Many people struggle with overeating, whether it is healthy food or junk food, and whether they have the ability to torch it off (bu still negatively be affected by the junk) or whether it really starts to add up in extra pounds.
There is definitely a mind-emotion-body connection for what is going on. Combining that with a good nutrition plan can help someone be more successfull, faster, permanently!
This is why I love what I do. Instead of only telling people to eat right, I provide ongoing coaching which is 2/3 of the battle - and the other 1/3 of the battle is when I work with people on both their mindset and their emotions that cause them to overeat, or eat a lot of unhealthy food.
Raw Emotions - we often drown our sorrows with "feel good" food, or when we are lonely, bored, upset, unhappy, etc. I work with the "why" of this and help people change these strategies and emotional eating habits, but here is a quick tip on if you feel yourself get an emotional eating (both women AND men). Do something else. Anything else. Go for a walk, a drive, go exercise, read a book, call a friend, call ME! Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress and emotions in a very positive way. Whether it's a gentle walk, a heart pounding run, or a super-intense session of weights, it will all help!
KISS - Keep It Short and Simple - starting simple and don't get overwhelmed - or let others overwhelm you. Small changes like taking half of your dinner/lunch out to go and having it as lunch another day both saves you money and also gives you a tasty lunch for another day! Start with short consistent walks, small but progressive changes to your eating habits, sports, hobbies, etc. Do you really get that much out of sitting around at work during lunch? Get out and go for a walk and get some sunshine! I guarantee you will feel better afterwards.
Eating because we are bored-many people eat mindlessly because we are bored, need to keep our hands busy, or are watching TV, which is one of the biggest reasons people overeat. First they are the food commercials, second there are the product basement spots during shows and movies, and thirdly watching TV/movies doesn't stimulate your unconscious mind very much, so it is bored silly and wants something to do. Default: EAT.
Just do it - don't even think about it or let you talk yourself out of it. I did that for years and years, and I am so happy that I finally took the first step..and then the second, and so on. But, I wished I had done it much earlier. Just do it - whatever that is for you - create a healthy eating plan, sign up for karate, join an active sport, see a nutritionist :-), decide to start eating healthier, start walking once a day on lunch/before breakfast/to wind down in the evening, join a gym, etc. Don't do it tomorrow - do it today.
Overcoming Mental Obstacles - Many people don't believe they can do it, or have been told they can't do it. Our friends and family are often the biggest (but usually don't even realize they are doing it) sabateurs. Magazines, TV comercials, product labels, etc. are often misleading and are not always "real" people, but if someone has a good friend or someone they know who they have actually watched slim up, they know it's possible. It's a great motivation to follow in someone's footsteps who has been successful, or better yet, do it with a partner.
I can also get into the reasons for physical addiction, like candida yeast overgrowth, food sensitivities, and sugar addiction, but that's another topic for another newsletter!
For this week's fit tip, I thought I would include a video I created (it's short - 1.5 minutes!) about getting outdoors again. Toronto (and the GTA) is an incredible area to live in, because we have so much to do outside, throughout all the seasons!
This week I thought I would talk a bit about anti aging, since it seems to be a hot topic nowadays, and there are companies making billions at it! Everyone knows that nutrition and exercise is good for you, but does it help you STAY YOUNGER LONGER? The answer is an undisputed YES! And you need both for optimum results.
Recently, a study at McMaster university found that “in mice, regular exercise has been shown to stave off and reverse the signs of early aging. The mice’s fur did not grey and they did not develop furrows and wrinkles. Even in older mice, exercise was able to reverse signs of aging, and have rejuvenating effects on tissue and reproductive potential.” Of course, mice aren’t humans. However, “McMaster followed up their mice study with a small human trial and it found that the group who exercised and ate better were found to have more youthful skin composition regardless of age.” The study also showed that the rejuvenative changes happened to people later in life as well.” My own father also had this experience as after changing his diet and exercise; he has lost weight, looks and feels younger, stronger, and his face is more youthful and his skin is more taught as well!
