Chocolate, Wine & Dying Anyway? May as well enjoy ourselves!

Here’s hoping you enjoyed some red wine and dark chocolate yesterday in honor of St. Valentine’s Day!

I know I did.

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Handmade chocolates wwww.eileenslovak.com

 

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Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri 2006 http://www.eileenslovak.com

Like you, I chose to ignore reports like the the JAMA Network study Resveratrol Levels and All-Cause Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Adults which indicates there may after all, not be any real health benefits of consuming red wine and dark chocolate.

It was a lovely dream.

Based on this news will chocolate and red wine lovers cease our habits now that these guilty pleasures will not necessarily add years to our lives?

Unlikely.

There are still benefits that extend beyond the mere enjoyment wine and chocolate…like happiness.

The mood elevator Phenylethlamine a naturally occurring amine, best known as the “love drug” produced by our bodies when we fall in love is also found in chocolate. Some researchers say that if you crave chocolate or any other food, you may merely be deficient in one or more nutrients, vitamins or minerals like magnesium.

You could resolve this issue in the case of magnesium by eating seeds/nuts, green leafy vegetables or by taking a supplement. There is no need to turn to chocolate.

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http://www.eileenslovak.com

Do we drink red wine for its health benefits such as the presence of Polyphenols, U.S. National Library of Medicine as antioxidants? Or do we drink it because we like it and it makes us happy?

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My hubby in Tuscany! http://www.eileenslovak.com

My family lived in Italy for three years. Over which time we spent many a weekend in the Chianti region, where the JAMA study was conducted.

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“Enotcea” http://www.eileenslovak.com

Should we stop visiting wineries and frequenting chocolate festivals because these lovely tangibles have reverted to mere vices and are therefore unhealthy?

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Nick and Kat at Villa Matilde in Cellole, Italy http://www.eileenslovak.com

Link to Villa Matilde

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Chocolate Festival in Teano, Italy http://www.eileenslovak.com

After three years of traveling throughout Italy, I can verify by my own experience, the inherent joy of the Italian people. What I cannot do is prove that red wine and chocolate are the reasons for this happiness. It is a good theory, and one that scientists may consider for their next study.

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Me in Tuscany!!!! http://www.eileenslovak.com

Until then, cheers with chocolate on top!

Thanks for reading and keep writing!

Link to my E-Book!

 

Artistic in the District: Part Four, The Calvert Arts Festival

Crowd at The Calvert Arts Festival
Crowd at The Calvert Arts Festival

 

 

Finding two of my most favorite things in one place, wine and art, I ventured out with my family to the Wine and Arts Festival in Sunderland, Maryland this past mother’s day weekend. The festival took place at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Sunderland, Maryland.

For a $15 fee, I was able to buy a souvenir wine glass etched for the occasion and sample wines from eight local wineries. Luckily for me, I had a designated driver!

Bobbing along the Southern Maryland wine trail has long been on my list of things to do. This was even better, less travel involved on my part and I was able to stroll the artists booths with wine in hand.

The Wineries present were: Cove Point Winery, Friday’s Creek Winery, Perigeaux Vineyard & Winery, Port of Leonardtown Winery, Romano Vineyard & Winery, Running Hare Vineyard, Slack Winery and Solomon’s Island Winery.

Running Hare Sangiovese
Running Hare Sangiovese

 

Artists, and crafters, sold their creations along side of the vintner’s with lovely background music supplied by five local bands, featuring Big Band, Celtic, Blues and Jazz. This year marked the seventh annual festival organized by All Saints Episcopal Church. If you live in southern Maryland and you missed it, mark your calendar for next year. But fear not, the festival season has only just begun!

Among the arts and crafts available,a few of my favorites were: Artist Larry Ringgold who makes one of a kind driftwood art sculptures, available at http://www.turtlepointdriftwood.com

 

My kiddo's in Larry Ringgold's booth
My kiddo’s in Larry Ringgold’s booth.

Another fave was the spectacular nature imagery by retired teacher, Suzanne Cassidy, from her many years of teaching science. Suzanne and her husband, William have transferred the photographs on to coasters, mouse pads, tile installations and more. Visit their site at: http://www.teacherswithcameras.com/ for their full story and to see where else you can find them this summer.

Just when I thought I had reached the pinnacle of fun, I discovered my third favorite thing…CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate Crab by Heritage Chocolates
Chocolate Crab by Heritage Chocolates

Yes, it was every bit as DELICIOUS as it looked! For more yummy creations see: www.heritage-chocolates.com.

For a full list of vendors from this event please contact: www.allsaints1692.org.

If you haven’t yet discovered Maryland wines and wineries, and have an interest in learning more about the wine making process visit: www.perigeaux.comRunningHareVineyard.comwww.RomanoWinery.com or any of those mentioned above.

Wishing you a art-filled, ‘wine-tastic’ summer and thank you for reading!

 

Need a fast read for this weekend? SECRET AGENT OF GOD

 

 

Internal Dialog: Motivator or Enabler?

If my internal dialog genuinely wanted to help, this is what it would look like:

And this is what it would shout:

“Quit whining, shut your pie hole and run!”

Instead it speaks in hushed tones and whispers and says things like:

“You’re over 40.  Your metabolism has slowed considerably.  Of course you’re going to put on weight.”

And “You’ve worked so hard n your diet, you deserve a little chocolate now and then.” 

Over the summer, while running “Camp Mom”, I choose to ignore my internal Drill Sergeant and turn up the volume on my Enabler, who is so much more pleasant and understanding.

My Enabler knows that as head counselor of Camp Mom, I feel justified in stuffing my face with S’Mores, movie popcorn and ice cream cones.

But come September, the Sergeant is back on my doorstep, his bulging biceps folded across his chest, poking a finger at my protruding gut and saying:

“What’s this?  Move your butt, clam cake belly!”

His take no prisoners approach to fitness is the only way I know to release the pancakes I have been holding hostage on my hips and thighs all summer.

So I start running again and stop indulging in foods that lead to bulging.  And I give up whining…well, at least out loud.

Sweet Chocolate Bunny in the Pantry

Conversation with a chocolate bunny:

First, why are you still here?  Easter was…wait, checking the calendar…over four months ago.  Big eyed and all shiny in your pink foil wrapper, you aim to entice.  How many times has someone reached into the pantry for olives or oil, collard greens or BBQ beans, brushing you with a hand, but not grabbing you instead?

You don’t belong; surely, you know this, right?

Why, you could still be crouched there on that metal shelf come next Easter, for all we know.  Let’s see, when is that?  It’s in April, no March 31st next year.  That’s so far away.  By then you’ll be ruined, white or gray with sugar or fat bloom*, from those substances breaking down and destroying your smooth chocolate sheen.

*See:  question711.htm> 24 August 2012.

Hmmm, let’s see, maybe you already suffer from it.  We’ll just take a peak…

…thank goodness, no signs of turning.  Now, with your foil torn and that air exposure, yeah, that could become a problem for you.  Better, make sure you’re okay.

Yup, still delicious.  I guess you can stay.  We’ll just fix your foil…good as new.

What’s that Bunny?  No, of course you don’t need ears; you’re made out of chocolate, silly!   Trust me, you’re better off if you don’t hear anyone coming.