Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and tasty treats especially chocolate go hand in hand with the celebrations.
Flashback to February 14, 2015, when I was a month into my healthy lifestyle journey, my options were limited based on the gains I was trying to make. My substitution for a tasty treat for dessert was a bowl of strawberries with “cream”. To make the “cream”, I mixed 2 tablespoons of my vanilla protein powder with 2 – 3 oz. of water and teaspoon of fat free cheesecake pudding mix. I added extra water slowly until it got to a creamy like texture. It was delicious and hit the spot!
Now back to February 14, 2016 having made it to the maintenance phase of my journey, my options, in moderation, are a little bit broader.
As I’ve talked about in previous diary entries, planning ahead is a key strategy for staying on my healthy lifestyle journey. So about a week ago I started thinking about my Valentine’s Day tasty treat options. I asked my, do I dare to try chocolate?! It would be the first time in over a year. A friend told me about a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie for Black Bean Brownies. So I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried them. Before you wrinkle your face, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Foodie to foodie, let me say they were REALLY YUMMY! Before I disclosed the ingredients, my husband tried them, he had absolutely no idea that black beans were in the recipe. My girls enjoyed helping to make them as well as eating them.
I altered Katie’s recipe just a little to help it fit better into my healthy lifestyle journey and adapt to my daughter’s dairy allergy:
- Quick oats, I used quick cooking steel cut oats
- Maple syrup, I used agave nectar (amber)
- Sugar substitute/sugar, I increased the amount of agave nectar (amber)
- Chocolate chips, I used Enjoy Life Dark Free Dark Chocolate (69% Cacao) Morsels
So as you see, you can still satisfy your chocolate cravings while on your healthy lifestyle journey by not being afraid to try something new.
My last thought is…moderation is KEY! Read the labels, recommended serving sizes are listed for a reason. Even with a healthier twist on things, you still have to exercise self-control to limit your portions to the recommended serving size!
Along your journey, try subbing healthier versions mentioned in the articles below, for milk chocolate:
Happy Valentine’s Day to ALL!
Living Transparently on Purpose