We are entering the holiday season and with this comes STRESS. Now, if you are an emotional eater, then the holidays may well be a challenge on your waistline and wallet. I happen to be a stress eater (a descendant from a long line of stress eaters) and I’ve had to learn to arm myself with tricks and swaps to prevent a stress eating session. They say that stress eaters can be divided into those that crave salty and those that crave sweet. I think there is a “special person” category that craves both. I guess I’m one of these special people, but since chocolate is such a strong siren song for lots of women, I thought I’d focus on it.
What I’m craving: Brownies or Chocolate Cake
TRY: Glenny’s 100 Calorie Brownies Aside from being low in calories, it is also made of all natural ingredients, seven grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and is certified kosher (nice touch). The best part is that they actually taste good and you’ll feel satisfied with one. They do have a lot of sugar, but the ample fiber helps balance the insulin spike. As an aside, this is a wonderful snack foods website with something for everyone. I love their soy crisps and gluten-free oatmeal cookies.
SKIP: Weight Watchers chocolate cake or Hostess 100 calorie chocolate cupcake packs. There is so much artificial junk in there that I’m sure if you consumed copious amounts you may just embalm your insides.
What I’m craving: Dark Chocolate
TRY: Adora Calcium Chocolates These are a godsend for a chocolate attack and perfect with the morning coffee or a treat the second I get off of the treadmill. Adora is gluten free, has no artificial ingredients, and the dark chocolate version is lactose free. They are only 30 calories and 3 carbs (2 grams of sugar) a piece. As a huge added bonus, that supply you with 500 mgs of calcium and 100 IU vitamin D. As an aside, if you don’t want to purchase online, they carry them in the calcium supplement section at Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods. Enjoy!
SKIP: 100 Calorie Twix bars/100 Calorie Snickers Bars. They are high in sugar and the insulin spike will keep you craving more.
What I’m Craving: Creamy Chocolate Milk
TRY: One-fourth of EAS Ready-to-Drink Carb Control Protein Shake in Rich Dark Chocolate mixed with three-fourths a cup of unsweetened chocolate almond milk and flavored liquid stevia. I know this combination is a mouth-full, but once you find out where to get these items at the grocery store they will become staples (at least they are for me). All of these ingredients can be found at your local Kroger. The EAS shake only has 120 calories and six grams of carbs. It kills all other protein shakes out there. Now, I can’t say enough good things about almond milk. Here is some info:
Each 8 ounce serving of Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Milk is non-dairy, contains only 45 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and no sugar, making it taste creamy but not too sweet. There are also 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, and this beverage also provides 20% of your daily calcium needs, 25% for vitamin D, and a whopping 50% of vitamin E (from the almonds). I also use this in my tea, my oatmeal, and to make my protein pancakes. Love, love, love it. Now, you will need to sweeten it up with natural stevia. The flavored, liquid stevia is quite pricey, but worth it because you only need a few drops at a time and will magically add “wow” to your blended protein shakes, fat-free ricotta concoctions and my faux chocolate milk. I like the Whole Foods brand, as well as the Sweet Leaf in Vanilla Cream and Dark Chocolate.
SKIP: Sweetened bottled cold coffee beverages. The chain shall remain nameless (oops, there’s a photo), but each one contains 180 calories, 3 grams of fat, and a whopping 31 grams of sugar! Walk away.
Do you have chocolate challenges? How do you deal? Do you have swaps or savor the real thing?