Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

The Health Benefits of Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Wow!  Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is only 3 days away?  Have you given much thought to how you’re going to spoil your significant other?

I’m going to treat my hubby with a nice nutritious treat: Chocolate dipped strawberries!  Yes!  This is a nutritious treat and here’s why:

CHOCOLATE
There is now increasing evidence that chocolate can be part of a healthy diet – and that it may even offer some specific health benefits!  Here’s a rundown on some of the latest research in support of chocolate’s health benefits:

  • Heart Disease – A study published in the March 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that of more than 34,000 post-menopausal women who consumed the most flavonoid-rich food, 22 per cent had a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease. Chocolate was ranked as one of the top flavonoid-rich foods associated with a protective effect, along with bran, red wine, grapefruit and strawberries.
    These findings support previous research published in 2006 in the Archive of Internal Medicine, which found men who consumed high amounts of cocoa products (2.3 grams or more per day) had a 50 per cent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, compared with men with the lowest consumption.
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol – In a study published in the July 4, 2007, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that a little bit of dark chocolate may help lower your blood pressure. German researchers followed two groups of people with untreated high blood pressure for 18 weeks. Half got a bit of dark chocolate every day while the other half received white chocolate. In the end, those eating the dark chocolate saw a drop in their blood pressure and there was no change for group that ate white chocolate.
  • Psychological well-being– Heart health isn’t the only thing with a link to chocolate. A 2007 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who preferred chocolate to other types of candy had a lower body mass index and waist circumference than men who did not eat chocolate. Chocolate lovers also experienced more feelings of happiness and better psychological well-being. (This is great news for my running/bloggy friend Jon in Michigan who is well know for his chocolate addiction).

I recommend that you opt for dark chocolate for optimum health benefits, as it has the most flavonoids.  Also, consider organic or “fair-trade” dark chocolate  to further make your treat guilt-free :)

STRAWBERRIES
We all know strawberries are delicious, but like chocolate, they are also nutritious, and ideally should be a part of everyone’s daily diet. You’ll enjoy some health advantages by eating strawberries regularly, and the best part is strawberries are one of the most delicious fruits!  Strawberries contain a range of nutrients, with vitamin C heading the group. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals. These antioxidant properties are believed to be linked to what makes the strawberry bright red.
In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

There ya have it – for a healthy Valentine’s Day treat DIP YOUR CHOCOLATE IN STRAWBERRIES!! Have a great Valentine’s Day friends!
chocolate covered strawberries The Health Benefits of Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

PS – Have you entered my SADE “Soldier of Love” CD Giveaway yet?

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Fitness Tip of The Day: When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home. Exercise is not enough. You must also include healthy eating habits.

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I Really Screwed Up Valentine’s Day

As a mom I feel it’s my job to make sure my girls are never embarrassed by showing up unprepared.  If its library day at school – it’s my job to remember to pack the library book Sierra borrowed the week before to return, etc…  I know at some point that I will need to transition that responsibility to her – but she’s only 4.  Over the next few years I’ll slowly introduce her to the process of thinking about what she’ll need for the day.  That said I’m also all for tough love – having her show up empty handed a few times will reinforce that the ultimate responsibility is hers, though she’s still a bit young for that.

This week my responsibility was Valentine’s Day.  More specifically to make sure Sierra and Brooke had Valentine’s Day cards to hand out to all of their friends.  This seemingly simple task is complicated by the fact that Sierra needed to bring cards to both her daycare class, and her Kindergarten class.  (She goes to full day Kindergarten Tues/Thurs and generally every other Friday).  Her schedule is a little wonky to say the least.  I needed to make cards for close to 50 kids for Sierra and another 21 kids in Brooke’s daycare class.  Due to the volume of cards, I didn’t even bother addressing the cards – I simply wrote “To My Friend”.  Now this where we get to how mommy screwed up.

Wednesday night at 11 pm, I was dog tired from 3 busy week nights but I was up in my PJ’s addressing cards, slipping tattoos into the corners of the cards and taping heart-shaped lollipops to the cards.  The Type-A part of my personality simply won’t allow me to just have the kids show up with the bare minimum of what’s required for the event.  Oh no – they need to have the best cards and something a little extra for their friends.  On his way to bed hubby hugged me good night and I got all pissy on him.  Why should I be up doing this while he gets to sleep?  They’re his kids too!  Anyways, he goes and looks at the schedule and tells me that Sierra has Kindergarten (big school) on Friday.  This meant that all of the three Valentine’s Day parties were going to be on Friday and none of the cards were due the next day.  I happily packed everything up, went to bed and didn’t give it anymore thought – I finish all of the cards Thursday night.

The schedule Sierra’s Kindergarten teacher sent home was wrong and Brooke’s class changed their schedule… both of their class parties were on Thursday. Only Sierra’s daycare class party was Friday.

Both girls came home sad Thursday night – ‘cause mommy screwed up Valentine’s Day.  Sigh – this parenting gig would be a hell of a whole lot easier if the school and daycare would at least send home accurate schedules.

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