Good mood food
Last week I turned 43 and the next day I threw my back out.
It was better than finding a patch of grey hairs but, come on!! I hadn’t expected to hobble into my 44th lap around the sun, so I am wholeheartedly following an anti-inflammatory plan with lots of heat packs, chiropractic treatment and rest.
The good news is that I hadn’t realised just how helpful my kids could be when I really needed them. At 10 and 12 they’re fully capable of heaving me out of the car, loading the laundry, dealing with the dishwasher and picking everything up off the floor. In fact, I didn’t really realise how much I was doing for them until I stopped doing it. I’m still doing most of the cooking because otherwise dinner would be hot chocolate with a side of marshmallows – that does sound delicious though!
I recently had a bit of a breakthrough with one of the kids. I have one who gravitates more naturally to the healthy stuff. The other has inherited my sweet tooth – there honestly is a gene for that. We don’t have much sugar in the house which helps, but if we stop for snacks on the go then she always wants something sweet.
I explained recently that it’s easier to say yes to the sweet stuff if she’s really good about packing her diet with healthy things too. It was so simple but it worked brilliantly and she’s now much more willing on the healthy snacks and vegetables at dinner. Less stress all round!
So, does that mean there’s room for hot chocolate? Well maybe not for dinner itself, but as an occasional warm-up yes! Sometimes I let the kids make it themselves (hello sugar rush) and other times I do it for them. They don’t seem to mind if I do the superfood version if there’s a marshmallow floating on the top.
And how do you make the superfood version? Well you make it with a good quality cocoa powder (antioxidants), take it easy on the sugar, add collagen (protein/nutrients), use an unsweetened plant-based milk and add a little extra virgin coconut oil. I know that sounds bizarre but the coconut oil adds a richness that’s so satisfying and the good fats help to mitigate the sugar rush somewhat.
Try and give them some nuts on the side too – that’s always handy for steadying blood sugar. We’ve been into Brazil nuts lately. You only need two to get your daily dose of selenium, an essential mineral that’s helpful for hormones, thyroid support and protection from free radicals.
As the weather gets colder, it would be great if most of your warm drinks were herbal teas, but a treat like this every now and then is so delicious.
Hot chocolate – the superfood version!
Ingredients (per person):
1 cup unsweetened almond, cashew, coconut or flax milk
1 tsp cacao powder
1 tsp Great Lakes grass-fed collagen hydrolysate (Miles Market)
½ – 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil (optional)
¼ tsp cinnamon
Few drops vanilla essence
1 tsp maple syrup (or a few drops of Stevia)
1, Put the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and allow to melt.
2, Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until well combined.
3, Heat through till hot, but not boiling.
Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram