It is Valentines Day. I can’t say I have any real strong feelings about the day. I think the only time I got a box of chocolates from a guy, was in 4th grade from Randy Sherman. I can’t believe I remember this boy’s name. I can picture his smile, and how when he got embarrassed his cheeks turned a nice little shade of crimson that made his blue eyes even more sparkly… hey I was in 4th grade! We didn’t “like” each other long, I wore jeans that I had “pimped out” in patchwork to make bell bottoms that graced the tops of converse style shoes before it was really cool for girls to wear, they were funky! I had long untamed hair I parted straight done the middle too! I think he liked girls that wore dresses more!
Don’t get me wrong I like chocolate as much as the next girl or guy. But like most food in my life I have come to appreciate the beauty and benefits of “good” no great chocolate, the real not the completely altered mush. I used to get the regular milk chocolate “check out” kind, mindlessly picking it up on my way through the line. No more, now I scour the isles of the fancy dark mysterious brands of dark chocolate. I read the labels like I am reading the next best novel. I am looking for the cocoa content to be high… greater then 75%, I look for no sugar or at the least the most natural I can find… if there are added goodies like a little sea salt, or some hint of a dried gogi berry it could just be an added bonus, even a health benefit. Ah, but you say isn’t that a more expensive bar of chocolate? YES! and every delicious bite is worth it. You see the thing about this rich goodness is that a little goes a long way. It is so full of mouth pleasing flavors that one little piece is all it takes. A bar can last me for weeks! One of my favorite ways to experience this goodness is shaving a little on some fresh fruit, or banana ice cream…. oh my, now I am getting hungry!
So what does all this have to do with Valentines? I could go down two rambling roads. On the first I will tell you some heart health benefits of real chocolate!
- Chocolate, dark chocolate is good for heart health. It is rich in flavonoids that act as antioxidants, which in turn protect the body from aging caused by free radicals that can cause damage that leads to heart disease.
- Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide and balance certain hormones.
- Some studies show that dark chocolate also can help reduce LDL cholesterol (that’s the one we don’t want!)
So the second rambling… Just as I used to not be too picky about the chocolate I picked up, I suppose I wasn’t always the best at picking boyfriends either. While I wouldn’t change my past if it met I would end up in a different place in my life now…. I am glad that I have learned to appreciate those things that are better for me. Real food that nourishes my body for life, real Love, that settles and fills my heart with contentment… “and her who was not beloved I will call beloved.” romans 9:25.
I am one blessed and joy filled veg head! Think I might go have me some dark chocolate! Wonder what ever happened to Randy Sherman…? jk 🙂