New You Boot Camp Discussion – Benefits of Natural Dark Chocolate

As Christmas is approaching, we would like to introduce you to the world of chocolate. Also, we would like you to be aware of the benefits of consuming natural organic dark chocolate which contains at least 70% cocoa.


Chocolate begins at the Theobroma Cacao Tree. Pods from this tree are harvested for the making of chocolate only once fully ripened. The natural sugars in cocoa beans fuel the fermentation process, which causes much of the classic cocoa flavour. Once harvested, the seeds are separated from the pods and pulp and the fermentation process can start.

Fermenting: Raw cocoa beans have a bitter and undesirable flavour. Fermentation transforms this bitterness to the classic cocoa flavour we are familiar with. Fermentation is achieved with natural yeast and bacteria that are present on the cocoa beans. The beans are simply left out in the heat and moisture to ferment for approximately seven days. After fermentation, the beans are quickly dried to prevent mould growth.


Roasting : After fermentation and drying, the beans are thoroughly cleaned and removed of any debris. Cocoa beans are typically roasted using the dry roast method, which needs constant stirring to ensure even heating. Dry roasting allows the flavour to stay pure. This is the final step in creating the classic cocoa flavour.

Processing: After roasting, the hull is removed from the bean and the inner nib is extracted. The nibs are then ground into a fine powder, which contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The cocoa butter usually liquefies from the frictional heat while grinding the nibs. This liquefied form of pulverized cocoa nibs is referred to as cocoa liquor. Cocoa liquor is then poured into moulds, allowed to cool, then sold and transported in these blocks. These blocks are known as unsweetened or bakers chocolate.

Blending : Cocoa liquor, baking chocolate, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter can be blended with various ingredients to create an endless number of cocoa products.

To produce the chocolate candies, cocoa liquor is combined with extra cocoa butter (for smoothness), sugar, milk, and sometimes vanilla, emulsifiers, or stabilizers. The ratio of sugar and milk to cocoa creates varying degrees of milk or dark chocolate. The specific ratio in which ingredients are blended creates signature recipes, which specialty brands often guard closely.

For years, we didn’t know why bittersweet dark chocolate seems to improve cardiovascular health.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) in Dallas said they had solved the question. Specific chocolate-loving microbes in the gut convert an otherwise indigestible part of the sweet into anti-inflammatory compounds, they said.

Dr John Finley and his team tested cocoa powder and solid dark chocolate, using a series of modified test tubes to simulate humans’ gurgling guts, researchers exposed several forms of cocoa powder to digestive juices and enzymes, and they found something.

What they found was that after cocoa was “digested,” long molecules called polyphenolic polymers remained within the gastrointestinal, or GI, tract.


The molecules were too large to cross the walls of the gut and be used as nutrients, according to a researcher, They do nothing for us but they travel down the GI tract after we consume them. So, until they encounter some of the many microbes that inhabit the human colon, particularly Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, researchers said.

The smaller molecules that result from this fermentation can go through the gut wall and be used by the body. These materials are anti-inflammatory and they prevent or delay the onset of some forms of cardiovascular disease that are associated with inflammation.

Some of the studies have suggested that dark chocolate can cause blood vessels to dilate, and thus lower blood pressure, although this is not possible with white chocolate as it made of cocoa butter without cocoa solids.


It has been unclear exactly why this happens, but researchers had focused on the effects of anti-oxidant flavanols, such as catechin and epicatechin.

Finley said these were among the compounds that were poorly digested, yet acted upon by gut microbes. The other substance that was fermented was dietary fibre, which makes up about 30% of cocoa powder.

He said that the amount of cocoa powder that appeared to produce beneficial effects was about two tablespoons a day.

