Zone Perfect Hot Chocolate: $4.99/Box of 5/Kroger

zoneperfect_hotcocoa (5)My favorite coffee shop makes the most adorable hot chocolates and while they’re typically only offered in “child’s size” lidded cups, wrapped in cardboard sleeves to ward off finger-scorch, sometimes if you ask nicely, they’ll make a grown-up version, not with booze or anything, but larger and in one of those wide ceramic coffee cups that’s big enough to fit two packets of Ramen. I had one of those extra-large mugs when I was in college and would boil water in my coffee maker in the dorm to make Ramen noodles, or be ever so Food-Network or Pinterest-approved (back when Pinterest was an actual corkboard on our wall with magazine clippings) and industrious and make black bean soup in the coffee maker. I could drink insane amounts of caffeine well into the night while studying without it having any affect on my sleep, and could eat insane amounts of Ramen without feeling the sodium-spike on my creaky and bloated joints. So now on occasion when I want a warm mug-filled treat that’s more sweet than salty, I occasionally go to this coffee shop and get a cocoa, and they’ll even do those barista-artistica swirls with foam on the top too.

I may not have quite as many smarts as I did when I was in college … or is that the other way around? … but I guess if I need a brain boost that doesn’t require me playing my 3ds Brain Games or timing myself on an Evil Sudoku, I could eat Zone Perfect Revitalize Hot Chocolate Marshmallow bar – “with caffeine, for mental focus!” Makes me think of Bart Simpson having to take the ADHD drug “Focusyn”, but instead I’m eating a chocolate bar that tastes like the marshmallows at the bottom of a box of Lucky Charms, coupled with a dry, artificial chocolate coating. I was really hoping that it would taste excellent, as the last two caffeine-infused bars that I had didn’t seem to perk me up at all. Perhaps I’m better off returing to the coffee shop for hot chocolate to get the taste that I want, and try to get more sleep so I don’t rely so much on caffeine, and while I’m dreamily healthifying myself, I’ll reduce my sodium instake, exercise more, and go to the Food Network and Pinterest websites less frequently, and maybe read my old college textbooks more. 3/5

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