Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dark Chocolate

I haven't always been a fan of dark chocolate.  In the past I preferred milk chocolate. I still love milk chocolate, but I have developed a love for dark chocolate since beginning my journey for a healthier lifestyle.

I had to try several different varieties before I found one I liked, but now I have a few that are my favorites.  

It's a nice indulgence and research proves it has some healthy perks as well.

Some of the benefits of dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa is best):

  • Polyphenols, cocoa antioxidants, help to increase blood flow to your brain, improving memory. Countries with a higher per-capita chocolate consumption produce lots of Nobel Peace Prize winners.
  • One of the compounds that gives cocoa its bitter taste is epicatechin and can lower blood pressure.  Treating yourself to two weekly ounces of dark chocolate could cut your stroke risk by up to 20 percent.
  • Epicatechin can also expand your cells' mitochondrial function. In plain speak, that means it may help lend you surges of extra energy. And while chocolate does contain caffeine, that's not its only energizing factor. The darker the chocolate, the more of the theobromine it has. Theobromine is a stimulating chemical.
  • The fats found in cocoa butter can trigger natural endorphins and tiny amounts of anandamide, a marijuana-like brain chemical. Don't worry it's a happy lift, not a high.
  • Weight loss may be the best perk ever. Research has found that regular chocolate eaters were slimmer than those who abstained altogether. However, that doesn't mean you should eat through your whole stash at once.
Some of my favorites:

  • Lindt Dark Excellence Chili is my absolute favorite at the moment. It has a hint of spice to it. I love the combination of spicy and sweet!
  • Hershey's Bliss Dark Chocolate would have to be my next favorite. It has great flavor and is really smooth.

60% Extra Dark Chocolate LINDOR Truffles 75-pc Bag
  • Lindt Extra Dark Chocolate Truffles are an extreme pleasure to eat. I love that they come in a nice, compact size. Perfect for a quick little bite. Anything Lindt is a pleasure to eat. :) 

These are just a  few of my favorites. If you're not a fan of dark chocolate, give one of these a try. You might change your mind.

Till next time, God bless! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I have been having some major cravings lately, and they have not been for healthy foods. I can usually stave off a craving for sweets with some fresh pineapple or red grapes. But sometimes that just doesn't do it.

Whenever I have a craving for something that's less than healthy, I will try to find a lighter version of that food.  Let's say I'm craving pizza, then I'll have a thin and crispy crust veggie pizza.  If that doesn't settle the craving within a couple of days, I'll go ahead and have the full fat version.

It's okay to indulge in your cravings just a little bit.  A little indulgence will hopefully keep you from a full out binge.  You don't have to deprive yourself all the time.

These are just a few things I'm enjoying at the moment. I try not to get stuck in a rut with what I eat. If I get bored it can be detrimental to my success.

Some of My Favorites at the Moment:

DiGiorno Thin & Crispy Garden Vegetable Pizza is one of my favorites for when my pizza cravings hit. It is so yummy and the serving size is half of the pizza!

Lately, when I've wanted something sweet, I've been throwing together a simple fruit salad. It's best with fresh fruit, but you can use canned. Just make sure to get it with no sugar added.

Simple Fruit Salad

  • 1 can of no sugar added canned peaches
  • 1 can of no sugar added mandarin oranges
  • about 1 cup of red grapes
  • 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, cubed

Toss all the ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, I will add a cut of banana.

If you are craving ice cream, I recommend Dreyer's Slow Churned.  It is rich and smooth and only has about 100 calories per serving depending on the variety you pick.

What's your favorite indulgence?  Do you have a healthier version to share?  I would love to hear your comments.

Till next time, God bless! :)