Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Indulge and Go Dark! A Heart Healthy Halloween by Carina Sohaili

indulge-and-go-dark-a-heart-healthy-halloween-by-carina-sohaili

Halloween and the numerous holidays coming up are a time for friends, family and memories to be made. Depriving yourself of certain foods tend to lead you to overeat the foods you forbid in the first place and then deprive yourself of them again; an unhealthy cycle. How do you enjoy yourself while being healthy? Become a fan of dark chocolate!

I also have included two of my client favorite “no brainer” Eat Yourself Gorgeous healthy dark chocolate recipes: my warm dark chocolate pumpkin puree and my divine dark chocolate apple crisp sandwich.

Select wisely. Many labels advertise “healthy dark chocolate” but really are loaded with processed sugars, excessive ingredients and preservatives (defeating the purpose of going dark). To get the most health benefits make sure the chocolate is made with a minimum of 70% pure cacao and read the back of the label. Try to get as real as possible with little added ingredients. I always carry a couple of squares in my purse whenever I need a 3PM pick me up or post dinner treat. I also love munching on a small handful of dark chocolate chips (Lily’s brand is a great choice) instead of that afternoon cup of coffee. If you are looking for an easy but healthy Halloween treat – this is it. Trader Joe’s has great pre-portioned snack bars. Balance is key. 1/2 ounce (around 2-3 squares) is a good snack size.

BEAUTIFUL benefits of going dark:

  • Beat cavities. Dark chocolate contains Theobromine, a compound that hardens your tooth enamel, lowering the risk of cavities.
  • Feel good. Dark Chocolate triggers the release of “feel good” hormones in your brain. The same “feel good” hormones that get released after you do physical activity or when you are falling in love.
  • Control Cravings. This delicious delight does not spike your blood sugar levels. What does that mean? You will have more stable energy levels throughout the day, and not have that sudden crash you normally get with other candy. Most candies contain tons of sugars and hidden preservatives that make it very hard to tell when you are actually full. So you just keep munching and suddenly the bag is empty!
  • Fight the flu. Dark chocolate contains zinc (which most people lack in their diet). Zinc is a mineral superstar when it comes to boosting your immune system and also great for smooth clear skin. (More Filling Flu Fighting Foods can be found here and Skin Clearing Smart Snacks can be found here.)
  • Focus. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the heart and brain improving your thought processing abilities. Brain food!

Eat Yourself Gorgeous Divine Dark Recipes (all take fifteen minutes or less to make with under four ingredients):

Divine Dark Chocolate Apple Crisp Sandwich: Slice up an apple and bake in the oven for around five-ten minutes until the top is a golden brown. Spice up your life and add spices of your choice (cinnamon is a great one). Apples are nature’s candy but if you like things extra sweet sprinkle on some stevia (an all natural sweetener). Then melt ½ ounce of dark chocolate, spread and smack together to make your baked apple dark chocolate sandwich. If you like this recipe, you can find my Cinnamon Almond Butter Apple Sandwich recipe here.

Quick tip: practice planning! Take an hour on Sunday and make a batch of dark chocolate apple sandwiches for the week ahead so you can have a delicious, divine treat whenever that craving hits. I have a client bring these babies to work and she shares them with the entire office instead of her normal weekly crispy cream run.

Warm Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Puree: Use 1/2 cup of organic canned pumpkin that you can find at any local market, and is the same price as normal canned pumpkin. (For another easy pumpkin recipe check out my Pumpkin Spice Pancake Video Tutorial here.) Blend the pumpkin with ½ ounce of melted dark chocolate and heat up in a saucepan for around one minute. Mix in one tablespoon of stevia an all-natural sweetener from the stevia leaf and as always, spice it up with cinnamon or nutmeg. For more dark chocolate recipes check out my Dark Chocolate Avocado Shake Recipemy Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Video Tutorial and my Dark Chocolate Muffin recipe featured in Entrepreneur magazine here.

For more pumpkin recipes and healthy comfort food options check out my Fall Video Series

 Learn more about my Eat Yourself Gorgeous Custom Programs and for more health tools check out my Simple Steps to Change Habits

Remember, everyone is different, has different tastes, preferences and goals. As always, focus on progress not perfection. Every small change counts. 

