The writing assignment this week asks “what are your guilty pleasures?” I really try not to be the typical woman and say the typical things but, you know what? I am going to be pretty typical with this one… but let me tell you why it’s so great that I am following the “norm” and why it is ok if you do too!
Pleasure number one: Dark Chocolate
Had a hard stressful day? Bills are late, aunt flo was not, baby is crying, crap is strewn across your house even though you cleaned it yesterday, the dogs wont stop barking, the cat got stuck in a tree and your husband is irritating the hell out of you? It sounds like you need a nice piece (or three) of dark chocolate.
The bitter smooth taste of good quality (fair trade, organic) chocolate fills your mouth and you experience pure bliss. You savor the chocolate, let it melt in your mouth and enjoy the over 300 chemical compounds in the chocolate that elevates your mood and convinces you not to lock out your husband with the dogs… yet.
So you ate a whole bar of dark chocolate. Today was one of those days that a few pieces would not cut it. That is ok! It has been shown that people who eat a bar of dark chocolate a day can have reduced blood pressure! Wonderful on those stressful days. Dark chocolate has been shown to lower bad cholesterol by up to 10%. Sign me up! To top it off it is full of antioxidants that help maintain cell strength and reduce free radical stress in your body! That means chocolate helps you stay young. Hells yeah!
To get the full benefits of chocolate you need to eat dark chocolate (65% cocoa or higher), avoid nouget, caramel, or any other excess sugar (they counteract the health benefits), and having your chocolate with milk (hot chocolate, chocolate milk, milk chocolate) can reduce the absorption of the beneficial stuff so no milk with your chocolate! I have mine with a nice red wine personally. Which brings us to…
Check out Sacred Chocolate, it is a raw vegan chocolate and you can get it through my friends website at: http://bnhealthy.net/what-are-superfoods-cacao/
Guilty pleasure number two: Red Wine
Really what is better than some organic red wine (red table wine is just fine with me, but I am pretty flexible as long as the wine is red and organic). Red wine and chocolate. Remember the crappy day you are having. Well stick the grumpy husband, yippy dogs, and clingy baby in the living room, turn on the radio, take a nice long hot bubble bath and eat chocolate and drink red wine. mmm. Now we are talking.
Red wine is also a wonderful guilty pleasure to have. It contains antioxidants and helps reduce bad cholesterol too. Studies in mice have shown that moderate amounts of red wine on a daily basis can help fend off weight gain and diabetes. It also helps reduce inflammation and blood clotting! Most of us know that most of today’s health problems are linked to some kind of inflammation. This is one of the reasons they say red wine is great for your cardiovascular health.
Two sins and two reasons for me to have good bp and low bad cholesterol. Hells yeah.
Guilty pleasure number three: Massage
Ok so you saw this one coming. There is nothing better than a good massage with a good therapist that knows you and what you need. I am not talking one of those spa massages, those are nice, but therapeutic massage is the best. The reason I list it as a guilty pleasure is because as a mom and a wife it is VERY difficult for me to set my family and responsibilities aside and say “this hour belongs to me, nothing else is there, so leave me the hell alone I am getting a massage.” I have noticed that women, mothers especially, have a VERY hard time taking time for them selves. I know I need the massage and I am a much better person when I get it so I file it under guilty pleasure, but necessary for my physical and mental health too.
There are many benefits of massage but some of them are:
- Reduces lower back pain and other bodily aches.
- Increases range of motion in joints.
- Decreases illness-related fatigue. (also pregnancy related fatigue)
- Calms aggressive behaviours. (Like killing the yippy dogs)
- Decreases depression and helps to promote a healthy mind.
- Helps your immunity by increasing white blood cell counts.
- Alleviates age-related disorders, sleep disorders, and many more emotional and physical problems.