Twas exactly one week before Christmas, when all through the house, I was the only creature stirring. Since visions of sugarplums danced in my wee little head, I promptly ate four milk chocolate truffles before I could even blink an eye. The knowledge that these chocolates were supposedly purchased to go into my children's Christmas stockings was not sufficient to deter me.
Worried that my tummy might indeed turn to a "bowl full of jelly," I brewed myself a cup of organic green tea. Surely this would counteract the effects of my aforementioned indulgence! I had read somewhere that green tea was good for one's health, though I am not sure just why.
I sat down with my cup of tea to read the morning paper when what to my wondering eyes should appear! No, it was not Santa, his sleigh, nor his reindeer. Better yet—it was an article entitled, "Chocolate: New Health Food? Harvard study finds those who eat chocolate live longer."[i] Well, now! I felt better already! I knew there must be a logical explanation for my love affair with smooth, creamy dark chocolate!
The article elaborated on a study of Harvard male graduates that found that those who ate chocolate and candy lived almost a year longer than those who did not. It explained that chocolate contains phenols, which are known to be antioxidants. Even though the scientists cautioned that the findings are preliminary, I am convinced that chocolate is indeed a health food. No doubt in my mind whatsoever!
Now there is no need for clandestine encounters with chocolate. I will proudly divulge my long-term relationship with the latest health food. No more secrecy, justification, or rationalization. Furthermore, if I combine chocolate with green tea, the combination of two will undoubtedly lengthen my life even more.
To all you other chocolate lovers out there, if you were here with me now, we would lift our mugs of green tea, and I would propose a toast, "To long life and more CHOCOLATE!"
Perhaps I should leave green tea and chocolate for Santa this year! Maybe he could use a little help!
[i] "Chocolate: New Health Food?", Daily Times Call, Friday, December 18, 1998, page C8.
(c) Marlene Depler