Put your mug up and toast the beauties of cacao with me. Have you ever tried it? My granddaughter relishes to the last drop a glass of milk with honey and cacao powder stirred in.
I have a more intense friendship with cacao, budding quickly into a serious relationship. I’m excited daily to meet up with it, sometimes in the morning but especially cherished mid-afternoon when energy lags a bit.
I’ve been mostly off sugar for a year or two. I’ve been off chocolate for as long, in mourning for nearly as long. But deprivation can yield appreciation, I found out! There’s a deep, almost sensuous joy to foods and drinks that are health-giving that I never experienced when I hurriedly downed frappuccinos and even chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven…then felt bad-tired and dull a little later.
When I found out in 2010 that I needed to get off gluten, I was very unhappy. I understood why some people actually joined a support group to deal with it. I didn’t do that. I just denied my allergy testing and went right on and off eating gluten for another year…until I got pneumonia. At last I was convinced through great pain that I needed to change. I thought life was going to be very sad for the rest of my days. I might even need to skip holidays so I wouldn’t have to see what I couldn’t eat!
But I found other fellow sufferers with gluten and other allergies who had learned how to turn their lemons into lemon chiffon or whatever, healthy versions, that is. I discovered the whole foods, real foods movement and with that, new worlds of cuisine opened up to delight my taste buds. And I began to feel better!
So when I discovered cacao as the basis of chocolate, no caffeine and no sugar, unprocessed, beauteous chocolate flavor, I just about cried. Especially when I tried it out as hot chocolate. My first sip of hot cacao was a moment of heavenly bliss to my sugar-deprived taste buds. (I don’t know if it is that great of an experience for people who freely indulge sugar every day. Probably not.)
An even greater benefit of cacao is the energy lift and mental focus it brings. This afternoon after a rather high carb, Mexican lunch, I took a short nap before dropping my husband off at a meeting. Right before I went out the front door I heated up a cup of hot water in the kettle, whisked in a tablespoon of cacao powder and headed out with my mug.
In a few minutes the sluggishness of a really short nap disappeared. My mood was bright, alert. I was ready to tackle all tasks without drooping. As much as I have loved coffee, I don’t ever recall that it gave me this kind of lift. Cacao leaves you feeling satisfied as well as energized. It should. It is full of vitamins and minerals!
So there. A treasure to try in 2017. Cheers to all the brave souls on the journey to wholeness!