You only live once
but if you do it right
ONCE IS ENOUGH
Everything in moderation. That’s what these non-sugar-or-food-addicted people keep telling me. It’s easy they say. Well, I’m here to say, it’s not for me. I eat healthy & take care of my body. But when “special occasions” come, I tend to over indulge. It’s something I am always working on. Remember my post where I come clean about being a sugaraholic?
Point is, I just got back from vacation & could use a bit of a tidying up of my diet. But first, let’s back up a bit. Vacation was beautiful. Time off work. Connecting with family. Celebrating two new marriages. Meeting my friends new baby. Lots of good food & love. Playtime.
I love the release from the pressures of daily life that vacation brings. But vacation is just that – a break from routine. After a few weeks away, my balance tends to shift. I feel the impact of irregular sleep, indulgent foods & less structured exercise. So back in my world, it’s time to clean it up. Self-care, super-foods & sweating it out are in order!
My cleanse will consist of lots of whole foods (ie: leafy greens where have you been all my life?), regular meditation (quiet time), lots of water & daily workouts (body weight exercises, hiking thanks to the time change giving us lighter evenings, yoga & bicycling). For more ideas on gentle cleansing with whole foods check out this post on MindBodyGreen.
I’ll be avoiding gluten, sugar and processed/packaged foods. I’ll be reducing greatly caffeine, dairy & meats. However, one thing I won’t be going without: CHOCOLATE!! Skipping the sugar for awhile, I’ll need to get creative to get my cacao fix!
Once upon a time, Phoenix & I made up our own recipe that is something like the various chocolate bark recipes you see. I tried it today with 100% pure dark chocolate.
It turned out fantastic & I don’t miss the sugar of lighter chocolates!! What’s the secret? Coconut oil or butter to add some delicious healthy fats & fruit to sweeten naturally! Here is the recipe – get creative with your additions!
DARK CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY BARK
- 1 bar 100% chocolate
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil or Coconut Butter or to taste (any size dollop will do)
- oven-safe Pyrex or glass pie dish
- Optional Mix-Ins:
- vanilla extract
- frozen berries (ex: raspberries, strawberries, mixed)
- sliced fresh fruit (ex: peaches, bananas, pomegranate seeds)
- dried, unsweetened fruit (ex: goji berries, raisins, cranberries)
- nuts or seeds (ex: almonds, walnuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds)
- peanut or other nut/seed butter
- dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
- sea salt
- chili powder or paprika
- cacao nibs
- pure therapeutic grade essential oils (ex: peppermint, lavender, orange) ***apply by dipping toothpick in oil & swirling through the chocolate until desired taste is achieved.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Unwrap, break up chocolate & place it in glass baking dish
- Add coconut oil to dish & place in oven
- Heat chocolate and oil in oven until melted & stir to combine
- Mix & drop in optional toppings to add flavor & sweetness. For this batch I chose 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 sliced banana, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, several dashes cinnamon & sea salt, 1 teaspoon sunflower seeds & 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes.
- Place in freezer until firm. Use a sharp knife to break into pieces. Enjoy!!
What other “desserts” do you love that aren’t loaded with processed sugars?