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  • Dark Secrets & Magic of the Cacao World

    Transcript:
    

    Today I want to share with you guys about one of my great passions, that's cacao. Now all cacao is not created equal. There's huge disparity in flavor and quality and purity. And I want to share some of my knowledge here with you guys so that you can make the choice of the best cacao for you.

    Now cacao originally is coming from South America and many believe it's actually coming from Ecuador. Now most cacao is grown in West Africa, that's where you see a lot of the chocolate and child slavery problems, and where a lot of really low quality cacao's coming that's being done on an industrial level for, you know, the big large-scale companies. Nowadays Ecuador supplies less than 4% of the world's cacao.

    And there is something that's important to understand is that if one chocolate bean, one cacao bean from one tree to another tree is not the same thing. There's different varieties of cacao. Now the heirloom variety which we use, the kind that's been around for thousands of years is the Arriba Nacional variety. Which is renowned for its quality and its flavor. And this was originally the only thing that was around, it was the only thing available. Later hybrids were developed to grow better in different environments, as specifically Africa. And the main ones were the Forastero and the Trinitario varieties.

    Now back in the '70s, another hybrid was developed. Another genetic hybrid which was called CCN-51. And this was developed in the '70s, as I said and they had certain benefits that made it quite interesting for people growing cacao. It was resistant to some of the diseases that can attack cacao trees. So farmers didn't have to worry about that. And it also produced four times the yield. So farmers suddenly, in the same amount of land, were able to grow four times the cacao.

    Sounds pretty good, right? One problem. This chocolate is very low quality and is said by experts to taste like acidic dirt. And this is what is used in the vast majority of chocolate around the world. That's why they have to put so much darn sugar in there to cover up that kind of flavor. Now this was originally developed in the '70's, but not taken into wide use until a lot of the Arriba Nacional crop was destroyed in the rains of the '97-'98 El Niño. So this has since then become a huge problem in the cacao world that the market is just flooded with these low quality cacao beans. Now you can understand why these are a problem. They're grown as a monocrop in these open fields in probably soil that is kind of becoming more and more devoid of nutrients. If you're growing something that's producing four times the yield, you're gonna be depleting the soil probably at a faster rate. So naturally you can understand why we stay far, far away from these CCN-51 beans. And we're very particular about the quality of the cacao beans that we use.

    As I mentioned, we use exclusively Arriba Nacional beans. Now these, that name, Arriba Nacional originally comes from when the Conquistadors were asking the natives where to find the higher quality, better tasting cacao beans, and they would say, "Río arriba." Meaning "up river." And that's where you find 'em in a slightly higher altitude area, up river, and these are, the ones that we use are grown in volcanic soil in an intact rainforest environment. Why is that important? Well any plant, any food is only gonna be able to pull out of the soil the amount of minerals that are there. For example a tomato can have over 50 different minerals in it. But if it's grown in crappy soil, can have as few as four minerals in it. So the quality of the soil dictates the quality and the quantity of the minerals that you're gonna be able to be up-taken into the food. So volcanic soil is incredible because it contains minerals that have been brought up from deep within the earth.

    And why do we want it grown in its intact rainforest environment? Well more and more we're learning that just like our microbiome is very important in our body in ways that science never previously before could have even imagined, we're also seeing that the mycelium that grows within the earth, these mycelial fungal networks, that allow for communication between plants and passage of nutrients and break down the soil into nutrients that can actually be absorbed by the plants. You know, not just rocks. Actually these are able, the mycelium is able to break down things like rocks and really tough soil into nutrients that become bioavailable for the plants. It's an amazing life-cycle. And so when you have monocrop soil that has been sprayed and polluted and all kinds of different problems happening to it, you're not gonna have this incredible, mycelial network that you're gonna get in an old growth forest or in an intact rainforest environment as we're using here. The other great thing about that, being an intact rainforest environment, is that the grooming of this cacao and the fact that we are paying for this cacao, we are incentivizing the local people to have a good reason to be great environmental stewards for the jungle and for the rainforest. And there is nothing more important than that in our modern world. And then it's just the best when it comes to the flavor. Has an incredible, floral flavor to it, and if you've ever opened a box of our chocolate or a bag of our cacao powder, and just taken a deep inhalation, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Now we don't stop there with our cacao. Our cacao as you may know, is raw. And it is mycotoxin free, and it is very, very clean when it comes to heavy metal contamination. These are three things that are very unique to what we're doing here. So most all cacao out there is roasted. That is interesting in certain ways from flavor profile perspective, but it is destroying some of these very heat sensitive compounds. Some of these really interesting neurotransmitter type of compounds that are found in the chocolate.

    Then cacao in the traditional sense is processed in such large batches and in a fashion that leads to a lot of mold being able to grow in the chocolate. And the mold may be destroyed during the roasting process, so it may not show or test positive for mold in the final production, but what's left behind is mycotoxins. These are toxic byproducts of that mold that remain in the chocolate and can have a really detrimental effect on your health. Now our chocolate is done in small batches in a very particular environment with particular methods that are designed to prevent any kind of mycotoxin production or mold contamination and this is something that we actually test for, to show that we are, and be sure that we are bringing only the highest quality cacao to you guys. 'Cause we care about your health like we care about our health.

