You make the big decision to eat for wellness not just for weight loss. This means adhering to a diet largely consisting of plants, quality proteins, good fats and oils, lower sugar intake, and other nutrient-dense foods.
Not too long into this radically enormous lifestyle change, the unthinkable happens—you begin to crave chocolate! What’s a junkie turned health-foodie to do?!
This craving demands some serious and immediate attention or else those addictive Trader Joe’s milk chocolate caramel balls that you’ve successfully been avoiding are gonna find their way off the shelf and into your palm. And once that happens…I shudder to think.
Some Chocolate May Be Good for You
Fortunately, not all chocolate is created equally. Those that are laden with sugar and dairy additives are not the optimum choices. However recent studies show that the darker the chocolate—the kind with a high percentage of antioxidant-rich cocoa—the better. In fact, I wrote an entire article about how chocolate can be good for your skin here and in what amounts.
You may also be interested in exploring what brought on this craving from an emotional perspective. For a FANTASTIC article that delves into the emotions associated with specific food cravings, click on this link.
In the article, Linda Wojcik, a nutritional kinesiologist and spiritual intuitive, explains how emotions get stuck and need to be fed. She says, “When we choose to live in the emotion instead of choosing to move through the emotion…it becomes a repetitive pattern. Eventually, through repetition, this energy finds a place to call home within our bodies.”
As it turns out, chocolate, caffeine, and/or sugar seem to feed several stuck emotions like disappointments, frustration, obsessive thoughts and behavior, as well as anger. (Surprise, surprise!)
Until reaching such resolution, here’s the edible antidote to the chocolate yearning. Follow the link to the recipe for homemade almond milk to make this raw. It can be vegan—just swap out the honey. And it’s deeeeluscious.
So instead of feeding your emotions, you will be nourishing your body and soul healthfully.
The original recipe can be found on About.com. I’ve adapted it with a few tweaks that boost the nutritional profile, but it is mainly the same since it came out so yummy.
Raw Chocolate Banana Milkshake:
- 2 whole, ripe bananas
- 3-4 T. raw cacao powder, cocoa powder, or cacao/maca blend
- 1/4 C. raw organic honey Replace raw honey with maple syrup for the vegan alternative.
- 1/4 cup raw organic creamy almond butter
- 3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (click here for a recipe to make your own), vanilla coconut milk, or other vanilla-flavored dairy-free milk alternative.
- 1/2 cup ice cubes (or pre-frozen, chopped bananas instead)
Place all the ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. The original recipe suggests garnishing with shredded dark dairy-free chocolate. If someone wanted to SERVE it to me that way, I’d take it 🙂
I LOVE add-ons in a smoothie because you can rarely distinguish the flavors, so it’s a great way to sneak in extra nutrition. Avocado is a favorite of mine since it boasts close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients and allows the flavors of the smoothie to remain in tact. Coconut oil makes a wonderful addition too. Both these healthy fat options can replace the nut butter, in case of nut allergy. (We will have to discuss good fats and oils in another post! For now, the link leads to an informative blog post written by a naturopath about healthy fats and oils.)
A few tablespoons of hemp seeds, a splash of aloe vera juice, a small handful of greens (like spinach), a tablespoon of nutritional oils, and/or a cup of frozen or fresh raspberries or strawberries enhance the recipe.
Sip slowly and satisfy the urge! It is so filling that you will not be hungry for hours, nor will your blood sugar spike then dip suddenly. That’s why it makes a terrific breakfast or after-workout high protein/good carb fix.
Find out what makes this shake so awesome:
Bananas High in vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, and potassium.
Raw organic cacao Great source of magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, copper, and potassium. To read about the difference between raw cacao and cocoa powder, Nourish My Life blog offers a thorough and well-referenced discussion.
Maca powder Adds a dose of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and sterols that can support general health, immune function, boost stamina, enhance libido, regulate hormones, and reduce exhaustion.
Raw organic honey Packed with live enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and healing agents.
Maple Syrup Not to be confused by the imposters called “pancake syrup” or “breakfast syrup,” real maple syrup comes in several grades. It’s an excellent source of manganese and zinc, both immune boosters among other benefits.
Raw organic almond butter Excellent source of protein and high in Vitamin E and Manganese. (The original recipe calls for raw peanut butter which is technically a legume and many people are allergic to it, so I opted out. Cashew butter and other nut butters work nicely too.)
- Five Milk Solutions for Vegans (dairyfree.answers.com)
- Fat Facts: Interview with nutritionist on the fats we should all be eating (hipandhealthy.co.uk)
- The Foods that Feed Our Emotions (healingyou101.blogspot.com)
- Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (about.com)
- Homemade Almond Milk (purelywholesomelife.com)
- Gone Nuts (theartiscooking.wordpress.com)
- From Cupcakes to Crossfit Blog