Sunday, January 17, 2010

Health food or not?

Hi, and Happy New Year!

On New Year’s Day, I gave up chocolate. And except for a couple of health bars--which you know don’t contain the real thing, anyway, and sure don’t give you that sweet, smooth, chocolate-y taste you crave--I’ve stuck to my resolution. Oh, I’ve wavered some but have managed to hold back. And I’ve been faced with a lot of temptation.

One of our favorite restaurants (you’ll recognize which as soon as I say this) gives foil-wrapped mint chocolates to their customers at the end of their meal. The last time we went there, I bravely told the waitress not to bring the mints along with the bill. Another restaurant prominently--and permanently--displays their dessert menu in a handy-dandy little booklet that remains on your table all through dinner. Are you noticing a dangerous trend here?

Maybe I should eat at home more often?

While she was carrying me, my mother’s cravings consisted of tangerines and chocolate candy bars, eaten together. A heck of a lot better than pickles and ice cream, don’t you think? Anyhow, though I say this jokingly, it’s true: I’ve been a chocoholic since before I was born!

And lately I’ve been reading that chocolate, especially the dark variety, actually is a health food. It has all those great antioxidants that your brain and body need. Unfortunately, it also has all those calories and fat...which wouldn’t be so bad if I could just quit eating after one serving. But who can stop when it comes to chocolate?

So what do you think? Good or bad? Health food or not?

Do I put chocolate back on my menu???

All my best to you,



Barbara White Daille


Pamela Stone said...

I think all things in moderation. I've heard that dark chocolate has benefits as well. Maybe stick to the dark chocolate and reward yourself as an occassional treat. Besides, knowing you can have a little helps you not dwell on what you can't have at all.

Barbara White Daille said...

Pam - all good thoughts, thanks!

Unfortunately, "moderation" doesn't seem to be in my personal dictionary. LOL But I'm working on that--in everything.

Happy New Year, again.


Amy Atwell said...

I didn't give up chocolate "cold turkey" for New Year's, but I did make a lot of "eat healthier" resolutions. I find I don't crave sweets the way I did. I'm sleeping better and feeling better. If you have trouble with moderation, then stick to not allowing yourself the chocolate at all. The longer you go without, the better off you'll be.

And bravo for those brave moments at the restaurants.

Estella said...

Being a chocoholic----I am not much help.

Barbara White Daille said...

Amy - thanks for the post and the bravo.

This means one vote for moderation and one for keeping away. This could get interesting! LOL


Barbara White Daille said...

LOL, Estella! I know which way YOU'RE telling me to go.

And that's fine. After all, I really need to consider every choice, don't I? (grin)

Three comments so far, and we've hit three different options. Yes, things are interesting.


Edie Ramer said...

I was buying the Ghiradelli's wrapped chocolates, 60% dark. I try to limit myself, but lately I was failing, so stopped buying them.

Good luck on your fast. I still eat chocolate, but try not to keep them in the house. I am weak.

Barbara White Daille said...

Edie - yummm...those sound great. But you see what I mean about trying to limit that good stuff! I swear manufacturers put something in junk food to make you crave more.

And I do. I am weak, as well.

Enjoy your treats--when you leave home. ;-)


Lois said...

I could never give up chocolate. I'd try to give up anything else that I love, just not that one. LOL But yeah, the idea is everything in moderation. Just have enough for some kind of serving in the house, not enough that is meant for a few, that sort of thing. I would think though, that going out to eat is the easiest time to have it - if you're full, then no dessert period, but if not, it's just the one serving, and no worry about taking the rest home. :)


Barbara White Daille said...

Lois - I think you've covered ALL the bases! LOL

Thanks so much for weighing in.


Mary Marvella said...

Sometimes I need to splurge! I know I need small individually wrapped pieces, though. Give me a large bar intended to be eaten in more than one session, and I'll eat the entire thing, maybe not at once, but I can make it disappear a section at a time. I am weak, I admit it.

Carol said...

Sarge! Dark chocolate is good for the system. Not to mention what it does for our taste buds.

I'm usually pretty good at sticking to a daily small piece or two of chocolate. I keep M&M's in a beautiful clear glass jar. Don't think it isn't tempting to snag a handfull every time I pass by.

We won't talk about the can of Peppermint Bark hubby brought home over the holidays. Saving grace - dark choc there also! So good.

