What’s The Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao?

Some of you might believe that cocoa and cacao are the same thing, but that’s definitely not the case. Here’s the deal: if your chocolate bar is made with cacao, you’re about to dive into a true antioxidant-rich superfood. However, if it’s made with cocoa, you’re not getting nearly the amount of health benefits you would with the cacao-derived treat.

The big difference lies in the processing of the cacao bean. If the bean is high-heat roasted, then you have cocoa, NOT cacao. Cacao is never roasted, but kept in its raw state, then cold-pressed to extract its healthy goodness and preserve its nutrients. In addition, the intense dark brown color of cacao is quite distinctive from its much lighter cousin, cocoa.

Another reason why cocoa-based products get a poor nutritional score is because the big chocolate manufacturers throw in substances like soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup, and vegetable oil. Candy bars are notorious for this, and as a result they should be avoided like the plague. Your best bet is dark chocolate, because it has a high cacao content. The higher the cacao percentage, the healthier it is. Make sure you look for CACAO and not cocoa on the wrapper!

Halo Top Ice Cream Flavors Review

Please watch my YouTube video review of Halo Top Ice Cream! I kind of went overboard and got eleven different flavors to try out, and I sampled all of them in one videotaping segment. YUM YUM!

Go to http://www.halotop.com for more information on this fantastic company! They have a store locator so you can find out where to purchase this all natural, high protein, low sugar frozen treat!

Hormone Roller Coaster (repost)

anxious_woman

Oh, to be a woman. We are blessed with goddess energy and are also capable of being strong and muscular while holding onto our femininity. But with our female distinction we also have hormonal fluctuations which can wreak havoc on our health and our moods. It can be a tricky thing to keep estrogen and progesterone levels balanced consistently, especially for those of us who compete. Estrogen imbalance can also bring about early menopause, premenstrual symptoms, menstrual irregularities, and skin issues.

Women who practice a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress management have the best chance of keeping their hormones in balance throughout their cycles. Overly processed foods, especially refined sugars, should be avoided. Strength training is also an excellent way of regulating estrogen levels in the body. However, I realize that the majority of you who are reading this are already on board with clean eating and weight training, but may still struggle with mood swings, food cravings, menstrual irregularities, and menstrual cramps.

Here are some tips on how to combat mood swings and food cravings which may emerge each month. These supplements will not affect contest prep, and may actually equip you with the best chance of staying on track even during THAT time of the month.

MOOD SWINGS: I am a big fan of the B vitamins because they are proven to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, I make sure that all of my patients who suffer from depression and anxiety take a B-complex supplement to regulate their mood. It is also a good idea to take magnesium glycinate to restore the magnesium that is depleted during times of stress. Start with 250 milligrams daily, then increase to three times daily with meals. If you get drowsy or have frequent bowel movements, decrease your dose down to once or twice per day.

FOOD CRAVINGS: One of the reasons why women tend to crave chocolate around that special time of the month is because they are often deficient in magnesium, which is found in high amounts in chocolate. For this reason, I suggest taking magnesium glycinate(as stated before) to normalize magnesium levels in the body. Dosage parameters are the same, but if you prefer, you can take magnesium for two weeks at a time, starting a week before your period and ending a week after you get your period.

Another great supplement to take for food cravings is alpha lipoic acid. Take 100 milligrams three times daily. If you really get slugged with strong food cravings before flow visits, add chromium picolinate (200 micrograms three times daily) and vanadyl sulfate (10 milligrams three times daily) to your regimen.

Cake Heaven!

If you click on the link below and scroll through it, you will definitely crave dessert! These 17 tasty sweet treats are incredibly decadent! I have added images of a few of the desserts featured on this link. Somebody had better hurry up and have a birthday, and not when anyone is in the middle of show prep!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahdigregorio/17-reasons-not-to-despair?utm_term=.cvXoqP4rB#.uv1JaeA7Q

S’mores Cake (YUM):

S'mores Cake

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Chip Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache:

Chocolate cake with buttercream and chocolate ganache

I am including the donut cake because it is so ridiculous. Thankfully, I don’t like donuts, so this one isn’t torture for me at all:

Donut Cake

New B-Up Bar Flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

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There’s a new flavor in the B-Up Bar lineup! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough has lots of tasty chunks of chocolate, and tastes just like chocolate chip cookie dough! These bars have ZERO artificial sweeteners, are gluten free, are loaded with fiber, and deliver 20 grams of protein.

