As you might have read from my earlier post, for the past five weeks, I’ve been attending the online training course “Energiat Kattoon, Kroppa Kuntoon” a.k.a. #EKKK organized by the Finnish health coach team Lifted. This team consists of a bunch of young guys with a passion for holistic wellness and of course spreading awareness on the topic. In my opinion, they approach the concept of “living a healthy lifestyle” and all things related to it with a mindset very similar to my own – always encouraging and enabling instead of denying. I think following a healthy lifestyle should never be thought as something where we need to “give up” on things – in contrast, it must be seen as a possibility to get so much goodness in return from the new, better choices, that your previous, unhealthy habits won’t even seem attractive to you at the end anymore. I believe this idea is something that lies under the Lifted team’s mentality as well, and that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t have to hesitate for a minute when I was asked to attend the online training.
After five weeks, I feel so happy that I decided to take part of this experience. The course turned out pretty much just as I had expected: fun, inspiring and motivating. It left me with a lot of new ideas, thoughts and information on not only nutrition but also stress management and fitness (body weight workouts are the thing!). It also showed me how easy, small improvements made in everyday life (like improving your sleep by not using electronic devices right before bed time) can turn into significant contributors in overall wellbeing. Everything was very well organized and supported both my learning style and motivation: each morning at 7 sharp new material was provided through the online platform used in the training. The best thing about this method is that it doesn’t really eat up ANY time from your calendar – you are completely free to study the material by yourself any time you want. Now you might think that where is all the “community” feeling in this kind of lonely studying. Well, trust me, there it was, all the way through. Each material set included questions and a possibility to share own thoughts on the topic making the whole thing very interactive. Some of us also attended Lifted weekly workouts in Helsinki together. Moreover, on the last weekend of the course, the team organized a raw chocolate workshop where most of us – the course attendees – finally met each other face to face.
We began the workshop by revising the health benefits of raw cacao whilst drinking some hot chocolate and eating some raw brownies and reminding ourselves WHY it is actually better for you to eat raw chocolate that “not-raw” chocolate. The reason is because in the process of making “conventional” chocolate, most of the (healthy) enzymes in cacao are destroyed. Moreover, conventional chocolate usually has tons of less healthy ingredients added like milk powder, processed sugar and and (worst case GMO) soy lecithin…
My notes on raw cacao (mostly based on our “lecture”):
- First of all, cacao is good for your heart. Research has shown that people eating more cacao have lower blood pressure and suffer less from cardiovascular diseases.
- Second of all, 10% of cacao’s weight are antioxidants (flavonoids). As the name already tells, antioxidants improve health by preventing oxidation in your cells. Oxidation can be bad because in the process, some cells may get damaged, producing “free radicals” that can rob other molecules.
- Third, cacao is very rich in minerals – it is the nr.1. natural source of magnesium, iron, manganese and chromium. It also contains other beneficial minerals such as zinc, copper and phosphorus.
- Last but not least – CACAO MAKES YOU HAPPY.
The Happiness Formula of Raw Cacao:
FENYLALANIN + THEOBROMIN + ANANDAMIDE + SEROTONIN + TRYPTHOPHAN + B VITAMINS
= ENERGY + JOY + HAPPINESS + DEPRESSION PREVENTION
At the end of the lecture, Jukka from the Lifted team revealed his “Winner’s raw chocolate” recipe, that we then began experimenting with in little teams, of course coming up with all the possible flavour and spice combinations in the world.
Winner’s raw chocolate by Jukka
makes 10-15 small chocolates
What you will need:
100g cacao butter
50g cacao powder
1tsp maca, lucuma and toco EACH
a pinch of Himalayan salt
1tsp coconut oil (optional)
sweetener of choice: honey, coconut sugar, agave (to taste)
possible additions/flavours: dried mulberries, goji berries, nuts, cacao nibs, cinnamon, cardamom, chili, vanilla, licorice, mesquite…
How to do it?
- Grate the raw chocolate (if you don’t have a grater, you will manage with a knife).
- Melt the cacao butter (and coconut oil if using) in a bain marie.
- In the meanwhile, mix all your dry ingredients. Once the cacao butter has melted, blend everything together. Add your desired sweetener and spices + “additions”.
- Pour into small candy cups and freeze for 20 minutes. Enjoy & feel the love!
Our team ended up creating two different flavour combinations: chili-goji-cinnamon-cardamom and mulberry-vanilla-licorice. We used two teaspoons of honey to sweeten and also added 1tsp mesquite to the base recipe which in our opinion is a MUST in raw chocolate! Not only was the making of it super fun (and messy) but the end result was also so so delicious…
HUGE THANKS TO LIFTED FOR ORGANIZING THE COURSE AND THE WORKSHOP.