September 18, 2014

I Love Chocolate

A piece of milk chocolateDo I love chocolate? You bet. I’m a man, but sometimes I think I love chocolate as much as my wife, whether it is milk or dark, bars or boxed.  I love candy too, but not as much as chocolate. Below are the four (surprising) reasons why chocolate is the perfect food.

1. Chocolate Is Good for the Heart:

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is filled with antioxidants which may help lower cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, and increase blood flow to both the heart and the brain (1). Milk chocolate contains antioxidants too. One of my tips to get more antioxidants (and chocolate!) is to add baking cocoa, which is low calorie to my morning coffee.

2. Chocolate Is a Natural Relaxant

Yes, it seems that chocolate can actually make us less stressed! An ingredient in chocolate actually triggers a feeling of relaxation in the brain. Also, chocolate can release the natural opiates in the brain which help us feel good and relieves pain (2). No wonder so many of us crave chocolate. It actually helps our brain feel good.

3. Chocolate is an energy booster

Chocolate contains caffeine which means eating a little bit of chocolate can add some pep to a slow or sluggish day. It’s interesting that chocolate can both relax us mentally, but give us a physical boost. I think you can understand why I love chocolate now.

4. The varieties of chocolate are endless!

Gourmet chocolate? Belgian chocolate? You bet! Truffles? Got them! Chocolate bar or box of chocolates? Yep? Did someone ask for a chocolate bunny or a chocolate cross? We have that too. That’s what’s so cool about chocolate. It comes in so many different forms. And let’s not forget white chocolate. That’s my wife’s favorite.

5. Our bodies actually want chocolate!

No surprise to our chocoholics out there. Basically, our bodies love foods with high fat and sugar content. Our brain wants to make sure we survive and high fat and sugar foods to the trip. No wonder chocolate has been called a food of the gods.

However, just because we crave it doesn’t mean we can’t eat it. I am skinny and fit and I love chocolate. The key is moderation. I can enjoy chocolate everyday, even if it’s just a little bit.

Now you tell us why you love chocolate in the comments below. Make sure to check “post to Facebook” to share why you love chocolate with all your friends too!

Sources:

1. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/chocolate.aspx
2. http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=8326

I Love Beer

A tall glass of ice cold beerLike most warm-blooded Americans, I love beer. I love beer for a variety of reasons, which I will list below, but let me ask you this. Can you imagine drinking a cold, frosty beer, fresh out of the fridge, on a hot July’s day? I know I can! And this is one of many reasons I love beer. Oh by the way I love wine too, but that is another article!

1. I love beer because beer, in moderation, has been shown to be relaxing. One to two servings of alcohol a day can help you relax a little, which in turn has health benefits. This is one reason why many Americans and I love beer because life is so stressful, and a nice frosty mug of beer hits the spot. One tip to enjoy beer more is to put a bottle or can in the freezer (NOT to the point of complete freezing; just long enough to get colder).

2. I love beer because beer contains a lot of antioxidants. The darker the beer, the more health-giving antioxidants it contains. Next time you are sitting on the porch drinking an ice-cold dark beer with your buddies, remember that you are giving your body protective antioxidants. Antioxidants protect you from cell damage, which may explain why some studies have shown they prevent cancer, heart disease, and accelerated aging. Yes, this is another reason why I love beer.

3. I love beer because beer is naturally low in carbohydrates. Even though you can by “low carb” beers, most beers are naturally pretty low. I love beer because carbs, especially the wrong kind, can facilitate blood sugar spikes and may even lead to increased obesity and mental issues. Next time you are enjoying that amazingly cold brew, think of that!

4. I love beer because beer brings people closer together. Have you ever heard someone say “They would get along if they could just discuss it over a beer?” Well, it is likely true! Beer relaxes people so they are more likely to chill out and put aside minor differences. Who knows, maybe wars would end if world leaders would stop beating their chests and just have a beer!

However, let me say that even though I love beer, I love beer in moderation. Too much beer is a bad thing. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are serious issues. If you drink too much, you lose the health benefits of beer and the beer will start causing you health problems, such as liver diseases. Two servings of beer love will relax you, too many will harm you. I love beer but I don’t love beer to the point of being addicted to it. Also, I love beer because I am old enough to drink it. If I were younger, I would think twice before saying I love beer. And, I never drink and then drive.

Do you love beer or do you hate it? What beer do you love? Tell the world in the comments below, and be sure to share your thoughts with your friends by making sure you post it to Facebook too!

