Are you ready for a chocolate meditation?

I participate in a meditation on chocolate. I don’t mean by that that I lit incense sticks and worked in a milk tray. Sitting cross-legged in a studio in London Fields, I take part in an hour-long ritual dreamed up by Rebecca Moore, movement and meditation teacher, and Lauren Lovatt, founding chef of the Plant Academy, a project that encourages better mental health. by food.

Using different chocolates and a meditative practice, I am guided on a journey through various mood states: relaxing, uplifting, balancing, focusing and soothing. “Chill” combines sips of a cold CBD-infused chocolate hazelnut drink with grounded breathing. To “lift,” I try a trio of roasted cocoa beans that contain the natural stimulants of caffeine and theobromine, followed by abdominal exhalations. Using chocolate, Moore says, not only grounds the meditation, but engages the senses. Cocoa also has soothing qualities, which Lovatt says have a “heart-opening” effect.

Tahini and chocolate truffles © Sara Kiyo Popowa

chocolate can
Chocolate can “anchor” meditation and stimulate the senses © Sara Kiyo Popowa

I don’t meditate regularly. But I eat chocolate regularly. And I am surprised by the happiness I can access. As I ingest a tile of The Well Bean Company cardamom and chocolate CBD in search of “balance”, I am aware of replenishing every shot savoring the chocolate. But the feeling of peace is real. When, in search of “focus”, I eat a truffle made from chocolate, almond milk, tahini and lion’s mane and I am encouraged to open myself to all the sensations/textures/flavors, my mind fills with visions of a ship at sea as the truffle melts into waves of cocoa. The effect is almost trippy.

Lion's Mane Mushroom Pralines

Pralines with lion’s mane mushrooms © Sara Kiyo Popowa

The point of meditation, says Lovatt, is to arm myself with practices (meditative and chocolatey) that I can incorporate into my daily life. Chocolate also contains the cannabinoid anandamide and is rich in magnesium and B vitamins. To reap the greatest nutritional rewards and ensure flavors are complex for meaningful meditation, Lovatt suggests raw or plant-based chocolate with little added ingredients. In short, a Mars bar will not suffice.

Meditation is one of many experiences at The Mind Food Pop-Up that Lovatt is launching in London this fall. The initiative was born out of experience. While Lovatt was studying art in college, her boyfriend was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and later committed suicide. This sparked her own struggles with depression and eating disorders. Inspired by how certain tonic plants and herbs such as maca helped her recover, she transitioned into being a chef and in February released a plant-based cookbook called mental food.

More broadly, Lovatt describes cooking as “moving meditation” where “your mind is away from your thoughts and you are relaxed but focused.” The mental health benefits of cooking are perhaps familiar. But like the benefits of spending quality time with a decent bar of chocolate, they are always worth repeating. laurenlovatt.com

@jesh34

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