For those with a thirst for knowledge, here are some reasons why this happens:
Eating better (especially more lean, healthy protein) supplies your body with the raw ingredients needed for the proteins for healthy, youthful, ageless skin
Eating better and proper exercise helps tighten your muscles (all your muscles) and reduces the amount of fat and weight on your skin, so your muscles can hold it up, rather than fat weighing it down
Eating processed foods and excess sugars causes excess free radicals in your body which cause rapid aging, disease, fatigue and generally poor health
Eating vegetables and fruits (preferably organic) contain antioxidants which will actually protect your body from free radicals, keeping you younger longer, and even turning back time
Eating healthy fats will also help tighten and moisturize your skin, since fat is the primary part of your cell’s membranes – in fact, if you have dry skin around your mouth and nose area, you are likely omega-3 deficient
And if you needed another reason to stay hydrated, this keeps your skin supple, soft, and elastic
One last thing; use cosmetics with natural coconut oil, avocado oil, and other natural bases, rather than petrolium-based cosmetics. This will keep you younger longer, and will avoid depositing chemicals like xeno-estrogens into your body; another cause of aging, poor physical symptoms and weight gain. And yes, xeno-estrogens are as nasty as they sound!
The Super Fats. What? Super Fats? Yes, that’s right folks, just like superfoods and superfruits, there are superfats – AND they will help you lose weight and become healthier!
Our bodies need fat – in fact our bodies, every single cell inside you, are made up of various components, and fat is a major part of them. Your brain and your thyroid (basically the gas pedal of your metabolism) are extremely fatty tissues – without adequate fat intake, they could not function. This of course, would not make your day.
The largest problem years ago when I was having difficulty losing weight was that I didn’t eat enough fat. I bought into the “low fat” craze, and tried to eliminate every ounce of fat possible in my diet. Many experts suggest getting between 25%-35% of your daily calories from fat. I would actually suggest the higher side of this, and decreasing the amount of starchy carbs and grains you eat.
Here are a few of the Superfats I recommend for good health, and weight loss/muscle building as well:
Flax Seeds - Make sure to grind these, or purchase them ground, as our body cannot break down the outer hull. Refrigerate these once ground to keep the oils from going rancid. Flax seeds are very high in omega-3 fatty acids, essential to our wellbeing. Most people are deficient in omega 3 fats, and this causes skin issues, cognitive issues, inflammation and other health problems. Flax seeds also contain a compound called lignans, which helps pull metals, metabolic wastes, cholesterol and other “bad stuff” from your body.
Olive oil - Olive oil’s oleic acid is actually an anti-fungal and will help kill candida yeast – the kind that cause digestive issues, athlete’s foot, thrush, jock itch, and yeast infections. Oleic acid is an omega 9 fatty acid, and although not “essential” like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, it is still very important. Use it on salads, on top of sautéed vegies with some garlic and a bit of salt and pepper, etc. Just don’t cook with it. Cooking olive oil damages the oil and makes it go rancid, causing inflammation.
Chia Seeds – Chia seeds can be eaten ground or whole (I’d recommend soaking them for 5-10 mins) but once they are ground they should be refrigerated. Chia seeds were originally eaten by the Maya and Aztecs. They are very high in omega 3 fats, fibre, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and even have some protein! It can lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and help lower inflammation.
Hemp Seeds/Hemp Hearts (hulled seeds) - Hemp hearts are high in both omega 3 and omega 6 fats, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, lots of protein and Alpha-Linolenic acids (ALA), which help control blood sugar, skin health and help with cognitive function and weight loss.
CLA – Conjugated Linoleic Acid – found in safflower oil, this is a type of omega 6 fat that is very helpful in weight loss in very heavy people, but it has not had as much solid research in people who are just a bit overweight. It does also help increase lean muscle mass in individuals as well when supplemented in higher doses: 6-7g per day than for a weight loss protocol: 4-5g per day.
Coconut Oil- I will keep this short as I made a post on coconut oil in the past, but it is very healthy fat for us. It is a medium chain triglyceride so is very easy for our body to use as energy, it will INCREASE your metabolism, help soothe your digestive system, and is great for cooking with.
Finally, foods like avocado are also exceptionally high in good fats, as well as fibre. I highly recommend them!
Many times, people often try to change everything at once when it comes to their goals and their path to good health. They go way to far, way to fast, and get overwhelmed, burned out, and stop enjoying what they are doing. This is often why people don't stick to their new years resolutions - after all, they only last an average of 17 days.
