Did you give up anything for Lent? Regardless of your religious affiliations or not, did you feel compelled to give up something you enjoyed? And was that thing, that denial of pleasure, the absence of chocolate from your life for 40 days?
I bet it was. How foolish of you, especially if it means you just go straight back to it as if nothing has changed – how many times can you give one thing up? I once gave up swearing for Lent – when I worked for the Catholics a few years ago. It didn’t hold and I think it made me worse than ever.
I am of the belief that the little evils of life like chocolate and swearing are good for you, providing the Moderation rule applies – you know, not the stupid education version of Moderation – the all things in moderation is fine. Of course it is.
But actually, as you should know by now, chocolate is good for you. Let me say that again – chocolate is good for you. Yes. It. Is. Medically proven and everything.
So, 6 reasons to eat chocolate (in case you need reminding)
1.It makes you feel good. On the tongue, in the mouth, down the throat and sticky on the fingers that must be licked. It is a sensual eating pleasure par excellence. Think Crème Egg…
2.It keeps you sane. It’s been known for years now that chocolate helps even out some of those chemicals that ‘help’ in the depression zones. Chocolate does things with the chemicals and calms and soothes and helps depressives see more light than dark. It also cheers you up cheaply and easily after a hard day.
3.It helps you concentrate and study more effectively. Just like oily fish is good for the brain cells, so is chocolate. It stimulates and soothes – what a wonder it is. So the best meal before a big exam is salmon and chocolate mousse, obviously. Perhaps instead of endless re-takes for GCSE we should simply stuff the kiddies with the chocolate bar of their choice?
4.It connects you to others. Most people love a bit of chocolate, from your cheap end chunky bar to the joys of Toblerone and Ferrero-Rocher and lovely rich melty stuff from Brussels and Switzerland – yes, we love Lindt too, and people who love chocolate must be all right.
5.It’s brilliant for celebrations – hence the joys of Easter. Nothing like a choccy splurge to celebrate the resurrection of Christ – I’m sure he was looking to his mates for a Mars Bar as they brought him down. Note that dining out often ends with chocolates and coffee… and a box of chocolates is a lovely simple act of love too.
6.It’s just brilliant anytime, anywhere – you know that. Make sure you have your own secret stash for moments of brilliance in your day.
Clearly there is no need to feel even the slightest glimmer of a twinge of guilt this weekend as you enjoy your bunnies and eggs, and myriad other treats. Know clearly that chocolate really is a health food, just like wine counts as one of your five a day. Happy Easter xxx (Images courtesy Private Collection).