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Host Your Own Chocolate Meditation

Chocolate Alchemy; healthy and indulgent chocolate experiences with Sweet Virtues

Chocolate meditation might sound completely bonkers but in fact, it’s delicious AND it’s good for you. And just to be clear – we’re not talking about any old chocolates here – we’re talking about Sweet Virtues’ groundbreaking organic superfood chocolate truffles. So get your friends round, because here is Toast’s guide to hosting your very own chocolate meditation at home.



Countless times have I inhaled a box of chocolates in front of the television without even realising that I had finished the last one, leaving me disappointed, dissatisfied and almost definitely wanting more. 

Health conscious lifestyle brand Sweet Virtues are here to put an end to all with their unique and very enjoyable approach to tasting their very special superfood chocolate truffles mindfully – aiming to heighten your senses, making the truffles smell and taste even more sensational. Plus, the meditation aspect helps you to savour the moment, and as each chocolate comes with a different breathing exercise, the experience can help you to feel energized, balanced or relaxed.

Sweet Virtues specliaise in what they call ‘Chocolate Alchemy’; a combination of incredible ingredients that result in products that are both healthy and indulgent. Oh, and completely delicious. 

‘We do not focus on what is ‘taken out’ but the special ingredients that are ‘added in’ and the nutrients they boast’ explains Mary from Sweet Virtues.

‘We believe that eating healthily should not about self-denial or less enjoyment when it comes to food, but exactly the opposite!’

I couldn’t agree more. Sweet Virtues produce three varieties of their infamous chocolate truffles; Chia Seeds and Lime (Energise), Baobab ad Vanilla (Balance) and Maqui Berry (Detox). They are made from entirely organic ingredients, they are free from dairy, cane and refine sugar and gluten and they contain no artificial additives or preservatives whatsoever. Not only are these truffles indulgently delicious, they are also packed full of nutritious ingredients. So basically, they are good for you (really!).

Sweet Virtues Collection

‘Being free from refined and cane sugar, dairy and gluten our truffles are by far the healthier alternative. Being packed with superfoods like almonds for protein and fibre mean they are providing health benefits.  So yes even if one could argue that they do contain natural sugars (but very low on the GI Scale) we would say our truffles are healthy!’ explains Mary.

Each truffle boasts at least 5 different superfoods including maca, ginseng, lucuma and carob, which are then covered in our delicious chocolate and dusted in raw cacao. The flavours were carefully selected for taste and nutrition but also so that there is a familiarity as well as introducing something new; as a slow energy release food with no taste, chia seeds work perfectly with the zingy Lime. Likewise the creamy vanilla with the baobab, which has as many antioxidants as goji berries, and more calcium than milk! Then the fruity Maqui Berry, which boasts the highest rated berry antioxidant on the planet. The base ingredients like maca, lacuma and olive oil create the creamy texture that would be missing without having dairy, almond and sesame give the bite and provide the fibre, protein and magnesium, while the carob and coconut nectar blossom provide the sweetness. Yes, we may have popped in some ginseng for good measure, but why not when it boasts energy-giving properties to combat stress and improve mood!’

Chai And Lime Sweet Virtues

As well as being passionate about their ingredients and their health benefits, Sweet Virtues also takes a holistic approach to its products, hence their brilliant concept of chocolate mediation.

We believe that to optimise your self is to find the balance of; mind and relaxation, food and nutrition, and exercise and fitness. This is known as the Triangle of Health’. Chocolate is the gift of the Gods, so the Aztecs believed, and is known to stimulate the senses releasing feelings of pleasure. Mindfulness allows us to focus on the now, and experience through all of our senses, so that we can optimise the pleasure the chocolate is giving us and feel better within ourselves’

And all I can say is; it works. Doing a chocolate meditation myself I found that the incredible flavours quite literally popped in my mouth, the luxurious creaminess satisfied my chocolate truffle urges and I felt relaxed, refreshed and generally pretty fabulous afterwards. Also - lets be honest - truffles this special should be savoured. Hosting your own chocolate meditation is a fun, unique and almost therapeutic activity to do with a group of friends; the perfect treat for a hen or baby shower, or an indulgent and uplifting exercise whenever required!

Here is TOAST and Sweet Virtues’ guide to hosting the ultimate chocolate meditation at home.

What You'll Need

Setting the scene

‘Prepare a space to sit comfortably in a warm and friendly environment, and put on some quiet or low level tranquil music to drown out any day to day sounds’ suggests Mary.

Have a jug of water and some glasses on the table, in case your guests would like to cleanse their palates in between flavours, but remember that this is all about engaging your senses to taste the truffles, so you don’t want to distract them by burning scented candles or drinking alcohol (you can do that afterwards).

Each guest will need one truffle of each of Sweet Virtue’s delectable flavours; at the table place the 3 truffles in front of each guest working from left to right.

