Nicobella Lifestyle Blog

Ingredient Spotlight: Lavender! Posted on 18 Oct 18:14 , 0 comments

The versatile flower with all the plant based power, Lavender can do it all. From natural oils to beautiful bouquets, lavender has shown that it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also beneficial for our health! 

 Lavender oil has both antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory capabilities as a topical ointment. Studies show that lavender’s aroma is quite useful in treating mental ailments such as anxiety and depression as well as having calming effects to help with insomnia.  

 In addition to oils, lavender is also a common component of tea and used as a cooking ingredient in its flower form, with benefits relating to digestive health. Lavender has been proven to relieve vomiting, nausea, and even gas pains related to poor digestion.

 If the healing powers of lavender haven’t intrigued you enough, wait until you hear the nutrition facts! The tiny purple flowers pack many key nutrients that we need daily. Vitamin A and calcium can be found in small, but beneficial amounts, relating to eye, skin, and bone health. One serving of lavender (about 100 g) also contains an impressive amount of your daily recommended iron intake, needed for generations of hemoglobin and myoglobin for proper oxygen and nutrient transport in the blood.

 If you are still not wowed by the abilities of this beautiful flower, try lavender paired with mint and dark chocolate in our Lavender Mint Dark Chocolate Truffle. One bite and you will most definitely be a fan of this plant based wonder!

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie is a nutrition & wellness consultant in the greater Atlanta area, focusing on plant based eating and improving health across the stages of life. She believes that wellness & nutrition go hand in hand to maintain and improve health, and loves to work with those adapting to a plant based lifestyle, whether it be individuals or families. 


Happy National Chocolate Milk Day! Posted on 27 Sep 20:38 , 0 comments

Think you have to sit out of all the festivities today? Think again! Plant based chocolate milk is delicious AND nutritious! Our hot cocoa mix blends perfectly when mixed with your favorite plant based milk to give you that rich chocolate-y you are craving! 

Did you know that cacao powder is packed with nutrients? It may be hard to believe that the famous dessert drink, chocolate milk,  can be good for you but it's true! As we have talked about before, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, but cocoa powder, being less processed, is even more beneficial for your health. Cacao powder contains substantial amounts of iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc; all of which are essential for healthy bones, red blood cell development and immune system function. The flavonoids in cocoa function to help with blood circulation throughout the body, as well as the health of blood vessels by decreasing inflammation and blood pressure.

If you are looking for flavorful twist on the typical chocolate milk, give this ancient Mayan recipe a try! Aka: the OG of chocolate milk with all the health benefits!

What you need

  • ½ cup roasted cacao nibs
  • 2 medium sized chilis
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Seeds from one vanilla pod
  • Coconut sugar or agave if desired
  • 4-6 cups of water

What to do

  • Grind all of your ingredients in a blender.
  • Poor into a small pot and heat over your stove and heat until warm, but not boiling.
  • Add in sweetener if desired.

Ancient Mayan Hot Cocoa Using nicobella hot cocoa mix

What you need

  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 4 Tbsp nicobella hot cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extra
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

What to do

  • Warm the milk on the stovetop just until hot but not boiling.
  • Add the vanilla and stir.
  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • With a wisk blend well.
  • Top with additional cocoa powder.
  • Sip and enjoy. 

We hope you have a wonderful & decadent National Chocolate Milk Day! 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Ingredient Spotlight: Green Tea Posted on 20 Sep 22:01 , 0 comments

Want to know why green tea and dark chocolate are a ‘matcha’ made in heaven? The antioxidant content of course! Not to mention the perfectly paired flavor. Both of these reasons are why we created the Ginger Green Tea Truffle!

 

But why all the talk about antioxidants? They are nature’s top defense mechanism, only found in plants. Antioxidants protect your cells and help repair already damaged cells from free radicals that you may have consumed from food or in your environment. All the cells of the body are susceptible to free radical damage, but with a plant based diet rich in antioxidants and fiber, you are one step ahead of the game!


The high quality, and extremely high percentage of antioxidants per serving found in green tea are called catechins. Catechins, like other antioxidants help target damage done to blood vessels, like that seen with heart disease and hypertension, and help protect against cancer. Green tea is also known for it purifying benefits for skin as well as an aid for blood sugar control for those suffering from diabetes. And to top it all off, studies have shown potential benefits for memory and brain health from green as well!


To reap all of these plant based benefits, it is recommended to drink at least 2 cups of green tea on most days. While green tea comes in many forms from powders, to cold bottles tea, to capsules, the best form with the highest content of antioxidants comes from the tea you brew yourself. But you can never go wrong with having a little green tea with your antioxidant rich dark chocolate right? Experience the benefits & flavor with a box of our Ginger Green Tea Truffles today!

