Saturday, November 28, 2009

Organic Fun! How to Start an Organic Garden...

An organic, gourmet garden in your back yard? Indeed!

From The Huffington Post is this great article on how to sucessfully start an organic garden. Highly beneficial to your health and to the environment, it's easier than most people think!
Here's more:

"...If grown properly, your organic garden will produce higher quality, healthier foods '" and will be good for the environment and wildlife.
Many people have high hopes for starting their own organic garden and reaping a small harvest from it. The problem is that many don't really know what an organic garden is. Organic gardening is more than popping some seeds in the ground and letting them grow "naturally." If grown properly, your organic garden will produce higher quality, healthier foods—and will be good for the environment and wildlife. But it will take planning and work. Here's what you need to know to get a green organic thumb.

Know the facts.
The definition of organic gardening varies among gardeners, but most agree that it means growing fruits, vegetables and flowers without using any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, and using practices that are ecologically harmonious, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You'll still have to get rid of weeds, fertilize your plants and stop bugs from eating them. You will still have to go out and supervise it every day, and dig just like you would with any garden.

Start with a small plot.
Begin your garden in a window box or in a few containers until you're more confident. If you want a larger site, a 4-by-4-foot garden is enough room. Don't plant too much. Plan your yield in terms of meals per person instead of some vague amount of produce."

Read the rest of these great tips here on The Huffington Post.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dark Chocolate's Five Fabulous Benefits!

Dark Chocolate features many benefits that contribute to your well- being...

From is the wonderful run-down containing five wonderful benefits that dark chocolate has to offer! Here's an excerpt:

"...You've probably already heard of chocolate improving the mood, but there are more health benefits to chocolate that you may be unaware of. Before you go raiding the candy jar, keep in mind that these health benefits pertain to DARK CHOCOLATE only. That is anything with a cocoa content over 65%. Milk chocolate is probably what you are used to, but if you are interested in eating healthy it might be a good idea to give dark chocolate a try.

1. Good for the Heart - Due to the presence of antioxidants in dark chocolate, studies have found that in individuals with high blood pressure, a stick of dark chocolate a day can lower blood pressure levels. In addition, dark chocolate has been known to lower cholesterol levels by up to 10%.

2. Improves Mood - Dark chocolate stimulates endorphin production which in turn provides the brain with feelings of pleasure. A substance called theobromine which provides you with caffeine-like stimulation is also present in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains serotonin which is known to act as an anti-depressant."

Read the rest of the list here! Delicious.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dark Chocolate Each Day May Improve Metabolic Stress Response

Dark Chocolate is more beneficial than ever!

Here's a very interesting study found on Medical News Today - more intriguing news about how dark chocolate can help battle stress! Here's an excerpt from the study on Medical News Today:

"...A new study by Nestlé researchers suggests that eating a few pieces of dark chocolate every day may improve the metabolic response of people who report feeling highly stressed.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Proteome Research, was the work of lead investigator Sunil Kochhar, a researcher at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Anxiety and stress can cause various changes in physical and emotional states in humans, and in the longer term can also lead to serious health consequences.
Other studies have already shown that diet affects human metabolism through its influence on gut bacteria, and this too can have long term health consequences.
For this study, Kochhar and colleagues investigated the metabolic response in a group of 30 healthy adult volunteers who were asked to consume two portions of 20g of dark chocolate every day for up to 14 days.

The volunteers had already filled in validated psychological questionnaires from which the researchers were able to classify them into low and high anxiety traits.
To assess metabolic response, the researchers analyzed urine and blood plasma given by each volunteer during three test days at the beginning, the middle and the end of the 14 day period.
The main measures of metabolic response they looked at were stress-related metabolic changes such as energy metabolism and gut microbial activity. "

Read the rest about this study here.

Dark Chocolate Helps to Lower Stress!

Organic, delicous dark chocolate soothes stress...

From Sarah Altshul on is this relieving article about how adding dark chocolate to your diet may help to relieve stress. Here's more:

"...The team of researchers was led by Sunil Kochhar, PhD, who heads the BioAnalytical Science Department at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland. He and his colleagues designed the study to see whether eating dark chocolate every day for two weeks could affect the way the body metabolizes stress hormones.
They recruited 30 healthy young people—11 men and 19 women. They tested their anxiety levels and determined that 13 of them tested as “high anxiety” and 17 tested as “low anxiety” on standardized anxiety tests. They gave the volunteers 40 grams of dark chocolate (about an ounce and a half), containing 74% cocoa, every day for two weeks and tested their blood and urine at the beginning and end of the trial.

In the high anxiety group, eating chocolate reduced levels of their stress hormones, and the changes were “biologically significant,” Dr. Kochhar tells me. What’s more, people felt less anxious after munching on chocolate. The findings did not apply to the low anxiety group. “We observed improvement in the anxiety states of subjects immediately after their consumption of chocolate,” he says."

Read the rest of this article here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Nutritous Benefits of Dark Chocolate!! Pour the Chocolate Milk...

More reasons to love your chocolate - chocolate milk helps reduce inflammation!

