No More Cheap Chocolate: A reflection on making richer choices

I’m not eating anymore cheap ass chocolate this year.

I just took a bite of a bar from the stash that my nephew had been selling for school and I had to put it down. The sweetness was invasive and the rough texture seemed more a result of carelessness or a rushed process rather than an intentional trait like nuts or nougat or salted caramel bits. Mmmm…. !

I made this promise to myself once before- I was going to stop getting a sugar high from cheap bars and start eating real chocolate. The kind that meets the desire for sweet and cocoa but is less addictive and less of a shock to the system.

In a book called Salt, Sugar, and Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss, I learned that most of what we all chocolate bars are not actually chocolate and therefore cannot legally call themselves “chocolate bars”. If you look closely, you will see that they actually say candy bars. Because that’s what they are, chocolate “inspired” candy. I also learned that researchers and food scientists put a lot of effort into finding the level of sugar that’s high enough to cause a rush and desire to gobble up more but not so high that it will kill them- on the spot that is.

Well it’s the time of year of new resolutions and I’m allowing myself to revisit this promise. Real chocolate only, (okay mostly.) Real chocolate bars are always a dollar or two (or three) more than the candy bar brands. They’re the bars that feel like they’re no fun because they’ve got a lot of cocoa or fruit and nuts, or are just so dang expensive.

But maybe it’s worth it for the real thing. For me, all the sugar that is in candy bars irritates the eczema that has decided to visit my skin. I also don’t like the sick feeling I get after eating candy bars even though they taste good at first.

I’m trying to be healthier and practice a minimal lifestyle. What does this have to do with chocolate? Just like I’m choosing real chocolate over the cheap stuff, the minimal lifestyle is inviting me to choose things that are better quality over cheap finds that won’t last or that do not serve me. This goes for my clothing and personal care items. Even though they will be less in number, I want them to look good, feel good, last long, and to spark joy a la Marie Kondo without any consequences (e.g. irritated skin).

I accept that I’ll have to pay more for certain items.  I just invested- yes invested because I am a thrifter most of the time- in a pair of boots that I’ve heard can last up to 20 years! I’m going to admit that when it comes to footwear, I’m shamelessly moving into granny mode.  Naturalizer is now one the shoe stores I go into on purpose and I dig some good arch support!

So that bite of grainy and overly sweet chocolate was my reminder to choose the good stuff. Quality over quantity/cheapness and stay on track with my minimizing journey for health, and for sanity and for the earth.

We vibrating higher this year, starting with chocolate.

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