One of the issues involving dark chocolate, Finley said, was the amount of sugar and fat that chocolate candy contained. You could avoid those substances by putting cocoa powder on oatmeal, for example.,0,6762224.story

The potential benefits of eating chocolate:

– anti-ageing effect

– lowering cholesterol level

– preventing cognitive decline by helping preserve blood flow

– preventing diabetes by regulating blood sugar

– preventing obesity by increasing metabolism

– contains copper, iron, manganese, dietary fiber, protein and calcium

In conclusion, when you start to eat dark chocolate it may not have the sweet taste to begin with, but in no time at all you won’t be able to go back to milk chocolate. It will taste horrendously sweet. Don’t forget, 2-3 squares of organic dark chocolate per day, keeps you healthy, and stops craving for sugar and unhealthy snacks.

If you would like to get some healthy desserts ideas with chocolate, here is an example for a good recipe:


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New You Boot Camp Discussion – 5 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight


This one seems fairly obvious, many people underestimate the number of calories they consume and overestimate the number of calories they expend during exercise.

The Fix: If you have no idea how much you’re eating, you should check out the nutrition labels to evaluate serving size.  Also, there are many applications for your smartphone that will help you calculate how much protein, fat and carbohydrates you consume to reach your goal! Many foods that we think are individual servings are actually two or even three portions. Try to use your hand for measuring!



This is not so obvious. If you want to lose fat, the first rational step is to cut your calorie intake. The more calories you cut, the more fat you lose — but this isn’t always true. Cutting your calories to extremes may work for a while, but over time your metabolism will slow and your body will switch to starvation mode. If that’s not bad enough, when your body is in a severe calorie deficit for an extended period of time, it can start to use your hard-earned muscle as fuel, in a process known as catabolism.


The Fix: As a general suggestion drop your calories no lower than 20% below your maintenance level — and staying around a 10% deficit is even better. Try to eat 5 times a day, but controlled portions and adequate protein intake.


Just because something is considered “healthy” doesn’t mean you can eat endless amounts without consequences. Many people see things like fat-free or sugar-free foods and think this means they’re free altogether. Also, low fat or fat-free products tend to have a higher sugar contain than full fat or normal products. Then there are foods like organic cookies and gluten-free brownies, and most people think they can have a free-for-all.


A calorie really is a calorie. If you eat excessive amounts of fat-free chips, you’re still going to gain weight. If you eat 16 Paleo cookies, guess what, your body just recognizes that you ate 16 cookies. Not that they were Paleo and supposedly “healthy.”

The Fix: Use your head when it comes to these so called “health foods”. Limit yourself to a regular portion, or skip them altogether.


Many times you may find yourself eating when you aren’t even hungry. Your body isn’t telling you it needs food, but you find yourself eating anyway. A handful of nuts here, a few pieces of candy there, an extra spoonful of peanut butter. Sound familiar? We’ve all done it.

If you find your weight loss at a standstill, tuning into your mindless snacking and paying attention to your true hunger signals can help tremendously. Are you really hungry when you grab that extra handful of food, or do they just sound good? Do you need the extra 200 calories of peanut butter, or are you just digging your spoon deeper because the jar is there?


The Fix: Pay attention to your mindless snacking, eat when you are truly hungry and your weight loss should be back on track in no time.


The diet mentality is never a good one to have, but it’s everywhere. You can’t turn around without hearing about another fad/restrictive diet that has its followers eating a single food group or cutting drastic calories. Since when do we need to be on a “diet” to lose weight? What happened to just making healthy choices (the majority of the time) and working out? Crash dieting for a few weeks at a time isn’t going to have you losing weight anytime soon — and in fact, it can have the opposite effect.

The Fix: Drop the “I’m on a diet” attitude and make it a lifestyle. Choose healthy foods, but don’t be afraid to indulge in the occasional treat. Indulging in your favourite foods from time to time fulfils cravings and is more likely to help you stay on track and enjoy!

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New You Boot Camp Discussion – What Will Your Christmas Coffee Do With Your Waistline?

