How much dark chocolate can I eat?

Standard

54ct_bag_2_

(Image by Ghirardelli)

I don’t know about you, but that was my first question after reading my last post.  Here I am, trying to be healthy and LEAN and I’m promoting the benefits of dark chocolate.  Great, but how much dark chocolate do I have to eat (yeah right! I really mean, “…can I eat”) to actually gain the health benefits from that last article.

Not to ruin the surprise but the answer is only 6.7g per day.  So, if you are anything like me that number means nothing.  Luckily, the Easter bunny gave me those bite sized Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares for Easter.  Those little suckers are 11g, which means you only need to eat approx 60% of one of those little squares to get the health benefits you read about.  Based on your perspective, this is either good or bad news to you.  I honestly wanted an excuse to eat an entire 3.5oz bar per day, but (heavy sigh) I guess it’s not to meant be.

So, read this article and see the science behind the number.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/10/09/how-much-chocolate-should-you-eat.aspx

Advertisements

Amazing Healthy Facts About Dark Chocolate, You Are Going to Love it Even More!

Standard

Check out this list of benefits of dark chocolate from hurbanwired.com.

dark chocolate

Dark chocolate nutrition has clearly stated that a bar of chocolate gives you better health and fulfills overall nutrition of your body. Curious to know all the health benefits of dark chocolate? Here you go.

1: Cardiovascular Benefits

If you wish to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, a small piece of dark chocolate as part of your daily diet could help a lot. The antioxidant compounds and flavonoids present in the dark chocolate play a very vital role in enhancing the flexibility of arteries and veins thereby regulating the flow of the blood. The chances of high blood pressure are spontaneously lowered and the cardiovascular complications are kept at bay. It is really a blessing that a small square of healthy dark chocolate has the power to ward off the deadly dangers of heart problems.

2: Gives you an Ideal Figure

Dark chocolate nutrition help you satiate all the unnecessary cravings you encounter during the day. This small piece of dark chocolate could help satisfy your taste buds and help avoid binge eating on sugary food and drinks through out the day. People looking to cut down on calorie intake should replace with sugary foods with this.

3: Reduces Risk of Diabetes

The flavonoids in the dark chocolate escalate the production of nitric oxide, which in turn plays very significant role in controlling the insulin sensitivity. Research indicates that flavonol epicatechin in cococa has impact on insulin signaling and glucose production.

4: Tasty and Side-effect Free Anti-Depressant

Whether a housewife, student or a professional; everyone on earth is destined to come under psychological pressures and tension at some or the other times. Dark chocolate produces stress busting endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are stimulated by the phenylethylamine or PEA found in the dark chocolate. The release or production of endorphins in the brain makes one feel relaxed and happier. The dark chocolate may not be considered to be the medicine or diet to bring someone out of depression but it does lighten you up. If you face any kind of mental pressure, bite on a bar of dark chocolate because the caffeine present in the dark chocolate is quite beneficial in revitalizing your mood and improving cognitive functions of your brain. Unlike the caffeine in the coffee, the caffeine in the dark chocolate does not make anyone addictive to it and therefore is a risk free solution.

5:  Effective Anti-Aging Drink

Who does not want to look young? No one likes wrinkles on their face or skin. The breakdown of collagen in the skin is reduced to a great extent as cocoa brings down the stress hormones and as a consequence the wrinkles on the skin are slowly reduced. The skin thus becomes fresh and young from inside and it makes one look younger. The aging symptoms are thus controlled by drinking hot dark chocolate.

6: Natural Sunscreen

One of the external factors that damage the skin is the harsh sunlight. The UV rays can severely damage the skin and it may take quite long to recover. The antioxidants like flavonols play important role in protecting the skin from harsh sunlight and UV rays. Dark chocolate improves the blood flow in the skin and makes sure the skin is hydrated.

7: Great for Teeth

Unlike white or processed chocolate, the organic cocoa containing dark chocolate is a wonderful food for your teeth. Dark chocolate makes your teeth healthier and brighter. The enamel protects the teeth from abrasion and any other external or internal damages. The loss or reduction of the required amount of enamel can be very dangerous to the teeth. Dark chocolate nutrition facts tell us that it is rich in theobromine, which strengthens the tooth enamel and protects your teeth.

8: Prevents Cancer

The free radicals in the body not only escalate the aging process but also can become the cause of various types of cancers. One of the best ways to keep the body free from free radicals is the consumption of food items that are rich anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants play crucial role in removing these free radicals from your body. Dark chocolate is laden with anti-oxidants, which discard the carcinogenic elements from the body.

9: Lowers the risk of Alzheimer

The dark chocolate has lots of iron. It counters all the mental problems and enhances cognitive functions, such that it lowers the risk of Alzheimer to a great degree. The pregnant women are advised to consume certain amount of healthy dark chocolate so that the baby in the womb develops properly and acquires the strength to fight the risk of Alzheimer.

