Here's a little treat for ya!! We posted about these in our Instagram stories earlier last week but here's the recipe again. They were SOOO good and honestly tasted just like a Girl Scout Samoa...seriously...I couldn't believe it. Don't be fooled, these are NOT protein bites and to be honest, most of the ones you find on Pinterest aren't either because the fat is higher than the protein....so we'll just call these like they are: Chocolate Coconut Fat Balls.
These will make a great little treat to help you curb your sweet tooth! You don't have to be worried about crappy ingredients which is nice. But... there's always a but, right? I would advise that you are aware of the calories and limit yourself to 1, max 2 per day! Well that's unless you are working your tail off to gain weight, then go ahead and eat all 1,600 calories, maybe!
MACROS- This batch made 8 balls.
14 g of fat
13 g of carbs
6 g of protein
3 g of fiber
It's hard to find someone that doesn't like chocolate. In our online accountability groups that we run we are always talking to people about how and what kinds of chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet. Yeah there is a way and we will get to that.
When the candy industry got their hands on the delicious cocoa bean they figured out a way to take a superfood and turn it into something super dangerous. They stretch the cocoa powder so far and add so much milk and sugar to their concoctions that chocolate as most people know it becomes a sweet treat. That is where the danger comes in to play. Sugar is addictive. (1) Consuming it leads to consuming more of it and your tastes begin to become altered. The amount of sugar it takes to sense "sweet" increases. (2)
This all equates to you needing tremendous amounts of willpower to control the quantity of eating these types of food. Guess what... that's a losing battle!
I mentioned above that the cocoa bean is a superfood! Let's talk about that and how you can choose chocolate that improves your health and doesn't lead to the damaging effects of consuming the candy industry's version of chocolate.
7 Health Benefits of Consuming Chocolate
1. Nutrient Dense - Chocolate from a micronutrient standpoint is very dense. It provides a large amount of iron, magnesium, manganese, and copper. It also provides potassium, zinc and selenium. The fiber content of dark chocolate is one of the best benefits of consuming it. Fiber is a missing piece is a lot of people's diets and important for the health of your gut and blood sugar.
2. Controls Blood Sugar - One of the secret ingredients in chocolate that doesn't show up on a nutrition label is a phytonutrient called flavanol, particularly epicatechin. This compound has been shown to improve a person's insulin sensitivity. Therefore making your insulin work more effeciently and regulate blood sugar better.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure - Staying on the flavanol theme, this amazing little phytonutrient also increases the levels of nitric oxide in the blood which relaxes your blood vessels and therefore lowers blood pressure. (3)
4. Source of Antioxidants - You've maybe heard of the ORAC rating, it is a way to measure the antioxidant power of different compounds. Guess where chocolate lands when measured... yup you guessed it is right at the top of the list with some other amazing foods. Antioxidants are important, especially in whole food form, to regulate the levels of free radicals in our bodies. The less free radical damage that occurs in our bodies the lower overall inflammation throughout our body and increased health. (4)
5. Improves Cholesterol - Dark chocolate has been shown to increase the amount of "good" HDL cholesterol. It has also been shown to limit the amount of LDL cholesterol that oxidizes. This is due to the previous point about it being a powerful antioxidant. LDL cholesterol isn't inherently bad, our bodies actually need more of it than HDL. The problems with cholesterol arise when the ratio of HDL/LDL gets out of whack and/or it becomes oxidized and therefore inflamatory. (5)
6. Improve Brain Function - Better brain??? Yes please! Dark chocolate can improve brain function from a couple different aspects. First, blood flow, as mentioned above dark chocolate and it's powerful flavanols help with overall cardiovascular health and therefore better blood flow. A couple other powerful components in dark chocolate include theobromine and caffiene. These compounds are stimiulants that have both been shown to improve brain function. (6)
7. Improved Skin - Those same flavanols that we've talked about also help with protecting your skin from UV rays. This doesn't mean you should just lather up with melted dark chocolate instead of sunscreen, but it's fun to know that that treat you have can help in this area too. (7)
Hopefully I've made a case for why and how chocolate can be can considered a health food. Don't stop here though and go grab the nearest Hershey bar thinking you are improving your health. Let's talk about how you can select chocolate that actually improves your health and doesn't harm you.
Selecting the Right Kind of Chocolate
The candy industry has a pretty good hold on chocolate production. This past summer we made a stop in Hershey, PA to check out Chocolate World!
Chocolate World should probably be renamed Sugar World. By weight I'm guessing a standard Hershey bar contains more sugar than cocoa. We had to search pretty hard to find some true dark chocolate in the big Hershey store. Even the dark chocolate we found was less than desirable according to what I consider healthy.
Here is a simple equation that I created that you can use determine whether or not the chocolate you are eating is health food and will provide all the benefits listed above, somewhere in the middle, or straight up candy and the negative effects outweigh the benefits.
In general the higher the percentage of cacao the healthier the chocolate. In order to get into that moderately healthy category you should be looking for at least 60% cacao but most likely you will need 70%. Once you start getting over 80% that is typically when your chocolate starts becoming health food.
One thing to close with is that consuming chocolate can improve your health if you choose the right kind but it is also a calorie dense food since most of it's calories come from fat. Don't take this information as an opportunity to go hog wild on dark chocolate thinking that because it is healthy it can't affect your weight. A typical chocolate treat for us is usually 2 squares from a dark chocolate bar or about 1/2 of what a serving size is supposed to be according to the packaging. This is enough to give us the health benefits along with our chocolate fix without consuming a huge amount of calories.
