I Went on a Chocolate Cleanse Diet for a Week and Here’s What Happened
Have you seen How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? I am quickly becoming the Andie Anderson of Brit + Co. In the movie, Andie works for a popular fashion publication and writes “how to” articles about life, relationships, fashion etc. After my major success on the Taco Cleanse Diet, the editorial team approached me about my next move. “No more vegetables, no more non-dairy diets, no more vegan.” Those were my rules. I thought I was off the hook, but then they brought up the chocolate cleanse diet — eating chocolate with every meal for an entire week. And I was a test subject yet again.
The Chocolate Cleanse Diet Challenge
Eat chocolate: All day, every day, every meal. Disclaimer: This is NOT actually a diet — not even a real cleanse. It is more like a lifestyle choice. I’m not following a book, or a nutritionist-designed meal plan. Just a girl looking for some answers around Valentine’s Day (lots of good chocolate options out there). But what if I ate chocolate for every meal? How would I feel? Would I experience mood swings or energy swings or WHAT? I need to get to the bottom of this. Challenge accepted.
Prepping for My Week Eating Chocolate With Every Meal
To get ready for my week of blissfully eating chocolate, I did a bit of prep work: checking in with coworkers on their thoughts and securing chocolate — large amounts of chocolate. Special thanks to Justin’s, Ciao Bella, Chocomize, Chuao Chocolatier, Scoutmob, Guelaguetza, Farm to People, The Invisible Chef and TCHO for playing the role of my suitors.
So what did my coworkers say?
– “Don’t die.” – Chris, Lead Photographer
– “If anyone at Brit + Co can do this, Victoria can.” – Francesca, Marketing Manager
– “But the taco cleanse is like a thing? Is this a thing?” – Marianne, Designer
– “It seems like a PMS pre-party to me.” – Erica, Director, Product Management
A Chocolate Expert Weighs In
Debra Music is the Chief Marketing Officer of Theo Chocolate, a Seattle-based chocolate company. She recently published a cookbook filled with chocolate recipes and has “been eating chocolate pretty much every day of her life for as long as she can remember.” Yum! Debra had some advice for me, but was mostly concerned about my endeavor.
VH: What are your initial thoughts about my “chocolate cleanse”? Are there any real concerns? (Besides cavities…)
DM: Well, believe it or not, the polyphenols in cocoa have anti-cariogenic properties (meaning they help prevent tooth decay!), though all of the sugar in most chocolate products is definitely bad for your teeth. That said, I strongly suggest that you choose some high cacao content chocolate bars with healthy inclusions (like Theo 85 percent with black rice and quinoa, or 70 percent with cherry and almonds) so that you make sure you get the health benefits of dark chocolate in addition to all of the yumminess!
VH: What’s your favorite thing about cooking with chocolate?
DM: I absolutely love the earthy, cocoa-y undertones dark chocolate or cocoa nibs can impart to a dish, without adding a lot of sweetness. Some of the most distinctive offerings in the Theo Chocolate cookbook are the savory recipes, because they illuminate new and healthy ways to bring chocolate into your diet!
VH: What’s the difference when creating a savory chocolate recipe? Can you misuse the ingredient?
DM: When creating a savory chocolate recipe, you are typically adding a layer of flavor complexity to the existing range of flavors. Since chocolate has a unique flavor, it’s hard to misuse it; it comes down to taste. It becomes tempting to put cocoa nibs in everything!
VH: Okay, enough research. Let’s eat chocolate already!
I wake up and it’s chocolate cleanse day! But all my chocolate is at work… home is a sad place with no food. Once at work, I eat a white chocolate bar with marshmallow cereal in it and it’s PRETTY GOOD. Actually… pretty sweet. It’s only 9:30am and this is the childhood dream — candy for breakfast — but I don’t think this is sustainable.
On this Monday, I took a chocolate photo shoot featuring all the gifts from my many suitors. I love you all. During photo shoot, the Ciao Bella gelato ice cream sammies start to melt! I make a real sacrifice by eating one at 10:30AM. No regrets. I am surrounded by chocolate and I like it.
I start crashing around 1pm, so it’s time for my next meal, aka my next dose of chocolate. I make PB+J using chocolate + raspberry jelly from Jam Lab, delivered by Farm to People. It’s GOOD, man. Better than a normal PB+J.
It’s about 3pm and I am fueled by chocolate and Sia, but starting to crash again. Time to try the chocolate whiskey truffles. Yup, I taste the whiskey. Woof.
I offer chocolate to my coworker who sits next to me because I am a kind-hearted, benevolent person who wants to bring chocolate joy to everyone’s lives. Little do I know… he’s on the whole-30 diet. Sucks for him. Advice to readers: Don’t do that diet, do my diet.
Dinner consists of grilled chicken breast with Bunches & Bunches’ chocolate mole sauce. My autocorrect likes to change mole to moles so that’s fun to tell people. “I’m eating chicken with moles!” I am so glad for some protein. Really though… have I ever made a better dinner? Doubtful. Very doubtful. Also, I place a square of TCHO chocolate on my pillow and I enjoy it right before bed. Yes, I’m living the high life.