    Then, last but not least, heavy metal contamination is a huge problem in the chocolate world. And chocolate and cacao are notorious for having heavy metal problems, and in a similar way, our partners who are procuring the cacao for us are extremely particular about the way in which it's processed. And that's something we test for as well, to make sure that we're very clean when it comes to heavy metals. We don't want arsenic, we don't want lead, we don't want mercury, none of this. We don't want any of that in our chocolate. We just want the purest, highest quality cacao to give you the ultimate experience.

    So if you've had an experience that you've enjoyed with our chocolate, please let us know. Leave us a comment below, give us a like, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit from learning a little bit more about the different kinds of cacao out there in the world and how to really be knowledgeable about selecting the best one. Thank you guys so much for lending me your time and I hope this has been informational and beneficial for you. Wishing you an incredible day and hope to see you back here again soon.

  • Benefits of Holy Basil (Tulsi) "The Incomparable One"

    Transcript: 
    - Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel. Today, I'm excited to talk with you guys about one of my favorite herbs and one of the greatest adaptogens in the world, Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi. So this is a plant originally coming from Asia and it was traditionally used in the Ayurvedic system and continues to be used in the Ayurvedic system. But now it doesn't just grow there, it's actually growing now in tropical regions all around the world. It's kind of been spread by man around the world, which is kind of cool. Invasive plants aren't always necessarily a good thing, but in this case it has so many benefits to it, so it's great that people all around the world can get access to it, including us here in America.

    So what is Holy Basil doing? It works in so many ways. First of all, it's helping to control blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity which is amazing because when you balance your blood sugar and get your blood sugar regulated and your body can control that, there are so many benefits that come downstream from that including better longevity, better energy levels, better hormone health.

    And then at the same time, building on that hormone health topic, it also improves testosterone production for guys which is great because there are so many components of our modern lives and our modern diets and lifestyles that are challenging testosterone production. So we wanna support it on the other side. Now, keep in mind if you are wanting to have children in the near future, don't take Holy Basil because it actually decreases sperm production and you wanna have all your guys ready to go if you're trying to reproduce in the near future. Now, don't use it as your only method of birth control, but it is gonna have that sperm inhibiting effect.

    Next, it's gonna be supporting thyroid function and thyroid is one of those things where so many people have maybe a slightly underactive thyroid and they have all kinds of different health problems that are stemming from that but they don't recognize it and they run around kinda just playing whack-a-mole trying to stifle different symptoms that are popping up here and there. But you smack one of those guys and another one just pops up. And so getting your thyroid balance is key for longterm health and getting to a point where you don't have random symptoms popping up all over the place.

    Then it's decreasing stress and anxiety. Holy Basil chills you out, it is a great meditators herb. I wanted to put it on our tranquility chocolate along with other herbs like Reishi and Ashwagandha and He Shou Wu. The problem is, Holy Basil has such a strong specific flavor that it was overwhelming the flavor of our chocolate and so I wasn't able to get it in there but it's one that I love to have. It's actually really a pleasant taste, it just kind of clashes with the flavor of chocolate. You could even do it in a hot chocolate, but you gotta be ready for the fact that the Holy Basil flavor is gonna be very prominent.

    Now, it's also working on the liver. It protects the liver from toxins which is great in our modern world. We're bombarded by toxins all the time and it has an especially strong function in that way if you're pairing it with Milk Thistle, so it's interesting, Holy Basil really has synergistic effects with many other herbs. We were talking about it for stress and anxiety, it is magnified in that department if you take it with Ashwagandha, another one of our anti-anxiety, stress reducing herbs. Now with the liver, it helps and it works even better if you pair it with Milk Thistle. And the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics 2016 showed that it will actually selectively protect against tissues being damaged by the destructive effects of radiation. So if you're having radiation for cancer or something of that nature, you don't wanna block the effects of radiation 'cause you want radiation to kill off the cancer cells, but you can have an herb like Holy Basil that's gonna help to selectively protect the healthy tissues from being damaged while still allowing the radiation to go in and have its effect on killing the cancer cells.

    So this is a really incredible herb and a great one to incorporate into your strategy for health, longevity, for maximum thyroid function, fighting stress, healthy liver function, detoxification in so many ways. So let me know if you've tried this herb, give us a like, leave us a comment, let us know what your experiences have been. I look forward to hearing from you guys and hearing about your experience and I wish you all a great day and looking forward to seeing you again soon.
  • Does stevia affect fertility? What does the research say?

    Transcript:
    - Hi, guys. Welcome back to Addictive Wellness Channel. My name is AnnaBlanca.

    - And I'm Sage.

    - And today, we would love to talk about stevia. Stevia, we love stevia. It's an amazing sweetener. And somehow, somewhere it got some bad rap and we would love to clear up the misconceptions about stevia. Not all stevias are created equal. This is true. We completely agree with that. Some of them are really, really bad products. Unfortunately, this is a fact because some stevias are not pure and clean, just the Stevia. Some companies, they mix in some maltodextrin and dextrose. And we both know, guys, that it's made of GMO corn.

    - This is a lot of those little powdered stevia packets.

    - Exactly.

    - Those little green packets.

    - So if you see it on your table and you're like, "Ooh, stevia, I gotta put this in my coffee." Turn it around, check out the ingredients, and do not make this face 'cause that's what I usually do in restaurants instead of just going, it's okay.

    - No, no, no. Usually in restaurants you go, "This is un-friggin-believable."

    - This is true. He is my witness, and some of them even add saccharine which even more unforgivable, right?

    - Right.

    - Exactly. So not many of them are very well-made and the taste is also could be atrocious, I agree. But, but...