I Love Tea

A teapot and teacupDo I love tea? You bet I do. It’s funny because my parents didn’t even drink tea (except iced tea occasionally), but I still came to love tea as a teen. Below you’ll find the four reasons why I love tea and you should too!

1. Tea is Good for You:

Tea, especially certain varieties like green tea and white tea, is high in antioxidants, which promote good cholesterol and help prevent artery damage (1). I don’t enjoy fruit or vegetables much, but since I love tea, it’s good to know I’m getting some antioxidants in my diet.

2. I Love Tea because it helps raise my metabolism

There is some evidence that drinking tea, especially green tea can help give our metabolism a much needed boost, especially if combined with exercise (2). I know that at my age, I’ll take any extra boost I can get! I love tea even more if it can help keep me thin.

3. I Love Tea because of the rich history and variety

Tea drinking has been around for thousands of years, especially in Asia. However, it is somewhat new to the West. Tea has an important place in American culture, not only due to its popularity, but also its association with patriotism in the United States.

Someone who loves tea can experience many different types of tea. I love tea because there is so much diversity. I love tea like green tea, white tea, black tea, darjeeling, black currant, earl grey, chai tea, and an endless variety of herbal teas. I love tea because I never get bored with it!

4. I Love Tea because I can drink it in every season

I love tea since when I’m hot in the summer I can drink iced tea. And, in the winter, I love tea of the hot variety. It’s good to know that whatever season, I can enjoy a nice cup of tea.

I hope you found this list helpful. I love tea and hope you can love tea too.

Do you love tea? What is your favorite kind of tea? Tell us below, and be sure to post it to Facebook to tell your friends which tea you love the most!

Sources:

1.http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/antioxidants-in-green-and-black-tea
2.http://www.thefitblog.net/2010/06/does-green-tea-increase-metabolism.html

I Love Candy

candy corn and pumpkins in wooden bowlLike most children and adults, I love candy. I am not afraid to admit this, because who wouldn’t love candy? After all, most of us were raised enjoying it as a special treat from grandma, or a special dessert.

I love candy, and especially I love candy with chocolate the most. Studies show that cocoa is actually good for us. It is rich in antioxidants, and other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. This is a great reason to love candy. Chocolate also satisfies our human desire for sweet and creamy foods. As we evolved, humans developed a taste for high calorie foods, and chocolate candy, which is high in fat and sugar, is quite possibly the perfect food from an evolutionary standpoint.

I love candy, especially jelly beans and other types of Easter candy. Every Easter morning, I look forward to seeing what the kids in the household get from the Easter bunny. They love candy so much better when it is from the Easter bunny.

I love candy, especially candy from trick-or-treat at Halloween. I remember looking forward to going door to door seeing what kind of candy would make me exclaim I love candy so loud the neighbors would hear me!

I love candy because I used to get candy as a reward and a treat. I remember my first grade teacher would have a little box with rewards in it. Every time a student did something really special, she would let us take an item out of the box. Most of the students in the class must have had serious candy love because we would almost always choose the candy over other prizes. But, hey, most kids love candy right? I would also eat hard candy at my grandma’s. I showed that I love candy because every time I would go there, I would immediately let my love of candy take over, and I would ask for candy before even saying “hello.” Maybe this is why I love candy and most of America has candy love too.

Now you tell us why you love candy in the comments below. Make sure to check “post to Facebook” to share why you love candy with all your friends too!

I Love Meat

Even though it’s not popular to admit today, I love meat. Many people love meat, but are afraid to admit it, because they think meat is unhealthy. However, let me explain to you why I love meat before you think I’m crazy for my extreme meat love.

I love meat because it is high in protein. Protein builds muscles and is the building block of the body. Meat is the densest source of protein available, which is a great reason to love meat.

I love meat because it contains creatine. Creatine is known for helping build muscle, but most people don’t know that it also improves brain function. I love meat because it not only helps my body get strong, but also my mind!

I love meat because it tastes great. Because meat is rich in calories, humans evolved to love meat as treat. Ancient man would spend many of his days gathering plants and would have looked forward to that rare chance to eat meat. This is why most people naturally love meat, but with meat so readily available today, it means that our bodies may get too much of it. Nonetheless, a little meat not only tastes great, but it part of our natural evolved diet.

I love meat because it has fat in it. Even though some meat may have too much fat, the human body needs fat, including saturated fat, to function properly. Some experts believe that high starch foods are the reason Americans have been getting fatter, and that our meat love has nothing to do with it.

