Chocolate Maca Espresso Smoothie
This is more than just a superfood smoothie.
Flavors that are strong, intense, and bewitching like chocolate and coffee have us under their spell, don’t they? When we love chocolate, we crave it, want it, need it. Some are obsessed with chocolate, and there is no substitute. Coffee… the scent lures us, a taste, then another, and soon we are addicted. I admit, I’m a chocolate addict. If there is a reason (and I will make up one), I will declare it a necessary moment to binge on a piece of dark chocolate. I’ll have a chocolate truffle before listening to my grandmother’s guilt-inducing voicemails. I’ll have a nibble of cacao nibs because the clock turned 11:11am. My lover gave me a beautiful box of handmade chocolates for Valentine’s Day and I just can’t leave them all in the box before the month of March arrives. You know, reasons to eat chocolate.
Chocolate. It was as precious as gold to the Aztecs. The ancient Mayans and Aztecs believed that chocolate was magical. It was used in sacred rituals and enhanced sexual virility. Cacao beans were used as currency to pay for women in the brothels of Mesoamerica and ruler Montezuma drank great amounts of chocolate before making love to his harem of women.
The origin of the word “chocolate” began as the Aztec word “xocoatl.” It was a bitter drink created from the coarse cacao beans. Theobroma cacao means “food of the gods” in Latin. Its history is rich with lore of love, passion and ritual.
Add some chocolate, espresso, maca root, and vanilla to your smoothie in an almond milk base (or just as decadent, coconut milk) and you’ve got a luscious blend in a glass. Believe me, this is one potent blend of yum.
If espresso and chocolate wasn’t quite enough, maca is a guaranteed boost of oh la la to your mix. Don’t believe me? Well, my dear, I’ll make you a solid bet that maca will get you doing the macarena in the best way. (Hey, Macarena!)
Maca root is a potent aphrodisiac from the Peruvian Andes. It is a root vegetable that has been used as a tonic for stamina, fertility and libido. I read that maca is believed to have the ability to increase a person’s libido by up to 180% percent. (I wonder, who measures these sorts of things and how?) It also improves stress-related issues and balances hormones. How could you ever live without maca? What have you been doing all this time?
Maca powder lends a malty flavor and blends well with chocolate and espresso. As I was creating this smoothie, I wanted something creamy, rich and naughty. It’s a healthy decadence that awakens your spirit, satisfies your chocolate craving and inspires you to do something, like go on a long walk or finally organize your pantry.
Now for… Espresso. In Italy, espresso is a quick fix. Hence, the name espresso. A quickie with intense flavor, espresso adds another dimension to chocolate. It is taken quickly and not sipped slowly through a take-out cup.
Chocolate Maca Espresso Smoothie is good for your morning delight, or an afternoon rendezvous with your blender.
Chocolate Maca Espresso
2 1/2 cups of fresh almond milk (or substitute with coconut milk)
3 tablespoons maca root powder
3 tablespoons cacao or chocolate powder, raw if possible
1/2 dark chocolate bar (I used Chocovivo’s Coffee & Vanilla bar)
2 tablespoons instant espresso, steeped in 1/4 cup hot water
2 frozen bananas (optional)
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract (or just bourbon, maybe)
3 or 4 dates, pitted
handful of ice cubes (or more… go for it and make your own ice blended!)
cinnamon to taste
cacao nibs for garnish (or nibbling)
Pour almond milk into your high speed blender (Vitamix is my choice) and add ingredients. Make sure your espresso has cooled down enough to add to your smoothie. Blend until smooth. Add more of anything, such as chocolate or espresso, to taste. A sprinkle of cinnamon and some cacao nibs to garnish makes this decadent smoothie look so enticing.
While you are enjoying this delicious chocolate maca espresso, let the goodness of it sink deep down into your bones.
Feel the buzz.
With all of that good energy, think about what you really want to manifest in your life. You know, what you really wish for. Is it a life change? Are you following your heart? Have you found yourself wondering about where that zing went? You know, that oomph you once had, that passion, that inspiration.
Being too busy, multi-tasking, worrying and being overwhelmed with stress can zap even the most positive and motivated people. Stress in particular, over long periods of time, can damage our nervous systems, cause physical pain and symptoms like headaches, neck and back pain, stiffness, fatigue, and eventually we can become ill or depressed and manifest a much more serious illness. People that hold in emotions or ignore their instincts are more prone to getting sick than those who express themselves, follow their heart and believe in their vision. Our self esteem is lowered by stress. How we feel about ourselves affects everything we do and say. When we are low energy, we can’t live our full potential. It’s like a car that is running low on gas. Pretty soon it will stop and breakdown. Something will go wrong and then more things go wrong until the car needs major repair or ends up in the junk yard.
And I was like that.
My own challenge with long term stress and the desire to feel good has set me on an adventure to making positive changes for the better. And it’s more than just getting my groove back. I want to share how I am actively making changes to feel better than ever and fueling my passion for life. I feel amazing now.
Here are three tips to getting your groove back. I know the first two are cliche and you’ve heard them before. Me too. But it takes some motivation to actually make those two on the list happen! Once it does, you are on your way to feeling passionate about life again.
1. Move your body.
Do the macarena with that maca root in your blood stream! Express yourself with that espresso boost! Get yourself outside in the sunshine and take a walk. Get your groove going on a bike ride. If you don’t have a bike or access to one, I recommend taking that spinning class. I love spinning classes for the momentum it gives me to get my body flowing with positive healthy energy. Pilates is also a favorite workout of mine. It challenges my body, mind and spirit during class, and asks me to push my limits each time. I observe the other women in class and see how we all give our very best to feel good about our bodies and strive toward being healthier. It is a way to gain confidence and even combat stress. Sometimes when I am having a difficult time or feeling slightly down, getting on a spin bike makes me happier. I leave class feeling empowered. I realize that it just took a shift in my attitude and I am able to let go of whatever I am stressed about.
