Diabetes and chocolate: how to be mindful this Easter

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Easter conjures up images of bunnies, eggs in foiled wrapping, little yellow chicks, family gatherings…. and of course, CHOCOLATE!!!

Whether you enjoy celebrating Easter for its religious origins or simply revere the cacao bean, it is inevitable that you will be faced with chocolate – and most likely a lot of it over these upcoming days of Easter.  How to approach this dilemma in a moderate, mindful manner??  Well, let’s discuss this further…

MODERATION:

Firstly, moderation is the key. Let’s remember that a little of what you enjoy is good for you.

The key is a little, and in this case small quantities allow the Easter haul to extend far beyond a gluttonous long weekend!

Additionally, what you enjoy about chocolate can be attributed to theobromine, a relatively simple organic compound (C7H8N4O2) which appears to induce a chemical response.   The Greek origins of theobromine translates to ‘food of the gods’  which is fitting for a compound that makes chocolate special by eliciting this ‘feel good’ effect we so often experience.

And yes, chocolate can be good for you.  We have all heard of, and possibly justified past chocolate indulgences due to, the polyphenols particularly in darker chocolate which can potentially be good for our health.

MINDFULNESS:

Mindfulness is a modern movement, appropriated from ancient roots, and clinically innovated by respected Clinical Psychologists. The practice of mindfulness involves being aware, moment-to-moment, of one’s subjective conscious experience.

So in this instance, a mindful approach would be: to savour that mouthful of chocolate in that moment.

Experience the chocolate without the mental chatter continuing, or anticipating which part of the chocolate bunny to devour next.  Don’t be distracted with the guilt of the chocolate’s fat and sugar content.  Or even distracted with a past conversation – or the chores that are waiting to be done…  If you notice the mind wandering, acknowledge these thoughts and return to the experience of the chocolate.  The more aware of; the subtle flavours, mouth feel, the texture, pleasures of the chocolate that you are, the more likely it will be that you can enjoy a small amount.

It is stated that when practicing mindfulness, one becomes aware of one’s stream of consciousness

So, how about we all make a conscious effort this Easter – to be more conscious!