I love meat because of the smell. When my neighbors are grilling, it makes me want to go over to their house and join them for dinner. But the smell of a juicy steak or smoked BBQ ribs always makes me feel great.

I would write more about how much I love meat but all this talk of my meat love has made me hungry. So I am going to go outside and throw some meat on the grill, and wait for my neighbors to give me that “I love meat” look, and invite themselves over to dinner.

Now you tell us why you love meat (any why) in the comments below. Make sure to check “post to Facebook” to share why you love meat with all your friends too!

I Love Pizza

Like most Americans, I love pizza. Most of us are trained to love pizza as children. Pretty much everything fun that we did involved a pizza in someway. Birthday parties, sporting events, date nights, or just sitting around watching TV with the family. Served as chances to eat and love pizza. Now, can you see why I love pizza?

I love pizza because it is versatile and you can put anything on it. This means I can express my pizza love in many ways. I love pizza with peperoni, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, bacon, and onions, even though I love pizza this way you probably love pizza your own way. Right now, imagine the great taste of your favorite pizza. Can’t you just feel the pizza love welling up inside you?

I love pizza because of the many different pizza styles. There are many different ways to prepare a pizza: deep dish, thin crust, hand-tossed, white pizza, and the list goes on. Some people love pizza with garlic and oregano, and others love pizza with no cheese at all.

I love pizza because it is actually healthy. The cheese is high in calcium. If you use whole wheat dough, pizza can be a good source of fiber and minerals. Meat on pizza is a good source of protein. Loading pizza with vegetables is a good way to get children to eat them. Finally, many Italian chefs load their pizzas with olive oil which is good for your heart. With health benefits like this, even healthy people can love pizza in moderation.

Americans love pizza a lot, and I know this because anytime a parent asks a child what they want to eat, most of them will scream “I love pizza!”

Now you tell us why you love pizza (and your favorite kinds) in the comments below. Make sure to check “post to Facebook” to share why you love pizza with all your friends too!

I Love Coffee

Coffee cups on tableI love coffee, and I’m guessing you do too because you are on this page. People often joke about coffee addiction, but coffee evokes positive feelings in many people, creating a real feeling of coffee love. I also want to explain why coffee is actually a good thing. In fact science now verifies that coffee is actually good for you! Below are some ways to know if you take the phrase I love coffee to a new level. I should note that I love tea too, but I’ll have to sing the praises of that tasty and healthy creamy drink later.

- You drink coffee all day. My aunt didn’t have to say I love coffee; I knew it because I would visit her at 11:00 at night and she would be nodding off…with a cup of coffee in her hand! This is either coffee love or coffee addiction. I am not sure which is which. However, because coffee is a stimulant, it actually may help you concentrate and focus. Ritalin, a popular ADD medication, is also a stimulant. Coffee helps increase alertness (1)

- You get grumpy without your hourly coffee. My brother Andre had a coffee love affair. His wife divorced him because he was angry all the time, and she took it that he loved coffee more than her! However, coffee in moderation won’t make you jittery or grumpy. In fact, that perfect mixture of coffee, cream, and sweetener makes me happier than just about anything!

- You pair coffee with everything. I knew a woman that would love coffee so much, she ate coffee ice cream, coffee cake, and even put (no joke) coffee flavored coffee syrup in her coffee. This doesn’t scream I love coffee so much as it screams I am nuts! Yet, coffee helps your brain. Believe it or not, coffee may help prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, both brain disorders (2)

- You need to go to CA – Coffee Anonymous! Actually, while alcohol abuse can hurt your liver, studies show that coffee consumption may actually help your liver (2). It is nice to know that your morning cup of Joe can help your body filter toxins better!

This material is meant to be a joke, somewhat. But I love coffee an awful lot. The smell of fresh coffee in the morning starts my day off right. I love trying different types, flavors, and roasts. I savor the taste of coffee mixed with frothy cream and sweetener. I love hazelnut, vanilla, and cinnamon flavors. I will sometimes add in syrups; my favorites are raspberry, mint, and blueberry. I love coffee, the entire experience! One way to enjoy coffee is mindfully. This is when you simply enjoy coffee in the present moment. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and slowly drink that sweet and creamy cup of coffee.

So, yes, I proudly say I love coffee, and will declare my coffee love to anybody that will listen. And like I said earlier, there are good reasons I love coffee: it helps my brain become healthier (and keeps me awake!).

