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!

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.
 

Bulletproof Pumpkin Spice Latte

Bulletproof Pumpkin Spice Latte // paleo, gluten free, dairy free + vegan option

Originally seen here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee or chai tea
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted grassfed butter or ghee (or more coconut oil for vegan/dairy free)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
  • 1 scoop collagen powder (optional)
  • Sweeten with raw honey, stevia or maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender
  2. Pop the top out of the blender cover and cover with kitchen towel
  3. Blend on high for 30 seconds
  4. Pour into a mug and add a sprinkle of cinnamon

What I Ate Wednesday 6/1/16

In an effort to show you all more of what I eat as a plant-strong, active adult, I'm starting a new series here on the blog - "What I Ate Wednesday."  Every other Wednesday (or so) I'll snap a picture of everything I eat and post the pictures plus descriptions here on the blog.  I'll share helpful information on what I'm eating and why.

PLEASE, please, please do not think that your food choices should directly mirror mine - we are all different and what works for my body may not work for your body, and vice versa.  I'm still figuring out what works best for me and guess what?  It's changing all the time. I'm simply sharing my choices with the hopes to give you more ideas when it comes to healthy foods and meals.

Here's what I ate this Wednesday:

Upon waking: water + lemon juice, coffee blended with 1 tsp ghee, cinnamon + a few drops of liquid stevia. Quick tip: Ghee is clarified butter which means it is butter with the milk proteins removed. Many people who cannot tolerate dairy can handle ghee.

Breakfast: Steamed kale, sweet potatoes, sauerkraut + 2 hard boiled eggs. Superhuman breakfast, to go!

Snack: Strawberries + small handful of raw almonds, iced black tea with lemon from Hu Kitchen

Lunch: Some sugar snap peas (not pictured) and this gorgeous salad: mixed greens, broiled wild caught steel-head salmon, garlic sauerkraut + tangy lemon dill yogurt dressing. This salad was super flavorful, and SO easy! Would you guys want the super simple recipe for this salmon and dressing? Let me know in the comments below!

Snack: Smoothie with protein powder, water, frozen cherries + vanilla extract. Not pictured.

Dinner: Zucchini noodles, marinated tofu + quinoa. Tofu - I'm still on the fence with you. I had a craving for it last week, but I don't think my gut loves it (soy can be hard to digest). Peppermint tea to curb my sweet tooth after dinner (yes, I have a sweet tooth, and yes this actually works to quell it!)

 

Like I mentioned, I'm always looking to find what foods work best for me through experimentation, and trial and error. Hey, I never thought I would eat dairy again and here I am, trying it out (sheep's milk yogurt and ghee) and doing just fine! Want some help in finding what foods work best for your body and LIFE? Schedule a complementary strategy session with me!

Coffee Alternatives

As you may or may not know, I've been taking a break from coffee this month. Today I'm sharing three alternatives to your typical cup of joe. Whether you are looking to ease yourself off caffeine, or just interested in exploring other energy-boosting beverages, read on for three alternative cups + my two cents on each.

- Matcha - Matcha tea powder is made from finely ground green tea leaves - not only do you get all of the benefits of green tea, but you also get clear, focused energy (and no jitters like some people experience with coffee). It has a grassy, earthy flavor. Traditionally, you whisk matcha with boiling water to make a frothy, hot drink, but you can also blend with non-dairy milk for an easy iced latte.

- Crio Bru - A friend recently introduced me to Crio Bru which I love because it's bitter like coffee! Crio Bru is made from cocoa beans that have been roasted and ground and brewed just like coffee. Unlike coffee, it's 99% caffeine free, yet high in antioxidants which give you a natural boost. Did I mention it's chocolate? ;) 

- Yerba Mate - Yerba Mate is a tea made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the South American holy tree. It's been said to have the "strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate" all in one drink. It's got a slightly nutty, bitter flavor, which is definitely an acquired taste (honestly, I didn't like it the first few times I tried it). 

What's your morning drink of choice and why? Leave a comment below - I can't wait to hear from you!