In this fantastic article by Roni Caryn Rabin, we gain insight as to how consuming a wholesome glass of chocolate milk can be greatly beneficial! Here's more from the article:

"...Move over, red wine. Make room for chocolate milk. A new study suggests that regular consumption of skim milk with flavonoid-rich cocoa may reduce inflammation, potentially slowing or preventing development of atherosclerosis . Researchers noted, however, that the effect was not as pronounced as that seen with red wine.
Scientists in Barcelona, Spain, recruited 47 volunteers ages 55 and older who were at risk for heart disease. Half were given 20-gram sachets of soluble cocoa powder to drink with skim milk twice a day, while the rest drank plain skim milk. After one month, the groups were switched.

Blood tests found that after participants drank chocolate milk twice a day for four weeks, they had significantly lower levels of several inflammatory biomarkers, though some markers of cellular inflammation remained unchanged.
Since atherosclerosis is a low-grade inflammatory disease of the arteries, regular cocoa intake seems to prevent or reduce” it, said Dr. Ramón Estruch of the University of Barcelona, the paper’s senior author, adding that more studies were needed."

Read the rest of the good news here at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Love the Taste of Dark Chocolate? The Science of Taste & Smell..

Dark, gourmet chocolate is indeed a beloved to our taste buds...but do you know why?

From Science Daily is this article about the science of taste and smell! Truly fascinating - here's more from the article on

"...Most people don't realize that most of what we call taste -- enjoying a meal or a fine wine -- is actually smell," Karen Kalumuck, a biologist at San Francisco's Exploratorium, tells DBIS.
Kalumuck says 75 percent of what we call taste is due to what we smell. "Think about when you've a cold. You've got this stuffed up nose. I mean, what did things taste like? Not so great," she tells DBIS. "That's really because we can't have the odorant molecules meet up with the sensory receptors in the nose and transmit that information to the brain."

You can see how the nose and the mouth work together if you pinch your nose and eat a piece of candy, then unplug your nose while it's still in your mouth.
The nose has 5 million odor receptors that can detect 10,000 unique odors. On the tongue, there are taste buds. Inside each bud could be 50 to 100 taste receptor cells. Each receptor cell detects one of five different types of taste, sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami.

What's umami? It detects the amino acid glutamate and was added to the list in 2000.
"Most ... have probably experienced glutamate in the form of MSG," Kalumuck says.

Also, spicy foods are not part of our taste or smell receptors ... They stimulate our pain receptors. So people who love spicy have a high tolerance for pain! And taste is all genetic! Your genes determine the type and number of sensors you have, so you can blame mom or dad if you don't like your food.
Kalumuck says you can learn to enjoy foods that might -- at first bite -- taste unpleasant."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dark Chocolate & Red Wine Share Benefits!

Gourmet Dark Chocolate and Red Wine, Packed With Benefits...

From the blog Dr. Shock MD PhD is this great article about the plentiful benefits of dark chocolate and red wine!

Here's an excerpt:
"....In a recent editorial a common mechanism for both red wine and dark chocolate is discussed. According to the author it is most probable that procyanidine, a flavanol, triggers an endothelial response thereby improving the endothelial function and decreasing the risk on cardiovascular disease. However these claims are based on in vitro research, done in the lab that is. This hypothesis has to be proven in vivo, in real humans and patients. It isn’t even clear how much and what kind of flavanols are absorbed to the bloodstream.

As in chocolate not every wine or red wine has a high content of flavanols. White wine has a lower content of flavanols approximately 8 times less and white wines do not contain procyanidins because the juice is fermented without seeds or skin. Procyanidins in red wine are derived mainly from the grape seeds, but owing to their poor solubility, seeds need to be present in the fermenting for at least 10–14 days for extraction of maximum amounts. So most cheap mass produced red wine isn’t fermented during two weeks and lack procyanidins. Manufacturing processes also affect levels of flavanols in chocolate products."

Read the rest of this article here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Soul-Felt Spirituality & Wellness Series With Jim Walsh - Free Download Here!

From gourmet dark chocolate creator, Jim Walsh :" The Soul Felt Spirituaity Series"!

Just for you, we've made last night's 'Soul Felt Spirituality and Wellness' series with Jim Walsh available for download right here! Download and listen now to this enlightening, phone in conference about putting intention to work in your life!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tonight! A Free Phone-in Conference With Intentional Chocolate Founder Jim Walsh on Putting Intention to Work in Your Life!

Tonight at 6pm PST/ 9pm EST - From the creator of some of world's finest organic, ethical dark chocolate comes a free phone in conference: "Soul-Felt Spirituality & Wellness Series".

Here are more details from Jim Walsh about this enlightening series:

Join us tonight at 6pm PST/ 9pm EST for a spiritually enlightening, free phone-in conference on consciously putting intention to work in your life!
Now that you've discovered intention & spirituality, do you find yourself doubting if it works? Were you uplifted for a moment and then quickly fell back into doubt?

This insightful series of 7 speakers (including me) will guide you on a intentional journey.

Register for this transformational, no-cost event in three easy steps:
2) Watch your inbox for call-in details
3) Be sure to look for your complimentary bonus gifts just for signing up!

Listen to my first experience of the power of intention as well as those of other experts who, too, have consciously partnered with intention. We’ll share our humbling stories, guide you where you are, and fully enlighten you with practical steps for putting intention to work in your life.

Learn HOW to remain in balance and live on purpose.

Spiritual teacher, Michelle Skaletski-Boyd has partnered with Consciousness to create this wonderful Soul-Felt Series with you in mind.

I’m honored and inspired to be part of the speaker line-up, so please consider this your personal invitation to listen in.

Again, follow this link to RSVP...we look forward to hearing from you tonight!