Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"What is Meditation?" A Closer Look...

From HuffingtonPost.com comes this intriguing article by Natasha Dern that delves deeply into the very question: "What is meditation"?
Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Meditation is the art of listening to the universe. It is about cultivating and increasing our capacity to be receptive. When we are receptive, we are better able to hear the wisdom of the universe and the wisdom of the soul. During moments of meditation, the aim is to calm the mind in order to hear the whispers of the soul. This soft voice is what we are trying to connect with and access. Once we tune in, it has the power to transfigure our reality. It contains the wisdom to solve our problems, to empower us and lead us on the right path.

Meditation over time teaches us to sit still and listen, to become aware and control our rampant thoughts, to embrace silence and become comfortable with it, open up our minds to receive guidance, inspiration and fulfillment.

However, it should not to be regarded as the only way to grow spiritually but as one of the instruments of the path. Meditation is a powerful tool that we can use to develop ourselves, refine ourselves, and ultimately learn the truth about ourselves. It is simply a tool for spiritual growth and its value is this: If you look into your heart and mind deep enough and long enough to break down the walls of earthly conditioning, you are then able to discover truth and peace. If meditation is practiced only for the physical benefits that it offers or the illusions of enlightenment without awakening the spiritual nature then the transformation of mind, body and soul is not possible. Because meditation carries consciousness down to a deeper level, which allows you to touch your own center and hence transforms you completely. Reaching this level of consciousness grants you access to knowledge of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms."

Read the rest of this wonderful article here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kind Words About Intentional Chocolate on Gayot.com !

Dark chocolate lovers are everywhere, aren't they?

Here is a wonderfully sweet article on Gayot.com this week featuring Intentional Chocolate! Have a peek at this excerpt:

"...Basically, in Buddhism there’s the idea of metta, which means loving-kindness. When you cook food with the intention of metta, the recipients will experience some of that goodness. In the Intentional Chocolate case, they say studies show that you’ll feel less stress and more energized three days after eating them.

They even claim that it will move the body toward healing. They don’t promise a cancer cure, but they do mention it, and guarantee that the chocolate will activate your own healing capacities. Wow, that’s a mouthful.

Last but not least, the chocolate was developed in cooperation with the HESA Institute (the Human Energy Systems Alliance), highly praised by the Dalai Lama for its "contribution to the betterment of the world." Eat chocolate and make the world a better, healthier place? Sounds good to us!"

FInd the rest of this delicious article here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dark Chocolate Can Give Your Teenager a Healthy Boost!

Hey parents! Dark chocolate can be a luscious snack for your growing teenager...

Here is a great article on Medical News Today, all about how we can help our teenagers take on a healthy diet! Here's more from this encouraging article:

"A grab-and-go breakfast is often the only option they'll consider, so have a selection of healthy cereal bars, toasted tea cakes, bagels and a full fruit bowl visible. Stock up your fridge with smoothies, mini juices, drinking yoghurts and milk. Even if their choice isn't the healthiest, getting their body and taste buds in the habit of wanting some food before they leave the house is a great step forward.

Have an evening family meal with different types of cooking and a wide range of vegetables to choose from. Involve them with menu planning, cooking and shopping if you get the chance; having some of their friends over for a friend feast could be a great incentive to get them involved. Have plenty of healthy snacks at home, so both their hunger pangs and their bodies are satisfied: dried and fresh fruit, rice and oat cakes, unsalted nuts and dark chocolate."

Read the rest of this article here on Medical News Today!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

'The Science behind the Love of Chocolate'! Just the Facts..

Dark chocolate, the 'food of the gods', is great for everyone! Here's a bit about the science behind it...

From Tamara Wilson's lovely blog, A Peek at the Life of a WAHM, comes this great article where she has descrbed in sweet detail the many benefits of dark chocolate...here's more from her article:

"Cacao has been described as the “food of the Gods” by the ancient Maya. Scientists are finally realizing the beneficial aspects of chocolate in relation to physical, mental, and emotional health. One ounce of dark chocolate a day can improve a person’s vigor and energy by up to 67% and in many cases much higher percentages.

Chocolate also contains the amino acids tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. All of these amino acids increase the serotonin levels in the brain which acts as an antidepressant. In addition to the amino acids listed above, chocolate has also been proven to act as a stimulant due to the substance theobromine.

