Eat more when you’re stressed? You’re not alone. In fact, all that stress eating can pack on an additional 11 pounds each year! Most of us are quick to turn to sugar and refined carbs the second tension gets high. When we feel overwhelmed, we seek out comforting food, giving it the power to make us feel better…and then worse.
A national survey conducted by NPR, Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that most changes to diet occurs during stressful times. And these changes aren’t always for the best.
The foods we choose under stress, like chocolate or simple carbohydrates such as bagels or white pasta, often take you on a hormonal roller coaster: surging and crashing hormone and blood sugar levels which leaves you more susceptible to new stresses than when you started. It’s a vicious cycle that must be stopped! (more…)
Fellow choco-holics, today is our day. Though other days may masquerade as a Chocolate Day of some sort, today, July 7, is in fact Chocolate Day. Whether your preference is dark, milk or something in between, I think we can all appreciate a day dedicated to this delicious, and healthy (when eaten in moderation) treat.
We don’t need to remind you about the benefits of enjoying a few bites of chocolate, especially dark chocolate which is full of antioxidants. It’s not just the finished product that’s good for you either. Raw cacao, the beans from which chocolate is made, is one of the best kept nutrition secrets.
If you’re looking to satisfy a chocolate craving on this holiday, or really any day, we’ve got the perfect line-up of recipes that will allow you to enjoy the chocolaty goodness without feeling like you’ve completely overindulged.
S’more Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
S’mores are good, cupcakes are good, and both are made even better when combined into one finger-licking delicious treat! Topped with a simple chocolate cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.
Double Chocolate Peppermint Donuts (more…)
This past fall I noticed a big flaw in my diet: When I wrote from the comfort of a coffee shop I tended to treat myself to baked goods. When I worked from home I snacked on whatever was available, which was usually fruit or nuts. Oops!
Of course, my coffee shop routine didn’t start out this way. At first I ate a chocolate croissant every few outings, but before long this turned into an each and every time splurge. (Clearly I didn’t read this article on choosing healthy snacks at a coffee shop!) So I changed course and started working from home more. But after several months of this new routine I decided that I needed a change of scenery.
This past week I returned to my favorite coffee shop and, for old times sake, ordered my favorite baked good of all, a chocolate croissant. I love the flaky pastry, the gooey chocolate… the way I can drag it out to last a good part of an hour.
I do not love the 350 calories in each one.
What are some ways I could have burned off these extra 350 calories? (more…)
Think back: Can you imagine school lunch with no chocolate milk? Many can, and some schools have made the thought a reality in an effort to make school lunches healthier for students.
However, the efforts may have been misguided. Researchers from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab surveyed 11 elementary schools in Oregon where chocolate milk had been removed as an option, and found while the students did consume less sugar and calories, they also consumed less protein and calcium.
I get many funny looks when I tell my health coaching clients that I whole-heartedly endorse a fully stocked chocolate supply in every household. Afterall, it’s one of the most important food groups!
We’ve all heard about the benefits of dark chocolate, but you can get even more nutrition by eating the beans themselves. Raw, unprocessed cacao is one of nature’s best nutrition secrets.
It’s super food with super powers:
- Loaded with tons of magnesium for muscle and nerve function and to stabilize heart rhythms
- More antioxidants and disease fighting properties than red wine or green tea!
- Improves focus and pleasure: cacao stimulates the euphoric neurotransmitters in the brain
- Aids in calcium absorption
- Stabilizes mood swings (more…)
Chocolate – even a small amount is the perfect cure for a bad day, the best dessert, and a great gift. In addition to being one of our favorite indulgences, it doesn’t hurt that dark chocolate is also good for you.
We’ve known dark chocolate is good for the heart for some time, but we haven’t known exactly why. Now two studies have revealed for the first time, what exactly is so great about dark chocolate when it comes to our health.
I’m not usually a big chocolate fan. Except for when I am. And then… look out! But let’s put this in context: I usually get a sugar craving in early afternoon. (I’m more of a lunch dessert person than a dinner dessert person.) Lately I’ve been buying dark chocolate covered almonds as my sweet treat. When the craving strikes I get up, grab a few, then get back to work. However, the other day I accidentally brought the whole container back to my desk. And, before I knew what had happened, I’d gone ahead and eaten about 3 times as many as usual.
If I usually eat 4 chocolate-almonds, this time I ate 12. It was definitely a case of distracted eating—I was working at my computer paying a lot more attention to typing than to what and how much I was eating. I checked the back of the package and 1/4 cup weighs in at 230 calories. Oops.
How can a person burn off the 230 calories from around 12 chocolate covered almonds? (more…)
Has this been the longest winter ever? It’s starting to feel like it. Currently it’s a -21 wind chill outside and I’m starting to convince myself the sun may never come back; summer will always be a distant fond memory.
Like S’mores. That little campfire treat is one time I put my guard all the way down and say screw it! Gooey marshmallows, melty chocolate (I always splurge and use dark chocolate), and that crispy little graham cracker turn any dull summer night in to an instant memory maker. And right now, as I watch another winter storm swirl around the backyard, I’m clinging to those sweet memories of last summer to keep me warm.
Another way to keep warm? Baking, duh! All that batter beating and pre-heating turns the kitchen in to a little den of coziness. A den of coziness with cupcakes!
And not just any cupcakes, but big, fat S’more cupcakes.
And not frosted with just any frosting, but big dollops of homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Winter just became manageable, folks. (more…)
Americans love fad diets. There is a long history of attaching ourselves to the next fad, dating back to the Vinegar diet in 1820. (No wonder I am constantly being asked to find a quick fix to the growing obesity epidemic in our country.) However, this is not the case in Europe where food culture and traditions hold fast against the deep pockets of the weight loss industry. Europeans have an innate sense to diet sensibly without falling victim to the 40 billion dollar weight loss industry that we Americans buy into year after year.
Luckily, the tide may be turning in the U.S. The Federal Trade Commission recently announced an initiative against deceptive claims made by marketers of fad weight loss products. From food additives to dietary supplements, the government is making a move to intervene and crack down on deceptive and misleading propaganda.