Are you feeling guilty about your love of chocolate? Wondering if you need to forsake your habit? Perhaps there's a way to "have your cake and eat it too"—with raw cacao!
Where does chocolate come from?
Chocolate is derived from the Theobrama cacao tree. Literally "food of the gods," the Theobrama tree grows exclusively in locations 20 degrees north or south of the equator, making it a key trade commodity. There are 1.5 million farms in West Africa alone!
It's easy to put off our vow to eat healthier until the New Year. "I'll just make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas and then worry about it," we say to ourselves. The cultural current of expectation that runs rampant this time of year often yields a sense of powerlessness, making it easy to relinquish our sense of control over our food choices.
Wondering what you can do to fight the urge to abandon healthy eating during the holidays?
Yeasts, bacteria, and other microbes exist in abundance in every individual's digestive tract. The gut lining consists of both beneficial and harmful varieties. When the balance shifts in favor the pathogenic microbes, our immune system suffers.
Symptoms of bacterial and fungal overgrowth include fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, headaches, sugar cravings, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), skin and nail fungal infections, dizziness, and much more. Antibiotics, environmental toxins, a highly processed diet, stress, and the aging process all contribute to microbial imbalance.
There are a myriad of options for those seeking to boost their immune system through diet. In this article we compare and contrast five popular diets designed to restore or maintain health.
Walk into a grocery store and you'll see spinach that has been triple washed and foods wrapped tightly in plastic, as well as cleaning products that "kill 99.9% of bacteria."
Before you step into the store you'll wipe your hands with an antibacterial wipe. In all likelihood this wipe will contain a strong antimicrobial agent such as triclosan, first introduced to America as a pesticide in 1969.
We are indeed the Super-Sanitized Generation.
Our obsession with hygiene is understandable. Bad things happen when people don't wash their hands or dispose of fecal waste in a responsible manner.
But has the pendulum swung too far? Are all microbes bad? Are we missing some key information that might help us turn the tide on increasing instances of allergies, chronic disease, and autoimmune conditions?
Ever wonder why little Jimmy is bouncing off the walls after a holiday meal? Or Uncle Henry is more argumentative than ever? How about those underlying conflicts that seem to escalate during the holiday season?
We know the shorter days, the consumption of alcohol, the high expectations, and other underlying issues contribute to holiday stress, but rarely do we consider the "food factor."
At one time in our history, holiday fare consisted of real food: Our buffets were full of fresh, organic vegetables, pastured and grass-fed meats, and good, healthy fats. Today our "traditional" meal offers a smorgasbord of chemically altered, sugary, starchy, processed foods.