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Listen to your Body

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Lately all I’ve wanted are roasted veggies, with nary a salad craving in sight. I find it fascinating that my body automatically adjusts to the seasons. (Wow, I’m such a nerd.) Since it’s important to listen to your body, I’ve been roasting everything on which I can get my chocolate-covered hands: brussels sprouts, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, asparagus…

Last night’s dinner included an entire forest of roasted broccoli trees. (Did your mom call them “trees” too?)

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With garlic-y sautéed red peppers. I also had two slices of Rudi’s bread. I lightly toasted the bread, then poured the liquid from the sautéed peppers over the top. Ohmygosh sooooooooooo good! It made the toast all soft and soggy. Dreamy! (Can toast be dreamy?)

Summer or Winter, my body is always craving chocolate. So I engaged in some chocolate-covered nighttime snackage:


And the strawberries on the side threatened to take over the plate. But let’s go back to the chocolate for a sec: People often ask if eating chocolate at night keeps me awake, due to the caffeine. It doesn’t seem to, which is strange, considering how much coffee does affect me. If I drink coffee even around 3 or 4 pm, I’ll have a heck of a time falling asleep that night. Good thing coffee’s not really my cup of… errr coffee.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. If I drink coffee at night, it does keep me up, but I guess that’s normal! It doesn’t seem to bother me in the afternoon though. Tea doesn’t normally bother me either! I think working out in the evening keeps me up though!

  2. Ilana says:

    I used to never have a caffeine problem. I could drink coffee every day for months and then not drink a cup for days. Usually I was a cappuccino/latte girl. Now…I need a cup of coffee in the morning or I literally won’t function all day. It’s really bad, if I miss that cup of coffee I go through withdrawl, I get nauseous and headache-y… ugh. In fact I haven’t had my coffee yet today and I feel the headache coming on…

    I don’t think I have a problem like that with chocolate!

  3. tangyh says:

    Caffeine definitely affects me. When I wake up, my body screams, “GIVE ME COFFEE!!” I have two cups every morning and I’m not pleasant to be around if I don’t get my coffee 😉 I have made coffee later in the day because of a sudden coffee craving and I always have trouble getting to sleep at night if I do that! Now I try to just have some green tea when that happens–not sure on the caffeine in there but it doesn’t keep me wired! I don’t think chocolate keeps me up, either. If anything, it just has a soothing affect because it makes me happy!

  4. Anonymous says:

    hi katie,
    how do you roast your broccoli? thanx!

  5. Beth says:

    I drink coffee every day, but I try to steer clear of it in the afternoons. Even if it doesn’t physically keep me awake, I think I’d be aware of it and start freaking out a bit and my mind would keep my body up!

  6. Miho says:

    Caffine affects me. In the morning when I used to have ’em, it’d keep me going, but I stopped because it didn’t really seem “right” for me.
    For chocolate-wise, if I eat ’em between 5-7, I can’t fall asleep. :( But before that or a little bit in those time ranges is fine. :)

    That’s a cute way to call broccoli! That didn’t happen in my house :) And the strawberries look yummy, too! 😀 <3

  7. Fun fact for you:
    Despite public perception, milk chocolate contains relatively small amounts of caffeine – about the same as a cup of decaffeinated coffee. However, chocolate also contains theobromine, a relative of caffeine. Theobromine is much less powerful than caffeine.

  8. I can’t drink caffeine in after lunch! And it is really hard for me to even drink a cup of coffee for breakfast. My dad has anxiety, and of course, he passed it on to my sister and I! So, us threesome have never been too good on caffeine! But, I can eat chocolate at night-I actually think ti helps me fall asleep sometimes! I’ve read that chocolate only has a small amount of caffeine, and that it has something in it that might even help insomnia…can’t remember where i read that…

  9. Lisa says:

    Yum yum! Your dinner looks so good and healthy. I love your idea for the “soggy toast” and will be trying it for sure!

  10. Barbara says:

    Love my coffee! Need it in the morning, but caffeine, in general, never keeps me from slumber. What does provide for sleepless nights is a bolus of simple carbs/sugar at night. I’m restless, tachycardic, and cannot sleep at all. Hmmm, you would think I would learn my lesson.

  11. I love caffeine. Well, I should say I love coffee. So every time any study comes out supporting its consumption I do a little happy dance.

