My version of the 12-step chocoholics program is as follows: Never find yourself more than 12 steps away from chocolate at any time.
Okay, it’s confession time once again. I’m a Chocoholics Anonymous dropout. My version of the 12-step chocoholics program is as follows: Never find yourself more than 12 steps away from chocolate at any time.
Oh, I’ve always been a chocoholic, but it’s SO much worse now. Menopause has lessened what little self-control I had and turned me into a selfish, hoarding, and yes, mean chocolate addict.
When my 2-year-old granddaughter somehow found the last piece of chocolate hidden deep in the cupboard, I found myself uttering menacingly with psycho eyes, “Give me the chocolate and no one gets hurt.” Poor thing couldn’t hand it to me fast enough and run for her little life. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose last piece of chocolate has been stolen.
I actually own T-shirts that say, “I take chocolate from strangers,” and “Will work for chocolate.”
This addiction is not totally my fault. The reason we crave chocolate is because it’s actually good for us. Research tell us that dark chocolate has the same type of antioxidants found in red wine and the flavonoids are good for our heart. Oh, I KNOW, now they changed their mind and say it’s not healthy for us after all, but I’m not buying it. They change their minds every two minutes, right?
Before this latest report, they told us that chocolate is good for our blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, and can fix almost everything that’s wrong with us, well, except that darn expanding waistline.
The former studies totally make sense to me. Chocolate is derived from cocoa bean – beans are vegetables. Sugar is derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. Both are plants – which correct me if I’m wrong – puts them in the vegetable category. (By the way, I don’t really mean that, you must know by now that you correct a menopausal woman at your own risk.) In addition, chocolate candy also contains milk which is a healthy dairy product. Enough said.
Not only that, but chocolate also has mental health benefits especially useful for us menopausal women. Turns out chocolate boosts brain levels of endorphins (natural opiates) as well as serotonin (a mood-altering chemical on which many antidepressants act). No wonder we crave this wondrous substance!
As the funny Dave Barry said, “My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”
Even Thomas Jefferson agreed. “The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain,” he said. What a wise person. Who can argue with Thomas Jefferson?
And if I needed even more validation, Baron Justus von Liebig said in the 1800s, “Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits.”