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I read an interesting article in the paper recently about chocolate being a healthy nutritional choice. I love it when the scientists give me permission to do what I’m already doing, not feel guilty about it, and actually congratulate myself on being smart and forward-thinking. I’ve always been something of a chocoholic and felt somewhat embarrassed to admit it. But no more! I’m going to stand tall, shout it from the rooftops and revel in my addiction.It’s one of the few addictions that a person CAN admit in public. It seems that dark chocolate has lots of valuable nutrients and can help prevent heart disease…possibly cancer as well but the jury is still out on that. Although it would seem, from this study, that I may not be eating ENOUGH chocolate to benefit me.They recommend an ounce a day…and regular consumption is important. Wow! Talk about a gift!!

The kids know my love of chocolate since I’ve always kept a ‘stash’ hidden somewhere in the kitchen: in a drawer under a pile of useless bits and scraps (rubber bands, twist ties and small pieces of foil),in a canister that everyone thinks is for whole wheat flour, or at the back of the fridge where only the brave or foolhardy dare go. And Gill goes one step further: she encourages my addiction by bringing me yummy artisnal chocolates from a market in London. So, although she criticizes me for my love of chocolate, she also enables me.

When in Mexico recently, I took the encouraging research seriously. I was delighted to discover that each night the maid placed a chocolate truffle  on the bed table. So my boyfriend and I each got one, as did his sister who was sharing the suite with us. They are not dedicated, true chocolate lovers, so they generously gave theirs to my cause. My reputation must have preceded me, since, at a dinner with the other members of our group, one of our friends held up a large bag and, hovering near me, asked:”Does anybody like chocolate? I have collected all our truffles and we don’t eat them. Who wants them?” Well, I jumped over the chair, almost taking down another guest in my efforts to grab the bag. When we returned to our suite, I showed off my ill-gotten gains, my now huge stash. There were dozens of tiny boxes, each filled with truffles, some mint-flavored, all delicious.

I nibbled my way through some of them but still had a considerable pile to pack in my luggage for the trip home. Sadly, to make room, I had to take the chocolates out of the beautiful little boxes, ditch the boxes  and pack the truffles in a special bag that Crazy Dave had given me for Christmas…it was meant to efficiently pack clothes and other necessities for travel, but it went, to my mind, for a nobler purpose by protecting my truffles.

So the way I figure it, my heart should be the healthiest one on the block by the time I work my way through my dark, rich beauties. I do so in the name of science, of course, to further mankind’s knowledge. I know Gill will call ‘bullshit’ on my efforts to justify my behavior, but I really don’t care.