There is packaged chocolate out there that Paleo people eat. A lot of Paleo recipes call for Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Dark chocolate bars exist like LuLu's Chocolate or Pascha. But I don't buy them.
They all contain some form of sugar.
Call it cane sugar or coconut sugar it's all sugar. (Yes, even coconut sugar which made one friend of mine all hopped up just like she was eating regular sugar.) Not to mention some say coconut sugar is unsustainable and I really, really like my coconut oil and coconut milk and I want to keep them. No coconut milk, no Paleo vanilla ice cream! (Link coming soon!)
I don't eat sugar, except for the listed ingredient that makes 0 grams in my bacon (what's in there, a pinch?) which I tested and does not make make me climb the ceiling or get addicted. Sugar really affects me. It probably affects everyone, seeing as how it buzzes the same center of your brain as um, cocaine, but since I haven't had any sugar (sans bacon) for almost two years I can really, really, really tell.
Like when went to The Counter for the first time and had a burger-in-a-bowl.
They also had certified gluten free sweet-potato or white-potato fries. I went crazy and got some ketchup. Regular ole Heinz with its high fructose corn syrup. I'm not intolerant to corn and although corn isn't Paleo I decided to splurge a little and dip, just a teeny bit, my fries into it.
It took me a while to figure out that I felt different.
Perhaps it was the overly bright look in my eyes, my bouncing legs or the fact that I sounded like one of Alvin's chipmunks talking a mile-a-minute in a higher than normal voice.
"I feel kinda drunk", I admitted to my friends, perhaps in apology for the barrage of talk they had to endure. Their hair was blown back like an 80's music video.
Yeesh. It was only ketchup. But like I said, it had been almost two years and my body could tell.
So I make my own chocolate when I want the cravings. A mixture of honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder like in the Coco Munch recipe. I will make the munch, or else I will make the munch without the coconut flakes and dip strawberries and bananas into it, freezing them afterwards for 20 minutes and then eating them.
I will make Chocolate ice cream (link coming soon) or Chocolate Muffins (link coming soon). All of these things are made with honey and cocoa and they keep me from turning into a chipmunk.
Why am I telling you this?
I'm just sharing my story in case it helps someone else understand why the chocolate that lots of Paleo people eat might make them start dreaming of donuts, if it does. It might not. But it might. You know? And to share that there are alternatives to satisfying your chocolate desire that don't involve sugar like making it yourself.
Or.... upping your magnesium intake. I started taking magnesium supplements and I had zero desire for chocolate for years. I talk about that more in this post. I think I only make chocolate covered strawberries right now because I'm pregnant.
That's right, I blame the baby. ;)
P.S. Chocolate (cocoa) is one of the items that your body can think is gluten. If you are gluten intolerant or celiac you might not do well with it. Everyone in my family is fine with cocoa except my eldest daughter who has gluten-light symptoms after she eats it. That's why I make my pregnant-mama chocolate covered strawberries in the morning while she is still sleeping. Shhh.
P.P.S. It's OK, my daughter knows about the strawberries. I can't keep the secret very well when my face is covered in chocolate.
"How are you doing?" my husband asked.
I frowned. I had just been thinking about how comprised I felt being 9 1/2 weeks pregnant and how it reminded me of when I used to eat gluten.
I'm not complaining. (Well, maybe a little.) I want this baby. This is a choice. I know how blessed I am to have an awesome husband, two amazing daughters and the opportunity to have one more. I do.
But now that I have experienced outrageous relief on my Paleo diet in my body, I'm a bit floored at how it feels to have a body working this hard again just to get through the day. This time it's for a good cause, but before it was just to survive the diet I was feeding it.
I'm having a revelation here.
Back in 2011 when I was only gluten-free and not Paleo yet, friends kept asking me about my miraculous health improvements. After answering dozens of questions one-by-one I wrote this article to put it all in one place. I'm re-posting this here for you.
If going Paleo seems too hard, try going gluten-free first.
The relief you feel from gluten may give you the energy, motivation, and inspiration you need to go full Paleo.
If going gluten-free intimidates you, keep reading.
Because I needed it to be easy, so I'm making it easy for you.
I thought going gluten-free would mean eating salad every day, all day... forever. Because I was really into my diet coke and M&Ms and french fries at the time (and absolutely hated vegetables) going gluten-free sounded about as fun as a root canal. Turns out you don't have to be healthy to go gluten-free, which makes it much easier to transition into it from the processed food, sugar-laden, bread-heavy, Standard American Diet.
When I look at old photos now I wince. I can see the gluten and food issues in my daughter's face so clearly now.
At the time I never noticed.
Her father is blond - so blond he was bald as a baby. My daughter is blonde. So of course she has pale skin, right? It wasn't until after we got her off gluten that I realized she wasn't pale - she was pallid. And the dark circles were not because she had pale skin, but because she was suffering from food intolerances. Dark circles are a sure sign.
Here are more photos of my daughter to show you "before" and "after" we got her off gluten. I'm so familiar with these symptoms now I can spot food issues a mile away when I look at children in person or in the pictures their parents post on Facebook.
Someone emailed me and asked, "Why no grains on the Paleo diet?" I wanted to say "Because they suck", but that's probably not scientific enough to help. Honestly, if I thought it would work I'd put on a chicken suit and run around flapping my arms in the air yelling into a megaphone: "Hey, everyone, stop eating grains and your lives will be so much better!" But again, that's probably not enough to convince someone to give up the breading on their fried chicken and the biscuit that came with it. So I'll buck up here and leave my personal storytelling aside to try and give you some honestly researched information on grains.
And I'll try to sound like I know what I'm talking about. Ready?
I like the easy Paleo stuff.