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(A 12,290 pound chocolate bar created by the Worlds Finest Chocolate company set a Guinness World Record September 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The bar, which stands nearly 3 feet high and measures 21 feet long, beat the previous record chocolate bar by more than a ton.)**

Chocolate lover?  Count me in!  I grew up loving milk chocolate, but as I have grown older I have moved on to dark chocolate.  The darker the better.  I love the 85% cocoa (or cacao) content the best, except sometimes it takes too long to melt in my mouth to give me that instant gratification!  (Butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth either! 😆 ) I have been told and I have read more than once that only dark chocolate has the nutritive values that make it at least somewhat good for you.  Good MUFA’s (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids), and good antioxidant content!  I’ve always heard that milk chocolate is only empty calories.  Just found out that chocolate of any kind is not necessarily empty!

Today’s Fabulous Facts give all of us some really good news.  Two things I heard about this week that will bring warm fuzzies to all you chocolate lovers out there in the blogosphere.  If any of your friends share your love and/or addiction of and to chocolate – then pass the info along!  Might as well spread the joy!

“An eight year Swedish study of heart attack survivors showed that chocolate eaters had better survival rates – and the more chocolate they ate, the lower the risk of their death.  ‘The antioxidants in chocolate have beneficial effects on blood pressure,’ explains Kenneth J. Mukamal, M.D., coauthor of the study.  He’s not just talking tiny slivers of ultradark chocolate, either.  The average portion eaten by study participants was 50-gram samples (just under two ounces) with about 30% cocoa content – picture a few triangles of milk chocolate Toblerone.”
~~~from O, The Oprah Magazine; January, 2010; Volume 11, Number 1

So, go get yourself some chocolate, and then come back to your computer or smart phone, and learn some other great news! (Go ahead. . .I’ll wait!)

Got your chocolate?  OK: Here is another fact I recently learned from Ron Gutman, who speaks about smiling in his TED lecture called “The Hidden Power of Smiling.”  (It’s only 7-1/2 minutes long, entertaining and well worth your time to watch.)

If you are wondering what smiling has to do with chocolate, I’ll give you a quick breakdown, but watch the whole video to find out how very beneficial smiling can be to your life – and your life expectancy!

Mr. Gutman says that a study revealed that one smile yields the equivalent in brain stimulation of eating up to 2,000 bars of chocolate!  It can also yield the equivalent in brain stimulation of receiving £16,000 (US$25,764) cash!

Think about it!  Smiling brings you a longer and happier life, and eating chocolate brings you a longer and happier life.  If you do both, you could live happily ever after!  At least that’s the way my mind works. (Pardon me while I smile and eat another handful of M&M’s – or perhaps some Malteasers).

Therefore, let me encourage you to eat some chocolate every day!  For all you non-chocolate eaters out there, if you don’t or won’t eat chocolate, it is imperative that you smile (a minimum of 20 times per day)!  Children smile on the average of 400 times per day, which equals 16 smiles per hour (awake and asleep!), which comes to a smile every 3.75 seconds!  Just imagine all the chocolate and money there are in that number!  Studies on evolution have discovered that smiling is evolutionary contagious.  As Mr. Gutman puts it:  smile + frown = smile!

So today’s facts?  Eat chocolate and smile!  If you don’t eat chocolate, smile more!

Smiles and chocolate:  I can’t think of any better ways to celebrate the abundance of enough. . .

**(That’s only a little more than six smiles’ worth! :lol:)
(Thanks to my niece Abby Tohline for the video link!)

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