Sunday, February 28, 2010

Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal!!

I can never, ever, ever get enough chocolate. I've honestly tried very hard to limit myself, but I've found it only makes the Chocolate Monster in me growl louder. So, I've learned how to incorporate it into my days, everyday, in a healthy & moderate way. This way, there's no risk of health effects such as diabetes, and I'm a happy person :) You only live once, right? Right! So I had this for dinner last night.
Chocolate has a calming, relaxing effect on the brain and body. This is due to the high amounts of magnesium in it, which assists our bodies in the absorption of calcium and production of serotonin (the happy hormone!!)
My emotions have been all over the place, and I've been feeling pretty stressed lately; chocolate & bananas have helped me cope. I've been following another online blog, titled Sexy Food Therapy. Melissa, the author, talks about "eating emotionally; the right way." In truth, food has always been my comfort, though not always in healthy ways. Since becoming a vegan, and more recently raw, I've learned how much taking care of myself has made me a better person towards other people. I wake up every day with a true passion for life. I've become an incredibly positive person in the past two years. Eating well helps me to cope with the little stresses life throws my way; it's so much easier now to let things slide off my back.
There is no sugar in this recipe, so you won't feel a "crash" after your mood-boosting chocolate high. Agave nectar releases slowly into your bloodstream, rather than shocking it like sugar. Keep in mind, though, to use it in moderation (as you should with pretty much any food). Also, I've used raw cacao nibs in place of traditional chocolate chips. You'll get a way better mood-boosting effect from raw, unprocessed, sugarless cacao than you will from that bag of no names. (And not to mention the beneficial antioxidants.)
At work (I work in a health food store), we brought in a new product that I'm sooooo excited about!! They are shreds of raw coconut, which you can see in the picture of my bowl of oatmeal. Nothing added to them; no sugar, sulphites, nada! Just pure, beautiful, raw coconut :)
If you want to keep this totally raw, use oat groats in place of the rolled oats I use here. Simply soak your groats overnight, and drain the excess water. Done! You've made raw oatmeal :) If you want to follow my lead...

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry rolled oats
1 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tbs cacao (or cocoa) powder
1 tbs cacao nibs
1 tbs shredded, raw coconut
2 tsp agave nectar (or to taste)

Directions:
1) Put oats, water, and sea salt into a rice cooker and let it do its' thing. You can also cook on the stove, according to package directions. But pleeeaaase, for the love of GOD, do not put it in the microwave!! You destroy 100% of a food's nutrients when you nuke it. Wanna be healthy and lose weight? Ditch the cancer box.
2) Stir in cacao & agave until oatmeal is chocolate-y. Top with cacao nibs & shredded coconut. Ta Da!

While my oatmeal hit the spot last night, I was feeling a little low today, too. Well that, coupled with low blood sugar, made it easy to get into a spat with my mom on the phone...I hate fighting with my mom, so I felt even more stressed. Knowing I had to pick up my brother from his dive (yes, my bro scuba dives), and not wanting to bring down his excitement, I knew I had to do something about my mood. Sooooo chocolate & a banana to the rescue!
It's rare that I get a chocolate Easter bunny, because they tend to be full of dairy. However, this little bunny (from Denman Island Chocolates) had a few broken parts and needed some love. Because we couldn't sell him at the store, I took him home. (Okay, okay, I took two home.)
Anyhoo, while I typically prefer raw chocolate, this one had a whopping three ingredients!! Cocoa mass, cocoa butter, & cane sugar. Okay little bunny, we can be friends.
I savoured my bunny, piece by piece. And then I savoured my banana, breaking off bites and placing them in my mouth. Two hours later, I'm still on my choco-banana high :) Oh, and my bro seemed to appreciate his enthusiastic sister who asked him all about his day.
I don't believe in extremes; don't sit down to an entire box of Turtles, but also don't ban yourself from chocolate (unless, of course, you have an allergy). Truthfully, I eat small helpings of chocolate everyday, and I maintain my 122lb frame. So go ahead; indulge :) Just do it in moderation.

Peace, Love, & Chocolate <3

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