Chocolate has been at the centre of many studies and has many health benefits, as it is said to be rich in antioxidants and is known to prevent illnesses such as stroke and heart attacks. Now, thanks to the innovation of Food Coach, Pam Dwyer, chocolate can also combat obesity.
Dwyer, who holds a higher diploma in home economics and a certificate in secondary teaching, says that all natural and unprocessed chocolate can combat illness, because it is brimming with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
“Natural chocolate is one of the healthiest foods on the planet,” said Dwyer. “It is massively high in chromium, iron, and magnesium, which some 80 percent of us are deficient in. It also contains a natural appetite inhibitor and has what has been dubbed as “the bliss chemical,” which works as an anti-depressant. Therefore, it is no wonder that it is such a marvellous comfort food,” she said.
“Natural chocolate also contains the chemical Phenylethylamine, and this makes us feel like we are in love. Maybe this is why some sources say that 50 percent of women prefer chocolate to sex. Then, to top it all off, natural chocolate also contains sulphur, the beauty chemical, which gives our skin a healthy glow. No wonder cacao, the real name for chocolate, translates as “food of the gods.”
However, not all chocolates are the same says Dwyer.
“When we process chocolate, we kill off most of its goodness. Then to add insult to injury, bad fats, chemical enhancers, fillers, and sugar are added. The milk that we add to produce our favorite milk chocolate completes the disaster by destroying the antioxidants found naturally in chocolate. These antioxidant levels are many times more than green tea or red wine,” said Dwyer. “Sadly what we are left with is a nutritionally poor, empty shell, which when eaten goes straight to the hips.”
The secret to ‘fat burning’ comes from how the chocolate is prepared says Dwyer.
“Now for the good news,” said Dwyer. “Because my chocolate has not been heat treated it still has all its goodness intact. The fat in my chocolate recipes is either cacao (ka-cow) butter or coconut oil. Both contain healthy fats, giving the body the essential fats it needs for bodily functions. However, the bad fats found in processed chocolate are not needed or recognised by the body so these can only be used for energy, and any excess is stored as fat in the tissues,” she said. “Coconut oil is also burned by the liver, and then used for immediate energy, thus increasing the metabolism of the body. This is great because the increased metabolism then burns off more calories.”
“According to Bruce Fife, director and founder of the US Coconut Research Center, coconut oil burns more calories than the body absorbs. Therefore, it can truly be called fat burning.”
Dwyer became a ‘raw foodist’ 3 years ago and says that she is always on the lookout for healthier food options because of her background in nutrition.
“I now eat at least 80 percent of my food raw. As part of my diet I eat the most amazing raw chocolate,” said Dwyer.
The continual increase of obesity and overweight people in Australia and overseas saw Pam Dwyer develop chocolate recipes that combated the problem rather than adding to it.
“I am continually dismayed by the amount of miss-information that we are fed about what is healthy. I felt driven to set the record straight,” said Dwyer. “Obesity levels for kids and adults are reaching epidemic proportions, and I thought that giving people who were struggling with their health a healthy alternative was a wonderful thing to do, so that they avoided eating junk foods,” she said. “I’m sure they would willingly swap their fat and sugar laden chocolate treats if they knew there was an option.”
“It’s really good for the soul to be able to help others overcome their weight problems by giving them this easy first-step to a healthy eating plan.”
When it comes to dieting, Dwyer believes that most people fail because they try to give up everything they enjoy and deprive themselves of those foods that they love.
“When you realize you don’t have to give up all the chocolate treats you love, it is very easy to be motivated and lose weight,” said Dwyer. “Most weight loss diets fail because people feel starved and deprived. They are doomed.”
Pam Dwyer says that she maintains her own health and fitness by eating well.
“For me, as a raw foodist, I have worked towards an alkaline body and moved away from the acidic state that most of us are in due to the standard processed diet,” said Dwyer. “To achieve this one needs to include more raw fruit and vegetables into their diet. Green juices, I believe, are the number one alkalising food,” she said. “Disease cannot grow in a clean alkaline environment whereas an acidic body is inviting trouble.”
In today’s fast paced society, says Dwyer, too much of our energy output is work related.
“We need to reassess our values and leave time for the fun things as well,” she said. “With a good eating plan, enough exercise and fresh air our overall energy levels will naturally increase. This gives us more energy to devote to what we really want to get out of life.”
“I live near the most beautiful beaches in the world in Queensland. I walk nearly every day in the sunshine.”
To increase your own health and fitness levels, Dwyer suggests doing exercise that you like.
“Do exercise that you enjoy. We are all different and only human, and we are not likely to keep doing exercise that we don’t enjoy,” she said.