Annoying Food Choices – Hot Chocolate

A jar of Tesco own brand hot chocolate powder.Now this is something i really hate – hot chocolate.

Seriously people, look at the list of crap that they use for ingredients in this stuff…

Tesco Instant Hot Chocolate Drink

Sugar, Whey Permeate Powder (Milk), Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder (11%), Dried Skimmed Milk, Coconut Oil, Dried Glucose Syrup, Stabilisers (Dipotassium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Carboxymethylcellulose, Sodium Polyphosphate), Milk Proteins, Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), Flavouring (contains Milk), Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide)

Options Instant Belgian Chocolate Drink

Whey Powder (Milk), Fat Reduced Cocoa Powder (21%), Sugar, Thickeners (Acacia Gum, Xanthan Gum), Belgian Chocolate (7%) (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Flavouring), Dried Glucose Syrup, Skimmed Milk Powder, Coconut Oil, Whole Milk Powder, Salt, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Sweetener (Aspartame), Anti-Caking Agent (E551), Flavouring, Stabiliser (E340)

…and that was just the first 2 i pulled off Tesco’s website.

Don’t people actually give a fuck any more about their health, fitness, wellbeing and longevity? Obviously not if they’re buying this utterly toxic garbage.

Now i’m not saying don’t enjoy a nice cup of cocoa, everyone should have that pleasure, but there’s nice healthy ways of enjoying it and really crap nasty ways and hot chocolate mixes are really crap nasty ways.

Healthy ways…

Use pure cocoa powder – or if you really want to spoil yourself get some organic raw Criollo cacao – either is good and healthy as long as the ingredients on the packet only list one single ingredient – cocoa or cacao. Different cocoas and cacaos have different flavours (just like coffee does), there’s a few different species of cacao each with their own tastes and then the processing by different producers creates different fat contents, etc., as well, so do try some different ones at different quantities in your drinks until you find the one that you really like.

Sweeteners… Do not use artificial sweeteners as they are seriously bad for your health. They ruin your gut microbiome, they ruin your gut wall, they increase your risk of diabetes because they’ve ruined your microbiome and gut wall, they increase your risk of other diseases like cancer, they increase your desires for ever more sweeter products leading to ever increasing obesity because you’ll never be truly satisfied because nothing you ever eat again will be as sweet as these artificial sweeteners can make it.

Let us get one thing straight… Sugar does not cause diabetes, and anyone telling you it does is either utterly ignorant or looking to profit out of your ill health. Fat causes type 2 diabetes and dairy causes type 1 diabetes, neither are caused by sugar other than if you over consume loads of refined sugar which your body is then forced to convert it into fat in order to get the sugar out of your bloodstream – once again, it’s the fat that causes the diabetes not the sugar and you have to over consume approx 10,000 calories (that’s calories you don’t need) of pure sugar to get your body to produce 1kg of fat. Yes, absolute fact, your body needs about 10,000 calories of excess calories from carbs to make 1kg of fat – so, let’s be honest, a tsp or 2 in your cocoa is really not going to hurt.

And there’s actually lots of nice natural sweeteners for you to try. Start with raw cane sugar, i like Demerara in my drinks, but there’s lots of different raw cane sugars out there so try a few, they all have their own unique tastes to bring to your cocoa. Light cane has the mildest taste whereas Muscovado has one of the strongest with Demerara in the middle-ish. There’s also other nice natural sweeteners that bring their own unique tastes to your cocoa/cacao drink, like date syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, etc.. Just make sure that you check the ingredients to ensure that you are buying the pure, natural product and not some adulterated, toxic garbage.

Do not use milk from animals as this will destroy all the health benefits of the cocoa/cacao. Dairy not only causes type 1 diabetes but it also destroys the efficacy of all anti-oxidants that you put in your stomach with it.

If you really must use milk for your cocoa then use a plant milk. Again, many different ones to try with their own unique flavours.

