Rich Chocolate Travel Bars

dates, chocolate, cacao, healthy, snacks, weightloss

Image by www.adrianalfordphotography.com

While I totally love my normal fudge/chocolate creations, they are strictly fridge to mouth options only, as they melt into a gooey mess within half an hour of being out of the chilly environment.

Not so practical for the lunchbox or if you want to take travel snacks.

There were a few inspirations for this recipe – one was a discussion with a co-worker at my part time day job, as to healthy snacks she could take for an upcoming trade show.

Another was this Sweet Prune Roll by Cass at Live it Do It  – I’m a sucker for a super 2 ingredient recipe!

And another was the fact that I have been going to the cinema a bit lately to catch some movies, and I wanted to take something with me other than crunching my way through my macadamia stash.

So I’ll take your prune and coconut and raise you some dates, macadamia nuts, cacao powder and cacao butter!

The result? A room temp stable chocolately, healthy mouthful that’s just sweet enough. (For me anyway – you may need to adjust the sweetness according to the audience! Read on…)

When you look at all the new Paleo bars out there at the moment, the base is always dried fruit – it’s the part that sticks it all together to make it portable – so I went there. Just make sure you get prunes, dates and whatever else without preservative 220 or coated in sunflower oil – the health shop has them. Dried fruit – nothing else. In terms of staying healthy and away from the bad stuff, every little bit helps.

The other ingredients that help in the room temp stable goal is cacao butter and while it’s not in this recipe – coconut butter too is rock solid at room temperature, so both of these work better than coconut oil or real butter for your travelling adventures.

cacao butter, cacao powder, chocolate, healthy, raw, vegan

Ok so let’s get cooking… well melting and mixing anyway…

Rich Chocolate Travel Bars (Makes about 15 bars)

6 medjool dates

4 prunes

1 cup macadamia nuts (raw)

1 cup shredded coconut

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBS rice malt syrup or honey

½ cup of cacao butter

2 heaped TBS cacao powder

Tip all, except the cacao butter, into a food processor and whiz for about 2-3 minutes until all ground up and resembles crumbs.

While that’s happening, melt your cacao butter in a double boiler.

Once melted, tip it into the food processor mixture and whiz for about 10 secs.

Now you can press the mix into silicon shapes, or roll it in balls or shape it into mini bars on a tray – whatever you like. Then chill in the fridge for about an hour.

Straight out of the fridge it is more chewy and really firm, kept out of the fridge, it does soften a little but doesn’t melt into a puddle in your hand!

So you could also make a roll like in the Prune Roll above and cut into slices, whatever is easiest for you.

A few of them I wrapped in baking paper and tried to stick it together with sticky tape – for a portable type wrapper. Not so successful – hello… non-stick paper! Derrr! Ah haa haa; it kind of worked but was way too fiddly for my liking. Foil worked much better and just twist the ends.

The dried fruit is interesting too because it adds a rich, fermented flavour to it, almost like liqueur! (Also I am mindful that the dried fruit is also a sugar source and I did all the numbers and each piece in this recipe is only equivalent to 1 tsp of sugar/honey – just in case you’re interested!)

I was visiting a friend who has a 2 year old and 4 year old and who often makes them home made healthy goodies. I took some of these and other sweeter peanut butter bites for them (I always double check to make sure no-one is PB allergic!) And they ate the PB ones first and loved them and took one bite of these and politely put it back down! Ha ha.

toddler-559410_1920So if you are cooking these for kids, perhaps use less dates and increase the sweeter a little and maybe not so much cacao powder as they are definitely a rich, dark, almost ‘alcoholic’ mouthful.

Enjoy your healthy chocolate bars while you’re out adventuring or even for your afternoon office snack.

Yum, yum!

 

Kristy x

***Early readers of my Loose Skin – The Answer book have described it as fitness for the skin – like a skin workout. Pretty accurate description. Only $1.00 and available here.

Go metabolism go!

metabolism, bmr, slimbirdy, loose skin, weight loss, losing weightSo just an update on how this ‘Go Metabolism Go’ trial was working for me and what if anything, has tripped me up so far. The original story here.

So I’m about 2 months in and yes I have noticed some changes.

