Chocolate always first…

…Well, almost always!

I was listeining to KTU this morning..well every morning, but that’s besides the point… and Carolina (whom I LOVE… PS if reading, Cubby, I love you too!!) was talking about eating some dessert before feasting into Thanksgiving dinner.  She was talking about in a joking way, but to me I took it serious, because there was some seriousness to her entertaining on air about how we all do sometimes over eat on Thanksgiving.  If we eat something sweet first, it may take away some of the craving for food later on, is along the lines of what she said.  I automatically texted in saying that she was semi- correct!  Because, she was!!

I won’t go as far as to say “go ahead, eat all the pies and cakes you see on the dessert table, but I will say, if some dark chocolate catches your eye- go for that!  Dark chocolate has waistline benefits- as it will not add to weight gain, and can even help with weight loss! Now, this is NOT the new go to fad diet, nor will it actually make you lose your goal weight of say 5-10 pounds.  But it can help stop you from over eating.

Dark chocolate is loaded with fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer.  Having a bite of a good quality, high percentage, dark chocolate  before hitting the table for dinner will help you stop over eating because you will feel fuller faster with a smaller amount of food because of the fiber in the piece of chocolate.  It also helps reduce stress, which many people face during the holidays.  Eating a small piece of the dark chocolate will help reduce the stress and help those who do happen to stress eat not eat as much as they may have.

Other benefits of dark chocolate include anti inflammatory properties, due to the flavanols found cocoa.  It can help repair cellular damage and prevent future cellular damge to those who suffer from inflammatory diseases. The flavanols can also help lower blood pressure.  It can also boost blood circulation to the brain to help you stay more focused as well as leave you with healthier, smoother skin.

If these aren’t reasons enough, it is also DELISH!!  But remember- look for the ORGANIC DARK chocolate, that is at least 70% dark.

Here are two of my favorite dark chocolates… I would love to hear about your favorites!!

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My favorite, and 10% of proceeds help endangered wildlife.

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Another go-to if I see it.  SO tasy and satisfying.

And remember to always eat for your body, it will thank you.

Have a very happy and thankful Thanksgiving!!  Cheers to the holiday season!

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Rainy Day Banana Muffins

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What to do on the second rainy day in a row with a baby who sleeps a lot of the day away?  Bake!!  Anyone who knows me knows I am not much of a baker.  I like the idea of it, but when it comes to the actual combining of the ingredients, I am not a fan of how precise everything has to be!  But out of boredom and the right ingredients, I found myself mixing some things up and making some tasty treats!  Sweet enough for Dessert and healthy enough for breakfast.  What more can you ask for? How about they are dairy free if using dairy free coconut or almond yogurts (SO Delicious brand is a good one), egg free, and can be gluten free depending on flour used!

Ingredients-

2 Bananas- smashed

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

2 Tbsp Almond milk

6 Tbsp organic applesauce

1 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt

1/2 cup Coconut palm sugar

2 cups flour of choice

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used a little bit more for extra flavor)

*Add ins- chocolate chips, walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix all wet ingredients in one bowl and all dry ingredients in another bowl.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix together until completely blended.

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Wet and dry ingredients together
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Everything mixed together thoroughly

In muffin tin, either greased or lined with muffin holders, pour batter 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden on top and baked all the way through.

Enjoy!

Rainy day baking was a success! And remember your body always thanks you when you give it what it craves.

Out of hiding with a new topping for my favorite fish!

I am sorry for the long hiatus!  Ten weeks seems like a very long time not to blog, or at least to this blogger! The reason why I have been away for so long is due to the newest love of my life, Wyatt Hudson- born on February 18, 2015.

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But..

It is time to get back to the kitchen trying out new things because I miss my own cooking and with the warmer weather here, it’s time to start whipping up some new summer dishes!

Because I do have a newborn, I do not have as much time to experiment in the kitchen, so I have been adjusting my schedule and coming up with easy to make meals that are done in 20 minutes.  When my husband asked me what I wanted for dinner the other night, I wanted fish- Salmon to be exact!  It is my favorite fish, and now that I am not pregnant anymore, I have been eating it whenever I crave it.

My husband decided to BBQ his chicken which gave me an idea of how I wanted to marinate my Salmon, BBQ flavored.  When I opened my refrigerator, I noticed the pineapple we had, so I decided to spice things up a bit and crush up the pineapple, mix it with the BBQ sauce and brush it onto my fish.  Bake on 400 degrees for 20 minutes, and a delicious dish is ready to serve!

I can not believe I have not done this sooner!  Every bit was refreshing and delish, I will be making it again, and as the summer is quickly approaching I will have to try making it with seasonal fruits I pick up at the Peekskill Farmer’s Market.

Recipe-

1 1/4 pound  Salmon

2 Tablespoons BBQ sauce

2-3 cut cubes fresh pineapple

Preheat over to 400
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Crush pineapple.

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Add BBQ sauce and mix together.

Spread on fish.  Bake in the over for 20 minutes and enjoy!

**Baking time can change depending on size of fish

**Sides can include baked Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, Broccoli.

Salmon is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids that can help improve cardiovascular health and fight depression.  Salmon is also a great option for those who need to add more Vitamin D to their bodies as well as protect the eyes.

Knowing the benefits of the foods you consume will help your body stay healthier later on.  It will also keep you out of the doctor’s office for longer periods of time, and for that your body will thank you!

Oatmeal chocolate chip smoothie

Since being pregnant, my body has encountered quite a few changes, including a developing sweet tooth I have never had before! The worst part about it- I do not just want sweets at the end of the day, I want then ALL day! So instead of indulging in candy, ice cream (which happens to be my favorite!), or other not-so-great choices, I made a delicious smoothie that is good as a healthy breakfast, a great pre-workout smoothie, or a sweet snack/dessert. It is loaded with the good-for-you, complex carbs, protein, and fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer and keep you going all day!

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Smoothie

All ingredients are organic

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¼ cup rolled oats

1 Frozen banana– or not frozen, just add handful of ice

1 cup Almond Milk

2 Tablespoons dark chocolate chips- I use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, which are soy free, dairy free, and nut free

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon organic vanilla

1 Tablespoon flax seeds

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Blend together until smooth.

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Pour in a glass, sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and enjoy!

You should never deprive yourself of something your body is telling you it wants. Find healthy alternatives, or eat what you want in moderation. When you satisfy your cravings, even the sweet ones, your body will thank you.