I will only say it once, but I am saying it loudly – I do not enjoy Valentines.
Let me clarify…
I don’t mind it in general, but I admit I have difficult time understanding why does it have to be only one day in the entire year (well, ok… international puppy lovers day counts too) when we are just bit nicer to each other?
And why does it have to be celebrated in the middle of the winter?
Ok, the last part at least partially justifies the amount of chocolate that is usually exchanged and consumed.
And that is my biggest issue with this day, to be honest… Not only because it hits us right when we are desperately trying to hold on to the last one of our New Year’s resolutions.
So what are you sayin’? Chocolate is bad for you?
Well, YES, if you eat the wrong kind…
Most of the chocolates on the market may be wrapped in gold or packaged in fancy boxes with pretty ribbons on them, but have very little to do with real chocolate, if you ask me. Even if they are claimed to be crafted by Swiss chocolatiers.
However, if you opt in for a raw variety, not only you can satisfy your sweet tooth, but enjoy many health benefits as well. Raw cacao, which is the main ingredient in raw chocolate is naturally full of antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, B vitamins, essential fatty acids all pretty useful for your entire body and mind. It has also blood pressure lowering qualities, improves blood flow, lowers LDL and may reduce plaque buildup on the arterial walls, mainly thanks to its magnesium and antioxidants , which reduce free radical damage.
Cacao is also great for your mental functions including improvement in moods and combat depression.
Who would not like that in the dead of winter?
I understand that some of you may be quite upset with me thinking: “You are telling me that NOW?!”.
But don’t worry, here’s my recipe to absolute your sinful soul.
- Increase intake of colourful (primarily green) veggies. If you are not crazy about your greens, today IS the day to have salad for lunch. And dinner. Plus a green smoothie. Vegetables are your ultimate sugar crush rescue thanks to their fibre and antioxidants so make an effort to double, no, TRIPLE your veggies if you have been indulging your sweet tooth. Sugar creates acidity in your body and vegetables will help you keep it under control.
- Don’t skip your proteins. Enjoy a good quality protein (organic or grass fed meat or free range egg) to help regulate your insulin release (and make your hands less likely to reach for another sweet temptation).
- Drink up! Increase your water intake so that you can flush off the residue.
- Finally, if you find yourself craving sugar, drink 1 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar to control it.
Now, go and sin no more, my child!
Until Easter, at least 😉
But if you absolutely have to… Here is a quick rescue recipe for ya featuring 2 servings of whole grains and a serving of… spinach!
- 2 cups of cooked buckwheat
- 1 cup of pitted dates (soaked in hot water for about 20 minutes)
- 2 cups of fresh spinach, lightly packed
- 2 handfuls of walnuts (optional)
- 2 free range eggs
- 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
- 3-4 tablespoons of cocoa
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 3/4 cup plain kefir
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon all natural vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 175 deg. C.
- Line a baking dish (13"x9") with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.
- Place first 5 ingredients in the food processor and pulse until spinach and walnuts are broken into small pieces (about 10 seconds).
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Blend on high until well combined (1-2 minutes).
- Pour your batter into the baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.