    - They're not all like this, right? So, as she mentioned, a lot of stevia products are not made and extracted well and so they have a lot of bitter aftertaste in them and it's given stevia a bad name. People say, "Oh, I don't like stevia." "It has that funky aftertaste." Well, that's poorly-made stevia. Our Stevia, for example, that we use in our chocolate and our elixir blends is certified organic so it's made extremely cleanly.

    - They don't use those bad chemicals, like some of them use.

    - Right, then there's a lot of chemicals used in the processing of a lot of stevias out there. So no harsh chemicals used. And then it tastes really nice because in stevia, there's different compounds that give sweetness. They're called rebaudiosides, and they're known primarily as Reb-A, Reb-B, and Reb-C. And Reb-A is the cleanest tasting of them all and so if you have extractats that are higher in Reb-A, it's gonna taste a lot better. So that's what we use, is one that's very high in Reb-A and doesn't have so much of the other ones. So it gives it a very clean taste.

    - It tastes better, right? And sometimes, let's say I'm in the store and I'm demoing our chocolate because it's one of my favorite things to do because I would love to meet people who are trying our chocolate for the first time. And some people say, "Ooh, I do not like stevia." "It leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth." And they taste it and they go, "Wow." "I would've never thought that it actually" "can taste like that." So 2% of the people in the population, that's what you usually tell me.

    - This is our estimate from our experience.

    - Estimate. About 2% of people--

    - Can taste it.

    - Have a very strong sensitivity to this flavor of stevia and just can't handle it, right?

    - Yeah.

    - But most other people, even a lot of people who have written off stevia because they had a bad stevia, can actually do great with a really clean and good-tasting stevia, so don't give up hope.

    - Don't give up on us.

    - If you think you can't handle stevia, at least try one of our products one time to see if it's just the stevia's you've been having that have been no good, or if you are a stevia super-taster. Maybe you are.

    - And then you can determine, right?

    - And then you can actually know.

    - And there are some other things about stevia. There are some rumors that are coming up lately, right?

    - Right, so there's been rumors around for a while about Stevia regarding its effect on fertility. Now this goes way back to the 60's when the study was first done in Paraguay by a guy named Professor Kruc. Not C-r-o-o-k, but K-r-u-c.

    - Dr. Joseph Kruc and yes, his name is misleading. His intentions were not bad.

    - He is a guy with good intentions. But here's what happened. He gave rats such a crazy high level of stevia that would never be reproducible in a human study because nobody could eat that much stevia. And of course, they ran into these problems and he even later came out and said that it was probably just that they were overdosing on it and it was way too high of a dose. And even a few years later after that, he said he thinks there's no problems with the stevia at all as a result of his future research.

    - Yeah, he retracted. And there was another study in 1999. How much stevia they gave them?

    - In '99, they did a study where they were feeding stevia to hamsters and they fed them at about 10% of body weight per day. Now, what does this play out as if you're looking at a human? Well, let's say you weigh 120 pounds. If you wanna replicate this study in your body, you're gonna have to be prepared to eat 12 pounds of stevia per day. You're gonna have a lot of other problems before you run into any fertility problems. You're just gonna... I don't even know what would go wrong with you. It wouldn't be fun. You would probably never want to have a sweet thing again in your entire life. Now, even at that crazy high dose, there were no fertility problems. So it just goes to show that you will die from too much stevia just because your stomach explodes, probably, before you would run into any fertility issues.

    - And in 2008, the Journal of Endocrinology and Reproduction came out with a report that they didn't find any proof, either, that stevia would have infertility or fertility effect at all on human. Or in mice, on mice. They did it on mice. Nobody ever studied on human.

    - Right, so if there's been no longterm studies on humans. No real studies to speak of at all.

    - 'Cause there was nothing but a point.

    - Right.

    - 'Cause they couldn't even find it in Endocrinology.

    - The way these systems of studies work is that they first have to show something in an animal model and then they'll go through the trouble of doing a human study--

    - Exactly.

    - 'cause that's much more expensive and complex to do. So, didn't even get past an animal level, so hopefully this helps to put these silly rumors to bed and you guys can go help armed with this information to straighten out the true story out there in the world. Thanks so much for joining us, guys. We hope you enjoyed this video. Please give us a like or leave a comment.

    - And follow us.

    - Subscribe and follow us. We really love sharing this kind of fine information with you, and we hope you enjoy it too. Have a great day, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
  • The Problem with Green Smoothies

    Transcript: 

    Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome to back to the Addictive Wellness Channel. Today I want to talk about green smoothies. This is a really interesting topic to me because so many people experience tons of benefits from drinking green smoothies in which they are, say, using almond milk as the base, adding some bananas and some berries, maybe some other fruit, and then some kale or spinach, different greens like that, and they get great benefits from these in the beginning because they're coming off, probably a conventional diet, and for the first time they're getting living foods into their body, they're getting whole plant foods, they're getting a good dose of all these different vitamins and minerals. For all those reasons, they are getting benefits. They are feeling amazing, they have tons of energy afterwards, might kinda be to do with all the sugar of those bananas, but they're also even maybe detoxing if they've got lots of toxins onboard.

    So people have a great experience of these very often in the beginning. But the scary thing is that they label them as being so good for you and then, over time, problems can creep up, and because they've labeled them as being so super healthy, you don't necessarily realize that that smoothie that was making you feel so good in the beginning can actually be causing you problems later on. What's going on here? What's happening is that this is not a good recipe for optimal digestion. When you combine things that require a lot of energy to digest and lots of time, they move through slowly, like kale, for example, it's not gonna go so well with something like a banana. This is something that's very starchy, very sugary, burns up very fast and moves through quickly.

