If you were to describe yourself in 4 words, what would they be?
Genuine, introverted, resilient and creative
What are your superpowers?
Super powers include, great taste buds a keen sense of smell and a wild imagination.
Describe your perfect day?
A perfect day, not having any plans at all, though the time and resources to do what ever I can imagine with the people I love. I would like to wake up by the ocean, on the Italian coast, in a modest yet comfortable cottage with a group of my best friends and family.
We would then make a delicious feast together, go swimming, hiking and lots of laughing. After this do a pottery class, listen to some local music, eat some more fresh delacacies.
In the evening we would have a dinner party and then go out to see a movie or some music and dance. Finished by some night swimming and great conversations, before a night of sweet dreams.
You make chocolate for a living, how did that evolve?
Naturopath Emica Penklis from Loco Love Chocolate
Very unexpectedly, I was working as a fashion model and naturopath, with a great interest in healthy alternatives to the sugar/gluten laden treats available. Obviously for health reasons and because looking a certain way was a huge part of my job as a model.
I had traveled the world sampling any ‘healthy’ treats I could get my hands on, and was always experimenting at home.
It wasn’t until a customer at the herbal dispensary i was working , saw something in me I wasn’t aware of yet, he bought me a food processor and every kind of nut, dried fruit, cacao etc. you could think of. I came up with a variety of balls, cakes and chocolates.
The best one was the chocolate covered coconut truffle, I approached a couple of stores, the folk of Sydney enjoyed my creations and the rest you can say is history. Lots of word of mouth and lots of synchronicity.
Why is chocolate so good for us?
All chocolate, isn’t created equal.
What is good for us is organic raw cacao, which is not only good for our health, it is also good for our moods and souls.
It can improve your memory, boost your mood, reduce heart disease, improve circulation, shed fat, boost immunity and give you energy. The reason I like it so much is more of a controversial subject, and an individual belief.
Interesting none the less, Shamans use cacao in their ceremonies, to open the heart and assist with traveling to different dimensions.
Science has discovered mood enhancing compounds in cacao such as PEA and anandamide. These compounds responsible for its feel good and blissful effects.
What type of chocolate should we avoid?
Cocoa and cacao are very different substances, so look for brands with cacao as the main ingredient. Also brands without cane sugar, dairy and other additives.
You will not get the benefits explain above with a regular chocolate bar.
Regular cocoa powder has been heated (above 45 degrees) and chemically processed, which as a result loses the majority of flavanols and antioxidants.
Raw chocolate maintains these antioxidants such as resveratrol and epicatechin, which protect the cells from free radical damage.
There is research showing that the gut affects mood. Can you please explain how and why?
The latest research shows the digestive tract and the central nervous system maintain a complex two line of communication called the Gut Brain Axis.
This isn’t that easy to explain how it works exactly, though basically your gut is second brain and your microbiome plays a huge role not only in your mood but your health in general.
There are studies done on mice that show transplanting microbes from ‘depressed’ mice, into the digestive tract of mice that initially appear social and lively cause the healthy mice to take on the characteristics of the ‘depressed’ mice.
There is much research around this subject though there is no solid data that can pinpoint the exact microbe that is responsible for depression/anxiety.
What other steps can we take to help enhance our moods?
I can speak for what works for me personally, and what I have found to work for others. There are many things that can enhance moods though it comes down to the individual.
There is usually a message found within the low moods, that we need to listen to.
Obviously, an organic whole food diet, exercise, a good nights sleep, a fulfilling job, a great network of supportive friends, meditation, a purpose in life etc. are crucial when it comes to a fulfilling life.
Though I also know many people try these things and they don’t always work, it can be a deeper issue that needs to be healed or expressed. The best way to improve you mood is to be grateful no matter what life throws your way, cause even in the depths of the darkest hour there is always something to be learned.
Sounds tough and stoic though it really helps shift the low moods for me personally.
What are some quick and easy things we can each to everyday to help our moods?
- be grateful
- Meditate on love
- think about the bigger picture and the part you play in co creating the world
- eat a diet low in sugar, refined foods, gluten
- reduce alcohol consumption
- wake up early
- call our loved ones, know we aren’t alone
- Eat a variety Organic foods prepared with care
- supplementation depending on the individual case, things that can be helpful Zinc, Probiotics, omega 3, st johns wort, coming herbs such as valerian, kava and zizyphus
- dance and smile
- take time out for self care
- Take a stool test, to check your gut flora, as mentioned previously gut health plays a huge part in a healthy mood so ensuring your microbes are balanced is vital.
- Be present, be in awe of all that surrounds you, look at nature and try and stay upset. It is so beautiful and provides everything for you with out asking anything in return.
And what are some of the benefits that people can expect when they eat your Loco Love Chocolate Magic?
Loco Love has so many added superfoods within each bar, including matcha which is a potent anti oxidant and great for concentration. Also reishi and chaga medicinal mushrooms both potent tonic herbs that regulate the immune system and nervous system.
Loco Love is also created with raw cacao and low GI coconut blossom nectar so there is no sugar spikes.
We use therapeutic grade essential oils which have a plethora of benefits.
I haven’t mention even half of the herbs and superfoods in our chocolates there is many more, some of which include turmeric, bee pollen, mucuna, pearl, goji, mesquite, lucuma, ginger to mention a few.
Our intention with Loco Love is for the customer to take time out to be present and feel the flow of universal love flow through them, with the added benefits of the bliss compounds in the cacao to boost the experience.