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Chocolate IS Good For You! - (Stacia Naquin)

By: Stacia Naquin
By: Stacia Naquin

Valentine's Day can be full of chocolate. But how can you eat it without sacrificing your waistline? The Chocolate Therapist offers her Top 3 Chocolate Eating Secrets for eating chocolate... and eating it every day.

I love chocolate. I do. It’s one of my favorite foods. I know I can’t be the only one! And it seems like you can’t escape it right now with Valentine’s Day. There is chocolate of every shape and size in the aisles of almost every store.

But if you’re thinking of buying some for your Valentine, there is chocolate out there that shows you care in more ways than one! (This is especially true if your sweetie is trying to keep their waistline in check for 2010.) Julie Pech, the Chocolate Therapist says so.

Julie isn’t actually a therapist. But she IS a chocolate expert! Her “therapist” title comes from the title of her book “The Chocolate Therapist.” In it, Julie offers chocolate as a remedy to some common ailments, along with some supporting evidence.

Julie eats chocolate every day. Yeah – that’s right – every day. And guess what? She’s healthy and quite petite. (Are you thinking it’s a high metabolism that keeps her that way? Nope!) She knows the right chocolate to eat and the right way to eat it.

Lucky for us, she’s willing to share her TOP THREE chocolate-eating secrets.

SECRET #1: GO DARK
Julie says the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you. Dark chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants, which makes it ideal to combat free-radicals that, among other things, make us age faster. (BONUS!) But those same benefits aren’t found in milk chocolate or white chocolate. So, if you’re trying to eat chocolate for health, just say no. (And if you find dark chocolate a bit too bitter? Julie has a milk-chocolate-dark-chocolate mix at her store you can order to get you on the path to darker chocolate.)

SECRET #2: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LABEL
There are all sorts of candy bars at the store that say “dark chocolate.” But Julie says all dark chocolates are not created equally. So she advises a quick look at the label. Check out the first ingredient. Is it sugar? Then put it back on the shelf. Look for cocoa as the main ingredient. After that, look for ingredients you recognize (and can pronounce!)… things like vanilla, soy and cocoa butter.

SECRET #3: EAT IT EVERY DAY
You absolutely read that right. In fact, Julie encourages about an ounce each day, which amounts to about the size of half a candy bar. (Suh-weet!) She says this will keep cravings under control, especially if its dark, dark chocolate. You won’t be jonesing for the sugar found in milk chocolate. But make sure to keep the portion size under control. “If it’s just a binge every day,” says Julie, “obviously it’s not going to do you much good.”

Julie has other great tips for all you chocolate lovers out there. And obviously these tips apply to more than just Valentine’s Day. But the point is – don’t be afraid of chocolate if you’re working on that waistline or trying to get healthier. Just keep Julie’s tips in mind… and sit back and enjoy that chocolate with your Valentine.

Check out Julie's website at http://www.thechocolatetherapist.com/

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