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Welcome to The Quest, a newsletter intended to inspire and inform those interested in experiencing optimal well being in body, mind and spirit. For archived newsletters and more information, please see my website at www.deborahlow.com.

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September 2004

In this issue of The Quest:

1. The Quest Quote
2. The Quest Question ~ Embracing Your Love Affair with Chocolate
3. Gimme a Shout Out!
4. Cool Site


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1. Quote:

In the school of life, difficult people are the faculty. They teach us our most important spiritual lessons, the lessons that we would be most unlikely to learn on our own.
~Mark I. Rosen in "Thank You for Being Such a Pain"

Take a moment to think about what you can learn from the most difficult person in your life.

2. Question:

I have been following your guidelines on eating for health and weight loss. It’s been 6 months now and I feel incredible. However I still have one vice that I can’t seem to break—chocolate! Although you encourage people to eat their favorite foods, I love chocolate so much that I simply must have it every single day. It’s nonnegotiable with me. Can I keep this vice in my diet and still be healthy?

Answer:

Wow, I think I might have met someone who likes chocolate as much as I do! And because I love chocolate’s seductive aroma, smooth texture, and addictive combination of sugar and fat, I, too, asked myself the same question. Good news!

Most of us have heard by now that there is a good side to chocolate, but it’s only in the dark stuff. The antioxidants—phenols and flavonoids—found in dark chocolate may offer protection against heart disease. In addition, cocoa butter (a saturated fat) may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. A number of chemically active compounds in dark chocolate can improve mood and pleasure by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. And consuming dark chocolate may slow the oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
Be aware, however, that milk chocolate is not as heart healthy as dark chocolate. It contains more fat and sugar and less cocoa and antioxidants. White chocolate, which is actually not chocolate at all, is no more than a mix of fat, milk and sugar.

So, yes, dark chocolate can play a healthy role in your diet although I would still suggest eating it infrequently. If you must have it every single day as you say, allow yourself a little morsel of the really good stuff (listing cocoa or chocolate as the first ingredient) and you can enjoy its benefits without guilt. When you do indulge, savor the flavor and the texture. Try to note the effects it has on your body and most importantly, enjoy yourself.

3. What Gives?

Inspire and help others by sharing your opinion! Reply to this email with your two answers (simply write your lettered answers in the ‘subject’ box) and find out next month what others had to say.

1. At what point in your life have you struggled most with your weight or body image?
A)    During or after a difficult romantic relationship
B)     As a teenager
C)    When I was dealing with career or financial stress
D)    Every day is a struggle
E)     Post pregnancy
F)     During menopause
G)    Other: (please respond in the content area of your email)

2. At what point in your life have you felt the most empowered or comfortable with your body?
A)    Life before 21
B)     After receiving a compliment
C)    During pregnancy
D)    When I’m doing something physical, independent of life’s circumstances
E)     My wedding day
F)     Today
G)    Other: (please respond in the content area of your email)

Feel free to add any other comments! All responses will be kept anonymous and 3 random winners will be mailed a book. Already got one? Give it away to someone who could benefit, sell it for an inflated price on Ebay or place it under that wobbly kitchen table.

4. Cool Site!

This “How Food Works” web site provides eight detailed segments on food, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, water, and the meaning of hunger in easy-to-understand language. http://www.howstuffworks.com/food.htm

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