My Guilt-Free Chocolate Cake

Lordy!

Let me tell you about the pretty hefty slice of dark chocolate cake I ate last night.

It was freakin' delicious.

I savored every bite, allowing each morsel to linger on my tongue until it melted into heavenly goodness.

And I relished the experience without an ounce of guilt.

You see, eating with guilt can actually be more harmful to your body than the so-called bad or forbidden food you're eating.

When you feel guilty about what you're eating, your body goes into the stress response, which raises your cortisol level. Cortisol is a fat-storing hormone, and a big contributor to belly fat.

If you constantly feel guilty about what you eat or live in fear around food, your body is in a chronic state of stress and cortisol production. As a result, you may struggle with excess weight--and with receiving real pleasure from what's on your plate.

Deriving true pleasure from food is essential to your well-being--and your waistline. When you don't experience pleasure (because it's obscured by guilt), you'll reach for more food in search of satisfaction. You'll struggle with cravings, overeating and binge eating. Food becomes your enemy instead of a source of nourishment and joy.

When you slow down and savor every bite with presence and without guilt, your body shifts into the relaxation response, the optimal state for your natural appetite, metabolism, digestion and pleasure.

Here's wishing you a relaxed, nourishing and peaceful relationship with food--and a seriously good slice of cake every now and then.