Chocolate – Italian Style

Chocolate Italian style. Health benefits of chocolate

 

I’ve just got back from the annual chocolate festival in our local town. Handmade chocolate goodies, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, with nuts, with fruit, lollipops, everything a true choc fan could ever dream of.

Best of all though, for me anyway, is the hot chocolate,Italian style. If you’ve never tasted that dense, chocolatey heaven in a cup topped with a dollop of sweet whipped cream, you haven’t lived. It’s just the thing to warm you up on a cold, frosty day. Better in moderation not every day.

That said though, a little chocolate every day has health benefits. Only dark chocolate though.

Did you know that a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with a content of 70-85% cocoa has:

67% of the RDA for Iron.

58% of the RDA for Magnesium.

89% of the RDA for Copper.

98% of the RDA for Manganese.

It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium and even 11 grams of fibre.

I’m not suggesting that you eat 100 gr every night though, it’s high in calories so best eaten in moderation for maximum benefits.

In short, dark chocolate is:

  • A powerful source of antioxidants
  • It may improve blood flow and blood pressure
  • It may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • It may lower the risk of a stroke, according to Finnish researchers
  • It contains flavonols which are good for the skin against the sun, not as a replacement for slapping on the old sun cream though.
  • It may improve your brain function.
  • It reduces “bad” cholesterol and increases “good” cholesterol.
  • It may improve insulin sensitivity and so delay or prevent the onset of diabetes, ONLY in moderate quantities.

For all these benefits, how much should you eat? Well, you should eat small amounts, 14 to 28 grammes of good quality dark chocolate with at least a 70% cocoa content, daily.

 

 

Joy and Peace and Frugal Thinking

I woke up this morning full of joy and peace.

I started thinking, you know the way you do when you have time on your own.

Anyway I’m one for saving money. I love a bargain and it excites me to think that I’m saving cash which I can then use on things I like to do.

At the moment, I am clearing my clutter and rather than just throw away, I’ve been looking to sell any belongings that are good enough. It can be tough though especially if you’re attached to them. You have to see them as things. They don’t own you.

I have memories in my head, I don’t need a thing to prove I did something or to make the memory any better or worse.

My son is great at this. He has his PS games. When he’s played them, he sells them. Why hang on?

I have clothes in my wardrobe that I was going to makeover but even then I don’t I’d wear some of them so those are the ones to put onto Ebay. If you don’t like Ebay then there are plenty of other alternatives such as, Amazon, Etsy, Rakuten, Newegg, Craigslist, Bonanza, eBid or you can even set up your own online store.

First economising tip of this blog, don’t develop sentimental attachment to things. Things come and go but they could help you get to where you want and put some money in the bank on the way!

Hello World or is it Universe?

While I feel compelled to start this blog, this adventure into who knows what or where, I can’t decide whether or not I want to really get personal and make it a diary.

Let’s go though. I know I want to flash back. So much has happened in the 11 years I’ve been living here in Italy. There is too much to tell for me not to go back and relive a little moment with you every so often.

Life here in rural Italy is funny, crazy, tough and sometimes sad. Every day is different and when I open my eyes in the morning and look at my old ceiling beams, along with that reassuring, “this is my place in the world and I love it” feeling, I also ask myself “what will happen today?”

Join me on this journey. I will share a very real view on life in rural Italy living amongst Italians, as well as my travels, experiences and tips of all kinds. You may be somewhat surprised!