    To give you a bit of a metaphorical understanding, if you imagine a one-lane road, right, going one direction, and you could only fit one car at a time, and you have a car on there that loves to be driven fast, you have a Ferrari, that's the banana, right? And it wants to go, it doesn't want to sit in traffic, it wants to go. And then you have kale carrying, it's like a big rig carrying lots of stuff, it's got lots of nutrition on board, lots of fiber, takes time, doesn't go anywhere fast. It maybe maxes out at 55 miles per hour on the freeway with the pedal to the metal. You've got a bunch of Ferraris and a bunch of big rigs all interspersed, right, when you got that banana and that kale coming in at the same time. The Ferrari wants to go, but it can't. It gets stuck there, it gets angry. It starts to really get upset and get road rage. This is happening in your gut. The banana, those starches and sugars, can't get through, and what happens is they start to ferment and you can actually get a proliferation of bad bacteria. This is really not a good situation for gut health, and you're gonna be throwing off your whole microbiome, essentially, in your gut. This is not gonna lead anywhere good.

    Again, I said you can get a lot of benefits at the beginning because this is better than going and having McDonald's, but in the long-term, you may get some real gut microbiome issues, you get a lot of boating and things like that. I have known people who, they drank green smoothies for a really long time and they say, "I love these green smoothies, and they really connect with them." But they say, you know, "I've also got these problems with bloating. It still comes up for me sometimes." And I say, well, have you connected the two? And they don't really make the connection at first. I love the idea of getting all this great nutrition in our bodies through blended foods, but you gotta be strategic about how you're gonna do it. You can't just combine willy-nilly and think it's all gonna digest very smoothly.

    Now that said, some people just have this incredibly powerful digestive fire and they can just crush anything, but for most people, this is gonna be problematic in the long run, even maybe in the short run. What can you do if you want to be able to have a green smoothie and get all these greens in blended form so you can get as much nutrition in your body as possible? Here's what you can do. You gotta get the fruit outta there. You gotta go for a different kind of flavor other than just this total sweetness. You start out putting some ice in the blender, then you put a big cucumber in there, you put a couple stalks of celery, you could even put like some arugula and some kale, if you wanted to do that, and then, you add, and you can do maybe half a green apple, quarter of a green apple, Granny Smith apple, not sweet, really sour, not much sugar in there, and then, you could put some parsley or some cilantro, a little bit of cayenne, some lemon juice, and blend that, you don't need to add any liquid. Between the ice and all the liquid in the cucumber and the celery, it's gonna be enough. That's gonna blend smooth. It's gonna be incredible.

    Me personally, I love to add a tablespoon of spirulina and a tablespoon of chlorella into there. That's just me, it's a bit of an acquired taste. If you love those super greens, go for it, but start out with just the plain, basic recipe. And we'll make a video soon of that recipe to show you the exact proportions and how it's done. But that's a much better way to do a green smoothie that actually is gonna be able to digest well and not lead to gas and bloating and bacteria and fermentation and things like that.

    Guys, let us know what your experience has been with green smoothies. Leave the comment below. We'd love to hear. Thank you for joining us. I really appreciate you taking the time to watch this video, and I hope to see you again soon. Have a great day.

  • Our Best Healthy Holiday Tips

    For most of us, the holidays are classically the least healthy time of the year as we overindulge and put our high standards on hold when it comes to the kind of ingredients we would normally allow into our bodies.  But it doesn’t have to be this way! It’s possible to experience all the beauty, magic, and delicious food the holidays have to offer without forcing your body to pay the price!


    Immunity
    Nothing ruins the holidays quicker than coming down with a cold or flu and not being able to fully enjoy being with your loved ones.  There are a number of factors that leave our immune systems more vulnerable at this time of year.

    • Unhealthy eating and overeating leave our bodies focusing their energies on digestion rather than protection
    • Sugar consumption impairs immune function, especially if eaten throughout the day
    • The biological and mental stress of travel weaken immunity
    • Last but not least, family relationships can be complex and stressful!

      So let’s start off by arming our bodies with the best weaponry possible in the form of immune-enhancing adaptogenic herbs.  Some of our favorites include reishi mushroom, chaga mushroom, agaricus blazei, and astragalus. These contain long-chain polysaccharides called beta-glucans which essentially give your immune system an “operating system update,” so you’ll be prepared to handle whatever comes your way.  These herbs also have stress-modulating effects, so they can also help prevent the immune-exhausting effects of holiday stress. Click here to learn how to make an easy, delicious, and very powerful chaga tea! 

      Chaga Mushroom

      Activated Charcoal
      If you do end up eating some things that you know aren’t the best for you, it can be great to take a couple of capsules of activated charcoal right away.  Our favorite is the coconut charcoal from our friends at Schizandu. The charcoal can help to absorb toxins and other harmful compounds, preventing them from being absorbed and drawing them out of your system.  Medical note: If you are taking drugs or other medications, do not take activated charcoal at the same time as it will interfere with their absorption.

      Activated Charcoal

      Apple Cider Vinegar
      Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid and has many amazing properties, including the abilities to lower blood sugar (this is a big one during the holidays!), kill harmful bacteria, burn fat, and improve heart health!  You just have to add 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon to a glass of water and it can also do wonders for digestion. The taste is a little intense, but adding just a couple of drops of liquid stevia and a few ice cubes can turn it into a delicious, refreshing drink!

