Say hello to your new favourite treat - sugar free chocolate with a kick! This guilt free chocolate combines the smoothness of a rich dark chocolate with the fiery boost of chilli.
One of the most common responses I get to people contemplating giving up sugar is ‘"but I love chocolate, I really don't think I could live without it!". Well the greatest revelation of all is, yes, you can live without it and more importantly, you can stop craving it.
WHY DO I CRAVE CHOCOLATE?
There are several reasons why you crave sweets, or chocolate or cake, the main one being an addiction to fructose, which makes up roughly half of all types of sugar.
Eating fructose triggers the happy hormone called dopamine which is the 'pleasure' hormone. This is the same hormone that is responsible for other addictions like alcohol, drugs and nicotine, and the more you feed it the more it likes to be fed!
Aside from sugar addiction itself causing cravings, another reason we get a desire for chocolate is when we’re low in magnesium which is present in cocoa. Often around the time of the month, we will crave chocolate even more because there are so many hormonal changes going off in our bodies. We’re all too familiar with feelings of anxiety, migraines, fatigue and irritability that come with our periods and these symptoms are heightened when we are low in magnesium, which we need more of during this part of our cycles.
Chocolate also increases levels of serotonin in the brain, which is the neurotransmitter that can improve sleep and moods and can also help reduce anxiety.
IS CHOCOLATE GOOD FOR YOU?
By now, you’re probably wondering why on earth you’d want to give it up with all this talk of benefits… but before you bolt to the shops to buy in bulk, chocolate really is far from a wonder drug, because of the amounts of sugar it contains.
While initially it may trigger dopamine release making you feel great, this is very temporary and the sugar in the chocolate will instantaneously cause a blood sugar spike that negatively impacts your hormones, reduces immunity, causes inflammation in the body that can lead to all sorts of disease - coronary heart, thyroid, obesity, type 2 diabetes, it can disrupt sleep, lead to low moods, trigger acne and cause cellular ageing and might also be a cause of cognitive decline.
ALL ABOUT THE BLISS POINT
It's also helpful to understand that cravings for chocolate aren’t always about magnesium or your body's way of trying to find a quick energy fix, the ingredients in chocolate combine to create what's known and described as the 'bliss point’ making it very addictive. Its a lethal combination of fats (often trans fats!) and sugars. These flavours combined create an irresistible food leading to insatiable cravings. While it may taste great (and every single part if it is designed to taste great), this combination of food is so detrimental to our health and well being and a major cause of the growing numbers of type 2 diabetes, obesity and coronary heart disease that blights our health.
THE GOOD NEWS!
When you have detoxed yourself from sugar and you're back in control of your diet and eating the foods you want to eat not because youre addicted and crave them, the odd bit of sugar is ok.
This chocolate recipe is perfect - it has a nice bitterness (which is great for triggering the digestive enzymes) and good quality cocoa powder provides magnesium too.
I love chilli chocolate because it has a wonderful kick too. You really do only need one or two - unlike my previous sugar laden days where I would eat a family she chocolate bar in one sitting. It is still a revelation to me that I can literally eat just one square of chocolate and feel totally satisfied.
The freedom of breaking out of the ‘much wants more' cycle of gorging on sugar (and chocolate) really is so liberating.
So here you are, a chocolate recipe without the guilt and nasties.
Eat Yourself HEALTHY XX
1 x cup of good quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup cacao butter
1 tsp vanilla
1’4 tsp spoon of monk/Buddha fruit or 1 tsp stevia powder (add a little at a time so its not too sweet.
1/4 tsp chilli powder
Melt the cacao butter in a pan.
Away from the heat add the sieved cocoa powder, chilli, vanilla, sweetener and salt, mix together until completely smooth.
Pour the mixture in to a silicone mould and pop in the fridge for an hour, until set.
If you would like to get back in control of your sugar habit you can sign up for my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program here.