Tag Archives: chocolate

Recipe: Steak in Chocolate Chili Sauce

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This is what I just had for dinner and it combines all the best things in life: butter, chocolate, steak, tomatoes, onions and bone broth. ¬†I’m getting the goosebumps just thinking about it!

Steak in Chocolate Chili Sauce

What you’ll need:

3/4 stick of Kerrygold garlic and herb butter

1-2 onions sliced

2 cups homemade bone broth or 3 cups store bought broth

1 cup water if you’re using homemade broth

1/2 – 1 pound of beef, preferably in steak form ūüôā

1 can of diced tomatoes 

1 Tablespoon of chili seasoning

1 Tablespoon on unsweetened cocoa powder

1.  On medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions.

2.  Stir every few minutes, keeping an eye on the onions.

3.  When the onions are translucent, add the bone broth, tomatoes, water, chili and cocoa powder.

4.  Mix well.

5.  Turn down the heat and let that simmer for 15 minutes.

6.  Add the meat.

7. ¬†On low, cover and allow it to simmer for an hour. ¬†(Yep, an hour. ¬†Go wash your hair, take the dog for a walk, do your taxes, shave your chest….whatever.)

8.  Pull the steak out of the sauce and ease it onto a plate.  Cover with the sauce.

I didn’t make anything to go with it tonight. ¬†It would be lovely with some greens or roasted squash.

*You will need your fork and spoon. ¬†I thought that I’d need my knife to cut the meat but it was fork tender.

Reader Questions – Cycles and chocolate

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Emily writes:
 
1. On the sweet-tooth: First why do I get seriously poignant cravings for sweets right before I start my period? There are generally certain times of the month when my sweet-tooth kicks into high gear. What’s with that? Second, is it possible to have a genetic predisposition to be addicted to chocolate?¬†
 
2. Relatedly, is a small portion of dark-chocoalte a day a healthy indulgence or just one of those things women tell themselves to keep worse indulgences at bay?
 
Ah, menstrual cycles and carb cravings. ¬†First, a question back at you. ¬†Do you only have intense sugar cravings before your period? ¬†If not, you may be a little carb focused in your metabolism. ¬†If you only crave sugar before your period, your serotonin levels may have something to do with that.. ¬†The body does use carbs directly on the serotonin pathway. But, vice versa, the level of serotonin acts on your body’s release of insulin and cravings for glucose. ¬†There is also a connection between the rise in estrogen and a drop in blood sugar as well as a drop in serotonin. ¬†(There has long been the understanding that serotonin is our “feel good” chemical and that is what we often call it. ¬†The reality is a little less cut and dry. ¬†There isn’t necessarily a direct correlation between serotonin levels and feeling good, but I digress.) ¬†In other words, you’re perfectly ¬†normal. ¬†I have found in my experience, the less sugar I eat and the more fat-adapted I have become, the far less dramatic are my cravings. ¬†The cravings would be best met with sweet potatoes, sushi, berries, and full fat dairy if you don’t have a problem digesting them. ¬†And, of course, chocolate.
 
Full disclosure:  Emily, I know your mother, so I would not be at all surprised if the very real dependence on chocolate be a phenomic expression of your genome.  
 
Now, question 2.  
 
Chocolate has been used as a part of the human diet for a very long time. ¬†However, it has been traditionally used for rituals, for royalty, and most often unsweetened, mixed with spices. ¬†It is a fermented food. ¬†(Yep, it is.) ¬†It is brimming over with anti-oxidants (which can decrease photo-sensitivity) and helps to reduce systemic inflammation. ¬†It also helps with blood flow which means that your brain is more alert. ¬†Then, there is theobromine, which is often touted as an aphrodaesiac. ¬†(Might have a little something to do with the increased blood flow? ūüôā )
 
It has less caffeine than coffee and has the added benefit of being chewable (unless you’re drinking Haitian coffee properly made so your spoon stands up). ¬†
There are only a couple things to know when it comes to chocolate.  
 
1. ¬†They are not all equal. ¬†Sorry, Hershey’s, but step up your game! ¬†Go for dark. ¬†The darker the better. ¬†I eat a couple squares of 100% cacao almost daily. ¬†I don’t think that anything below 85% is much good except as a rare and special treat. ¬†(I know, it sounds nuts and takes some time to work up to. ¬†I actually had 95% a couple weeks ago and found it far too sweet!) ¬†I also keep unsweetened cocoa powder around to use in my smoothies and to make hot chocolate. ¬†(I always make this in the more traditional way using several warming herbs, like ginger, cinnamon and sometimes cayenne.)¬†
 
2. ¬†Theobromine in extremely high doses can be toxic. ¬†So, chocolate can be a healthy PART of the diet, not the whole diet. ¬†Although….I wouldn’t mind risking it.
 
3.  For anyone with the herpes virus, chocolate can be irritating and lead to outbreaks.  
 
4. ¬†If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine or are adrenally exhausted, I’d slow my flow with the chocolate. ¬†
 
5. High heels making us look better is something that women have totally made up to keep worse “indulgences” (like butt implants…NO…JUST…NO) at bay, but eating chocolate on the regular? ¬†That’s for real.
 
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why I hate gluten free foods and you should to.

