Oh Chocolate - I long for you. We have been lovers for so long now and yet you still make my heart go pitter patter whenever I see you.  My mouth waters at the very thought of you.

We had fun this last week no? It was sweet. Indulgent. Satisfying. A week I will not soon forget. I love you. I will always love you. You will always be a part of me.

It's you and me forever my dear sweet chocolate. Ahhhhh ...

Hormones. We all have them. Increase one type and you can grow facial hair and have an incredible urge to raise the toilet seat and watch football. Play with the levels of another and you think about eating your offspring for dinner and question just how much the life insurance is on your spouse. Add mental pause to the mix, or the decade long intro to full blown mental pause and hormone fluctuations can wreak havoc on your life.

That's where chocolate comes in. Every once in a while I crave chocolate. Not, "Oh a piece of chocolate would be nice right about now." It's more like. "I want some chocolate now. Me need chocolate now. Now. NOW! I SAID NOW!" Chocolate is good at any time, but there are times for me when it is a necessity. This week was one of those weeks. I had to go to the grocery store this week to get something small. While I was there the craving took over. At first I told myself no. But I wasn't listening to me at the time and I certainly wasn't taking no for an answer. The conversation went something like this.

I want some chocolate.
No, Cayla. Not now. You don't need chocolate.
Don't tell me I don't need chocolate. You and your stupid rules. I'm a grown up dammit and I want some chocolate now.
No. You can have some dinner when you get home.
What? Let me guess, you're gonna give me some vegetables? Oooh, maybe some more Kale? Yum. GET ME SOME FREAKIN' CHOCOLATE NOW DAMMIT!
OK. OK. You don't have to get nasty - geesh.

So I gave in to my craving and it was heavenly. I bought a bar of dark chocolate with some almonds. Oh my. I told myself that I would only have a piece or two, or three. I ate the entire bar. It was amazingly good and I enjoyed every piece and I didn't and still don't feel guilty one bit. I felt so much better after.  It was awesome. Its not a daily occurrence. It's not even a monthly occurrence. It's an occasional indulgence - that is the eating an entire bar part, not the chocolate part. I eat chocolate all the time. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I love chocolate.

And its good for you. Chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Chocolate can help promote cardiovascular, skin, and brain health by dilating blood vessels, improving circulation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing risk of stroke and heart attacks. It reduces stress. Ifs full of mono unsaturated fatty acids - which in plain English means it attacks belly fat. Yup. It's true. And the particular bonus - it can protect the body from aging. Let's hear it for chocolate. Chya!

But not all chocolate is created equal. Your Halloween candy indulgence this week of all your kid's Mr. Big bars don't really cut it. Dark Chocolate is where it is at. 70% at least. Invest in yourself by purchasing a good quality dark chocolate.

Did you know that you can have an ounce of chocolate per day and it's considered healthy? One ounce of dark chocolate is only 151 calories, 9 grams of fat, 17 grams carbs and 1.6 grams of protein. Add a glass of red wine to your routine and you are packing one power punch of anti aging, good for you not to mention that its a delicious and indulgent treat. Thank you science!

So I have a recipe that I want to share. Something that I made up over the past few years, although I'm sure there is something similar on the internet as I am not that original.

I make a Blueberry chocolate oatmeal that can really hit the spot in the morning. And for me this past week, it really helped keep the hormones and stress at bay.  I'm not going to give you measurements - I'm sure you can figure it out.

Prepare your oatmeal as you would normally (I don't use the quick kind I use good old fashioned rolled oats). Ratio is 2:1 Water to oatmeal. Now grind up some flax seeds (1 TBSP per person) Flax seeds are great to have around. They are a cancer fighting powerhouse and full of Omega 3's. The reason I say to grind them up is they are better for you that way. The shell is hard enough that you might not get all their powerful benefits if you decide to chew for yourself. Add the ground flax to the oatmeal.

Season with pinch of salt and pepper. I know sounds weird, but you don't taste the pepper. However, if you eat it slow enough there is this little bite at the end of your pallet and you're not quite sure where it comes from....its the pepper.

Add some frozen blueberries to the pot (at least 1/2 cup per serving) - no need to stir, but if you do fold in gently. Blackberries are great too - both are loaded with cancer fighting, anti aging antioxidants. (Any vibrant coloured berry is good).

Bring it all to a boil. Turn the heat to minimum, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

When the oatmeal is ready add some cinnamon if you like (adds even more antioxidants) and some good quality real vanilla extract (1/2 tsp or so). Stir gently. Then throw in a handful or so per person of good quality dark chocolate chips. Fold them in gently so not to disturb the blueberries or turn the oatmeal dark brown - but if this happens its not the end of the world. I just like the chips to remain intact and not melt completely so that they are this little morsel of surprise in every bite.

Spoon into bowls and pour some milk, or don't that is up to you. Your decadent breakfast is served.

This oatmeal is really quite yummy and so healthy. The thing is you have fueled your body with really good stuff. It tastes like you're being bad but you're not. The blueberries, chocolate, flax and cinnamon are powerhouse foods. The oatmeal is a great complex carbohydrate. And it tastes great I promise. Enjoy it. I do.