I Scream For Chocolate: Raw, Healthy Goodness

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
— Charles M. Schulz

It's good to try new things, especially if you're focused on creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself or your family! I'm not a fan of punishing and restrictive diets and food plans, however many are now being told that they must eliminate gluten, added sugar and dairy, because of health concerns and food sensitivities. If this is the case for you, I believe that you'll be happier and more successful if you find ways to continue to enjoy eating by finding creative ways to work around problem foods that contribute to autoimmune problems, inflammation and other health concerns. Restriction tends to be a recipe for relapse. 

The following dessert recipes are packed with "super foods" that actually hit the sweet spot. Your palate, brain and body will love these. Additionally, sans all the simple sugars and unhealthy ingredients that you'd find in a classic restaurant dessert, these ingredients also maintain stable blood sugar and keeps your insulin low. Blood sugar spikes are hard on the body. We now know that sugar lights up the same receptors in our brain as cocaine? Yes, you read that right! Eating high-sugar foods lights up your brain on an MRI “like a Christmas tree,” according to Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., functional medicine doctor in this HuffPost Live interview. The part of the brain that lights up is the very same part of the brain that’s triggered by cocaine or heroine, according to research by Dr. David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D. As with any "high," a cranky crash is sure to follow.

What to do? Healthy, raw fats like coconut oil and avocado helps your body manage sugar better. We get the pleasant experience of sweet, with significantly less crash. Nature's exquisite elixir honey, in addition to raw cacao, both contain an abundance of B-vitamins, antioxidants and essential minerals--all natural immune system boosters. Your body will bless you with stable blood sugar and reduced inflammation--both supporting enhanced mental health including help with depression and anxiety. Enjoy these "guilt-free" and very satisfying, healthy raw and yummy desserts. 

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse:

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh, ripe large avocado
  • 4 heaping tablespoons of raw cocoa powder (I like Navitas)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • About 8 medjool dates (depends on desired sweetness)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • Some water until you get a consistency that appeals to you
  • Extras: peppermint extract, coffee, cardamom, fresh coconut, orange extract, cayenne, cinnamon, banana, peanut butter 

Blend until smooth in a high speed food processor, Vitamix or other blender, scrape container as needed You can play around with this recipe, substituting medjool dates with banana and adding some of the suggested ingredients listed above. Refrigerate, or not.  If you are going low-glycemic, skip the dates and add a bit of stevia to taste.

And this superfood dessert recipe uses raspberries and coconut oil, and is adapted from MindBodyGreen.com

Raw Chocolate Avocado Raspberry Mousse (vegan):

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk
  • Stevia to taste or raw honey (or other natural sweetener)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • Optional extras: toasted sliced almonds, chia seeds, frozen mixed berries, almond butter, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, pecans

Combine in a blender or food processor avocado until smooth. Add your cacao, coconut milk, oil, honey,and berries. Blend until smooth. You will probably need to mix it up once or twice with a spoon, because it is quite thick. This is a dark chocolate recipe. If you prefer milk chocolate, add a bit more honey to taste as well as coconut milk.

Practice acceptance, compassion and change what you can. Take care, KS

Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, EMDR Therapist and Personal Coach with a private practice in New York City. As a clinician who is passionate about the interplay between mind and body, she practices mind-body psychotherapy, providing holistic counseling and coaching for her clients. Her counseling modalities include: psychoanalytic psychotherapy EMDR therapy, CBT, DBT, mindfulness, crisis counseling and coaching with expertise in anxiety, depression, pain and chronic disease management, eating disorders (anorexia, binge eating, bulimia), addictions, alcoholism, trauma resolution, relationship + marital difficulties, women's issues (postpartum depression, new parent, divorce, separation, hormone imbalance), performance blocks, self-defeating behaviors, loss, grief, loneliness, self-esteem issues, post-rehab support and sexual problems. Via Skype, Kim Seelbrede provides life coaching, executive, personal and career coaching. Kim Seelbrede works with celebrities and high-profile individuals as well as high-level entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 executives around the world including London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Connecticut and Washington. Her professional personal and executive coaching services are tailored to each clients individual needs and targets concerns such as feeling stagnate and stuck, self-assertion, self-sabotage, substance abuse, pain management, chronic illness, work/life balance, performance problems, communication challenges, anxiety and stress management/reduction.

If you are a fan of social media find Kim Seelbrede on: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, EMDRIA Find an EMDR Therapist, Psychology Today, Good Therapy, Urban Zen Foundation, EMDR Therapist Network, www.nycemdr-integrativetherapy and www.kimseelbrede.com

Beauty Queen: A Memoir to be released late 2016