Wow! I cannot believe Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner. If you're like most people and think that Southern California is warm and sunny, I have some news for you:

I actually had to wear my ski jacket, leg warmers and scarf on my walk last night!

One of my favorite things about this time of year are all the wonderful treats that come with it. The stores are filled with displays of delectable platters, friends share special calorie-laden drinks and we work our way through one party to the next, until we roll into 2017 a little heavier and with a lot less energy.

In fact, many of my clients often mention that they feel challenged by all the goodies being thrown their way.

Since my life's work is about health and well being, you can count on me to bring you a fun twist on the standard traditions. 

In this Rise Up Well, I want to share with you an alternative to the processed, sugary, not-so-good for you beverages that are in abundance around this time of year. 

"If you eat fresh foods that have a living energy, the food returns that living energy." - Simon Brown

Try these super-food creations to not only warm your body, but your heart and soul as well. 

Recipe: Warm Coconut Cacao
A traditional cocoa with a hint of creamy coconut flavor.

½ Tbsp Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
½ tsp Vanilla
¼ tsp ground Cinnamon
8 oz unsweetened Coconut Milk
to taste Stevia
Snoopy Christmas Mug (optional)

Pour coconut milk in a small pot and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in remaining ingredients until cacao is fully blended and the mixture looks creamy. Drink warm and enjoy!
Yield: 1 Cup
Recipe: Spicier Cocoa
Sit somewhere satisfactory, savor and sip!


½ Cup unsweetened Coconut Milk (add splash more for thinner consistency)
2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
1 tsp Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs
1 Tbsp lightly sweetened Cocoa
dash of Black Pepper
dash of Cayenne Pepper
dash of Cinnamon

Pour all of the above ingredients into a small saucepan and stir over low heat for approximately 5-6 minutes until it becomes a thick-almost pudding like consistency. If you have a frother, froth it into foamy frothy fun! Sprinkle with cacao nibs.

Yield: About 1 Cup

Recipe: Lucuma Eggnog
Who doesn’t love a rich mug of eggnog to get into the holiday spirit? Here, lucuma adds a special sweet and malty flavor to the classic drink, and a notoriously unhealthy ingredient set is replaced with smart substitutions like creamy cashews and coconut sugar.


1¼ Cups Navitas Naturals Cashews
⅓ Cup Medjool Dates, pits removed (about 5-6 large)
4 Cups filtered Water
3 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Coconut Sugar
¼ Cup Navitas Naturals Lucuma Powder
1 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Chia Powder
1Tbsp Vanilla extract
1½ tsp Nutmeg powder, plus extra for garnish
⅛ tsp Sea Salt
¼ Cup Brandy
¼ Cup Rum


Soak the cashews in water for 2 hours to soften, then drain and rinse. Soak the dates in the 4 cups of filtered water for 10 minutes to soften, reserving the date soak water.

In a blender (preferably a high speed model), combine the soaked cashews, dates, date soak water, coconut sugar, lucuma powder, chia powder, vanilla extract, nutmeg and sea salt. Blend very well until completely smooth. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes to allow the chia seed to thicken slightly.

Yield: 12 ½ Cups

Recipe: Warm Detox Juice

Lightly heating this juice on the stove creates a spicy, powerful drink that is both warming and cleansing.


4 Apples, cored
2–3 stalks Celery
2–3 large Kale leaves
1 handful fresh Parsley
1–2 inches fresh Ginger Root
½ Lemon, juiced
½ tsp Navitas Naturals Wheatgrass Powder
small pinch Cayenne Powder (optional)
Liquid Stevia, to taste (optional)


Juice the apples, celery, kale, parsley, and ginger.

Pour the juice in a small saucepan and heat on low. Whisk in the lemon, wheatgrass, and cayenne until combined. Heat the juice until just warm to the touch – do not overheat or boil the juice to avoid nutrient and color loss. Remove from heat, taste, and add stevia to boost the sweetness and flavor if desired. Enjoy warm.

Chef's Notes

Juice may be made in large batches ahead of time and warmed as needed. Increase or decrease ingredients to balance flavor and compensate for produce variances in flavor.

Yield: 2 ½ cups

Recipe: Maqui Hot Chocolate
This creamy and decadent drinking chocolate is dripping with seduction. Its subtly sweet, smokey, and tart flavor profile, as well as its velvety-frothy finish are down right pleasurable.


2 Cups Unsweetened Plant Milk (such as Almond, Hemp, Rice, or Hazelnut)
2 tsp Navitas Naturals Maqui Berry Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder
3 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Yacon Syrup
1 tsp Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs (for garnish)

Bring plant milk to a simmer in a 1-quart saucepan.

Add maqui powder, cacao powder, and yacon syrup to milk, and whisk to blend thoroughly. If you have an electric hand whisk, feel free to use it to achieve a more frothy consistency.

Pour into your favorite mug, dust with maqui powder, and sprinkle with cacao nibs.

Yield: 2 9oz Cups

With Love and Hope,