Natural Food for Thought: Indulging in Luxury Moments with Raw Chocolate

I truly feel in the depth of my heart that if we fight for our own happiness and stop fearing the unknown, we will get our power back… and we will create much better lives for ourselves. What is calling you? How loud is it? Find it, hear it, honor it, and follow it. Get your power back and start rocking your life.

–Anna Suvarova

 

I’ve shared before that I have a chronic colon disease — ulcerative colitis, an auto-immune disorder quite precarious in nature. Diagnosed at 14 years old, it’s something that lives with me, day in and day out. Over the years, I’ve found ways to successfully manage it naturally–no drugs!–by increasing sleep, decreasing stress, changing my diet, and re-shaping my overall lifestyle. My journey with befriending my disease has led to a sincere interest in using food as a tool through which we can heal.

There was definitely a time where I didn’t think I’d ever be able to travel because of my disease. But with the help of meditation, sleep, and diet changes, I’m now healthy enough to live many adventures!

Taking back our power

Making our food choices work for us, and not the other way around, is an important attitude to hold in our culture. The hideous diet industry is not only destructive to our souls, but it also frequently promotes unhealthy choices for our bodies. Its negative qualities are similar to those of the fashion industry: trend after trend is created to increase our consumption of products, while fear-mongering tactics are employed in order to accomplish this. Through a bombardment of threatening commercials and ads, the money-hungry diet industry provokes an endless cycle of fruitless failed attempts made by millions of us to turn ourselves into something we’re not, never were, and never will be.

Happily, there is an exciting solution: ignore the constant bleats of these unhealthy, morally void constructs and take matters into your own hands by eating whatever the heck makes your authentic self feel great. My friend and raw chocolatier extraordinaire, Anna Suvorova, has seized back her personal power by dipping into a luxuriously simple life of chocolate and yoga. Sounds yummy, right? Coincidentally, she also began living with an auto-immune disease (lupus) at the age of 14. While her life’s course was irrevocably altered, she chose to deal with her illness through finding all-natural remedies–and discovered her life’s purpose along the way.

 

Luxury moments

Anyone who has had the experience of living with an illness will likely relate to the disappointment of having some of life’s small pleasures removed from their daily lives. Often these arise in the form of activities we usually take for granted, like taking a leisurely walk, eating a melting ice cream cone, or watching our favorite TV show. If we get injured, develop a food allergy, or start to experience double-vision, these small pleasures easily disappear.

Anna calls these “luxury moments” — something she found herself sorely lacking when she began coping with lupus, especially with its severe dietary restrictions.  I know this feeling all too well, having lived years on a diet consisting primarily of rice and fish in order to try to increase my chances of entering and staying in remission. Those days are long gone, but I still stay away from wheat, gluten, dairy, and anything else difficult to digest. If I’m feeling sick, my diet becomes a lot more restricted. As such, I’m particularly intrigued when I hear about delicious foods that I might actually be able to eat!

Savoring life’s luxury moments includes letting ourselves indulge in treats–all the better if they have nutritious benefits. Photo courtesy of Anna Suvarova.

Raw chocolate bliss

The answer to Anna’s desire to indulge in luxury moments came to her in a few different forms (including yoga and reiki), but none more delicious than her passionate love affair with raw chocolate. In Part 2 of this series exploring the simple luxury moments in life, love, food, and drink, I’ll speak with Anna about her delicious journey with raw chocolate. I’ll be honest–I’ve never eaten raw chocolate in my life, but after speaking with Anna about its natural bounty of magical properties, I’ll definitely need to give it a try. As soon as my foot is healed, I’ll be heading out to procure some. Stay tuned!

Choosing raw chocolate over a sugar-filled chocolate bar isn’t only about caring for our bodies; many raw chocolate producers also use more ethical means of production that respect the environment: “conserving natural resources, restoring habitats. and enhancing community development through investment is the ethos of raw living.”

Even though we need to make sure to do our own personal research on the companies we invest our money in, it’s nice to know that numerous raw-foodists share–and practice–holistic values. Like Soma, the company behind the world’s first all-natural, 100% recyclable water filter, so many of us are expanding our awareness and taking action by voting with our dollars, spreading the eco-friendly message far and wide.

Anna knows that choosing natural foods can also mean supporting eco-friendly, community-based, and fair-trade production. Photo courtesy of Anna Suvarova.

Speaking with her about our relationship with food and natural remedies reminded me about the importance of coming back to our organic world: fueling our bodies with natural food, using the herbs that nature has provided us with, and our life-source of water; these are the things that will help us to heal. Maybe our purpose is waiting to be found somewhere in our connection with nature — I encourage us all to explore this more deeply.

 

Whatever it is that you are going through right now, beloved friend, dive in with both hands, both legs, and a full heart. Go for it! Find the courage to just be where life took you. Every new experience is just another friend wanting to connect and be a part of this fascinating journey that we call life…and let’s not forget, it will not last forever. A bunch of decades is all that we have here.

–Anna Suvarova