10% of the time… Eat for pleasure! My favorite French Chocolate Bark Recipe

Researchers have discovered that chocolate produced some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can’t remember what they are. Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show, August 22

chocolate bark

French Chocolate Bark

An easy treat to whip-up and share for the holidays

My thoughts on moderation:  90% of the time, eat with the intention of improving your health. 10% eat for pleasure. Enjoy my favorite holiday recipe. My family is expecting this treat from me and always eat up every bit. I love to make it for them, because it’s made of simple wholesome ingredients and not loaded with added sugar.

What will you be making?

French Chocolate Bark
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Prep Time: 15 minInactive  Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min  Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 24 pieces

Ingredients
8 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Melt the 2 chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots and cranberries over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.

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Learn more about how we help people stop dieting, improve digestion, and sleep like babies!
Schedule a 30 minute complimentary initial consultation with me today (valued at $150)
Call Now 415.308.3529 to reserve your spot.

What Client’s are saying: http://www.yelp.com/biz/happy-belly-health-san-francisco

When was the last time you talked with a professional about your health and felt like they were really listening to you? Here at Happy Belly Health in San Francisco, our priority as certified health coaches is to care for you and help you take care of you. Through our nutrition consultations, gentle cleanses and programs, we provide a supportive environment to enable you to achieve all of your health goals and learn how to eat for nutrition and enjoyment.

Copyright © 2012 Happy Belly Health, All rights reserved.

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ARE YOU READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS? What’s your plan for your next 7 delicious weeks?

Temptation list of the usual saboteurs…
1. Office treats
2. Alcohol
3. Baking
4. New holiday recipes to try
5. Holiday parties
6. Family functions

There’s a lot of potential challenges in this list. I like to start by becoming crystal clear with my goal. Am I trying to lose weight, maintain, heal my tummy? What’s the motivation? Mr. Kersting, my high school religion teacher/ PE coach taught me the power of vision. He said a famous basketball player (most likely Pistol Pete) dreamt about making the basket over and over and over again.
My suggestion is to envision your success. If you’ve decided to surrender and not try to moderate your consumption of office goodies, take a moment or several, to play out eyeing your most favorite treat, a cute cupcake perhaps, sitting on the lunch room table, begging to be saved…. looking emotional even. Feel the compulsion to snag it… the tingling in your body anticipating the first bite of this decadent “feel good” reward.
Hear the voices in your head “you deserve it”, “moderation not deprivation”, “just this one treat”… Hear your co-workers lures, “I brought this homemade organic all natural gluten-free treat just for you. Don’t you want to at least try it?”

What are you going to say? What are you going to do? What’s it going to feel like? What are the fears? Will you be ok?

My last recommendation is to enlist the help of others. The buddy system works well if you choose the right buddy. Same religion teacher, Mr. Kersting, gave some pretty good advice. “Look to surround yourself with people whom you admire.” My friend, Jessica, is a true inspiration to me. She is kind and loving and shows confidence with her boundaries with ease.

Learn more about how we help people stop dieting, improve digestion, and sleep like babies!
Schedule a 30 minute complimentary initial consultation with me today (valued at $150)
Call Now 415.308.3529 to reserve your spot.

What Client’s are saying: http://www.yelp.com/biz/happy-belly-health-san-francisco

When was the last time you talked with a professional about your health and felt like they were really listening to you? Here at Happy Belly Health in San Francisco, our priority as certified health coaches is to care for you and help you take care of you. Through our nutrition consultations, gentle cleanses and programs, we provide a supportive environment to enable you to achieve all of your health goals and learn how to eat for nutrition and enjoyment.

Copyright © 2012 Happy Belly Health, All rights reserved.

Tell me more about diabetes…

The wonderful, Shanti Pappas of Happy Belly Health and I recently hosted a talk on diabetes. Here are answers to some of the great questions asked during the session:

Q: What is Diabetes and how did I get this?

A: Diabetes, simply put, is excessively high blood sugar. We all need sugar as a source of energy for the cells in our bodies and diabetes is a condition where sugar is too high in the bloodstream. This means that there is less sugar entering cells to be used for energy and the symptoms of diabetes stem from there.

In type 1 diabetics, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are damaged through an autoimmune process in those with a genetic predisposition. Insulin is the hormone that helps transport sugar from the blood into our cells. So without it, sugar remains in the cells and causes the symptoms above.

In type two diabetes, the pancreas in not damaged but it may produce less insulin or the cells of the body are less responsive (resistant) to insulin so it is more difficult to transport sugar to use for energy. This is often related to genetic factors, obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet high in fats and processed sugars.

Q: If I lose weight will it cure me?

A: It can help. Excess body fat contributes to insulin resistance so losing weight can help you better control blood sugar and manage symptoms. Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires consistent management but it is possible to be symptom-free.

Q: What’s a good start? Exercise? Diet?

A: The best place to start is to have your blood sugar checked and regularly monitored to be sure that the appropriate interventions are used in your care. Talk to your doctor about what your options are. Often changes in diet and exercise are sufficient but medications and supplements may be necessary to get the best control of blood sugar.

Exercise is a great place to start. The recommended activity level is 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity exercise. This can be as simple as walking briskly or you can try jogging, hiking, swimming and cycling with some strength training like push-ups, sit-ups and planks.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus (Photo credit: anaxolotl)

The best diet is a balanced one – whole grain, healthy fats, vegetables and proteins.

Avoid processed, refined carbohydrates (sweets, candies, desserts)  and focus on whole grains like brown rice, whole oats and quinoa which include fiber that helps balance blood sugar. Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of fiber so get your fill of these each day. Err on the side of vegetables especially when juicing because fruit juices increase your blood sugar at warp speed!

Healthy fats can help reduce risk of type 2 diabetes. Try avocados, raw nuts and seeds, nut butters, olive oil and coconut oil.

Nuts and seeds are also great sources of protein. Protein is the secret weapon to blood sugar balancing. It can also be found in beans, fish poultry and red meat too. Keep red meat minimal in your diet as it can be high in harmful fats. Opt for grass-fed beef or organic poultry.

Q: What about my heart health? Should I be worried?

A: Diabetes increase heart disease risk. High blood sugar in the blood stream damages blood vessel walls and contribute to inflammation, plaque formation and high blood pressure. Luckily, exercise and a balanced diet will help reduce heart disease risk too. Also watch out for salt intake. Too much salt will increase blood pressure and increase risk of heart attacks and stroke. Reduce your risks now starting here with a Heart Healthy Shopping list.

Q: What about stress? Is that a factor too?

A: Yes, actually. High stress means you produce more stress managing hormones like cortisol. High cortisol causes blood sugar to increase because it signals your liver to break down emergency sugar stores. Also, skipping meals puts the body in a “stressed” state because blood sugar drops to a level where your body enters survival mode, producing cortisol to get blood sugar back to normal so you’ll have enough energy to keep functioning.

Keep your stress managed with exercise, balanced meals/snacks and, of course, having fun!

If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or contact me for a complimentary 15-min consultation.

Here’s to your health,

Dr Mead

http://www.dradeolamead.com

Resources:

Photo credit: The Discovery Health Journal

Photo credit: Eli Lilly and Co.