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!

truffles

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!

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.

 

Chocolate, you just don’t stop! Another reason to love you…

It seems like weekly there is new fantastic research extolling the health virtues of chocolate. Last week we saw that chocolate may actually help diabetes and now this week we are finding out exactly how chocolate works in our internal system making it so good for us. As we spoke about in one blog post a few months ago chocolate contains phenols, an antioxidant, a compound in cocoa-rich chocolate are the same as the ones found in red wine. Now we can see how those antioxidants work!

Researchers with Louisiana State University unveiled at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) their study, the first ever to look at the effects of dark chocolate on the various types of bacteria in the stomach. Their research showed how certain bacteria in the stomach consume parts of the chocolate thus fermenting it into anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart and gut.

Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study’s researchers, explained “We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones.The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate,” she said. “When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.” The other bacteria in the gut are associated with inflammation and can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. These include some Clostridia and some E. coli.”

“When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke,” said John Finley, Ph.D., who led the work.  This study was supported by the Louisiana State College of Agriculture and a Louisiana AgCenter Undergraduate Research Grant.

Exciting times in the world of chocolate! Want some now? Order online at www.intentionalchocolate.com

Intentional Chocolate Raspberry

For more on the study American Chemical Society. “Precise reason for health benefits of dark chocolate: Thank hungry gut microbes.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm>.

We now have even MORE proof chocolate is good for us!

Chocolate lovers get to celebrate even more about chocolate today based on recently published study in the March 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal!!

“The effect that dark chocolate has on our bodies is encouraging not only because it allows us to indulge with less guilt, but also because it could lead the way to therapies that do the same thing as dark chocolate but with better and more consistent results,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Until the ‘dark chocolate drug’ is developed, however, we’ll just have to make do with what nature has given us!”  Dark chocolate just keeps getting better, so eat up!!

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The Top Institute Food and Nutrition and Wageningen University, Division of Human Nutrition in Wageningen, The Netherlands made the discovery that dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are known factors that play a significant role in atherosclerosis. Basically this means chocolate helps to prevent the hardening of arteries! So go ahead, eat that chocolate!

Intentionally Giving Back

INTENTIONAL GIVEBACK

Intentional Chocolate strives to live up to its title of being an intentional company. A big part of intention is connection to the community and doing well for others. As part of this giveback we connect with other intentional organizations monthly and at times for longer periods to help promote their cause and message by exposing our customers to them. We also donate 15% of our net profits to them during the time we work with them.

HOW WE CHOOSE OUR CAUSES

As there are numerous amazing and intentional causes it is hard to choose just one to giveback to.  We instead rotate our time and energy to different causes throughout the year. A lot of what we look at is if our company aligns with the charities focus and that the collaboration makes sense for both. We also want to make sure we have enough resources and ability to promote the organization at hand so as to help them spread the word the best we can.

CURRENT CAUSE:  Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

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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

 

PAST CHARITIES

On our blog: https://intentionalchocolate-blog.com/some-of-our-favorite-people/

 

 

 

Receive the wonders of Holiday Intentions

I love during this time to reflect on all that I have in my life. It’s a wonderful time of the year with holiday cheer, family traditions and a season of joy all around. It sparks this sense of wonder at the world around me. I’m reminded of those earlier years when we were bright eyed and bushy tailed with the excitement of presents and gatherings. Reflecting on those memories by looking at one of the steps of setting intention: (this article was first written for FIND BLISS magazine April 2013 by Ashley Walsh)

Receive the Wonder.  This statement reads so simply, yet the complexity of the concept has been deliber ated by the likes of Plato and Buddhist monks. As daunted as those who took on this subject before myself, I decided to go out in search of the wonder. In this process, I found a self-portrait that I drew at age five: an inked outline of a woman (apparently I was well-developed in my mind) with the words “I love ME!” written boldly next to it. There it was, in its simplicity of youth, the truest expression of what it means to Receive the Wonder, which is: To Love Yourself.

I LOVE ME

 Multiple disciplines and philosophies hold the fundamental belief that our internal world is reflected in the external world; a dynamic play of energy is constantly in action. As Subhash Kak, PhD, states in Quantum Mechanics of Consciousness, “It is assumed that patterns seen in the outer world characterize the inner world.”

The concept of, “I am the universe” is one that many of us embodied at age five, although perhaps was really unknown to us at the time. So the question becomes, “What happened between then and now that caused us to become separated from the universe? And how do we reconnect?”

Separation is due in part to that adult voice of ours that told the inner-five-year old, “Hey, look we don’t need anybody else! We can do this on our own.” Which of course we can; we can choose with our free will to be our own separate island—or we can choose to connect with the Universal source.

Think of it this way: Every time you exhale, over one hundred million atoms leave your body and travel out into the world. Every time you inhale, the same number of atoms returns to you. We are constantly breathing in one another and the Universe. When we consider how this connects to the scientific law of the conservation of energy, we realize that energy is never lost, nor does it die, it simply shifts, transfers, and maybe even transforms. In the same way, every breath connects us to the source of life and to ourselves, as the energy between the universe and ourselves is one and the same.

My five-year-old self did not seem to have a problem believing in that universal oneness and love, but at times,the adult me has trouble. In times like these, practices such as mindfulness and centering ourselves through meditation can be beneficial. The wonderful truth of these exercises is it’s not about ridding ourselves of us or trying to be a better us, but instead to become more of us.

Each morning I like to return to that inner five-year-old, which we all can do, by reflecting on an experience at that age. One of my favorites is racing around our Hawaiian cacao fields, marveling at the beauty of the cocoa pods and breathing in the scent of the ocean air, pre-Christmas morning. That youthful bliss reminds me of being open to the sentiment, “I Love Me” — the me, the you, and all that is; this is an acknowledgement each morning of receiving the wonder of life.

For the Find Bliss article click here