Night-time temp is regularly in the high 35 degrees (95F) now and even sometimes in the low 36s (96.8F)  where as before I started this I was low 35 all the time. So it’s definitely having an effect.

What’s working…

Weight training

So just continuing to do a tiny bit at home. It’s such a small amount that I find I can do it every day or if I’m super busy and miss a day, it’s no biggie. Add any more though and I would avoid it like the plague.

Feeling stronger and it just feels better throughout a busy day.

Carrot salad

If I was organised I could grate a big batch and have it over a few days, alas unfortunately it doesn’t happen. So what does seem to happen, is chopping carrot sticks and having those, so it’s better than not at all.

carrot salad, ray peat, metabolism, loose skin, weight loss, hormonesRaw Fruit & honey

This is working well – a full explanation in the what’s not working section below. I had to switch it around to suit me better – which is really what you need to do with all dietary advice. Go by how it feels for you and adjust as necessary.

I will say though, I think there may have been some freaking out going on inside my body while I was changing things around a bit. This is what they say happens when you switch from getting your energy mostly from fats (keto) back to glucose burning.

While I felt fine, (clear head, energetic) my body seemed to have a low immune system response, where I had flare ups of certain infections etc that I hadn’t had for years on a lower sugar protocol. Also I think something else was the issue too, which affected my sugar metabolism, which I will touch on at the end.

What’s working with a twist…

Caffeine

Ok so I gave coffee another look in with a new method of having it with food etc just to see if the pro-coffee pundits were right, or if coffee really is the devil for me.

The result was – feeling twitchy and edgy and a bit out of control and it disturbed my sleep big time where I was awake at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Where as usually I am rock solid, sleep all the way though. So messing up your sleep is a health disaster.

I was having only one coffee a day and when I ran out, I didn’t think much of it until I had a severe withdrawal headache all that morning – even when I had switched to something else that still had caffeine in it.

So coffee is back in the naughty corner for me. It’s just too harsh for my delicate bod.

In this process too, I was trying Matcha Green Tea and I love that stuff. It makes you feel amazing without any crash. I have it as a latte with coconut cream, gelatin, raw honey and cinnamon and it’s awesome.

matcha, green tea, caffeine, metabolismWhat’s not working…

So the only thing I couldn’t continue was the 30g of protein within 30 mins of waking

It’s a lot of protein! Eggs themselves are only like 6g each, so you would need at least two eggs and some kind of meat or a shake with protein powder and eggs in it.

All that happened was that it felt like I had to force it. It didn’t make me feel energetic at all; it made me feel tired and a bit gross. And the worst part was it made me severely constipated – to the point where I was quite concerned about it. Lower gut pains that I have never felt before and great discomfort.

It’s really important to have a foolproof system when it comes to elimination, as bowel cancer is frightening and this is where it all starts.

So this prompted me to read the book again by Harvey Diamond called Fit for Life, where way back in the 80s, he was a proponent of fresh fruit only – until noon.

The reasoning is that fresh fruit should be eaten alone, on an empty stomach, as it passes through the system quickly and assists in the natural elimination systems of the body. If you eat anything else during this time, it upsets the processes and you get jammed up. Which was certainly my experience.

And using this method was one of the ways that helped me to lose weight in the first place, all those years ago.

fruit 'til noon, harvey diamond, fit for life, natural hygiene, bowels, elimination

So of course, this goes against Dr Ray Peat’s and others’ advice about eating fruit with a protein. However I’m a bit of a rebel like that!

And besides, fruit actually has a bit of protein in it anyway – nature packs in all the nutrients you need. And the best part is that fresh fruit is one of the highly thermic foods recommended to eat for high metabolism. So totally winning!

Some reported feeling a bit dizzy just eating fruit, however the answer was because they were not having enough of it. However, if you are already diabetic, be careful with this fruit only thing, because your cells are likely to already be damaged with its sugar processing abilities, so you need to repair all of that first and go very slowly.

So one other twist I add to the fruit only thing, is that I sip my Matcha Green Tea during the morning as well. Strictly should only be water or herbal tea, however again it’s working for me and that’s all I need to know.

Success!

So with a few twists and adjustments to suit, the five factors I was trying is actually working quite nicely. So that’s exciting!

