Friday, February 13, 2009

Do I Smell chocolate?? February is National Chocolate Month!

(Photo by eszter,
To say that I love chocolate is a bit of an understatement. I just recently commented to a co-worker that I could wake up in the morning and go to bed at night and eat nothing but sweets in-between. Aside from any kind of ice cream and white cake with lots of frosting, I could ONLY eat chocolate. I get my sweet tooth from my dad who not surprisingly, is now being monitored for on-set diabetes. I have to be very careful in my sweets selection and I have tried to make “smarter” choices when it comes to sweets. Angel food cake as opposed to pound cake. Light ice creams instead of Premium (most of the time). Dark chocolate to milk chocolate. But….if I find that I have simply pushed the limit to my chocolate consumption, I have found some other very interesting ways to satisfy my craving for chocolate.

First – one of my favorite movies is “Chocolat”. This movie takes place in post-war France and stars Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, among a host of other great actors. The movie’s premise is that a woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community (how dare she open a candy store during Lent??). One of the characters in the story, Yvette Marceau, describes an innocent piece of chocolate by saying, “...And it melts, God forgive me, it melts ever so slowly on your tongue, and tortures you with pleasure.” What the movie lacks in caloric intake it makes up for in satisfying other cravings – like feasting your eyes on Johnny Depp for two hours. Yowsa.

The second is a “bubble” bath bar (“Ma Bar Bubble Bar”) from a great handmade, organic soap company called “Lush”. I was clued in to this wonderful store by a fabulous fashion and couture-conscious friend of mine, Priscilla, in Chicago. This product makes me want to bathe all the time. All the clean…none of the calories. You can find it on their website here.

And in the late spring, I often like to top off my landscaped flower gardens with the smell of chocolate with cocoa mulch. This insanely delicious smelling mulch is actually ground up cocoa bean shells and it is used to keep ants out of your gardens. Makes working in the garden like an afternoon of aromatherapy for chocoholics. Here is one little caveat, though: Be careful not to let your pets close to the stuff….it has been suggested that this product contains theobromine, a chemical that can be dangerous to animals, when ingested and because the mulch smells so irresistible, pets will want to eat it.

And if you just cannot resist eating the stuff– as I know I will not be able to do tomorrow when I hope to be presented with a big, heart-shaped box of expensive chocolates – go for the dark kind as it boasts the most health benefits. And maybe a little red wine to wash it all down.

Ahh…now that is livin’ the sweet life!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! May your day be sweeter than you expected.

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