I originally wrote this for iEatGrass.com. Sharing the love here…

Omega Munch!

Now that the official holiday of lovechocolate is over, maybe many of you are feeling ill from ransacking the 75 percent off candy sale at Duane Reade. No shame! I know it’s a good day if I’m eating chocolate before noon. I love a good, plain, bitter dark chocolate bar—90 percent cacao is my favorite. But I shook it up recently and tried a couple of bags of Nicobella Organics Munch.

Nicobella—fair trade and organic! Aw yeah!–is better known for their truffles, but I am pretty into their chocolate and nut mixes, aka Munch, because they give me a solid dose of protein, so I can eat an entire bag without feeling like I lost all of my self control. Bonus: they are relatively low in calories, as far as sweets go. They DO have a good amount of fat though. But fat is good. Let’s all embrace fat.

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I love giving myself an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast! So when I heard it was time to celebrate grains, I knew I wanted to make a dessert delicious enough–and healthy enough–to eat for breakfast. I love grains for breakfast in the fall because they’re so cozy, but unlike my usual morning oatmeal, quinoa is packed full of complete protein. The following recipe also features my favorite antioxidant (oh heyyyy cocoa!), hearty healthy peanut butter, and a dash of coffee for depth. It definitely gives me a caffeine zing, which is yet another reason I love it in the morning. So whip up this delicious dessert and, if you can resist eating it all, have it again for breakfast!

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Oohrah! In honor of what could very well be my last day on earth (Tough Mudder tomorrow!!) I am giving you a nice little round-up of weird food/sex news from the week.

Robots: The gateway to ‘mind blowing’ sex?

An article on MSNBC showcases robot sex—remember when I wrote about Roxxxy, the True Companion bone-bot? This article features the robotic sex trend, highlighting Amsterdam’s vision of robots taking over its red light district, Fem Bot style, to pleasure the patrons. According to the article, sex robots can help end sex trafficking, the spread of STDs AND can teach us to be better lovers…I don’t think I agree on the latter. Well, guess I can cross Amsterdam off of my dream vaca list…clearly my destination vacation would have real, live prostitutes.

Cocaine and Chocolate, what’s the deal yo?

HuffPo published an article about the US government’s battle on peruvian drug culture, and how it is affecting the chocolate community. USAID has proposed a cocoa hybrid as alternative crop to coca (the key ingredient in cocain) and chocolate conassioers have their panties all in a twist, as it apparantly affects the flavor and quality of their chocolate.

“USAID says it has a foreign policy mandate to curb coca production by encouraging alternative cash crops, not to cater to gourmets. But it also says it may be open to commercializing native varieties in the future and it is sponsoring a contest to encourage farmers to cultivate more native coco,.” writes HuffPo’s Carolien Stauffer.

Voyeurism, Exposed

(image from HuffPo)

This terrific Mother Jones photo essay showcases voyeurism, and asks us what is just watching, and what is voyeurism? Where is the line? Excerpt alert:

In the age of Weinergate, we are all lookers and watchers. The following selection of images from Sandra Phillips’ book, Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870, traces the fine line between the two. Covering spy and surveillance imagery, images of violence and sexuality, the rise of paparazzi, and our incurable boner for celebrity photos, Exposed‘s 249 images show how photography shapes not just what we see but how we look at it. Mark Murrmann

Jerking Off Dogs Is a Real Career (and Here You Were Doing It for Free)

As usual, Jezebel kills it with the above title. This article is about a woman who jerks off dogs for cash at purebred shows. Ohhhh, Jezebel. Je t’adore.

Ashley Madison Offers 1 Million for Tebow’s Virginity

"But I won't dooo that! NO I won't do that!"

Okay, not really. They offer 1 million to any woman who can prove she boned Tim Tebow, therefore blowing up his “but I’m a virgin I love jesus” devout Christian spotlight. The website—which provides a place for marrieds to have affairs—is clearly the epitome of class.

Fish Flavored Booze?

And now, just in time for a sloppy Friday night, The Worst Liquor Flavors of All Time.

