Superfood Hot Cocoa

It's FINALLY feeling like fall here in NYC which means it FINALLY feels appropriate for me to start sharing cool weather recipes! While I'm totally a warm weather gal, I am looking forward to more warm, grounding foods as the temperature drops: soups, roasted root vegetables and winter squashes, broth, everything cinnamon and THIS amazing hot cocoa.

I started making this superfood powered hot cocoa when I was in Maine in August - the nights can be cool up there (even in the summer) and I found myself waking up craving something sweet and warm. I had stopped drinking coffee and matcha, so I decided to play around with a caffeine-free alternative to my beloved bulletproof-style lattes, and thus this drink was born!

Fun fact: Cacao does not contain caffeine. I always thought it did, because of the effect it had on my body. Nope! Cacao (and thus chocolate) does contain theobromine, which is an alkaloid similar to caffeine. Theobromine is a stimulant, which is why many people (myself included!) feel a buzz from eating chocolate and thus avoid it at night. 

I love having this drink in the morning because it gives me a noticeable boost without a crash or "caffeine hangover." (not sure if that's a thing or if I just made that up!). In addition to the cacao, my Superfood Hot Cocoa contains maca which is an energizing herb and ashwaganda which is an herb that helps your body adapt to stress. I also like to add in some collagen powder for added protein and it's gut-healing benefits.

Whether you're looking for a coffee alternative or simply a fun superfood infused beverage to mix up your morning routine, I hope you'll try this recipe. If you do, let me know how it goes! I love it when you guys leave comments or post photos on social media - make sure to tag me @EmilyNachazel so I don't miss it!

  Superfood Hot Cocoa -  perfect for Winter!

Superfood Hot Cocoa - perfect for Winter!

Superfood Hot Cocoa

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops collagen (I like Vital Proteins)
  • 2 cups hot water or non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw cacao or cocoa powder (I like my cocoa REALLY dark... so play with this and find what works for you!)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • 1/4 tsp ashwaganda powder
  • Raw honey or stevia (if desired)
  • Dash sea salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1.  Add all ingredients to your high speed blender. Make sure your lid is secure and then blend, starting on the lowest setting and increasing to highest speed, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Taste and add sweetener if desired, and blend again to incorporate. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Gut Healing Ginger Latte

This "latte" is unlike anything you'd find at Starbucks - it's dairy, coffee AND sugar free, and actually packed with superfoods that help heal your gut. I also happen to think it's completely delicious and energizing in it's own right, no caffeine required!

Before I jump into the recipe, I want to highlight a few of the awesome ingredients in here:

Collagen - Collagen is pure protein and it helps heal the lining of your gut. It's also great for your hair, skin and nails. Plain collagen powder is completely flavorless, so you can add it to just about anything - I love it in my latte drinks and this addictive Almond Butter Fudge, but you can also simply stir into tea, coffee, smoothies or oatmeal. Think of it like a tasteless clean protein powder.

Ginger - Ginger has been used for centuries as both a powerful anti-inflammatory and stomach-calming remedy. Plus, it gives this latte a great flavor without sugar or fake ingredients.

Ashwaganda - Ashwaganda is an adaptogen which means it helps your body respond to stress in a healthy way. From my experience, so many gut issues (indigestion, bloating, constipation, gas, etc) originate not from food, but from stress. In fact, your body cannot properly digest food if it's stressed out and in that "fight or flight" mode. The more you are able to chill out around meal time, the better able you'll be able to drop into your "rest and digest" mode, leading to fewer uncomfortable digestive issues.

Gut Healing Ginger Latte / dairy free, gluten free, paleo, caffeine free

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops collagen peptides (I like Vital Proteins)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Small knob of peeled fresh ginger (about 1/2 - 1 inch)
  • Generous dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder (omit if drinking this at night)
  • 1/4 tsp ashwaganda powder
  • 2 cups hot water
  • A few drops of stevia or raw honey, if desired

Instructions:

  1. Boil your water.
  2. Add all ingredients to your high speed blender and blend until frothy and delicious.

I've enjoyed this spicy latte both in the morning and at night. If you do choose to drink this at night, I suggest omitting the maca as it has quite an energizing effect on the body.

Caffeine Free Favorites

The past few weeks I've been passing on most caffeine - that means none of my beloved matcha lattes, bulletproof coffees and very little kombucha. 

I've been working on my adrenal health and greatly reducing my caffeine intake is part of that healing process. I'll share more about WHY I'm doing this at some point, but if you're interested in learning how caffeine could be wrecking havoc on your health and wellness goals (especially if you are a woman), I suggest watching this interview: Hormones 101 with Alisa Vitti. This interview, along with some test results I received from my doctor, was what finally got me to give up my coffee/matcha/caffeine habit.

One of the hardest parts of giving up my morning hit of caffeine was giving up the ritual - I love that quiet time in the morning where I whisk or blend or pour myself a hot cup of comfort, and then sit and sip before officially starting my day. So I started to experiment with caffeine free alternatives and I'm sharing my favorites with you today.