*A cause that is very dear to my heart is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I have formed a team in honor of my grandmother, Dr. Lailee Bakhtiar, who passed away after a 21 year battle with the disease. You can learn more about my team here.

Love always,

Carina

Indulge and Go Dark: A Heart Healthy Halloween by Carina Sohaili

indulge-and-go-dark-a-heart-healthy-halloween-by-carina-sohaili

Halloween and the numerous holidays coming up are a time for friends, family and memories to be made. Depriving yourself of certain foods tend to lead you to overeat the foods you forbid in the first place and then deprive yourself of them again; an unhealthy cycle. How do you enjoy yourself while being healthy? Become a fan of dark chocolate! I also have included two of my favorite “no brainer” Eat Yourself Gorgeous healthy dark chocolate recipes: my warm dark chocolate pumpkin puree and my divine dark chocolate apple crisp sandwich.

Select wisely. Many labels advertise “healthy dark chocolate” but really are loaded with processed sugars, excessive ingredients and preservatives (defeating the purpose of going dark). Make sure the chocolate is made with a minimum of 70% pure cacao and read the back of the label. Try to get as real as possible with little added ingredients. I always carry a small square in my purse whenever I need a 3PM pick me up or post dinner treat. I also love munching on a small handful of dark chocolate chips (Lily’s brand is a great choice) instead of that afternoon cup of coffee. If you are looking for an easy but healthy Halloween treat – this is it. Trader Joe’s has great pre-portioned snack bars. Just because dark chocolate has incredible health benefits does not mean you can go to town! Balance is key. Around 1-2 squares (1/2 ounce) is a good snack size.

BEAUTIFUL benefits of going dark:

  1. Beat cavities. Dark chocolate contains Theobromine, a compound that hardens your tooth enamel, lowering the risk of cavities.
  2. Feel good. Dark Chocolate triggers the release of “feel good” hormones in your brain. The same “feel good” hormones that get released after you do physical activity or when you are falling in love.
  3. Control Cravings. This delicious delight does not spike your blood sugar levels. What does that mean? You will have more stable energy levels throughout the day, and not have that sudden crash you normally get with other candy. Most candies contain tons of sugars and hidden preservatives that make it very hard to tell when you are actually full. So you just keep munching and suddenly the bag is empty!
  4. Fight the flu. Dark chocolate contains zinc (which most people lack in their diet). Zinc is a mineral superstar when it comes to boosting your immune system and also great for smooth clear skin.
  5. Focus. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the heart and brain improving your thought processing abilities. Brain food!

Eat Yourself Gorgeous Divine Dark Recipes (all take twenty minutes or less to make):

Divine Dark Chocolate Apple Crisp Sandwich: Slice up an apple and bake in the oven for around fifteen minutes until the top is a golden brown. Spice up your life and add spices of your choice (nutmeg is a great one). Apples are nature’s candy but if you like things extra sweet sprinkle on some stevia (an all natural sweetener). Then melt ½ ounce of dark chocolate, spread and smack together to make your baked apple dark chocolate sandwich.

Quick tip: practice planning! Take an hour on Sunday and make a batch of dark chocolate apple sandwiches for the week ahead so you can have a delicious, divine treat whenever that craving hits. I have a client bring these babies to work and she shares them with the entire office instead of her normal weekly crispy cream run.

Warm Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Puree: Use 1/2 cup of organic canned pumpkin, which you can find at any local market, and is the same price as normal canned pumpkin. (For another easy pumpkin recipe check out my pumpkin spice pancake video tutorial here.) Blend the pumpkin with ½ ounce of melted dark chocolate and heat up in saucepan for around two minutes. If the combination of pumpkin and dark chocolate is too bitter for you simply sweeten with one tablespoon of stevia an all-natural sweetener from the stevia leaf.

Check out my Eat Yourself Gorgeous Meal Makeover Fall Video Series HERE!

Watch for more pumpkin recipes (pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin parfaits AND my pumpkin pancake taco) as well as my favorite healthy comfort foods (cauliflower garlic mashed potatoes and skin clearing spaghetti squash)

Connect with me and let me know how your divine dark recipes turn out!

I am here to answer any questions you may have. Remember, everyone is different, has different tastes, preferences and goals. Find a way to make these recipes work for you, in your life.

As always, focus on progress not perfection. Every small change counts.

