Give Me Death or Give Me Chocolate! By Maria De Leon

“In this {my} house the entire food pyramid is made of chocolate.” ~ Suzy Toronto ~

quote-stamp firendship and love 

Food plays an integral role in all of our lives. Whether we are healthy women or women battling PD; we must first  understand that men and women metabolize food differently. In general as we age and as we reach menopause women’s estrogen levels. During menopause, we as women tend to become more sluggish. Therefore, we must learn to adjust our diets to fit our situations given our chronic illness. That does not mean we have to stop enjoying life or depriving ourselves, we simply have to make adjustments to our eating habits and still keep some of our cultural traditions  allowing us to eat the things we love! this means cutting down on the quantity without sacrificing the quality. As a Hispanic woman food is paramount to my life. Through meal preparation and sharing of food is how we show love and engage socially. Desserts and sweets are a big part of this tradition especially anything chocolaty after all it was my ancestors that discovered that sweet “elixir of the gods.” Fortunately, that wonderful substance appears to have intrinsic dopamine like chemicals which are released when consumed. No wonder as my Parkinson’s has advanced so has my craving for chocolate (body always tells you what it needs!) I am not alone in thinking that Chocolate helps my Parkinson’s or at least in the increase consumption of this increasingly rare commodity. Researchers have confirmed that PD patients do in fact increase intake of chocolate compared to their partners who do not have PD. so, today to commemorate both my Hispanic heritage -5 de Mayo and do something good for my PD, I will share with you a chocolate recipe that was my grandmothers ( who also had PD and loved chocolate!)

Abuela’s Mole:

Ingredients:                                         Directions:

1 whole chicken in parts                     1. Place 5 cups of water in a large pot. Add chicken,

1 jar mole Dona Maria                        garlic, onion, celery, peppercorn, bay leaves, salt

1 bar of chocolate “Abuelita”             and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes.

1 teaspoon of sugar                             2. Sift bay leaves, celery, onion, garlic, and peppercorn.

Salt/pepper to taste                             3. Take out a cup of chicken broth and place in a

2 sticks of celery                                 medium bowl. Then combine mole and mix until

1 clove of garlic                                  smooth. Once smooth, add back to pot with rest of

5 black peppercorns                            chicken and broth. Add bar of chocolate and

½ onion chopped                                continue to cook over medium heat, stirring

3 bay leaves                                         frequently until chocolate dissolves completely. Add

sugar. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Turn heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve hot. Garnish with either banana slices or pomegranate seeds.

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