It’s My Blog, And I’ll Write What I Want To!! — Chocolat Chaud

Cocoa is good for you, you know.  Maybe not the kiddie hot chocolate you may have grown up with, mostly sugar and buried in marshmallows.  But grown up hot chocolate – cocoa – chocolat chaud certainly can be.

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Photo Credit LeBlogdeLili.fr

So I always loved hot chocolate as a child growing up in a proper northern winter, but the epiphany happened when I sipped, “Chocolat L’Africain” at Chez Angelina in Paris.  Trust me, your life — all of your lives —  will never be the same after sipping chocolat at Chez Angelina.

Chocolate has a long history starting with the Mayans who drank cocoa unsweetened and spicy. I love chocolate and choose it most of the time when having something sweet.  What I love about chocolate, however, is that it is still delicious when it is less sweet.  And, it is more nutritious.  

Cacao, or cocoa powder is a source of fiber, protein, fat, antioxidants and trace minerals.  Historically it has been all of the sugar that makes chocolate not the best choice for every day. For anyone working on reducing sugar in the diet, you can still enjoy a warm drink using very little or no sweetener. Now, here is what you really want to hear. It’s good. It’s really good.

It’s simple.  Make a ganache!

Here’s what I do:

Coarsely chop 1 ounce of dark chocolate.  You could use keto friendly chocolate to reduce the carbohydrates.  Warm 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of heavy whipping cream to just before boiling.  Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and wait for five minutes.  After five minutes gently whisk your ganache. It will combine into an emulsion of chocolate and cream, shiny and luscious.

At this point add 4 to 6 ounces of whatever “milk” you would like to finish off your chocolat.  I do drink dairy, but also enjoy making my chocolat with a chocolate coconut cream ganache and coconut milk.

Delicious!  What I realized I most enjoy about chocolat chaud is the richness of chocolate and the lusciousness of the drink itself.

Do look for more precise details of this recipe in a future blog post.  Since the only source of sugar is in the dark chocolate (unless you use stevia sweetened chocolate which would give you completely sugar free), this chocolat will have far fewer calories and carbohydrates.  What I love about cocoa is how easy it is to make healthier, or keto-friendly and still be so good.

Chocolate!  Nutritious and delicious.  I suspect there are a few more chocolate posts to come.

Be well 🙂

Annette

Post Script: Thinking about hot chocolate & cocoa & chocolat chaud in January has made me happy. I live in Minnesota, and one thing that is well known about Minnesota is our long — and often cold — winter. I do not sip a hot chocolate every day, but like life, the joy is in the journey. The entire journey of planning, researching and now writing this post has been a joy.

Photo credit: Le Blog De Lili & A.M. Beaulieu

Source: The Spruce Eats

 

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I Fast. And, I Love It.

Photo Credit, Ales Krevic Unsplash

I love to fast.

Now, to be clear, I eat every day. I am not someone who sips herbal tisanes or chews ice for days. I stop taking in calories about 9:00 o’clock in the evening. In the morning, I break my fast at midday rather than first thing. So simple. And, as it turns out, so good for us.

Here I am, someone who considers her entire family to be foodies sharing about fasting! I am someone who has bunches of recipes I want to try, or shops at three grocery stores to get the right ingredients. Here I am, fasting.

The immediate benefits are, at least for me, weight loss & detoxification.  Most toxins our bodies take in are stored in fat cells.  So, when I burn fat as I fast, those toxins are released from my body.  I haven’t always been careful about my diet. So, I imagine preservatives, pesticides and other things like “natural flavors” leaving my body as those fat cells are used for energy.

You may have heard of intermittent fasting as part of a ketogenic diet.  I tried eating “keto” for a short time last year.  It was exciting losing weight quickly eating a high fat diet.  My strategy had been to get into ketosis, have some success, then improve my food choices — wild caught salmon instead of bacon.  Then life happened.

For me now, the goal is the fast, not a strict ketogenic diet. Keto is a god send for people who have eaten a mostly processed, a highly carbohydrate, a mostly artificial diet for their entire lives.  It is a god send for people with many disease conditions like – autism and cancer. It turns out that fasting offers benefits other than what most of us think of at first glance such as weight loss.

For us to be in great health, we need to renew our bodies.  When we don’t eat, our body will use mechanisms such as antiphagy to renew cells. For more on antiphagy, read about Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine, Biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi.

My current goal is to fast for 14 to 16 hours per day.  During my 8 to 10 hours of eating (my eating window), I am eating pretty much what I like (avoiding sugar for the most part), but that is the only requirement.  Another benefit of my intermittent fasting is that I can be less concerned over my food choices. It doesn’t always have to be a kale, romaine & avocado salad. Good news as I currently live in Minnesota. Cold salads are not appealing in January, trust me.

So for those who are wondering, “How the #*&!$ does she not eat for so many hours every day? Honestly, isn’t she dreaming about dreaming about eating the whole time?” Yeah, no.  Why?  Well, fat & fat.

I’ll explain 🙂

Fat is a better fuel for our bodies.  Fat gives us nutrients we can get from no other foods and gives four times the energy when compared to glucose (carbohydrates, sugar, grains, etc.). When I am using fat for fuel, I am good.  I am not craving other foods.  I am not craving anything.  My brain is getting the nutrition it needs. To switch my metabolism into ketosis, I do drink exogenous ketones.  In the keto world, to drink ketones or not to drink ketones is a hot topic. I find that drinking my ketones makes a daily fast easy.  I get the benefits of a shorter eating window. And, my brain is nourished.  Win. Win. Win.

I love that my life is simplified by not eating until half way through my day. It saves time.  It saves on groceries. I feel more clear headed and calmer when I am fasting.

But the greatest benefit is the plateau I walk on while I fast.  A lifestyle of intermittent fasting has revealed to me a discipline I never thought I could attain. Food and eating are not a distraction. I am whole onto myself.  I don’t need anything (aside from good water).

Be well 🙂