    But I tend not to pay much attention to studies…they contradict each other too much. :)

    1. LOL I agree! One day, it’s “caffeine causes Alzheimer’s.” The next day, it’s “Caffeine wards off Alzheimer’s!” It seems to just be best to not stress about it, ’cause the stress’ll be worse for your health!

  12. Yin says:

    Dinner looks amazing!

    When I started drinking coffee I was really addicted to it, having at least one cup a day which led to two then three. I try to drink less now and most days I don’t even have any since my house only has instant and I can’t stand the taste of it anymore. Caffeine doesn’t affect me that much but I try to have it before noon so I don’t feel the effects of it at night. Caffeine in chocolate doesn’t affect me either, strange!

  13. Luckily for me, I don’t really like to drink anything but water! When I do have the occasional latte or something though, it has me buzzing around all day. I like that it gives me energy, but I don’t like feeling jittery. I try and steer clear of it for the most part!

  14. Jennifer - jcd says:

    Oooh, roasted broccoli!! Looks great. I never thought to roast broccoli, but I’ll do so tonight. And roasted brussels sprouts are so good, aren’t they? Someone told me they taste like popcorn. Mmmm… delicious.

    No coffee here. I detest the taste. Caffeine has a huge affect on me though. Two cups of tea after 17.00 and I’ll have a terrible sleep; tossing and turning and waking up all night long. Chocolate doesn’t do that as much. If I have a cup of hot cocoa before bed it will keep me awake for an hour and that’s it, but regular chocolate doesn’t affect me at all. Odd, but I’m not complaining.

    Today’s forecast: SNOW! It looks like Christmas already up here.

    Oh, and you’ve mentioned your dislike of avocados multiple times. Have you ever tried avocado chocolate pudding? It’s so creamy and delicious and doesn’t taste like avocado!

    1. LOL snow?!? We’re going for a record 90 degrees F today! I think by this time last year, I’d put away my shorts for good. Oh wait, no I didn’t. I pulled them out the day before Christmas Eve, when it got up to 86… then the next day, it dropped to 30 and snowed four inches!

      I haven’t tried avocado pudding… it’s on my very-very-long list of things to try!

  15. Tori says:

    Neither on it’s own, but I ate some chocolate coffered coffee beans one afternoon and was up most of the night! Haha!

  16. i ate a vegan GF chocolate brownie last night and had the strangest dreams ever! i think i’ll keep my chocolate consumption during the day ;p

  17. radioactivegan says:

    I am definitely making roasted broccoli for dinner tonight. That looks SO good.

    I can drink insane amounts of coffee. My brother and I started early, so I think we’re both pretty immune to the caffeine part of it, but I love the way it tastes. Also, my office mates (seven guys) keep the room pretty cool, so I use it to not get hypothermia at work! My favorite coffee-related thing to say is: I like my coffee like I like my men — Dark and bitter. 😉

    1. Ugh I do that with hot water to get/stay warm… but then I feel even colder after I’m done drinking it :(.

  18. mmmmm yum eats!

    I plug into my caffeine drip and unplug about 5 (okay sometimes after work I have a cup too.

    I’ve tried life off the cup. I don’t like it.
    ( I actually only drink about 3 or less cups a day.) but I love it.

    and yes, if I drink anything (even chocolate) after say 6…forget trying to get to sleep.
    no good.

  19. Haha I love this! I always think in my head “gosh I’m nerdy” because I find the body and the brain to be so interesting!

    Trying to feed yourself, say, a bowl of beans and rice when you really want cereal does not work for me. So I make sure to ask myself what it is that I want to eat at each meal. I’m really surprised how many people don’t do this!

    I live for my 2 cups of coffee in the morning. I am a cranky nasty pants without it. But I can’t drink it in the afternoon or, like you, I’m up all night!

    Oh yeah, and chocolate is TOTALLY a year round thang ; )

  20. Valerie says:

    I had to give up coffee when I first got pregnant. It was SO hard! But then I got so used to it that I didn’t even go back after I had my first child. That certainly made it easier the second time around!

  21. I have an extraordinarily high tolerance for stimulants, and it takes A LOT to get me going. Chocolate doesn’t do a thing. Well, except it tastes good! I make really, really strong coffee and I drink at least two cups every morning…sometimes more in the afternoon. I also pair that with iced green tea in the morning. But even after all that caffeine, I can lay my head on a pillow at any time and totally crash. If I don’t have my caffeine though, I cannot function…in fact, if I don’t have my caffeine, I kinda wanna die. Yep, I have a problem. But I don’t even care. It’s a habit I’m not planning to quit….like ever.

