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Stress and The Power of the Holiday Spirit

I’ve been working a ton lately and it’s been pretty stressful.  But I’ve been using this time to learn how I can find ways to cope with the every day stress and to really decompress after long days.  I realized quickly that this time of year, I find myself being really happy when I focus on the holidays; this has meant that I’ve been trying to do some good decorating, starting little Christmas DIY projects, and making tasty holiday treats.

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This way,, I can head to work the next day being happy with how I utilized my time at home and looking forward to the next time I get to work on something new.  This approach has made a huge difference in how I react to frustrating situations at work and at home which helps my body be resilient to the effects of stress.  (For me, I know that stress causes my hormones to go haywire, my digestion goes downhill, and my hair sheds like nothing else. And I think those things are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is happening inside my body overall.)

One of the things I’ve been enjoying during my time off is this spicy paleo hot choffee.  There’s something about something decadently chocolate-y that reminds me of the holiday season.  And this drink fits that bill perfectly.

What’s Choffee?

What is choffee, you ask? It’s when you use raw cocoa beans/nibs in place of coffee beans to brew a hot drink.  I make mine in a french press, but you can feasibly do it any way you normally make coffee (or tea for that matter…I’ve brewed it with just some cheesecloth and a mug of hot water).

Warning: This isn’t the same as hot chocolate! It’s going to taste different!


    • 2.5 tablespoons ground up raw cocoa nibs (I like this organic kind and grind it using a coffee grinder)
    • 1 teaspoon raw honey (or any other sweetener you like…I’ve used organic cane sugar with success)
    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 dashes of cayenne pepper (you can always add more, to taste)

Caffeine alert: chocolate contains caffeine.


1. Place your ground up raw cocoa nibs and honey into a 12 oz french press (using larger or smaller amounts in the same proportions to fit your coffee brewing vessel).

2. Fill your french press with hot water. (If you’re using some other type of coffee brewing vessel, just do the same thing you normally would do with coffee.)

3. Let brew; this meant I let my french press sit for about 5 minutes.

4. Once it’s done brewing, pour your hot coffee into a large mug.  Then add the unsweetened cocoa powder.

5. Stir the cocoa powder into the drink and then add a dash or two of the cayenne pepper.

6. Now you’re ready to start tasting it and tweaking it to your particular tastes.  You can add more sweetener, more cayenne pepper, or more cocoa powder, depending on what you’re going for.

7. Wrap up in a warm blanket, preferably topped with a fuzzy cat (if you have one at your disposal and willing), and enjoy!

Have paleo food questions? Struggling with some DIY projects? Or are stumped by some health concerns? Head over to the Submit A Question page to help me best know what things I should be addressing!