"Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat." --Socrates
This weekend I have been savoring several little red wrapped boxes with big bows and filled with several little gourmet chocolates... And yes, I've been nibbling more than less. Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels to an assortment of handmade truffles and chocolates infused with sophisticated spices are definitely worth smelling and tasting, bite by bite, and writing home about. Thank you Richard Donnelly (http://www.donnellychocolates.com/ ). I feel like I'm having a new, delicious affair with chocolate and will share all the sensory details in an upcoming post. The grocery store brands are okay but to treat yourself to luxury types, like this? Ah, it's like staying at a fab five star hotel and not wanting to go back home. And no, you don't have to get fat while enjoying yourself.
It's called the "balance plan." In other words, if you really want to do gourmet dark chocolates with an European flair without the guilt--and not pack on pesky and unhealthy unwanted pounds and body fat--you can do it. Yes! Yes you really can have your chocolate and eat it too. So, what is the secret formula, anyhow?
First and foremost, by eating dark chocolate it can help to stave off cravings to eat empty calorie junk food and sweets (i.e., processed cookies, crackers, donuts, and cake). And yeah, chocolate does contain good nutrients and feel-good compounds for your body, mind, and spirit. So lose the notion of eating both junk food and chocolate--the food of the gods. Choose chocolate--the good stuff. Nah, the great stuff. That means it's time to splurge this summer. Spring for luxury chocolates. No regrets.
Then, run do not walk to your stash of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and drink more water, less heavy meals. That also means delete meat dishes. Go vegan on a sweet chocolate day. Tonight, for instance, I just fixed and ate a salad chock-full of greens, tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, and more good veggie and lean protein fixings. Here, take look at a spin-off recipe "Tossed Chef's Salad" page 253 in my book The Healing Powers of Vinegar.
Callie's Have Your Chocolate Chef's Salad
2 1/2 cups mixed, chopped dark green lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 ounces cubed cheddar cheese
2 ounces cubed white chicken or turkey breast
1 sliced boiled egg
1/4 cup cucumber
A few slices of avocado
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a bowl combine all ingredients. Toss with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Serves one. Enjoy it with a bottle of Mountain Spring Water. And enjoy that rich dark chocolate truffle (or two) for dessert. Moi? Tonight I adored a silver dollar sized dark chocolate covered dried fruit--apricot (think both Vitamin A and potassium). Yes, yes, yes. It was sweet but not too sweet and the chewy texture was perfect for my palate.
One more thing: Tomorrow? It's time to hit the cold pool (again) and swim some serious laps. But it's all good like eating chocolate. Both pleasurable events can induce that feel-good endorphin high. If you indulge in a food to die for--don't forget to get a move on like the Europeans do in France. And yeah, you'll stay on the skinny track. I will bet on it. (But my chocolates? They are not part of the deal. Sorry.)