Chocolatey Goodness

Finally I get to talk about it on my blog. Not like anybody's really stopping me. Anyway, I'm a big chocoholic. Yes I admit it. I love chocolate to no end. Ask my dad, he's gonna tell you that I even attempted to bake a chocolate cake. I've never baked anything in my entire life before and I love chocolate so much that my first attempt at baking a cake can actually be called a success.

Yes, it looked like a cake. Yes, it tasted like chocolate cake. My mom even loved the icing, even though I thought it was too sweet even for me.

Anyway, when it comes to food, I choose what I eat and I choose to eat it in moderation. So no matter how much I love chocolate, I am not gonna put myself in danger even if someone offered to pay me a million dollars. a million dollars to eat a pound of chocolate I can do, but a million dollars to eat one and a half, no thanks. Okay, so as a lot of people know, chocolate can rot your teeth, help you gain extreme amounts of weight since it's still fat even if you call it good fat.

Well, not all of chocolate is good fat. Some chocolates are just eaten for pleasure and not just for health purposes. Even so, chocolate can still fit anyone's lifestyle as a healthy snack. Would you believe that French doctors once prescribed chocolates to women patients for a broken heart?

Chocolate as medication
How is this so? Well, recent studies show that yummy chocolate triggers the release of feel-good endorphins in our brain. Some researchers based in San Diego, California even reported that chocolate has active substances taht have the same effect on the brain as marijuana. Not the bad stuff, just the good stuff, you know, it makes you feel good.

Chocolate also has caffeine, theobromine (a mild stimulant) and phenylethylamine, which can raise endorphins. I personally have a few chocolates before I start studying, helps me concentrate.

Chocolate as health food
Yes I know everyone wants to hear chocolate as a health food. Kind of dispels the bad reviews about having the pleasure food. We all know that everyone wants to build up the antioxidants in their bodies. Chocolate has very high levels of catechins, which are compounds that act as antioxidants. My favorite kind of chocolate---the dark chocolate has as much as 41mg of flavanols in every 25g. Flavanols are powerful antioxidants that guard against plaque build-up in artery walls. Apparently dark chocolate has more antioxidants that a cup of green tea, an apple of a glass of red wine. chocolate is also a good source of essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, niacin and riboflavin.

Looks like I'm grabbing myself a bar again tomorrow. Yummm.

Limit chocolate intake
Okay, so even though there are really great advantages in having chocolate, you can't really have just like that. Chocolate only qualifies in your diet as healthy as long as you have plenty of fruits and vegetables in it as well. And you wouldn't really want to have too much chocolate. That would be too much fat in your diet. Limit yourself to 25g a day at most. Have the dark chocolate since it's not too sweet and its got a little bitter taste to it. Have some chocolate that has 70% cocoa solids at least.

I should've talked about chocolates during Valentine's season. But it's my blog and my rules, so I write whenever I get the urge to.

Eating for Pleasure

If you asked somebody how his meal was today, that person would probably say that it was alright, and would not give any details about it. Thing is, if you are somebody who is on a tight budget, you probably wouldn't even care as long as you got to eat.

When I was still a struggling student, I would have noodles for dinner, and would take my time in eating them. Although it was a pretty cheap supper, only PhP 4.50, I had some rice with it to make even more filling and at least last me until breakfast.

A former room mate of mine commented, "Every time I see you eating, I'm jealous. It's like you're eating something really good even though it's just cheap food."

I smiled at her comment. Then my X then called and heard me slurping the noodle soup. He asks, "What are you having?"

"Instant noodles. I couldn't afford to eat out tonight."

"You sound like you're having a great time eating it. I'm kinda jealous."

Now how funny is that that two people who doesn't even know each other would comment on the same thing with the same comment? Anyway, what I'm talking about is, no matter what it is you are having, the important thing is to take your time in eating it and enjoying it. Meal time is meal time. You have to set a schedule to sit down and eat, no matter what.

My friends complain that I take too long to eat. Actually I make it a point to not finish until I break past the 10-minute rule. Ten to twenty minutes is how long it takes to make your body be satisfied with what you have eaten. If you eat faster than that, after your body digests the food you have eaten after an hour, you're gonna end up even hungrier than before.

