Front Page of the Washington Post!

Posted on August 26, 2015 by Kyleen Keenan | 0 Comments

From the Washington Post, August 20, 2015.

President Obama describes himself as a creature of habit. No matter where he is in the world, he works out every morning, usually at 7:30. He has pared his work wardrobe down to either blue or gray suits.

“My wife makes fun of how routinized I’ve become,” he told Vanity Fairmagazine several years ago. “It’s not my natural state. Naturally, I’m just a kid from Hawaii.”

For almost two weeks here, Obama has brought that same minimalist ethic to his vacation. Now in his sixth year of visits to the island — he took one year off to run for reelection — the president is the equivalent of a vacationing Yeti. Many have had near brushes with the leader of the free world, but only a precious few have actually laid eyes on him.

For some on the Vineyard, who insist that the island is simply too sophisticated for celebrity-spotting, Obama’s near-invisibility is a point of pride. “The Vineyard really respects privacy,” said Chrissy Kinsman, who owns a small wholesale bakery called Pie Chicks, and recently took out a newspaper ad offering Obama a free strawberry rhubarb. “That’s why famous people come here.”

 Vehicles form part of a motorcade transporting President Obama on Aug. 15, 2015, as they arrive at Farm Neck Golf Club on the island of Martha's Vineyard. (Steven Senne/AP)

The reality, though, is that the president’s vacation has — with each passing year — grown smaller and smaller. So small, in fact, that it can barely be seen. Early in his presidency, Obama made regular visits with his wife and daughters to the Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven to load up on reading. But those jaunts fell off the schedule years ago.

Last year, Obama had to cut short his vacation because of crises in Iraq and riots in Ferguson, Mo. Still he managed to put in an appearance at the island’s annual Jazz & Blues Summerfest. This year, there have been no such crises, foreign or domestic. Obama skipped the music festival and instead made a playlist of the songs he’s listening to on Spotify, an online music-streaming service. The upshot: Those wanting to jam with Obama must do it virtually.

What has he been doing instead? He takes walks with his wife and daughters on the sprawling property that they are renting. The president, who once described his perfect day as catching waves and sipping soda at sunset onWaikiki, has frolicked a bit on private beaches. There have been a few nights out at restaurants, where a few dozen or more admirers will cluster outside to snap a photo of him leaving. He and the first lady attended former presidential adviser Vernon Jordan’s 80th birthday party, from which videosurfaced of Hillary Rodham Clinton dancing with her husband. There were no Obama dancing videos this year.

Mostly though, he has played a LOT of golf. Obama has hit the links four times with professional basketball player Ray Allen, best known for his quiet demeanor and lethal three-point shot. And he has played once with former president Bill Clinton, who is best known around the Vineyard for causing traffic jams with his slow and sociable style of play on the course. On the former president’s slowest days, course rangers at Farm Neck Golf Club here have had to prod Clinton’s party to pick up the pace, said Tim Sweet, the course’s general manager. The first step is to wave red flags. Sometimes they’ll discreetly approach members of the former president’s party.

Do their entreaties work? “Yes. No. Not really,” Sweet said. “Well, maybe sometimes.”

Obama’s golf game, by contrast, is brisk and low-profile. On the course the Secret Service ensures that there is at least a one-hole separation between the president’s foursome and anyone else who might be playing, Sweet said.

No pictures of Obama putting hang in the course’s clubhouse or its offices. No plaques commemorate Farm Neck as the course favored by the sitting president. “We try to be as low-key and as accommodating as possible,” Sweet said. “Let me stress, once again, that low-key thing.”

The one time this summer that Obama played Farm Neck with Clinton and Jordan, they finished in well under four hours.

In past years there was a rush among local business owners and restaurateurs to catch Obama’s attention or land products in gift baskets allegedly bound for the first family. Martha’s Vineyard is full of budding entrepreneurs eager to become the next Black Dog or Vineyard Vines, big national brands launched on the island. There are massage-therapists-turned-pie-mavens, former-yoga-instructor-chocolatiers and an artist who is applying his aesthetic sensibilities to coffee roasting.

Bennett Coffey, the co-founder of Not Your Sugar Mamas, which makes nutrient-rich, dairy-free, organic chocolate bars, recalled printing up special labels designed to grab the attention of the president or first lady. “They said, ‘Hey Obama, we’re not your sugar mama,’ or something like that,” Coffey said. Another year, her chocolate chip cookies made it into a gift basket of local items that went to White House staffers.