Smoked salmon vodka for all you bagel n’ schmear lovin’ jews…(sorry dad! Let me rephrase that as people of jewish heritage…myself included…), Big Dill Pickle vodka, and Scorpion flavored vodka! Gross. My older brother once tried to bully my ex boyfriend into drinking some sake with a dead, preserved snake coiled up at the bottom of the bottle. Don’t you love family time?

And now, not food or sex but still interesting. Read this article on the significance of street art to urban culture…I don’t think this is exactly what they had in mind….

Cheers! Happy Friday, folks! Wish me luck on my Tough Mudder tomorrow. If I die, I leave my cat, Zucchini, to my ex boyfriend; my 1990s TV with its built in VHS player and all accompanying VHS tapes to my current boyfriend (YOU’RE WELCOME); and insist that my brother comes from Hawaii to dispose of my sex toys, because he once made me do the same for him in a weird scene that belonged in a Woody Allen movie.

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Like most ovary-bearing individuals, I love me some chocolate. I prefer the extra dark variety, probably because I know it’s better for me and have therefore tricked my brain into finding it more delicious than its dairy-ridden counterpart. Seriously, the darker, the better. I have even been known to gnaw on a hunk of Bakers chocolate. So I was excited this past Easter when my mama sent me a care package from Nib Mor, an organic vegan chocolate company founded by two women who met while attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, just like me and my madre. (Side note: I am not religious…since I was a little girl Easter has meant one thing and one thing only: mass amounts of candy.)

This was possibly one of the most exciting care packages I have received from my mother, rivaled by one particular package in college containing a can of black beans and a package of expired tropical fruit themed condoms. Love you, Ma!

Inside my box of goodness was four chocolate bars and three different types of drinking chocolate. The cool thing about Nib Mor chocolate is that they are made without any refined sugars. The bars are made with agave and the hot chocolate powder is made with coconut sugar. I kinda think that sugar is sugar regardless, but it is still nice to know that the treats I am eating aren’t made with the refined stuff.

My desk: Chocolate, the obligatory birthday card from the office, a photo roll of my college roomies goofing, and that foxy boy I get naked with hugging me at the Washington Monument.

So what did I do with my chocolate? I ate it duh. Actually, I am currently in training for a Tough Mudder, so that means I am usually ravenously hungry due to my extremely early, extremely long training sessions. So I was eating Nib Mor chocolate bars at my desk at 9 am. Oh yes. I was. And my fav thing about the bars? They are really light, so I can eat the entire bar for something like 250 calories. I don’t really care too much about calories, especially when I am in training, but the truth is I ALWAYS eat an entire chocolate bar when I open one, so it is nice to know I am not eating a meal’s worth of calories in the form of a snack.

Oh, and the drinking chocolate? I have taken to mixing ½ a tablespoon into my morning coffee for some mocha goodness.

But why chocolate?!

Chocolate is my favorite antioxidant, and I get down on it pretty regularly. Rumor has it the stuff (the good, dark stuff) has more antioxidants than wine or green tea! Cacao is an anti-inflammatory, full of healthy good fats which fuel up my brain, and contains Tryptophan which creates serotonin. Say what? This means that chocolate releases the same feel-good vibes that a steamy sex session or cuddle fest produces. And it eases depression! So…chocolate, followed by vigorous boning, followed by some intense snuggling will help battle depression and keep my wonky crazy-girl brain in check. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Ever had Nib Mor? What is your favorite chocolate company? Do you manage depression with sex and chocolate and exercise and nutrition? Don’t go ditching your meds, people, because I am no doctor!

