By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
So it's Sunday evening and I was feeling kind of seasick as the song goes in the film The Net (when stay-at-home workaholic Bullock finishes her day and we see her life is linked to the computer). It's been one of those days where I've been weighing the pros and cons in my real life. Fun? Not so much. So, rather than hit the kitchen (I did that yesterday for the What's Cookin' at Callie's Cabin column in the Tahoe Daily Tribune)--I just savored a piece of dark chocolate. Did it make me feel good? Oh yeah...
As I wrote in my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate: "Stress can be caused by many factors, whether it is due to the ebb and flow of life's emotional, financial, physical, or mental stressors, which can affect your general well-being (at any age). Today, I'm feeling a bit of all the above. But chocolate created with good intentions may help more than you know.
Here's proof: One study found that 1 ounce of Intentional Chocolate (a premium chocolate embedded with focused good intentions by experienced meditators) eaten over three days increased test subjects' well-being, vigor, and energy by an average of 67 percent, and, in some cases, even more. Researchers discovered that those who ate chocolate reaped health benefits, including decreased stress, increased energy, less fatigue, greater calmness, and enhanced focus."
These findings do not surprise me. At all. While dark chocolate did give me a feel-good boost, so did eating a bowl of fresh strawberries which I enjoyed this morning. Both foods are rich in anti-stress antioxidants which we need when life tosses us a curve ball (or two). And that's not all.
Dark chocolate boasts mood enhancers, including endorphins, PEA which has been called the "love drug" because it can mimic feelings of falling in love, serotonin, the brain chemical that can make you feel happier and improve brain power, and others I discuss in the chocolate book.
For me, chocolate is like the great swimmer's feel-good high I get after a workout. And you know, enjoying good chocolate-the good stuff--is just like tuning into that classic boomers' fave Beach Boys song Good Vibrations. No kidding. I'm feeling good vibes. "Good good vibrations..."