Many people may be surprised to learn chocolate, when taken in small amounts and with higher levels of cocoa, can actually help you lose weight. If the antidepressant amino acids and stimulant theobromine can improve the way a person feels, they may be less likely to overeat. Chocolate can also act as an appetite suppressant which can speed up your metabolism."

Read the rest of this delicious article here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is There a Spiritual Center In The Brain?

Dark chocolate love resides heavily in our brains indeed! But - what about a "spiritual center"?

From ABCNews.com is this rather intriguing article about the possibility of a "spiritual center" in the brain. Here's more from this fascinating article:

"The researchers worked with 88 patients with tumors in various locations in the brain and found that those with damage in the parietal region -- located in the top rear region of the brain -- could be seen to have a change in their attitude toward spirituality, something that tends to be relatively constant in a person.

This finding highlights the key role of parietal cortices in spirituality and suggests that changes of neural activity in specific areas may modify even inherently stable dispositional traits," explained Cosimo Urgesi, one of the study's lead researchers and an assistant professor in psychobiology and physiological psychology at the University of Udine in Italy.

The specific scale researchers used to determine spirituality is known as self-transcendence, a measure used to determine spirituality that appears to remain stable in a person over time.
The tumors researchers based on their findings on were gliomas, the same type of brain tumor with which doctors diagnosed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, that affects the brain tissue itself. Meningiomas, another type of brain tumor that does not affect tissue, did not have an impact on people in the study when removed, Urgesi said.
After the removal of gliomas from the rear of the brain, those patients showed a significant elevation in their level of self-transcendence."

There's much more to this article here on ABCNews.com ....have a peek!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dark Chocolate is Among The Healthiest 'Superfoods' for Women!

Dark, organic gourmet chocolate flies high among the healthiest 'superfoods' women can consume...

From the great site, Health.com is this article all about the greatest foods women can indulge in for optimal health. And yes indeed, dark chocolate is one of them! Here's more from the article:

"You love to eat, but you also love to feel great. You can do both if you choose foods that make you smarter, leaner, stronger—and then use them in tasty new ways....

" ...When you mix and match these America’s Healthiest choices, you get super combos with even more power—a breakfast that’s good for your heart, a dinner that fights cancer, a sweet treat that helps keep your tummy calm and mind sharp. Plus, we’ve rounded up 15 delicious, benefit-packed runners-up, too."

Have a look at the selection of these fabulous foods here on Health.com!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seeking Longevity? Here Are Five Wonderful Tips...

Dark Chocolate means a happy life indeed! Here are a few more tips...

From the marvelous Huffington Post is this wonderful article by Dr. Maoshing Ni about the top five things you can do to lead a longer, happier life! Here's more from the article:

Laugh out loud!
We know from research that laughter and joy boost immune functions, especially the production of the natural killer cells that help protect the body from illness and cancer. Laughter also increases the release of endorphins, compounds that give you a sense of well-being, in your brain. Without a doubt, joyful people live longer and healthier lives.

Drink it up--tea, that is.
Besides being anti-cancerous and cholesterol lowering, the antioxidant-rich tea leaves also protect your brain from free-radical damage, strengthen your bones against osteoporosis and according to studies published in the Journal of American Medical Association, lowers risks of death from all forms of cardiovascular diseases. So drink tea to your heart's content!

Read this wonderful article, and the rest of Dr. Maoshing Ni's tips here in its entirety on Huffington Post.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Intentional Chocolate Donates 100% of Profits to Charities Supporting Haiti Until Valentine’s Day!

Intentional Chocolate focuses on helping Haiti...

Now you can help support Haiti relief causes and spread the love with Intentional Chocolate for Valentine's Day at the same time! Here's more about the cause to help Haiti:

"...Intentional Chocolate, a leader in the revolutionary field of intention-enhanced food, announces today that from now until Valentine’s Day, 100% of the company’s profits will go to charities directly supporting Haitian relief.
Those who purchase Intentional Chocolate as a gift for their loved ones for Valentine’s Day can now also know that they are sharing their love, good intention, and support for Haitian recovery."

Read more about the cause, and Intentional Chocolate's divine array of glorious, gourmet dark chocolate here on IntentionalChocolate.com.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

All About Living Until 100 - How to Increase Your Longevity!

Dark chocolate is excellent for longevity, but here are a few more fun-loving tips from Health.com to boost your years!

"....There was big news recently for anyone born after the year 2000: They’ll probably live to 100, according to new research from Denmark. That’s roughly 20 years longer than the life expectancy of the rest of us. But we could live that long, too, says Walter Bortz II, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford University: “What’s holding us back are bad habits.”