      Apple Cider Vinegar

      Intermittent Fasting

      Holiday eating tends to center much more around lunch and dinner than breakfast, making it very easy to leverage the power of intermittent fasting during this time!  If you can limit your food consumption to the window of 12PM-8PM, you’ll be able to cut into your total calorie intake, strengthen your mitochondria, protect cognitive health, and clean out damaged cells.

      Healthy Holiday Foods
      We’re no longer living in the ‘90s when food was either good for you or good tasting. We now live in an incredible time when we can have our cake and eat it too- if we make it the right way!  For basically any traditional holiday food you can imagine, there are countless modified recipes online featuring clean healthy fats, gluten-free flours, and the best sugar-free sweeteners.  If the intention is there, anything is possible and it’s a great opportunity to quietly introduce the family to healthier options that taste just as good (and quite possibly even better) than what they’re used to!

      And finally, always have a bar of your favorite sugar-free chocolate nearby! That way if you’re feeling tempted to take a bite of an unhealthy treat, you can go for the chocolate to satisfy your cravings with a flavor you know you’ll love!

    • Sexy Aphrodisiac Elixir for Valentine's Day

      The perfect tonic herbal aphrodisiac elixir for an unforgettable Valentine's evening!

       

      Ingredients (Serves 2):

       

      1 teaspoon cistanche
      1 teaspoon cordyceps
      1 teaspoon morinda
      1 teaspoon gelatinized maca
      2 tablespoons cacao powder
      2 tablespoons coconut oil
      12-20 drops liquid stevia
      2 cups hot water Blend on high and enjoy!

      Transcript:
      - Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel.

      - Hi everybody, my name is AnnaBlanca.

      - Today we're getting ready for Valentine's day. It's right around the corner and we're gonna show you guys how to make a quick, really easy, super-powerful aphrodisiac drink that everyone's gonna enjoy. You're gonna love it, and your partner is gonna just really enjoy it.

      - Alright. Why don't we start with cordyceps. It's one of my favorite herbs and I know I say this about every herb so I should really shut up. Their good for both male and female sexual enhancement, and it's one of the best sexual tonic herbs out there. It helps to release the testosterone and helps your body to utilize its own oxygen, so you have more focus, more stamina, and also, very interestingly, they say it helps with sexual malaise and you read into that what you would.

      - Alright, so you gonna put that in?

      - Yes, of course.

      - Alright, so now we've got cistanche. This one is traditionally known as the stalk enlarger. I'll let you guys figure that one out. I think it's pretty straight forward. It's great for both men and women, for enhancing sexual energies and for intensifying the climax experience.

      - Right. And they actually say that cistanche and my next herb is very good together. Why?

      - Well, it's very good for guys, so nothing happens before you want it to happen. Timing is really the name of the game.

      - I actually agree with you on that. Timing is the name of the game. So this other herb that I just said they go very good together with the cistanche it's called morinda. And ladies, it's really good for feeling juicy. It has actually yang fiery energy. Yang is, you know, yin yang. And yang is more like the male energy. But we like having ...

      - It's fiery and passionate.

      - Very passionate. And also it enhances physical endurance and your mental power. Imagine you are going on a very beautiful date and you would like some smarts, it's gonna help you with that.

      - So during your date, you're gonna be really intelligent and on it, and then later, you'll be on it in another way.

      - So, this little cup contains all the passion and we're adding it into our potion.

      - Alright, next we're gonna use gelatinized maca. Now, why gelatinized? This just means it's been processed with some heat and that is to break down the starches and the fiber so it's actually easier to digest. Raw maca can cause some flatulence and if there's one thing we don't want you to have on your sexy Valentine's evening, it's flatulence.

      - No comment. I always agree with you my darling.

      - Yeah.

      - So let's put ...

      - Now we have our cacao powder. So this is our own Addictive Wellness Heirloom Arriba Nacional Cacao. It's got a flavor unlike any other cacao I bet you've ever experienced. If you're a fan of our chocolate and you love that rich aromatic flavor that it's got, you're gonna love this. So we're gonna put that right in there and that's not just for flavor. Cacao has a lot of, not necessarily directly aphrodisiacs, but things that make you feel happy and relaxed and blissful, and that naturally allows for a beautiful romantic experience. It's got compounds like phenylethylamine, anandamide, theobromine. These are all gonna get you in the right state.

      - The same chemicals that are released in your brain when you're in love.

      - Yeah. That's PEA, phenylethylamine. It's the compound naturally produced by you when you're in love. That's why chocolate and Valentine's are so inextricably intertwined.

      - I think chocolate and this tonic together...

      - Yeah, you could always have a couple pieces of love chocolate, but this is better.

      - Alright let's cream it up a little bit.

      - Alright, so we've got coconut oil going in here. That's gonna be, essentially, our creamer. There's other options you could use here. Grass-fed ghee, if that's something you're into, is a great addition, and really great flavor-wise as well. And you can even use like a styrian roasted pumpkin seed oil, really high in zinc so

      - Oh.

      - So great for male function there as well.

      - Alright, and a little bit of hot water. One cup of hot water. Or you can double up the dose if you want to make it a drink for two.

      - And then six drops of stevia going in there, give or take a few drops, depending on how sweet or not sweet you like it.

      - This is, what flavor is that?

      - This is the butterscotch flavored stevia, so that combines really nicely with the cacao.

