www.marilynbrant.com

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Butterflies and Opiates

The absolutely lovely Nancy Parra--at her blog This Writer's Life--bestowed upon me the honor of a Butterfly Award this past week. The rules for passing it on are as follows:
1. Put the logo on your blog. (Yep. Look at the right-side column.)
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you. (Check. Thanks, Nance!)
3. Award up to ten other blogs. (See below. :-)
4. Add links to those blogs on yours. (Naturally!)
5. Leave a message for your awardees on their blogs.(Will, um, get to that, probably later...)

Since I had the pleasure of awarding some Blog Love to a few friends in the fall, I wanted to share this new and very kind award with a trio of wonderful writers I met for the first (but hopefully not only) time in San Francisco. The luncheon went by far too fast, but you know how you sometimes just like people instantly? For me, it was this way with Pam, Caryn and Robin. So, Butterfly Awards to you three! Spread them out as you will!

In other news, I've been on a quest to understand my deep and longstanding addiction to chocolate for many years. Not that I want to STOP the addiction, mind you, I merely want it to make full scientific sense. So, when I came across this piece of research in one of Dr. Neal Barnard's books (he's all about "understanding your fat genes" and things like that), I took notes. Literally.

FYI, Chocoholics: chocolate is the #1 most craved food ever (shocker...), followed by #2 other sweets, #3 savories like chips/pizza/meat, and #4 starchy stuff. Not only does it contain caffeine, it also has this amphetamine-like ingredient called "phenylethylamine" (or PEA), which works like an opiate. Apparently, in ERs, the docs use the drug "naloxone" to stop the effects of heroin and morphine because it blocks the opiate receptors in the brain and doesn't cause a narcotic high. When researchers presented this same opiate-blocking drug to serious chocoholics, it reportedly made the chocolate less appealing. After taking it, quote: "Chocolate becomes not much more exciting than, say, a piece of dry bread." Unquote.

Ha! Not that I'm advocating the use of opiate blockers or any other drugs but, c'mon. I would need to TRY THIS to believe it. We were at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in a nearby city last night and, let me tell you, pharmaceutical companies couldn't manufacture enough "naloxone" to block my desire for that dark English toffee... Sorry, Dr. Barnard. I'm throwing down the gauntlet on that one :-).

16 comments:

Vesper said...

Congratulations for your award! Lovely butterfly! :-)

Very interesting info about the chocolate! Thanks. Once again it all comes down to chemicals and the brain...

Nadine said...

Interesting... I'll have to watch out for that drug when it inevitably hits the market (or the internet...)!

Nancy J. Parra said...

I think Chocolate is a great opiate of choice. Long may it last! :)

Pamala Knight said...

Viva la Chocolat!!!

Congratulations on your very pretty award. You're going to need an extra mantle if those keep piling up ;-). And can I say again how great the blog looks? I think I need a lesson in how to add links to a blog and maybe you're just the smarty arty to help me. What do you think?

Marilyn Brant said...

Vesper~thanks :). Yeah, there is so much about the way the brain works that's a mystery. It's fascinating...

Nadine~LOL! I've heard you can get just about anything online these days!

Nancy~it's definitely MY choice! Thanks again for the lovely award :).

Pamala~I will help you in any way my non-techie little mind can help, my friend! Although, I think you linked and designed your blog beautifully...

Morgan Mandel said...

Now that I know there's a scientific explanation for my chocolate craving, I can feel less guilty when I indulge.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Pam said...

I am tickled, honored and now craving chocolate--all good things. Mwah to you, Marilyn! May you be blessed with milky chocolate goodness for the rest of your days!!!

Robin said...

Oh, Marilyn! Thank you so much! That award is beautiful! (Hugs)

And I so need an opiate blocker! I have a serious chocolate problem. I'm kind of allergic to it - it makes me feel yucky when I eat it - but does that stop me? NO. It's worth feeling ill over. How dumb is that? Now I don't eat it all the time; I'm very much a vanilla and white chocolate (doesn't bother me) kind of girl, but I'm hopeless at refusing milk chocolate anything if it's in front of me.

Marilyn Brant said...

Morgan~I like the way you think! And, hey, with Valentine's Day coming up soon, we'll have lots of indulging opportunities and no reason to feel guilty, right?

Pam~Mwah back at'cha!! You are very welcome. Thanks for going to all the trouble in SF to figure out a time/place for us to meet. I'm so glad we did :).

Robin~LOL! I'm totally with you on the "it makes me ill but I eat it anyway" thing. It's like that for me and ice cream... Does that make me stop? Noooo!

lainey bancroft said...

Catchy blog title, Marilyn! :0

Congrats on the pretty butterfly. Ah, a sign of spring.

And um, why would anyone want to make yummy chocolate have the appeal of dry bread? WWT?
(although, I am kinda like Robin, if I overindulge, especially in dark chocolate, I get a wicked headache and a funny tummy)

Ann Victor said...

Congratulations on your Butterfly Award, Marilyn.

Hope it brings your book great success when it hits the shelves on 1 October 2009.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Marilyn,
Can I be a chocolate buddy, too? Say, chocolate martini in D.C? I'll buy :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Lainey~you make an excellent point! Scientists should be spending their time figuring out how to make dry bread taste like chocolate, not the other way around...

Ann~thanks so much for stopping by and for all the good wishes!

L.A.~absolutely! You grab the martinis and I'll bring the chocolate truffles, how's that? :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, my. Really? An anti-chocolate-craving drug? Still, I think I'd remember not only that sweet, bitter taste and crave it for that alone, but also would remember how much I liked it and want it based on my memories of pleasant chocolate experiences.

Plus, you know, it's good for you. Right?

Caryn Caldwell said...

Oh, my. Really? An anti-chocolate-craving drug? Still, I think I'd remember not only that sweet, bitter taste and crave it for that alone, but also would remember how much I liked it and want it based on my memories of pleasant chocolate experiences.

Plus, you know, it's good for you. Right?

P.S. Yes, I'm the idiot who posted as Anonymous the first time. Oops. What can I say? I was too busy picturing how nice some dark chocolate would taste. Yum...

Marilyn Brant said...

LOL, Caryn! I lose my train of thought whenever I'm meditating on the merits of chocolate, too :).