Now watch this horrifying video about the Tough Mudder, which I am doing in just three days! Eep!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh5HdPM_QuE] Read More →

On our road trip to Sedona, A and I paid a visit to the town’s well-known vegetarian restaurant. What is interesting about ChocolaTree (pronounced Chuh-cola-tree) is that it is 99 percent vegan (some of their sweets have honey) and mostly raw, yet they don’t announce that—probably to avoid scaring away the tourists. I first heard about the place on XOJane.com, because the cousin of an XOJane writer, Liz Armstrong, founded the place. Liz writes about new agey stuff on XOJane, and the place is pretty new agey—crystals galore, a magical herb garden and patio out back, and the heavenly scent of chocolate all up in your nostrils sending gasmy thoughts all throughout your body. Or at least, that’s what happens when I smell chocolate…

The place makes everything right on site, and they have delicious house-made packaged foods for sale, like dehydrated kale chips…they taste a lot better than they sound, scout’s honor.

A and I split their sampler for two and the Viva Burrito. The sampler had the best raw hummus I have ever tasted, guac, “Nori Nachos” and these amazing chia crackers—all house made, all raw, all coregasmy. We asked for hot sauce because we’re total spice lushes, and their house made hot sauce is probably the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. (Shhh, don’t tell my boyfriend.)

The raw Viva Burrito—stuffed with cabbage, red peppers and tomatoes–had this delicious home-made creamy vegan cheese, but unfortunately there was only a smidge of it inside and as a result A and I were fork-fighting over it like some hungry crows.

But the best part of course was dessert. We eye-f*cked the plates of the women next to us before quizzing them on what the best selection was, so that we could better prepare ourselves. Remember that my mother is a pastry chef and makes the best vegan cakes, so I can be a bit snobby about my sweets. However, they did not let us down.

We ordered a slice of creamy pumpkin pie, with a texture of cheese cake and a crust made of coconut. Upon my first bite, I spurted “THECRUSTISCOCONUTTHECRUSTISCOCONUT” to A, to prepare her…we are both coconut fiends. It was phenomenally subtle, not over-the-top cinnamon-y the way some pumpkin treats can be. And the sweetness wasn’t overwhelming, allowing you to really taste the earthy pumpkin goodness. Bangerang, ChocolaTree.

We also shared some of the best vegan chocolate ganache I have ever had. It was decadent and creamy, intensely bitter, not too sweet, melt in your mouth and left me tonguing my fork like it was going to buy me dinner.

Oh girllll, that's not frosting...

I really loved this place, from the warm inviting atmosphere, to the friendly staff–a pleasant man with a hipster mustachio served us–to the blow-your-brains-out food. For me, raw food can be either bland or intense, but ChocolaTree, you make raw look good. Thanks for getting in me!

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Dried Carob is often eaten on Tu Bishvat, alth...

Image via Wikipedia

My girlfriend Alex mentioned to me today that she wanted to buy some carob powder, as she had never before used it. I told her I used it all the time in my smoothies because it gives me the chocolatey richness I crave without the added caffeine kick. She then blew my mind by saying “did you know carob comes from a pea?”

Well no, I didn’t. I then went straight to Google to do some intense research (cough, Wikipedia)  and freaked my freak. Mainly what scared me is that I had been eating the stuff without giving a second thought to where it comes from. It really isn’t too surprising that carob comes from a pea when chocolate comes from Cacao, which is a bean.

So, a bit about carob. The sweet stuff comes from a tree that is a member of the legume family, and grows in long, broad pea pods.  They are then dried and ground for consumption, although the pea pods are often used as animal feed, and as a thickening agent in many processed foods. Carob is viewed as a healthier alternative to chocolate because of the previously mentioned lack of caffeine, and because since the stuff is naturally sweet carob products contain much less sugar, if any at all. High in calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium, carob can be substituted for chocolate in baking, although the flavor is different. I find that carob has less of a richness and lacks the bite of a good piece of dark chocolate, but it is very nice and nutty.

I can now go to sleep well rested as I now know that carob comes from pea pods..so..that makes it a vegetable!? Right? Right?!

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Here is a contribution from my chef of a mama..

Chocolate Frosting

2 Cups Organic Chocolate Chips
1 Block (12.3 oz) of Firm Silken Tofu
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1½  tsp Vanilla

Step one
Melt your chocolate chips over very low heat, stirring so as not to burn!

Step two
Puree all in food processor until smooth and then ice your cake, or whatever else that may need a little adornment before devouring.

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