Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don’t need an appointment. – unknown
Do you have those moments when you feel like you can’t go on without chocolate?
Just a small square is enough to calm your nervous, imbalanced energy.
And…with the first bite, it’s as if your troubles melt away.
Well, you are not alone and I have good and bad news about your chocolate cravings:
- First, it is very likely you are magnesium deficient because chocolate (cacao) contains a great deal of magnesium. Our bodies innately know when it is deficient of a critical nutrient. Therefore, you will end up craving a food comprised of an essential mineral or vitamin that your body greatly needs.
- Second, you could be addicted to sugar. I was for quite a long time…check out the link for more information.
- Third, you could have a combination of the above two factors.
However, the GOOD NEWS is both of these situations are completely fixable (read the above links) and…most importantly, it’s ok to eat chocolate [sign of relief]. BUT, it is a good idea to ensure your body is properly balanced with minerals and then commence with the healthy chocolate recipes. In all seriousness, when you are craving chocolate around-the-clock, this is a good indicator of a mineral deficiency, especially during times of stress.
So, what is the remedy?
First, I take magnesium powder or trace mineral drops, mix the suggested dosage in a tall glass of filtered water and drink the entire thing. Chances are, if you are magnesium or mineral deficient, you are most likely dehydrated too. This is simply attributed to the viscous cycle of stress:
Stress + Lack of Self-Care + Lack of Sleep = Total Body Depletion
After I’ve tackled my mineral deficiency, I end up feeling ten times better and usually have a second wave of energy to focus on making healthy chocolate! However, if I’m really worn out and exhausted, I’ll break out some adaptogen powders and incorporate them into my recipe. There is nothing better than cacao + adaptogens. This perfect combination is how I wave “good-bye” to my feelings of chaos and low energy, while at the same time eating chocolate! It’s quite beautiful.
Let’s dive further into the benefits of cacao + why we crave it. Then, let’s get on with a healthy, stress supporting cacao recipe. Yes, it is best to use cacao instead of cocoa and I’ll tell you why below.
Benefits of Cacao…
To be repetitious, cacao is an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our body. It is estimated that at least 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium for reasons such as soil depletion, stress and poor eating. Magnesium is actually responsible for helping the brain and body relax. (Murray, 2005) Cocoa, on the other hand, is what you typically find on any baker’s aisle at the grocery and is a highly processed, highly heated and highly stripped version of the precious cacao bean, which contains a high vitamin and mineral ratio in its raw state.
Read more about cacao vs. cocoa here.
Benefits of Adaptogens…
Adaptogens are herbs or plants found in nature that help the body adapt to stress, mental and physical. Basically, plants like holy basil, ashwagandha, rhodiola, cordyceps, chaga, reishi, licorice root, etc. have evolved and adapted to their own environmental stressors (i.e. change) and continue to thrive and prosper. These herbs not only help our bodies cope with internal stress, they can also help our bodies to deal with environmental stressors like pollution and toxins we take in from our surroundings and food (pesticides).
Read more about adaptogens here.
Cacao Ball Recipe (a.k.a. healthy chocolate)
I love this recipe because it is down right easy and only requires 3 ingredients! The best part is, you can get creative with the recipe and add your favorite adaptogen powders if dealing with stress, or you can roll these lovelies in your favorite toppings like chia seeds, hempseeds, more cacao powder or even shredded coconut, for added nutrition and beauty. I typically make this recipe 1-3 times a week to get my healthy chocolate fix. If I crave these everyday, I know to up my intake of magnesium powder, which really does reduce my craving for chocolate. I love to pair these with organic green or herbal tea.
- 1 c. almond flour
- 1/4 c. cacao powder
- 3-5 tbs. maple syrup (less is more)
- 1 tsp. of reishi or chaga powder (optional)
- 2-3 tbs. hempseeds, chia or shredded coconut
- Mix together the almond flour and cacao powder.
- Add the maple syrup and adaptogen powder. Mix until well combine.
- Form and shape the dough into 1” diameter balls.
- Roll balls into your choice of topping and enjoy.
- Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Leave me a comment below if you’d like to share your experience with adaptogens for stress, cacao or this yummy recipe.
Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.