Several months ago, I quit drinking caffeine all together. I immediately saw health benefits. I could sleep almost instantly when putting my head to the pillow… And I when I woke up, I wasn’t tired at all. Literally, jumping out of my bed most mornings. Every once in awhile, I do miss the pick me up that caffeine gives you, but it just wasn’t worth the side effects (the jitters, the crashes, sleeplessness, and so on). So when I went to this Florida retreat, I was introduced to Cacao. And I love it.
This is the molecule in Cacao that is responsible for stimulating effect when you drink it. It dilates your blood vessels, (instead of constricting blood vessels like caffeine does). Drinking cacao actually increases blood flow. Thebromine is also known for boosting your mood, and enhancing focus.
Not all cacao is the same
So if you are buying cacao in a grocery store, chances are it’s probably pure cacao powder (Whole Foods sells it like this). It’s unsweetened, and not spiced. It will taste very similar to unsweetened cocoa powder. Which is fine, but it’s not my cup of tea.
The brand I was introduced to originally, and the one I prefer (though, to be fair, I haven’t tried too many different kinds yet) is called Junajpu (pronounced hoon-ah-poo).
Ceremonial Maya Cacao
This is cacao grown in Guatemala. The spices and sugar they add to the cacao is just amazing. But what I love so much about this particular mixture, is that it reminds me of the Mexican hot chocolate that my mom used to make. This cacao is a bit spicier but it’s very similar to what I used to drink when I was a child.
Cacao can be very mild to very strong (the amount of energy I feel from it), based on the number of spoonfuls you mix into each cup (2 for mild, 3 for strong, 4 for very strong). There’s no caffeine in this, so there’s no jitters whatsoever for me, and there also is no caffeine crash. It also doesn’t effect my sleep like coffee does. Even iced tea would affect the amount of good sleep I would get each night. I’ve heard of many people switching large addictions to caffeine, to just one cup of cacao a day, without much trouble.
Anyhow, it tastes great. It’s good for you. And gives you energy without a come down. I highly recommend you try a few different kinds out and see how you like it. I also recommend you get a little mini blender or something to better mix the powder with hot water. You can also add some coconut oil in the cup before blending, to make it even thicker and richer.