This time of year I always get the urge to cleanse. I feel like the idea of cleansing can either be really exciting for people or it can cause anxiety and overwhelm. I encourage you to not be overwhelmed by the idea. Simply put a cleanse is just an intentional simplification of your diet. It gives your body a chance to rejuvenate when we simplify or lighten the load of what we are consuming. When we give our digestion a break our body has more energy to focus on deeper processes of cell rejuvenation, invigorating us on a deeper level. Some people like to do juice fasts, some people like to eat raw fruits and veggies for a week or a cleanse can be as simple as choosing one food group, like meat for example, and excluding meat from your diet from a week or however long you choose. Personally I am choosing to exclude meat, dairy, wheat, sugars and alcohol from my diet for the next week. I will be drinking green smoothies and juices and eating a whole foods meal like quinoa, kale, veggies and beans once a day.
I always feel so much more energized and clear after I cleanse. I feel like it really helps get my creative juices flowing and helps me develop more focus. Some people choose to simply drink more water in a given day to help cleanse. I think any awareness you bring to making your diet a little healthier and a little cleaner is better than nothing.
Amazing transformations can happen when you cleanse. I’ll give you an extreme but attainable example. I saw a documentary this weekend at the Chilmark Film Festival called “May I Be Frank.” The film was about an Italian man from Brooklyn named Frank. He weighed close to 300 pounds, had hepatitis C, was on a slew of medications and was very depressed amongst many health concerns. As fate would have it he ended up at an organic, raw vegan café in San Francisco while on a trip. They have a “question of the day” at this particular restaurant and this day the waiter asked Frank “what is one thing you want to do before you die?” Frank answered that he wanted to fall in love one more time before he died but he was scared that he never would because no one would love him because he didn’t even love himself. After getting to know the staff they decided to make a film on Frank to document the change from his typical S.A.D. (standard American diet) to a clean, raw vegan diet. To make a really long story short, Frank lost about 150 pounds, cleared up his hepitatis C, mended all of his broken relationships with family by clearing up his anger, fell in love with his current, smoking hot wife, and tours the world educating people on health and reminding people that anything is possible. Sometimes all it takes is a little change in our routine to help us gain perspective on the areas of our lives that need more attention. I encourage you to bring a little more attention to eating a little cleaner and lighter this week in celebration of Spring, the perfect time for renewal. Have you ever cleansed before? If so, please share your experiences. If this is your first time please share your feelings on the topic below!
Is this true for you? Have you figured it all out? I dare you to question your beliefs around food. In the food world, it seems that we believe everything we hear before actually testing it out ourselves. We hear “eat more protein” and we adopt this new eating behavior without even realizing the affect it has on us or thinking twice about it. Nothing ever stays the same, our bodies are constantly changing. A certain way of eating might have worked for you for a period of time in your life, and then as your body changed and/or your environment changed you may have found that your old ways of eating no longer sustained you. This is the key to finding what works best for you…to be in tune and aware of your body’s calls for something different (especially if you live in a place with seasons). It doesn’t mean we have to get frustrated or beat ourselves up, it just is the way it is, and if we can learn to go with the flow we will find less resistance and dis-ease…in all areas of our lives. Every single person or body on this earth is different, so one person might need to eat more meat than another person, some people don’t need to eat any meat, some people need more fat, some people need less fat, some people like to be marathon runners and some people like to walk and do yoga. It’s truly about finding what works best for you and realizing that the more rigid we become around food, the more disconnected we become from what our body really desires. Play around with different foods, experiment, HAVE FUN with it! Use your energy levels, your digestion and your moods to help guide you to the perfect diet for your body, at this point in time. Have you found that your diet has changed over time? How does it make you feel? Are you resistant to the changes? (I know I can be.) Please share your thoughts below!
In the past, I didn’t have a true concept of what it meant to live healthily. My idea of being healthy was to be skinny. I think that this is a common misconception for a lot of people, especially women. I thought the less food I ate the better. And when I did eat, I had feelings of guilt and shame surrounding my mealtimes, which were few and far between. During this part of my life, I was also feeling depressed and anxious. I wasn’t fully expressing myself. I didn’t experience a lot of joy in my life…and if I did it was in a fleeting, unsustainable fashion. What I’ve learned since beginning my studies in holistic nutrition is that our relationship with food is indicative of our relationship with our life. Once I learned what foods worked for me (as it’s different for each person), I began nourishing myself with nutrient dense whole foods. That is, food that hasn’t been processed and stripped of all nutrients (like many canned or processed foods that come in a package). I began spending most of my time in the grocery store in the produce section. I realized this is where the real food lives! These are the foods that make my body and soul thrive. As I began to give myself permission to enjoy foods that fueled me (eating for fuel+enjoyment is the ultimate eating experience), I began to experience states of pure bliss in my life. I began not only seeking the highest quality food possible but also the highest quality life experiences possible. This is when my love affair with SUPERFOODS like raw cacao began. I thought “Why not feed myself with the healthiest foods out there? What’s stopping me?” The quality of foods that I choose to eat is a mirror of the quality of experiences I have in my life now. I want nothing but the most fulfilling, highest vibration food and life experiences because you only live once. Why not love yourself enough to take really good care of yourself? Have you experienced a shift in the way you eat and the quality of your life? Please share with us below.Bennett
Not Your Sugar Mamas (NYSM) is a new chocolate factory in the Tisbury Market Place in Vineyard Haven. Alongside their selection of cookies, chocolates, and hot chocolate mixes, made with raw chocolate, they have a variety of drinks. All of their chocolate is sugar-free and gluten-free, relying on organic herbs and spices for sweetness.
Part of our mission at 7a foods is to hand select quality foodstuffs for our store. In staying true to our mission, we’d like to bring Not Your Sugar Mama’s into the spotlight and talk a little about raw chocolate and the women who make it.
Growing up, Bennett Coffey came to the Vineyard every summer. Lucky for us, Bennett made the island her permanent home three years ago. Since then she has earned a living teaching sailing and yoga, gardening, catering, and a one-night-gig working at a fine dining restaurant where she was not asked back after one too many wine glasses were broken.
From 2008-2009 Bennett attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. During her time there an alumnae gave a lecture on the benefits of raw chocolate and passed out free samples. Bennett was hooked. “They were delicious,” she remembers. “And I felt different after eating it.”
It turns out, chocolate, when not mixed with dairy and sugar, is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet. It is also remarkably rich in magnesium, which balances brain chemistry, combats depression and builds strong bones. Eating chocolate in it’s raw form diminishes appetite, enhances relaxation and promotes better sleep. Upon learning all this, Bennett wanted to share the good news, that chocolate can be good for you!
Bennett began by making chocolate for family and friends as gifts. The positive response from those lucky taste-testers prompted Bennett to try out new recipes, experiment with different ingredients and ultimately secure a commercial kitchen space, and then, with the help of a friend, Kyleen Keenan, Not Your Sugar Mama’s was born.
Recently, Bennett and Kyleen opened a small chocolate factory in the Tisbury Marketplace (next to Rocco’s pizza). Don’t worry if you cannot get to Vineyard Haven because Not Your Sugar Mamas is currently sold in 50 locations in the New England Area, including 7a Foods.
Cheers to healthy chocolate and stay tuned to the 7a Foods blog for more profiles on our specialty products and the great people who make them.
Look for Not Your Sugar Mamas chocolate bars in our refrigerator!