~ healing arts for the body, mind & spirit ~
Integrative Nutrition

4 Running Basics for Beginners

Are you a runner, or do you hate anything that even comes close to a slow jog? 

Were you forced to run the mile in high school and hated every minute of it, or did you breeze through it like a natural-born marathon runner?

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Cacao: The Food of the Gods

What divine delight would be called the food of the Gods? Chocolate, of course! Both the Mayans and the Aztecs believed cacao (chocolate in its raw form) to be of divine origin and used it in their religious rituals and ceremonies, and even as a form of currency.

The cacao of the past and what most of us consume now is very different since sugar has been added to it. Now, I'm all for an amazing triple layer chocolate cake or gooey brownie, but in order to get the full benefits of chocolate, without any drawbacks, you will want to consume raw cacao.

Raw cacao has a long list of undeniable health benefits for your body. It is a real superfood, loaded with antioxidants, calcium, protein, magnesium, sulfur, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E.(Bonus!)

You can get raw cacao in powder form (not to be confused with cocoa powder which has been processed and most of the beneficial components have been destroyed) or in the form of cacao nibs. This is straight from the source with minimal processing and....no sugar is added. Where is the fun in that!? No worries, there are plenty of ways to add sweetness to this treat without adding processed sugar.

I enjoy adding raw cacao powder to my coconut, banana and peanut butter smoothies for a healthy boost...chocolate and peanut butter for breakfast? Yes!

Here are more delicious recipes for you to enjoy!

So, what's for dessert tonight?


The Miraculous Coconut and its Many Health Benefits

Throughout the years, there has been much debate about whether or not coconut oil is good or bad for you. The confusion basically revolves around the fact that coconut is comprised of mostly saturated fats. We have all heard that saturated fats are very bad for you, which is true for the majority of them. 

What is bad for your health, are the trans- fats that accompany many sources or products with saturated fat. The good news is that there are no trans-fats in coconut oil! The fat in coconut oil, and in several other oils, is a healthy type of fat that is beneficial when incorporated into our diets. 

Coconut oil has been researched and tested for several years, and it turns out it has an incredibly large number of health benefits and everyday uses, (it is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, improves the immune system and improves cardiovascular health just to name a few). You can learn more from the links below!

My personal favorite substitutions? Using coconut oil (in its liquid form) instead of vegetable oil in brownies and cakes. Also, using it instead of butter (in its solid form) when making cookies and frosting. My friends and family rave about these recipes, and the best part is that they are healthier than they would be if I were using the traditional recipes! 

My other favorite coconut products are coconut butter and canned coconut milk.  The butter, which is made from ground up dried coconut, is amazing on toast. The canned coconut milk, (not to be confused with the kind in the cooler section of the grocery store) is absolutely delicious in smoothies.

Happy eating...and to quote the great Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food!"

**Just a little note that not all coconut oils are created equal. Ideally you should use Organic Raw Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Check out the sources below for more information about the health benefits!

**When purchasing canned foods it is important to choose brands that don't use bpa in the lining of the cans.