my caffeine-kicker, aka adaptogenic hot cocoa

As I try to kick caffeine (you know how hard that is!) I’ve started getting some help from this adaptogenic hot cocoa!  I love it because it’s hot and foamy, so it feels like my latte in my hands, and it’s got everything I need to help me kick the habit. Below the recipe, you’ll find Dr. Lisa’s insights.

Heat 6 ounces of your choice of nut milk in a small pot.

(I use homemade almond or brazil milk)

Whisk in the following while the liquid comes to a boil:

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon raw cacao

1 teaspoon maca

½ teaspoon he shou wu

½ teaspoon reishi

1 tablespoon mesquite

½ teaspoon cinnamon

optional: 1 tablespoon raw honey

When it’s nice and hot, blend it in a vitamix or blender for 30 seconds to get a nice froth.

Here’s what Dr. Lisa says about it:

Health issues show up when something is missing (eg. nutrient, sleep, connection) or when something is in the way (eg. inflammatory food, heavy metal, virus) of normal function.  Adaptogens are a class of herbs that meet the body where it’s at to help it cope better with what life is throwing at it — whether that means nourishing a deficiency, or helping the body handle an excess load.

If coffee has been your main coping mechanism — but you suspect that it’s not your friend and you want to kick it (but are terrified that you won’t make it through the morning without it) — an adaptogen cocktail may be your way out. Rather than stimulating false, jittery energy (like caffeine), they let the body adapt to it’s current circumstances better – thus freeing up more true, balanced energy.

3 rockstar adaptogens in Chef Amber’s caffeine-kicker:
He shou wu
He shou wu is a powerful kidney adaptogen. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys house your jing — your total energy reserves (or, in technical terms – your juju.) It is thought that we are all born with a set amount of jing, and we can’t create more…we can only use what we have wisely. Jing is depleted via aging, stress, lack of sleep, stimulants, poor diet, etc, (Let’s just be honest, living in LA is bad for your jing!) — causing us to age and crash and burn faster than we want to.
Among other things, reishi is powerful immune adaptogen. Asthma, allergies and autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Arthritis, MS) are at an epidemic high. Living with a constantly activated immune system is exhausting. Immune dysfunction can be the result of both an immune system that is depleted, as well as an immune system that is on a rampage. An adaptogen like reishi addresses both ends of the immune spectrum by bringing immune responses closer to a happy medium.
Cacao really needs no special mention — because we all know that chocolate fixes everything. Cacao does contain caffeine, but it does contain L-theanine, which creates an alertness sans jitters and crash. Also chock full of antioxidants and magnesium —  to help combat the chemistry of stress — and, of course, the love chemical PEA – phenylethylamine.


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