  22. MiSo says:

    I like coffee but I’don’t drink too much, only one after lunch! I’m italian so I’m going crazy for espresso 😉

  23. abby says:

    as usual, i want your meals! come be my personal chef! pleeeeaase???

  24. emma says:

    Hi Sweetie!
    Just wanted to drop by and say hi! I’m loving reading your blog. You seem like such a sweetheart :-) Hmmmm….kinda craving broccoli now! Hugs from the UK XOXO

    1. Emma! You are SO sweet!!! Sweeter than chocolate! hehehe :)

  25. Albizia says:

    I absolutely love the smell of coffee but me + caffeine = a really, really bad combination. After a cup of coffee my heart beats like crazy, my hands shake and I can’t sleep at least for a night (or 2 nights if the coffee is strong). Plus I move like cheetah on steroids 😀 . That’s why I don’t drink coffee more than once a year. But I like putting some granules of instant coffee in many of the desserts I prepare – enough to get the wonderful flavor but not to cause any side effects. Luckily, chocolate doesn’t do this.

    I like tomorrow’s forecast almost as much as I like broccoli 😛

    1. Hmmm, only “almost” as much as broccoli? Perhaps I’ll have to make some broccoli cupcakes then!
      On second thought, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea… broccoli + nutritional yeast + muffin = good?

      1. Albizia says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out really good. Savory Muffins? Why not :) . I think I would eat broccoli in any form. But I’m still waiting to see what kind of cupcakes you are going to offer.

  26. Maria says:

    Snap, I love the way my body tells me what it needs. If i’m craving pasta I know I need more carbs and so on. Such a great feeling to listen to your body. And chocolate, yum! I nearly always crave it in the winter, maybe it just reminds me of hot chocolate with my family :) xxx

  27. Raychel says:

    I’ve never really liked/needed coffee. When people ask how I have enough energy to get up and go about my busy day, I always say “I’m high on life.” :)

  28. Not a fan of coffee – love chocolate though. 😛 Hope you are having a great day Katie!

  29. I can drink coffee and go immediately to bed. Combination of high caffeine tolerance and lack of sleep. When I was your age, not the case :) Now…well, I can sleep anywhere and at any time, caffeine or not. However, I do notice if I have caffeine within 3 hrs or so of going to bed, I am restless that nite. But I still sleep :)

  30. I’m the same as Averie; I can finish my coffee and go straight to bed and be fine… have never been affected by chocolate either which is lucky :-)
    And with the flavoured coffees I’ve just discovered (chocolate caramel and hazelnut *drool*) it’s an added bonus!
    I’m also roasting veg for England at the moment; can’t get enough… I usually steam the broccoli (I’m glad to see someone else eats as much of it as I do!) but might just try roasting that too, thanks!

    1. I think if chocolate DID affect me, I’d have to eat it anyway! 😉

  31. I had to give up caffeine because I was getting so many migraines. But when I did drink it, I had built up such a tolerance to it that I could drink some coffee or soda right before bed and it wouldn’t bother me at all.

  32. I drink coffee and caffeine doesn’t seem to affect me at all. I gave it up for a month just to make sure and I felt exactly the same. I just drink coffee because it’s delicious and I love it!

    And hollaaaa to roasted veggies, my fave food in the world :)

  33. Loving the broccoli! it seems I’m craving it for months, but sure do not mind ;D

    I don’t drink coffee and rarely drink tea but do sometimes drink soda. A while I go I was super tired and knew I had to stay awake during a training day so I drank 3 cups of coffee… well.. I didn NOT sleep that night and learned my lesson. Coffee is not my thing.. the only exception is while being on holiday abroad. I’m obsessed with Starbucks!

  34. Amy says:

    I do not drink coffee and I never have.

    So many people I know are hooked on it, which discourages me from trying it.

    I don’t feel like I should be dependent on any substance. I make a conscious decision not to have any “bad” habits like that.

    I don’t think the caffeine in chocolate affects me, but I am really not sure. You have to make some sacrifices when it comes to chocolate. It means well.

  35. I used to drink coffee every morning of my senior year in high school until I realized how addicted I got to it! A few hours after I drank the coffee I would get a terrible head ache and eventually either drink more coffee or just crash.

    I do love the taste of it though. Now, if I drink coffee or any coffee beverage I make sure it’s around 3:00PM! But that’s still rare.

