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It’s no secret that I love chocolate … because I have something sweet every single night, dark chocolate is often in the rotation.  It tastes so decadent, a little goes a long way, and it’s a great way to treat myself!  treat yourself!(picture source)

Luckily for me given my treat of choice, chocolate has some pretty awesome health benefits:

I could go on and on … there are TONS of benefits, and these studies showed real results.  Basically, it comes down to the fact that cocoa beans are loaded with antioxidants (the same powerful compounds that make fruits and veggies so good for you!).  In fact, a serving of pure dark chocolate has even more antioxidants than a serving of acai juice, which is often called a “superfood” for its antioxidant content.

However … before you rush off to consume every morsel of chocolate in sight, let me put things into perspective a bit.

  1. First, in all these studies, benefits were observed, but it was not proven that chocolate CAUSED the benefits.
  2. Second, any benefits are great, but they’re likely on a small scale … just having a bite of chocolate every night will not make you Superman or Superwoman. (Bummer!)
  3. Third, like so many things, moderation is key – chocolate can be part of a healthy diet, but you can’t consume 10 chocolate bars per day and call yourself healthy!
  4. Finally, MOST commercially prepared chocolate is LOADED with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and all kinds of artificial ingredients.

nellys logo And that brings me to my next point!  A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Marketing Director of a small mom-and-pop company called Nelly’s Energy Truffle Bars.  She said that the company was producing a line of 100% organic, vegan, gluten-free, superfood chocolate bars.  The bars are handmade in small batches, and are made using fair-trade ingredients, sustainable farming practices, and ethical treatment of people and animals.  The Energy Truffle Bars are made with nutrient-dense ingredients that I can recognize, and have no preservatives, artificial flavorings, or high fructose corn syrup.

WOW!  I think my email to Kevin telling him about this was something like “this company sounds like my version of heaven!!”  I was so excited to try the Energy Truffle Bars that I had my mom check my house for the delivery multiple times since I was out of town for work.  (Thanks, Mom!)  I was very excited when I finally arrived to see this cute package of 6 Energy Truffle Bars. cute package

I got to try the Goji berry, double chocolate, coconut, mint chlorella, and peanut butter flavors.nellys energy truffles assortment

They were delicious!!  I loved the combination of flavors that Nelly’s selected, and opening each one was a special surprise!  If I had to choose just one, it would be a tough decision between the double chocolate and the mint chlorella, both of which tasted pure, rich, and decadent.  But the coconut was also a favorite of mine because it was so refreshing and different.  What I really liked was that these tasted like “real food,” not like processed junk.  And I could feel good about eating them as a treat, because I knew the quality of the ingredients was high. coconut bar and saying

Of course, the tougher taste tester in the house was the Reese’s devotee himself, and I’m not surprised when he said it didn’t taste like the “real thing.”  He liked the mint chlorella the most by far, and his second choice was the peanut butter.  He wasn’t a fan of the texture of the coconut bar. kevin with nelly's

So how can YOU get in on the action?  Well, if you’re in Southern California, you can find Nelly’s at Whole Foods, Lassen’s, and some health food stores.  For the rest of us, you can check out Nelly’s Energy Truffle Bars on Facebook, on their website, or on their Kickstarter page (they are currently trying to raise money so they can expand distribution, because they do EVERYTHING by hand right now!

Or, you can enter my giveawayTwo lucky winners will each receive 3 Energy Truffle Bars, mailed directly from California in a climate-controlled box.  All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter plug-in below (you have not entered until you’ve clicked the green +1 buttons!).  Giveaway will be open until Tuesday 10/15/13 at 11:59pm CT, and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday’s post.  Due to the need for refrigeration, this giveaway is open to U.S. recipients only – sorry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Although I have previously been the one reaching out to companies, Nelly’s contacted me directly and offered me 6 Energy Truffle Bars, plus 6 to give away to you, for free.  I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. I actually chose to donate a very small portion of my own money to their campaign, since I like supporting start-up businesses whose mission I believe in!)

So tell me in the comments … Which flavor sounds best to you?  How do you “treat yourself”?

