Monday, September 04, 2006

melatonin, cacao concoctions, cookies & chocolate tea

Twice this past week I took melatonin to help me sleep, which is quite rare.. I usually sleep really well. I love my sleep.. which is probably why I took the melatonin. It works like a charm every time. & I don’t even take a full pill, they are really tiny & I break them in half, sometimes I take even less. I usually only resort to them a couple times a year.

Time #1 was about a week ago. I wanted to mention this anyway because a couple Fridays ago I talked about how I was feeling this natural buzzed high after drinking coconut water & E3Live mixed & that superfood Living Libations chocolate bar. (posted aug 28) well, I tried to emulate the feeling.. thought it would be great energy to work out to. So around 6:30-7 I opened a young green coconut (I just bought a case of them), mixed in E3Live and then mixed together a chocolate concoction. I ground hemp seeds & goji berries in my coffee grinder.. mixed this in a bowl with cacao, wildflower honey, bee pollen.. not sure if there was anything else, that was mainly it tho.. ate it drank my coconut water.. opened the coconut.. there was a bit of coconut meat in it.. sometimes there isn’t with the green ones.. or just slight, or clear jelly.. but there was this time. Anyway.. great workout!! I did a lot of cardio.. on the elliptical I was at highest level and doing a higher intensity & faster than usual.. and when my time was up I felt like I was just getting started.. but I told them I’d be home.. but I felt like I could go forever..
The problem was when I went to go to bed later on.. I was lying there still on an energy high, felt like my cells were all buzzing & I was alert etc. after an hour of lying there thinking about things I knew it was either get up & do something or take melatonin.

Time #2 – Sat eve. I took Kaiya to get her hair cut in the afternoon. She has had this long blond hair for forever. Really gorgeous hair, I love it. But she decided to get it cut off.. & hey, it’s better than dying it brown, which she wanted to do a while ago & I talked her out of. She was deciding between neck length & shoulder length. The hairdresser talked her into shoulder length (& I was happy about that.. like I said, I love her hair) ..but I think in her heart she really wanted a change & shorter.. and when we got home & eating dinner she said she wasn’t happy with it & asked me to cut it. I used to cut hair for a living a long, long time ago.. and was admittedly pretty good at it. ; ) So I said yes. I started & she felt it after the first layer & said she wanted it shorter.. ru sure? Yup.. so I cut it shorter.. it’s neck length by now.. so its all done except the last layer to come down.. and she feels it & goes into panic mode.. she gets up & starts hyperventilating & panicking & I am telling her to sit down so I can finish.. and it gets into quite a scene & Jim gets upset at both of us.. lol I just put down the scissors & comb, go get my knitting & so sit on the corner of my bed & knit. Wow. That was crazy & I am feeling bad.. I mean I wanted her to be happy & she’s just going into high school & her hair is a pretty big deal. & Jims all upset.. so he comes in to go to bed & I go out & she says she’s sorry & asks me to finish.. so off we go. She wants that torn chunky layered look.. no prob. I’m pro. ; ) ok.. get it done &she wants me to help her style it. Get out the spray & straightening iron.. and I have all this cool BedHead hair products.. so we use this mastermind gel & messed it up abit underneath.. and she puts these 2 litte ponytails in in back & it’s really so cute!
So she loves it now & we’re totally good.
Jims asleep.. but it was when he woke up around 2 or 3 am that I woke up too.. and was waiting to sense the energy that I just got woken up (he was out watching tv and I was lying there wondering) .. it was an intense evening & I just couldn’t get back to sleep.
So I went for the melatonin. Then knitted for 20 min. .but you don’t want to miss the melatonin ship that comes in, in 20-30 min. & I knew that.. but barely remember lying down.. it just takes you out..

Jim says that it doesn’t affect him at all.. & he’s tried taking 3-4 pills.. nor does the other natural supplement I got for him, Night Pillow with valerian & skullcap. He’s pretty hardcore tho.. think it takes serious chemicals to get through his system.

