The Power of Chocolate

I don’t know about you, but chocolate has a special power over me. A power that brings a nice, satisfactory smile to my face. For those of you who don’t like chocolate, I’m sorry (and I’m kind of envious), but for those of you who do love it, like me, then I think you may know where I’m coming from! If you need a nice, genuine smile, go get a piece of chocolate. I usually don’t crave sweets until the afternoon, but I was craving a piece this morning and after I took a bite, I found a huge smile on my face…that’s when I realized I had to write my post on it, today. What a simple and great stress relief! Thinking and writing about it, now, makes me smile and remember the women in my life that love chocolate so much – from my mom who hides it in every drawer in the house to eat a piece as she walks by, to my grandma who has tried every single dark chocolate made in this world, to my aunt who craves white chocolate on a daily basis and my sister, who you can always woo with a dark chocolate and mint bar.

And for all you chocolate lovers out there, I’m sure you’ve heard the good news that a piece of chocolate actually can be good for you! Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has antioxidants in it (to learn more about antioxidants, visit this post).  Furthermore, dark chocolate is said to be a heart-healthy food.  A small piece of dark chocolate a day is keeps your heart beating and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels – who would have thought? As mysterious as this sounds, it’s true! And the best part about it is that it is also said to stimulate endorphins and act as an anti-depressant (now this, I have no doubt about!). 

I also love thatthe See’s Candy chocolate boxes say “A Happy Habit.”  So go enjoy a piece of chocolate so you can de-stress and keep smiling :).

Pamper Yourself

Nothing beats stress like a good day of pampering. I personally feel so refreshed after a good mani/pedi, which, luckily comes with such a great massage! (At least if you go to the right place – that’s criteria for me!). Too often our busy lives get in the way of our personal pampering. It’s so important to take care of your body from the inside and out. So whatever it is that makes you feel good – a hair cut, sun tanning, massage, facials…any type of relaxing and beautifying treatment (yes, I know you guys do it, too) – make sure you save some personal time to spoil yourself.  It’s also important to make it a habit. Try to schedule these types of things once a month. In an ideal world, we’d do all of the above once a month! But I know nobody has time for that.

Remember, stress can lead to high blood pressure, muscle spasms, and headaches or migraines, among other things.  Treating yourself to a relaxing spa-type session will help reduce such tensions, and, my favorite, can promote better breathing. Try to alleviate your stress by doing something that relaxes you this weekend. Pick up the phone and make an appointment 🙂

Indulge in your guilty pleasures (I mean in regards to food or gossip magazines, or reality shows…nothing that’s really that bad, please!).

Have you ever heard the excuse, “I couldn’t help it, the ____ was calling my name”? In my case, it’s the donut. The donut was calling my name. This is a recurring instance for me – that donut calls my name every single Sunday at brunch with my family. My dad has had a habit that he can’t let go of – Sunday Donuts (and bagels, which I also can’t resist, but somehow those donuts have become my biggest weakness). People look at me all the time and say, “Really? You eat donuts? But they are so fried, and so bad for you, and so….” I say, “Yes, but I love it! Who cares?” It’s my Sunday – my break day, my splurge day. I used to try to avoid those donuts, or eat everything else on the table so that I wouldn’t eat the donut – but why not?! Enjoy it!

I am not saying I only splurge on donuts, but I will say that, while I try to maintain a healthy diet throughout most of the week, I also let myself have whatever I want on Sundays, and it always starts off with that donut. Just so you know, my favorites are the Shipley’s original glazed (must be warm!)  and the Dunkin Donut’s blueberry glazed cake donut, oh and I love the apple fritters! If your mouth is watering now, I’m sorry, but just remember to let loose on Sundays. My Sunday starts off with the donuts and usually ends off with some Tex-Mex fajitas, and then my recorded episodes of The Kardashians and Brothers and Sisters.  You see? All drama-filled and food-filled and yes, a little embarrassing to admit – especially since you’ve just met me! But, that’s my Sunday! Afterall, today is now Monday – and nobody loves Mondays, so I hope you enjoyed your weekend! J