Cacao vs. Cocoa

Did you know the powder used to make chocolate cake and hot cocoa is actually being praised as a super food? Not to be confused with cocoa, cacao is something different.

Similar to cocoa, raw cacao powder comes from the cacao bean. However, the big difference between raw cacao and cocoa powder is that cacao is made by milling the beans at low temperatures to protect the nutrients and flavor, whereas cocoa is extracted from the same bean, but at a very high temperature. This means cocoa may have been processed more and could have extra additives.

Why is cacao good for you? Here are a few reasons:

  • Raw cacao powder contains natural mood stimulants – anandamide the ‘bliss chemical’ that helps to lift your mood, and arginine an essential amino acid that helps to relax the blood vessels;
  • Raw cacao powder contains nearly four times the antioxidant power of regular dark chocolate;
  • The high levels of magnesium in cacao can promote heart health, building of strong bones and can help produce feelings of calmness;
  • Tryptophan, an amino acid found in raw cacao powder, can help us to relax.
  • Sulphur, found in cacao, can help to build strong nails and healthy, beautiful skin;
  • It’s easy to use – add it to smoothies, oats and protein balls or use it to make chocolate truffles, recipe can be found below.
If you’re looking to find cacao powder and you live in Quebec like myself, it’s a bit confusing. At least it was for me! Because raw cocoa powder and raw cacao powder look the same and on the packaging the French translation for the word cocoa is cacao! So both cocoa powder and cacao powder translate to cacao powder/poudre.  Confusing, right? Here’s the tip, check the ingredients on the back and make sure the only ingredient listed is raw cacao powder.

I picked up a 200g bag of the Prana organic brand for $8.99 at a local health foods store.

Have a great week!

Back to Fitness

Starting again September 7th, we’ll be following a 30 minute daily workout plan, a simple clean eating meal plan with no starvation, and daily accountability. Lose up to 10 pounds in 21 days.  Create healthy habits that last. Back to school, back to routines, get back to your fitness. Send me an email ASAP for more information.

Featured Recipe

Cacao Truffles
5 large medjool dates, soaked in water for 10-15 minutes
20 raw almonds
1 Tbsp Cacao powder + extra for covering the truffles
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut flakes (optional)


Drain dates from the water. Grind the almonds in a blender or food processor. Then add all other ingredients and pulse until combined. Form truffle size balls by rolling the mixture in your hands and then rolling in extra cacao and/or coconut flakes.


Why I stopped Juicing

For years, I juiced daily. A delicious green juice flooding my body with nutrients and energy every single morning. A day could not go by that didn’t start with a green juice.
There are health fads that come and go and this is one I jumped on. I raved about my green juice to everyone I knew. Most of my close family members received juicers for Christmas presents so they could get on board too. Like most people’s coffee addictions, my day just didn’t seem to have started without the green drink. Yes it took a tremendous amount of produce and more importantly, time, to keep up with this daily habit. But I felt literally in my gut, that the benefits were worth it.
Friends would comment that my skin looked better than it had in years, I would credit the green juice.
I didn’t have nausea during pregnancy, I would give credit to my green juice.
I was always full of energy in the morning, I would credit my green juice.
I would even risk waking up my sleeping babies by the loud noise of the juicer because I just had to have the green juice.
So why did I stop juicing you must wonder?
It all started with trying something new. I was told about a superfood drink that could give you energy, help you lose weight, reduce cravings, lower your cholesterol, and flood your system with nutrient dense calories, and to top it off it tasted like chocolate. Sign me up I said. This was exactly one year ago. I started replacing my daily green drink with Shakeology. I have not looked back.
Here’s my honest review.
First off, I realized how much time my juicing habit was taking me in the morning to make and clean up. Even though I had the peeling down to an efficient art, it would still take me at least 15 minutes every morning. Versus scooping the Shakeology mix into a jar, adding water and shaking, 30 seconds.
Second, I would remain full for hours before feeling hungry again after drinking my Shakeology. My green juice would literally run right through my system and in 15-20 minutes leave me starving. This is primarily in part to the protein and fiber in Shakeology that my green juice just didn’t have. I was stripping away the natural fibers by juicing the produce.
Energy comparison I’d have to say was pretty much on par. Both give me a great dose.
Cost comparison, we all know this is a big one. Produce for the juice by week rings in something like this: (depending of course on the season)
Bunch of kale $3
Bunch of spinach $3
Romaine $2.50
Parsley $2
Celery $3
Carrots $3.50
Fresh Ginger $2
Cucumbers $3
Lemons $3
Limes $4
Apple or orange $4
Produce total for the week $33 X 4 weeks = $132/month
Shakeology $130/month with my 25% discount
Shakeology is composed of over 70 ingredients derived from whole food sources, each one working to repair and strengthen your body. There is nothing artificial in the product. I just can’t get this many nutrients into my green drink.
The health benefits, time savings and taste have convinced me that my daily juicing habit is better served by a daily dose of Shakeology. As a busy Mom on the go, I’m always looking for ways to simplify and save time without sacrificing nutrition.
I’ve been using this product now for 12 months. Please know that I stand behind these meal replacements 110% and I would LOVE to bring you on as a client via a Shakeology bag purchase. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me when people tell me they are feeling healthy, energized, and even losing weight by incorporating the shakes into their fitness and nutrition programs.
If you have any questions about the product, the ingredients, the benefits, etc., please send me a message. Bottom of the bag guarantee if you are not fully satisfied you can get your money back no questions asked.
As an added incentive, for anyone who orders Shakeology in the next month, I will show you how you can receive a 25% discount and a FREE Bella Rocket Extract Pro Personal Blender (valued at $79 and my favorite appliance in the kitchen)!
Have a great week,

Featured Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter cup smoothie
1 scoop Vegan Chocolate Shakeology
1 tsp peanut butter
1 cup almond milk
1 cup of water
3-4 cubes of ice
Blend and enjoy!