My New Holiday Diet - Dark Chocolate
by Doyle Ranstrom on Dec 19, 2021
Many of us struggle with weight gain over the Holidays. For me, its starts with Thanksgiving. This past Thanksgiving I did pretty well on the main course. However, there were three different pies for dessert. If you eat a piece of just one pie, the other two pies think you are playing favorites. If you a piece from two pies, the third feels left out. If you hav a piece form all three, which is the most empathetic option, that can lead to weight gain.
Thanksgiving is often followed by Holiday gatherings, then Christmas day of eating with the finale of New Years Eve. So taking weight responsibility seriously, I started a new diet over the Holidays. Nothing but high quality dark chocolate.
Now before you criticize, hear me out. First of all, as someone who should avoid salt when possible, dark chocolate has no sodium. That's a huge win. There is also protein, iron and potassium. As a cyclist, these are important. Granted, to get enough protein to be beneficial, it would take a small truck load of bars, but still.
Also, compared to chocolate with higher amounts of sugars and fat, the dark chocolate I eat is low in sugars and fat. If that made sense, note I am starting a new career as a political consultant.
With one exception, I eat dark chocolate which has a minimum of 70% cacao and normally higher. Studies have shown the health benefits of dark chocolate. Some studies found the regular consumption of dark chocolate improves mental health. Others have found regular consumption may promote feelings of fullness leading to less overall calorie consumption and possible loss of weight.
Look at me, promoting a low salt diet which could improve mental health and could lead to weight loss.
The exception to the 70% or greater cacao is the dessert I have developed. It is a combination of dark chocolate chips and whipped topping. Chocolate chips are often used in making cookies, but I have decided to cut out the middle man, the dough. In this case, I use gourmet chips and whipped topping. As there are several types of whipped topping, I would suggest trying more than one. Keep in mind, if you do not use all the whipped topping in your freezer and we do not solve climate change, in several hundred billion years, the new generation of dinosaurs will eating them as an after dinner treat.
Anyway, though individual experimentation is encouraged, in my recipe I cover a small plate with chips. Then microwave for 30 seconds followed by 20 seconds. I find that a small break between microwaving the chips leads to the highest quality of softness without over cooking. 20 seconds and then 30 seconds does not seem to produce the same quality. Also, please note that smaller chips tend to cook faster than higher chips. After the chips have been softened, cover with the whip topping. Some may choose to use a smaller amount of whip topping. My recipe calls for covering the chips, the plate, and part of the surrounding counter, but each to their own.
Recently I was at one of my granddaughters birthday party and her best friend's mother, who owns an upscale restaurant, was also there with her daughter. Much to my daughter and her husband's embarrassment, I shared my dessert recipe with her. I offered to write down, but have been told not necessary. Creativity always takes awhile to catch on.
Another reason for weight gain over the Holidays is consumption of adult beverages. For the record, I do not drink any more. I don't drink any less, just not any more. The first time i heard this joke was from a relative in her mid-90s. I still smile every time I think of her telling this joke.
Anyway, I drink very little beer or wine. I do have an occasional small bourbon, but that's different. Many do not realize this, but if your break bourbon down, the "bour" comes from the viking word burr which means chilly. B stands for bees which produce honey. An the "on" is short for onions which are code for vegetables. So bourbon is actually a sweet chilly vegetable drink.
One last thought. Have a wonderful Holidays. Enjoy time with family and friends. And if your are financially able to do so, make a donation to your local food bank. Many are food insecure year round and especially during the Holidays. Your donation will make a difference.