Luck and genetics play roles in longevity, of course, but you can’t control that. To hike your odds of hitting 100, focus on what you can do, like loading up on fruits and veggies (add five years), working out five days a week (add two to four years), and cutting down on stress (may add up to six years)."

Find the rest of the article here, including a great slideshow, yoga moves and recipes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Intentional Chocolate Featured on UniqueHomes.com!

Do you also love gourmet, dark chocolate? UniqueHomes.com gives Intentional Chocolate kind words....

The great website UniqueHomes.com has featured Intentional Chocolate on their site! Here's an excerpt from their delightful article:

"...Intentional Chocolate, a company focused on delivering intention-enhanced food that nourishes both body and spirit, uses the advanced meditations of monks (some trained by the Dalai Lama himself) to infuse good intentions into its products.

The editors at Unique Homes recently taste-tested the fine chocolates to see what celebs like Oprah Winfrey are raving about."

Read the rest of this lovely article here. Thank you, UniqueHomes.com!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dark Chocolate- One of the Top 10 Healing Foods of the Decade!

Dark, organic gourmet chocolate is full or healing properties...

From Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald on Huffingtonpost.com is this wonderful article detailing the top 10 healing foods of the decade! And of course, dark chocolate is included. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"...Many fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed whole foods have properties that can benefit our health. Studies in the past decade have taken nutritional research beyond protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Chemicals in the plants called phytochemicals have been a specific focus in the past decade, offering benefits such as cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, and hormone regulation, to name a few.

There is truly a cornucopia of nutritional benefits that have been discovered. Here are a few "superfoods" that have received a lot of press in the past decade for their research-supported health benefits:

Honey has been revered throughout the ages for its healing properties. Some outstanding research has shown anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects. Honey is being explored further for its role in digestive health as well as wound healing. The research on honey at the University of Waikatob is particularly impressive.

Among the fruits with the highest level of antioxidants, blueberries have been linked to lowering cholesterol, reducing diabetes risk, slowing the aging process, improving motor skills and supporting urinary and vision health. The compound, anthocynanin, gives blueberries their color and may be the main component of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Low in calories and saturated fat, and rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon has certainly received a lot of press this past decade. Research showing anti-inflammatory and cancer prevention properties are impressive. Its role in diabetes and Alzheimer’s prevention as well as its overwhelming cardiovascular benefits makes this fish a winner in every category. Look for wild salmon vs. farmed to avoid contaminants such as PCBs. "

Find the rest of the article here, including the rest of these superb healing foods ( and more about dark chocolate!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Does Generosity Come Naturally to Those With Kind Hearts?

Does giving the gift of dark, gourmet chocolate come easy for you?

From New Scientist is this fascinating article about the possible origins of generosity! Here is an excerpt from this intriguing article:

"...generosity – or the desire for fairness – seems automatic and arises from activation in a brain area that controls intuition and emotion.

Neuropsychologists define "prosocial" people as those who prefer to share and share alike, and "individualists" as those who are primarily concerned with maximising their own gain.

Inequality aversion

According to one theory, the difference between these two groups is that prosocial people actively suppress their selfish tendencies with the help of their prefrontal cortex. But Masahiko Haruno of Tamagawa University in Tokyo, Japan wondered if some people might instead have an automatic aversion to inequality.

Haruno, along with Christopher Frith of University College London used functional MRI to scan the brains of 25 prosocial people and 14 individualists (presorted using a standard behavioral test) while they rated their preference for a series of money distributions between themselves and a hypothetical other person. As expected, the prosocial group preferred even splits while the individualists favoured distributions where they got the most money."

Follow this link to read more in depth details about this interesting theory.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"The Healing Powers of Chocolate" - Intentional Chocolate Mentioned in the Wonderful New Book by Cal Orey!

Dark chocolate takes center stage in this delicious new book by Cal Orey, "The Healing Powers of Chocolate"...

From the author of "The Healing Powers of Olive Oil" and "The Healing Powers of Vinegar" is the lusciously informative book, "The Healing Powers of Chocolate.

