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Spin Class, a New Job, and Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

So I had an EXCELLENT spin class this afternoon. They're usually always pretty good...curvilicious instructor gal puts together a great routine, with awesome music, a good mix of hill climbs and flats, and the energy in the room is always high.

As many of you know, I'm a bit of a geek about getting instrumented up with Heart Rate Monitors, GPS, Bodymedia Armbands, etc. I like to collect up the data and see how my workouts compare, see how I'm progressing in both ST and cardio. One thing I've seen a trend on is that my spin workouts are much more intense in a group setting than when I spin or ride my bike alone.

Here's my HR during a 50 minute spin session I did on my own last weekend;

Here it is during a 50 minute spin session from today with curvilicious instructor gal;

It's about a 10-20% improvement by being in a group setting. I can get a bit competitive, so probably push harder and keep a more sustained level of intensity in a group session, whereas on my own I see that I ease up more in between intervals. The interesting part from the charts is how my pulse rate starts going down immediately.....within a minute or 2 it plummets down from 90% of max to 50-60%....I guess that's a good sign of cardiovascular health.

On another front, it looks like we'll be moving further north this summer. I got a job up in the north part of Virginia. We lived there many years ago and enjoyed it, and this is a good professional opportunity. I'm flying up there next week to do some house-hunting, and hopefully can sign a lease or find something worth buying.

It's going to be hard to give up this backyard view of the Santa Rosa Sound every day though!

But you know what's even cooler than all that!?!?! I think I finally found the ultimate late night snack....Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder! Work with me on this one people....

So I admit to having a certain weakness for late night snacking. It's pretty much been peanut butter....and a glass of cold milk. I don't go too overboard with it....but it's annoying and can add 300-400 calories as well as a few dozen grams of carbs to my daily total. I've been trying to find a way to temper this habit.

Enter whey protein!

I lift a lot and so I make a whey protein shake or 2 during the day to increase my protein's a good filler between lunch and dinner as well as a good post workout supplement. The taste though is nothing to brag about.

Enter the Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder!

Take a look at the nutrition label;

Am I missing something here or is this stuff almost biologically inert?!?!?

So for the past few days, I've been mixing a scoop of whey protein powder (24 gms protein, 5 gms carbs, 130 calories) with 1 tablespoon of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder shaking it all up and chilling it in the fridge. By late evening, it is icy cold and is better than having a chocolate milk shake for dessert!

Am I crazy here?!?!?! Can there really be a free lunch here? Can I actually have something healthy that tastes freaking awesome?!?!? I don't know, but I'm going to keep experimenting with it to see. Maybe this weekend I'll see if I can get a spoonful of this stuff dissolved in just water to see what it tastes like (it does take a while to dissolve, hence I make it early in the evening and shake it up when I remember)

Anyway, that's my latest obsession....have a great night Spark friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    DIY is not a bad way to go.... The online reviews for chocolate whey powder are so iffy, makes me nervous to invest in a whole bottle. It seems like everyone's tastebuds prefer a different cocoa flavor or textures.... So I get single serving flavored whey packets from my local natural foods store in flavors like peach, blueberry or chocolate....But who can argue with Hershey's? No one in my state (Penna.) at least!.... Lately I'm using a specialty brand cocoa powder for my food flavoring... It's less processed than Hershey's milk choc and more processed than what you're using. It's along the similar lines though. In the winters I enjoy mint flavored cocoa. Mmm! Another raw flavor that's good is "Apple Pie Spice"! I used to make it myself from the ingredients but finally caved and bought the readymade blend to speed up my snacking time! Bon Appetit!
    1758 days ago
    Okay Okay... sounds scrumptious... something to TRY.. or at least think about is getting either raw cacao nibs or a natural (non-dutched) chocolate.. only because the alkali processing rips out all the goodness (flavonoids which is an antioxidant that is anti-aging and helps our bodies fight disease... like the stuff in green tea) and since you're a nerd here's a link to an article or two
    (or do a google scholar search on "cocoa flavanol alkali"

    Sooooooo.. you could have your milk.. and your chocolate.. and fight aging and disease at the same time??? The trifecta!
    1776 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    Jackpot! Think you have an awesome idea!
    1780 days ago
    emoticon I don't think you can go wrong with Dark Chocolate and Milk!! You may have hit the Jack Pot with this!!
    emoticon Good Luck with the House Hunting! Hopefully you will get a view comparable to the one you are giving up.
    1780 days ago
    I love dark chocolate, but have only bought the regular cocoa powder. Thanks for the taste tip! My favorite smoothie is chocolate-pb-banana. Now if only I could find a carb-free banana...
    1780 days ago
    What I wouldn't give to go back there. *Sigh* I'm happy here now, but just got to be so a few weeks ago. You'll have to let me know what city you move to, so I can reminisce, and maybe give you good restaurant recommendations!
    1780 days ago
    hohoho... I am using a similar cocoa powder with basically 0 calories a spoon at night. I mix it with half a cup of water/half a cup of milk and heat it up...makes an excellent low calorie hot chocolate! Yes, this stuff is a great substitute for chocolate lovers!
    emoticon emoticon
    I would feel melancholic too to leave the shore...
    Good luck with the house hunting and great job during spin class! Impressive chart!
    1780 days ago
  • PROT358
    First off, I like that you shared the graphs and charts. Very interesting! And second, where has it been all my life? I love dark chocolate. And the ingredients look very friendly.

    1781 days ago
    That looks like Hershey's to me, not Nestles???? Or were you talking about a different one? Hershey's has had that out for awhile. Good choice for a snack!
    1781 days ago
    OOh! Yummy! Something I found that I think is delicious is the Jamba Smoothies. They're in the frozen food aisle and you mix them with 8 oz of apple juice. Each pack makes 2- 8 oz servings, but I drink them both because it's only 220 calories total I believe. I also add whey to it to make sure that I'm getting enough protein for the day. They have 2 servings of fruit per serving, so I get 4 servings of fruit for breakfast, plus my protein and it's really yummy.

    I'll keep my eye out for the Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder. Thanks for the info! emoticon
    1781 days ago
  • JENNJO322
    Where did you find the cocoa powder?
    1781 days ago
    Yes, I love cocoa powder! I add it to my homemade oat bars, and even to my greek yogurt sometimes. It isn't sweet, which is great, because a lot of the calories come from sugars and fat in regular chocolate. I have also mixed it with splenda and a little milk and added it to coffee. Like liquid gold I tell ya!

    I wish we could get the Hershey's cocoa tho.
    1781 days ago
    WOW! I am ordering that as we speak! Thanks for giving the heads-up, because I am a huge fan of dark chocolate, and I had no idea you could now get it in powder!
    1781 days ago
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