Friday, November 14, 2014

Sweet Surrender

I have a serious weakness for sweets. This isn't ideal, as sugar is proving to be poison. But as a yogi and commonsense person, I know that desserts consumed in moderation are alright. But how does one consume an addictive drug in small portions and feel A-ok? I've learned the hard/delicious way, through trial & error. 

My trick to avoid getting stuck on sweets? Postpone indulging until late at night. (Just be careful when it comes to caffeine.) This may seem counter-intuitive. You may think you should have your sweet treat early in the day. You think: I'll burn off that cronut during my commute home, ain't no thang. In actuality, once you have even a little bit of something sugary, you're hooked. It's hard to switch back to craving savory, well-balanced foods. 

I've made the mistake of having sugary treats mid-afternoon or as an after work snack in the early evening. Then by the time my husband asks what I'm feeling for dinner, I'm feeling... addicted to desserts. I don't want chicken and couscous or pizza and salad, I want candy and ice cream.

I baked brownies this past Sunday and it was the perfect end-of-weekend treat. I was exhausted after a non-stop, albeit fun, weekend and craving comfort food before the work week kicked in. I enjoyed a couple of home-made-ish brownies after dinner and felt satiated. Soon it was bedtime for bonzo, and there were no more cravings to battle. 

However, on Monday, I made the mistake of treating myself to a little after work snack: a couple of brownies. The rest of the evening was a wash when it came to healthy eating habits. All I wanted was more sugary junk.

The November issue of Women's Health (a wealth of info!) provides stats on one sweet in particular: chocolate.

"Research has shown that, post-chocolate, women often feel two emotions: joy and guilt." One way to feel less guilty? Stick to chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa dark chocolate. When you eat the good stuff, you actually reap benefits from chocolate:

  • Memory improvement 
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Lowered stroke risk (two weekly ounces of aforementioned dark chocolate)
  • Added energy
  • Improved mood
  • Weight loss 
Don't jump for joy too much, though. The WH article also admits that eating chocolate does get you high and lights up the brain's frontal lobe AKA reward center, similar to addictive drugs' effects on the brain. Chocolate addiction can be real. My personal recommendation: Save it for late night. 


P.S. Check out this related web read via Well + Good.

["Your Body On... Dark Chocolate" Women's Health, November 2014]

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