We hope this information helps you understand chocolate a bit more and how it can and should be part of a healthy diet. We encourage you to share it if you think it is something your friends need to hear.
1. Evidence for sugar addiction: Behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake
2. Reduced dietary intake of simple sugars alters perceived sweet taste intensity but not perceived pleasantness.
3. How do dietary flavanols improve vascular function? A position paper.
4. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide
5. Plasma LDL and HDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL concentrations are altered in normo- and hypercholesterolemic humans after intake of different levels of cocoa powder.
6. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people.
7. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.
Laura almost didn't let me make these for her. Apparently she has a thing about eating chia seeds because they get stuck in her teeth. I get it... kind of. I was able to twist her arm and get her to try them and I'm pretty sure she was glad she did. We all loved these pancakes, even Eli. Another bonus: zero chia seeds stuck in her teeth too. Talk about having your (pan)cake and eating it too!
Seriously if chia seeds aren't part of your diet you need to consider adding them. Even if a few stray seeds end up in your teeth the benefits far outweigh any social anxiety from being caught with something in your teeth. Even if you do get caught it also gives you an excuse to share this amazing seed story with someone new!
Did your parents ever tease you with presents when you were younger? This wasn't the norm in our house but it did happen a few times. Or vacation??? Your parents tell you that in 6 months you will be heading to Disney World. That next 6 months is now torture. As a kid you get so excited and just can't wait.
Well... Beachbody dropped a similar bomb on us this past week. We found out about a few new programs and products that are coming out. I guess one of them is available right away but the other two we have to wait until next year. So if we have to wait in anticipation, we want you to suffer too!! Here are the three new programs and products that are or will be available.
This series of workouts is available exclusively to Beachbody Club Members. As a club member one of the benefits is Beachbody On Demand which is the online streaming platform that Beachbdy recently released.
There are 4 total workouts:
All of these workouts do require dumbbells.
If you would like more info on these workouts or to try them for free for 30 days, reach out via EMAIL, or comment below.
22 Minute Hard Corps
If you're willing to step up and commit to spending 8 weeks with Tony Horton and 22 Minute Hard Corps™, you'll walk away Boot Camp Fit—even in the best shape of your life. It won't just give you a mission-ready physique—you're going to have to earn it—but Tony supplies you with all the tools and motivation you need to blow past the limits of what you thought you could do.
GET "BOOT CAMP FIT" FROM HEAD TO TOE WITH THE QUICK, MILITARY-INSPIRED, NO-NONSENSE WORKOUT.
Fitness doesn't get much simpler than this. 22 Minute Hard Corpsis a quick, no-nonsense, boot camp workout program. You just show up…keep up…and you will get in great shape. The training is basic, but the results are absolutely epic.
We would love to keep you up to date on the launch of this program. If it looks like you would want to try you can simply click on the link below. Also the first 15 people to respond will have first access to our Test Group that will start when the program comes out.
Cafè Latte Shakeology
Café Latte flavor Shakeology is the newest flavor in the Shakeology family. It has an exclusive ingredient, Whole Coffee Fruit, which is the cherry-like fruit surrounding the coffee bean. Coffee fruit is used in Café Latte Shakeology because it not only adds great taste, it's a superfood. Café Latte Shakeology has the same protein blend and superfood profile as Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Greenberry and the same superfood ingredients as all the other formulas as well.
Superfood is a buzz word in the health world these days. Eight years ago as a single guy if you would have asked me what my definition of superfood was I probably would have told you anything that is super cheap or super easy to prepare. So frozen pizza and hamburger helper would have fallen into that category.
Oh how the times have changed. Now I look for every effort to search out real superfoods and add them to my diet. I recently heard about broccoli sprouts and the amazing health benefits that they have. So I had to do a little research and find out all about them.
Basically a majority of the health benefits that would classify broccoli sprouts as a superfood stem back to one compound in it, sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is an antioxidant that has been shown to eliminate cancer causing free radicals, reduce inflammation, help your heart health and reduce your chance of diabetes.  Not a bad resume for a plant that is only a few days old!
Here's the "super" thing about sprouts versus the broccoli that you buy in the grocery store. With sprouts you are eating the whole plant including the the roots, not just the trimmed up pretty part that you see on grocery store shelves. The average pack of sprouts that you would buy in a grocery store has around 4,000 sprouts, that is 4,000 future heads of broccoli!!! Also with the sprout the you get anywhere from 10-100 times the amount of antioxidants that are in the adult plant if eaten within the first 7 days.  Sulforaphane tends to peak in the broccoli plant around the 3 day mark and begins to decline after that point. So eat them early and eat them often.
Sprouts can easily be added to salads as I did with my salad pictured above. You can also juice them and still get a lot of the benefits from the sulforaphane. We also recommend adding them to your smoothie or shake.
Don't take this post as a reason to avoid regular broccoli because there are still tons of health benefits from the adult plant too. Vitamins like vitamin A and C and minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, and magnesium increase as the plant ages so we still encourage you to eat mature broccoli also. We would still consider regular broccoli pretty darn super too!
Let us know how you use your sprouts or if you are planning on trying broccoli sprouts.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.