      - Organic.

      - Of course, there's different flavored stevias out there but this is an organic, butterscotch stevia. Now, we're just gonna blend this up and you're ready to roll.
    • FB Live - Diet Wars in Relationships

      Tonight we'll be talking about how we harmoniously thrive in a relationship where we have significant differences in our diets!  Food is such a central part of any relationship and many people struggle when their partner isn't aligned with their health journey or may just eat a completely different diet. We're going to talk about how we navigate this in our own relationship and also having an open Q&A answering questions on this topic and anything else that may be on your mind!

    • Turmeric Absorption Secrets + Easy Recipe

           If you've been interested in natural health for a little while, you'll probably know that turmeric has become famous for it's anti-inflammatory properties.  But if you don't take turmeric in just the right way, it doesn't actually get digested and the vast majority of the benefits are missed out on?

           The key to making sure turmeric actually gets absorbed into the body is to consume it with a small amount of black pepper.  (Alternatively, it could also be consumed with piperine, a compound extracted from black pepper.)  Just a tiny amount of black pepper can result in significantly better absorption of turmeric and the beneficial curcumin it contains.  (Curcumin is the main bioactive substance in turmeric responsible for fighting inflammation at the cellular level.) This is why black pepper is also traditionally a common ingredient in curry and curry powder!  Consuming turmeric with healthy fats, as is also traditionally done in Indian cuisine, will also help escort the cucurmin into the bloodstream.

           How does this work?  Even just a very small amount of black pepper stops the liver from eliminating the turmeric curcumin too quickly, allowing turmeric levels in the blood to significantly increase.  Just 1/20th of a teaspoon of pepper can increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.  On top of that, eating turmeric with healthy fats allows the curcumin to be absorbed through the lymphatic system and partially bypass the liver.

           So it should come as no surprise that this is how turmeric is traditionally consumed- with black pepper and fat!  Now that the turmeric has actually made it into the blood, watch the video above to learn about the incredible benefits of this radiant root!

    • Sun Protection - Clean, Natural & Healthy

           When it comes to sun protection, most people think the only way to do it is by slathering themselves with toxic chemical sunscreens.  What many people don't realize, is that you can affect your skin's resilience in the sun both internally and externally.  In this post, we're going to talk about the best ways to do both!

           Mainstream sunscreens are an absolute abomination on every level!  Oxybenzone, the most common active ingredient is a xenoestrogen (chemical estrogen mimic) and rated an 8/10 on the EWG's toxicity scale for cosmetic toxicity. (1=clean, 10=super toxic)  Oxybenzone is able to penetrate past the skin and interfere with the hormone receptors in the body.

           The good news is, there are alternatives! The approach we take personally is to regularly supplement with astaxanthin, a red algae pigment that is extremely protective of the skin.  It's important to note that you really have to take this supplement regularly to experience the effects- you can't just take it on the day you're going to be in the sun because it has to build up in your system.  Then if we're going to be in the sun for longer periods of time for which astaxanthin alone would not provide enough protection, we'll use very cleanly formulated sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide as the only active ingredient.

           And the final key is not to use harsh soaps immediately after being in the sun.  Vitamin D has such a wide variety of health benefits and it builds up on your skin while in the sun and then is soaked into your body over the following hours.  But if you immediately use harsh soaps, you'll simply be stripping away this priceless Vitamin D.

      Have a beautiful summer and stay safe and healthy in the sun!

    • Avatar Blue Butterfly Anti-Aging Superfood Ice Cream

      This is a recipe we've been looking forward to making for a really long time! It's not just a treat for the tastebuds, but also a treat for the eyes- that blue color is just so incredible!  And of course the texture and flavor are downright addictive ;)  If that wasn't enough, watch the video to learn why the star ingredient has serious anti-aging benefits.

       If you don't have a high-power blender like a VitaMix, you can use 6 oz of ice and 12 oz of almond milk or coconut milk to make a blue milk shake... not quite the same thing as ice cream, but still totally delicious!

      In a VitaMix Blender put:
      10 lage Ice cubes (Approx. 24 oz ice)
      2 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds
      2 Tablespoons Lucuma
      1 Tablespoon Non-GMO Lecithin
      1 teaspoon Tremella powder (optional)
      2 teaspoons Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Powder
      1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Powder
      1 Tablespoon Grass-fed Ghee (vegans can substitute coconut oil, mct oil or soaked cashews)
      20 drops Omica Liquid Stevia

      Blend on high until smooth while aggressively using the tamper/plunger to drive the ingredients down into the blade. Enjoy!

    • Delicious Superfood Salad Toppings

      Why have just a salad when you could have so much more!?  Fresh leafy green vegetables are a fantastic and important component of a healthy nutritious diet.  But rather than simply topping your salad with olive oil and a little bit of lemon juice of apple cider vinegar, you can take it a step further and upgrade your salad with some of these powerful superfoods!  Not only do the ingredients we talk about in this video offer fantastic sources of iodine, protein, omega-3s, and more, but they are also absolutely delicious.  Perhaps the best part is that most people have never even heard of these, so they'll give you something fascinating to talk about when you're serving the salad at your next dinner party!
    • How to Feed Your Heart, Body, and Soul

      How to Feed Your Soul

      By Shanna Fanelli

      Figuring out health these days can be intimidating. Looking at a list of popular diets and lifestyle hacks holds more shout-outs than any rap song roll-call. An innocent run to the grocery store becomes a race where items are either quickly tossed into the cart before that “health-nut” you always run into can scan your selections, or you end up with a walk-of-shame over the extraneous amount you spent on organic, biodynamic superfoods. 