– See more at: http://urbanwired.com/health/dark-chocolate-nutrition-facts/#sthash.oYxo2iMK.dpuf

Yup! As good as I thought!

Standard

These stuffed turkey breasts hav wonderful Fall flavors – a meal in one!

I posted this recipe back in October of last year, but never had the chance to make it.

I finally made it last night and it is D-LICIOUS!  I didn’t have to make any modifications to it for health reasons, but ended up modifying it simply due to what I had on hand.  I used chicken breasts instead of turkey and then used half figs and half dates because I doubled the recipe and only had enough figs for 1 recipe.  I’m not sure if it was because I used chicken breasts or a cast iron skillet, but I had to reduce the baking time by 10 minutes to avoid overcooking the dish.  We then paired it with seared broccolini and a glass of Cabernet.  What a lovely dish to share with my wonderful man, out on the back patio watching the stars.  Good food, good company, and good scenery…nothing does a body, mind, and spirit better than that!

Find this amazingly fantastic recipe here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2014/09/stuffed-turkey-breasts-with-butternut.html?m=1

Anyone else crave Super Supreme Pizza or is it just me?

Standard

When I was a kid, one of my favorite places to eat was Pizza Hut.  Yeah, I know, I know. 🙂  Anyway, my favorite was the Super Supreme pan pizza.  To this day, I still miss that pizza!

So, I decided to make something that tasted pretty darn close.  Even eaten cold for breakfast the next day, as any good pizza should be, it’s delicious! 🙂  Admittedly, you can’t eat it with your hands, as it is actually a casserole, but it is just as delicious. Promise!!

Are you ready for it????????

Super Supreme Pizza Quinoa Recipe

1c uncooked quinoa (read package directions and cook accordingly, then put aside)

Chopped onion to taste

Chopped bell pepper to taste

Mushrooms to taste

1 small can sliced black olives drained

3-4 slices Low sodium, nitrate free deli ham cut into 1″ pieces

10 Turkey pepperoni cut into quarters

1 hot italian chicken sausage link (cook this until done and then chop up)

Jar of your favorite pizza/spaghetti sauce

1c shredded goat gouda (good texture and flavor for this dish…doesn’t taste goaty 🙂  You can get this at Trader Joe’s)

Once the quinoa and sausage are cooked, mix all ingredients together in a bowl except the cheese.  The amount of sauce you add is up to your liking.  I had a large jar of sauce, so I used 3/4 of it instead of the entire thing.  Add any Italian spices you think it needs (maybe some extra garlic and oregano).  Press the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Viola!  Super delicious!

As always, you can change out the toppings to fit your own tastes, just keep nutrition and weight loss in mind.  Also, I use gluten and dairy free products because I believe gluten and dairy are inflammatory.  It is your choice whether you do the same.

This is healthy comfort food at its finest if I do say so myself.  When you have a craving for pizza, turn to this recipe for a sure fire winner.

Eat apple pie while losing weight? Wait, what?!?!

Standard

Making the delicious nutritious…that’s one of my main philosophies for success in enjoying life while remaining healthy.

Well, I LOVE LOVE LOVE dessert and so am always looking for ways to make the delicious nutritious…and for my crazy life (and the crazy lives of my clients), fast and easy!

Well, check out this simple, easy, fast and yet oh-so-YUM dessert.

1c Trader Joe’s chunky apple sauce
1/2t cinnamon
2T homemade granola (recipe below)

That’s it!  Doesn’t look nearly as mind blowing as it tastes, but I swear it was like eating apple crumble.  The trick is Trader Joe’s chunky apple sauce.  It has actual slices of apples in it (like apple pie!) and is sweetened with apple and grape juice.  This gives it the perfect sweetness without adding any refined sugars. 

You can’t get simpler than this!

Granola recipe:
6c gluten free rolled oats (cheap at Trader Joe’s)
1c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2c sunflower seeds
1/3c chia seeds
1/3c flax seeds
1c nuts of choice
1/2c unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2-1c organic agave nectar/maple syrup/raw honey (based on how sweet you like it)
1/2-1c coconut oil (or other healthy oil of choice)
1=2T cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Mix all ingredients together.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or foil and spread granola mix evenly on pan. Bake at 325. Stir every 10 minutes and pull out of oven when the granola is golden brown (approximately 30-35 minutes).  Let it sit for 15-20 minutes so it hardens and creates those yummy granola clumps.  Add whatever dried fruit you’d like.  I also like to add hemp seed to my granola after it is done baking for additional nutrition.  This makes a LOT of granola, so don’t hesitate to share it with your friends and inspire them to be healthy too!