“The greatest discovery of this generation: Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes”
Wow! Is 2010 flying for you too? Here we are already in February, I've celebrated another birthday and all eyes are currently on Vancouver and the 21st Winter Olympic Games. I absolutely live for these events and while you normally won't find me glued to the TV, during these next two weeks I'll be following all the events as they unfold and watching all the inspirational stories. Regardless of what country you are rooting for it's a time for everyone to come together and watch amazing athletes compete. Let these Olympic Games act as inspiration for you to indulge in some fun winter activities wherever you live. Take up skiing or snowboarding or go skate at your local rink with family and friends. Enjoy the Olympics over the next couple of weeks and stay tuned next month as I talk about the important facts of diabetes with American Diabetes Alert Day falling on March 25th!
Best in Health!
Benefits of Dark Chocolate
We've all heard the saying "if it tastes good, it must not be good for you." But, when it comes to dark chocolate, taste and health go hand-in-hand (in moderation). Cacao, the source of chocolate is where the health benefits exist and the higher the percentage of cacao, the better it is for you. When comparing nutrition labels, you will notice dark chocolate has a high concentration of cacao which means the protein and fat content are higher (healthy fats in this case), and the sugar content is much lower. What this leads to are the following benefits:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers bad cholesterol (HDL) and helps to increase good cholesterol (LDL)
- Can help act as a mood booster and counter-act depression due to the fact that it contains serotonin
- Helps the heart by making blood vessels more flexible which can help prevent the hardening of arteries leading to heart attacks CBS News/Health
Including dark chocolate in your diet certainly can have its health benefits, just be sure not to replace other healthy foods such as protein, carbohydrates and fats. Instead look to replace the unhealthy sweets that we tend to eat too much of. Look for at least 65% cacao and chocolate that is organic and fair trade. Some of my favorite brands are Equal Exchange, 365 and Endangered Species but there are many companies and varieties to explore so enjoy and to your health!
Recipe of the Month: Homemade chocolate from Purdy's Chocolate of Canada
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3-ounce chocolate bars
- 1 cup of 70% cocoa chocolate
- 2 ounces of dried blueberries
(Courtesy of: Todayshow.com and Purdy's Chocolate)
- Melt the 70% chocolate slowly in a microwave oven until the chocolate is about 80% melted, leaving about 20% still solid.
- Melt the remaining chocolate by stirring the mixture until all solid chocolate has melted.
- Add in blueberries and almonds. Mix until completely blended.
- Pour mixture into chocolate bar molds, or on to wax paper (for bark) evenly and let dry at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 15 minutes.
In the News
Jillian Michaels, most famous as the hard talking, results driven trainer on biggest loser has come under some not so flattering press lately with a lawsuit for one of her supplement lines. Jillian, who has an extensive product line of fitness products including video games, meal plans and weight loss pills, is currently being sued over Maximum strength Calorie Control. The claim is that the product does not curb hunger as advertised on the package. Michaels calls the claim unwarranted. To read more visit: DietsinReview.com - Jillian Michaels sued
The slogan of the Orphan Bracelet Campaign is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". With the purchase of an ubuntu bracelet the proceeds go directly to providing orphan children with food, education, and shelter. Each bracelet is handcrafted by local South African woman living with HIV/AIDS using (lead free) copper, brass and aluminum wire. Stack them together or wear individually, they look beautiful and are making a difference at the same time. Ubuntu orphan bracelet
- Don't miss any Olympic action this month. Visit NBC Olympics to catch your favorite events and athletes
- Swap out your unhealthy desserts and treats for a bite of dark chocolate (65%+ Cacao) and reap the healthy benefits
- Check out the DietsinReview.com blog for the latest in health and fitness
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Eat, Live Laugh newsletters are intended for overall general wellness. If you have condition specific concerns please feel free to contact me.