Chocolate and me- a love/ hate relationship.
I love chocolate, it's delicious and my body craves it. But these days between the unbelievably high content of sugar and other less-than-admirable ingredients, and the massive companies having child labour scandals and poor pollution policies, it's been very hard to appease my desire for delicious chocolate without feeling like I'm doing something terrible. I looked far and wide for a better way, but it really wasn't easy finding a chocolate brand that had an ethical approach to all aspects of their company, whether it be down to the farmers, workers, packaging or ingredients.
Despite all my misgivings, I could never say goodbye to chocolate; and so I went on a mission to find a delicious treat that I could indulge in free of any guilt; and that is when I found these guys.
I first saw these cheeky little boxes on a stand in a small health-food store near my house in LA. I turned over the cute packages and they just ticked every box. Free of sugars, any harmful ingredients; this chocolate is basically healthier than you could imagine; packed full of super herbs and super foods. It actually benefits you to eat it everyday, and that’s something I can really get behind.
I know we’ve all seen this before, “it's so good for you!!”, they say, but then you try it and you think something has died in your mouth. Or you think it's healthy, but then there are hidden ingredients inside that aren’t actually that great, or they…. yeah you get the point.
Give it a taste test, because guess what? IT'S DELICIOUS!
I'm not going to lie, I was procrastinating with schoolwork (as always) and I managed to stalk the owners of the company down, hoping they’d answer a couple of questions for me. Turns out they are two really interesting, lovely people, who are on a chocolate, health and wellness mission. They invited me around for truly healthy homemade ice cream (I know, and it was delicious, AND they gave me the recipe which I will share next week) and a good old chit-chat; and this is what I found out!
Sage and AnnaBlanca have been making chocolate together for years, both have a huge passion for nutrition and health and they both just seem to glow.
What made you first get into health?
Sage: I was raised as a vegetarian, but in no means a healthy one, a standard dinner was white rice and tofu. I was healthy as a kid, but I never had loads of energy and never felt spectacular. I was 18 when i found my first super food - hemp protein - and I would just blend everything with it, berries, fruit and orange juice, and I didn't know what I was doing but I realised afterwards I would be like, WOAHHHH I FEEL AMAZING! And that was such a strong feeling that I just thought, what else is out there?!
AnnaBlanca: I grew up in the countryside of Hungary and my dad was always into the new food fads, so I had that as part of my childhood. Then I had my modeling years; where you dine out all the time, eat loads of rubbish, full of sugar, etc. After those years I got all of the problems that are associated with those foods, I mean I was so close to being diagnosed with type II diabetes, I had loads of root canals; I just wasn’t in good shape. So I changed my lifestyle completely, and now have the healthiest lifestyle ever.
What made you guys start this huge adventure?
Sage: I mean almost everyone loves chocolate right? It's one of those foods that just clicks with people and sparks their interest. I started getting into natural health and making my own chocolate at 18 and just saw how the two could really come together and help people whilst having a great time.
Years went by and I got better at making chocolate and better at nutrition, as i was studying traditional herbal systems and indigenous cultures, and as each got better and better so did the chocolate; It then felt right to turn it into a beautiful product.
How good did your first piece of chocolate taste and look compared to now?
AnnaBlanca : *chuckles* Wow, we came a long way!! I mean it was always amazing, but at the beginning it had a bit of honey and then Sage would put it in these heart-shaped moulds which required... a lot of washing, and the chocolate had to be refrigerated, but oh my God it was so good! And then slowly we decided to make it sugar free, and he figured out how to do it!
Sage, did you start with putting herbs in straight away?
Sage: Yes, right from the beginning, chocolate is a great way of delivering herbs into your system. Not only are you more likely to take the herbs if they are in chocolate but cocoa is a vascular dilator, meaning that it improves the absorption of the herbs. They penetrate deeper within your system; and cocoa is a MON inhibitor - basically a compound, that when you take a substance into your body and it has been there a certain amount of time MON comes in and kicks it out. So when you take herbs with chocolate they actually stay in your system and keep working for longer.... Taking herbs with chocolate is like you have taken more herbs, you are getting more bang for your buck!
What is your favourite herb that you include into your chocolate?
AnnaBlanca: Ashwaganda!!! I have it everyday, all the time!
Sage: We put this in our Energy chocolate and our Tranquility chocolate, because it can simultaneously improve energy and endurance, but it also brings down stress and anxiety, so it really goes nicely in both.
If you were to sell your chocolate with three unique points, what would they be?
Sage: Sugar free - does not contain any form of sugar, nothing that would affect the blood sugar in anyway.
Raw - Made with raw chocolate meaning that none of the sensitive compounds are destroyed by heating, most chocolate is roasted.
Tonic herbs - Each chocolate (energy, tranquility and beauty) has a different blend of strategic tonic herbs, given to you in the ultimate herbal delivery system.
I love these two very much, you can tell they are here to make people feel great and try and change an industry which has so many problems. Check them out at http://www.addictivewellness.com/ and there Facebook and Instagram !
They are running a Kickstarter right now to help grow the brand and awareness, and they've got amazing discounts on their delicious chocolate, check it out and enjoy!