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Jan
8

To a Healthy New Year

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Photo by Whitney Bembenick, R&D manager, Endangered Species Chocolate

January is one of my favorite months.  As we welcome a new year, the “newness” that it brings bubbles over into many aspects of our lives.  In my home, as in many others, when the holiday decorations come down, the entire house gets a full, deep clean and purge.  Clothes that haven’t been worn are donated, office drawers are organized, and all of the laundry gets cleaned AND folded.  Even Mother Nature gives us a sense of “newness”.  Looking out my windows here at the Endangered Species office this morning, there is a refreshing blanket of crisp white snow stretching out into the vast fields of Indiana. 

With all of this newness, comes ambition to revitalize ourselves with healthy eating and living.  Did you know that 2 out of 3 of us make a resolution for change at the start of a new year, but only 8% of us actually follow through?  And with no surprise, of those that resolve for change, most resolve to lose weight.  In those first few weeks of January, it is with great pomp a circumstance that we dump the tins of cookies and bars into the trash to be replaced with fresh fruits and vegetables.  We reach for the water bottle instead of the coffee cup and we turn our noses at the candy aisle.  Then, the inevitable happens.  It’s someone’s birthday in the office and the array of sweet treats re-emerge.  After a few weeks of resisting temptation, you decide to have just a small piece, you’ve earned it…and…burp!…a full slice of cake later you’ve not only got a queasy stomach but you feel awful for breaking your new “diet”.  Why am I telling you this, you ask?  Well, because I have tip for you that will save you from the office birthday party cake catastrophe.  It may seem a bit counter intuitive at first…..but here it goes…..

Eat. Dark. Chocolate.

Now, because I work for a chocolate company, you are thinking, “yeah right, chick,” but please, keep reading, and you may change your mind.

First, let me share with you a few facts about cocoa.  Cocoa naturally contains antioxidants called flavanols.  These compounds act as a defense mechanism to fight off the free radicals our bodies produce from doing daily activities like simply breathing!  That means that when we consume a food that contains these flavanols (like chocolate), we are helping our bodies fight against cell damage that research has proven can lead to things like cancer and heart disease.  But that’s not all!  Multiple research studies have shown the direct link between consuming chocolate and improved mental health, clarity and alertness.  This is credited to cocoa’s ability to aid the body in producing compounds which help us feel good, as well as the natural stimulants which are found in chocolate like caffeine and theobromine.  The darker and less “adulterated” the chocolate the better, as these varieties offer the largest dose of antioxidants in comparison to their sweeter counterparts.

So…proven by research, chocolate is good for the body and soul.  Do I have your attention now?  Back to that New Year’s resolution tip I mentioned before.  What if, instead of focusing on what you want to limit yourself on, you focus on what you want to indulge in more?  Because of all the healthy reasons listed above, we know that dark chocolate is a great option when the mood for indulgence strikes us.  By giving ourselves that small treat, we are sustaining a more positive mood and fighting off the “bad guys” at the same time.  So when the office party strikes, you’ll feel less inclined to reward yourself, because you’ve already been rewarded with a sweet square of your favorite Endangered Species chocolate bar.  Which reminds me, it’s time for my daily dose of indulgence J

One last thing…with all this “newness”, Endangered Species has something new to share as well!  Keep an eye out for my post next month where I’ll talk about my love affair with chocolate and our brand new filled chocolate bar line.

Healthy Indulging!

Whitney B.

R&D Manager, Endangered Species Chocolate

 

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