Obama’s invisibility, however, has dampened her presidential dreams. This year, she’s hoping that Obama or the first lady — a big backer of locally produced, healthful foods — might stumble on her chocolate in a Vineyard store or at one of the local farmers’ markets. So far, the Obamas haven’t been spotted doing much, if any, shopping.

“It’s sorta like getting Oprah’s attention,” Coffey said.

“I guess we believe in miracles,” said Kyleen Keenan, Coffey’s business partner.

Presidential-themed newspaper ads, which typically pitch products directly to the first family, have also dropped off. The big Obama ad in MV Times this year came from the National Association of Government Employees, asking the president to intervene in the union’s negotiations with Veterans Affairs.

“I’m sorry to bother you on your well-earned vacation,” it began.

Other signs of Obama’s presence on the island have been remarkably subtle. Amity Harris, 9, said her kayak camp was told to keep out of some of the local bodies of water around the Obama residence. Bicyclists wait for the presidential motorcade to speed past before they can cross the road. Some wave, but just as many cyclists seem to pause to check their cellphones.

Then there are stories of the White House kitchen staff being spotted in town picking up produce and fresh coffee beans.

Robert Skydell, 61, sells picked-to-order kale, artisanal cheeses and what may be the country’s most expensive peaches from a roadside stand in front of his Fiddlehead Farm. The peaches, which are flown in from Placerville, Calif., are dense and juicy and sell for about $8 to $10 per golden orb, depending on weight.

“They are all perfect,” Skydell said, “and the price reflects it.”

Last year, Skydell said, a member of the White House kitchen staff visited his stand to buy a single peach, which he said was for the president. Skydell asked the White House staffer why he didn’t buy four or five peaches at a time and save the repeated trips.

“We don’t want to spoil him,” Skydell recalled the man saying.

What about this year? No peach runs, Skydell said.

 

Greg Jaffe covers the White House for The Washington Post, where he has been since March 2009.

6 Creative Ways to Add More Chocolate to your Life

Posted on August 24, 2015 by Not Your Sugar Mamas | 0 Comments

If you're here reading this post, you'll probably agree with us that chocolate makes everything better. And it's more versatile than you may think! There are lots of natural, creative ways to add good-for-you Superfood Chocolate like Not Your Sugar Mamas into your life aside from the obvious. Here are some fun ways to satisfy your cacao cravings without resorting to mass-produced, nutrient-starved chocolate bars.  

Put raw cacao in your smoothie! Chocolate isn’t just for your ice cream milk shakes anymore! It’s 100% okay to add raw cacao powder to your smoothie any time of day! You’ll be surprised how a little bit of cacao can totally transform your tired fruit smoothie into a tantalizing treat you’ll come to crave! Add 1 tablespoon for every 8 oz!

Sprinkle cacao nibs on your breakfast! Cacao nibs are basically just bits of crushed cacao beans. They are jam-packed with all the goodness and nutrients that cacao powder has to offer They’re intensely chocolatey with a crunchy texture, but not at all sweet. We like to enjoy cacao nibs paired with something sweet to compliment cacao's natural bitterness. Sprinkle atop yogurt and honey, pancakes and maple syrup, or chocolate chia seed pudding!

Turn that basic cup-o-joe into a mocha latte! When the afternoon is dragging, this chocolatey java blend will give you that much needed boost to get you through the day.  While you’re brewing your coffee, whisk 2 tablespoons of cacao and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup on medium heat in a small sauce pan until the lumps are gone. Add your cup of coffee to the saucepan and whisk until combined. Return coffee mixture to mug and add cream or your favorite dairy-free substitute!

Turn your next dinner dish into a Mexican Fiesta with chocolate based Mole sauce. This easy recipe atop a roasted chicken breast or a grilled Portobello mushroom with a side of quinoa stir-fried with tomatoes, corn, and green peppers makes a delicious summer dinner! 

Two Words: Melted Chocolate. Chocolate fondue tastes good with pretty much anything. And there’s no reason to wait for the next big special occasion to enjoy it. Treat yourself by drizzling some melted chocolate on chunks of banana, pineapple and strawberries. When melting the chocolate on the stove top, it’s always good to use the double-boiler strategy to avoid heating the chocolate too quickly and burning!

Put it on your face! We’re a big fan of this 3 ingredient cacao face mask. It’s super easy to make and will leave your face feeling soft, fresh, and hydrated (not to mention, smelling extra yummy).

Time to get your CHOCOLATE on!

Loving Lately | August Edition

Posted on August 17, 2015 by Not Your Sugar Mamas | 0 Comments


Always on the hunt for the fun, fresh, & fabulous, here's what we're lovin' lately!

Roy Swimwear: We’re all about supporting the local businesses of our little island! And when it’s as cute as Roy Swim, it’s not hard to show our love! Roy bikinis are handmade on the island by Martha’s Vineyard native Liane and are fabulous for gals of shapes and sizes! The patterns and styles are super unique and will have you standing out from the beach full of basic black ‘kinis!

Meghan Currie’s “Air Your Heart Out” Yoga Program via Cody App: Meghan explains, “this series focuses on using heart-opening postures as a way to air out the hurts and fears that have been collected over the course of one’s life. Lots of emotions can bubble up for people when working on heart-openers, and this series aims to soften, soothe and melt away any barriers that restrict you.” To us, this workout has helped us to relax amongst the excitement of taking Not Your Sugar Mamas to the next level - update coming soon! It’s a great way to remember to JUST BREATHE. Check it out here.

DIY Charcoal Soap: Adding charcoal to your beauty routine is the all the rage. Activated Charcoal is detoxifying and exfoliating and won’t dry out your skin. We experimented with this super easy-to-make DIY charcoal soap recipe and absolutely loved the results! We’re keeping this recipe on the back burner for when the holidays roll around; wrap a bar in a bit of tulle with a ribbon and a sprig of dried lavender and you have a simple yet wonderful gift idea!

Inspirational Podcasts: The 6 o’clock news can be a pretty negative place these days. Luckily, more than ever before, we have the power to curate the content we choose to listen to. At Not Your Sugar Mamas, we are constantly striving for continuous personal growth, and we believe what we consume, whether food or thoughts, makes up who we are. We love this list of podcasts curated by Darling Magazine; it’s is a great place to start if you seeking to up the anty on inspiration and positivity in your life! Do you have any favorite podcasts we should check out?

Posted in creativity, diy, diy bath and beauty, healthy living, inspiration, local, loving lately, Martha's Vineyard, personal growth, yoga

Our Unique Chocolate Making Process & Health Benefits

Posted on July 21, 2015 by Not Your Sugar Mamas | 0 Comments



At Not Your Sugar Mamas, our mission is to deliver the superfood benefits of pure chocolate. In order to truly benefit from all the superior qualities chocolate has to offer, we believe it should be eaten as close to its raw form as possible, just like fruits and veggies! When cacao is excessively heated, melted, processed, chemicalized, and combined with dairy products, it loses key nutrients such as antioxidants, aphrodisiac and mood elevation qualities, and more.

COMMERCIALLY MANUFACTURED CHOCOLATE

When chocolate is commercially manufactured, cacao beans are heated at very high temperatures (between 250-300 degrees) then cooled and rolled to separate skin from beans. Next the beans are ground. The heat from the grinding process liquefies the cacao into chocolate liquor. Then the cacao butter and oil is pressed out of the liquor and collected separately. What remains are cacao solids that are pressed into cakes and made into cacao powder. Potassium carbonate, which is an alkalizing agent, is added to the powder. From here, the chocolate is made into various forms like bars and truffles. During this processes, the chocolate mixtures are tempered (reheated and cooled) into molds, further removing the nutrients of the raw cacao.

Commercial chocolate usually contains a mixture of alkalized cacao powder, genetically modified soy lecithin, and refined sugar. Milk chocolate often contains powdered milk with antioxidant blocking properties and pesticide residues and artificial hormone residues that have been fed to animals (here).

A NEW MOVEMENT IN FOOD

In the food world, a new movement is taking hold and people want to know exactly what they are putting into their bodies. People believe in the importance of whole and pure foods and they want to know the source of the ingredients before it is cooked, manufactured, and processed.

WHAT MAKES OUR CHOCOLATE DIFFERENT

Our process is simple. Cacao beans go through the same process of separating the cacao oil from powder. The difference is that everything is done at a lower temperature, keeping the integrity of the beans intact. We don’t add any artificial sweeteners, dairy products, or alkalizing agents because they inhibit the absorption of chocolate’s superfood nutrients. We aim to keep the chocolate as close to the natural cacao been as possible so we can deliver the highest quality chocolate you can find!

OUR INGREDIENTS AND THEIR BENEFITS

> Raw cacao is considered one of the highest antioxidant food sources on the planet according to is ORAC value. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity; it measures the food’s ability to absorb free radicals. These free radicals create oxidative stress and damage healthy cells, thus leading to ailments and disease in the body. They exist in the body through normal body processes like breathing but are accelerated by air pollution, cigarette smoke, and other toxins. When we consume high antioxidant foods, free radical toxins are absorbed and dispelled, reducing damage in the body and promoting healthy, youthful cells (here).

> Our raw cacao powder has an ORAC value of 98,000. In comparison, roasted cocoa and blueberries have a value of 26,000 and 2,400 respectively.

> Raw cacao contains beneficial phytonutrients and enzymes that are easily absorbed in the body. When cacao is roasted at high temperatures, these nutrients are diminished or altogether destroyed.

> Cacao is known for it’s high magnesium content. Magnesium helps relieve stress, relax muscles, build bone strength, and keep our hearts beating at a steady rate.

> Cacao is an excellent source of serotonin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine, three neurotransmitters which help alleviate depression and promote feelings of well being.

> Maple syrup is minimally processed and therefore contains naturally occurring nutrients and minerals like zinc, thiamine and calcium. It contains antioxidants that have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties (here).

> Coconut nectar is known as the world’s most sustainable sweetener. Coconut nectar is low on the glycemic index which helps keep our blood sugar steady, preventing the highs and lows associated with consuming refined sugars. It’s a good source of phytonutrients, and contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, and copper (here).

> Maca is a powerful root plant that grows under harsh conditions in Peru. For centuries, it has been used to booze stamina, balance hormones, and can be used to naturally treat erectile dysfunction in men (here).

> Rose Essential oil is used in our Rose Maca bar. This powerful oil is known to help relieve anxiety and even treat dementia. Plus, it has high antibacterial properties and is high in antioxidants (here).

> Besides being a lovely compliment to chocolate, coconut has been used to help treat thyroid dysfunction and is known to help control blood sugar. It’s thought to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It also contains manganese which helps the body process fat and protein and use it for energy (here).

> An excellent source of fiber, protein and good fats, almonds are a heart healthy nut that keep us feeling satisfied for longer periods of time which helps to stabilize our blood sugar and ward off hunger pangs (here).

> Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice that helps calm inflammation, the root of many illnesses. Consuming ginger can boost the immune system and increase metabolism which helps aid digestion (here).

> High in antioxidants and vitamin C, pomegranate is a powerful super fruit that is thought to help lower blood pressure, support the immune system and relieve depression (here).

> Lavender is a powerful herb used to help calm nervousness and anxiety and promote restful sleep (here).

> Sea Salt contains nutrients and trace minerals which help support the body’s overall function and are typically removed from table salt. It balances electrolytes and can help prevent dehydration (here).

> Vanilla contains antioxidants and helps alleviate anxiety and boost metabolism (here).

5 Ways to Make the Most of Summer!

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Not Your Sugar Mamas | 0 Comments


Ah, sweet, sweet summertime. Summer means cookouts, sunshine, friends, and adventures. We embrace it's arrival with campfires, flip flops, bike rides, and ice pops. And then, before we know it, the cool, crisp freshness of fall is upon us and that "Back to School" mindset hits us.

Make the most of your summer by setting an intention for the season. There are 54 days left until Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. It’s not too late to carpe that diem before that fall hustle comes knockin' at your door!

1. Set a goal. Make the most of the rest of the summer by setting and achieving a goal that you want to achieve. Empower yourself with constant self-improvement to make sure you’re always striving towards achieving your fullest potential. Whether you want to learn to surf, eat more veggies, or be more productive at work, there is always room for self-improvement! Here are some simple tips for setting a realistic and achievable goals.

2. Make a new friend. Whether you’re the new kid in town or you’re just looking to connect with more like-minded people, there’s always room to accept a new friend into your life! While this isn’t something you can necessarily plan and check off a list, you can open your mind to the idea and put yourself in situations that will make it a little easier. Look back on your newest friendship and consider when the relationship changed from acquaintances to friends. Make plans outside of your usual meetup, hangout consistently, and be vulnerable - finding if you can connect on an emotional level will help you determine if the friendship has staying power!

