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Sip & Serve: Our No. 1 Hot Cocoa Recipes
Wellness
Published Thursday Dec 28, 2017 by Brittany Raine

Sip & Serve: Our No. 1 Hot Cocoa Recipes

Drink
Recipes
Nutrition

Winter is here! And that usually means it's prime time to cozy up to a toasty mug of hot cocoa, no matter where you are. If an old store-bought packet isn't doing the trick, we've got three fast and easy Instagram-worthy recipes (and tips) that anyone will love—dairy lovers and non-dairy lovers alike! Just picture a smooth, not-too-sweet, satisfyingly delicious mug of pure homemade bliss. Ready. Set. Stir!

5-Minute Vegan Hot Cocoa

4 easy steps to hot cocoa perfection

INGREDIENTS

-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 1/2 tablespoon dairy-free semisweet chocolate (chips or bar, chopped)
-Sweetener of choice (suggestion: 1 tablespoon raw sugar or 1/2 packet powdered stevia)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add almond milk to a large mug and microwave for 1 minute, or heat in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Once the milk is warm, add cocoa powder, chocolate and sweetener and whisk to combine.
3. Put back in the microwave or continue cooking on stovetop until completely combined and has reached your preferred temperature.
4. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.

Source: The Minimalist Baker


Matcha White Hot Cocoa

Everyone will be green with envy

INGREDIENTS

-1/4 cup white chocolate wafers
-2 scoops of Panatea matcha or 1 packet of Panatea's new instant matcha
-8 to 10 ounces almond milk or milk of your choice
-Whipped cream and/or shredded coconut (for toppings)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Melt white chocolate wafers in a double boiler over the stove and pour almond milk on top.
2. Whisk mixture together until chocolate melts completely in almond milk.
3. Add matcha and continue gently heating the mixture in double boiler. (Be sure to add matcha after you melt white chocolate and milk mixture so you don't overheat and burn matcha.)
4. Top with whipped cream and shredded coconut flakes.

Source: Fitness Magazine


Simple Hot Cocoa For One

But, you’ll want to make it for more

INGREDIENTS

-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
-Pinch of salt
-1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved.
2. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot.
3. Stir in the vanilla and serve.

Source: Epicurious


Kiki's Cocoa

A sweet and savory concoction from MINDBODY’s resident “chef”

INGREDIENTS

-1 cup milk of your choice
-1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-Pinch of cinnamon
-Honey

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Bring milk to a boil in a saucepan. Let simmer.
2. Slowly stir in cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, one at a time.
3. Add honey (to desired taste) while continuing to stir over low heat until the honey is mixed in and the cocoa is smooth.
4. Top with whipped cream (and sprinkle with additional cinnamon or ground cayenne pepper to compliment the sweetness of the honey and cocoa!).

Are your taste buds now craving a cup of cocoa? If so, try out one of these easy tips to make any mug extra special:

- Add a drop or two of peppermint extract for guilt-free minty flavoring
- Top your cocoa with homemade whipped cream or dairy-free whipped coconut cream
- Not ready to give up pumpkin spice everything? Sprinkle your cocoa with this classic blend!

Brittany Raine MINDBODY
Written by
Brittany Raine
Consumer Content Program Manager
About the author
A free-spirited farmgirl from New York, Brittany traded her job as a journalist and newspaper editor for the San Diego sunshine. Brittany now leads the curation of all creative content. There are rumors she was Middle Earth's warrior elven queen in a past life.
Yoga sleep tips MINDBODY
Wellness
Published Wednesday Sep 18, 2019 by Amber Scriven

4 Yoga Poses for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga
Personal Growth
Expert Advice

We’ve all had sleepless nights. It’s the worst! Watching the wee hours of morning tick away. Wishing we could slip into a restful sleep before our alarm goes off . The frustrating feeling of knowing exactly how many minutes there are before you need to be up. Then, struggling through a heavy relentless morning filled with self-medicating coffee runs, and a tired, snappy version of yourself dragging through the day. 

There’s no one miracle cure for insomnia because there are so many reasons for not being able to sleep. Many people, however, find relief by curbing stress right before bed. One way to do that is with a few choice yoga stretches that mellow you out by encouraging your Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) to ignite your bodies “rest and digest” cycles. This is the opposite of the “fight or flight” system that helps you race away from oncoming tigers, or other more urban “dangers.”  

Here are a few shapes that calm the nervous system and decrease adrenaline in the body to help you rest and ultimately sleep better. 
 

Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

1
Legs-Up-the-Wall

This is a super simple way to relax right before bed, or even from the comfort of your bed. Pushing your legs up the wall helps move the lymph and blood out of your feet using gravity, this, in turn, means your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump it back up. Thus, things get a little quieter in your cardiovascular system helping to soothe your body into a sense of softness.

Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

2
Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

This shape uses the same idea as Legs-Up-the-Wall. It calms by inverting your hips above your heart, but it also stretches your neck and chest open for tension relief. The muscles can open and let go of anything they are holding onto. It also opens your lungs and diaphragm, which allows you to breathe more deeply, and that oxygen is a calmant.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

3
Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Folding forward in Child’s Pose works a little differently. It still opens the lungs (from the upper back), but it requires you to turn inwards. You could bring your hands by your sides for a more restorative version of the shape, and resting your head to one side or the other is often more comfortable. Alternatively, try resting your forehead on a block or the floor, and use that surface to massage the space between your eyebrows. This triggers an acupressure point between your eyebrows that stimulates the pineal gland to encourage a melatonin response. Melatonin is the hormone our bodies produce when it gets dark that tells us to go to sleep!

Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

4
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Use a couple pillows for this one! Pop one under your knees, one under your head or upper back, along your spine, and under your hands.Then, get ready to  fall asleep there. Let everything get heavy and drippy and start to think about that weighted sensation in your feet, slowly bring your attention up your body making each body part heavier and heavier as you go. This is a version of Yoga Nidra Meditation and it is extremely relaxing—but you must go slowly. 


So, there you have it! A few ideas from yoga, science, and acupressure to help you get some much-deserved ZZZ’s. 
 

Amber Scriven Acupuncturist
Written by
Amber Scriven
Acupuncturist | Yoga Teacher
About the author
A busy acupuncturist, yoga teacher and trainer, Amber has actively worked in the wellness industry for over 10 years. For her, yoga is a form of health care that she uses alongside acupuncture in the form of retreats, injury rehabilitation, and pain relief. Amber is renowned for building emotional strength while cultivating physical health.