Today, I had an amazing workout. First of all, the weather in Chicago was ridiculously beautiful today: bright shining sun and a soft breeze, with a high of 79°F and a low of 56°F. So, hubby and I decided to go for a jog before dinner by the lake. The view was breathtaking: sun glistening on a turquoise lake, seagulls hovering nearby, and only a couple of puffy clouds proudly gliding across an azure sky. Charmed yet? Good. Because I also have a confession to make: I haven’t been following my workout schedule for the past week: laziness on some days, and legitimate busyness due to travelling and commitments on other days has set me back a week on the schedule.
But, no worries; I am following week II this week, and week III next week. And I won’t let the travels next week disrupt my workout plans- that’s for sure! Back to working out today: we started with 1 minute of running followed by 1 minute of brisk walking. Then, we increased to 2 and 2, and then 3 and 3, which we repeated twice. After this (18 minutes into the workout), we headed back in the opposite direction walking, but Sherif encouraged me to do another 3 minute running interval along the way, and to run the last few blocks till we got home. So all in all, I ran about 13-14 minutes in total and walked about 24 minutes. Thanks to Sherif, I was able to push myself and get a workout in my day. Unfortunately for him, he barely broke a sweat since he was so focused on helping me with my baby steps… :-p
Here’s a picture of me resting my head with the lake in the background, right after my workout:
When I got back, I enjoyed a few squares from a Vosges chocolate bar (thanks to my friend Odette!). If you’re wondering about Vosges, it is a Chicago-based company that makes exotic candy bars with an assortment of spices and unconventional ingredients. Their Calindia Bar is a Venezuelan dark chocolate (65% cacao) with organic California walnuts, dried plums, and Indian green cardamom (yup, you read that right!). Wow! The mixture of ingredients blends really well together and the pieces of cardamom make your taste buds come alive – if that makes any sense… Dark chocolate is my favorite!
The Woolloomooloo Bar (yeah – it’s a mouthful! Apparently it’s named after a place in New South Wales) is deep milk chocolate (45% cacao) with roasted and salted (!) macadamia nuts, Indonesian coconut and hemp seeds. You wouldn’t think the salted macadamia nuts taste good with milk chocolate… well, think again. The hint of salt gives the bar an exotic flavor – maybe it’s the Hawaiian feel of macadamia nuts? – which made me feel like I was transported, if only for an instant, to a different part of the world.
According to the blurb on the back of the bars, the founder of Vosges, Katrina Markoff attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris after graduating from Vanderbilt. As she traveled the world, she was inspired to found Vosges Haut-Chocolat. She has a blog too: Peace, Love, and Chocolate – very cool! The bio on the back of the bar explains that she created this chocolate business
with the concept of Travel the World Through Chocolate in a mission to create a sustainable luxury chocolate experience; to bring about awareness of indigenous cultures through the exploration of spices, herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, nuts and the obscure.
As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed my post-workout mini-dessert! In case you didn’t know, dark chocolate (in small amounts) is actually good for you because it has antioxidants, some healthy monounsaturated fats, and stimulates the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones) (from Longevity).
If you’re a chocolate lover (like me!), what are some of your favorite chocolatiers/ types of chocolate?