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“After I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I said yes to food, with great enthusiasm….I vowed to taste everything I could eat, rather than focusing on what I could not.”-Shauna James Ahern

I can’t tolerate gluten. ¬†I swell up like I”m about to give birth to twins in 45 seconds. ¬†My joints get knobby and stiff for a couple days after each exposure. ¬†My depression flares and I want to flip life the bird and I would if my hands had any dexterity, but they generally just curl up into little half fists.

At first, this was a horrible shock . ¬†Wait a minute…no pizza, no spaghetti, no calzones???? ¬†(There was clearly an early period of Italian food mourning.) ¬†Then, hold UP…no cupcakes, no caramel brownies, NO CHOCOLATE CREME PIE!!! ¬†This is NOT fair. ¬†(“Life isn’t fair, honey.” in my mother’s voice kept answering me.)

So, I dropped all the foods that were making me sick. ¬†And (stop me if you’ve heard this), I got less sick. ¬†A lot less sick. ¬†My carpal tunnel cleared. ¬†My chronic body pain wasn’t. ¬†My foggy depressive logic was replaced by actual logic.

I got really healthy. ¬†This all happened before being gluten-free was a choice couched in trendiness, so if I wasn’t going to eat a well gluten-stocked brownie, I simply wasn’t going to have one at all. ¬†A couple years in, gluten-free is everywhere. ¬†I can get a pizza, I can get brownies, I can get pasta…sitting here right now, the cafe owner where I regular brought over a sample of a gluten-free “dream roll”. ¬†Yes, it was very tasty. ¬†And, it was tasty because it was sweet.

So, now, I can eat again the foods that I had to give up because of my gluten intolerance. ¬†They sneak in pretty regularly. ¬†I’m not at the top of my game anymore. ¬†Although a glutenous brownie will make me sick immediately, a gluten-free one takes a little longer. ¬†These food products that are now on the market are even less food like than the ones they’ve replaced. ¬†Just removing the gluten does not make a brownie a great healthy choice. ¬†Weston A Price called these kinds of foods “displacing” ones. ¬†A salad with oil or a hunk of steak in butter or a red bell pepper dipped in guacamole? ¬†Those are foods, naturally gluten free and nutrition packed. ¬†When I choose to eat a “fraudulent” food, I have removed the space for nutrition, for nourishment.

We are an interesting species, I suppose. ¬†We want what we want. ¬†But, shun delusion. ¬†Eating gluten-free (or any other food thing that disagrees with you) doesn’t give you an automatic jump in health, other than the obvious. ¬†It is all in what you are really eating. ¬†Sugar and vegetable oil and soy flour and “chocolate flavor” will make you a serviceable cake, but it will not nourish you. ¬†It displaces the nourishment.

So, a list of things that are gluten-free:

Meat

Fish

Berries

Fruits

Coconut Oil

Butter

Vegetables

Nuts

Hmmmm….that happens to be the same list for getting the best nourishment anyway. ¬†Cool how that works, huh?

body love, part 1

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 There seem to be two basic approaches to health:

1. Discipline the body into obedience to one’s goals.

2. Love the body with complete abandon.

I will be writing about the first in a couple weeks.  But, I wanted to take some time and address the second in a two part series.  I will be touching on some ways in which I resolve my own frustrations with each.

I am a¬†Holistic Lifestyle Coach¬†and have a degree in¬†Health Arts and Sciences from something of an alternative college. I was a massage therapist and yoga teacher and also walk the¬†Wise Woman¬†path and I love me some¬†wheel of the year¬†celebrations. ¬†This information should lead you to believe that I stereotypically fall firmly in the camp of “body love”. ¬†(Spoiler alert: I do…well, mostly.) ¬†However, there is so much that¬†annoys¬†intrigues me about this approach.

One:¬†¬†It is announced as a prescription. ¬†Morbidly obese? ¬†You just need to love your body. ¬†Fibromyalgia? ¬†Love your body. ¬†Feel breathless after walking up a flight of stairs? ¬†Love your body. ¬†Wow, that’s frustratingly useless advice, isn’t it?

Two:¬†¬†It is assumed that you know your body. ¬†Do you love anyone that you don’t know? ¬†Other than¬†Robert Downey, Jr., I don’t either.

Three:  Love has lost a lot of meaning in our modern world.  I say that I love chocolate.  I say that I love my son.  I say that I love the sound of the Kardashian empire starting to crumble.  But, love is only truly appropriate vocabulary in one of those sentences.

Four:  Love is not only qualitative on the spectrum, but it also differs in degree.  The love that I have when I first fall in love and the love that I have after being in a relationship for a while.  It is qualitatively the same romantic love, but it has increased in depth.

Five:¬†¬†Love is a process. ¬†You will not wake up tomorrow morning loving your body if you’ve spent a lifetime (or even a few years) not loving it.

Six: Your body is not just one thing.  Since you are your body and you are so many things, so is it. (From here on out, I will not distinguish between the two, so firm is my belief that you are your body.)  You are the actual anatomy: muscles, kidneys, liver, bone, lungs.  You are the reflection of cultural values.  You are hormones and neurological information.  You are contextual.  (You are your environment.)  So, do you love it all in this model or just the width and breadth of yourself as summed up with a scale and tape measure?

I would love to hear from you, no matter where you are on this range of viewpoints. ¬†Through discussion is knowledge pushed forward. ¬†And, now, it’s time to dance.