Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dark chocolate

I'm not addicted to chocolate - I'm not - but without coffee it's the only stimulant that can help with working. I've been trying to eat plain, dark chocolate because it's supposed to be better for you. And I tend to buy cheap 200g bars from Tesco or Asda.

The visit to the GP about the health check still hasn't happened -  but fitness and weight are now serious matters in my mind.Maybe some very dark chocolate would be the answer. It kills the appetite quicker than smoother, sweeter chocolates and should contain as much kick. It should be a way of cutting down fat and sugar intake. So a bar of Tesco 75% cocoa chocolate seemed a good idea.

In all this the research I did two years ago was forgotten. The problem is the darker the chocolate, the more the caffeine. 200g of plain chocolate is said to be equivalent to two cups of instant caffeinated coffee. Let's say the plain chocolate is 50% cocoa.  So 40g of 75 per cent cocoa chocolate would be about 60% of a cup of  caffeinated coffee.

And that's how it felt. Yes it killed the appetite and gave me a kick. It also gave the digestion a kick. It may be responsible for the ulcers in my mouth. It may also have triggered a bout of left-side syndrome (with gout in the left arm and leg and soreness in the eye.) It felt like the after-effects of drinking defac, filter coffee - which always seems to contain quite a lot of caffeine.

Tesco are now selling another brand of cheap, dark chocolate by Ryelands, and it's cheaper than Tesco's own brand. It claims to be about 50% cocoa. That's probably too strong but I'm trying it.

Depending how I get on with the doctor - if I ever get round to it - I may have to find a way of doing without chocolate.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Sometimes I need a sharp reminder there's a problem. I normally assume cookies are okay. After all they are just dough and chocolate chips, aren't they? I've always loved them and cheap cookies from Tesco or Asda don't cause a problem.

Someone gave us a packet of Maryland cookies and I have been happily munching them - even in spite of the visit to the doctor I must arrange to discuss the health screening. I was wondering about the crunchy bits, especially as my throat is getting lumpy and my tongue feels funny. I have checked the packet - they are indeed choc chip and hazelnut cookies.

Reminder to me: nuts are a problem, a real problem. Now to find a montelukast.

* Ref that health check: a friend had an identical scary letter from the screening company received on the same day. He went rushing to his doctor only to be told his cholesterol was mildly elevated. No pills, no exercise prescription, nothing. On the other hand....I must do something about it.