What will your favourite Christmas coffee do to your waistline? Have you ever realised what’s really in those festive delicious coffees – and how going skinny might be even WORSE!


We have found a great article at Mail Online who compared festive specials from Starbucks, Costa and Cafe Nero. It is very interesting, but also very sad, how much sugar they try to pump in to our body.

Of 20 medium sized drinks just FOUR were under the new recommended daily sugar allowance for women of 25g.

Worst for sugar: Starbucks’ skinny Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate with whip. This one drink had 61g of sugar, the equivalent of 15 teaspoons or two Mars Bars.

Worst for calories: Starbucks’ full fat Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate with whip. This one drink had  524 calories, compared to 508 in a Big Mac.

Lowest sugar: Starbucks’ Pumpkin spiced latte with soya milk with 19.6g of sugar, equal to five teaspoons.

The World Health Organisation recommended additional daily sugar intakes be lowered to 35g (nine teaspoons) for men and 25g (six teaspoons) for women.

Experts warn of the liquid calories lurking in your ‘just a coffee’.

Drinking a festive latte every day until Christmas could lead to half a stone of weight gain, experts warned. But rather than thinking of the delicious nectar as ‘just a coffee’, the hidden calories and high sugar levels lurking in your festive cup mean it should really come with a health warning. Warming and tasty though they are, the majority contain more than a person’s daily recommended sugar intake in one medium-sized portion.  And going skinny won’t help either. In many cases, drinks made from skimmed milk contained more sugar than full fat options. Either way, drinking one every day until Christmas could see your weight creep up by half a stone, experts warn.

The WHO has previously recommended men consume no more than 70g and women 50g a day, those guidelines have been slashed to 35g and 25g respectively.

This equates to no more than nine for men and six for women. Diets high in sugar can increase a person’s risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay. And the dangers are not limited to sugar alone.

A Grande Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate from Starbucks – made with full fat milk and topped off with a frothy crown of whipped cream – contains 524 calories.

This is a quarter of a woman’s daily allowance (2,000 calories) and more than the 508 calories nestling inside a McDonald’s Big Mac.


According to a dietician while it is important for people to indulge in a festive treat at this time of year, they should be considered just that – a treat. The danger, she said, is that people popping into their local cafe will choose a tempting festive special and not realise the number of calories it contains. ‘People go into coffee shops thinking, “I’ll just grab a coffee”. Taking in the entire festive period with just seven weeks until Christmas, a festive coffee habit could see a person consume an extra 25,676 calories and add 7lbs – or half a stone –  to their waistline.

But these drinks are full of what we call negative liquid calories, because they don’t help you feel full or only for a little while. ‘There is much more focus on sugar and the risks associated with consuming lots, including an increased risk of dental problems, diabetes and other health problems.

Liquid calories also promote weight gain as such as alcohol. People need to think about minimising their liquid calorie intake each day.

So how much sugar should we be consuming within healthy boundaries?


Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation published draft guidelines urging adults to eat no more than 12 teaspoons of sugar a day and to aim for six. The number of obese British adults is expected to double from one in four to one in two by 2050 – at a cost to the economy of £50billion a year. The WHO said the crisis was being fuelled by hidden sugar in processed food and drink such as yoghurts, muesli, sauces, fizzy drinks, juice and smoothies. However, low-fat foods have also come under fire from experts, after it was revealed they often contain more sugar than the full-fat alternative. In many cases, the skimmed or skinny versions of the drinks contained more sugar than full fat options. And the lowest sugar levels were found in drinks made with soya milk.

At New You Boot Camp we think sugar is very damaging to your health. If you would like something sweet, you can easily make a hot chocolate from organic raw cocoa, with almond milk as a delicious healthy alternative. You can also save a lot of money during the festive period if you make your own hot cocoa drink with freshly organic raw cocoa, grounded nutmeg, almond milk and Xylitol to make it really tasty!

For more healthy recipes, check out:



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