Is chocolate a universal currency?

Do you think that chocolate has become a universal currency?

chocolate box variety of chocolates jpg in blog post Is chocolate a universal currency? March 2015Chocolate comes in so many shapes, tastes and forms, even chocolate sculpture.

We buy it as gifts for someone we care about, know well or don’t know well.

As a way of saying: “Thank You”,  “Get well soon”, “Goodbye”, “I love you”, “Happy Birthday/Christmas/Easter/Valentine”. And even, “I can’t think what else to get you so here are some chocolates”.

There are definite chocolate seasons . . . Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.

chocolate easter eggs jpg blog post Is chocolate a universal currency? www.keystepscoaching.comAnd all year round, we snack on it, replace meals, eat it without thinking while watching TV. It gives us an emotional language too, to comfort ourselves when we feel stressed, miserable, depressed, bored or angry, and to tell others that we care about them, or feel romantic.

Chocolate was precious as gold

Back in the olden days, chocolate, in the form of cocoa beans, was so precious it was used for trading with, like gold. It was considered to be the food of the gods or of kings, and a treasured and valuable commodity.

Raw cocao beans jpg in blog post Is chocolate a universal currency? March 2015These cocoa beans don’t look as appealing as the finished chocolate creations that we find in the shops today do they?

Chocolate and inflation

In 1981, Nico Colchester noted in the Financial Times that a Mars Bar is a useful measure of monetary inflation.

Modern chocolate itself shows definite signs of inflation. Instead of that valuable commodity of Inca times, the % of cocoa solids can be low, and the product is padded out with sugar and additional ingredients. I have even seen “chocolate flavoured” products. And white chocolate? Isn’t that the best oxymoron you ever heard?

Good news for chocoholics

You may be surprised to learn that chocolate has some important health benefits, like calming your mood, helping you to relax, feel happier, and improve your memory.

There is always a BUT!

Only the dark chocolate offers these benefits, at least 70% cocoa solids.

AND you will need to supplement your chocolate with other sources of magnesium, such as leafy green veges!

dark chocolate jpg in blog post Is chocolate a universal currency? March 2015Save money too….

You only need a couple of squares a day of good dark chocolate to be satisfied and enjoy the health benefits.

You will avoid the health risks from eating large quantities of other chocolate products – such as dental problems, weight gain which can depress you, and possibly down the line, serious health conditions such as diabetes. It is the sugar that is addictive, making you want to eat more and more.

Stress and chocolate

It may be disappointing that a potential source of stress relief such as chocolate can have unwelcome effects. It can also be a challenge to change your preferences to the dark healthy chocolate.

It is possible though, and I have been working closely with Jenny Davison, of Active-Eat, on how we can modify the foods we eat to reduce our stress levels and feel better.

We have just put together a quick guide to get you started:

“Why do you reach for the chocolate when you feel anxious, upset, stressed, hungry or bored?”

It includes tips and helpful information, and Jenny D has created some delicious recipes for you, using the rich dark healthy chocolate.

To get your copy just click here

Enjoy your chocolate!

Jenny Cooper ©2015







If you don’t look after yourself who will?

February seems to have been a month of ‘Bugs’ – nearly everyone I know has been struggling to throw off winter coughs and colds, or worse.

cartoon pink bug in blog post If you don't look after yourself who will March 2015 Key Steps

And I had one myself. It kept getting better – or so I thought, then came back again. Eventually I retired from the yo-yo game of “Good, today I’m better, I’ll just get on with ‘x’, go to a meeting, and then dash off and do ‘y’.”

Each time, the bug returned with a vengeance. So I became a lady of leisure for several days, resting and looking after myself, and withdrew from the world.

In bed with a fever cartoon in blog post If you don't look after yourself, who will? March 2015 Key Steps Coaching.comHas this happened to you as well?

This raises some questions:

We get messages that we MUST be posting things all the time on social media, we MUST be doing ‘This’ and ‘That’ for the ‘Other’ result.

Yes, sometimes that is true.

And no, at times it is more important to care for yourself and put your own well being first. Ultimately you will recover faster and return with more energy and focus.

Otherwise you can end up having enforced time off where you have more time than you want to do things, but no energy to do so.

Where does the pressure come from?

Where does all this pressure come from to keep going in spite of being unwell?

To not give our bodies the chance to repair and recuperate in the short-term and avoid long-term consequences of more serious illness?

It may seem something trivial today. You might feel some sort of hero or martyr to the cause to be keeping going no matter what. But there are costs – both health and financial, and they can lie in wait and jump out when you least expect them.

Pay into your ‘Health Account’ now


Pause on theatre curtains in blog post If you don't look after yourself who will? March 2015 Key Steps“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…”  William Shakespeare

So pay into your “Health Account” now, don’t get overdrawn. Take a Pause or Interval in your play, and do something to help you get well or keep well. Treat yourself to something, like a massage. What is your favourite treat?

wellness candles massage image in blog post March 2015 If you don't look after yourself who will? www.KeyStepsCoaching.comIf you don’t look after yourself who will?

What do you think, do you agree?

And what is one small thing you can do today to put your health and well-being at the top of your list?

©Jenny Cooper 2015 All rights reserved