Monday, September 7, 2009

Chocolate Challenge- week 1 update!

Well, further to the challenge of only eating fair-trade chocolate for a month .... I have a few things to report!

I was pretty confident the actual chocolate wouldn't be an issue as I was prepared and armed with some good bars of Cocolo (!) and I was right, that wasn't a problem at all. Yes, I managed to eat both the milk and the dark orange chocolate perfectly fine LOL!

HOWEVER, there were a few little 'issues' I hadn't actually thought about......

For instance, the very first day, the first thing to pass my lips in the morning (as every morning) was my usual cup of milo. DOH! I didn't even realise until later in the day, then it dawned on me that of course milo has cocoa in it. Oh, dear - fell at the first post. Well never mind, I thought, at least my mind now connected it.

Which then made me realise, of course Cadburys drinking chocolate is off the menu. Not that I drink it (or very rarely) but I do treat myself to one really good cup of coffee a day (with this coffee machine I bought with Xmas money) and whats a cappucino without a dusting of choc on top? I have little salt and pepper shakers on top of my machine, filled with drinking chocolate and cinnamon, just for my coffees. Indulgent? Yep, maybe, but thats my daily treat to myself. So, now its a coffee, but hold off on the chocolate dusting.

My third issue of the week happened when I took my children to playgroup, and had to pass on the fine looking homemade slice with my tea, because it had chocolate in it. OK, my will to succeed wavered a little then. Luckily I wasn't alone, Xena who is taking the challenge too, also passed on the cake and we had a good discussion amongst the mums that day. Talking about important issues -not a bad thing I think.

And my last test for the week was yesterday, at a friend's son's birthday party. We had a lovely time down at Wascoe Siding, with loads of miniature steam trains keeping everyone happy. I watched anxiously as she cut the cake ..... yes, of course, chocolate. Luckily my lovely friend knows about my chocolate challenge, although I still felt a bit bad not having a piece of birthday cake. I had made a lemon and coconut cake so joined in with that instead.

Am I being too strict? Maybe, but -its difficult to justify the indulgences if people have to suffer so I can have sprinkly chocolate on my coffee. When I think about it that way it seems ridiculous to complain about it.

So onto week 2 a little wiser! The fact that I have become more aware already is good enough reason to keep on with this.

By the way, I haven't thrown any other chocolate products out. My cupboard still has the drinking chocolate, milo and choc chips in it. I am not sure yet, but I think I will use them up once the challenge is over and then replace them with fair trade products. My reasoning is firstly that they have already been bought, throwing them out would be wasteful (which I am really against) but also it seems worse, even insulting, if someone has suffered in the making of these for me to buy them and then throw them in the bin without even using them.
Any thoughts?

Oh, and I have to give a big, very honourable mention to my amazing mother, who stunned me this week by casually revealing that she ALWAYS buys fair trade chocolate and herbal tea. I had no idea! OK, in my defence, she lives in England, its not like I see her pantry shelves every week! The shops there have many more fair-trade products in the general supermarkets, even clothes. Good on ya mum!!!



Xena said...

That's alright I made a cake that I promised Jazynthe and Brian yesturday. What cake a indulgent chocolate cake.I couldn't even lick my fingers that got some of the cream cheese and chocolate frosting on them. Or my favourite part lick the beaters.

dixiebelle said...

Great work... I am just blogging about the first week now, and think I too am going into week 2 wiser. I am, however, trying to use up my products as I go, so when I get to the last week, I can hopefully continue on, only buying Guilt Free chocolate products! Hmm, we'll see... good luck for week 2!

Eilleen said...

Well done on your week 1!! When I switched to fairtrade choc (and coffee) only I found the same thing as you - more aware of the "little" chocolate things - like cake, sprinkling on top of coffee, biscuits with a bit of chocolate in them etc etc.

Here's to an easier 2nd week! (and yes, it does get easier.)

Lee said...

Hi - I've had to think about a few things on this too. My husband bought some liquer cherry chocolates (yum) and I can't have any - I've saved one, and it is sitting in the pantry until the end of the month.

Drinking chocolate isn't an issue, as I'm only drinking water for a year, but chocolate cake is off the menu too, as I can't guarantee where the chocolate came from.

But, as you suggest, it's good in a way, because this challenge is encouraging us to think about where our food comes from.

dixiebelle said...

I am going to try finely grating the FT chocolate block into a powder to use for hot chocolate... though coming into the warmer weather, I don't really drink them anyways!