Whenever I eat something, I always try to make sure I get some sort of bang for my buck from the foods that make it into my mouth - even indulgences. High calorie, sweet or decadent treats can have good-for-you qualities, you just have to know where to look.

Chocolate and wine seem to go hand in hand. The thing that makes them so great to me is that they can be really healthy! A little bit of these two indulgences can go a long way, so nibbling on some chocolate or enjoying a little bit of wine most days can do your body good. Chocolate and wine are truly functional foods. Pair them with other functional foods, like strawberries and almonds and you've got a powerhouse of nutrition. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Strawberries are a great source of antioxidants, and an excellent source of vitamin C as well.  Dip in some dark chocolate (shoot for 70%+) and you've got a healthy but decadent powerhouse. TIP: if you're making chocolate covered strawberries at home, double boil the chocolate, and add a little coconut oil in when melting. Lay them out onto parchment paper to cool...and voila! Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride, which converts to energy faster than any other fat! 

Serving Size:
2 to 3 big strawberries 
Total Calories: 90 to 150 (depending on size) 

Red Wine
A new study just showed that a good size glass of red wine has enough tumor-fighting compounds to help deter bowel cancer. Red wine consumption has also been linked to reducing the risk of breast cancer as well as forms of dementia. The compound, resveratrol, is key in making this happen. There is no need to down a bottle to get the benefits. The bowel cancer study showed that 5 grams, or about one glass, was enough to make a difference.  TIP: Pinot noir has the highest levels of resveratrol

Serving Size: 1 glass
Total Calories: About 150

Chocolate-Covered Almonds (homemade)
Chocolate is back again! Instead of buying a container of chocolate covered raw almonds from the store, why not make your own. It's easy and much healthier. Melt dark chocolate, add a little coconut oil (about 1 tbsp). Add almonds to the melted chocolate (about one handful at a time), cover with chocolate, remove with a slotted spoon allowing excess chocolate to drip off, and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, K and B2. TIP: buy and the skin is full of body-loving flavonols

Love sweet + savory? Sprinkle a little coarse sea salt over the tops of the almonds before they've cooled completely. 

Serving Size: 1 small handful
Total Calories: About 210 


Want more tips like this? Traci D Mitchell is a healthy living and fitness expert. Follow Traci on Facebook. She’d love to see you there! Interested in working with Traci? She works privately with clients specializes in nutrition coaching and weight loss as well as functional fitness and personal training. All sessions are done via Skype or telephone if outside of Chicago. For more information, contact Traci here.

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