But why not try drinking it black? Yes, you can make a delicious cup of cocoa without any type of milk product (just like coffee and tea). Just simply add pure cocoa/cacao to a mug with a little raw cane sugar (adjust both to taste) and enjoy.

And you can really nice this up by following this recipe for one of the most super healthy drinks there possibly is…

2 tsp cocoa (adjust to taste)
1.5 tsp raw cane sugar, date syrup, maple syrup, etc. (adjust to taste)
1 peppermint tea bag
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
400ml boiling water
Stir well, let settle and cool for a few minutes, stir well again.
Enjoy

Anyways, if you care about your health, fitness, longevity and quality of life, stop with the drinking hot chocolate mixes and mix your own from pure ingredients and make something unique and healthy.

One Year, No Beer…

I was listening to the No Meat Athlete Podcast episode, ‘One Year, No Beer?’

Worth a listen to, and check out the ‘One Year No Beer’ website also.

Disclaimer… the ‘One Year No Beer’ had nothing whatsoever to do with my quitting alcohol. But as of writing this post i’m now at 308 days 13 hours sober and thought i qualify well to give the idea a shout out. Like the guy says in the Podcast, you can quit for a month but you don’t have to change your lifestyle and socialising habits (you just avoid things for a month). To quit for 90 days is something altogether different because you do have to start changing your lifestyle habits and socialising habits.

To take it to a year is something else entirely. To go through all the seasons, the festivals, the celebrations, the birthdays, the ups and downs and never ending trials and tests of life, etc., and to experience it all in sobriety – now that can be challenging, and to a lot of people, frightening. But seriously, it’s worth it. If you truly can’t face an event, a person, a place, etc., without alcohol, then maybe you should think about deleting that thing out of your life. Clear away the shit that you need to be boozed up to face and create the space in your life that you fill with ideas, events, people, places that you can enjoy sober. There’s a whole world out there to explore and enjoy in sobriety, all you need to do is get sober.

Good luck!

Coffee, Good Or Bad…

Apparently, the latest spin on coffee is that drinking 3-5 cups a day is good for your heart…

‘Regular coffee drinkers have “cleaner” arteries’.

No doubt there will be people today rushing to starbucks and costa to grab another coffee to ensure their heart health is improved because they only read the bits of the article that they want to hear. But is it so clear and cut as they make out?

Firstly, what coffee were they using and how strong was it? To what extent was it roasted, how much milk, cream, sugar, and other additives, if any, were added. How was it prepared; instant, filter, espresso, etc..

And also to bear in mind is that the South Korean diet is massively different to the UK, European and USA diet. So don’t be thinking chugging down 5 large lattes (whatever they are) is going to do you any favours as it may make things worse.

This is why studies on coffee show so many mixed findings. Too many factors are mixed in with coffee consumption that it’s easy to find some studies showing positive results and some that show negative ones. Note that the BBC haven’t put a link to the full publication of this study for anyone interested to look at this more closely – i wonder why that is?

Anyway, here’s some food for thought (or should that be drink?)…

So maybe instead of going for those extra coffees you might go for a green tea without milk. Although if you’re really concerned about health then try matcha tea instead…

Or cocoa…

Although do understand that it’s made with boiling water and no milk when you want it to be healthy.

If you want the cream of the crop of healthy beverage then i would suggest adding half a teaspoon of powdered peppermint leaves to your cocoa without milk – now that will do your health a whole lot of good…

Sure, there’s better herbals than peppermint, but peppermint is still amazingly healthy and it also goes so nicely with cocoa so that’s what makes it the winner in my book.

Just stay away from the coffee. If you’re addicted to caffeine, as most people are, then the theobromine in cocoa will fill all the caffeine receptors in your brain as they both belong to the same group of CNS stimulants, Xanthines. Addicts can replace one with the other, you just won’t get the wired agitated buzz from theobromine.

#cocoa #health #matcha #tea