You can have chocolate morning, noon and night and still meet your fitness goals. You can have it for breakfast without a sugar rush. You can have it with lunch without a second thought. You can have it with a good book before bed.

Sounds like a dream come true. Perhaps even too good to be true?

I would never do that to you. I always strive to give you the truth as I know it and tell it like it is. It is true you can enjoy chocolate all day, gain the health benefits it provides but without all the added sugar. How is this possible? I have two words for you.

Chocolate Tea

Who ever thought to add cacoa to tea was a genius. Cacao as beverage goes back to the 14th century Mesoamericans, as discovered by the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes. according the The Spanish are credited with bringing the custom to Europe, where many cultures still drink a cocoa beverage as part of their morning meal. That beverage is akin to what we know and love as hot chocolate. Hot chocolate unfortunately is either full of milk, sugar and/or artificial sweeteners.

If you want to switch up your morning routine puerh tea with chocolate is the perfect choice. Puerh is a black tea that has been both fermented and aged, giving it a strong and earthy flavor. With it’s higher caffeine level it makes the perfect substitute for coffee. Blended with chocolate it becomes a breakfast treat with huge heart health benefits. The flavonoids and antioxidants in cacao have been associated with lowering blood pressure, improve blood flow to the heart and brain as well as fighting free radicals that can damage our arteries. Puerh tea has naturally occurring lovastatin, a compound that is used to lower cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

My top picks for the perfect morning brew are the Chocolate & Strawberry Puer from Lupicia and the Choco Shou by Camellia Sinensis (found at Amoda Tea).

Personally I need to start pulling back on the caffeine around noon otherwise I can’t sleep but some people need a little boost around lunchtime or early afternoon to help them push through the rest of the day. Too often I see people reach for a candy bar or cookie and a soda to satisfy their need for afternoon energy. A chocolate tea blend can be the perfect substitute for the afternoon latte and brownie. I keep Maui Rainbow Tea’s Chocolate Coconut tea in my desk drawer to enjoy after lunch. It is a blend of black and rooibos teas, making it lower in caffeine but with an extra bit of natural sweetness from the rooibos. I steep it long and then add a little vanilla almond milk and stevia. Have it with lunch as “dessert” or when your afternoon chocolate craving kicks in.

Sometimes the cravings don’t kick in until evening. I believe it is because for many women it is the first time we have to stop and think. After a busy day the easiest way to relax can often be with food, especially something that is going to replenish our depleted brain and body. Satisfy the need with a small protein/smart carb snack and a cup of cacao tea. Tisano’s Original Cacao Tea is nothing but cacao bean shells. Its pure and perfect chocolate taste is a true treat all alone. Add a little stevia, almond milk or mint leaves to create something that feels indulgent without inducing a bedtime sugar buzz. Create an evening ritual of sipping chocolate tea while practicing a bedtime meditation for a better night’s sleep.

Hot chocolate is certainly enjoyed by many Americans but chocolate tea is a hidden treasure. It can also be the secret to satisfying a craving while supporting good health. Where do you think chocolate tea will fit best in your fitness journey?

Do you have a favorite chocolate tea blend I should try?

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