 

 

 

Addie Dulaney Majnaric, RDN graduate of West Virginia University, where she received her dual Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition and Foods and minor in Strength & Conditioning. Addie recently finished her supervised practice rotations, and passed her licensure exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She is very excited to begin helping people reach their happiest and healthiest selves through a vegan diet!


Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut! Posted on 09 Aug 18:18 , 0 comments

 

Coconut has gotten a lot of publicity lately, whether it be from its oil form or water. This tropical food can be classified as a fruit, a nut, and a seed. Coconut is packed with options, as it can be eaten in various ways.   

    Coconut meat can be eaten raw or dried, and is a great source of dietary fiber, protein, fats, and other micronutrients.

Coconut water is excellent for hydration as its rich in potassium and other electrolytes. The water also contains beneficial antioxidants, enzymes, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, manganese and zinc. And to top it all off, coconut water is a perfect low calorie and low sugar beverage!

And last but not least, is the controversial coconut oil. Coconut oil went from being highly promoted to now demonized for its saturated fat content. So what is really the truth?  Coconut oil does contain a high percentage of saturated fats. But unlike many saturated fats from animals, coconut oil has mostly medium-chain fatty acids, which have the potential to raise your good cholesterol, otherwise known as your HDL. But remember, there is still saturated fat, which when eaten in excess can increase your bad cholesterol, your LDL. So like most foods, moderation is key! Another positive aspect of coconut oil is that it is considered a stable oil, which means it is a good fat to cook with because it can be heated to high temperatures without forming harmful by-products like animal fats and some vegetable oils can. Try to remember that fats are not bad, and in fact needed for absorption of fat soluble vitamins. It is the amount that you are eating and the kind that can be detrimental to your health.

    To sum up the benefits, when you eat coconut you are getting:

  •      Hydration
  •      Healthy fats needed for vitamin and mineral digestion &                    absorption
  •      Benefits for skin, hair, and nails
  •      Whole food, plant-based energy
  •      HDL improvement potential when eaten in moderation

    And not to mention…. We LOVE to use coconut in its various forms in our truffles, munches, and power bites!! Grab some today and enjoy yet another healing, plant-based ingredient!

 

 

 

 

 


Eat Dark Chocolate, Lower Blood Pressure Posted on 02 Feb 14:47 , 0 comments

Yep, it's true. Eating dark chocolate can increase circulation and lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate has even been studied during pregnancy, showing that expecting women who ate dark chocolate during pregnancy had a lower incidence of high blood pressure, which equates to a healthier pregnancy and fetal outcome.

(Note: 1 oz a day is great! One chocolate bar a day may not be. Women in their third trimester, check with your doctor before consuming dark chocolate daily.)

What is in dark chocolate that helps to lower blood pressure? Polyphenols are naturally found plant nutrients in cacao (same healthy nutrients found in red wine and green tea) that offer many health benefits, and one of them is to help with blood pressure. Polyphenols are the main source of antioxidants in cacao. Crazy fact: there are more than 8000 phenolic compounds in cacao! The class of polyphenols that are responsible for increasing circulation and lowering blood pressure are catechins and epicatechins. These substances decrease blood pressure by helping to produce nitric oxide within our body. Nitric oxide allows the blood vessels to relax and dilate, and oxygen flow to increase. It also helps to decrease clotting and reduce inflammation.

It's important to choose dark chocolate because the milk in milk chocolate binds with the polyphenols making them unavailable for their healing affects. It's also important to choose organic as organic cacao has been shown to be higher in polyphenols than non-organic varieties. Sorry guys, that doesn't mean more chocolate is better. It's still recommended that you stick with 1-1.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day. But enjoy that little bit of dark every day!

 


Take $5, $10 or $20 Off Your Purchase! (Through Monday, November 28) Posted on 25 Nov 11:16 , 0 comments

We hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and friends. Now it's time to start the holiday shopping! Today through Monday, November 28, receive $5, $10 or $20 off your chocolate purchase using the discount codes below. Discount codes end Monday, November 28 11pm ET.


NEW! Nicobella Gift Boxes are great for foodies, health enthusiasts, vegans, gluten free and paleo followers and, of course, dark chocolate lovers. Choose from one of the gift boxes below. 

Nicobella Chocolate Lovers Gift Box


For the ultimate chocolate lover who will appreciate the unique chocolate flavors! Each box includes a 6-piece variety box of truffles (blueberry almond, ginger green tea, pumpkin chai, pure cocoa bliss, walnut flaxseed, sunflower butter banana), 6-piece box of cinnamon turmeric spice and a 4-piece box of peanut butter squares.