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38 Comments

  1. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on October 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I think peanut butter looks the best to me! But all chocolate is good chocolate 🙂 I usually treat myself with frozen yogurt – but chocolate is right up there too!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted…Five Things Friday – 10/11/2013My Profile

  2. Clara @ Southern Thintellect on October 11, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Chocolate is the best treat ever, I have a special weakness for Reeses’ PB cups 🙂

    So cool that these guys reached out to you! All of their flavors sound delicious, but I’m really intrigued by Mint Chlorella… to be honest I’ve never even heard of the word ‘Chorella’ (must google asap).
    Clara @ Southern Thintellect recently posted…Spicy Beef Spaghetti Squash & AvocadoMy Profile

    • Clara @ Southern Thintellect on October 11, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Ahhhh… interesting! Chlorella: a common single-celled green alga of both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, frequently turning stagnant water an opaque green.
      Clara @ Southern Thintellect recently posted…Spicy Beef Spaghetti Squash & AvocadoMy Profile

      • Megan Lyons on October 11, 2013 at 8:38 am

        Yes, Clara!! Chlorella and spirulina are some of the most potent superfoods out there (tons of antioxidants). I have some spirulina powder but it tastes and smells SOOO strong in a not-so-good way. So, I was almost scared to try the Mint Chlorella chocolate bars … but you couldn’t taste the chlorella at all, and they were delicious!

  3. Kerry@The Adventures of Z & K on October 11, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Mmmmm, chocolate. I’d have to go with the coconut variety as I’m on quite a coconut kick recently. I treat myself with chocolate too. Z and I will splurge and get the real good stuff. You can taste the quality!
    Kerry@The Adventures of Z & K recently posted…Five Things Friday [10/11]: Motivational Quotes I LoveMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on October 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

      I agree that you can taste the quality, and another benefit is that in higher-quality chocolate, there is usually less of the stuff you don’t want (preservatives, lots of added sugar, strange flavorings or chemicals). Yum!

  4. Gary on October 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Meg: I was just about to embark on my first upper body workout as scripted in your blog earlier this week, when ths chocolate info arrived! I cancelled the workout, just finished my two pound box of chocolates and am now washing them down with a couple of bottles of wine! I can’t wait for tomorrow’s blog, (or heart attack!). 🙂

    • Megan Lyons on October 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Haha, Gary, I forgot to tell you to do the workout BEFORE the chocolate and wine :).

  5. Karen on October 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I’d love to try the bars, but in the meantime, do dark chocolate covered almonds
    fit the “health bill ?” Also, give us a hint of a healthy reasonable
    amount……….ANY “green lights” can be dangerous for me. ::))

    • Megan Lyons on October 11, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Yes, I think dark chocolate covered almonds are a great treat! As long as there aren’t a ton of other ingredients, I say go for it! And, you know that my answer to an amount will be “it depends” :). It really does depend on your goals, your unique body (age, gender, so many other things), your activity level, what else you’re eating that day, etc. A standard recommendation is 1 ounce of dark chocolate per day, and I would agree that the “average” person should definitely stick with that amount or less. (Remember that your almonds have weight, too, so 1 ounce of chocolate-covered almonds isn’t an accurate gauge).

  6. Cori @ she's going the distance on October 11, 2013 at 10:50 am

    ooooh, dark chocolates are my fave!

  7. Katie on October 11, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I LOVE chocolate of all kinds, but especially dark chocolate! The double chocolate or the peanut butter look the best to me!

    • Megan Lyons on October 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      Me too :). It’s amazing that I used to hate dark chocolate and now I prefer it over milk chocolate!

  8. Nithya Anantharaman on October 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Chocolate is a major weakness of mine too! How do you feel about even the healthier dark chocolate varieties including ingredients like soy lecithin in their products?

    On a separate note, I’ve been making smoothies with banana, protein powder and raw cacao powder after a work out and it tastes just like chocolate milkshake!

