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Chocolate, that is actually “good” for you.

Happy almost Valentine’s Day. 

One of the silliest Hallmark holidays of the year. Not because I am a grinch (my dog is my forever Valentine) but because I think we should celebrate love and thus, chocolate, on the reg. 

Am I right?

Anywho. 

“The average American consumes roughly 12 pounds of chocolate each year, and over $75 billion is spent annually worldwide on chocolate.”

Dr. Axe

Which means… yikes! We better be reading the labels and the fine print, or we’re consuming a whole lotta garbage. 

Generally speaking, cacao beans can be a “good” source of energy, antioxidants, flavanols, essential minerals (like iron and magnesium) and healthy fats. 

In moderation, these properties can help keep us youthful, “regular” and our mood— balanced. But if we are consuming 12 pounds per year, it is important to know what kind of chocolate you are eating.

Lower quality, and/or inorganic cacao beans, can be much more susceptible to mold and also overly sprayed with pesticides. 

They can also contain additives that make them detrimental to our health.

Ingredients like emulsifiers, added oils, dairy and processed sugars make it difficult for the body to metabolize and breakdown. 

Cross contamination with gluten, soy, and high-allergen foods, like peanuts, can make a lower quality product even more inflammatory. 

Why is this a problem? Your body can’t metabolize junk it does not recognize as food. So instead of burning it as fuel, it stores it as fat. Additionally, these additives and processed sugars can wreak havoc on the skin and immune system.

All that said, I love chocolate and always recommend it as an ideal dessert to my clients. 

Here are some of my favorite chocolates:

Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups:

If you grew up eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, these are reminiscent of those but for health savvy adults. I LOVE these coconut butter cups– just the perfect amount of sweet, creamy and rewarding. I recommend the Original, “Keto” and the Caramel cups. The plant-based fat (from the coconut butter) in the center makes them satiating without spiking your blood sugar. I also like that they use coconut sugar. There is a slight risk of cross contamination to nuts, so be aware of this on the label. 

Available: Whole Foods

Amazon: here.

Navitas Organic Sweet Cacao Nibs:

What I love about these little fellas is that they add a pop of fun to everything they touch. Sprinkle them over your smoothie, or chia seed pudding, add them to a trail mix, or grab a little handful and eat them solo. Made with raw organic cacao “nibs” and then dusted in organic cane sugar, a little goes a long way. 

You catch my drift— They hit the spot when chocolate cravings arise. 

They are also organic, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, gluten-free and third party test all products to verify quality and nutritional values.

Available: Whole Foods

Amazon: here.

Addictive Wellness:

I had the pleasure of meeting the Founders of Addictive Wellness while working in Los Angeles and was blown away by their fountain of knowledge. Seriously. Mind blown.

What’s awesome about their products is that not only are they DELICIOUS, they are uniquely formulated with premium raw heirloom cacao and enhanced with mood altering adaptogens for overall well-being. 

Plus, Addictive Wellness goes to extreme measures to make sure their products are free from mold and mycotoxins. They are also “sugar-free.” Sounds like a win win to me! 

Amazon: here.

RASA: They say the way to a man’s heart is through food. Well, then I am a sucker for a perfect mug of hot cocoa. 

RASA is made with Fair-trade Cacao, detoxifying roots, like liver cleansing burdock, and formulated using adaptogens.

To quote their site— Rasa is made with “1700 mg adaptogens, 175 mg theobromine, & only 5 mg cacao-derived caffeine, this chocolatey brew can be enjoyed morning & afternoon.”

P.S. Theobromine is the property that makes you feel perky and elevated. 

Amazon: here.

Elements Chocolate: Probably one of the most unique chocolates I have come across, these high vibe bars are made in small batches with premium cacao and then blended with Ayurvedic herbs to create a sense of harmony and balance. 

Every chocolate is additive free, gluten, soy, and refined sugar free and purpose driven. 

Every year, they contribute 25% of profits towards holistic education of underprivileged children in India. 

Available on Amazon: here.

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