Go to Yupbrands.com to order any of the amazing flavors of B-Up Bars or B-Jammin Bars.

When ordering single boxes (no bundle packs or samples), you can use my discount code amstacey29 to get 12% off your order!

Call Her Beautiful

call_her_beautiful_tn_s-458

I am willing to bet that the vast majority of women out there respond positively when a significant other, spouse, or someone she simply digs tells her she is beautiful or even uses the word “beautiful” as a nickname. That word can completely transform a woman, especially if she is experiencing a rough day. If that doesn’t work, you could always follow the advice in the meme below!

if-a-woman-is-upset-hold-her

Hormone Roller Coaster

Originally published on RxGirl on Tuesday, 09 April 2013
lady-eating-chocolate
http://www.rxmuscle.com/rx-girl-articles/7895-hormone-roller-coaster.html

Oh, to be a woman. We are blessed with goddess energy and are also capable of being strong and muscular while holding onto our femininity. But with our female distinction we also have hormonal fluctuations which can wreak havoc on our health and our moods. It can be a tricky thing to keep estrogen and progesterone levels balanced consistently, especially for those of us who compete. Estrogen imbalance can also bring about early menopause, premenstrual symptoms, menstrual irregularities, and skin issues.

Women who practice a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress management have the best chance of keeping their hormones in balance throughout their cycles. Overly processed foods, especially refined sugars, should be avoided. Strength training is also an excellent way of regulating estrogen levels in the body. However, I realize that the majority of you who are reading this are already on board with clean eating and weight training, but may still struggle with mood swings, food cravings, menstrual irregularities, and menstrual cramps.

Here are some tips on how to combat mood swings and food cravings which may emerge each month. These supplements will not affect contest prep, and may actually equip you with the best chance of staying on track even during THAT time of the month.

MOOD SWINGS: I am a big fan of the B vitamins because they are proven to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, I make sure that all of my patients who suffer from depression and anxiety take a B-complex supplement to regulate their mood. It is also a good idea to take magnesium glycinate to restore the magnesium that is depleted during times of stress. Start with 250 milligrams daily, then increase to three times daily with meals. If you get drowsy or have frequent bowel movements, decrease your dose down to once or twice per day.

FOOD CRAVINGS: One of the reasons why women tend to crave chocolate around that special time of the month is because they are often deficient in magnesium, which is found in high amounts in chocolate. For this reason, I suggest taking magnesium glycinate(as stated before) to normalize magnesium levels in the body. Dosage parameters are the same, but if you prefer, you can take magnesium for two weeks at a time, starting a week before your period and ending a week after you get your period.

Another great supplement to take for food cravings is alpha lipoic acid. Take 100 milligrams three times daily. If you really get slugged with strong food cravings before flow visits, add chromium picolinate (200 micrograms three times daily) and vanadyl sulfate (10 milligrams three times daily) to your regimen.

Vegan Brownies

I want to thank Denet Lewis for sharing his amazing Paleo Coconut Brownie recipe to his TV viewers and to me. They are absolutely delicious! However, they are very calorie dense, so I decided to make these brownies with applesauce instead of whole eggs and was delighted at what I ended up with. These brownies are not too sweet, very chocolatey and have a great brownie texture while still remaining pretty moist. This is, however, a drier brownie, so don’t expect an extremely moist version. If you are not concerned about the caloric content and you like the flavor of coconut, I have added the option of flaked coconut to my version of Denet’s recipe.

This recipe is ideal for vegans, but it also slashes some of the calories that whole eggs would provide. Part of me struggles with the fact that the protein content drops significantly due to the replacement of whole eggs with applesauce, and of course there is the issue of an additional 56 grams of carbohydrates in the entire dish, but this is a nice option for those more concerned about calorie content. Enjoy!

brownies

IFBB Pro Stacey Naito’s Version Of Denet Lewis’ Paleo Coconut Brownies

1-2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup coconut flour, sifted1/3 cup coconut oil
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup 63% cocoa chips

OPTIONAL:
½ cup flaked coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Mix applesauce and sugar together, then slowly add in flour. Melt coconut oil and add cocoa powder slowly until mixed in, stirring constantly. Add oil mixture to applesauce mixture and stir, then add vanilla extract. Add chocolate chips to mixture. If desired, add coconut to mixture.

Pour mixture into greased baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.