We all have food cravings. Okay, let me re-phrase, MOST women I know struggle with cravings… generally speaking, they come in the form of sugar or carbs… and more specifically, usually once every 4 weeks or so , it’s an unquenchable need for chocolate! My advice, don’t ignore it! If you’ve read my posts before you know that I believe in deconstructing the craving before trying to discover the one tried and true solution because reality is, that tried and true may not always work if the root cause changes! The catalyst for the chocolate could be a number of things or even a combination of things: a mineral deficiency, a yin/yang imbalance, a lack of sweet nutritious vegetables and/or leafy greens in one’s diet, an overabundance of “junk” that sets us on a never-ending roller coaster for sweets, perhaps it’s more emotional. A need for something unrelated to food, like a hug, some rest, a good sweat, and the true desire masks itself as a craving for food. Discovering what lies at the heart of our cravings takes WORK! it’s a lot of work to learn to listen to our bodies. It’s a lot of work to journal and look for patterns in our food/mood connection. And it’s a lot of work to change our habits and to give ourselves what we really need… i.e: choosing a hot bath and a great book over a sleeve of doubles stuff Oreos!
But this post isn’t a lesson on deconstructing cravings.. that’s where coaching comes in (wink – call me for a consult) this post is to bring to light a very underrated superfood that for me, has been a fantastic solution to the occasional need for chocolate.. drum roll please….. CACAO Powder. Bam. Organic, energizing, sugar-free, RAW chocolate.
“God already created the best pill ever, it’s chocolate” – David Wolfe. I love this line.
what is it?
Chocolate (cacao powder) comes from the cacao bean, the seed/nut of a fruit of an Amazonian tree.
why is it considered a superfood?
Cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet and the #1 source of magnesium of any food (therapeutic levels), and has an enormous amount of manganese, and chromium. A few cacao beans provides 323% of the RDA of daily iron, and so many women out there seem to be iron deficient – probably because of the decrease in animal protein we are consuming (which is a good thing, ladies!). Just how super is it? The amount of antioxidants in cacao is about 10-15% x greater by weight than what is in blueberries, 20x that of red wine and 20x that of green tea…. in summary, it helps to promote IMMUNITY, CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH, IMPROVED MOOD, ENERGY, BUILDS STRONG BONES, LONGEVITY, APHRODISIAC (yee-haw!)
what to do with it?
Throw it in a smoothie (below is one of my favorite creations)
Almond Butter Cup
- 1 banana
- 1 handful of roasted, unsalted almonds
- ½ cup almond milk
- Drizzle of pure honey
- 1 Tbsp cacao powder
- 4 ice cubs
- additional water to meet your desired consistency
Make a natural hot chocolate (1 cup almond milk, 1-2 Tbs cacao powder, 1 tsp honey – blend in your nutri-bullet and heat on low on your stovetop), or enjoy a chocolate bar with a good amount of cacao in it! I always keep a bar of dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao in my fridge and nibble on a square when my craving hits.
Give it a try and tell me what you think. And be open-minded people.. sure, it’s a bit more bitter than your kit-kat and snickers bar, but it comes with a whole host of benefits that those commercially available chocolate bars can’t touch!