CHOCOLATE COVERED EASTER
CHOCOLATE COVERED EASTER

A love of chocolate is somewhat universal. Chocolate is synonymous with love, with chocolate hearts and boxes of chocolate being symbols of love. Chocolate is the gift of Easter, with chocolate eggs symbolizing life and renewal. Despite these alluring associations, there is considerable debate surrounding the health benefits of chocolate.

As a nutritional therapist, I guide people to eat for optimum health. However, that doesn’t mean that I believe healthy eating is more important than good taste. Nor do you need to restrict and deprive yourself of foods that you love! In fact, I believe enjoying food through a mindful eating experience, and being aware of how your body responds to food can be effective in creating long-term dietary change. A change we can enjoy and sustain instead of a dramatic one that require immense willpower.

I would never consider depriving anyone of a food they love, such as chocolate. This was the case for my husband who developed a dairy intolerance due to a temporarily weakened immune system. I knew there was no way in the world he was going to give up his love affair with chocolate, even if it meant he had to suffer the consequences for the rest of his life. I empathized with him, as I do with all my clients that need to make changes that seem unappealing or daunting. As such, I enjoy exploring solutions to help people enjoy their food, whilst promoting good health. Enter raw cacao!

Cacao beans are the seed that chocolate is derived from. Cacao in its natural form is quite bitter and was originally consumed in its raw form by the Inca people of Central America for thousands of years. In its raw form, cacao is truly a provider of love. It supports our heart, relaxes our muscles and releases the same chemicals in the body that are released when we are in love or tenderly touched. So, it is no wonder that chocolate has become a best friend for many!

Unfortunately, much of the commercial chocolate available is not so loving to our bodies. Much of it is filled with refined sugars, homogenized vegetable fats, pasteurized and powdered milk, and in some cases artificial flavours and colours. Commercial chocolate may have some of the same benefits as the raw cacao bean yet it is nutritionally inferior. This results in the contradictory information of chocolates’ health benefits. The sugar in chocolate can create a spike in blood sugar and lift our mood, but the uplifting feeling soon dissipates. Leading us, oftentimes, searching for more sugar-filled chocolate. The result can be feelings of guilt and shame.

Although I’d never discourage the devouring of a good quality dark chocolate in a mindful way, my preference is for raw chocolate as it provides a delicious option for those choosing to eat dairy and sugar free. Furthermore, it is simple to make and convenient to adjust to your own chocolate loving taste buds. Why not get your hands dirty making chocolate this Easter?

There are endless options for raw chocolates and chocolate desserts you could enjoy this Easter. If you’re feeling lazy, a chocolate smoothie is a quick and easy option to satisfy those chocolate craving taste buds. If you’re feeling a little more creative, you might like to try making your own raw chocolate.

Join me for the monthly ‘Talking Nutrition With Tansy’ series where we connect with others over an informative talk that addresses your nutritional questions. On 25 April, Tuesday at Chocolate That Loves You themed talk, we will uncover the health benefits (and myths) of raw cacao, and learn some simple recipes you can prepare and enjoy at home.

 

cd6798Tansy Boggon

Tansy is a Nutritional Therapist from Australia with extensive knowledge in nutrition, environmental health and behavior change. She takes a holistic approach to assist individuals with digestive issues, fatigue, food sensitivities, high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, poor sleep, cravings and previous eating disorders. Her approach to nutritional counselling is unique, in that she not only addresses what you eat, but your relationship with food. She believes that this is crucial in creating new lifestyle behaviors you can sustain for life.

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