Eat a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fat at each meal – try not to only have a carbohydrate or starchy food (ie. Pasta, bread, etc), and nothing else, if at all possible at meals. Have a healthy fat (avocado, olive oil, olives, nuts) and a protein (fish, chicken, beans, legumes, cottage cheese or greek yogurt)
Eat smaller meals, more frequently – aim for 5-7 smaller meals a day, rather than 3 gigantic meals which leave you feeling tired, over full, and uncomfortable afterwards
Make the least-worst choice possible; if you are out for lunch or dinner, at a not-so-healthy restaurant, don’t think “well, I’m at X, I may as well go nuts and enjoy it.” There are very few restaurants where you can’t get something at least semi healthy, with a protein and vegetable.
Only change one small thing at a time when you start your path to good health and fitness – for example, focus on drinking more water, getting more fibrous foods in your diet, and packing your own lunch rather than always eating out. This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and giving up on your plan!
Switch high calorie drinks like pop/soda, sweetened coffee and juice to drinks like tea (there are hundreds of types of tea!) and water! And don’t forget to get enough water in your day! Men need about 3L a day, and women need about 2.5L a day, in addition to what we get from our food.
Start with simple things first – both nutrition and exercise – don’t try to go too crazy at the gym on a running treadmill for an hour; often, starting your path to health can be as easy as going for a moderately brisk walk for an hour, or even 45 minutes. For nutrition, again, simple things like packing your lunch (you will save money too!), drinking more water, eliminating sugary and fried foods, adding in more vegetables.
Eliminate the top toxic things you are exposing your body to daily (cosmetics, cleaners, even foods) by checking them out and seeing how they are rated at www.ewg.org
Manage your stress - excess stress will create excess fat around the midsection, and also mess with your mood, energy and other hormones in your body. Things like yoga, meditation, exercise, or even getting out of your chair to go for a 10-15-20 minute walk throughout your day can go a long way!
Do what you will stick to! – Don’t take on something (especially initially) which you know you will never stick to. Do things that you are sure you can manage consistently, which will give you long term success!
Does the Canada Food Guide Need a Healthy Dose of Reality? I, and a large number of experts like ND's, some MD's, nutritionists and health experts think so. I like the point of the Canada Food Guide of course, which is to encourage people to eat healthier and prevent obesity/disease. It was started in 1942, and although it has been updated several times (2007 was the last update), I think it still needs some work! Despite it's best intentions, if you too closely follow the food guide, it can spell trouble for you.
1 – SIX to EIGHT servings of grains per day?!? Eating this many grains a day (and not simply 1 or 2) can really affect how you feel and your bodyweight. Years ago when people worked physically outdoors, people needed all the energy and starch grains provide. However, nowadays, we are notorious sitters, and all the extra energy of grains, especially processed grains, quickly spikes our blood sugar, making us tired, causing disease and other issues, causing sugar cravings, and generally poor health. I would recommend one to two healthy unprocessed grains a day. Many people also have food sensitivities/intolerances to a lot of gluten containing grains like wheat, and aren’t even aware of it. This causes weight gain, weight loss resistance, fatigue, inflammation, digestive issues and more. Not to mention many grains (even whole grain/multi grain cereals or bread) are processed, stripped of nutrients, and combined with sugar to make a tasty meal that should be considered dessert! By the way, a slice of bread is actually almost 2 servings.
2 - Dairy – Although I think unsweetened cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, and even whey protein powder are great proteins, many people are often intolerant or sensitive to dairy (not just due to lactose intolerance), without even knowing it (like myself!). Again, this can cause a whole host of problems like I mentioned above. Also, milk has a lot of sugar in it: about 12g of sugar or so per cup. This can also cause weight gain/weight loss issues. Then there are concerns about antibiotics and hormones in milk, but I won’t get into that here.
Would it surprize you to know that the majority of the funding for the Canada Food Guide is from the dairy and the grain industry? Hmmmm…..
3 – Meat and alternatives. The Canada food guide suggests 2 meat or alternative products per day, which is too low. We should be eating a lean protein at each meal, whether it is a high protein/low starch grain (like quinoa, amaranth, hemp or buckwheat), legume/bean, or lean animal/fish protein. Why? Protein helps balance the carbohydrates we are eating, and stops them from spiking our blood sugar (the cause of fatigue, weight gain, and lots of diseases). Also, lack of protein causes loss of muscle tone, immune and liver issues, as well as lowered metabolism – again creating obesity and weight issues.
