My response to her was the same as it always is when i hear the dreaded C-word.
I do not believe in defining a meal or food experience that's outside of the "wholesome, real food" description as a "cheat."
Cheating is what you do on your spouse, a test, or your taxes.
And you get in trouble if you get caught!
Cheating has a very negative connotation. We think of cheating as something to be ashamed of, and something to hide from others.
When we bring these negative associations to a food experience, we likely end up feeling ashamed, mad, or frustrated with ourselves.
We regret eating the food (or drink) and may take drastic measures to "undo" it. For example: skip the next meal, restrict calories, over-exercise, etc.
Cheating sounds awful, right?
Well it is!
My suggestion is to reframe it as a planned enjoyable food experience.
Allowing and planning for 1 meal/portion outside of your normal wholesome, real food consumption brings with it a sense of empowerment.
You get to enjoy every bite. You get to eat it without guilt. And you don't feel like you have to punish yourself afterward.
So ditch the word "Cheat" from your nutrition vocabulary and replace it with "planned treat."