Three more days until the first day of spring, but it was snowing outside this morning. It’s coming I know it’s coming. At least it’s warm out and by warm I mean -5C. I am finally starting to get used to getting up at 5:00 am and we only have one more week of spin class to go. I’ve noticed I am doing fine with only getting 7 hours of sleep as well. Before if I didn’t get 8 hours I would feel so tired during the day and drag at work. I think it may be that I am eating healthier now and giving my body the nutrients it needs. My binges have decreased significantly since I left the relationship I had been in back in June. I really noticed I feel less stressed and anxious overall and that is definitely a trigger for me.
1/3 c rolled oats
2/3 c almond milk
1 banana, sliced thinly
2 spoons of Farro
2 spoons of cottage cheese
Here are some of the benefits of eating dark chocolate, which I found here are:
Chocolate and Cancer
The same antioxidants found in wine and green tea are found in raw cacao and dark chocolate. Antioxidants protect cells from toxins, slow the growth of cancer cells, and help reduce cancer risks and heart disease. The greater the amount of cacao contained in chocolate, the more antioxidants it has. (Note: White chocolate does not contain antioxidants, so look for dark chocolate instead).
Chocolate and Cholesterol
While many foods high in saturated fats are known to raise cholesterol levels, studies have shown that chocolate consumption does not. This is due to the type of saturated fat chocolate contains. Less harmful saturated fat in one’s diet means plaque that can gather in the arteries. In fact, studies have shown that dark chocolate may in fact boost good cholesterol.
Chocolate and Depression
The fat naturally found in chocolate helps provide a feeling of enjoyment and satisfaction, releasing mood-enhancing endorphins. Chocolate also may help relieve symptoms of anxiety. It is thought to have an opiate effect that may help improve mood. A study conducted on patients who were depressed showed that the dark chocolate provided relief from their symptoms.
Chocolate and Circulation
Since the chemicals in dark chocolate help prevent the formation blood platelets, the chance of blood clots is minimized. In addition, blood pressure may be lowered with a regular consumption of dark chocolate each day. This is a result of the flavonoids present in cacao that help with circulation. Keep in mind that flavonoids are lower in milk chocolate than dark chocolate.
How Much Chocolate Can You Have?
Include 1 ounce of dark chocolate per day to your diet. Select your chocolate carefully, ensuring that there are no refined sugars or hydrogenated oils, which have undesirable health effects. Also, look for a high percentage of cacao (70% or above).
For lunch today I pulled the last of my lentil sweet potato chili out of the freezer and served it with organic blue corn chips and avocado.
On the side I had a big salad mad with organic mixed greens, red cabbage, and a Roma tomato.
Back to work I go. Hope everyone’s morning went by as quickly as mine.