Ask Chef Mary:Chocolate cravings

I have a huge sweet tooth! Any suggestions to curb my afternoon chocolate cravings? Photo: James Moran

April 1, 2011

Los Angeles, California

Dear Chef Mary,

I have a huge sweet tooth! Any suggestions to curb my afternoon chocolate cravings?











Dear Jessica,

Chocolate cravings are typical in the afternoon because you’re usually full and sleepy from lunch. The chocolate kick and sugar blast gives us a little extra energy to make it through the next few hours before we get our second wind.  If you’re craving chocolate, turn to dark chocolate. It’s a great afternoon treat. 

Dark chocolate has antioxidants that your body needs and craves but, remember, a little goes a long way.  If you’re looking for other options you can keep stashed in your drawer, try a few of the items listed below:

  1. Extra’s Dessert Delight Gum; mint chocolate chip flavor
  2. Trader Joe’s antioxidant trail mix with some dark chocolate chips mixed in
  3. Peanut butter and bananas
  4. Graham crackers
  5. Kashi TLC chewy granola bars; honey almond flax
  6. Low fat brown cow yogurt
  7. Nabisco’s 100 calorie pack cookies
  8. Ginger snaps
  9. Newman-O’s crème sandwiches

10.  York peppermint patties

It’s about moderation and the best way to enjoy delicious sugary treats is to add a protein like almonds and a fruit like an apple or vegetable like celery sticks.  By eating the combo, you’ll cut down on the amount of sweets you’ll eat, plus you’ll stay full longer without having a sugar crash half an hour later.

Other things that might bring on a chocolate or salty craving is a heavy lunch, which makes you sleepy, lack of water, which can make you feel light headed, insufficient calorie intake, which can make you shaky and, last but not least, stress, which has many different ways it can impact you.  Before you dig into a giant bowl of M & M’s, take your day into consideration and fill your body with what it really needs, before you fill it up on what’s easiest.

Jessica, by assessing your day, you might find that you’re body is really craving other things but the easiest thing to grab is chocolate. Good Luck!

Happy Cooking!

Chef Mary

For more great cooking tips, recipes and stories from Chef Mary, visit her blog. To learn more about Chef Mary, check out her Hail Mary’s, Inc. Web site. E-mail questions for Ask Chef Mary Fridays to or click the Ask Chef Mary link above. 

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The information provided is general information about healthy eating. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician or other health care provider. Always consult a physician before starting any new diet or regimen. 


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Mary Moran

Upon graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2002, Chef Mary Payne Moran began her professional career shelling crabs at the world-renowned restaurant, Michael's in Santa Monica.  Simultaneously, she launched her own company, Hail Mary’s, founded upon the belief that good food nurtures the soul, and began catering weddings, parties and large corporate events.

In the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching her culinary skills to others.    Currently she can be found at Hollywood School House teaching her after school cooking class, and teaching her popular "Vegetables or Not Here I Come" assembly.

Most recently, Mary has launched another division in her company as well as a chef she is now also a Certified Nutritionist for high profile clients.  She helps her clients discover their healthy way of eating.  Mary has recently been published in the Los Angeles Magazine, & The New Jersey Star Ledger.

Daily she addresses cooking aficionados through her blog - Cooking with Chef Mary as well as her how-to webisodes on You Tube.

Contact Mary Moran


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