Whether it be for a workout or just getting through a long work day — and goodness, have there been a lot of those lately trying to crank this beauty out — I rely heavily on natural sources of energy. I’ve talked about it before but can’t stress enough how caffeine need not be the addiction it is for many. Particularly for women, it can wreak havoc on the delicate hormone balance we are all hoping for. If you have any big stressors in your life, regular caffeine consumption plus stress is a recipe for disaster for your adrenals. And don’t those two things seem to go hand in hand so often?
I plan 4 hours or so for productive work each morning, starting about 1 hour after waking. This time is reserved for my most critical thinking work, all the stuff that really takes brainpower. Writing this post in a concise and interesting fashion, for example, takes a bit of thinking. And I’ve found that my brain is more “on” in those morning time hours. Set my phone to silent, close out the Facebook tabs, and work through my constantly fluctuating task list.
Use Natural Energy Sources
To enhance this important daily routine that I so rely on for productivity, I don’t reach for a cup of coffee to keep me from losing momentum. I pull from natural sources for a steady energy boost and enhanced mental clarity. Most commonly this starts with a cup of “bulletproof” brewed cacao (recipe to come), which includes a few key ingredients that I’ve added to these blocks.
Coconut milk: contains more potassium than most sports drinks, as well as significant levels of magnesium, which will help replenish electrolytes that you sweat out
MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil: a highly concentrated form of coconut oil, processed by body for immediately energy and mental focus
Raw cacao: rich in theobromine, the cousin to caffeine that provides a most gentle sustained energy source
Raw maca: a significant source of B vitamins to increase stamina and combat fatigue
Enjoy one to boost your workday mental clarity, morning or afternoon. Take 2-3 before (or during) a workout and get rid of those nasty gummy blocks and gels. For more intense workout sessions, add in more MCT Oil to the batch or even a little matcha green tea powder for a stronger energy kick.
Chocolate Energy “Shot Blocks”
Yields: about 15 chews
⅔ c. organic canned full-fat coconut milk
⅔ c. filtered water
2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
3 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
3 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp. raw maca powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk well. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook until just warmed through to melt the gelatin — do not boil.
Pour the mix into molds of your choice (I use these) or glass baking dish. Move it to the refrigerator to set, at least 1 hour. Remove the blocks from the molds or the baking dish and slice into desired size. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.