    • Megan Lyons on October 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Hey Nithya! Sorry for the way-late reply! Soy lecithin is a tough one. First, good for you for noticing these things on the ingredients! The reason they add soy lecithin is to emulsify the chocolate. Have you ever left chocolate out in the heat and it got those lighter brown/ grayish streaks? That’s what emulsifiers are supposed to prevent. Anyway, many people choose to avoid soy lecithin because it’s very often genetically modified, and it’s generally a good, healthy thing to stay away from GMOs. (You can look for “organic soy lecithin” in the ingredients if this is your concern). Others avoid soy, either because of fears of estrogen or because of allergies, but I don’t worry about soy in small doses (I would prefer fermented soy products, but I don’t avoid “regular” soy because I don’t eat much of it, and I just don’t think it’s a big deal in small doses). Last, it’s artificial. Would I prefer to eat nothing artificial? Heck yes! I think that would be healthier overall. BUT, again, it’s just not a big enough deal (in my opinion) to worry too much about it. So, I guess the answer is that I would prefer chocolate without additives, but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t worry about consuming it. Hope that helps, even though it’s not really an “answer!”

  9. Allison on October 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I’d love to try the double chocolate, coconut or peanut butter!

  10. latanya on October 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    the coconut bar sounds good and I like to treat myself with some ice cream

  11. Janette on October 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I love to treat myself with something sweet, especially chocolate! I’d love to try the goji berry but they all sound tasty!

  12. Laurie on October 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Treating myself – toss up between chocolate, wine or a nice glass of scotch! These bars look amazing, I would try any of these flavors!

    • Megan Lyons on October 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      I’m totally with you on the chocolate and wine, Laurie, but I just can’t get into scotch! I think you’re just more sophisticated than me :). Happy Friday!

      • Laurie on October 12, 2013 at 6:42 am

        You are plenty sophisticated, my dear. Scotch just takes more time to get used to 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

  13. Nancy on October 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I think Double Chocolate would be my favorite.

    • Megan Lyons on October 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

      That’s a really good one, Nancy!

  14. Jordan D on October 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    The mint and the peanut butter both sound awesome!

  15. Arman @ thebigmansworld on October 12, 2013 at 4:04 am

    I think its considered racism your giveaway isn’t open to Australians 😉

    Just kidding! thanks for such an informative post about chocolate- I didn’t know the nitty gritty of it besides the taste- and what a great sounding company too- I love companies which base themselves on strong ethics!
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Off the cuff Fridays 11/10- Lean beef balls with a twistMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on October 12, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Haha, sorry, Arman! How about next time I have a giveaway for NON-US only?!? I’ll work on it!

  16. Cori @ olivetorun on October 12, 2013 at 9:57 am

    That banana oatmeal bar looks delish.
    Cori @ olivetorun recently posted…Struggle, Men in Suits, and Pumpkins: ConfessionsMy Profile

    • Megan Lyons on October 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Way to go for checking out the website! I agree, that one does look delish! I didn’t get to try it though!

  17. Barbie on October 12, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Chocolate is a weakness!

  18. RuthAnn D'Angelo on October 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I’m a very low income Vegan. I just got done being a 24/7 Care giver. I’m trying to get back in the “real world”. Food is VERY expensive. I love, love, love, Chocolate..

    • Megan Lyons on October 14, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      RuthAnn, I think it’s sad how food (especially healthier food) is very expensive. Hang in there!

  19. […] you entered my giveaway for Nelly’s Energy Truffles?  It closes tomorrow night!  Also check out my 7 Tips to Improve Your Running […]

  20. Jennifer K on October 14, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I agree with the other comments, chocolate IS the best treat! I’d honestly love to try all 5 of their bars, they all look absolutely delicious!

  21. Jennifer K on October 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Chocolate is my favorite treat. I’d love to try all 5 of those truffles they look incredible

  22. Allie on October 15, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I would love to try the coconut flavor since lately I have recently started expanding coconut into my diet! I love pretty much all chocolate but since sticking to a healthy diet I haven’t been able to enjoy as much, these bars look like awesome healthy alternate for a tasty treat! Love to try them!!:)

  23. Jordan on October 15, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    It’s a tough decision!! Coconut comes in first but mint is a very close second. =) I am totally digging on Quest bars lately for a ‘healthy treat’. I gravitate towards the coconut flavor or cookie dough. MMMMM.
    Jordan recently posted…Harley 110th Anniversary- MilwaukeeMy Profile

  24. […] weight loss, if that’s your goal), but it also reminds us to drink water, disconnect, eat chocolate and salmon, and exercise for mental health benefits.  What more could you ask for in one […]

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