Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ahhh, Chocolate!

If you were not at our Chocolate Tasting event last week, too bad for you! What a great – and delicious – time we had with Julie Pech, author of The Chocolate Therapist. Julie spoke about her journey of finding the right combination of topics for her book, as she transitioned from one career to another. Combining her background in psychology with her interests in travel and finally with one of the things she loved best, chocolate, ended up being the magic formula for her. She researched and traveled over a period of 18 months to be sure she understood everything there is to know about chocolate. And we were convinced!

Her book focuses each chapter on a particular health area, menopause, headaches, depression, high blood sugar to name just a few. She then “prescribes” the type of chocolate that might best work for that condition in the proper amounts. The secret, of course, is dark chocolate. The darker, the better, Julie says. In fact, she uses her own story to explain how her unhealthy cravings and habits for chocolate disappeared once she began eating small amounts of organic dark chocolate on a daily basis. She lost weight, got more energy and stopped having headaches. She gets her few ounces of chocolate in the mornings, she explained, so she can ride the healthful benefits all day. I was most struck by the fact that dark chocolate is higher in antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. How satisfying a victory is that over all those fights you had about eating your vegetables?

She brought about 10 different types of chocolate for sampling, the essential difference among them the content level of cacao powder in each. At one point in the evening she asked us to choose one or two nibs for sampling. “Pop one in your mouth, but do not swallow until I tell you,” she directed. As with many of life’s pleasures, slowing down to enjoy them truly does enhance the satisfaction. So it was with this exercise. Holding that small bit of dark chocolate, letting it melt naturally, swirling the liquid chocolate around, having each taste bud react to the sweetness and bitterness was truly a wonderful treat. Experimenting with the different types provoked interesting conversation, too. We tried chocolate from Ecuador, Venezuela, Central America. Some was naturally rich with the taste of raspberries, others with vanilla. All of it was natural and organic... and yummy!

Just so you won’t feel too badly about missing this event, we have Gift Sets available. They include a signed copy of Julie’s book and three delicious samples of chocolate. This is a perfect host or hostess gift during this holiday season, or for that special someone who has everything. Or, what about a treat for you? It’s the perfect way to start the healthy plan you were planning for the New Year anyway. You can get an early start and enjoy the holidays, too. You can purchase her book, The Chocolate Therapist, separately, too.

See some photos of the fun we were having at this event. Check our Events section for more great things to do at Capabilities. Here’s to your health!

No comments: