Archive for the ‘Chocolatl’ Category


chaga, cordyceps, cacao paste tea!

over the past few months i have been experimenting with medicinal mushrooms outside of just eating them in chocolate 🙂 they harvest a never ending amount of health benefits. you can read more about my favorite mushrooms on the recent article i wrote, “Medicinal Mushrooms: The Ancient Superfood” for Breaking Muscle by clicking here. keeping this post short and sweet, here is a recipe for a simple mushroom tea that i have been drinking at night to warm my body and nourish my soul.

magic mushroom tea

*boil a cup of hot water and then add:
1 tsp Mountain Rose herbs chaga mushroom powder
1 tsp Mountain Rose herbs cordyceps mushroom powder
1 tsp of Divine Organics cacao power or a small chunk of cacao paste
dollop of cream or milk (i use Strauss organic heavy cream but you can substitute with coconut milk or almond milk)
couple drops of Sweet leaf stevia
*let the mushroom blend brew for at least five minutes before you add the cream. then stir and enjoy!*


about to drop in the raw cacao paste that brings it all to life!

after the past four years of cleansing my palette of artificial flavors, to me this recipe tastes like hot cocoa!! it is perfect to enjoy while reading on the couch with sweet kitties or share with a friend! thanks for reading and share your experience with medicinal mushrooms!



Medicinal Mushrooms: The Ancient Superfood | Breaking Muscle.

check out my recent article i wrote for Breaking Muscle!


we all experience heartbreak at some point in our lives.
that moment in time when we feel like we are the ONLY person in the entire universe that is going through the pain of separation, heartache, abandonment, disconnect and sadness. it can be from many different forms of a relationship. from losing a loved one or cherished pet; a friendship that dissolves or the loss of an intimate partner relationship. these experiences all hurt in different ways and bring a new level of challenges to overcome and get through.

lyrics from “Raise Hell” by Brandi Carlile

i am currently in the process of healing a broken heart for the loss of my lover and best friend. while i experience days when i feel like i will never get past these feelings, i remind myself that there is a chance in every moment to shift your perspective and remind yourself of your own power and love. so, i made a list for myself on how to heal a broken heart. perhaps one of these ideas will help you through a rough spot and to see the light that shines within you!

1. raw cacao. allow yourself to eat as much raw chocolate as you desire. any time. any where. and enjoy every bite of it!
2. dance in your bedroom. alone.  dance to the Spice Girls or any nostalgic childhood music that brings you happiness and joy! jump up and down, sing, stretch and have fun with the beat of the songs. Zigazig ah!

3. create. i started to paint and draw with oil pastels again. (picture above) to release my feelings that i was unable to find words for. this has been very therapeutic and enjoyable.
4. explore. spending time in nature can be extremely healing. step outside, breath, and take it all in. i am grateful to watch the fawn and young bucks play in the hills across my house; picking fresh blackberries and figs on my daily walks and sitting in our garden!

this little caterpillar was just chillin on some cilantro in our garden!

5. take yourself on a date! each week i pick an activity to treat myself to, from a movie, concert, a talk or special dinner. it gives me a chance to appreciate myself and that i deserve the very best!

6. cheesy love songs. you know all those annoying love songs you hear on the radio? well, next time, sing them to YOURSELF! after doing this for a while, you will begin to smile and laugh and remember that you are your number one lover in life!

7. socialization of creation. join a group or activity that involves something completely new for you! i recently started to learn tracking skills! i am part of the Catscapes series in Marin that tracks pumas and bob cats and will also take a course on tracking other wild animals in the area this fall!

8. lift heavy things! or just move around and be active. i have continued with my strength training and crossfit and know that it helps in the healing process as well plus i am surrounded by an amazing community that supports me outside the box.

9. read. travel away and get lost in a book! it is a great way to relax and take your mind off of your current situation or feelings for a while. stimulates your brain and creative process as well!

10. mediate. most importantly, sit with your thoughts and feelings. even if it is for only five minutes. our busy life can push what we are really feeling or transfer it through stress, bad diet, anger, frustration and numbness. and it is ok to feel these things but from the teachings of Pema Chodron, learn to be in it and to feel it all. the only way to get through hard times is to lean into them. be with them in each moment.

to any of you who are reading, for whatever broken heart you may be suffering from, remember that it will get better. take each day at a time. reach out to family and friends for support. stay busy with healthy activities and always find quiet time to be with your feelings and thoughts. i look back at my first remembrance of a broke heart and thought i would never move on, but here i am. again. and i know that life has crazy twists and turns for a reason. there is something more amazing out there just waiting to be discovered, if you continue to stay open and just take a leap…!

raw cacao powder


Top 5 Superfoods You Should Be Eating | Breaking Muscle.

(originally written for Breaking Muscle.)

spiral inside soul tornado.
-painting by hlg

i could give every excuse possible as to why i haven’t written on my blog in months. so, i will:

– the honeymoon with it ended. the excitement faded and it just felt like i was writing words and not expelling emotions.
– i started a full-time position with Rise Bar as their NorCal Sales Manager. FULL-TIME.
– i am also in school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, studying to become a Certified Health Coach.
– i am focused on balancing & nourishing my long-distance relation because it means more to me than anything else in my life. (besides myself, of course!)
– i was traveling a lot for pleasure and now i travel a lot for work.
– i was spending too much time thinking and not enough time processing my thoughts through writing.
– i started writing for Breaking Muscle, too.
– i partnered up with Chocolatl to brand my own raw chocolate, “Chocolatl Puma Bites”.
– i began to meditate everyday.
– i would much rather be playing outside with the longer days than sitting at the computer any longer than i already do for work.
– i started spending more time on my spiritual practice.

but, really. there are no excuses.
because we make time for the things that are the most important and, i guess, it just became less important for me. i lost interest and i lost my passion. i have felt the passion for certain areas of my life fading over the past months with the focus on just trying to make a living for myself and to feel secure in the unknown. but, being comfortable with the unknown is what we all should be striving to achieve.

i recently read the book “Comfortable with Uncertainty” 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion by Pema Chodron. yeah. i’ve been dealing with a lot of fear in my life. internally, there is a battle going on and at times it is so fierce that i want to explode. but, i hardly let this side of me show, except with a few close loved ones or behind closed doors. this book presented itself to me at the perfect time. books have a way of doing that. it was in perfect unison with the beginning of my meditation practice. reading her simple words brought much comfort to my soul. we are all good at masking what is going on inside for us. some use food as a tool to look past their feelings, others may exercise themselves to exhaustion, or turn to alcohol, cigarettes or excessive caffeine consumption. i have done all of this at times but i want to move past it and turn my fear into action: LOVE. i would like to share an excerpt from chapter 92, Abiding in the Fearless State:

“…To the extent that we stop struggling against uncertainty and ambiguity, to the extent we dissolve fear. Total fearlessness is full enlightenment – wholehearted, open-minded interaction with our world. Meanwhile we train in patiently moving in that direction. By learning to relax with groundlessness, we gradually connect with the mind that knows no fear.”

feeling free.

so, the real reason i haven’t written in months is that four-letter word. i let fear get in the way and thought what i had to say was not important enough. good enough. that it wouldn’t make an impact on anyone. and, who would want to read my thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs? well. YOU DO. and i want to continue with it. i do have a passion for life and i want to share my knowledge and gifts with others. i have decided that i will dedicate my time and energy to at least three posts a month that will vary between educational, spiritual, life-learning lessons and recipes, reviews and workout ideas. anything could happen and with the growing presence of bloggers, writers and columnist on the internet, who’s to say that i won’t make am impact on the world?

in regards the long-awaited announcement of President Obama backing gay marriage, i want to leave you with one of my favorite songs by Vanessa Carlton, that was written to express that we are all equal and that everyone’s love matters. enjoy!

cacao pod tattoo (in progress)

the urge to feel physical pain had been gnawing at me for quite some time. while my heart had been in the process of feeling pain and offering forgiveness, i needed to feel it on my skin. i was craving the needle. craving the color. the ink. i was craving to have the birth of a deep-rooted design which has meaning in my life etched upon my skin forever. then, while meditating one night, the cacao pods spoke. i looked up and felt a beam of light pulsing from my heart to my altar which is covered in cacao beans i collected during my trip in Ecuador. it struck me and i immediately knew i was ready for another tattoo.

my trip to Ecuador was nothing short than amazing. i experienced every emotion under the sun during those two weeks but the last three days are what changed my life. my intention for the trip was to be alone and experience the incredible power of letting go and trusting the universe will provide no matter what comes my way. near the end of my trek, i was disappointed i had not been given the chance to play among the cacao trees. i had been seeking them out and asking the chocolate gods to show me the way but nothing had happened until i arrived in Tena. this was the last city i had planned to visit before i would return to the states, although, when the bus dropped me off, i wanted to go back to Banos. i had no desire to be surrounded by more tourists and covered in the dirt and smell of pollution. i felt discouraged and let down and halfheartedly wandered around until i found a decent hostel. i checked in and went up to my room. i sat down on the bed and said to myself, “seriously, heidi. this is how you are going to end your trip. there has got to be something more out there.”

ripe cacao pod

i walked downstairs to check my email in hopes of finding comfort from a message or a friend to chat with online. after almost two weeks of zero physical contact, my heart was aching with just the thought of a snuggle fest with my girlfriend. what i would give to be at home. but. still. this quiet voice in my heart kept saying that there was more for me to discover. my intuition was beating loud at the door and while i was not very present to hear the voice, my eyes were open to seeing the words and i spied a small flyer that read, “Chocolate Jungle Lodge“.

my body moved so fast that i felt like i was floating. i ran to the nearest phone and called the lodge to see if they had space for the weekend. my heart was racing and my whole body was sweating with excitement! the man on the other line said that i had 45 minutes to get to the dock and join a group of five friends from Austria and ride across the river to the lodge. i raced to my room, grabbed my gear and hopped in a taxi that was conveniently in front of the hostel. the drive to Misahualli dragged on for hours. or so it seemed to me. my mind was racing. the intention had been placed and all i had to do was let go of the outcome and then the cacao was brought to me! i was sitting in the back of the taxi with the biggest smile on my face! i had not experienced that much happiness during my trip until that moment. all of the hardship and heartache that i felt during the previous ten days was for this moment. to be on the way to play, explore and sleep in the land of the cacao!

mayan cacao god and pods.

this moment changed my life: i stepped off the boat and was brought to my room. it was pitch dark and i had no idea i was walking along cacao trees on the way to the lodge. my eyes were adjusting to the darkness and my heart was on fire. pulsing so hugely that i thought i was going to burst. then. i was alone again. i opened the door and that is when my breath was simply taken away. in front of me was the first cacao tree i ever laid eyes on and i began to cry. i cried for the happiness and sadness that i had experienced during my time in Ecuador. i cried and laughed at the craziness i went through to get to this one moment in time that will forever be a part of my world. through my eyes; only i can see what it meant to me. the expression of my heart and the tickle on my taste buds. knowing that i have eaten the most amazing chocolate that is produced from Ecuadorian cacao beans and then to be standing among them; this moment was pure bliss. it was one of my dreams brought to light!

this is a picture of the first cacao tree i saw!

this moment is what i have captured on my arm. the depiction that has been inked into my skin is from a picture of the first cacao tree i saw that night. the branch holding space for the perfectly placed cacao pods; one fully ripe with the fruity cacao beans and the other was in the beginning stages of life. they perfectly captured my experience of those two weeks in Ecuador. i ventured on that trip to break free from my shell and learn what it was like to explore life beyond my comfort zone and to dive into all that the world has to offer.

my cacao plant tattoo that is in progress.

tattoos take on various expressions for each individual person. for me, they tell a story and have deep meaning. my cacao plant tattoo is a way for me to express my love for chocolate and creates a pathway to open up a conversation with others and share the journey i am on. i do not let my tattoos define me. instead, they are a direct replica of what is painted inside my heart and now inked into my skin for the world to see.

i am so grateful for the opportunity i had to travel through Ecuador and the experience of having one of my dreams come true. these are the moments we live for and strive to create. but, in the creating, we have to be patient and understanding of how the universe is meant to unfold for us. we may be walking the right path but in order to create the dreams and desires of your heart, you must let go and trust your intuition. for your heart speaks louder than words and they are always flowing, if you simply open up and trust in your soul.

below is a video i made during my stay on the cacao plantation. please watch it to discover more about my journey and raw cacao!

five years ago there came a pivotal moment in my life. i came out to my friends, family and parents by telling them that i was a girl, who, in fact, liked other girls. it wasn’t a big deal back then and now it is just dust on the dress (that is still kept in the closet.)

but, this time around, i am coming out of the fridge as a vegan, who, in fact, likes meat.

yes. you read that correctly: i eat meat.
flesh. dead animal. carcass. chicken menstruation. cooked. raw. blood. guts. bone. heart & liver.
i eat it all. and i feel AMAZING.

those of you who have known me my whole life or over the past five years, know that i have been a devoted vegetarian for 13 years and a strict vegan for two years. and then one day, i just snapped. actually, i pounced (like any chocolate puma would do) onto the free range, grass-fed, local, organic buffalo burger that was ordered by my then girlfriend. this was six months ago. and i have never looked back.

i have been slowly coming out to people over the past six months and now i am ready for everyone to hear my story. i am sure that some of you are probably disgusted (my hardcore vegan friends) and plan to stop reading right now and go drown your sorrows in a green juice because i turned to the dark side and Lord Voldemort cast his spell on me and i am lost forever.
then, i know that many of you (my paleo-crossfit friends) are jumping for joy and about to call me up to buy me a juicy bison burger with a heaping side of greens, dab of organic ketchup and a piece of chocolatl for dessert! whoever you are, i truly hope that you read on to hear what i have to say before you cast judgment, disdain or excitement.

i did this for my health. plain and simple. months leading up to this astronomical change, i noticed that i was consistently eating specific foods that i could not get enough of; my body just wanted more and more and more, specifically in the form of kale, broccoli, spinach, field greens, hummus (tahini), bananas and raw chocolate (but the chocolate is a given!) all the while, my digestion was horrible and i was having to eat almost every 2-3 hours and never felt satisfied. my whole system was feeling out of whack and i had tried everything. (yes, my dear vegans, i had tried everything.) logically, the only thing left to do was introduce red meat back into my diet.

after my first taste of the bison, my mind and body started doing cartwheels and backflips and wanted to climb trees all day. i had not felt a sustained level on energy like that in a long time. i decided to do some research on the nutritional components of bison and discovered that the main nutrients i was desperately trying to get from the veggies and legumes, where very plentiful in buffalo: iron, calcium, magnesium, niacin, folate, vitamin B12 and the big one, PROTEIN! but what it really came down to is me tapping in and listening to my body.

i have been immersed in the raw-vegan community for almost three years and have been constantly learning about food, nutrition and fitness since high school. i have dealt with anorexia and various eating issues. i have done my research and experiments. i have gone from one side to the other and back. and all i know, is that at this time in my life, the healthiest way of fueling and nourishing my body is from animal and plant sources.

transitioning from a vegan lifestyle to a ‘hunter/gather’ way of eating has not been easy. writing this post and coming out to so many people in my field of work, play and personal life was not easy. i do not discredit the health benefits that begin vegetarian and vegan gave me. i know that i cleansed my body of horrible toxins and chemicals from my childhood of a midwestern diet and fast food but now i am ready to rebuild it the way our ancestors ate thousands of years ago. being vegan taught me a lot about myself and it made me look at the big picture of where our food comes from and how it is produced, manufactured and distributed throughout our country.

this is a topic that i have much to disclose about in future blog posts. i am constantly in a transition and learning more about my body. through these experiments and discoveries, my hope is that i am able to teach others and open up the conversation in all areas of food, diet, health and lifestyle. we are all one with the planet and can only continue to survive if we show compassion, love and acceptance for all beings.

at this time, the majority of my diet consists of vegetables, lean meats, tubers, nuts, seeds, some fruit and i refrain from dairy/cheese and gluten. oh, and did i mention that i eat a lot of raw chocolate?! i guess you could call me, “chocolate paleo puma”! 😉
if you have any questions, comments or opinions, please post them below or feel free to email me.


the puma that appeared in the night.

Posted: September 25, 2011 in Chocolatl

(synonyms for puma: mountain lion, cougar, panther, cat-a-mountain and catamount.)

how did i get the nickname ‘chocolate puma’?

very simple: i love raw chocolate and i have the face of a puma.
in a past life, i was a chocolate puma that lived in the Ecuadorian rain forest over 15,000 years ago. our main source of food came from breaking open the cacao pods and eating the sweet pulp and bitter beans, along with the occasional banana, papaya and assortment of grub and bugs. this is not my imagination. this is true. chocolate pumas are now extinct but i have come back in human form to teach others about the ways of our spirit, quietness, courage, playfulness and love.

but last night, they decided to come to me. two black pumas appeared in my dream. the room was dark and before my eyes adjusted, all i could see were four green, glowing eyes staring at me. my heart; skipping a beat with fear for the first encounter ever with these magnificent creatures. i wondered if they could sense my moment of fear. of course they could. they are cats of the wild and deepest of darkest nights. i knew they had appeared to show me that i need to face my most inner fears that are hidden deep within my heart in order to break through into the happiness that i deserve and desire.
standing still, i felt the slight breeze of air flowing from its nostril as one glided by me. and then. with the swiftest of glances, her eyes met mine and i was showered with a look of compassion and understanding. love expressed in that moment; the cusp of a new beginning that i was going to embark on in the next day.

signs come to us in many different ways. they are always present and ready to teach us, if only we are open with both our mind and heart. i rarely remember dreams but this one is vividly etched in my mind and i felt the pumas presence with me throughout the day. in those moments where weakness and fear overcame me, i leaned on them for support.

the panther is a symbol of courage, valor and power. it is also a symbol of releasing your passions and starting a new phase of your life. A phase in which you are discovering your desires, and living your dreams. over the past few months, i have been living out my dreams of exploration, love and uncertainty. but, now it is time for me to settle down again and step back into the oneness that i have with myself. to honor the love and courage that i give to my own being and in return, i am able to share that with others. today, i give thanks for my connection with the puma; that i let run free, inside of me.

what animal do you feel a connection with on a daily basis and what did you give thanks for today?