s healthier and made with natural ingredients. So many people deprive themselves of the desserts and sweet things we all want (and crave, let's face it) and end up feeling guilty when we eat them. Tasti eliminates that, which is awesome. KNOWING there is a sweet treat out there that won't pack on the pounds is "mentally refreshing” and makes me happy!

It’s just as satisfying as ice cream, because of the variety of flavors. My favorite is Buttercrunch Mania – a twist on Butterfinger®, like eating a candy bar. Cinnamon Crunch reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch®. 

When you’re training to be a doctor as I am, you want to set an example for your patients. I’m in psychiatry, so having mental health as well as physical health is really important. One of the best things you can do mentally is treat yourself well. It’s connected to the physical—you can’t have just one or the other. Also, if you start talking to yourself in a positive way, have a positive self-image, learn to love yourself, and treat your body the way you should, you’re going to have a more positive attitude.

When I go to the gym and work out, I feel so good. When I know I can eat something that tastes so good, but isn’t bad for me, it reinforces that feeling that I’m taking care of myself, but I can enjoy it. I feel wonderful physically and mentally for many reasons, but I have to say that Tasti has definitely been one of the top reasons. 

*Individual results will vary. The average weight loss among Tasti Healthy Habit Search entrants is 22 lbs. Tasti D-Lite does not treat or cure any disease. Butterfinger® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. Cinnamon Toast Crunch® is a registered trademark of General Mills.

 

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