Now you tell us why you love coffee in the comments below. Make sure to check “post to Facebook” to share why you love coffee with all your friends too!

Sources:

1.http://www.thedailymind.com/mindfulness/concentration-boosting-foods-5-foods-help-you-concentrate-and-focus-at-work/
2.http://www.lifeinyouryears.net/blog/?p=621

I Love Cookies

cookies fresh from ovenLike most people of all ages, I love cookies. I’m not afraid to admit that I love cookies, even though a lot of people would have you believe it’s wrong because it makes you gain weight. However, I grew up with a grandma who always spoiled us with cookies and I love cookies just as much now. Also, even though I love cookies, I’m thin! Here are the top five reasons why I love cookies.

I love cookies because of the variety:

My mom made chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, ginger snaps, sugar cookies, butter cookies, no bakes, and on and on and on! Not only that, but I eat fortune cookies and almond cookies at the Chinese restaurant. I could spend a lifetime trying new types of cookies. Fortunately, I love cookies of all types, so I’m never bored.

I love cookies because they can actually be healthy:

First, for chocolate type cookies, studies show that cocoa is actually good for us. It is rich in antioxidants, and other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. However, other types of cookies can have benefits too. Oatmeal cookies are a source of heart healthy fiber and peanut butter cookies offer the protein of peanuts. Of course, they should be eaten in moderation or you might gain weight.

I love cookies because they might be the perfect food

As we evolved, humans developed a taste for high calorie foods, and cookies, which are high in fat and sugar, are quite possibly the perfect food from an evolutionary standpoint. Yeah, I love cookies because evolution made me!

I love cookies because they remind me of special times

I have great memories of baking cookies with my grandma during special times of the year. I’d go there for Christmas, Easter, and my birthday. I’d always want to bake cookies because I love cookies too much to pick anything else. Even now, the smell of fresh baked cookies remind me of my grandma and her house.

I hope you enjoyed my list explaining why I love cookies so much. I hope you can develop a love for cookies too. Just remember to enjoy them in moderation. Although, I admit I love cookies in large amounts too!

Now you tell us why you love cookies in the comments below. Make sure to check “post to Facebook” to share why you love cookies (and your favorite kinds) with all your friends too!

I Love Wine

A glass of dry, red, wineDo I love wine? You bet. Even though I was raised in a family that didn’t drink, when I was older I discovered a love for wine. Although I’m responsible and don’t get drunk, I have to admit that wine is important to me. It’s not just wine, but wineries, wine tasting, and wine making too.

1. I Love Wine Because It’s Good for Heart Health

Wine, especially red wine, is high in antioxidants, which promote good cholesterol and help prevent artery damage (1). Of course, you’re not doing your heart (or liver) any favors if you drink too much.

2. I Love Wine Because It Helps Me Live Longer

Ever wonder why the French, with their high fat diets and indulgent lifestyle live longer than others? It’ could be the wine. Wine contains Resveratrol, a substance that has been shown in several studies to slow down the aging process. (2). Resveratrol is found in wine, especially red wine.

3. I Love Wine Because It Lowers Stress

Alcohol, when used in moderation, is a mild sedative, which means it can calm us down. After a long day at work or in high stress situations a glass of wine can create a calming, relaxing effect. After a long day of working, I love to slide into a comfy chair and have a glass of Merlot, my favorite variety.

4. I Love Wine Because of the Rich History and Diversity

Wine making has been around for thousands of years. The Bible and other ancient documents mention wine making. Not only that, but the wine lover can experience many different types of wine, including white wine, red wine, fruit wine, vegetable wine, etc.

Grape wines are named for the variety of grape used. White wines are wines  like Chardonnay, Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.  Red wines are wines like Merlot, Shiraz (Syrah) Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chianti. Depending on the fermentation process,  dry wines and sweet wines are possible. Wine coolers are wine mixed with fruit juice and sometimes carbonation.

5. I Love Wine Because of the Socializing

Let’s face it. If done responsibly and in moderation, wine drinking is fun. Even though I’m not a big drinker, I enjoy wine tastings, where there’s no danger of getting drunk. It’s fun to visit local wineries and sample the local culture along with regional wines.

Although wine should always be consumed in moderation, responsible, social drinking can be fun and a great way to meet new people.

Do you love wine too? Tell us why you love wine in the comments below. Make sure to check “post to Facebook” to share why you love wine (and your favorite varieties) with all your friends too!

1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089
2. http://www.thinkgene.com/resveratrol-found-effective-in-small-doses/