But for most of us.. melatonin is the answer to great sleep for those occasional moments of sleeplessness.

What exactly is Melatonin?
"Melatonin is the all-natural nightcap. It's secreted by the pineal gland, a pea-size structure at the center of the brain, as our eyes register the fall of darkness." At night melatonin is produced to help our bodies regulate our sleep-wake cycles. The amount of melatonin produced by our body seems to lessen as we get older. Scientists believe this may be why young people have less problem sleeping than older people.

Why take it?
"Studies suggest that... supplements can hasten sleep and ease jet lag, without the hazards or side effects of prescription sleeping pills." Melatonin may have many other uses and has been reported to make people feel better, strengthen the immune system, and reduce free radicals in the body. Current research is underway to determine melatonin's effect as an anti-oxidant, immno-modulator in cancer, delayed sleep-phase disorders, and jet lag. Tests are still under way so there is much to still be learned about melatonin and its effects on the human body.

Who benefits the most?
Travelers and people suffering from mild sleep disorders. According to Newsweek, a typical comment from discussion groups on the Internet is, "'Folks, I've tried melatonin and it's great. It has ...restored my sleep cycle, given me lots of energy.'"

Is melatonin safe?
Melatonin is one of the least toxic substances known. People have taken as much as 6 grams (600 to 3000 times the normal dosage) of the substance in carefully monitored studies with no sign of toxicity. Only four complaints regarding melatonin have been report to the FDA (USA's Food and Drug Administration). The only consistent side effect of high doses has been drowsiness and a slower reaction time. In the most extensive clinical trial to date a high dose of 75 milligrams of melatonin per day was given to 1400 women in the Netherlands for up to four years with no ill effects. The FDA reports that in the more than two years melatonin has been available for sale over-the-counter in the United States, no alarming side effects have been reported.

When should the dosage be administered?
Melatonin should only be taken at nighttime, usually about thirty minutes prior to going to bed. If you are traveling on a long trip you may want to take a dosage prior to getting on your flight and a higher dosage pill prior to going to bed. If you commonly sleep during the night, melatonin should not normally be taken during the day - and vice versa - because melatonin plays a role in setting the body's daily clock.

More on Cacao
In another chocolate concoction I made this week I ground up part of a vanilla bean with the hemp seeds & goji berries.. then mixed this with agave, cacao & coconut flakes.

& the cookies I made were a success.
I made them with the pulp left over from the almond milk I made. I used 1 c almonds & 4 c water.. blended & strained. It was so good with the chocolate tea I had.. from The Tea Leaf on Queen.

..couldn’t find my chocolate tea there.. saw chocolate mint. Incredible how many types of tea there are. The chocolate tea is mainly assam leaves and cocoa. Really good but fairly expensive. For those who take tea seriously. : )

They have an online tea school:

Tea Online - an online tea training program
It was while working at the Windsor Arms and studying to become a wine sommelier that I realized the many similarities between tea and wine. As no formal tea education programs were available to me, I embarked on a journey of personal self development and training in all matters concerning tea. I traveled Canada from coast to coast, throughout the USA and to the Far East including Japan to satisfy my ever increasing curiosity about tea.

Back to my cookies:
All ingredients are estimates.. I didn’t measure anything, rarely do. ..but I guess I’ll have to if I decide to go big & make my millions from this recipe. ; )

Almond pulp
1c dates
1 apple
2 bananas
½ c chopped pecans
2T coconut oil
1/2c ground hazelnuts

dash salt

Mix with love, spoon T’s onto teflex & dehydrate3-4 hrs, flip onto screens & dehydrate another 8 hrs. Enjoy with chocolate tea & almond milk.
Or make hot cacao.. mix a T raw chocolate powder, some agave and almond milk & heat.. never hotter than your finger can touch. ..just thought that up.

pic from

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