"Researchers have discovered that chocolate produced some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can't remember what they are." ~Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show
Wackos the world over have been covering anything and everything imaginable with chocolate...ants, bacon, bananas, coffee beans, dates, apples, edamame, grasshoppers, grub worms, jalapeno peppers, assorted nuts (In my opinion, nuts just take up space where the chocolate oughta' be), pickles, potato chips, pretzels, seaweed, slugs, strawberries, Twinkies, and the ever-popular -- sweet on the outside but nasty on the inside -- chocolate covered onions. Pregnant or not, just about everything tastes better when slathered in a yummy coating of chocolate...well almost everything.
Sure, many eat chocolate all by itself for the sheer enjoyment of it, me being one of them. But in case you need any convincing, there are those "urban legend" health benefits associated with eating chocolate that might have inspired you to celebrate the incredible holiday of National Chocolate Covered Anything Day (December 16).
For instance, chocolate supposedly slows down the aging process (It may not be scientifically proven. But not eat chocolate? Why take the risk?), invigorates the circulatory system, rejuvenates the brain, prevents coughs -- and though it's never been medically proven -- many people swear that chocolate is an aphrodisiac that arouses their sexual desires as well. Convinced yet?
So let's review: Chocolate contains agents found naturally in the human brain that stimulate lust, mood changes, euphoria, an increased heart rate, feelings of well being, and -- in the event that romance is part of the plan -- improved endurance. OK, OK, it might be a bit of a stretch to call chocolate a "love potion" -- but if nothing else -- it sure tastes delicious and makes ya' feel good. So how bad could it be?!
Eating chocolate just to make you feel good, or even eating it with the expectation that it will improve the vibes down "you know where," there is always a down side (every action has a reaction!). Because of all its empty calories, too much chocolate unfortunately can also add a few pounds to an already existing "spare tire," "guzzle gut," or "jelly-belly." (When I'm a few pounds over my limit my partner, Richard, sings to me, "It must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake that way." Sure...I could give up chocolate -- but, hey, I'm no quitter!)
After you've finished totally indulging yourself, and have dipped everything imaginable into the luscious dark velvety goodness of melted chocolate, you're certain to have the telltale kiss of it on you somewhere. To eliminate the incriminating evidence that you indeed are a chocoholic -- the first step is to admit that you are powerless over chocolate. Next, begin removing as much of the hardened brown goop as you can. (No...sucking it out of the garment, or licking it out of the grout isn't an option! Trust me on this, I've tried!)
Follow by rinsing the area in room temperature water and sprinkling the stained area with baking soda. Then add about a tablespoon of white vinegar...the "Mr. Wizard"-like reaction should lift the stain much like the chocolate lifted your spirits. Then just wash as you normally would.
I hope you celebrated this day -- it comes but once a year. If you missed the sweetest day on the calendar, write the words "gobble," "wolf," "munch," "chomp," "devour" -- or simply -- "dine upon" chocolate at the very top of your To-Do list for next December 16. That way, even if you're a natural born procrastinator, you'll definitely see one of your tasks to completion.
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