The book, which delves deeply into the history and healing powers of the "food of the gods" has featured Intentional Chocolate and Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate in its pages as well! Here is a bit more about the book:

"...THE HEALING POWERS OF CHOCOLATE traces the origin of chocolate, from bean to bar, from centuries ago to the present day. In creating this informative and fascinating book, renowned health expert and author Cal Orey (who lives near San Francisco, one of the nation’s chocolate hot spots) interviewed America’s top chocolate makers and chocolatiers, nutritionists, medical researchers, and chocolate lovers to find out how this ancient “food of the gods” can prevent and fight common ailments and diseases.
The result is a lively comprehensive guide to the wide world of quality chocolate, from 70% dark truffles to Italian biscotti baked with extra virgin olive oil, in America and around the globe. With proven data for eating dark chocolate containing cocoa flavanols to reduce heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and dozens of pesky ailments, this book—with a European twist—takes you on a magical chocolate tour, complete with wit, charm, and entertaining personal anecdotes from ancient folklore to the 20th and 21st century. Find out how chocolate’s powers can lower the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and weight woes.

Learn how chocolate contains more antioxidants than green tea and red wine—without the alcohol. Put dozens of chocolate home cures to work for treating acne, anxiety, brain fog, cabin fever, cough, depression, fatigue, and other ailments.

You’ll also find chocolate beauty and anti-aging treatment—from masks, manicures to bubble baths and body wraps—made from antioxidant-rich chocolate teamed with natural plant extracts.

Incorporating cutting-edge scientific research, plus Mediterranean-style heart-healthy chocolate recipes, from Sicilian Mole to Dark Chocolate Mousse, THE HEALING POWERS OF CHOCOLATE is a well-rounded one-of-a-kind resource that will show you why savoring this no longer forbidden “food of the gods” is the 21st century trend."

You can purchase your very own copy at the links below:


Barnes and Noble


Enjoy! Visit Cal's blog here for unique, fantastic recipes and musings about all things gourmet.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Easy Green Living in 2010!

Happy New Year - Beneficial, green living for 2010!

From the lovely Mother Nature Network is this wonderful article containing a few easy tips to "staying green" in 2010! Here's more from blogger Seil Ju:

"...My eco-friendlier Day Runner. I walked over to Staples to see if any greener options were available. What I found: Refills made with 60% post-consumer recycled paper printed with veggie-based inks! Yes, I know — some planners do offer 100% post-consumer recycled content — but those require my buying new covers along with the innards, instead of refilling my years-old Franklin Covey planner cover. Plus, the Staples store was just a block away. Carbon-emissions free travel!

A BYO appeal at Vons. Believe it or not, my local Vons has a sign on its front door urging customers to “Please bring your reusable bag.” I only noticed this about a week ago, so I’m guessing the sign was put up as part of the county-wide A Day Without a Bag event. Still, we’re talking about an anti-disposable-bag message from a major chain supermarket."

Read the rest of this intriguing article here on Mother Nature Network.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dark Chocolate's Delicious History!

Dark chocolate has been deeply revered through the ages; and continues to be!

From the Aztecs onward, dark chocolate has been the "food of the gods" for many years! From AllChocolate.com is this interesting article all about chocolate's impressive history! Here's an excerpt:

"...The Aztecs thought it gave their warriors strength. Early doctors used to prescribe it to cure ailments. Throughout history, chocolate has been revered more for its medicinal qualities than its delicious taste.
"Chocolate nourishes and preserves health entire, yet causes a pleasant and natural sleep and rest," wrote Dr. William Hughes, an English physician in 1672. "Drunk twice a day, a man may very well subsist therewith, not taking anything else at all."

Aztec Elixir:
For centuries, chocolate was not eaten in the bar form we know, but consumed as a drink. To the Mayans, Aztecs and Early-Europeans, this frothy brew made from the cacao bean was a phenomenon of nature. These early chocolate-lovers were likely impressed by chocolate because of its mild stimulant value — it made them feel awake, alert, strong. Chocolate quickly gained a reputation as food vital for health.

Documents detailing Aztec life showed that chocolate was viewed as a medicinal marvel. The documents, known as the Badianus and the Florentine Codices, were written in the Aztec's native language and were found after the Spanish conquest.
Cacao flowers were ingredients in perfumed baths, and thought to cure fatigue in government officials and others who held public office," says the Badianus Codex, published in 1552. The Florentine Codex, published in 1590, called for a mixture of cacao beans, maize and herbs to ease fever and panting, and to treat the faint of heart....."

Read the rest here in AllChocolate.com to learn more, including how the early Europeans used chocolate to improve their well-being! Learn even more about "Chocolate's Rich History" here.