4 – Vegetables – 7 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, is a bit low. Adults, especially men, need about 8-10 servings a day of healthy, low-starch vegetables to get enough nutrients and fibre to stay healthy and “regular.” With women, 9 servings has been shown to be even better at maintaining good health -especially with our stressful lives, and all the toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis.
To summarize: Decrease your grains (especially processed, starchy grains), increase your protein, healthy fat, and vegetable/fruit servings for optimum health, wellness, energy levels, "regularity," and weight loss!
One thing that the Canada Food Guide doesn’t mention is healthy fats like coconut butter/oil, avocado, nuts, flax/chia seed, and olive oil (just don’t cook with it!). I recommend a small amount of healthy fat at each (or most) meals to balance blood sugar, help your body create hormones, repaired damaged cells (much of your cells, especially brain and thyroid are made of fat!), and help you LOSE weight!
We all hear that sugar is bad for us - exactly why this is requires it's own discussion which I will get into in a future article. However, today I wanted to expose where sugar often hides - sometimes it's obvious like pop/soda, but often times it's not so obvious....curious where sugar is hiding in some of the meals you eat?
Sugar is everywhere - the food industry uses it to make processed food "taste good" and to keep us addicted to certain foods....which equals more profits!
We put it in our tea, coffee, desserts, lemonaide, and so forth because we are so used to tasting everything extra sweet. In fact, in Canadian food there is often even more sugar than food in the USA, because we like our food even "sweeter." Gross! :)
Here are just a few places where sugar can hide - quite a bit of it too! Even if there isn't "that much" added sugar in something, it does pose a question; why does pasta sauce or hot sauce, for example, need added sugar at all???
Granola bars/"healthy"snack bars/protein bars like cliff bars - many of these are notorious for having loads of sugar, lots of simple carbs, and not a ton of nutrition to them...but luckily there are healthier alternatives - usually a bit costlier, but much heathier for you in general with better quality ingredients
Meal Replacement Shakes (however many good quality protein shakes are usually sweetened with natural Stevia)
Flavoured coffees and Latees - often have more sugar than a can of coke!
Soda/Pop/Energy Drinks - did you know tonic water has as much sugar as a coke/pepsi? Go for Soda water instead and save yourself the added sugar
Yogurt - usually loaded with sugar, or sweetened with many chemical sweeteners. Go for unsweetened greek yogurt (for the extra protein) and sweeten with fruit
Instant oatmeal - even the quaker WEIGHT CONTROL instant oatmeal has 5 grams per sachet - and one sachet won't fill you up
Cereal - many cereals, even "healthy cereals" have tons of sugar in them; often at least 15g of sugar per half cup even in the more healthy ones
Bread! - Many people know how I feel about wheat and processed grains, but even on top of this, a lot of bread can have 3-4g or more per slice on top of the starchy wheat itself
Glazed meat - for example glazed salmon or glazed ham - even a very small portion can have 7g of sugar or more!
Orange juice - usually has 25g of sugar per cup, with no fibre for balance - go for real fruit instead, especially super fruit like berries, as well as apples, pears and figs!
Beans and many canned goods
Milk - one cup of milk can have 12-13g of sugar
Salad dressing - I have seen from 3g of sugar to 7g of sugar for only a couple tablespoons of dressing - try just putting olive oil and balsamic/apple cider vinegar on your salad
Honey - 1 tsp of honey gives you 5.5g of sugar! (however, raw honey is great with some lemon and hot water if you are sick!)
Sweetened almond milk or soy milk, rice milk, etc... - anywhere from 7 to 11g of sugar per cup of what should be a healthier option to milk
Pasta/tomato sauce- usually around 5g or more per half cup - on top of the starchy pasta, a lot of sauce can really add up
BBQ Sauce, hot sauce, ketchup (about 4 grams or more in ONE tablespoon) and many other glazes, sauces, and dressings
I encourage everyone to look on the package label of things you are eating - or if in a restaurant or take out place like Starbucks, McDonald's etc, ask to see the nutrition information for the product. You will be surprized to find how much sugar are in some products...it hides in the strangest places! Why? Partly so manufacturers can use lower quality ingredients and still make products tasty. Partly because most of us are addicted to sugar, and this makes us keep buying the product over and over again. In fact, sugar can be more addictive than cocaine! But more on that later.....
Most people associate eating fat with getting fat, as fat was considered to be totally evil in the 90's and early 2000's. However, just because you eat fat, doesn't mean you are going to get fat - in fact, often the opposite is true!