Join the community for inspiration and more health tools:

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Newsletter ~ YouTube ~

Love always,

Carina

Indulge and Go Dark: A Heart Healthy Halloween by Carina Sohaili

indulge-and-go-dark-a-heart-healthy-halloween-by-carina-sohaili

Halloween and the numerous holidays coming up are a time for friends, family and memories to be made. Depriving yourself of certain foods tend to lead you to overeat the foods you forbid in the first place and then deprive yourself of them again. An unhealthy cycle. How do you enjoy yourself while being healthy? Become a fan of dark chocolate. I also have included two of my favorite no brainer (twenty minutes or less) healthy dark chocolate recipes(think dark chocolate pumpkin puree).

Select wisely. Many labels advertise “healthy dark chocolate” but really are loaded with processed sugars (defeating the purpose of going dark). Make sure the chocolate is made with a minimum of 70% pure cocoa and read the back of the label. Try to get as real as possible with little added ingredients. Ghirardelli “intense dark” squares are a good name brand choice. I always carry a square in my purse whenever I need a 3PM pick me up or post dinner treat. If you are looking  for an easy but healthy Halloween treat; this is it. Trader Joe’s also has great portioned snack sized bars. Just because dark chocolate has incredible health benefits does not mean you can go to town! Around 1-2 squares (1/2-1 ounce) is a good size. Moderation is key.

BEAUTIFUL benefits of going dark:

  1. Beat cavities. Dark chocolate contains Theobromine, a compound that hardens your tooth enamel, lowering the risk of cavities.
  2. Feel good. Dark Chocolate triggers the release of “feel good” hormones in your brain. The same “feel good” hormones that get released after you do physical activity or when you are falling in love.
  3. Control Cravings. This delicious delight does not spike your blood sugar levels. What does that mean? You will have more stable energy levels throughout the day, and not have that sudden crash you normally get with other candy. Most candies contain tons of sugars and hidden preservatives that make it very hard to tell when you are actually full. So you just keep munching and suddenly the bag is empty!
  4. Fight the flu. Dark chocolate contains zinc (which most people lack in their diet). Zinc is a mineral superstar when it comes to boosting your immune system. (For more flu fighting foods see my old post Fall Flu Fighting Foods.)
  5. Focus. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the heart and brain improving your thought processing abilities. Brain food!

No Brainer Divine Dark Recipes (all take twenty minutes or less to make):

Dark Chocolate Apple Crisp Sandwich: Slice up apples and bake in the oven for around fifteen minutes until the top is a golden brown. Add spices of your choice (nutmeg is a great one). Apples are natures candy but if you like things extra sweet sprinkle on some stevia (an all natural sweetener). Then melt ½-1 ounce of dark chocolate, spread and smack together to make your baked apple dark chocolate sandwich. For more variety you can add in seasonal cranberries (which are loaded with cancer fighting antioxidants).

Warm Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Puree: Use around one cup of organic canned pumpkin (which is the same price as normal canned pumpkin and you can buy at any market). Then blend with melted dark chocolate and heat up in saucepan for around two minutes. If desired, add Greek yogurt or almond milk for a thicker texture and heart healthy almond slivers for an extra crunch. If the combination of pumpkin and dark chocolate is too bitter for you simply sweeten with stevia or a dollop of agave extract.

Do not be afraid to go dark this season…Happy Halloween! Stay tuned for my next quick tip on Turkey Time Tools.

This Halloween Go Dark: Indulge in Dark Chocolate By Carina Sohaili

Halloween is a time for friends, family, costumes and candy. Yes, there are delicious healthy choices like apples and nuts but I am always about listening to your body, balance and never depriving yourself. Depriving your body does more damage than good and eventually leads you to overeating then continuing an unhealthy cycle. That being said, if you are going to indulge this holiday go for some dark chocolate! Here are some of the delicious, divine benefits of going dark:

  1. Dark Chocolate increases blood flow to the heart and the brain, improving cognitive function (thought processing).
  1. Candy is normally associated with cavities. Dark chocolate contains Theobromine which hardens your tooth enamel lowering the risk of cavities.
  1. Dark chocolate is high in potassium and copper. Copper and potassium are great for cardiovascular health.
  1. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Eating antioxidant rich foods help protect your body against certain types of cancer, infection as well as help slow down the signs of aging.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

this-halloween-go-dark-indulge-in-dark-chocolate-by-carina-sohaili