It doesn't matter if I'm busy or if I have something to do, if it's meal time for me, then nothing else should come in its way. Besides, eating on time and eating right is always good for your health. Having the right schedule and eating the right amount of food has always benefited me with the right weight and well, it has never let me down.

So you should adapt a healthy lifestyle as well. Just don't adapt my bad habit of not getting to sleep.

My Sleeping Habit

Well, since I moved out of the old room, I have been sleeping quite fairly. I used to sleep at 4, 5 or even 6 in the morning then wake up at 7, 8 or 9 in the morning. It was very tiring. Aside from having the insomnia, I couldn't keep myself away from the Internet, and my little brother wakes up at 4 in the morning to watch anime online, so I end up getting disturbed even if I go to sleep earlier. I'm a very light sleeper, so if something moves within the room, I wake up. Try talking to me when I'm sleeping and I will talk back like I'm still awake. And I'm fully conscious of what I'm saying too. So it's like being awake 24 hours a day still. Since I got into my new room all alone finally, my sleep has gotten better, from only getting 3 to 4 hours a day of sleep, I am now getting 6 to 8 hours of good undisturbed sleep.

And to think my parents wanted me to stay with my siblings in the other room. They never try to wake me up while I'm getting my very much needed sleep, but thing is, they don't have to do anything to wake me up. I wake up like I was having a nightmare when someone moves. In the old room, I used to have the blanket over my face just to block any light out, causing me to have shortness of breath while sleeping.

In my new room, even if I hear everybody passing on their way to the bathroom, I'm still fine with it, because sounds from outside can be blocked easier than inside. My light's always off during the dawn, because nobody wakes up to turn it on. So far, I have been very relaxed. I have nothing against siblings staying together in the same room, but for someone who has problems like me, I really need the undisturbed space. Sharing rooms is still good, especially for small children and budgeting people. I'm one of those who budget a lot, but I'm willing to pay for extra rent just to get my peace.

And now this entry must end. I have some Engineering Mathematics to master. Thanks for reading!

Making Sleep Count

If you have a hard time going to sleep, join the club. I'm one of those people who only gets about 3 to 4 hours of sleep everyday, and gets the rest of them in class. Well, I still get the rest of my sleep in class since I'm still studying at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that if I was working, I wouldn't be sleeping at my station anymore. Umm, not unless it's an extremely boring job that doesn't require me to do anything.

Give me a computer with Internet and I can do anything with no sleep. I admit, I'm a computer geek. I enjoy web design, blogging's actually my newest addiction right now,, but I'm not sure if this is going to last or not. I've been writing all my life, but just never published any of it.

Anyway, let's get back to the topic. How do you find ways in making your sleep count? Are there any tips to actually get to sleep better or get to sleep than taking sleeping pills? I personally do not take sleeping pills. I'm too scared that the sleeping pills may not work on me later on when I get used to them. Someone once said that I have very high tolerance for medicines, whatever that meant.

Okay, we got off-topic again. Anyway, here are some tips that experts provided.

1. Let go of your worries. Yes, it is true. If you do worry a lot, and anxious of something, it bothers you to a point that your mind is so awake that even if you are sleeping, it still seems like you are awake. When it's all quiet, the anxiety seem to rise up. So you might want to deal with them. If you can't deal with them right away, write down your worries, deadlines, and to-dos before you lay down. Do something to get yourself to relax. If you have your partner with you all the time and would like to do something with that someone, you might want to do it sensually this time, or not too athletic. Even simple bending or yoga exercises can help you.

2. Get a bedroom makeover. Just make it more sleep-friendly. If the person who lives in the next room makes to much noise, move your bed away from that side. If your mattress and pillows are sagging, replace them. Make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Make sure your room is organized, as clutter can cause anxiety as well. You definitely wouldn't want to wake up to something hideous to the sight and add more snxiety to yourself by keeping on telling yourself that you are really gonna start cleaning up today then put it off for tomorrow again. Like i always say, stop procrastinating and do what you have to do right now and stop wasting time. If you can't sleep without the TV on, use the timer. But it's still a lot better if you didn't have a TV in your room. TV's can be distracting and can keep you up all night.