Wake up. Excited. Let’s go, day two! I bought delicious strawberries at the grocery store this weekend, and I pair them with chocolate squares and some yogurt. The flavor combos kind of clash, but my senses are definitely awake and I’m ready for the day. I think there’s an extra pep in my step as I walk to work… in the rain! I shouldn’t be this joyful, but a coworker even comments on my “healthy glow.” It’s the chocolate. For sure.
I snack on chocolate throughout the day, but should’ve planned better for lunch. I just eat chocolate bars, and I’m left feeling very hungry. Start to crash. Eat some chocolate. Get distracted? Walk around and eat more chocolate. I don’t know what I’m listening to Spotify anymore… probably just Sia on repeat. Did I get any work done on this day? (JK… Of course I did, Francesca, if you’re reading this…)
For dinner, I meet up with my roommate for dinner (at a steakhouse, her treat!). I might steal a few bites of her food because I need a little something savory, but my main course consists of a brownie sundae topped with peanut butter crunch ice cream. Sad about not getting steak, but okay… This is a HUGE INDULGENCE. So rich, so much chocolate, the ice cream even has mini chocolate peanut butter cups in it. I’m suffering from a sugar coma. Wowowowow.
Wake up, eat chocolate. Come to work, eat Cocoa Puffs. By 11am, I need another dose of sugar. More chocolate. I think some coworkers are worried about my lack of fruits + vegetables. Their worry is well placed. Plan for lunch? Chocolate croissant. Honestly, I think you can lose weight on this cleanse because I’m OUT OF CHOCOLATE SNACKS. GAHHHH.
This chocolate croissant is awesome. Starbucks, you really delivered. Throughout the afternoon, I go pretty heavy on the chocolate bars and the Justin’s peanut butter cups. As a result, I become the most hyper physical being in our office. Energetic office dogs have NOTHING on me. I experience exhilaration and pure joy, and my coworkers are amazed at my productivity. Happiness levels are high. I’m sharing my chocolate with everyone. This is a diet is about love + joy. But I’m also sassy — I should be watching Bravo TV right now.
For dinner, I make chili (or attempt to) featuring the mole sauce. It’s fine, but mostly I just snack on little chocolate squares and watch a Netflix movie. This feels so right.
After the success of yesterday’s chocolate croissant, I order another for breakfast! I’m on cloud nine. I get to work and today is research day. I’m trying every chocolate bar in my box. It’s similar to wine tasting (which I have more talent at).
First, I try Tcho’s dark chocolate (Peru 68 percent cacao) first, to go light on my palate and then descend into heavier notes + flavors. The fruity note is there at the end and helps keep the dark chocolate from becoming too overwhelming. I really enjoy this (and I’m not an avid dark chocolate fan).
Next up is Tcho Dark Chocolate (Madagascar 67 percent cacao), which has light and “bright” notes similar to the fruity square, but there’s a light lingering note at the end. It’s not fruity, more like sunshine on a spring day. Almost like a slight citrus… but no, that’s wrong. I can’t place it, but it’s great.
I dive into Tcho Dark Chocolate (Ecuador 65 percent cacao) and… do detect a nutty scent? It definitely smells different from the fruit square. Oh yeah, it definitely tastes nutty. Seems a bit more robust than the other squares.
Finally, I take on Tcho Dark Chocolate (Ghana 70 percent cacao). My process has been: Smell the chocolate. Break off a piece and let the flavors linger. Then eat the rest. I know I’m going to like this one the least. And yup, I do. Too dark. So much cacao, WOW.
For dinner, I need protein again so I bust out the Guelaguetza mole sauce and cover some chicken. I want to dip everything in mole sauce so I try some celery sticks and broccoli (See! Greens!), but is it a successful pairing? Eh… not so much.
Day five and feeling alive! BUT… I am ready for the end. My earlier hypothesis was correct. This is not sustainable. For breakfast, I whip up scrambled eggs that I pair with… wait for it… chocolate-covered bacon from Chocomize. Is it as amazing as it sounds? YES. There’s really no way this could’ve been a wrong invention.
During the work day, I eat my way through the remainder of chocolate bars. I have five different Chuao bars and must pick a favorite: bacon vs. s’mores vs. cinnamon cereal vs. popcorn vs. potato chip vs. rocky road. I think someone stole one though…
The whole day is a series of hyper energy spurts and then near crashes. I attend happy hour and one drink goes a long way. By dinner, I am about to call it quits and get some pizza. Or Thai food because that’s what my pals are nomming on. Instead, I make a salad with some cacao nibs plus chocolate-basalmic dressing. Note to self: I should’ve added salad into the diet earlier in the week. I pair the salad with chocolate mint brownies and call it a week. Well, I still eat the chocolate square that I placed on my pillow, but then, finally, the diet is concluded.
Chocolate filled me with great joy, intense bursts of energy and loads of positive endorphins. But the energy crashes were very real, and I would get a bit somber (or emo per my roommate’s observation) when I went a few hours without chocolate. Overall, I would do it again. I think I have created a more refined chocolate palate, gained a greater appreciation for dark chocolate in particular and increased my personal threshold for chocolate consumption. Proof: It’s two weeks post-chocolate cleanse and today, I ate 10 mini peanut butter cups while writing this post. Chocolate = forever bae.
Would you eat chocolate for every meal? Tweet us at @BritandCo and let us know!