Winter in Arizona
Went from wearing a winter coat and gloves to a long-sleeved t-shirt & shorts. That’s Arizona weather—at least that hasn’t changed.
So, it’s Friday when I opt to leave the house.
First, a walk in the ‘hood with the girls, Millie & Roxy.
Then, stores, gas station and parent’s house.
On the seat next to me, I bring along a trusty passenger--a box of rubber gloves.
The experience is challenging, even a bit frightening.
I arrive at Walmart—a 24-hour location—I’m bummed—a huge line. It’s only 6:30 AM. The line stretches the entire length of the front of the store—equal to a huge city-block.
I’m perplexed, curious. I can’t figure out why we’re all standing there.
Crowd control inside the store? Senior-time only? Then I see a hastily scribbled sign: “Temp. hours: 7-7”.
Shortened hours, I guess, due to less merchandise and to allow for stocking.
So, I wait in the freezing temperatures, happy I bundled up and put on my winter coat.
I have no other choice but to wait. You see, Mom needs (gasp!) toilet paper.
Thirty minutes later, the doors open and ahhh, I’m inside. Yay!
Workers are pointing to yet another line:
“Get in this line if you want to buy toilet paper.” It reaches out the door and to the back of the store. But just as soon I scurry over there, another announcement: “The toilet paper is now sold out!”.
I buy what I can, check myself out and head to Sprouts where I’m not sure what to expect. No line but most of the customers here are wearing masks, gloves, keeping their distance and even avoiding eye-contact.
I smile at people. Knowing that if I get one back, I will feel a better, a little more at ease. I do get a few.
Then Costco for gas. This is a breeze.
But the store itself which opens in two hours has lines already, hundreds and hundreds are waiting. At least five parking lot aisles are packed with people standing in line to go in the store. I snap some pics.
What I’m holding here is not low in calories. But it is made with “healthy” chocolate as well as other clean ingredients. It’s one of my favorite desserts and it even includes protein powder. More on that & the recipe in Lynda’s Day.
That may sound like an oxymoron but it is possible to find a chocolate that’s good for us. As long as we eat it in moderation.
Yeah, yeah—sometimes I hate that word too-- moderation.
I don’t graze, I gobble—especially when it comes to chocolate. I’ve had my share of seemingly non-stop sugar highs. I mean get this--I’ve come close to eating an entire one-pound bag of Peanut M&Ms while watching a movie. That crunch, that flavor. They are addictive. And those big Hershey’s Almond Milk Chocolate bars? Pffft—child’s play. Yep, I’ve eaten two of those within minutes on more than one occasion.
As for ice cream or gelato? I can’t keep it at home—um, goodbye entire half gallon. So, my husband and I have it when we’re out. This is my favorite place to go in Arizona. But I have a rule-- I must eat it at the shop for two reasons:
1/No walking-I cannot walk & eat at the same time. I’m serious! I really need to concentrate on that creamy, chocolaty goodness. Otherwise, I’d wander into a pole, a person, or traffic—yikes!
2/Second helping-And when I’m done, there’s a good chance I’ll go right back for another one.
Embarrassed!? Ha! Hardly.
I know what you might be wondering. So, does my husband get another one, too? No. Usually he’s still eating his first when I go for my second. He’ll just shake his head, watch me devour more and says “You’ll be sorry.”
And he’s right. I usually am. Hello, stomach discombobulation!
No, but seriously
I shouldn’t do things like this. It is considered binge eating which is terrible for us. Plus, I’m really trying to be diligent about not eating sugar. So, binge eating Butterfinger Candy bars is not an option—anymore.
One thing that has helped me get a handle on my chocolate cravings? Switching to high-quality chocolate.
The Good Stuff
About ten years ago, I read an article that would change my thinking on chocolate. As with any food, the less processed, the healthier it is. So, if we want to eat dark chocolate that is considered healthy, what we should look for are brands in which the cocoa powder is “non-dutched”. Essentially, it means chocolate that has been less processed.
The dutching process makes chocolate taste sweeter. Keep in mind this is how most of all of the big chocolate brands are concocted. They are high in sugar content.
So, I try and always get my chocolate from brands that do not use the dutching process, have less sugar, fewer ingredients which translates into our bodies getting the healthy anti-oxidants found in dark chocolate.
Here is the brand I’ve eaten for the last ten years. But it seems like there are new brands to discover all the time, these days. So, I may need to try some.
For my yummy—non-dutched-chocolate-ice-cream-like-yogurt-dessert recipe go to Lynda’s Day. Yes, there is a nominal fee for this section but it gets you on the inside for $9.97 per year! You get access to an entire year of everything I do on a daily basis from my diet to workouts to what I’m reading!
Coming soon here on FitOver50Plus: while the better chocolate is more expensive, I’ll explain why, when it comes to our health, it’s really less expensive in the long run.
I do not get paid by the companies I’ve included in my blog or here on Lynda’s Day. However, if you click on my links, I might get a tiny commission from Amazon.com.
That means with your support I can continue to bring you quality, helpful content. And for that I love you and thank you very much.
Make it a great Day!
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