Monday, July 9, 2012

Living Without Chocolate

living without chocolate morsels truffles

Shockingly, it has been much harder to write this than to actually do it;

I no longer eat chocolate.

As a former chocoholic that could easily eat a bar a day and often did just that, this is quite a turnaround. And I'm not talking about one of those tiny little "bars" of "chocolate" from Hershey's (yuck!) either, I'm talking 100g Green & Black's rich dark chocolate, maybe with some kind of decadent flavor like ginger and orange thrown in... Mmm..!

So why on earth would I give up something I enjoy so much?

This time, it's actually not because I can't eat it - my body physically processes it just fine. My brain on the other hand doesn't seem to like it at all. Since I gave birth to my daughter, it makes me feel something like this;



Extremely annoyed at absolutely nothing;

pissed, extremely annoyed

And flat out stark raving mad.

angry, stark raving mad

Sometimes, all at the same time! Not a pretty picture. Especially for the loved ones around me. 

Honestly? I think I might still indulge occaisionally if I was the only one dealing with the consequences. Chocolate is one fine tasting food, and curling up on the couch with a movie and feeling sorry for myself every once in a while... well, sometimes you just feel that way anyway, so why not enjoy the chocolate? But when you put other people into the picture - a daughter I need to be patient with, a husband I need to be emotionally there for, and so much more for both of them... it's just not worth it. Chocolate could be the elixir of the gods, but if it made me feel and act like this I would still turn it down.

The last piece of chocolate I had was in this Recipe; Black Bean Brownies. It was a test after eliminated it for a bit to see if I had been right about what it was doing to me. Sure enough, I had been, and my husband happily finished off the rest while hiding from the monstrosity that is me on chocolate.

These days, I am happily enjoying a little legume called carob in place of chocolate in my life. It is misleading to say it tastes like chocolate, rather it has a similar flavor palate - rich, dark, complexIt is a similar enough flavor that it can be made into carob chips and used in place of chocolate chips in recipes, or left as carob powder and used as a substitute in equal parts for cocoa powder.

My grandma also swore off chocolate many years ago, so my introduction to carob was at quite a young age. Someone who has never had carob before will probably find it like nothing they have ever tasted before, and might take a few tries to not be surprised by the flavor, as it really does look like chocolate. Nonetheless, it is a good flavor; I don't think I have ever met someone who has tried it and actually disliked it.

Have you ever tried carob? Interested? Here are some recipes to try;

Have you ever sworn off a food for the sake of others?


  1. I started having the very same mood reactions to chocolate a few years ago (sigh) and I wasn't even eating that much ... but I was in a very stressful relationship, and I have long had gut issues, so the two things combined sparked some sort of sensitivity. I'm no longer in the relationship, and my stress level is much lower now, but I still have the chocolate sensitivity, so I still have to be extraordinarily careful; I just rarely eat chocolate now.

    I stopped eating it for my own sake, because the "depressed" part of my reaction was more like "suicidal." I assume it is some sort of reaction to the theobromine, as consuming the occasional soda with caffeine does not have the same effect. The lower the quality of chocolate, the less intense my reaction. Thanks for posting about your experience, I wasn't aware that anyone else had a similar reaction!

    I do like carob, but it's just not something I think about very often. Your description of it's flavor profile is spot-on. Carob is good stuff.

    1. Caffeine does not affect me either, so it is interesting that you mention theobromine; I looked it up and it does say that carob contains some theobromine. Since this post my husband has mentioned to me that carob does seem to affect me mildly, so that's out the window too for now, at least in any significant amounts. However, supposedly white chocolate has had it's theobromine removed, so maybe we could try that. (Dare we though? haha)

      It was very comforting to me to know that there are many others experiencing this too. A quick google search of something like; chocolate makes me angry/depressed/etc, will come up with forums where hundreds of people are talking about this. Or at least it did last time I searched. :)


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