Wine Over Chocolate

Wine, chocolate and coffee by Rob Qld

If all be true that I do think,
There are five good reasons we should drink:
Good wine – a friend – or being dry –
Or lest we should be by and by –
Or any other reason why.

Henry Aldrich, Five Reasons for Drinking, c. 1700

Here’s an odd thing – I have discovered I care more about wine than chocolate.

I mentioned yesterday that since losing weight, I’ve noticed a lot of changes in my thinking. This is definitely one of them. Before hopping on the journey to Smaller Pantsville, I would have told you that chocolate was my drug of choice – especially dark chocolate paired with mint. I don’t have a big sweet tooth for cakes and pastries, but mini Peppermint Patties rock my world.

As for wine, I like it; I am also quite fond of port, but I don’t drink it all that often. I might have have an open bottle of red on the counter and a bottle of port in the bar, but I don’t drink it every day. In fact, weeks can go by between one bottle’s demise and when I decide to open a new one. This is very different to how I feel about chocolate – if a bottle of wine is there at the end of the night, I might have a glass, but probably won’t. If there is an open box of Andes mints on my counter, those suckers are going down!

That was, until now. Since I have started calorie counting, chocolate has lost its pull. Usually I see it and think “Nah, not worth it.” Here’s what happens – it’s getting towards the end of the day. I think, “Hey, you’ve had a great day today. Why don’t you walk the dog for a few extra minutes, and tonight then have some chocolate?” I picture curling up on the couch with a glass of milk and a mini Patty or two and then… Nah. It isn’t worth it. I decide on a cup of herbal tea instead.

On other nights, I’ll get home and think, “Hey, it’s been a long day, but you are good on your goals. Why don’t you walk the dog for a few extra minutes, and tonight then have a glass of wine?” I picture curling up on the couch with a book and a glass of wine, and I think, “Totally. Let’s go pooch!”

Prior to this, I rarely turned down chocolate – of any kind. I probably had some every day since there is almost always some kind of candy around the office, but now it just doesn’t interest me. My coworker has a big bowl of malted Easter eggs on her desk and another one of Hershey’s miniatures, and they hold no temptation for me whatsoever. Even though I can actually have anything I want, (in limited quantities of course,) I haven’t walked by her desk.

I think there are two things going on here. The first is that a glass of wine means relaxation to me. I usually have it with friends or as a celebration, or even just to shake off a bad day. It is more than just fermented fruit juice. I still don’t want it every day but when I do want it, it’s usually for a reason. I can’t say the same about chocolate. The other thing is that the more plant based foods I eat, the less I want white sugar. I still like chocolate, but I don’t like what it does to my body. I don’t like the “sugar high” feeling I get. Also, the less of it that I eat, the more the sweetness seems far too intense. It’s just too much for my palate  Give me a bowl of strawberries or an orange instead.

Of course I am not giving up chocolate all together. I still have some Peppermint Patties from Christmas squirreled away. (What? That’s only a couple of months ago. Don’t judge.) And I suspect there will be special events and other reasons when chocolate sounds enticing. In the meantime, I like that my way of thinking has shifted a bit. It feels healthier. It also feels like I am in a place to make deliberate choices about what I really want – which is a great place to be.

Photo credit: Rob Qld

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