Cacao Tea: A Healthier Option to Hot Cocoa

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cacao tea

With winter fast approaching are you jonesing for some hot cocoa, but don’t want all the sugar? If so, you might enjoy a cup of cacao tea instead. If you’re trying to eat healthier and cut back on sweets like hot cocoa you’re in luck!

Cacao (pronounced “Ka-Kow”) refers to the beans of cacao trees before they have been processed. The term cacao is differentiated from cocoa or chocolate, which refer to a finished product made from the cacao beans. Cacao tea is a tasty, “chocolatey”, healthy alternative to hot cocoa. It’s all-natural, and tastes like chocolate tea!

Cacao tea is made from the husks of cacao beans. But let’s take a step back first. The Cacao tree is one of the strangest trees. Cacao pods grow directly out of the trunk, not at the ends of branches like most fruits. The football-shaped Cacao pods are usually green to yellow-orange in color, and can grow almost as large as a football too. But it’s what is inside the pods that’s the real treat.

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How Can Functional Medicine Help You?

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Functional Medicine for Optimal Wellness

Have you been hearing about Functional Medicine recently? It’s been popping up in the news and in social feeds. The popular NY Times best-selling author and head of the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Mark Hyman, is a Functional Medicine doctor. Functional Medicine is the new path that many mainstream AMA medical doctors are taking. But what exactly IS Functional Medicine? And how can it benefit you?

While “a pill for every ill” has been the norm for treating diseases, some forward-thinking MDs are realizing this is not necessarily the best solution for every “body” or every dis-ease. There are currently over 14,000 different diagnosable “diseases”, or conditions that cause dis-ease in the body. That seems like a crazy-huge number, right? How could humans have survived 300,000 years with so much potential for dis-ease? What is going on?

There’s no doubt that some pharmaceuticals, like antibiotics for a serious infection, can be lifesavers. And allopathic medicine can be great at diagnostics. However, when it comes to treating chronic illnesses and inflammatory diseases that now comprise 80-90% of all diagnosed diseases, lifestyle modifications may actually provide better results than pharmaceuticals. And so the science of Functional Medicine was born.

According to the Institute for Functional Medicine(1), “Functional Medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.” So how can Functional Medicine help you? Let’s find out more…

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More Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Part 2

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Dark Chocolate, Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods, photo by Charisse Kenion,

In Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods Part 1, we took a look at the top six anti-inflammatory foods. As you’ve likely heard by now, chronic inflammation has become one of the biggest health concerns in the US. And sadly our American lifestyle is highly inflammatory. From our fast-paced, high-stress jobs and lives, to the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), poor air and water quality, and chronic sleep issues to name a few…All of these contribute to chronic inflammation.

And chronic inflammation has now been directly linked to 80-90% of ALL diseases. Wow! That’s huge! From diabetes to heart disease, from cancer to dementia and Alzheimer’s, chronic inflammation is at the root. The great news is that these diseases, for the most part, are totally preventable with healthy diet and lifestyle changes. And these tasty, anti-inflammatory foods are just the ticket.

So before we take a look at the benefits of the next six most helpful, anti-inflammatory foods, let’s take a look at inflammation. What exactly is inflammation? Why is it harmful? Why is it important to eat an anti-inflammatory diet? And what exactly should we be eating? It seems like “what to eat” changes every time you turn on the news, right?! So let’s take a deeper look…
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Self-Care: The Foundation of Your Health

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The term “self-care” gets thrown around a lot lately. But what does self-care really mean? Today we’re going to take a candid look at self-care. Thanks to bio-individuality, (“every body is different”) self-care probably means something different for each and every one of us.

So what does self-care mean to you? Do you practice regular self-care? Do you put on your own oxygen mask first, and take care of yourself first, so you are better prepared to support others? Or do you put everybody else first, ending up feeling exhausted?

For me, self-care is definitely about putting on my own oxygen mask first. Taking care of number one so I have enough energy to do everything else I need to do. But sometimes in this crazy-busy work-a-day world, we forget to put on our own oxygen mask first (even me!) And in Western cultures, women especially, and likely men as well, tend to bite off more than we can chew.

We strive to be the super-mom, the super-employee, the super-boss, super-homemaker, and the super-spouse. However, we often end up with the short end of the stick. Feeling like we’ve actually only done a half-assed job at any one of those things, and feeling completely exhausted as a result. As the saying goes, “If momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.”

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