Food and Drink 

What sits in the seats of desire?

The seat of desire, said Socrates in Philebus, which was written by Plato some 2,400 years ago, is this: "... he who is empty desires ... the opposite of what he experiences: for he is empty and desires to be full."

To paraphrase Socrates, if you'll forgive me doing so, is to say if someone is thirsty, we mean to say that that person is empty. So it's not drink he or she desires, but rather replenishment by drink, or a change of state.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner and desire the name of the game, just what is it that you and your loved ones might need to fill up on to change your state of being?

Besides a little lovey from your dovey, here are a few suggestions you just might find helpful for filling up any unwanted emptiness, whatever form it takes.

Still, don't underestimate the benefits of all those endorphins conjured up by the ultimate game-changer, the joy of sex. They've been described as a natural form of morphine and they might even save your life.

One medical study done in South Wales, and I'm quoting here from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's White Paper on the Health Benefits of Sexual Expression , indicated that men aged 45-59 who have two or more orgasms a week had a 50 percent lower mortality risk than those who have orgasms less than once a week.

And what else might you fill an emptiness with on Valentine's Day?

Not to go too Mediterranean on you after our s-l-o-w food adventure last week, but the non-profit, Italy-based National Board for Preserving the Italian Healthy Eating Traditions has a wonderful website filled with all kinds of healthful ideas that make heart day a truly loving heart day, without sacrificing an iota of the great tastes we all desire. Check it out at

Tired of the old, although admittedly still good, tradition of a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day? (More in defense of chocolate later.) Make up your own Valentine's gift box of roasted but unsalted nuts.

More reports were out again last week on how sodium kicks the elasticity out of our arteries and flexible arteries that expand and contract nicely are something you definitely want in order to celebrate many more Valentine's Days. (Smoking, packing on weight and drinking more than three cups of coffee a day also make arteries stiffer, meaning they'll have a harder time expanding and contracting to keep all that nice red blood flowing smoothly through your body.)

Mix some yummy dried fruits in with the nuts, maybe something off the beaten path that echoes the Valentine's theme. Think red and white, reinterpreted.

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