And I gave up chocolate for Lent!

I’ve now decided that the worst thing for your health is listening to news reports about what to do for your health.  I remember when coffee was supposed to be bad for you…it isn’t.  I remember when eggs were supposed to be limited to one a week – hogwash now.  There have been people who suggested you give up dairy products, flour products and don’t forget the carbohydrate fears of years gone by.  I tried to eat my sandwich in a whole wheat tortilla but something always squeezed out of the bottom of it and onto my shirt.  (THAT wasn’t good for my health and that is all I’m going to say about that!)   Now the latest findings show that things like chocolate and popcorn are actually healthy for you!  I give up…totally surrender.  I need to go to the grocery store…tonight! My favorite point of view on the subject of diet came from a Dr. Oz show.  The man that was being interviewed said, “If your grandmother wouldn’t have recognized it as food, don’t eat it!”  He thought that was the answer to most of the dietary problems we face today.  I like that answer.  It is simple.  It sounds a lot like what God told Peter in Acts 10.  Peter was waiting on his lunch to be ready when he had a vision of a sheet being lowered from heaven.  On it were all kinds of animals that a Jewish person had always been taught were “unclean” to eat.  God told Peter to “Get up, kill and eat”  (Personally I think God was telling Peter to fix his own lunch, but my theologian husband begs to differ.)  Anyway…God tells Peter not to call anything unpure that He has made clean.  So my interpretation is this…if God calls it food, we can too.  (Well, except for that locusts and honey thing that John the Baptist was into…I’ll wait until I’m on that Survivor show before I consider that diet.)  Back to the subject at hand – chocolate.  God made the tree, that made the Cocoa, that makes chocolate.  It turns out that cocoa has amazing benefits.  A recent article in Eating Well Magazine gives a long list of reasons why we should be on our way to the 7-11 for a Hershey Bar right now!  But before you go racing out of the office, classroom or hairdresser’s appointment, let me caution you.  The “good findings” mentioned in the article, were for the person who consumes about 2 ounces of chocolate a week.  I just checked and that is equivalent to 1.5 Hershey Bars.  (That is not the “King Size” edition either.)

As my loyal readers know, I have given up sweets for Lent.  Suffice it to say that Ryan has been well-prayed for by his mother.  (He is doing very well with his radiation but still has a long road ahead.  Thank you for praying!!)  I was encouraged by many that as the days went by, my craving for sweets would greatly diminish.  I’m not sure if they were fibbing or just seriously misguided – but that hasn’t happened.  I had lunch with a friend last week at a cute deli/bakery.  I ate my egg-salad sandwich sitting right by the dessert case with a massive strawberry cake, surrounded by tons of chocolates, cookies and other things that I’m certain were fabulous.  I wanted one of each.  Next Sunday is Palm Sunday.  The Sunday after that is Easter.  I’m leaving church with a smile on my face that day, and I’m going to head straight for the nearest DQ!  I checked the Dairy Queen website to find out how much chocolate was in a Peanut Buster Parfait…I couldn’t get an answer.  But, now that I know that chocolate is practically health food, I might consider having a second one that evening.

Here is my true theory on eating chocolate – and everything else.  It just so happens it is God’s theory and therefore, perfect.  Scripture says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:13-18). 

Translation:  Eat chocolate, but don’t indulge in it.  (2 ounces – not 12!)  Share some of your chocolate with someone else, just because you should treat them as well as you treat yourself.  And finally, eat chocolate because sometimes it helps to take the edge off.  It is better to bite a Hershey Bar than “to bite and devour each other.”  I can’t wait for Easter Sunday!!!  (Until then, you might want to steer clear of me on the Tollway.)

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