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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Not Your Ordinary Box of Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

“A treat doesn’t have to be a cheat,” says Dawn Parker, Zionsville resident and health coach. She recently published The Healthy Chocoholic, a cookbook containing over 60 recipes free of gluten and dairy, all made with healthy ingredients, yet with one blissful ingredient in common: chocolate.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, stores stock their shelves with chocolate and candy, but often these treats are filled with allergens, high amounts of sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, and other questionable ingredients.

Parker, whose son was diagnosed with celiac disease, became dedicated to learning delicious recipes without gluten, the protein found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, kamut and rye, and a cause of the disease, an immune reaction to gluten that causes severe intestinal pain and inflammation, affects one in 100 people and is often under-diagnosed.

Other food intolerances are becoming recognized as allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, corn and peanuts are causing intestinal swelling, flatulence, abdominal pain, acne and poor nutrient absorption.  

“I wrote the book so more people can see healthy food as being delicious too, even chocolate,” says Parker. “The treats in this cookbook are free of the most common allergens, full of healthy ingredients and free of refined white sugar.”

Recipes include smoothies, no-bake treats, candy, cookies, brownies and bars, pies and cakes, and hot chocolate.

The Healthy Chocoholic is available on and available at local stores Body Boutique, in Indianapolis; Allure Salon, in Carmel; and Black Dog Books, in Zionsville. For more information, visit

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