March 30, 2009


As if I needed another reason to eat chocolate, I recently became aware of Intentional Chocolate, a company that makes chocolate infused with good intentions, among the usual suspects, such as caramel and raspberry.

All Our Chocolate is Embedded With This Intention:
“Whoever consumes this chocolate will manifest optimal health and functioning at physical, emotional and mental levels, and in particular will enjoy an increased sense of energy, vigor and well-being for the benefit of all beings.”

It would appear that there is some science to support this as well. According to an article in Time Magazine, "Dean Radin, a senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, Calif., conducted a test in which, he says, subjects who ate Intentional Chocolate improved their mood 67% compared with people who ate regular chocolate."

We all have our own reasons for loving (or hating) chocolate, but the idea of a metaphysical influence over mood that is within the chocolate itself is definitely something that will probably have equal numbers of us groaning in skepticism or running to the nearest computer to place an order. Whatever your thoughts on this concept, there are other noteworthy aspects to Intentional Chocolate:

"Intentional Chocolate is 100% vegan and donates 50 percent of its net profits to organizations committed to the benefit of humankind. Intentional Chocolate understand that the joy or the “chocolate” of life resides in the offering. They start with the simple gesture of offering good intentions through great chocolate. But they don’t stop there. They model this commitment to “offerings” so that they give back to our community. Intentional Chocolate financially support scientific research that studies the power of intention and also support individuals and organizations committed to the benefit of humankind."

Sounds like you can't go wrong. I want to get me a box of their Dark Intentional Goji Berry Clusters and have them ready for deployment say, about every 28 days or so.

What do you think? Do you believe that a food product imbued with good intentions could affect your mood, or would it just be a placebo effect? Or does it really matter, as long as the chocolate is good? :)

Anychocolate, that is my random share for today. This morning I had my fifth and final cup of dollar Jamba Oats with bananas. I brought in the other half of my Blended Bliss YouShake to stir in, and it was delicious. The Blended Bliss flavor is made with whey protein, banana and strawberries, so it went with the oatmeal really well.

And it lasted me about an hour. I would blame it on lack of fat, in this case. I was actually kind of shaking with an empty, hungry feeling by the time I gave in and grabbed the first of my Blackberry Graham Kashi TLC cereal bars. I really wasn't in a position to get lunch yet, so this was a nice, light snack that restored me to the land of the non-zombies.

This bar is basically Kashi's answer to the old-school NutriGrain bars. It doesn't taste like anything new and exciting, but it tastes good, and it's not made of funky stuff, so it gets a passing grade and is a good stand-by for a quick fix.

What I finally ended up with for lunch was well worth the wait. Any New Yorkers out there may have heard of Kampuchea, which is basically New York's only Cambodian restaurant. The owners have just recently opened up a sandwich shop called Num Pang on East 12th Street, which is convenient to my office. My coworkers became obsessed immediately, so I finally gave in to peer pressure today and picked one up.

I got the Vegetarian Sandwich, which contains grilled cauliflower, Chinese and Thai eggplant with soy milk chili mayo. It also has pickled carrots and cucumbers, so it's a really cool flavor combination. Plus the baguettes all come from Parisi, so the bread is killer. Well worth a try if you don't mind waiting in line! It's hugely popular even just a week after opening, and with a limited preview menu at that. My advice is to go late - I arrived at their window at 2pm and was on my way back to work within about 60 seconds.

I was also hungry again within about 60 seconds of finishing the sandwich. Looking at what I'd eaten thus far, I realized I was pretty deficient in the fat and protein departments, so I reached for a Whey Cool Cocoa YouBar.

This bar has great nutritionals and delivered on both the fat and protein fronts:

Serving Size: 1 bar. Calories: 186; Total Fat, 8g; Total Carb: 21g; Fiber: 4g; Sugars: 16g; Protein: 11g.

Ingredients: You Bar Base (Almond Butter, Organic Dates), Organic Clover Honey, Whey Protein Isolate, Cocoa, All-One Vitamin Infusion.

