If there has been one constant throughout all my previous “get-healthy” endeavors, it’s that deprivation will always lead to failure. “No carbs”, “no fat”, “no sugar”, “no chocolate” never have and never will work for me, nor do they need to!
Every diet or get-healthy regimen I’ve ever done for myself has always included a little splurge here and there, much like this hot cocoa mix. At 60 calories and only 8g of sugar, it’s the perfect indulgence for my sweet tooth and chocolate craving to keep me from losing my mind and eating an entire pan of brownies or a whole chocolate bar or something.
I know this directly conflicts with many of the “diet” plans out there, and there’s a reason that it does. The journey I’m on is not meant to be a diet, but a lifestyle change. It is simply not realistic to expect you’ll never have carbs or fat or sugar or chocolate or some such thing ever again, and the more you deprive yourself the more likely you are to fail.
Inevitably, the time comes where I can’t or simply don’t want to go to the gym 5 days a week for 1+1/2 hours, and don’t need to either when changing my relationship with food overall.
This time around I am going through the day as if I may not get any exercise in that day. If I do, then super, an additional little snack after will be necessary and relished! The key is that on the days that I’m not getting exercise in, though, I’m feeling ok with eating less.
With all of that said, I think the most important thing is to be eating a balanced diet, and some of that balance includes a little splurge.
So let yourself have a little indulgence. Don’t consider it “cheating”, consider it part of your lifestyle change. Part of the change is that instead of eating a large brownie sundae, you’re having a cup of hot cocoa. What I love about this recipe is that it’s super quick and easy to make and I know exactly what’s going into it. There are no artificial ingredients (especially looking at you, fake sugar!) and I can decide what brands of the ingredients go into it.
It’s absolutely one of my top items to have on hand for when the chocolate/sweets craving hits, and hopefully it will be one of your favorites too!
Hot Cocoa Mix
For Hot Cocoa Mix
- 1+1/2 cups cocoa powder, unsweetened (I used a mix between regular and "special dark" – both Hershey brand)
- 2+1/2 cups nonfat powdered milk (I used Carnation brand)
- 2 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
- 1 cup nonfat powdered creamer (I used Coffeemate "Original")
For 12oz cup of Hot Cocoa
- 12 oz water or milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. If you use something else, the nutritional values will be different)
- ~1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional, to make it pumpkin spice hot cocoa!)
- 1/3 cup mini marshmallows (optional – adds sugar, of course, but SO delicious, especially when making pumpkin spice hot cocoa!)
For Hot Cocoa Mix
- Place all Hot Cocoa Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk together until everything is thoroughly combined (this is important. If you don't mix it well enough, your cups of cocoa may taste too much like one ingredient and not another)
- Store in a large airtight glass container in a cool place.
For 12oz Cup of Hot Cocoa
- Whisk the cocoa mix each time before use.
- Mix 3 Tbsp. of Hot Cocoa Mix with 12oz boiling water or milk. Stir vigorously until completely dissolved.
- Add 1/4 tsp. additional powdered sugar if it's not sweet enough for you. Also, I usually make using 8oz boiling water and 4oz cold Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.
- Add the pumpkin pie spice for pumpkin spice hot cocoa and/or mini marshmallows for a little indulgence!