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Getting chocolate naked

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Chocolate that helps you lose weight?!

“As a nutritionist, chocolate is bad, but since I discovered this very exciting information, I don’t have to give up chocolate,” said nutritionist Marrisa Schiesser.

Naked chocolate is where it is at — naked as in raw cacao beans sometimes known as nibs.

Schiesser will unleash Pandora’s Box on one of the most powerful elements known to women at the Chocolate – Natural Bliss! workshop on Thursday, June 28 at The Oracle in Whistler.

“I will talk about the properties of chocolate: the good properties, the nutrients in it and the natural chemical that creates that bliss feeling,” said the Squamish resident. “Also because it is at The Oracle, I will talk about how it has the ability to increase your intuition.”

Developing intuition is only one of the many benefits of eating raw chocolate. Others include energy boosting, increasing the metabolism and acting as an anti-oxidant.

As if chocoholics needed any more excuses to delve into cacao’s dark rich reverie. But cacao bean loving is a far cry (more often than not on your bathroom scale) from the chocolate bars most of the general public is plugged into.

“Eating a regular chocolate bar, it has a lot of other stuff added to it like sugar and because chocolate is highly processed, chocolate really gives you a caffeine high and then a let down,” she said. “With raw chocolate, because it is unprocessed, it doesn’t seem to have that high and low, rather a good uplifting energy that doesn’t affect the adrenal glands.”

Schiesser studied the science behind food after battling inflamed joints and digestive problems. She began researching alternative therapies, which led to her becoming a registered nutritional consulting practitioner. She graduated with honours from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto where she studied science, nutrition and herbology.

Not content with only treating the body, Schiesser searched out tools to deal with the emotional side of ourselves as well. She now works with Australian Bush Flower Essences, a vibrational healing remedy to balance body, mind and spirit. She hosts one-on-one sessions every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Oracle.

“If you don’t deal with the emotional side of things, food can only take you so far,” she said.

The food side of things is on the menu for The Oracle workshop with theory coupled with chocolate recipes and samplings. Schiesser also hosts her chocolate workshop Tuesday, June 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Squamish. However, this workshop is hosted in a kitchen with an emphasis on cooking with raw chocolate.

The Oracle workshop is $10 and the Squamish workshop is $35. Both classes require registry.

To sign up, call The Oracle at 604-905-0084 or visit Schiesser’s website at emeriahealth.com.

Dine and Unwind wraps up

It’s the last weekend to take advantage of affordable dining with Whistler Dine and Unwind coming to the last course Thursday, June 28 in Whistler.

More than 20 restaurants step up to the plate for this price-fixed menu shoulder season celebration.

The program is a great excuse to check out restaurants you might otherwise pass up because of cost. Often a three course is the equivalent of what one course might normally cost.

Participating restaurants include Crepe Montagne, Zen Sushi, Bavaria Restaurant, Cinnamon Bear Bar and Grille, The Den, Fifty-Two 80 Bistro, Milestone’s, The Mountain Club, Quattro at Whistler, Ric’s Grill, The Wine Room at the Fairmont, Araxi, Hy’s Steakhouse, Kypriaki Norte, La Rua, Rim Rock Café and Palmer’s Gallery at the Whistler Golf Club.

Prices range from $20 to $45 for three courses.

Let the fork be with you and venture out of your normal routine. Visit tourismwhistler.com for a rundown on restaurant menus.

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