ALL NEW!!! Help us select our new truffle flavors and WIN!

It’s that time of the year again. Fall has hit (well not Los Angeles but the rest of the country!) and soon it will be Halloween followed by Thanksgiving. And it’s when we at Intentional Chocolate, come out with our intentional truffles. This year we will be offering not only our 4 pack but also 2 packs of truffles! And with a new artisan handmade truffles you cannot go wrong with these holiday gifts!

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But we want to know what four types you all are interested in having. We’ve narrowed it to 7, now we need you to help us choose. We will choose 3 of you who response to us either here or on Facebook by receiving a 2 pack of our truffles!

So here are the choices:

 

Chocolate Wellness WINNERS!

Thank you all for sharing your love on how chocolate is used in your wellness routines. My little chocolate wellness treat usually consists of a few pistoles of Intentional Chocolate at night as setting the intentions for good rest and sweet dreams along with a cup of ginger tea, to melt the pieces on my tongue.

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I will share a few of the wonderful entries we received–

“I eat your chocolates as a fix to my chocolate needs and it uplifts me. Thank you!!!” — How wonderful!

“I find that dark chocolate of at least 70% helps with headaches probably by opening up the blood vessels and calming my blood pressure down.” — Yes, a lovely calming effect!

And the WINNER:

“When I’m stressed out and feel like I’m about to panic, I would eat dark chocolate while listening to calming meditation music while breathing slowly for about 15-20 minutes. I find this will usually bring me back to task at hand with a more positive attitude.”

Thank you Sau-Ming Lee for your entry. Please email ashley@intentionalchocoalte.com with you address for your free bag of chocolate (wellness!) and as a bonus we will send you a link of our chocolate meditation, as it sounds like you would love that!

Chocolate Wellness

As part of our partnership with DBSA we have been providing chocolate meditation tasting kits to support groups around the US. Please read for a lovely story of wellness…

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“Your gift of the chocolate meditation kit was very timely as the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) challenge for the month of July was to find ways to relax and prevent stress from building up.  Here at the Recovery Cooperative of Muskegon we are a peer run drop in center for people who live with a mental health diagnosis.  At our DBSA meeting today we had two staff and five members attend.  We began our group today by practicing chocolate meditation.

These are the comments from the people who participated:  I loved the flute music, enjoyed it, this was a relaxing way to get ready for group, I enjoyed it but thought the chocolate was bitter, this is a good way to calm down from anxiety.

Again, thank you so very much for the gift of the chocolate meditation kit.  We all enjoyed it very much and thought it was a great wellness tool.  We plan to practice chocolate meditation again at future meetings.”

DBSA-Logo-Horiz-Bluehttp://www.dbsa.org for more information.

Tell us how you enjoy chocolate for wellness and be entered to win a free bag of chocolate!

Walk a little longer and farther by eating Dark Chocolate!

Chocolate again comes in with another potential health bonus!!

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Polyphenols — compounds found in cocoa — may reduce oxidative stress and improve blood flow in peripheral arteries. “Polyphenol-rich nutrients could represent a new therapeutic strategy to counteract cardiovascular complications,” said, Francesco Violi, M.D., study senior author and professor of internal medicine at the Sapienza University of Rome.

In a pilot study of patients with PAD (14 men and six women, ages 60-78), study participants increased their ability to walk unassisted after eating dark chocolate, compared to when they ate milk chocolate. After eating the dark chocolate, they walked an average 11 percent farther and 15 percent longer (almost 12 meters/39 feet farther and about 17 seconds longer) than they could earlier that day. But distance and time didn’t improve after eating milk chocolate.

The improvements were modest. Still, the benefit of dark chocolate polyphenols is “of potential relevance for the quality of life of these patients,” said Lorenzo Loffredo, M.D., the study’s co-author and assistant professor at the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy.

 

To read the full study click here.

 

The Don’ts of Chocolate Tasting

The Don’ts of Chocolate Tasting (this was written on  the C-Spot)

We’re often asked to lead formal tastings which we conduct on special occasions.
Most of these tastings affairs are, bluntly, just a ‘tarding up of the consumer: “now here’s how you eat chocolate: first, look at it by opening your eyes; second, smell it by breathing in thru your nose; third, listen to it by perking up your ears; next, bite it…” ad nauseam. People need nanny-style potty training like the Pentagon needs another explosive device.
Chocolate is a direct hit – it’s an easy to “get”.
But since you asked, here are a few quick “don’ts”.
Don’t:
…overthink taste.choco medi 4

Instead turn off your internal chatter & let the melt flow into an effortless attention that will freely interpret & translate a bar’s manifold flavors, without work, as relaxation sets in, taking on a meditative-trance aspect akin to mushin no shin, the Zen expression for “zoned”. That’s what the chocolate melt—literally / physically, figuratively / metaphorically— is all about.
Take a deep breath, inhale the perfumes & harmonize with the bar like that bird clasped in the hand—too loose it flies away, too tight, you’ll crush it.
…do as you’re told. choco medi2

