About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chocolate....oh so yummy chocolate....

I have a few "loves"and anyone who has ever spent more than a day with me, knows that chocolate is very high on the list! I usually eat a little everyday. Believe it or not, there have been studies that show chocolate actually has health benefits but it has to be dark, not milk chocolate. Dark chocolate contains anti-oxidants, these are good for your health. Regular consumption of small amounts of dark chocolate has been shown to reduce blood pressure. If you love chocolate, eat dark chocolate in small amounts. Just in case you suspect that I making this up to support my habit...I have provided a few links at the bottom of this post to back up my story.

Here are creative ways to fit small amounts of chocolate your meal plans:
  • Eat an ounce or two of dark chocolate for a snack with a piece of fruit. Chocolate covered strawberries are a great treat.
  • Add 1/2- 1 cup dark chocolate chips when you bake whole grain muffins, such as zucchini or pumpkin (see "muffin makeover" post for recipe)
  • Chocolate smoothie: Use a blender to mix 1/2 large ripe banana, 1 Tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 Tbsp nut butter or sunbutter, 1-2 Tbsp wheat germ (optional). Blend until smooth, add 1/2 cup of ice and blend again. If this is not sweet enough for you, you can add a spoon of sugar or honey.  (One teaspoon of sugar = 14 calories.)
  • Although I personally hate coffee, some of my friends really like dark chocolate covered espresso beans. They are strong, so it is easy to only eat a few at a time. 
  • Make a yogurt parfait with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, fresh berries, a small amount of nuts, 1/4 cup of high fiber cereal and a tablespoon or two of dark chocolate chips. This is great for breakfast.


  1. I am adding dark Cocoa Powder and Greek yogurt to my shopping list and making this smoothie tomorrow! It sounds delicious. I love the recipes you share. What a fun and informative blog.

    1. Thanks for the feedback!!! So glad you found it helpful!! maria =)