Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little Bit of Chocolate

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles M. Schulz

I've been on a chocolate kick since Valentine's Day.  I can stay away from it for a long time, but it doesn't take much to get me started.  One small Valentine heart, and I am off to the races.  I know darned well I shouldn't be doing this.  Wasn't I the one who said she has to lose 60 pound? And, it's not only the extra weight, but chocolate breaks me out.  Days before I reach 64, I am broken out in acne.  Ha!!!  I didn't even have acne when I was a teenager. I remember back as the New Year rolled in how a friend and fellow blogger and I said we would try to lose one pound a week. Well, she has not only taken off ten pounds (congrats to her), but I have probably put on those ten pounds.  And now, as we approach Easter, those Cadbury eggs are beginning to look pretty darned good.   Alas, I  am one of your true addictive personalities!!!!


Even the history of chocolate is seductive as we trace it back to the Mesoamerican civilizations that we are so fascinated with.  The corner of the earth where the cacao tree originally grew, and still grows wild today, is the country, watered by the mighty Amazon.  It all started with the Olmec and the Maya who believed the cacao tree to be a gift from the gods.  Later, the Aztecs used cacao flower and the bark to cure all kinds of ailments, including stomach and intestinal complaints.  They made a drink called xocoatl, from ground cacao beans and seasoned with spices as sugar had not yet been introduced to the area.  

Ixcacao was the Mayan goddess of the cacao tree. She was often invokedin prayer along with the Corn Mother, the Rain God and other agricultural deities.  The Aztecs believed that the god Quetzalcoatl came down to earth on a beam of starlight and brought with him a cacao tree as a heavenly gift for the Toltec tribes, and they associated chocolate with Xoxhiquetal, the goddess of fertility. The goddess of food, Tonacatecutli, and the goddess of water, Calchiuhtlucue, were the guardians of cacao, and each year human sacrifices were performed to honor them.  

In 1519, Montezuma, the Aztec leader, introduced the chocolate drink to the Spanish invader Hernando Cortez, and in 1528, Cortez presented this ‘drink of the gods’ to the Spanish court.  For a long time in Europe, a chocolate drink was considered a precious beverage and reserved for the wealthy.  It was not until 1730 that it became less expensive and more accessible to the general public.  


Few foods evoke as much passion as chocolate.  Decadent, melt-in-your-mouth, and sinful delights are just some of the descriptive words used to describe this treat.  To me, it is a comfort food.  No matter how badly I may be feeling, a piece of chocolate melting in my mouth always makes me feel better.  There are very few people of any age, young or old, who can resist savoring and tasting the enticing, sweet flavor of chocolates.  It is one of the most popular foods in the world, long enjoyed for its wonderful taste. That's because chocolate, like other sweet foods,  stimulates the release of endorphins that make us feel good. With over 300 chemicals in chocolate is it any wonder I crave it?  

"There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles." - Anonymous

7 comments:

  1. You're an addictions counsellor -- you know what to do: Chocoholics Anonymous!

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  2. OMG!
    I was just telling my DIL Deb this morning that I won't be able to eat my favorite Easter candy this yesr.
    Cadbury eggs.
    She asked me WHY? Why can't I buy them and just eat a few?
    My answer was " I can't just stop at a few!"
    :0(
    She then agreed with me that I shouldn't buy them. :0)
    I'm pretty sure that this week THERE WILL BE NO WEIGHT LOSS. sigh!
    There is ONLY a loss if you follow the WW Points Plan and I HAVE BEEN BAD! :0(

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  3. You said you get acne from eating chocolate. How about your tummy issues? Any increase in acid reflux or other tummy/gut problems, with lots of chocolate?

    See, I just saw Cadburry Eggs this morning too, when out. But I don't even looooook at them. I crave them, sure. Can't eat chocolate because of gut issues and can't have the SatFat in it. So... That's all there is to it.

    Having 3 stents put into coronary arteries, because of blockage, will make some things, quiet clear. Yes, even for me, with the addictive personality which I have. Come on Mary. You don't HAVE to eat all that chocolate.

    How are your Cholesterol numbers, btw?

    Maybe I should file this comment under TOUGH LOVE, hu?

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  4. Not a little chocolate...a lot of chocolate...

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  5. Dear Mary,
    Funny thing about chocolate is I need to be in the mood to have it. I can go for months without it, then suddenly I need a fix.
    Enjoy your chocolate dear...when our bodies crave something, we must heed its need! :)
    Hugs,
    Sandra

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  6. Hello Mary....First off...you new look is quite fetching!! Now..onto this wonderful post about chocolate....can you believe that once again we are on the same wave length...this is gettin' a little spooky! LOL LOL

    Anyway...chocolate is not my problem anymore...at one time it was..but that has passed...and now it seems to be bread and pasta and potatoes. It does seem as we get older...that even AIR has calories!!!

    You know...."growin' old...ain't for sissies" (O:(O:

    Xo

    Jo

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