3. Be one with the outdoors. Stay up until sunrise. Get up to watch the sunset. Swim in a river, or lake, or ocean. Sleep in a hammock. Heck, even cutting the grass counts! Spend some solo time in the great outdoors and reflect in earth’s natural beauty. Let nature run through your body and clear your mind. Environmental Philosopher John Muir once wrote, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off you like falling leaves.” Just reading those words makes us feel lighter and calmer, like a salty ocean breeze on our cheeks!



4. Explore a new place. You don’t have to plan a luxurious tropical getaway to get the thrill of exploring a new place. You’ll be surprised at the new experiences you can have in your own backyard. Make a list of a few places within an hour of home that you’ve always been meaning to go to and make the time to go! Have no expectations except to just be open to discovering something new. Visit a local farm and pick blueberries then teach yourself to make jam. Or visit a local historical site and discover something new about your town. Put in a little extra effort to have conversations with the locals you meet on the way - you never know what kind of interesting tidbits they’ll have to share!

5. Leave your phone at home. Remember when you were a kid and summer vacation seemed to last forever? Maybe that’s because all you had to worry about was protecting your sand castle from rogue waves and slurping your ice pop before you and your tinkerbell t-shirt were wearing it. Challenge yourself to leave your phone behind from time to time. Instead of worrying about taking that perfect picture or figuring out where you’re going to eat next, just enjoy the beauty around you and let spontaneity be your guide! And if you get lost, just ask a real-live human instead of Siri! Here are some tips on how to disconnect sans stress!

Recipe For A Chic Summer Soirée Treat // Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes

Posted on July 02, 2015 by Not Your Sugar Mamas | 0 Comments


In honor of Throwback Thursday, we're sharing one of our all-time favorite recipes for gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, originally featured on Style Me Pretty. Don't think just because these are gluten-free that you'll be sacrificing taste for health. With ingredients like raw cacao powder, coconut milk, and agave, these are decadent and delicious. These cupcakes are a simple and elegant addition to any summer soirée! 

INGREDIENTS

> 2 cups Gluten Free Oat Flour
> 3/4 cup Organic Raw Cacao Powder
> 2 teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract or Powder
> 1 tablespoon Organic aluminum-free Baking Powder
> 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
> 3/4 cup Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
> 2 cups Organic Coconut Milk
> 3/4 cup Organic Agave
> 3/4 cup melted organic coconut oil
> 1 tablespoon Organic Coconut Vinegar

PREPARATION

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly combine oat flour, cacao powder, vanilla extract or powder, baking powder, salt and palm sugar.
2. In a separate bowl mix the coconut milk, agave, coconut oil and vinegar.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined.
4. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes, rotating once for even baking.
5. Enjoy!

    A Recipe for Raw Cacao Bliss // Not Your Sugar Babies Raw Cacao Fudge Balls

    Posted on June 29, 2015 by Not Your Sugar Mamas | 0 Comments

    It’s time to say sayonara to that pre-packed brownie mix full of chemically produced ingredients and preservatives. BYE GIRL.

    These fudgey, chocolatey balls are intensely addictive, insanely easy to make, and super satisfying for sugar-affectionados, minus ANY added sugar! They’re all raw, totally vegan, dairy free, gluten free, with no refined sugars.

    We swear these will be your new go-to.  

    INGREDIENTS

    > 1 cup dates, pits removed
    > ½ cup nuts (We used a blend of raw almonds and cashews.)
    > 2 tbsp of raw cacao
    > ½ tsp of coconut oil
    > ½ tsp of vanilla extract
    > ⅛ tsp of sea salt
    > ¼ c. unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped
    > ½ of our Coconut Crunch Chocolate Bar, finely chopped

    Yields 10 one inch balls.

    PREPARATION

    Blend all ingredients - except coconut flakes and NYSM chocolate - in food processor (we used a Magic Bullet) until a sticky dough forms. In a bowl, knead coconut flakes and chopped chocolate bar into the mixture. Roll into balls. And presto, finito!

    Tip: We like to keep these babies in the freezer. The dates keeps them soft and the coolness makes these treats even more satisfying!

    If you try this recipe, feel free to have a little fun and use your creativity! Try oats, sunflower seeds, bits of chopped dried mango or ginger. Take your favorite flavors and run with it. We’d love to hear what worked for you!

    Posted in cacao, clean eating, dessert, gluten free, healthy living, notyoursugarmamas, NYSM, organic, raw cacao, raw chocolate, recipe, recipes