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Volume 26 Issue 4
March/April 2021

Seed Shortages and Seed Saving

The TWO Pandemics That Have Collided!

What Does It Take to Grow Quinoa?

I replaced coffee, improved my mood, and fell in love with cacao

How Does Reiki Healing Help Us Treat Mental Health Concerns?

What Do Weight Loss, Detoxing, and the Immune System Have in Common?

Hair Loss and Body Health


I replaced coffee, improved my mood, and fell in love with cacao
by Albert Surjik
Albert Surjik

Every morning, before the sun is up, I drink cacao. It smells so good when I mix in spices and honey. My fiance always smiles when I pass her a frothy cup before we have to leave for work. My mood improves immediately. There’s more than that to cacao, though. It’s a gateway to a kinder, more grounded way of life. I would like to answer some common questions: What is cacao, and why are so many people using it to replace coffee? Why does it feel so good to drink? Where does it come from?

The powerful cacao that I am in relationship with originates in Guatemala. Mayans have revered the cacao tree for centuries, and used it in ceremony for healing and sacrament. In the modern day, Mayan farmers have reclaimed their traditions by cultivating this plant in the old way. They say the cacao offers itself to us to heal us, and I’m convinced that’s true. We can take a moment and enjoy a vibration of gratitude and stillness, which emanate from this plant.

Cacao offers a fantastic alternative to coffee. When I encountered cacao for the first time, I had no intention of quitting my coffee habit. After a week, I realized…I haven’t had coffee in days, and I felt fantastic!

Cacao contains a compound known as theobromine. This is similar to caffeine, and named for the scientific name of the cacao tree, “Theobroma,” or food of the gods. It is just as stimulating but feels gentler, lasts longer, and is altogether more enjoyable.

Cacao also offers a multitude of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, it is the most flavonoid-rich food in existence!

Unlike cacao nibs, Holy Wow Cacao has the natural cacao butter left in. This means it’s even denser in nutrients, and you can feel the difference! The healthy fat of the cacao butter adds to the richness and smooth mouth-feel when you prepare it as a beverage.

The cacao industry is fraught with abuse and exploitation. Big chocolate companies like Cadbury pay producers very little. In some cases, they are not paid at all.

Holy Wow Cacao is farmer-owned, and workers get a fair deal every step of the way. It comes direct from the point of origin in Guatemala to me in Regina.

A women’s co-op on the shores of lake Atitlan processes the cacao, which is grown by smallholding farmers throughout Guatemala, including some which are 100% women owned and operated. Also, 10% of all profits go to fund local alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Holy Wow Cacao, as a company, represents social enterprise and environmental stewardship.

I drink cacao every day in my private ceremony of stillness and gratitude. It provides me an opportunity to remember warmth and meaning. This is the strangest winter anyone can remember. I am given hope when I remember where this rich, earth-coloured medicine comes from. There are people around the world working hard to do business and live life in a good way. It’s possible if we put our hearts and minds to it.

Albert Surjik lives in his hometown of Regina, SK, with his fiance, two stepdaughters, and Hazel the dog. He is co-owner and manager of Float Now YQR and enjoys the outdoors, movement arts, meditation, clowning, and technology. You can reach Albert to learn more about Holy Wow Cacao or place an order at (306) 807-0117, or by email at albert@surjik.ca. Pickup is free in Regina and Saskatoon, and we can arrange delivery!


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