    I find tea to be a lot more satisfying anyway!

  36. I love drinking coffee!! But it does affect me– a lot! I actually get really anxious if I drink coffee regularly, so I’ve had to cut back to drinking it on occasion… usually about 2-3 cups a week, lately.

    But I have no problem with chocolate at night, either! (and I like the DARK stuff!) 😉

  37. oh, im the same way! i can’t have coffee past 2pm. but chocolate? i can eat that ANY time of day without it affecting my sleep pattern.

  38. Molly says:

    I am a coffee addict but I only have caffeinated before school. Any other time of day and it has to be decaf or I am wired all night!!

  39. I wake up looking forward to my very strong coffee every morning but once I’ve had it that’s it. I can’t stand the taste of it the rest of the day. I would be up all night if I did have one after 3 as well.

  40. Erika says:

    Ugh – I started drinking a cup of coffee every morning last year and now I get a caffeine headache if I don’t have it! It actually sucks because sometimes I will be camping/at a sleepover/etc. and I will get a coffee-withdrawl headache. 😕
    Are you a coffee drinker?

    1. Nope, not at all. Just ’cause I never got into it, though, not because I think it’s bad or anything.

  41. Stefanie says:

    I can’t drink coffee because it gives me the shakes as the caffine wears off. I have no problem with eating chocolate though. About 4 years ago I went through an iced coffee phase but have not had on in 3+ years.

    That roasted brocolli looks really good. I am going to have to roast some this weekend (or go to Whole Foods). Have a great night. :-)

  42. My body does the same thing! I’ve had a hard time with salads lately (though I loved them during the summer!) but I’ve wanted cooked veggies in just about every form.

  43. BroccoliHut says:

    I, too, am roasting everything these days! Broc and Brussels are my favorites lately, but I just picked up some parsnips that I’m excited to experiment with!
    I think caffeine in moderation is actually good for you–it improves athletic performance. That being said, I’m not a coffee-drinker, and I don’t approve of my boyfriend’s guzzling energy drinks!

  44. Moni'sMeals says:

    yummy meals. :) Looking forward to the treat tommorow too.

    I like my morning coffee and my afternoon tea. Love the smell of fresh roasted coffee beans! I have no problem about caffeine if it is in moderation. Too much of anything is usually when you start having a problem pysically…
    My husband loves coffee a bit too much, starbucks is killing our wallet at times! :)I like tea too but green tea is still not my favorite. I do cut off caffiene round 4 pm or so.

    1. I always tell people that even too much broccoli is bad for you!

  45. Cynthia K says:

    radioactivegan’s comment about how she likes her coffee made me laugh because I said something similar to my boyfriend’s grandma when she asked how I took my coffee: “Black and bitter, like my soul.” His grandma cracked up but he looked like he wanted to crawl under the table. :)

    I drink coffee in the mornings so that I can become something resembling a real human being, but not too often during the day. It does keep me up if I have it in the evening so if I have a big night of housecleaning staring me down, I generally fuel up during dinner and I’m all zippy by the time my little girl goes to bed!

    My daughter sees me drinking it in the mornings and now she says she wants “coffcees” too. My guy got mad at me because he saw me let her dip a finger in the cup and said I’m trying to turn her into Rory Gilmore. Ha ha, worse things to be, does that mean I’m super-cool like Lorelai?

    As for Chocolate. I have never felt like that keeps me awake at all, but as a previous commenter said, there’s a negligible amount of caffeine in chocolate. On the contrary, I think it’s rather relaxing to settle down with some super-dark chocolate and a big fat book. Oh, and it goes great with coffee! :)

    1. Cynthia K says:

      Clearly this is a 2-cup-of-coffee post, I usually leave smaller comments since your blog is the first thing I read in the mornings and hence, just beginning my humanization process. But it’s been so much fun reading the comments that I’ve been here forever this morning!

    2. I think there is no question you are super-cool like Lorelai ;).

  46. Shelby says:

    I just enjoyed some roasted veggies last night! So good! I love roasted “trees” and yes my mama called them that!

    I crave chocolate year round too, in fact, I’ll go out and get some in their’s none in the house, even if I don’t need anything else from the store (: I tend to just ignore the fact that there’s caffine in chocolate. I don’t think it affects me too much.

    1. Hahaha it’s definitely worth going to the store just for chocolate! Smart girl, you are ;).