If I didn't have sugar problems, I'd be such a chocoholic. Used to buy Hershey w/Almonds every week. One per day with a real coke.

So, Barbara. Stick a note on your chocolate - reminder that if you eat it all in one day, it's back to the store for more. Gotta save that gas and time! bite for Barbara, one bite for mankind, one bite for Barbara, one - well you get the picture. lol Didn't help you at all.

Barbara's chocolate covered keyboard?

Anonymous said...

Suck and savor is my rule. I buy a dark chocolate (70% if possible)and measure out a 1 oz serving (approx.), then slowly suck on it. Let it sit on your tongue and melt slowly. This gives time for your tastebuds to get satisfied and your brain to register that you got your chocolate. You keep calories in check and get your antioxidants too. Plus, there's a reason women crave chocolate when their upset. It actually helps lower stress levels and release your 'feel good' chemicals in your bloodstream. Make it a slow and sensual experience, no rush, and you won't have to leave it out of your diet.

Maybe save that ounce for everytime you're typing a love scene! Whoa! No gratuitous scenes allowed!

Maryanne said...

Hey Sarge. Have you tried the really, really dark chocolate that kind of bitter? Definitely keeps me from eating the whole bar.


Barbara White Daille said...

Mary - I'm SO with you on that! Only I *will* eat the large bar all in one sitting.

And the individually wrapped? Well, who can stop at five? Or six? Or...?

Yes, like Estella, I'm a true chocoholic! LOL

Thanks for stopping by.


Barbara White Daille said...

Carol - those M&Ms *are* dark chocolate, aren't they? (grin)

Hmm...that reminds me, I have a bag of dark chocolate peanut M&Ms in the pantry....

LOL at the keyboard. I'd probably eat that, too!

I like the "One bite for..." idea. After all, I'd be helping mankind, wouldn't I??? (grin)


Barbara White Daille said...


I don't know who you are (obviously!) but I like your thinking! (grin)

That's a great idea about savoring to wait for the taste buds and brain to catch up with each other. That's half my problem, I think, I eat it before my brain registers anything.

And women DO need chocolate. I read a book with almost that same title that explains why.

Maybe it's time for me to re-read it!

Thanks for the great reminders.


Barbara White Daille said...

Maryanne - another great suggestion.

Actually, I'm not a big fan of dark chocolate and would much rather have milk chocolate.

So you're right, the more bitter-tasting it is, the more slowly I'll eat it. LOL


Liz L. said...

Here's the good news about chocolate. It elevates the serotonin level in your brain which in turn makes you feel better!! Seriously, it is the same kind of effect runners get on their high.

I could care less about chocolate. I am addicted to carbs of another kind - starches. I LOVE bread and potatoes and pasta. Unfortunately, they don't elevate my endorphins!!!

So, especially when you're hormonal, reach for that Hershey's bar and quit feeling guilty.

Barbara White Daille said...

Liz - yes, MA'AM! ;-)

And thanks for the great news!

I understand the carb craving, also, unfortunately. But I'd think you'd want to eat the chocolate, too, just for the fringe benefits. LOL

Thanks for posting!


Nicole S said...

Everything in moderation. I've learned it's better to have a little of something then not at all, otherwise you'll crave it until you cave in and binge. My weakness is ice cream, can not give it up. So I let myself have a small bowl about 1 scoop at night. It takes care of my craving of sweets.

Barbara White Daille said...

Nicole - that does sound sensible. And best of all, the sweet tooth is satisfied.

Thanks for the suggestion!


Roxann Delaney said...

Chocolate is one of the basic food groups. Why? Because I said so. :)

Barbara White Daille said...

Roxanne - sounds good to me!

I've heard the four basic food groups are dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.

Is that by your order, too? If so, I say, "All hail Roxanne, goddess of cocoa!" LOL

Thanks for setting the record straight for us. ;-)


Linda Henderson said...

I know dark chocolate is better for you, but white chocolate is my favorite. After that it's milk chocolate. Dark chocolate reminds me of the ex-lax my mother used to give us every Friday night when we were little.

Barbara White Daille said...

Linda - thanks for stopping by!

I'm not overly wild about dark chocolate, either, but I try to tell myself it's good for me. Really, I like milk chocolate best.