Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chocolate and New Year's Resolutions

I love Lindt.

And these three bars in their Petits Desserts line are well worth trying:

I think these would be terrific as favors at a New Year's Party - they are elegant and delish!

The Creme Brulee is my least favorite. I love creme brulee, but with the sweet milk chocolate, this is too much for me. It does have little crunchy pieces of caramelized sugar in it which is a nice touch, but I find this too sweet. But hey - what a great idea! Although I don't think everything needs chocolate. I'd rather have regular ol' creme brulee - no chocolate. It makes it too rich.

The middle one is my favorite - awesome, fluffy hazelnut mousse surrounded by that amazingly smooth Lindt milk chocolate. Ooooh - la - la! The mousse is light enough that the combo really works. GET THIS BAR!!! (unless you don't like hazelnut or chocolate, then don't. Alien.)

The final one is also amazingly good. This is for fans of darker chocolate - and Lindt describes it as "a fine milk and dark chocolate blend with a delicate truffle cream filling and crunchy biscuit pieces." It's sinfully creamy.

If you are looking for a decadent treat before you start some crazy diet - grab one of these and savor the hell out of it! I bet they're great with champagne!

Speaking of crazy diets, I know some of you are going to once again make that New Year's Resolution to lose weight. Here are some tips:

1.) Get serious or don't bother. Really, don't put yourself through this unless you REALLY, REALLY want it and do it right. Realize it's not going to be a change you make for a month or two. It has to be forever.

2.) Aim to lose about a pound a week. Any diet that has you losing lots of weight very rapidly could be dangerous. And the chances of keeping it off will be slim. (Pun intended.) You may lose more in the beginning of any diet, but most of it will be water weight. Hey, you didn't gain all that weight in two days, don't expect to lose it in two hours.

3.) Exercise. Quit your crying. I'd go as far as to say - if you don't plan to exercise, don't plan to lose weight. Or don't plan to keep it off. The vast percentage of people who have lost weight AND KEPT IT OFF exercise. Try walking - I walk about 5 miles five times a week. I love it. Say you can't find the time? Quit lying - you can find time for anything that's important to you. March in place while you watch TV. Have to watch the kids? Make them go with you - they probably need some exercise themselves.

4.) Write down what you eat and track the calories. This is the single most important hing you can do. You may find that this alone helps you lose weight. I think you would be shocked to find out how many calories you need and how many you eat. Writing every calorie down makes it impossible to lie to yourself. (Not that any of us ever do that!)

5.) Be VERY careful when you eat out. I went to lunch with a friend this week at California Pizza. I was planning to get a salad. That was until I did some research on the Net and found out that many of their HALF servings of salad had over 800 calories! For a salad? We split a thin crust pizza for less than 500 calories each. Do your homework or stay fat.

6.) Don't be too restrictive. If you tell yourself you can NEVER have chocolate again, you may start to obsess over it. (Some of us obsess over it anyway.) But if you buy one bar or have a few Dove dark squares in your desk, you'll be okay. Eat some of what you love, just be aware of the amount. Sometimes I have chocolate for dinner! Yay! I'm not saying this is the way to eat all the time, I'm just saying you have to make choices. You can't eat it all.

7.) Be realistic. None of us will ever look like the air brushed "people" in magazines. And fighting the aging game is a losing battle - we get older and things sag. See if you can find a weight that is healthy, that you feel good at, and that you can maintain and still have a life.

8.) Forget the carbs, protein - all that BS. Here's how it works - find out how many calories you need ( has a good calorie calculator). Subtract 500 from that number to lose a pound a week. Start exercising. Start with a half mile walk. Move. You will get skinnier.

9.) If it makes you miserable, increase the number of calories. If the whole process makes you miserable, make peace with the size you are. No one says you have to lose weight - it's your body, your life.

And if you have questions or need help, let me know!

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