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By Rhonda K. Elpers


I know what you're thinking. I know because I used to think the same thing. Low-carb? Chocolate? Coffee? No way, right? Wrong.  
I have lived most of my life doing every unhealthy thing you can imagine; smoking, drinking coffee, eating chocolate (and other things). I am not a "health nut" or exercise guru. Heck, if you had told me 2 months ago that I would be hailing the virtues of low-carb eating and a sugar free life, I would've thought you were nuts. My friends would've thought you were nuts. My family - everyone who's ever had to refill the sugar bowl after I left their house would've said you're nuts. I was the ultimate coffee, sugar, and chocoholic. (I still haven't quit smoking but it's next on my list)  
Now, after 6 weeks on low-carb eating, and 20 pounds less of me to cart around, I am the staunchest of supporters in a low-carb lifestyle. But have I lost my love and desire for coffee and chocolate? Of course not! Where there's a will, there's a way, and I've found wonderful low-carb substitutes for just about everything my heart desires, including chocolate and coffee.  
First, a note about how I gave up sugar. In one word; Splenda. Splenda is a fairly new sugar substitute, made from real sugar, tastes like real sugar and has no calories or carbs. Splenda is the ONLY reason that I've been able to remove sugar from my life. Many of the recipes below use Splenda as the sweetener. In baking, Splenda is virtually identical to sugar. Splenda does not raise insulin levels like aspartame can, and is stable in heat, which makes it a better choice to cook with. Aspartame is NOT stable when heated. I've removed sugar from nearly everything in my house and my whole family is happy with the taste.

Splenda Link

Splenda can be found at your grocery store, or you can order online.

I did not give up my coffee right away. No, I hung onto my coffee like a life raft in the stormy, stressful sea of life. Two days ago I switched to decaf. Sure, the first pot was a mix of fully leaded and decaf, but I finally made it all the way to decaf. A couple of things helped me get there. First, the wonderful decaf flavors that are now available in my grocery store in the Millstone Coffee area. I bought some plain Columbian and a bag of Vanilla Nut Cream. The Vanilla Nut Cream is absolutely divine, and the smell wafting through the house is wonderful.

Millstone Coffee can be found at your grocery store and most Super Wal-Marts.


The second thing that helped me, was the arrival of my DaVinci Sugar-free Flavored Syrups. To my surprise, they had a vanilla flavor in the grocery store with the Millstone coffee. I had already ordered two bottles from the DaVinci Gourmet website (English Toffee and Chocolate). DaVinci Gourmet sugar-free syrups are also made with Splenda. These syrups are not thick like pancake syrup, but more like the flavor syrup you see being used in SnoCones. A couple of spoonfuls of this flavorful syrup turns my plain decaf into a rich mocha or Toffee Coffee delight.

Davinci Gourmet Sugar-free syrups can be found at most low-carb product sites, health food stores and a limited selection in Super Wal-Marts or at the Davinci Gourmet site linked above.


As I type this very article, I am munching on a new found low-carb wonder. Chocolate covered coffee beans purchased from Low Carb Connoisseur. The chocolate is made with Malitol (another sweetener) and tastes just like the "real" thing, but Malitol can cause stomach upset if too much is eaten at once, so beware. A little goes a long way.

You can go directly to Low Carb Connoisseur products, or through the Delphi forum

One of my first ventures into the low-carb chocolate arena was to try a recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake. It was perfect. The recipe (along with MANY others) is at a website called Low Carb Luxury. This woman is my hero. In the process of losing over 100 pounds on a low carb plan, she also has tested and recommended many delicious low-carb recipes and products. She and her husband test many recipes every week and try new low-carb products. They only post and recommend those that meet their taste standards. Thank the chocolate gods for this woman and her husband, the taste tester. Try their frozen coffee dessert , or even Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream!

Need to make
cookies for Christmas or other holidays" No problem. Candy? No problem.

I highly recommend this site for great recipes, not only for treats, but for main dishes, as well

I would never have made it through my first month of low-carbing without the support of many experienced and new low-carbers on two Delphi forums. Not only have they given me support and advice, but also some of the best recipes! The two forums are Low-Carb Connoiseur and Living Low Carb. Low Carb-Connoiseur is a great support network, especially for those just starting out. The host, Falla, is always there to help with menus, ideas, and sound, conservative advice. The Living Low Carb forum was started by one of the regulars on Low Carb Connoiseur as a place for more experienced low-carbers to discuss low-carb as a lifetime commitment. Loveriot is a great source for current research on living a low-carb lifestyle and the health and medical communities latest findings on low carb eating and it's affects on weight control, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and other sugar related illnesses.  
One of the more interesting recipes to come from one of the forum members recently is for low-carb peanut butter cups. I've heard that it's hard to eat just one. I haven't made them myself, yet, but they are definitely on the list.

1 stick unsalted butter
4 T. Peanut Butter
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
8 pkts. Splenda

Melt butter & chocolate (I did this in microwave), stirring constantly till melted. Add peanut butter and splenda and do same. Once liquid, spoon carefully into paper lined muffin tins.
I used the miniature tin, made 12 full size, original recipe used regular sized and only filled 1/4 way. Place in freezer.
Only 2 Carbs per serving, less if using liquid Splenda. I also used sugar free peanut butter and original recipe didn't so I'm sure the carbs are less than 2.

How about a single serving of chocolate mousse?

Blend a mixture of 2 ounces cream cheese, about 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of cocoa, and 2 packets of Splenda.

What about some chocolate cream cheese brownies?

Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies Oven 375' 25-30 min
1 6 oc pkg semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (108 gr carbs)
(May have to rethink this ingredient!)
2 Tbsp Butter (0 carbs)
3/4 C all-purpose flour (66 gr carbs)
3/4 tsp baking pwdr (? )
3 eggs (2 gr carbs)
2 tsp vanilla (? )
1 1/2 c Splenda (60? gr carbs?)
1/2 c chopped walnuts (17 gr carbs)
5 oz cream cheese, softened (5 gr carbs)
1 beaten egg (1 gr carb)

Grease & lightly flour 8x8x2" baking dish. Melt choc chips, butter & 1 oz cr cheese. In a mixer bowl beat 3 eggs & 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla & 1 cup of the sugar. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture until well combined. Stir in chocolate mixture and nuts.
Spread HALF of this mixture in the baking dish.
Beat 1 egg, add 4 oz cream cheese, 1/2 tsp vanilla & 1/2 c splenda beating well. Pour over the chocolate mixture in pan.
Top with the remaining chocolate mixture. Swirl layers to marble.
Bake at 375' for 25-30 minutes. Cool and cut into 16 pieces.
Total carb count is approx 260 or 16-17 for a piece 1/16th or 22 for a piece if cut into 12.

These recipes can all be found in the recipe folder of the Low Carb Connoisseur forum, plus many, many more!
If you're serious about living a low-carb lifestyle, you do have to keep in mind that these are "once in a while treats", not a daily food. If you're in the Induction phase of Atkins, these are off limits, but can be added as an occasional treat in later phases.

Yes, you can live low-carb and still be a Chocolate and coffee lover! Enjoy!

About The Author
Rhonda K. Elpers spends a good amount of time in the CocoaJava Forum among her many forum haunts, and has helped other CocoaJava readers in understand her viewpoints on diet and nutrition. If you would enjoy a conversation with her, please feel free to speak up in the forum.