What is Cacao Powder? 

The Short Answer: Dried cacao beans are ground until the fat, or butter, separates from the rest of the bean. The end result is a finely ground cacao powder on one hand, and cacao butter on the other. 

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A History of Chocolate 

The average American consumes almost 12 pounds of chocolate in a year. You may not know it by looking at it, but that little bar of chocolate has a rich history dating back as early as 600 B.C. The Olmec civilization offers us the first evidence of chocolate consumption, with archeological evidence of a paste made from the dried and ground seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. This tradition continued to Mayan and Aztec civilizations, who made a frothy, bitter beverage by mixing this paste with water (or wine), and often added chilis, allspice, honey, or vanilla to the brew. This drink, xocolatl, or chocol, was cherished for its magical properties, and played an important role in sacred rituals and celebrations. Aztec King Montezum...

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Burke

What is Mesquite?

Also known as Prosopis juliflora, mesquite trees are part of the leguminous (legume) family. Indigenous to dry climates in parts of South America and the southwestern U.S., these draught-tolerant trees have a long taproot to access water from underground sources. For this reason, mesquite is sustainably cultivated because it requires no irrigation, chemicals, or fertilizers.

Mesquite trees produce pods, which are ground whole to make mesquite powder. Also referred to as mesquite flour, mesquite meal or algarroba, these pods (including the protein rich seeds) have high nutritional value. The taste is often described as mild, slightly sweet and nutty with subtle hints of caramel and molasses.

Reaping the benefits of mesquite

Mesquite has the ability to balance blood sugar, making it a great option for diabetics. The sugar present in mesquite is fructose, which does not require insulin for metabolism.This helps maintain a steady blood sugar level for a sustained period of ti...

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0 Comments | Posted By Lauren Mathes

Monsanto donates $6.2 million to Colorado and Oregon GMO labeling bills

With November voting a mere month away, biotech and conventional food brands are ramping up campaign spending to prevent Oregon and Colorado from passing GMO labeling laws.

As residents of Colorado and Oregon prepare to vote this November on mandatory GMO labeling bills, opposing campaigns have started to receive donations from companies ranging from conventional food manufacturers to biotech.

But just how much money is fueling the anti-GMO labeling set? According to the Colorado Secretary of State, on Sept. 19 Monsanto contributed a whopping $4.7 million to Colorado’s No on 105 Coalition, whose members include the Colorado Corn Growers Association, Colorado Bioscience Association, U.S. Beet Sugar Association, The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association and more.

Though Monsanto isn't the only company to support the campaign [against GMO-labeling), the well-known GM seed company is the largest benefactor.  Dow AgroSciences,...

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Burke

Why Juice?

Besides being just plain fun, juicing is an efficient way to extract the vital nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables, resulting in a tasty beverage with highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes that remain fully intact. Easily assimilated by the body, these vital building blocks of health are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream upon consumption. The body’s functions are supported, thus aiding in detoxification from pollution exposure, chemicals in our food supply, etc. Since raw juice remains unpasteurized, it’s the optimal choice for preserving the true potency nature’s bounty. Drink your vitamins!

A juice cleanse aims to detoxify and replenish the body with the nutrition it needs, in the easiest form to do so (raw, liquid). Use each juice in place of your typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Think of a juice cleanse like a system re-boot. After a cleanse, people often report feeling lighter with a clear mindset; rejuvenated from the inside out. You may experie...

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0 Comments | Posted By Lauren Mathes

Kettlebell training has been a huge part of my life for almost a decade now. I was first introduced to kettlebells through some of my Brazilian Jujitsu training partners. Kettlebells are the perfect exercise to compliment BJJ training. The kettlebell will teach you tension and relaxation and to be efficiently strong - exactly what is needed to be successful with ground fighting.

You may be saying that you're not going to take up Brazilian Jujitsu anytime soon. Fine by me. But exercising with kettlebells will help you become efficiently strong, too. Strength training is key to long term bone and muscle health. Plus, you'll feel great afterwards.

A proper diet will only multiply your results. Fish oil and spirulina are daily staples for me. Whey or hemp protein before and after workouts, with maca, glutamine, and/or collagen have been my “go to” for some time now. (see my recipe below)

While kettlebells have been an excellent augmentation to my training regime, because of several serious B...

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0 Comments | Posted By Joe Chapman

There’s a new brew beverage taking over. It’s not beer, but like beer, you can drink Kombucha out of the bottle or straight from the tap. Some varieties are even enhanced with chia seeds.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea that’s low in sugar. Pronounced kom-BOO-cha, it has been around a long time, dating back 2000 years. Since then, it has been passed around the globe from culture to culture. Its roots can be traced to Russia or China, depending on which source you believe. What was once a home remedy, the fermented tea is now a mass-produced beverage available in most grocery stores.

What Does Kombucha Taste Like?

Kombucha is quite bubbly and fermentation gives it a kind of intense, tangy flavor. Each brand has its own style, and may use different varieties of tea—black, white, or green. People often drink kombucha everyday as a “health tonic.”

Why Is Kombucha Healthy?

Kombucha has become extremely popular because of its abundance of health benefits.

People ...

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN