In my second year in college, a group of us rented a big house that we all lived in together. Among all the amazing roommates I had, one was very slim, fit, and incredibly healthy. She was a vegetarian and never ate sweets or junk food, while the rest of the roommates (myself included) drank sugary cocktails, had pizza late at night, and always thought up excuses not to go to the gym.
We all thought she was super-human. How could she possibly resist the temptations of burgers, fries, wings … all of the terrible-yet-wonderful things that come with dorm life? While the rest of us were trying to figure out the cure for our “Freshman Fifteen,” she had already found the magic solution: chocolate.
She was able to skip dessert at dinner and pass on the pizza knowing that at the end of the day, she would get her reward: a delicious piece of rich, high-quality chocolate. Every single day. And, more importantly, she was able to sustain her healthy diet, and turn it into a lifestyle, because she didn’t deprive herself of sweets and thus didn’t feel that sense of guilt or remorse that many dieters experience from “cheating” on their diet. That was the best part: chocolate was included in her diet.
Many years later, I have found many other women (and a few men) struggling to sustain a healthy diet try the “little piece of chocolate” diet with success. The key is moderation and quality: a little piece of rich, gourmet chocolate goes a long way. Forget the tasteless granola bar and the low-fat chocolate: have a little piece of what you really want! I recently created my own delicious chocolate bar from Chocri made with dark chocolate, almond slivers, goji berries, organic mint leaves, and black sesame, and am able to satisfy my cravings without feeling guilty.
A piece of chocolate every day? Perhaps you need more convincing. Aside from being delicious and wonderful, much research has been conducted regarding the health benefits of dark chocolate, as well:
Heart Health: Flavanoids in chocolate have been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. In fact, yet another report released just last week states that eating a small amount of dark chocolate a day can reduce the risk of heart attack by nearly 40 percent.
Stress Buster: According to many experts, including renown stress relief expert Dr. Roberta Lee, dark chocolate contains an abundance of magnesium and potassium, both of which help promote the “relaxation response.”
Beauty: There has been a surge of chocolate skincare products and chocolate spa treatments in the past several years, and for good reason: research has shown that the high level of antioxidants in cacao may improve skin hydration and defend against free radicals to prevent signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
If you’ll excuse me, my delicious piece of chocolate is calling my name.