Making your own chocolates from scratch is surprisingly simple, and when you make your own you are in control of the all of the ingredients you use as well as the quality of those ingredients.
Making chocolates is also a great way to start incorporating different superfood powders and herbal extracts so you can easily turn your chocolate treat into a nutrient-dense medicinal food!
Here is one of my favourite chocolate recipes, however, once you try making them yourself you will easily be inspired to start coming up with your own flavour and superfood combinations.
Enjoy ! :)
Orange Coconut Chocolates:
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup cacao butter (melted)
2-3 tbsp dark maple syrup, coconut syrup, or yacon syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder (or natural vanilla extract)
3 tbsp shredded coconut (sugar- and preservative-free)
1/2 tsp Simply Organic Orange Oil
Melt cacao butter in the dehydrator or over low heat on the stove-top. In a bowl, add melted cacao butter and stir in remaining ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
Pour chocolate into moulds and set in freezer for 5-10 minutes. Store in the refrigerator or on countertop in airtight container.
Anxiety can occur as an acute episode of highly intense feelings of stress that overwhelm the individual (such as panic attacks), or as more generalized chronic feelings of stress, uneasiness and being wound-up.
Chronic anxiety can often include headaches, chronic fatigue, insomnia, digestive distress, muscle tension, dry mouth, excessive perspiration, increased heart beat, and may cause you to startle easily.
Over time, too much stress and anxiety will age you faster because they put your body into 'emergency mode' - where your energy is diverted away from maintenance and repair and towards physically having to react to the stressful event.
Here are my Top 3 Tips for Reducing Anxiety:
1. Upgrade Your Diet:
Reduce (or avoid completely) your intake of stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and refined carbohydrates like sugar, baked goods, and white bread. Eat a nutrient-dense whole-food diet in order to balance out blood sugar levels throughout the day and prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Deficiencies of B complex vitamins, iron, taurine, magnesium, and chromium can all lead to increased feelings of anxiety and decreased ability to adapt to stress. Other biochemical imbalances that can lead to anxiety include low histamine/high copper, lactic acid build-up, and undiagnosed food allergies.
2. Use Calming Herbs and Nutrients:
GABA, Passionflower, Magnesium, Kava, and Valerian all promote a calming effect in the body and can be very useful when trying to reduce anxiety. Some of these supplements do interact with medications, and Kava and GABA for example need to be avoided if you drink alcohol. Always check with your health care provider before taking any of these supplements. There are some great combination formulas available that combine many of these herbs and nutrients. Adaptogenic herbs are another great option, especially if you experience a lot of stress.
3. Grow Your Inner Garden:
Balance your gut bacteria with fermented foods, and a wide variety of plant-based whole-foods, as well as a high-quality dairy-free probiotic. We are starting to find out how the balance and types of gut bacteria we have greatly influences our neurotransmitter levels and nutrient absorption.
Read More About the Gut-Brain Connection:
It can be overwhelming to try to jump into this yourself and there are numerous benefits to working one-on-one with a nutritionist, such as individualized recommendations, support, and help with deciphering the confusing and conflicting health information out there.
Book your complimentary 15 Min Discovery Call today to find out how I can best support your health goals.
This TED Talk about stress, biochemistry and work-life balance is one of my favourites. It not only highlights how much pressure we put on ourselves but also clearly explains what happens to our hormones when we are continuously operating in 'fight or flight' mode and how this affects our weight, mood, energy levels, and overall well-being.
I can very much relate to this –– it is very easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks and forget to dedicate some time to essential rest and relaxation. This is all too common, especially for us entrepreneurs, so this video is a great reminder to take better care of ourselves and learn how to avoid 'burn-out'.
This is extremely important, because if our life is not balanced between work and rest then we won't have the energy to do the things we love.
There is a big price to be paid for constantly running off of adrenaline and cortisol as it leads to hormone imbalances, infertility, lack of quality sleep, low energy, mood imbalances, and impedes healthy weight management (the body doesn't want to burn fat when we are in constant 'fight or flight' mode). It is easy to constantly be working but this is not sustainable or healthy.
This is a topic that my clients often ask me for help with. It is all too common for women entrepreneurs to end up in this unhealthy cycle of adrenal fatigue and then relying on coffee and sugar just to get through the day.
If this sounds like you and you would like to learn about specific foods, herbs, and lifestyle factors to support and balance your stress levels, just click on the link below and book your complimentary 15 Minute Discovery Call.
Shawna Barker BSc., RHN is a nutritionist, college instructor, and raw food educator.