      All in the name of health.

      But really, what is health? Is it simply the act of feeding our bodies the energetic fuel it needs? Is it creating a rigid schedule of yoga and alternating between calisthenics and cardio? Is it being in the BBG community? Is it looking lean and amazing or is it being able to count grams and be the Jeopardy Master of the nutritional content of everything?

      We count and chart and macro until we’ve cornered our gastronomic experiences into such a microcosm of rules and comparisons that we throw in the proverbial towel and wind up doing exactly what we should be doing, only with the wrong types of foods, drinks and activities – and that, my friends, is the simple act of eating and doing what we want.

      To be truly nourished encompasses the entire BE-ing; that is, your mind, body and heart. When you nourish yourself, you honor yourself. Yes, investing in the best foods and supporting local farmers and craftsworkers will connect your spirit to your intentions of humanity, love and respect, but are you encompassing these beliefs in all that you do? Even if you’re eating the most nutritious, paleo, sugar-free chocolate treats, staying in ketosis and doing high intensity interval training, you likely won’t reach your true goals without practices to nourish yourself on a deeper level. 

      It’s this authentic concept of nourishing ourselves - on all levels - that is what we are really craving. Digesting feelings of gratitude for the air we breath, love and respect for the earth we harvest from, grace and empathy for those around us (in addition to our daily practices of ingesting pure foods and drink) – this is true wellness. Moving our bodies with awareness, noticing the small magic in the everyday, being conscience and truly tapping into our intuition of what we really want grounds us and keeps us in tune with who we are. Nourishment is provided in the warming sun, the wet waters, the physical earth and the invisible winds. These elements are in everything and in us. Our authentic selves want to connect to all the earth provides – every natural experience, taste, and sound is not only exciting but healing and regenerative! 

      True nourishment is not a trend, it’s not a list, it’s not waiting to be read or bought and it certainly isn’t out to intimidate or impress.

      Don’t worry about doing diets, trends or health. Just BE well, be grateful, aware, respectful to life and self-honor. And listen to YOUR body – it is a sacred vessel, and it will tell you what you really want. Without any roll-call.

    • Goji Berries- Way More Than Antioxidants

           In recent years, goji berries have become so popular that almost everyone knows that they're good for you!  But the power of goji berries to support your health goes far beyond the antioxidant content of this superfood.

           Goji berries grow in some of the most extreme climates on earth and contain compounds known as sesquiterpenoids, which actually stimulate the pituitary and the pineal gland to improve secretion of human growth hormone (HGH).  For most people, HGH levels decline significantly as we age to the extent that a 70 year old will have only 1/10th the HGH levels of a 20 year old.  Lower HGH levels lead to poor energy production, muscle wasting, and increased tendency to put on body fat.  Being able to naturally support HGH production can help us maintain youthful energy, vitality, and vigor throughout our lives!

           Goji berries are also a great eye food!  They contain two specific antixoidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, which target the eyes.  The long chain polysaccharides in goji berries have also been found to have great immunomodulating properties.

           And best of all, there's so many delicious ways to enjoy them! You can eat the dried berries, soak them in water, blend them into drinks, blend them into ice creams, and much more!  Leave us a comment to let us know what your favorite way to eat goji berries is!
    • Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe Packed with Herbs

      This chocolate ice cream recipe is so smooth, creamy, and delicious, you would never guess that it is packed full of potent herbal extracts!  If you don't have a high-power blender like a VitaMix, you can use 6 oz of ice and 12 oz of almond milk or coconut milk to make a chocolate milk shake... not quite the same thing as ice cream, but still totally delicious!

      In a VitaMix Blender put:
      10 lage Ice cubes (Approx. 24 oz ice)
      2 Tablespoons Addictive Wellness Cacao Powder
      2 Tablespoons Hemp Seeds
      1 Tablespoon Lucuma
      1 Tablespoon Mesquite
      1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha
      1/2 teaspoon cordyceps
      1/2 teaspoon reishi
      1/2 teaspoon he shou wu
      1 tablespoon almond butter or grass-fed ghee
      1 tablespoon C8 Caprylic Acid MCT OIl from Coconuts
      20 drops Omica Stevia

      Blend on high until smooth while aggressively using the tamper/plunger to drive the ingredients down into the blade. Enjoy!

    • The Greatest Adaptogen You've Never Heard of- Gynostemma

      At some point or another, we’ve all imagined a sci-fi future with robots that can predict our needs, knowing what we need before we even know it ourselves.  They would have the shower turned on for us before we got out of bed, breakfast waiting for us at the table, and they might even drive our cars (or hovercrafts!) for us.   And of course, they’d know exactly what to do to promote our optimal levels of physical, mental, and spiritual health, leaving no detail overlooked.  While it may be a few years before we have stainless steel butlers, unbeknownst to most people, for thousands of years, nature has provided humans with intelligent adaptogenic herbs to regulate their bodily functions and achieve optimal health.

      Adaptogens, especially well known in Ayurveda, Taoist Tonic Herbalism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, are also known as dual-directional herbs.  This means that they are able to regulate certain bodily functions in whatever direction is needed by the body, distinguishing them from all other herbs, which will only be able to push bodily functions in one direction or another.  There are many different adaptogens in the world, including ginseng, maca, gynostemma, astragalus, and ashwagandha, to name just a few.

