For Better Emotional Health w Chocolate Prevention, NOT Chocolate Treatment

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.

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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.

Chocolate Week, Love, and V-Day

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].

BUT.

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.

Chocolate Week, Metabolism, and Spock-level Logic

You think it’s crazy. But just follow this logic.

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High cocoa chocolate does increase blood flow to muscles. –> This results in an increase in oxygenation and nutrients to the muscular tissue.

–> This results in an increase in the number of energy producing mitochondria in the muscles.

–> This also produces more energy producing folds WITHIN EACH of those increasing numbers of mitochondria.

Thus, ergo, therefore, and soooo, that’s why people who consume high cocoa chocolate on a long term basis report reduced fatigue, increased energy.

Eat the chocolate. It’s Spock level logical.

 

 

Chocolate Week. Yeah, We’re Doing This.

It’s Chocolate Week. Just remember the three main rule for eating your chocolate.

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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!!

Your Brain Called. It Asked For A Little More Light.

Running Into The Light

About 95% of the things going on in your head, are things you are completely unaware of. Awareness skates along the thin ice veneer of consciousness.

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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.

Giving Is Getting. Push Back Against The Gloom.

We are social animals, and that fundamental nature is woven into our threads, dyed into our wool, and doesn’t wash out with time.

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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.

Winter Woes. Hashtag SAD.

I was six years old when I sang my first solo from the back of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity: “In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan; Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.”

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Through the beautiful words, I remember the dark and almost lonely feelings they elicited. Bleak, for sure.

I’ve heard people say that we are connected to the Earth, and her rhythms. Not sure where a lot of that comes from, but in this case I think it is exactly correct. As in this pic, the bleakness of the season can impart a bleakness on our hearts.

If we don’t know, or expect this connection it can take us by surprise. At that point, you just find yourself in a funk, not knowing why or how or maybe assigning the cause to something else.

Here’s the take-home:

Knowledge is power. Know that this can impact your emotional state a tiny amount, somewhat, or a great deal, depending on the person. Once you understand that, you’ll not be blindsided by it any more and you can take steps to address it, like shining just a little light into the annual darkness.

Weight Weight, There Are Social Solutions?

Eat with the people you love in your life, whether your family or friends. It turns out that when you “return to the family table”, the quality of the food tends to increase & the quantity of the food tends to decrease.

This of course is a great weight starting place for controlling volume. Plus, when you’re eating with others you’re a bit more likely to, I don’t know, talk to people. That means you’re less likely to eat huge bites with a plunger and speed eat in the process.

Those two factors alone help you control consumption, eat all you want, but just want less.

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