June 2014

chocolate doesn’t ask questions, chocolate understands

Last month was all about chocolate, well at least for me.
I hosted my very first Raw Chocolate Workshop. And when I did I had so much fun, my guests were amazing, we had great talks about food and life, we prepared almost everything together, there was a great dynamic in this round and I can’t wait to host my next workshop.

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Raw cacao is loaded with antioxidants, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, copper and phosphor. For the Mayan and the Aztec cacao was such a treasure that they used it as a currency. Some of the great benefits of raw cacao is the improvement of the cardio-vascular functions, it creates happiness and lifts your mood, it is energizing, juvenescent and it is also a natural aphrodisiac.

Raw Chocolate is special, it is different from what people call an “ordinary” chocolate. The first time you have it you will probably think it tastes different, funny or weird. It is not as sweet as the sweets you might know. Chefs and amateur chefs like me use different sweeteners in the Raw Kitchen. In my free Sugar Blues Workshop I will go into more details but to give you an idea: it’s mainly about not using refined sugars and sweeteners.

The more natural you can go with a sweetener the better your body can use the nutrients and can digest it. From refined sugar the body doesn’t get much except a short satisfaction, it has no nutritional value whatsoever. Natural sweeteners like date paste, coconut syrup, yacon syrup, just to name a few, those sweeteners will give you a sweet satisfaction without regrets and guilty feelings. The blood sugar stays low and you won’t feel cravings like it may happen with refined sugary treats from the grocery store.

So many people asked me if I am going to provide this kind of workshop online. That is what I am working on right now and hopefully I will announce an online workshop in the fall. I can’t wait to show you how easy and delicious this can be. Stay tuned!

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Exercise may be the closest thing to the fountain of youth. Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life.
Studies show just 30 minutes of physical activity on most days is all that’s required to reap big benefits.

The range of health bonuses now attributed to exercise has surprised even doctors. Many health organizations suggest that regular physical activity may do the following:

1.    Keep you young.
Workouts such as brisk walking or cycling boost the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise. Improving your aerobic capacity by just 15 to 25 percent would be like shaving 10 to 20 years off your age. Aerobic exercise may also stimulate the growth of new brain cells in older adults.

2.    Reduce infections.
Moderate workouts temporarily rev-up the immune system by increasing the aggressiveness or capacity of immune cells. That may explain why people who exercise catch fewer colds.

3.    Prevent heart attacks.
Not only does exercise raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, but new research shows it reduces arterial inflammation, another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

4.    Ease asthma.
New evidence shows that upper-body and breathing exercises can reduce the need to use an inhaler in mild cases of asthma.

5.    Control blood sugar.
Exercise helps maintain a healthy blood-sugar level by increasing the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and by controlling weight. Regular brisk walking can significantly cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

6.    Protect against cancer.
Exercise may reduce the risk of colon-cancer by speeding waste through the gut and lowering the insulin level. It may also protect against breast and prostate cancer by regulating hormone levels.

7.    Combat stress.
Regular aerobic exercise lowers levels of stress hormones. For many people, exercise helps relieve depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.

8.    Relieve hot flashes.
Increasing fitness by walking or practicing yoga enhances mood and reduces some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

9.    Protect men’s health.
Pelvic exercises help prevent erectile dysfunction and possibly benign prostate enlargement, a common cause of urinary problems.

10.    Prolong life.
Studies lasting many years have consistently shown that being active cuts the risk of premature death by about 50 percent for men and women.

I think berry season is the best season of the year!
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very berry milkshake – strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry just to name a few
•  150g berries
•  2 table spoons nut butter
•  1/2 – 1 cup water
•  1/2 table spoon sweetener of choice

Berries are extremely rich in antioxidants, which are not only responsible for keeping you young and your skin soft. Antioxidants are also known as a great help in preventing diseases as cancer and coronary heart disease.
Besides of that – berries just taste sooo amazing!

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