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Passion, Creativity and Chocolate..

Are you smarter then the average bear? Do you crave Sugar?

 I can bet you all answered YES to the first question, and if you were moved by the second question, I can only assume that you have a sweet tooth!!

The infamous sugar cravings… what is it about this kind of craving that is so powerful. We always here that Sugar is BAD, TOXIC, ADDS WEIGHT, and just a plain NO NO.. and while it has its place and time and defiantly shouldn’t be binged upon.. Here is a different view as to why our bodies may crave sugar.

 Individuals who crave sugar have an increased need for the brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and beta endorphin, it may be helpful to know that there has been a link between people that crave sugar and highly creative people„ hmmmmm can any of you relate to this link?  When I am talking about sugar, this can come in the form of any simple carbohydrates; bread, alcohol, cookies. Anything really that spikes your blood sugar, giving you a little “high” in a way.

So lets break this down, the chemical Serotonin is key to feeling calm and focused, which is why most antidepressants boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is manufactured in the brain from the amino acid tryptophan (found in protein). If you tend to lean toward a “depressed”  personality, you may need more carbohydrates to allow the protein in tryptophan to release the correct chemicals the brain needs to get this relaxed feeling.

note: A natural way to get a boost of serotonin is to get outside in natural light, this increased light will boost serotonin and will drop your carbohydrate cravings.

The brain chemical beta endorphin effects are brain similar to morphine, it is associated with euphoria and decreased ability to feel pain. High glycemic foods such as sugar, refined flour products, can act like opiate in our bodies-which is why they are highly addictive. A natural way to get the same effect: meditation and being in LOVE! (now this explains the cravings)

Dopamine initiates movement and emotional expression, this is enhanced by eating protein, so if you are craving a steak (when you are normally a vegetarian), you may want to include more of a plant based protein with each meal, this will also help stabilize blood sugar.

 The easiest way to find out what works best to keep your sugar levels balanced is to keep a food journal, write down what you ate, the environment you ate in, and how you felt after you ate this. This will help teach you patterns about what your body likes and where it falls off the deep end. Now that we know that these cravings happen mostly to highly creative people… where can you add passion and creativity to your life? This can be as simple as taking walks, connecting with old friends, take a pottery class, start learning a new language, singing for fun, making a new yummy recipe… whatever it is for you, I encourage you tap into that passion, only if is for an hour a day… I guarantee you, you will start craving this new found creative outlet instead of the SUGAR!!!

Every now and again, indulge in a great piece of desert. Quality vs. Quantity, is always best. Here is a recipe that will fulfill that need. RAW CHOCOLATE: This is sugar free, and will give you that boost of different brain chemicals when needed, without spiking your blood sugar, increasing your waist line or allowing your hormone levels to go wacky!

RAW CHOCOLATE CANDY:

Ingredients:

1 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1/4 cup almond meal (you can purchase at your local health food store)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds or almond butter

4 tbsp. agave nectar

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/2 tsp. liquid stevia or 6 packets (powdered)

1 tbsp. organic vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup Raw Chocolate cacao

1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

1. Use mini cupcake tins and papers or ice cube tray (you can put some extra coconut oil on the bottom of the tray)

2. melt the coconut oil under hot water or spoon in sauce pan and melt over low flame. When coconut oil turns to a liquid, pour oil into medium bowl.

3. slowly whisk in almond butter or sunflower seeds, cinnamon, stevia, agave nectar, one at a time.

4. stir in vanilla

5. slowly stir in Cacao, almond meal, and coconut one at at time, sprinkle evenly as you go.

6. Batter should run off the spoon. Spoon into ice cube tray or cupcake papers and chill in the freezer for 15 min.

7. Take out of freezer and serve.

This whole process will take you 30 min. max!

Enjoy,

To your health and beauty!

Jenna

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