For the LOVE of Chocolate

 

Chocolate Love

Hello my Lovely Fit Diva

We are continuing our LOVE theme this week with every woman’s most craved treat…Chocolate!!!!!!  And sometimes giving yourself some extra love means treating yourself to SOME of the sweet stuff. I said some! Haha.  Believe it or not, as a kid I hated chocolate. My sister and I both couldn’t stand it. Our favorite candies were the gummy, most sugary, chewy stuff we could find! Or, if we did have anything chocolate it was the super sweet white stuff.  We took after our Dad in that sense. NOW…Chocolate anything!!!! Funny how our taste buds or maybe our desires change. Even though, my sister still does not like the rich sensual taste of chocolate.  I tease her all the time and she tells me I’m the crazy one with all my funky food combos! HA  Totally another blog topic.

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Chocolate Variety

Luckily, there are alternatives to the super sweet chocolates. Surprisingly, there are more chocolate variations then most people can remember, but below are some basic distinctions everyone should know.

Cacao – healthiest form of chocolate – so higher percent cacao means less added sugar

  • 35% pure chocolate Bittersweet – small amount of sugar added (often used for baking)
  • 35% Semisweet – added sugar and cocoa butter (available in a lot of different forms so you can have chocolate chips, etc.)
  • 10 % pure chocolate Milk chocolate – top consumed
  • 15% Sweet baking chocolate – added sugar and cocoa butter
  • 0% pure chocolate White chocolate – cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla
  • Dairy Free – made with cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa butter – option for allergies or vegan diets

 

The thing to remember is that if you want to be healthier when indulging in this sweet treat, go for the chocolate options with higher cacao percentages and less sugar added. For example, if the chocolate is 60% cacao, the remaining 40% is added sugar for flavor. As for white chocolate, although white chocolate contains no cacao powder, wholesome brands should be making the white chocolate with real cocoa butter and not fake fat, so technically there will still be a small percentage of cacao from the cocoa butter.

Serving Size

Ok, Let’s admit it..You buy the high % dark chocolate like you intend, open it up to eat just one “square” the 1 ounce serving size and then put it away….Right?!?!  NOT! At least 95% of us do not.  If you know you are going to loose control, buy individual wrapped squares so you can enjoy your treat but not sabatage your diet.  

Hormones & Addiction

Also remember that it is healthy to treat yourself, especially when it’s dark chocolate (compared to candy) because it does actually have some health benefits and can provide nutrients that work with women’s hormonal systems and brain chemicals such as serotonin (the “feel good” chemical). For example, since chocolate triggers production of serotonin most women often get premenstrual cravings because that’s when serotonin tends to be low. These hormone systems and brain imbalances can also cause women to actually have chocolate addictions. Often though, women overdo it when they are anxious, lonely, or haven’t been eating filling meals. But overindulging is when it gets unhealthy, especially if it’s to fulfill certain psychological feelings like feeling lonely. Susan McQuillan, a food and health writer in New York City, said it best in her article on “Women and Chocolate”, “separate who you are as a person from how you feel…stop feeding your feelings”. So, what I’m getting at is don’t sulk and stuff your face with chocolate, but do have a night with friends, loved ones, or even a relaxing night to yourself to enjoy some yummy chocolate.

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IDEAS

 

  • Siggis chocolate yogurt (perfect light snack – especially if you’re craving chocolate as early as lunch time)
  • 60-65% cacao chocolate chips – I like to sprinkle them on a rice cake with some almond butter as a night time sweet treat.  I also use them when making healhty muffins or protein bars as you will see in the recipe below.  
  • Date night or family dinner or just solo… these are so cute plus you can have a handful and stay on fit diva track
  • rasp
    Yes Yes Yes

 

Brands: SunSpire (USDA organic)  Ghiradelli (cheaper than SunSpire) DOVE

Then there are all sorts of fun new brands on the market.  Next time you are grocery shopping, take a few minutes to explore new things.  SO many varites these days.  Just be sure to look at the sugar content. Once you start adding flavors, the sugar creeps ups SO fast and your once lower sugar dark chocolate has 20g per serving!  OUCH!
Three Twins Bittersweet Chocolate ice cream

Even lighter ice cream options: Halo or Enlighten * These get tricky*  Just because they are only 100 calories per serving…sugar adds up!  Remember, your loving yourself not making yourself feel awful the next day!

I could go on & on

Diva-licious Recipe

I made these yummy, sweet yet skinny blueberry & chocolate muffins for my Bella Fit Divas this week.  Enjoy!

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These sweet yet skinny muffins are the easiest treat to make. All the sweetness and even a little protein without all the calories. Great for an afternoon snack or a quick start to a busy fit diva day. Be sure to store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oats(old fashioned)
  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 c fresh blueberries 

* you can use any regular or oat flour or gluten free * same for sugar: brown, coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Spray a 12 regular or 24 mini cup muffin tin and preheat oven to 350.  Mix flour, oats, soda, cinnamon and salt together.  Add applesauce, sugar, egg whites and water, mix until just blended. Add in blueberries.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until tops have lightly browned.

Serving: 1 large or 3 mini

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about to go in the oven

 

 

Happy Love month & Happy Valentines Day Fit Diva.  Remember, give yourself and others more love then you think!  It truly makes living so much happier.  

Here are 2 links with extra fun and facts on chocolate and women

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cravings/201410/women-and-chocolate

https://www.bhg.com/recipes/desserts/chocolate/chocolate-types-selection–storage/

Ciao

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