Chocolate can be linked to your emotions in a GOOD way, or in a BAD way. It’s like the line from Glenda in the wizard of oz, “Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?”
From chocolate’s perspective, it is neither, as this food becomes healthy for you in one condition, and unhealthy in another. And you are the one who can change your chocolate from bad-for-you, into good-for-you.
The difference between these two polarities comes down to this: treatment versus prevention.
TREATMENT: If you have a really bad (or good) day and console (or reward) yourself with chocolate, then your mood gets a temporary boost that lasts about 3 minutes (this isn’t made up data, it’s actually about 3 minutes). Then you have to dose up again, and again, and you get this picture. This is not healthy.
PREVENTION: If you have high cocoa chocolate on a regular basis, objective measures of anxiety and chronic fatigue are reduced. Measures of contentment and satisfaction increase.
And the best best news is that the healthier route — prevention — just means that you need to have a little every day!! That’s a bonus right there, LOL.
Love is a red thread running through all good things: success in relationship, in diet, in exercise, in nutrition, in work, in play, in [fill in the blank].
Although love is many things, it is not consumption, nor ownership, lust nor lasciviousness, ownership nor control. And the love of food makes the point.
When you love your food, you taste it more, consume it less, and choose higher quality items that taste better.
When you love your food, you take more time with it, not less, because it is not an errand or PITA that you have to get over with so you can get back to more important things in your day.
When you love your food, you want to share that appreciation with others. When this happens, you tend to take more time and control portions in the process.
For Valentines Day, for your health in so many realms, this is the message. #Love. The trick to it all is understanding what it means to love your food, and dropping what we are TOLD it means to love your food.
About That QUALITY: #1. Darker Is Better, #2. Darker Is Better, #3. Darker Is Better
About That QUANTITY: Eat small, and make what you do have last in your mouth as long as possible. That way you get all the health benefits without eating SO MUCH that you make it bad for you through your own overconsumption.
Chocolate’s amazing. Just don’t make it bad for you by eating too much. If you think you can do that, then you can eat your chocolate every day of your happy happy life!!
This chocolate biscotti is perfect Valentine’s Day treat! Biscotti derives from medieval Latin and means “baked twice.” Most people enjoy this after it’s cooled and hardened but try it fresh out of the oven, too!
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon almond extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon orange peel
3/4 cup chopped high-cocoa chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, blend the eggs, egg yolks, and almond extract. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir until they’re completely mixed together. At this point, you’ll have the basic dough ball in place.
Fold the walnuts, orange peel, and chocolate into the dough, then roll it out into a rectangular loaf that is 6″ wide and about 2″ tall. Bake the loaf on an ungreased baking sheet for 20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on top. Let it cool on a wire rack.
Once it’s cool, cut your biscotti in about 1/2″ wide slices. Keep these slices standing upright (don’t lay them on their sides), but leave some air between the pieces so they an dry out. Then, place them back into the oven at the same temperature for 15 minutes, or until they are crisp. Take them out, let them cool and you are ready to enjoy!
Light itself is one of those things that affect us, under the hood, subconsciously moving the emotional needle in one direction or another.
If you are one of the millions of people who’s brain absorbs the winter gloom as your own, a solution is to be around sunlight. The effect is cumulative as well, so the more consistently you are around it the better.
Being outside moving in it is best. If you can’t do that, being by a window with sunlight streaming through is also good. And if you can’t do either of those, there are artificial lights developed specifically for the winter months.
As is true in many many senses, the right answer is to Be In The Light.
Being social can positively impact your emotional state as well. And I’m not talking about being a social butterfly, or building a twitter following, but something more immediate.
Just engaging with other beings, whether your family, dear friends, acquaintances, or even your pets provides is an emotional tonic.
We are in the bleak mid-winter and people can be affected to a greater or lesser degree by the weather gloom around us. Although Seasonal Affective Disorder can move your emotional needle in a negative direction, you can push back. And one way to do that is to make contact with people, chat, give and receive the interpersonal commerce of communication.
Be social, reach out, and give a second to engage with others. You will receive as much as you give, because it turns out that Giving Is Also Getting.