Why Chocolate Is The Perfect Self-Love Indulgence and Why You Should Enjoy It More Often
By Theresa Bonner
With all of life’s stresses, distractions, responsibilities and deadlines, it’s easy to forget the importance of taking care of yourself. It happens so often that you can’t remember the last time you took a break, got a massage or did even one thing that was just for you. Does this sound familiar? If so, I have a very simple way to give yourself a little TLC that won’t break the bank or make you feel guilty for taking some “you time”.
Chocolate: The Ultimate Indulgence.
When you are feeling down and need a pick-me-up, what do you crave?
When you are out on the town and feel like a naughty dessert is completely in order, what word catches your eye on the menu most often?
When you were a kid coming in from a romp in the snow, what hot drink did you beg for?
What single food do you associate most often with love and pleasure?
If you answered with chocolate for most (or all) of these questions, you’re in good company.
There’s a reason you crave it, long for it and maybe even dream about it. Chocolate releases endorphins in your brain, which create feelings of pleasure. It also provides you with serotonin (a neurotransmitter), which is considered an antidepressant. And chocolate is a fantastic source of magnesium, which is a well known mood stabilizer as well as great for digestion and calming the entire body (and sadly, it’s estimated that nearly 80% of the population are deficient in this miracle mineral).
It’s no wonder that chocolate has become such an important mainstay in today’s hectic culture. It contains all of the qualities that your taste buds and mind truly desire.
There are two things to remember when allowing yourself this supremely decadent treat…
1. Make sure you are enjoying the best quality chocolate. After all, if you are caring enough to give yourself something special, make sure you do it right. It’s important to know that all of the health benefits you receive from chocolate come from the source, the cocoa bean. So, the higher the cocoa content in your chocolate, the better it is for you. You’ll want to find some dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa or higher.
2. This well deserved treat is not lunch. A healthy, yet satisfying serving of chocolate is about one ounce per day. Again, this is about self care. You want to feel that you are creating a special moment for yourself. Something that is not going to make you feel sick or guilty afterward. So maybe you go to a local chocolatier and pick out the most beautiful cocoa dusted truffle you can find. Take it home, brew yourself a cup of your favorite tea and just sit for a moment. Breath in the aromas that will soon become flavors rolling around your tongue. Think about how much you needed this little gift to yourself. And enjoy every moment.
There are a myriad of other health benefits that come along with regular, moderate consumption of quality dark chocolate that are important to know. You can do a google search or just go straight to Wikipedia later to learn more but today, just enjoy and love yourself enough to savor one of life’s most simple of pleasures.
Theresa Bonner is a Certified Health Coach that has received her training and education from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and is a member of the International Association of Health Coaches.
Before attending IIN, she was an avid health and nutrition researcher for 20 years. She specializes in educating her clients on how to make the healthiest choices for their individual needs. She guides her clients through setting and attaining the goals that will lead to life changing health and vitality.
When Theresa is not working with clients, she is constantly continuing her education in nutrition and coaching techniques. She is also a mother of two young sons who loves to cook, write, eat good food, sing, dance and get involved in her community. She is currently an active board member of the Somerville New Jersey Municipal Alliance and Youth Services Commission.
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