      Gynostemma Adaptogen

      Gynostemma wasn’t widely known, even in China, until the early 1970s when Japanese researchers took a closer look into the incredible longevity being achieved by residents of a particular region in Southern China where gynostemma tea was being consumed on a daily basis.  The dual-directional nature of adaptogens is generally attributed to compounds in the herbs called saponins.  While the most famous adaptogenic herb in the world, ginseng, contains on average 36 saponins, the Japanese researchers found that gynostemma contained over 80 different saponins.  Gynostemma holds the record to this day for the broadest range of saponins of any known plant in the world.  The similarities in the saponins between ginseng and gynostemma earned gynostemma nicknames such as “7-Leaf Ginseng,” “Southern Ginseng,” and “Ginseng at a tea price,” reflecting how affordable it was compared to ginseng of comparable potency.  However, the people who have been drinking it for hundreds, if not thousands of years still call it “The Magical Grass.”

      Gynostemma’s incredible saponin profile gives it the ability to regulate a vast myriad of bodily functions, covering everything from energy, to immunity, to weight and cholesterol.  For example, whether one is tired or overly-anxious, gynostemma will help restore a state of peaceful vigor, without being stimulating or sedative.  Both athletes and those wanting to lose weight will equally appreciate that gynostemma simultaneously increases the body’s ability to burn fat and build lean muscle.  Furthermore, studies in Japan and China have shown gynostemma to have an effective rate of 94.8% in lowering “bad” cholesterol while increasing “good” cholesterol.

      Now you’re probably wondering, “This all sounds fantastic, but how do I get this herb into my body? And surely something so healthy must taste horrible!”  Firstly, your taste buds need not fear, gynostemma tea is actually slightly sweet and very tasty!  Where as many herbs must be cooked for long periods of time to extract their beneficial compounds, gynostemma comes in easy-to-use tea bags and need only be steeped in near-boiling water for 3-5 minutes.  Not in the mood or don’t have time for a hot tea?  No worries, gynostemma is also available in capsule form.  No matter how you take it, this is an incredible herb that can be taken throughout the day, by just about anyone at any stage of life to build great health and vitality.

      Our favorite gynostemma tea product is Spring Dragon Longevity Tea from Dragon Herbs- at just $9 for a box of 20 teabags (each of which is strong enough to make 3 cups of tea), you've got nothing to lose- give it a try!

      Stay tuned to future blog posts to learn how we use gynostemma tea to create a wide variety of delicious and potent hot tonic creations!

    • Valentine's Day Love Elixir Recipe

      Give this sugar-free aphrodisiac elixir a try with your partner and learn about the amazing energetic effects of the Chinese herb polygala!
    • Sugar-Free Superherb Coffee Elixir

      Learn how to bring together the perfect combination of clean coffee, tonic herbs, and healthy fats!
    • Probiotic Aloe Vera Margarita Recipe

      Try this recipe for a delicious, refreshing probiotic drink that is incredibly soothing to the digestive system!
    • Sage's Experience with the Wim Hof Method (The Iceman)

      Cliff Notes:
      Is the Wim Hof Method awesome? Yes!
      How much time does it take? 30 minutes/day
      How long is the online course? 10 weeks of video guidance, then you can continue as you
    • Beauty Berry Ice Cream Recipe

      Life with the Addictive Wellness team is always ridiculously fun.  Just the other day a meeting with our friends, Campion and Sally Primm, who masterminded our packaging design quickly turned into an ecstatic ice cream party!  Flavor/function of the day?
    • Immortal Machine Ice Cream - Raw Chocolate Vegan Protein Meal Recipe

      This delicious recipe is based on the Immortal Machine blend- a delicious chocolate hemp protein superherb mix created by David Wolfe and Justin Bua.  They've done a great job with this one- you can blend it with almond milk and it tastes just like chocolate milk! But with so many benefits!
    • Infrared Saunas for Incredible Detox

      You've most likely been in a traditional sauna before, but have you been in an infrared sauna?  Comparing a conventional sauna experience with the ultimate sauna experience in a Clearlight EMF-free Infrared sauna is like comparing Green & Black's Chocolate with Addictive Wellness Chocolate..
    • Getting Your Family Healthy - Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

      It's great to be doing everything you can to work on your own health, but of course the very next thing you want to do is get your family and loved ones on the same journey.  But as we all know, this is much easier said than done!  One of the best things you can do is figure out a way to recreate your loved ones' favorite foods in the healthiest way possible and make sure they still taste just as good.
    • How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake Making Green Smoothies (Recipe)

      First the bad news, then the good news and a delicious recipe to go with it!The usual concept of the "green smoothie," blending a few leafy greens with sugary fruit and liquid to mask the flavor of the greens is a DISASTER for digestion and intestinal bacteria balance.  The body digests the sugary fruit quickly and digests the greens much more slowly.  Combine the two and you've got a big problem!

    • How much cell phone radiation is hitting you and when?

      The fact that our cell phones are giving off harmful radiation is no secret.  There's a pretty clear warning about it in most all cell phone manuals.  But how much radiation/EMF is actually coming from your phone? Is it always happening or only when you are on a call?Do headphones protect you or are they just drawing the radiation right from the phone to your head?
    • Vanilla Cookie Dough Endurance Pudding Recipe

      Tonic herbs, superfoods, and the healthiest brain-fueling fats combine for delicious slow burning energy to power you for hours and hours…