The reality is, it depends upon the fat - there are several types;
Trans fat - avoid these like the plague - check the back of box labels. Often, even if something says "trans fat free" it still can contain trans fats as long as they are less then 0.5g per serving....and it only takes 2g of trans fat per day to drastically increase your risk of heart disease.
Monounsaturated/Polyunsaturated fat - fats like olive oil, certain vegetable oils, safflower oil, avocado oil, and many nuts and seeds - these are great for you in moderation - just don't cook with them! Heating these oils causes them to oxidize and go rancid, and cause inflammation and weight GAIN!
Omega 3 fatty acids - a type of polyunsaturated fat which is excellent for you and "essential" because the body can't produce these. Examples would be fats from fatty fish like cod, mackerel, sardines, salmon, trout, herring. Plant sources include flax seed, hemp hearts/seeds, as well as many other nuts and seeds. Chlorella and Spirulina are also some seaweed/vegan based omega 3 fat sources. Omega 3 fats are excellent for helping you lose weight and fight inflammation!
Saturated fat - most of these fats are not very good for you as they raise LDL (the "bad") cholesterol, and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The exception would be coconut oil - it's technically a saturated fat, but (and without getting overly technical) it contains medium chain triglycerides vs. long chain like most other saturated fats.
Because of it's unique properties, coconut oil can provide the necesary fat for critical hormone production in the body (ie. testosterone), cell membranes, as well as raise your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn while just sitting there!), and can even soothe your digestive system. Also, coconut oil is easily metabolized by the body, used to support muscle, the brain, energy levels and metabolism, so it is not stored as fat. Coconut oil actually lowers syrum cholesterol in the body, and boosts thyroid function! According to Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. in his book The Coconut Oil Miracle*, the metabolic rate stays elevated for at least 24 hours after eating, meaning more energy and fat burning throughout your day.
In 2009, a study was conducted on women with abdominal obesity and the effects of coconut oil supplementation. Forty women, from age 20 to 40 years who had a waist circumference greater than 34.6 inches, received a daily dietary supplement of either 30 mL of coconut oil or 30 mL of soybean oil. The study lasted 12 weeks. Upon completion of the 12 weeks only the coconut oil group had a reduction in waist circumference.
So how to use coconut oil and how much to use? Firstly, make sure it is cold-processed organic coconut oil (you can even find this at Costco!). Researchers often recommend 3 tablespoons or so spread throughout the day. That seems like a lot, but try adding a tablespoon to your favorite smoothie, and instead of cooking with other oils, cook with coconut oil. It can even replace butter/margarine in recipes as well. It can even be used as a lip moisturizer instead of the petrolium based moisturizers. Or you can do what I do, and use it to make your own chocolate!
The debate has gone on for a while now - is dairy good or evil? There are definitely pros and cons to eating/drinking dairy products. Read on to really see if dairy is as good or evil as some people say it is...
The debate has gone on for a while now - is dairy good or evil?
We often hear all the good things and the bad things about milk from different sources. And the hopelessly misguided Canada Food Guide of course says to have lots of dairy (and wheat!) products a day. But, did you know that the Canada Food guide is majority funded by the dairy and wheat industry?
There are definitely pros and cons to eating/drinking dairy products.
A study by Dr. David Ludwig and Dr Walter WIllet from Harvard Unversity found no data to support the claim that consumption of dairy leads to better bones, weight loss, or improved health. They did find some risks tied to dairy consumption, including weight gain, increased fracture risk, and even increased cancer risk. This study was done on US dairy, where farmers are allowed to use hormones with the dairy cattle, but weight gain and increased fracture risk has been found in Canada as well. Why? In terms of weight gain, milk has, on average about 12g of sugars for each cup. Drink 2 cups of milk and you have just ingested a quick 24g of sugar. In terms of increased fracture risk, milk is also acidic to the body, causing it to pull calcium out of bones to buffer the PH of the blood to keep you alive.
Even organic dairy has hormones in it, albeit natural ones, since cows are often milked when they are pregnant. Adding artificial hormones in dairy/cows is illegal in Canada (NOT so in the US!), so even if we are not getting hormones artificially, there can be an average of 60 different "natural" cow hormones in a glass of milk at any one time. Hmmm....