  • Left - Maqui Berry
  • Middle - Baobab ad Vanilla
  • Right - Chia Seeds and Lime    

The meditation

‘For chocolate mediations we use breathing techniques to keep you in the moment, calm the mind and body and heighten the senses so that the pleasure of chocolate can be enjoyed’

There are 3 individual breathing exercises (1 for each truffle), which should be performed before tasting your superfood sweeties. The first chocolate you should start with is the Maqui Berry to help you detox and relax, followed by the Baobab and Vanilla for balance, finshing with the Chia Seeds & Lime Truffle to energise you and your guests.

As host, you should lead your guests through each exercise, but do join in as much as possible (particularly with the tasting!).

Before you start your guests to sit with their backs straight, shoulders relaxed….eyes closed and take several deep breaths to quiet the mind. After a minute you can start guiding your guests through the first breathing exercise. 

1. Maqui Berry 

Relaxing Breath

This breathing exercise is to let out the stresses and strains of the day. Ask your guests to;

  • Place the tip of their tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind the upper front teeth, and keep it there throughout the entire exercise. They will be exhaling through their mouths, around the tongue.
  • Ask them to exhale completely through the mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close the mouth and inhale quietly through the nose to a count of four.
  • Hold breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through the mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for 4 cycles.

Experience the Truffle

In their now relaxed state ask your guests to pick up the Maqui Berry truffle (from the left) and roll it around their palm so they can feel it. Some of the dusting may come off, but that doesn’t matter. Ask them to bring it up to their nose, inhale and smell the chocolate as if they’ve never experienced that smell before. Ask your guests to think about what the smell reminds them of, and how it makes them feel.

Ask them to exhale and inhale again, slowing moving the truffle to their lips and roll the truffle around the lips so that they can feel it and smell it.

Then ask them to take a bite and hold it in their mouth - don’t chew, just let it melt on the tongue and experience the taste.

Next ask them to move it around their mouth with the tongue so that they release all the flavours. Ask them what the flavours remind them of, and how they feel when they taste them.

They can take the rest of the truffle in their mouth and again enjoy the sensations of taste and smell. No chewing yet! Just move it round the mouth.

Finally, encourage them to chew as many times as they can in order to release all the goodness into the body before swallowing.

After each exercise encourage guests to discuss what they tasted and how they felt before, during and after the exercise.

Now it is time to move on to the next truffle.

2. Baobab and Vailla

Equalizing Breath

As the name suggested this exercise is to find balance and equilibrium. Ask your guests to;

  • Close one side of the nose with their index finger and inhale for a count of five though the other nostril.
  • Then release the index finger closing off the other nostril with the thumb, while letting out the breath for five.
  • Inhale for five though the index finger side nostril, close it off releasing the thumb and breath our for five out of the thumb side.
  • This is one cycle. Repeat for four cycles. 

Experience the Truffle

In their now calm state, ask your guests to pick up the middle Baobab and Vanilla Truffle. With their eyes closed explain to them that the Baobab is a vast sturdy tree from Africa with roots that reach far across the plains. It is a safe place in the shade where they can rest. Ask them to imagine their back against the tree and feel the warmth of the sun on their cheeks… 

After a minute or so ask them to start rolling the truffle around in the palm of the hand, and follow the same approach as above to experience the truffle.

And then, move on to the third and final truffle.

3. Maqui

Stimulating Breath  

This exercise should leave you and your guests feeling energized and invigorated, similar to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. Ask your guests to;

  • Inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose, keeping the mouth closed but relaxed.
  • Their breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise!
  • Ask them to do this for 10 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds.
  • Ask them to do the rapid breaths again for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds.
  • Finally, do the rapid breaths for 30 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds.   

Experience the Truffle

In their now energized state ask your guests to pick up the final Chia Seeds and Lime Truffle.

This time follow the same process as with the previous truffles but with eyes open, bringing the sense of sight into the experience. After a minute or so ask them to start rolling the truffle around in the palm of the hand, really focusing on the rich chocolate colour before following the same approach as above to experience the truffle.

Sweet Vertues Edited 1


Sweet Virtues Top Tips For Chocolate Meditation

  • You can try these breathing exercises at any time of day; The Relaxing Breath (for the Maqui Berry) is particularly good to help you fall asleep and the Energise Breath to get you up and the balance to refocus after a tough meeting
  • It is important to note that everyone breathes at different speeds so go at your own pace and don’t worry about those around you.
  • It is also important to not take yourself too seriously but focus on being in the now. Forget what has happened during the day and what is going to happen later on… this is about enjoying chocolate now!

For more information see http://www.sweetvirtues.co.uk

Sweet Virtues truffles are available online from Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, Yumbles, Not On The High Street, My Vitamins, IWOOT as well as their online shop.

They can also be found at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Natural Kitchen and many independent health food and boutique stores. Please see their website for a full list.

 

Posted in Inspire Me

by Sophie Farrah
on on 20 September 2016

  chocolate meditation

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