To Make: Combine all ingredients except apple cider vinegar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once a simmer is reached, lower heat and continue to simmer for an additional 10 mins. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour mixture into a quart-sized glass jar and add 1 C of cider vinegar. Shake and let sit at room temperature for 2 days. To use, simply strain the mixture and enjoy!
You know what I think is really cool? When you throw all of your beliefs about food out the window and start over. It’s a pretty refreshing feeling. To lift all of the sometimes limiting beliefs I have about what I like, what I don’t like, what makes me feel good and what makes me feel bad, and start over. I know for me, my body is affected differently from season to season by what I consume. This time of year I can tolerate gluten much easier and I am not as affected by alcohol either. It’s always refreshing when things change like that because I begin to question my food again and go back into the experimental zone. It’s a reassuring reminder to me that everything is connected and that we are all connected to the seasonal, ever-changing cycle of nature. This past week I have been paying close attention to my sometimes restricted and conditioned thoughts. I notice how it makes my body feel tense and try to let the thought go and relax in my body again. I’ve been carrying this same practice into my thoughts around food. I’m letting myself experiment more and changing thought patterns about what I tend to think is “good” or “bad” for me. Because in my opinion, nothing is really “bad” unless you really think that it is. If you are eating with guilt, you will ingest that emotion. I find that the more relaxed I am around food and the choices I make, the easier it is for me to digest and metabolize my meal or snack. It can be a little unsettling at first but do you find yourself in this same experimental place from time to time? Share your thoughts below!
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!
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!
How do greens affect your body? Read this fresh article to find out!