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My favorite caffeine free teas, lattes and more:

- Nettle Tea and Dandelion Tea - These teas are bitter and earthy, which makes them great coffee replacements.

- Teechino - Teechino is a coffee alternative made with herbs, grains, fruits and nuts that are roasted and ground to brew and taste like coffee. It's non-acidic and naturally caffeine free, but when mixed with a little non-dairy milk you may be convinced you're sipping joe. There's a bunch of delicious flavors like French Roast, Hazelnut, Vanilla Nut and Chocolate.

- Gut Healing Ginger Latte - This recipe tastes like a chai latte, but is packed with gut (and hormone) friendly superfoods like ginger, collagen, and ashwaganda.

- Hot Water with Lemon - I know this tastes NOTHING like coffee, but hot water with lemon is GREAT for your digestion and gives you a noticeable energy boost. No fresh lemon juice on hand? You can also use a drop of doTERRA lemon essential oil.

- Peppermint Tea - Again, totally NOT coffee but mint is naturally energizing. It's also wonderful for your digestion making this a perfect AM or post-meal tea.

- Zen Bear Mocha Chaga Honey Tea - For those days when you want a mocha, this honey tea will hit the spot! Simply stir the superfood infused honey into hot water, add a splash of your favorite non-dairy milk and ENJOY!

- Free Ride + Wild Ginger Kombucha from Revive Kombucha - Most kombucha contains caffeine, but these two blends from my friends at Revive are totally caffeine free! Cool!

Looking for coffee alternatives that still pack a little caffeine kick? Read this post: Coffee Alternatives.

As always, I'm sharing my opinions in hope that they give you ideas and inspiration for how you can live your healthiest, happiest, most energetic life. If you're thinking caffeine may not be supporting you at this time, I suggest experimenting with some of these alternatives! Yes, you may go through some uncomfortable symptoms (headaches, tiredness, muscle soreness) as your body adjusts, but it won't be forever. I've personally felt SO much better (more even energy, no more afternoon slump, more restful sleep) since reducing my caffeine intake. This may not be a "forever" thing, but it's what's working for me, for now.

 

 

 
Do you drink a hot beverage in the morning? Caffeine or caffeine free?
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
 

Electrolyte Lemonade

First, THANK YOU so much for your emails, messages and texts in response to last week's post. This was something I was nervous to share, and the positive and supportive response has been amazing.

On a lighter note, today I'm popping in with a quick, super refreshing summer drink recipe. I've talked about the importance of staying hydrated before and now that the sticky summer weather is upon us (at least for my US friends!) getting plenty of water and electrolytes in is even more crucial.

Oh yeah, electrolytes! What are those little guys anyways? An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in water. Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate are examples of electrolytes. Electrolytes play a role in some key bodily functions including:

  • help keep blood pressure levels stable
  • assist with nerve signaling
  • reduce anxiety
  • support muscle contractions and proper heart rhythm
  • bone building and strength
  • and MORE!

That all being said, it's important that we've got the proper balance of electrolytes in our bods. The main way you loose electrolytes is through sweating, which most of us do more of in the summer.

Now you DON'T need to go out and buy a bunch of Gatorade (it's packed with mostly sugar anyways!) - there are plenty of natural ways to replenish your body's electrolytes.

Here are a few natural ways to replenish lost electrolytes, naturally:

  1. Eat a potassium rich banana
  2. Drink some delicious coconut water
  3. Add a dash of quality sea salt to your water
  4. Take a magnesium supplement


You can also make yourself this delicious electrolyte lemonade! I've been making this drink a lot the past few days and I've noticed that not only am I less hungry, my sugar cravings have gone WAY down and I'm sleeping so much better. Now that's COOL!

Electrolyte Lemonade


Ingredients:

  • Filtered water
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or lime or 1/2 of a grapefruit)
  • Generous pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • A few drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp raw honey

Instructions:

  1. Fill a large mason jar (32oz) or water bottle with filtered water.
  2. Add freshly squeezed citrus juice, sea salt and stevia (if using). Taste and add more juice or stevia if desired. Note: if you use honey, you'll want to dissolve it in a little bit of hot water first.
  3. Drink up!

 

 


Now I want to hear from you: What's your favorite summer drink?
Leave a comment below and let me know!

Spicy Citrus Tea

Tummy feeling off? Or just need something to bust through the after-dinner sweet cravings? This is the tea for you. The brightness of the citrus paired with the spiciness of the ginger and cayenne both calms belly discomfort AND sugar cravings. I like it as is, but feel free to add 1-2 tsp of raw local honey if it's a little too strong for you :)

Spicy Citrus Tea // vegan, gluten free, paleo, sugar free

Ingredients:

- 1/2 lemon, sliced

- 1/2 orange, sliced

- 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced

- generous pinch of cayenne (optional, but great for your digestion and immune system!)

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a small pot and cover with 2-3 cups of filtered water.
  2. Let simmer over medium high heat for about 10 minutes (you can let it go longer for a more concentrated flavor).
  3. Pour into a mug and ENJOY!