13 Feb Melt Away Your Stress With RED Chocolate
Its 2023!!! The end of January is already close at hand. Where has the month gone? Feeling the new year stress? Resolutions taking up space in your mind? Have you even made any yet? Well, 2023 is the Chinese Lunar Year of the Rabbit. Are you hopping past your obligations as the days swift by? Breathe. The Year of The Rabbit is supposed to be a softer, calm year. Centering around introspection, self-advancement, harmony, tranquility and working smarter, not harder. No matter your beliefs, I’m sure you’ve noticed how this year feels different.
STRESS FREE IS THE WAY TO BE
If you’re about self -love, and putting stresses on the back burner, then RED has something for you to try. You’ll need open mind though. Deal? Two words. CHOCOLATE MEDITATION. Yes, you did see that correctly. Can chocolate & spirituality be paired together? Indeed! This sweetly spiritual practice has been around for years now.
Scientifically proven to reduce stress along with much more than meets the eye. If meditation is not your thing, we understand. To each their own. Yet, I’m sure you’re still interested in how this works. Woosah, anyone?
Chocolate HEALTH BENEFITS
Chocolate comes from the seeds of a cacao pod which grows on the cacao tree. Cacao in its purest form, holds different minerals and antioxidants. As we know, Cacao is mostly in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has the healthiest effect on us out of all the chocolates. Theobromine, found in cocoa beans works as an anti-inflammatory and stimulant which boosts energy and has similar effects of caffeine. The magnesium inside helps with pain relief, relaxes muscles. This enhances the cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, strengthening muscles, heart arteries, and overall heart function. Additionally, this also reduces the density of brain tissue, which also lowers anxiety and stress. Best of all it enhances our mood by raising serotonin levels and releasing endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals that promote euphoric feelings. It raises dopamine levels in the brain up to 26%, with flavonoids.
The Delicious Bliss Molecule
Two important ingredients, tryptophan and anandamide make it an anti-depressant food. Anandamide is called the “bliss molecule”, which supports happiness and well-being. Tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes relaxation and decreases stress. Milk chocolate may also contain levels of tryptophan and anandamide. Milk chocolate contains iron, potassium, zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin K, and sometimes low amounts of caffeine. While Dark chocolate is healthier by a landslide, certain milk chocolates, (wink, wink) hold health properties So be look out for ingredients.
Meditation HEALTH BENEFITS
Meditation stems from meditatum, a Latin term meaning ‘to ponder.” Meditation is a practice that enhances the mind body and spiritual well-being. From weight loss to better quality sleep, meditation heals. Physically, meditation aids relief with PTSD, ADHD, migraines, and pain. It can even lower your blood pressure, increase breath/ lung capacity, boost memory, concentration and creativity. Don’t forget meditation also lowers anxiety, strengthens immune system, and you know, relieves stress! About the metaphysical properties, meditation relates to chakras. In Hindu, chakra is “wheel of spinning energy.” These wheels of energy connect with our organs, nerves and areas of the body to promote balance. We each have 7 chakras. As they may become blocked, meditation unblocks them. Fun fact: chocolate is connected to the sacral chakra. Its location is below the navel, where the perineum is. It relates to pleasure, emotions, creative expression, and more.
Click here to go in depth into all chakras. This may be too “out there” for some of you. But don’t knock it just yet. Beginning is the most difficult. Join the millions of people (not just monks) who meditate regularly. It takes about 2 months for a new habit to become automatically set. The year is young. Now is the time to begin your self- love party. Trust yourself, then treat yourself! You are worth it.
Let’s get started, make sure to find a quiet space before we begin. Meditation is best experienced without distractions. Select your favorite bar of our chocolate then follow along:
Sit in a comfortable position. Preferably with your back supported. Take one slow, deep breath. In through your nose. With each inhale, imagine a calming while light entering through your nose, shifting up to your head, then flowing down to the rest of your body. Imagine inhaling only good energy. With each exhale, through your mouth, blow out all the bad energy. As white light grows and creates a positive glow, and you feel you are all filled up with the graceful light, begin.
Once you’ve created a comfortable space, place the chocolate bar in your hand, then close your eyes. Still breathing deeply, mindfully remove the wrapper of your chocolate bar. Pay attention to the sound of the wrapper being removed. Different wrapper materials can create very different sounds. If you listen closely enough, maybe you can also hear your beath, your heart beating, or your belly growling in excitement. 😊
Slowly open your eyes and break off a small piece of chocolate.
Carefully examine the chocolate’s appearance. Is it glossy or matte? Does it look smooth or rough? Are there other ingredients you notice in the chocolate, such as nuts or pieces of fruit?
When you’ve finished examining the chocolate, close your eyes again, holding the piece of chocolate in your hand or between your fingers. When we close off one of our senses, the other senses become heightened.
Enjoy how the piece of chocolate feels in your hand or fingers. Is it cold, or is it warm from the heat of your body? Does it have a smooth surface, or can you feel the bits of nuts or fruit in it? Is it still firm or already melting in your hand? Do you like how it feels?
Keep your eyes closed as you bring the chocolate close to your nose and maybe let it touch your lips a little bit.
Take a long, deep in-breath and enjoy the aroma of your chocolate. Exhale as you observe how the smell makes you feel. Does it remind you of anything you’ve experienced before? What are you feeling right now? Do you feel relaxed or are you excited and anxious to taste the chocolate in your hand?
Take a small bite of chocolate—as small as you can—and hold it between your tongue and your palate.
Feel the chocolate slowly melt in your mouth. Bring your awareness to the taste. Is it dark or milk chocolate? Can you taste the bitterness and/or sweetness of the chocolate? What about the flavors of other ingredients, perhaps they taste nutty, minty, or flowery? Before you take another bite, allow the first bite of chocolate to dissolve fully in your mouth. How is it making you feel?
“I am healthy, I am happy. When I Indulge. I am loved”
With each bite, follow the same mindful eating practice and take the time to savor the chocolate with all your senses. The mind will want to wander but do your best to stay present and focus on the chocolate! For enhanced concentration, add a mantra to think/speak along. Maybe in the rhythm of your chewing? Feel free to create your own or use our example below.
RED CHOCOLATE MANTRA: “…I am healthy, I am happy. When I Indulge. I am loved…”
After your chocolate meditation, you may feel differently about the way you eat. Perhaps you begin to eat at a slower pace and feel more satisfied or fuller quickly than normal. Just reading this may help you be more mindful and present. Presence is key. The whole point is to slow down and be patient with yourself. Enjoy yourself. Smile. Laugh. Spread more kindness and love. Love is something, we can never overindulge in.
Good Vibes & Great Chocolate,