One other thing I came across this week that is linked to all of this – is B12 and magnesium deficiency.

Do you know why?

It’s because both play an important part in how the cells convert glucose and create energy. So you won’t have a fast, efficient metabolism, if your cells don’t have the necessary tools to make it happen.

More on this in a future blog post as it’s quite huge and especially in the case of B12, it’s nearly epidemic. (I have about 10 deficiency symptoms, so no wonder I’m interested!)

Go metabolism go!

 

Kristy xxx

*Join us! One email only every fortnight with healthy recipes, what I’m trying out that week, thoughts, weight loss tips, insights & fun. If it doesn’t feel right after a while then unsubscribe at any time. But for now we’d love you to join us for free – click here.

Raw ‘Coconut Butter’ Bounty Cookies

coconut butter, paleo, raw diet, healthy, ketoAfter I nixed the peanut butter for peanut powder – less damaging unsaturated fat – I ventured to try Coconut Butter. So that’s not the oil but just the coconut meat mixed together to make a kind of butter.

So brought the jar home from my local health shop and was excited to try it. Open it up and… it is as hard as a rock! What the…

Continue reading

Dr Ray Peat – fast metabolism & healthy hormones.

metabolism, hormones, loose skin, Dr Ray Peat,

Just reading some new information from Dr Ray Peat and it really interested me from a number of angles:-

  1. It encourages a healthy high metabolism
  2. It supports healthy thyroid function
  3. It supports healthy hormone function

There were stories of low carb dieters who had been low carbing for some years and their health had started to deteriorate.

Continue reading

MacDate Slice with Coconut Cream Icing

dates, healthy, weight loss, adrian alford photography, loose skin, losing weight,

I’ve given up on coconut flour – that’s firmly in the too hard basket – it requires incredible patience and nearly a chemistry degree – and I have neither! Well no patience with cooking anyway – with people, that’s another story. I posted a coconut flour recipe run down on facebook last week from people who are far better at it than me – see it here.

My forte is melt and mix slices because they work like 99% of time – easy, easy, easy – and that’s the way I like it!

Continue reading

Loose Skin – A Solution

Loose skin, postpartum, skin firming,

Nearly all women who have had children encounter this. So does anyone who has lost weight and also the rest of us who may have trashed our skin by alcohol, smoking, junk food, lack of nutrients and many more reasons.

So that probably is about 80% of the population who has this issue!

Loose skin.

Continue reading

Simple Zucchini Slice – Grain Free

zucchini, healthy, grainfree, paleo, dairy free, ray peat, recipe,

I had attempted the traditional recipes of this slice from ones found online however, firstly I don’t eat flour, so I balked at that ingredient.

I attempted to make one with coconut flour even allowing for the 1/3 cup to 1 cup of normal flour ratio as coconut flour is a whole other animal, however the result was too cakey, too dry, too sweet for a savoury dish and totally not the taste for which I was aiming.

I remember from my childhood days my cousins used to make this and I remember it being the same cakey texture. Nice for cake but not for this.

Continue reading

Dairy tales – yes or no for you?

milk, dairy, dairyfree, estrogen, intoleranceOf all the addictive things I have cut out of my diet, dairy products were one I had left in for the longest time, despite reading other’s bad experiences of it.

Even though the Paleo and Vegan peeps both shun dairy, I was convinced that I had the Northern European gene that had adapted to dairy and so basically was immune to all the supposed negative effects that plague others.

Continue reading

Sweet Potato Choc Cheezecake

dairy free, coconut cream, healthy dessert,

So I posted this one a while back on IG and was just waiting to make it again to tweak the recipe a bit and here it is – perfection! In my mind and taste buds anyway!

Dairy free and with a base ingredient of veges but the smooth taste of chocolate – bring it to me now!

Continue reading

I know about it but I still eat it anyway.

dairy, cheese,

A new friend in my life was quizzing me about what I eat.

We were exchanging recipes and explaining briefly the why, what and hows of our respective eating habits and at one point I said, “I do eat cheese because I like it and it suits my weight loss goals but I am aware of the gumming up effect it sometimes has on me if I eat it too much. As well as the fact that all dairy food is supposed to cause inflammation in your body, much like grains do. But I eat it anyway.”

Continue reading