2. Eat well and drink water.
When I’m busy, it’s not easy to eat the way I want. Fresh veggies and fruits, taking time in the kitchen. It all goes out the minivan window when I’m driving around the city for hours. When I’m busy taking care of things and meeting responsibilities, the last thing left to do on my list is take care of me. Eating well affects everything. The morning may go by with just a cup of tea in my belly. Then it’s noon and my blood sugar is low. I’m hungry and edgy. Then I’m blaming myself for not planning better. Yogurt with fruit and nuts, even an apple, would have saved me from the low blood sugar shakes and hunger pangs. I start obsessing on what I’m going to have for lunch that’s healthy. Thoughts of sandwiches on wholesome local artisan-made bread, slathered with some of my homemade pesto spread, ripe tomatoes, avocado, arugula, and some grass-fed raw cheddar would really be in my hands had I planned ahead.
But meal planning always sounds easy. It is just as easy as that annoying suggestion I heard way too many times as a new mother to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Yeah. Right. And do the dishes, laundry, clean and cook when the baby is awake? Oh sure. But really, meal planning is something that I aspire to do, and it’s much easier than taking care of a newborn baby. I keep telling myself that one.
And for goodness sake, drink water. If I told you that drinking more water improved your orgasms, would you drink more of it? Oh, you sure would. Well, help me prove my theory. Drink up that H2O. It’s the best beauty treatment. Orgasms improve, you look radiant. See? It’s a cycle of wowsa.
3. Believe + Listen.
Trust your instincts. Listen to what your body and soul wants. Believe that you can. Whatever that “can” is for you, believe it. Do some journaling. Rock out and get funky to some good music. Let go. Listen. Believe.
I wanted to end the toxic patterns in my life. Make positive choices and changes. I wanted to heal and move on. Press the restart button. Start over. First I had to end the pattern of me accepting other people’s abuse and blame. I was the one people dumped on. Until I finally said, I deserve better. I am enough. And the universe listened.
Years of stress and anxiety wore me down into a desperate place. I wanted my life to improve, but how?
I was stressed, worried, frustrated, tired, exhausted. I yearned for comfort and belonging. Somewhere safe. Somewhere that I could just be myself, and that was enough. Someone to tell me that I am amazing, beautiful and I’m enough. I am whole and loved. Because I didn’t believe I was worth it, I didn’t hear it from others.
I wasn’t loving myself. I was not giving myself what I wanted and needed. I was last on the list. I put everyone before me. I believed (old thought pattern) that I was not enough. I did not deserve. There was never enough money or love or time enough for me. Guess what? I listened to that. When I’d say, “I don’t have enough time…” or “I don’t have enough money…” I was not believing in myself, nor was I listening to what was really happening inside of me. I didn’t give myself what I needed. What did I really want? I had to listen, believe, and then do something to make positive changes.
I had to listen.
And what I heard was that I wanted to be loved. I wanted happiness. I wanted support from friends. I wanted a real home and a sense of family. I wanted to follow my passion and inspire others.
Why did I not believe that I was worth much? Because I didn’t think I was good enough. Where did I learn that? How can I change that?
I noticed that I allowed people (including my relatives) to hurt me. I allowed people to treat me badly. Including me.
Something started to change once I realized that I was powerful. I listened to my inner turmoil one day recently, and said to myself, “Hey, instead of focusing on the problems, let’s focus on the solutions. Let’s get on with making some positive changes. It’s about time. Now.”
And I let someone really love me. Me. Self love is number one. You aren’t selfish or self-absorbed to love yourself. Get over that one. You aren’t narcissistic or me-me-me when you love who you are and give yourself what you need. Don’t ignore your value.
First, listen. Listen to your gut instincts and believe that you can. Believe. Believe that you are enough. Listen to what you want and make that important. Then make this chocolate maca espresso smoothie. It’s full of chocolate (yes!) and maca (yeah!) and espresso (because it’s perfect with chocolate).
Next, get on a bike and ride like you are sixteen again. Even if it’s an indoor spinning bike. Doesn’t matter. Have fun. Realize that you only have now. NOW. There is only this moment. Embrace it.
Eat as well as you can, when you can. Don’t bash yourself for eating those pomme frites, because guess what? You deserve those pomme frites. Or French fries. Whatever you want to call them.
Make love. Cook. Create delicious meals. Hug your best friends and your little ones and tell them how special they are. Forgive people that hurt you. Forgive yourself for hurting someone you deeply loved because you had to say goodbye. Say hello to someone who wants to make you happy. Embrace love. Be okay with being happy. You deserve happiness. Believe that. Believe that you deserve support from family, even if they aren’t related to you. Make your own family. You are never too old for that. Be kind to yourself and don’t leave yourself for last anymore. Get inspired. Live life to the fullest. Be with every emotion, even if it’s a negative one. Negative emotions make room for the positive feelings to grow and outshine the pain, anger, sadness, frustration. Follow your dreams. Believe you are enough.
And when you feel lighter, stronger and brighter with happiness, don’t look back, unless it’s to see who is following you on this amazing journey.
Drink this Chocolate Maca Espresso Smoothie down like a milkshake for your soul. It’s good stuff. Enjoy the recipe. Add to it however you want and make it your own. Don’t forget, you are enough. Write that down on your to-do list.