Mmm…chocolate…drool…(so, if you’ve ever heard me say that I’m a runner, basically the image at the right is what’s going on). I just LOVE chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate?? (Okay, I know you people are out there. Identify yourselves at your own risk. You probably don’t really need to read this post, but on second thought, you probably should anyway so that you’re prepared to
deal withhelp the chocolate lovers in your life. Let’s face it; you’re in the minority.) I’ve literally been talking about chocolate all week on my Instagram video series (and for a double dose, I’m on Facebook as well). I’ve basically been PURPOSEFULLY trying to get you to crave chocolate all week, just so I can share with you how to crush your craving.
Let’s be clear…when I say “crush” your chocolate craving, I mean honour it. Respect it, meet it, FILL it. I don’t mean ignore it or use mind-Jedi tricks to pretend that those celery sticks are really rich, luscious chocolate. I’m a firm believer that our cravings are our bodies’ ways of telling us things. Important things. Things like, “FEED ME CHOCOLATE!”
Of course, fitting into your favourite jeans or crushing your back squat PR in the gym or playing with your kids or just plain having energy and confidence for life are important, too. Don’t worry; I got you boo. I’m sharing my favourite HEALTHFUL chocolate choices to help you meet those NEEDS and stay on track with your goals. I even made a FREE E-BOOK for you!
SHOW ME THE CHOCOLATE! (/Jerry Maguire)
Healthful Chocolate Recipes Online
Get on social media or websites or Pinterest and find a healthful recipe for your favourite chocolate treat. Whatever it is, I’m sure there is a high-protein and/or low-carb and/or low-fat and/or low-calorie version of it out there (and if there isn’t, e-mail me and I’ll make or find one for you – just specify what you need!). Take for instance my Double Chocolate Cheesecake Protein Muffins (don’t those sound deadly?) – chocolate-y, moist muffins with real cream cheese, but a fraction of the calories of regular bakery muffins OR cheesecake.
If you’re craving it, someone else has made a better-for-you version.
Chocolate Protein Bars
These can give you satisfying chocolate flavour but with a better balance of macronutrients with significantly more protein and significantly less sugar and fat than a regular chocolate bar.
How to pick a protein bar? I like Metabolic Effect’s “label reading rule” – take the total grams of carbohydrates in the bar and deduct the number of grams of protein and of fibre. The end result should be less than ten and the lower the number, the better (including negative numbers).
My top picks include: Quest Double Chocolate Chunk*, Quest Mint Chocolate Chunk*, Quest Rocky Road*, Quest Chocolate Peanut Butter* (see a theme here – I wrote about my love of Quest bars in a post years ago and my love is still true even now), and Oh Yeah One Chocolate Brownie*.
I have to admit that I have gotten more discerning with my chocolate as I’ve gotten
oldermore mature. When I was a kid, any and all chocolate was a-ok, including that gross, waxy cheap milk chocolate used in some Easter bunnies. Now that I’m an adult (supposedly), I’m all into the dark chocolate. When I say “dark”, I mean at least 70% cocoa content to cut down on other added ingredients like refined sugar or dairy. I’ve worked my way up from 70% cocoa content to 85-90% as my top picks (70% tastes too sweet to me now, but forget 99% cocoa dark chocolate – let me spare you the experience, it tastes like dirt. Chocolate-flavoured dirt, perhaps, but dirt nonetheless).
Many brands are now made with alternatives to white sugar such as coconut palm sugar or cane sugar. 1-2 squares of dark chocolate will hide give you a dose of rich chocolate taste and beneficial micronutrients (including antioxidants) with less sugar than semi-sweet or milk chocolate. My favourite brands include Theo’s chocolate and Alter Eco*.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Variations of this recipe have been all over social media and Pinterest for literally years. I’ve got a refreshing (literally) take on chocolate avocado pudding with my Mint Chocolate Avocado Protein Pudding. The addition of protein powder actually improves its texture and makes it even more macros-friendly. I use a brown rice protein powder*, so the recipe can be totally dairy-free and vegan!
Low-carb Hot Cocoa
This creamy, dreamy, chocolate-y treat is dairy-free and sweetened with stevia so it is free of sugar as well. And it’s absolutely delicious. At fewer than 50 calories per mug, it’s the perfect way to get a chocolate fix without spiking your blood sugar. You can make it along with me on my YouTube channel (bonus – I’m making it in flannel ducky pyjamas), or check out the full recipe here.
So, I hope I’ve succeeded in my mission to show you that chocolate can (and quite frankly should, in my opinion) be part of an overall healthful, balanced diet to help you to achieve all of your health and fitness goals.
Have a fit day!