Because Chocolate And Reframing Make Everything Better

I’ve become accustomed to expecting a lovely green hue with my smoothies (or, as my dad gently put it, pond sludge-esque?). Whatever, whatever, they taste delish.

There is something almost secretly bad about drinking a smoothie that tastes sooo good but is still healthy. I was looking for a bit of a shake up this week, however, and rummaging through my cabinets for some flavor additions.

Despite the best of intentions and my best game-on face, this week threw me for a loop…highlights included a rather wicked electrical fire at my gym that involved six fire trucks, assorted police cards and some of New York’s finest.

I have to say, I was not expecting to be smelling toasted marshmallows when I was on the treadmill. Everyone was fine and so is the building but the events of Wednesday left me a little drained.

Don’t miss my recipe: Fessenjoon : My Persian Comfort Food.

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend a conference hosted by Bloomberg LP. While the panel and networking sessions were geared toward business development, there were some useful takeaways and advice about ‘dealing with it all’ when the stress monster come around.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I received came from Suzy Walther, Bloomberg’s Chief of Staff, Industry Verticals, and centered around the idea of ‘reframing’ a situation. Broadly speaking, this has to do with collecting your thoughts and moving on.

When something not so fantastic happens, give yourself the brief moment to take it in, reflect, then put it aside. Any additional time or emotion you use on this past action wastes energy and prevents you from the dealing in the present.

Reframing is a brilliant technique for reducing stress. By shifting the way you see a problem, you can better cope with it.

When this week threw some unexpected challenges at me, I channeled my inner zen and told myself to reframe.

My work would get done– the schedule just looked overwhelming when it was all swimming around in my head. And that fire? No one was injured, I was safe and a cup of tea and a nap was what I needed to regroup.

… a bit of chocolate never hurt either. That’s why I decided to throw a little more love in the blender this week.

Chocolate-almond smoothie

  • 2 handfuls of frozen spinach (I swapped kale out this week. Shocker? No worries, I tried the recipe later on with kale and still loved it)
  • A ripe banana
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of frozen cherries
  • A tablespoon of unsweetened cacao powder
  • Half a cup almond milk

And blend away!

So this recipe is fairly bare-bones when it comes to protein but certainly not on flavor! I topped mine with a tablespoon of natural almond butter but you could accessorize by blending in chia seeds or protein powder. I admit I may have made it twice in one day this week…it was that good.

Cacao powder packs a nutritional punch as well.In order to capture fully all these benefits, make sure it’s unsweetened and unprocessed cacao powder :

  • Flavonoids believed to help protect your cardiovascular system… so chocolate is truly good for the heart!
  • Antioxidant properties to repair cellular damage
  • Caffeine (hello tasty coffee substitute)
  • Mineral content: iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese (much tastier than a multi-vitamin)
  • Lastly, as if you need further encouragement, cacao may have antidepressant qualities too!

So when the going gets rough, the tough take a deep breath, reframe, and power up with some cacao.

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