Some proscribe chewing, for instance. Chew or let it melt on your tongue? Consider both – between alternate tastings or even together—because both have their strengths &, moreover, each reveals a different side of the flavor.
Chocolate, after all, embodies a full sensory experience—often an overload—engendering intimacy. So whatever feels good… use your body intelligence. Besides, it’s your chocolate.
…wait for the right moment.
Some cocoa gurus proclaim that certain times of the day are optimal for critical tastings.
Others say only after you’ve cleared the palate with some kind of slimey gruel or a proper hi-colonic (k, we jest on that one).
Our take: People link chocolate to sex since it carries that oozy body-melt & contains trace amounts of aphrodisiacs (such as PEA – phenylethylamine, the “Love Chemical”, an adrenal-related compound that is also naturally created within the hypothalamus of the brain & is released to flood the brain during orgasm, producing that warm glow).
Whether morning or midnight, sex can be good any time. The outdoor variety, for instance, under the midday sun when the senses are fully awakened.
Spontaneity… whenever the moment seizes & moves, carpe chocolatum, in sync with Roberta Flack’s “that’s the time, I feel like makin’…”

Memorial Day Rememberances

Memorial day serves as a reminder of the men and women who died in duty serving our country. The holiday began after the American Civil War to commemorate the soldiers lost in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day extended to honor all Americans having died while in service for our country.

If you are looking for a way to give back, consider USA Cares.

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USA Cares exists to help bear the burdens of service by providing post-9/11 military families with financial and advocacy support in their time of need. Assistance is focused on three main areas:

- Removing the financial barriers that prevent veterans from receiving treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury. This program is saving the lives of veterans and restoring families.

- Removing the financial barriers that prevent veterans from securing employment.

- Providing emergence family services to veterans and active duty service members who sustain a significant reduction in pay because of their service.

Support Group uses of Chocolate and Meditation!

We have always felt here at Intentional Chocolate that eating chocolate is a zen like experience. You get to enjoy one of life’s pleasures, tasting all the subtle flavors that unlock in your mouth as you roll around the bite on your tongue. Over the past couple of years of offering the meditation we have seen the wonderful impact it has on people’s lives.

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As part of our partnership with our charity DBSA, depression bi-polar support alliance, we donated several chocolate meditation kits to the award winning support groups around the country. The support groups opened their hearts and minds to the idea of trying the meditation at one of their meetings. And we had some exciting feedback from the groups:

“Out of group members’ desire for socialization in a more relaxed setting than a support group meeting allows, we had our first of a planned monthly series of “game nights” tonight. I used the opportunity to do the 68% Tasting Meditation with attendees.

We had six people participating. They liked the experience. We did not experience the sensations and tastes as the Rev. Peluso described–the chocolate just tasted like chocolate–but we did sense, and enjoy, how this changed over time with the taste intensifying and diminishing and the solid softening and melting. It was noted that it felt good to slow down and relax, and one participant said that he had never enjoyed consuming a piece of chocolate so well before.
I asked if we should repeat this at our future “game nights” and all responded yes. So next month we will do another of the meditations.

“The tasting meditation does work to tune out external stimuli and thoughts while focusing on the meditation. A participant who has partaken in all three sessions to date reported that, as a result, he has scaled back his chocolate consumption, a daily habit, out of inspiration to be more responsible and mindful as he consumes chocolate more slowly.”

If you have support groups that are interested in trying out our meditation tasting kit for free, please email ashley@intentionalchocolate.com and she will provide you with more details. Or if you want to donate directly to DBSA please see their information below.

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Why DBSA and IC?

DBSA and IC line up with their core value of envisioning wellness within the world. It’s a great time to connect over the Valentine’s Day holiday, as it’s a time of connection through love. Chocolate is a food of love and actually contains the love molecule – PEA. Studies have shown that regular consumption of cocoa has been found to improve cognitive function and mood because cocoa contains polyphenols. Polyphenols can increase the blood flow to the brain and boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and endorphin, all of which contribute to feelings of feeling good. IC adds their special ingredient – intention and the end result is a delicious gourmet bit of well-being.

To help DBSA support groups, on top of donating 15% of net profits, IC is also giving chocolate tasting meditation kits to the support groups.

About DBSA

Their vision

DBSA envisions wellness for people living with depression and bipolar disorder.

Their Mission

DBSA provides hope, help, support, and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders.

Who they are

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the leading peer-directed national organization focusing on the two most prevalent mental health conditions, depression and bipolar disorder, which affect more than 21 million Americans, account for 90% of the nation’s suicides every year, and cost $23 billion in lost workdays and other workplace losses.

DBSA’s peer-based, wellness-oriented, and empowering services and resources are available when people need them, where they need them, and how they need to receive them—online 24/7, in local support groups, in audio and video casts, or in printed materials distributed by DBSA, our chapters, and mental health care facilities across America.

Through more than 700 support groups and nearly 300 chapters, DBSA reaches millions of people each year with in-person and online peer support; current, readily understandable information about depression and bipolar disorder; and empowering tools focused on an integrated approach to wellness.

What Makes DBSA Unique

DBSA is led by and created for individuals living with a mood disorder, and that experience informs everything that we do.

How to Support The Cause Directly

http://www.dbsalliance.org