It definitely tasted of protein supplements, but it was quite good. Kind of a cross between a LaraBar and a Clif, perhaps? It was actually greasy from the almonds, but that didn't freak me out, since I knew it came from the nuts and not other sketchy things. After eating this, I finally felt well, and ended the day with a dinner salad with a whole bunch of leftovers thrown on top. Not so blogworthy, but it did the job. Lesson learned, eh? Empty carbs with no staying power do not a happy Diana make.

And just in case you need something else to think about, I've been meaning to mention the most outrageous contradiction from Shape Magazine's February issue. It's been bothering me ever since, but I haven't gotten around to mentioning it here 'til now. I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice that they had a wonderful article called "Banish Those Body Issues," which featured a handful of naked chicks of varying shapes, and I found it fairly empowering, because health is not black and white, after all. I'm trying not to ramble much more right now, but long story short, I had all sorts of warm fuzzies reading the article, and then I turned the page, and the next HUGE headline was literally, "Drop 10 lbs. This Month." There wasn't even an advertisement separating these stories! Is that not kind of messed up? Love your body, but it could always be better?!

I am the first to admit that I look forward to reading Self Magazine every month, and through some dirt-cheap recession promotions, I have come into subscriptions to Shape and Fitness as well. They're pretty much all the same magazine, as far as I can tell, but they are also pretty consistent in their messages of loving your body as it is, but just in case you secretly don't like it, there's always some new (old) plan to shed the last 8 lbs. or whathaveyou.

Do you read magazines like Self, Shape or Fitness? What do you think of their content? Are they sending the wrong message? Or are you like me, reading with a grain of salt and mentally sorting the content into useful and abuse-ful?

(In case you need an antidote to the mass media madness, check out the Eat Without Guilt blog. Sanity squared.)


Anonymous said...

I'm all for that sandwich. Looks fascinating and delicious. Too bad NYs 1.5 hours from me. :(


Megan said...

i love you bars!

i read pretty much every magazine in existence, and i agree with you. i know that the main objective of the mags is to make money and appeal to lots of people, so i sort of disregard the lame/contradictory stuff and just absorb the other things. it tends to work out pretty well for me!

lesley said...

That chocolate sounds good!

I like fitness magazines and just with everything, I do take it with a grain of salt because not everything in it is true or "healthy" (like all the ads with supplements that are horrible for you that some people probably think are "good" since they're in the fitness magazine). But regardless of that, I still enjoy them and they motivate me.

Dori said...

They're just trying to sell copies by appealing to everyone -- unfortunately, their poor editing might alineate some people who prefer to receieve ONE message in a 5 page radius!

Missy said...

I read that magazine too and seriously thought the same thing! At least spread it out! I still read every magazine for entertainment purposes though haha.

Sarah said...

That chocolate does sound yummy... I don't know if chocolate infused with good intentions would make me any more happy than just a good piece of chocolate. :)

I don't subscribe to those mags - probably because I haven't come across the same great subscription deals as you - but I do enjoy flipping through them at Barnes & Noble when I'm there.

Anonymous said...

Num! My boyfriend went to the "opening party" with a friend who is friend's with the owner and loved their stuff! He wants me to go, now that I know a normal food-eater (he's a monster) likes it I will have to try!

Dinneen said...

First, thanks for the shout-out! I help people put an end to their weight struggle, find peace with food and create lasting changes in their life -- all without "dieting." So yes, sanity squared. I like that!

I often tell my clients to lay off the magazines for a while, as it really can alter one's reality of what is healthy and/or thin. But easier said than done.

Personally, I do read some, but as it's my business I know how to cut through what's real, and what's just used to sell magazines.

I plan on writing a book about body image & self-esteem as it's a huge issue for so many women. And keeps on the diet yo-yo, which can get unhealthy.

Great site and thanks again for the mention. I hope to help as many people as I can!

RunToFinish said...

if I believe it and it doesn't go to my thighs... I'm on board!!