Consuming milk when you are sick can also keep you sicker longer, by promoting excess mucous production, which bacteria love. If you do drink milk, try cutting it out when you are sick, and replace it with some lemon and honey in hot water. The enzymes in the honey will help break down the mucous, getting you better faster!
The only other problem is that dairy is very allergenic - not just due to people with lactose intolerance, but because many people are allergic to the proteins in dairy (usually casein - which is why people allergic to casein can still drink whey protein isolate powder). If you get frequent bloating, gas, eczema, allergies, sinus issues, low energy, joint pain, autoimmune conditions, diarrhea or acne, try eliminating dairy for 2-3 weeks to see if things improve. If not, you are probably not allergic/sensitive to dariy. If you feel better not consuming dairy, this might be food for thought. Literally :)
Now, for the benefits of dairy: yogurt - especially greek yogurt - has lots of protein in it, and not a lot of sugar (as long as you get the plain variety!). Why? The beneficial bacteria have consumed most of the sugars. Ditto for cottage cheese, although it is usually slightly higher in sugars. Yohgurt also tends to be less acidifying to the body than milk, which is better, plus it has all the beneficial probiotic bacteria for your gut! Just try to make it greek yogurt as the protein content is many times higher than found in "normal" yogurt.
Also, the protein in dairy (all dairy) is some of the most bio available protein on the planet. It is absorbed more easily, quickly, and completely than most other protein sources.
Also, if you have access to farm fresh dairy, this is significantly different, and quite likely better than the homogonized, pasturized and processed milk we get from the grocery store. I don't recommend this to young children or pregnant mothers because of potential bacteria, but perhaps it makes sense for you.
If you do choose to stick with dairy, especially milk, try sheep or goat dairy (ie. goat cheese or goat/sheep milk). It's a healthier option,
Just made some delicious and healthy sugar free chocolate with Stevia and xylitol. It's Very easy! All you need is some coconut oil/fat, high quality unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla (or diced hot peppers, cinnamon, orange/lemon zest, or whatever you like if you want some extra flavor). I recommend Coco paste or cocoa mass as well, so it's not as greasy as chocolate with pure coconut oil. All you do is put this on very low heat in a pot or make a double boiler and mix it all together with some stevia or xylitol for flavor. Coconut oil hellps raise your basal metabolic rate (metabolism) and control blood sugar, and chocolate is one of the best sources of magnesium and several powerful antioxidants, including resveratrol (an anti-aging compound!) Losing weight eating (Healthy) chocolate (in MODERATION)! Who knew?
Here's an update - by VERY popular demand, here is the recipe, but feel free to experiment with the taste, consistency, and spices. Oh, and you can add goji berries, crushed nuts, and so on! Get creative!
Organic traditions (or whatever) cacao paste (you COULD use bakers UNsweetened chocolates if you cant find cacao paste - it works too, but isn't as healthy or delicious), Stevia and/or xylotol, coconut oil (prob 2-3-4 tbsp (experiment with how soft you like the final product) per 224g bag of cacao paste), then add whatever you like - cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, whey/vegan protein powder, Purium LOVE or Purium Power shake. If you want "milk chocolate, " add almond/glax/coconut milk if you want. Then use a double boiler (or metal/glass bowl on top of a pot of simmering water) to melt it all and mix it up. Thin it down with more coconut oil or thicken it up with cacao powder (good quality stuff). For a semi-hard consistency when cooled, the consistency should be like a semi-thick pea soup. If the consistency is peanut butter-like, it will be very hard/firm when you cool it, but hey, some people like that! It's firmer without the coconut oil, but I like it a bit softer and it's so healthy that way! Pour it on a plate or mold and refrigerate for 60 mins (or freeze for 15 mins or so), then break it all up into pieces and you are done! If you find the consistency is TOO thin when you add the coconut oil, add some cacao powder to thicken it up a bit. If this happens after you cool it, warm up the broken pieces again and add a bit more cacao powder.
The best news is that you can use this recipe when on a candida cleanse - no sugar, and coconut oil and cayenne pepper, as well as Xylitol KILL candida. Delicious and helpful, AND diet compliant = awesome! You don't want to go crazy with chocolate on a candida cleanse/diet though, as too much caffiene (black tea/coffee especially) can exacerbate it. But, we do need to LIVE during the 2-3 months of cleansing. This recipe also works well for weight loss since it has zero sugar, and the coconut oil helps provide healthy fats for metabolism and hormones which means weight loss!