3. Turn the lights off. Stay away from bright lights. Bright lights cause the brain to be alert within two to three hours of bedtime or if you wake up during the night. Anytime that you are ready to go to bed, dim down the lights to set the mood. If you must have lights in your room, use an eyeshade. Or if you sleep during the day instead of the night, use clips to close your curtains, if you don't like blackout shades or an eyeshade.

4. Follow the crucial 20-minute rule. If you have been in bed for more than 20 minutes already, don't expect to be able to get to bed soon. Get up, catch up on some reading away from your bed, or do something until you feel sleepy. Avoid playing video games, watching the news, cleaning, or any invigorating exercises. Reading and listening to music are always the best choices. Just make sure you aren't listening to rock music or anything that encourages you to party.

Shopping for Perks

Now who doesn't want to do this? If someone asked me to shop for a new wardrobe with pay, I know I'd definitely do it, and if that someone tells me that I get to keep whatever I'm buying, I'd be ecstatic. Well, obviously, I'm talking about mystery shopping. It's just sad that I don't know about it happening anywhere near my area, because if I did, I probably would've already hounded those people hiring people to shop.

Sounds like the perfect job, right?

Actually, it's not. It might be the perfect part-time job though. From what I read, it really doesn't pay much, if you are in the US. But the perks are really good. The company hires the mystery shopper based on his or her profile, haves him or her shop at their store, then the shopper reports to management his or her experience with the customer service.

*Insert thought here* I think I'm a good shopper, I actually complain when I think service is bad. *Exit thought*

Anyway, mystery shoppers are then given one mission, but it's to go to four or five shops. The worst part of being a mystery shopper is that you have to use your own money to shop and get reimbursed later on. So if you don't have enough cash on you before shopping, that's a really bad thing.

In the US, a mystery shopper earns about $60 to $90 on average each day. It may vary for some others, but if you have a family to feed, that is just not enough. You can consider it a hobby, I guess. But even if the pay may suck, the perks are to die for.

For example, you have been putting off changing your oil for a long time now due to time constraints and you just can't afford to and suddenly this company gives you a mission to go to their shop, have your oil changed and your brakes checked. You might have to spend on that, but still you get reimbursed. It's just as good as getting those services for free.

But mystery shopping isn't just as easy as that. There are some shops that require you to open and close a bank account just to see if the bank's customer service is good, or they'll let you stay at a hotel, eat at the restaurant and even get a massage at the spa.

Isn't that nice?

Blogging and Advertisement

Come to think of it, when you put those two words together, you come up with Blog-vertisement. Now, what does it mean? Well, simply put, if you are a blogger, it means that you are blogging to advertise something for those who are in need of advertisement. And yes, you can get paid for those. All you have to do is build buzz for the advertisers, and they pay you for it.

If you are an advertiser, someone writes something for you then publishes it for all the world to see, which means greater buzz about you, the greater the chances of you having more customers, right? If you'd like to be talked about by bloggers, you can sign up for the site by clicking HERE.

Well, one of these get-paid-to-blog sites is Blogsvertise. So how does Blogsvertise work? This is what they have to say on their main page:

How Blogsvertise Works:

1. We assign tasks to registered members with the internet website address and what to talk about on their blog. The topics/tasks will be simply emailed to you once your account registration is approved.

2. You write up an entry in your blog about the internet advertiser however you want! You can review the site, compliment it, relate to it somehow in your daily life, or even complain about it, and link to the website at least 3 times in your blog/journal entry.

3. In exchange blogsvertise Pays YOU in paypal per blog entry, for writing about the advertisers web site. Payouts are automatically sent to you after your entry is approved and the payout period has passed.

Simple, right? All you have to do is sign up, wait to be approved, like with all the blog-to-profit networks and wait for tasks and get paid. So, even if you are blogging for advertisers, you are still getting paid even if you are complaining about it. Advertisers need the buzz, we bloggers just happen to know how to give it to them.