Chocolate Munch Gift Box

Our munch gift box is great for vegans, gluten free followers or nut and chocolate lovers. Gift box includes one of each: coconut munchmaple nut munchomega munchpeppermint munchmocha munch 

Plant-Powered Protein Snack Box

Our protein packed snack box is great for paleo enthusiast, the generous host or health-conscious snackers. Gift box includes one of each: coconut munchmaple nut munchomega munchchocolate power bitespumpkin pecan power bites, peanut butter and jelly power bites

Ps. Don't forget to treat yourself as well. 

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Nicobella Sunday Scoop! Posted on 07 Mar 10:06 , 0 comments

Here is what we've been reading over the past week! News in plant-based nutrition, animal welfare, the environment, yoga and inspiration...

Plant-Based Nutrition

Feeling Down? Nibble on this Superfood

Is the GMO Labeling Battle Almost Over?

Nosh on this: Gluten-free shopping and restaurant update - Atlanta

Is Africa’s Ancient Baobab Tree Growing the Next Superfood?

The World’s Poorest Cities Can’t Cope With Climate Change

Environment

Ikea to use packaging made from mushrooms that will decompose in a garden within weeks

Animal Welfare

Jon and Tracey Stewart Roll Out the 'Green' Carpet to Welcome Rescued Goats and Sheep to Their Farm (VIDEO)

Two Billion People Could Have More to Eat Thanks to Bees

Yoga

The Scoop | 4 Yoga Poses for Healthy, Beautiful Skin | Abe's Market

Peaceful Practice: How Yoga Improves Mood

6 Yoga Poses That Help Reduce Anxiety

4 Yoga Poses To Stretch Your Hip Flexors

Inspiration

Jane Goodall Captures our Hearts in a Powerful 5 Minutes (video)

Using Meditation to Explore the Universe Within

The Brain Chemicals That Make You Happy (And How To Trigger Them)

10 Books Guaranteed To Make You Feel Beautiful From The Inside Out

 

 


Cocoa Dusted Three Bean Chili With Spinach Posted on 19 Feb 11:59 , 0 comments

This delicious dish is perfect for a chilly weekend when you want to snuggle up on the couch inside and watch a good movie. The Mayan inspired ancho chili and cocoa powder creates a unique flavor unlike any other three bean chili you've tried. Plus it's super simple to make (simple yet healthy is right up our alley). Let us know what you think!

Ingredients 

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large orange pepper, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14oz can black beans
1 14oz can red kidney beans
3 Tbsp cumin powder
3 Tbsp ancho chili powder
1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (nicobella hot cocoa mix works!)
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt (can add more at the end if desired, but the spices really give it a kick!)
1 14 oz can vegan refried beans

 

Over medium heat, warm the olive oil in a soup pot and add the onion, peppers, and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Deglaze the pan with the veggie broth. Add tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans and stir. 

Add the cumin, ancho chili powder, cocoa powder, cayenne, paprika, sea salt and stir well. 

Finally, add the refried beans to thicken the soup and the spinach until the leaves soften.

Additional topping suggestions: guacamole or sliced avocado, chives, nutritional yeast, or another sprinkle of cocoa powder. 

Enjoy warm with some sprouted tortilla chips. :)

 

 

 


Nicobella Sunday Scoop Posted on 14 Feb 21:30 , 0 comments

Happy Valentine's Day! Here is what we are reading this week in plant-based nutrition, animal welfare, yoga, and inspiration. 

Plant-Based Nutrition

Vegan In-N-Out Burger Knockoff is Making Dreams Come True

The World's Easiest Cookie (Only Four Ingredients!)

21 Three Ingredient Vegan Desserts That are as Easy as They are Delicious

Vegan Butter Chicken!

10 Highly Inflammatory Foods You Need to Know About

Roasted Winter Vegetable Bowl

Animal Welfare

Why is This Polar Bear Eating Plastic?

Dog Who Turned to Stone Never Knew She Could Be Loved So Much

Yoga

If You Only Do 5 Poses Do These

Inspiration

8 Inspirational Books to Help You Embrace Self Love 

11 Wise Quotes That Will Change the Way You Think Forever

8 Ways to Fight Seasonal Effective Disorder

What My Mindfulness Practice Looks Like: Gabrielle Bernstein


Last Minute Valentine's Gifts! Posted on 12 Feb 16:04 , 0 comments

Atlanta friends, we've got two **sweet** deals for you if you need a last minute Valentine's Day gift. Tomorrow we will be at two fun locations sampling and selling nicobella chocolates. What's more, all of our products will be discounted from our website prices! Please see details below. 

Date: Saturday, February 13th
Time: 1pm-5pm
Place: West Elm, Ponce City Market
Chocolates: munch, truffles,nicobella sampler, 4-piece love boxes (pictured below), peanut butter squares, and hot cocoa mix

 

Date: February 13th
Time: 2pm-6pm
Where: Made Again, Inman Park
Chocolates: munchtruffles
nicobella sampler, 4-piece love boxes, peanut butter squares, and hot cocoa mix