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Hi there PureJeevan readers! We wanted to let you know that Jim's new novel CHROO is available on Amazon. It's a crazy adventure involving a billionaire heiress, her Chihuahua BFF ("Chroo") and a host of human and animal characters. Find out more on Amazon! Here are some links:

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Hey everyone!? Just one long weekend left for Wendi and KDcat to (frantically) pack for their cross-country roadtrip. Yep, Monday night I'm dropping them on that midnight train to Portland. Wait until you see the spread of trip-snacks they're taking along. (We took some pictures of the raw foods smorgasbord sent by our generous snack sponsor, Natural Zing).

Today, since it's fun-filled Friday, I thought I'd share a little tale of frustration (although meant in kind of a funny way) relating to my own diet. You may have read my mini-manifesto a few weeks ago about my recent quest for simplicity. Well, Wendi and I have both largely maintained that kind of existence for a while now -- especially when it comes to the breakfast smoothies (pineapples galore!) and lunch salads. I have to admit that my energy seems to be trending upward very nicely!

Yesterday, we went out to shop for some more supplies for Wendi and KDcat's upcoming trek. I honestly felt supercharged the whole time -- just bounding around the Target store (which we jokingly pronounce "tar-zhay") without a care in the world. I even remarked on the way home, "Wow, I'm in such a great mood!" I attributed it all to the simplicity of my diet, thinking that it had really kicked in, so to speak, somehow optimizing the chemistry of my body.

Later, when we returned home, I realized the truth:? I'd been eating cacao earlier that day -- after an extended period (perhaps a month or more) without it. I'd forgotten that I'd picked up a bag of raw cacao treats at our local co-op and had downed most of the bag that afternoon.

In a way, this was a huge let-down for me! Turns out I wasn't naturally elated at all; I was just under the influence of endorphins.Ha! ... But what were the implications? Was the only hope for my ultimate happiness dependent on "drugs" such as cacao? Could I ever find true happiness and contentment via a diet of normal, simple raw foods? Is cacao evil? Is it just a delicious, delirium-inducing drug? Is consuming it tantamount to "cheating" your way to happiness ? Blast you, you bliss chemical, you surreptitious serotonin, you secret agent of enhanced neurotransmission!!! O the anandamide! ... O the angst!

Sigh. ... Well, we ARE chemical beings, after all. (And, I don't mean to come off as anti-cacao here because I really do love the stuff!) If anything, the experience is a reminder of the delicate balance of our internal chemistry. I suspect there's a tolerance effect with cacao (again, not suggesting that's a bad thing). I think my body had purged its memory of cacao's intoxicants, only to relive the high anew. Good clean fun, I suppose. I only wish I'd known at the time. It does beg the question, though: Does it matter why you're happy?

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On February 19, 2010, Errigal_lass wrote:

That was truly a "funny" moment in realization of the benefits of cacao, Jim! Why do you think women love this stuff so much (we are more intuitive than men in the feeling department, or have been for a long time, and now, thankfully men are catching up with us)? And esp. this time of year, when lacking the sun (which greatly helps elevate the mood) why question the great feeling that you get? Great feelings are just what they are and even if the cacao has a lot to do with it, it is a food! It has not been altered, it has not been processed, it is a direct product from our "Happy Spirit" in the Sky", etc. I would not think it a sense of failure at not being able to raise one's happy vibrations without it, but just an aide to blissful feelings (as we are connected to this earth just like everything else and these things are here for our enjoyment)! I would rather be a Cacao Junkie than any other kind of Junkie!

I am sure that Joe will be along to help you out with this one! <grin>

On February 19, 2010, TerriDactyl wrote:

Oh Jim! That is so incredibly funny!

I'm glad you had a good time, even though you thought you were on a "natural" high. It's as natural and healthy as a drug can get. Consider the other "natural" highs, like magic mushrooms and marijuana. If smoked, marijuana is irritating the lungs. Those particular mushrooms are just plain poisonous and your body has to fight them. With cacao, it's actually healthy!

I vote that you let yourself indulge. And now that you know your tolerance can go down in such a short period of time, you can make the most of it.


On February 19, 2010, WendiDee wrote:

Hey! You didn't get into the Natural Zing snacks for the trip, did you ! *Runs to check...comes back happy that the snacks are still secured away from all temptation!*

My thoughts right now...not saying they won't change over the years: I think if a person is generally in an emotionally balanced place and physically well, what's the big deal to get a higher level of happiness from cacao

I also think if someone is down and not ready to deal with something and they knowingly self-medicate with the mood-lifting effect of cacao that's okay, too.

The problem, I think, is when individuals use mood enhancers unknowingly as a way to avoid dealing with the stresses in life. Those individuals aren't able to grow and learn as much in life, because they are constantly supressing their thoughts/feelings/etc.

Just my thoughts right now. ;-)


On February 20, 2010, Melissa wrote:

LOL, Jim!
I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures of the snacks from Natural Zing!!

On February 20, 2010, Jon wrote:

Why does your happiness require any kind of reason or analysis? I accept the joy in my life at face value, it has no reason and requires no explanation. And joy that elicits guilt or angst is no joy at all. Take the joy, leave the rest of the baggage behind. Life is good, enjoy all things in moderation and just let yourself be.

On February 20, 2010, bitt wrote:

same thing happened to me tonight! i worry that i use it as a crutch sometimes (easy to do that with chronic fatigue). so I try to go without it until i REALLY want it. it's usually the right time. plus my naturopath keeps pushing magnesium and it's a good source.

On February 20, 2010, Randomguru wrote:

Great post! It makes me think that perhaps I should take a break from raw cacao. I consume about 1 tablespoon daily for my morning smoothie. And, I don't feel that wonderful natural high I used to experience when I first was introduced to it. And more and more I'm beginning to read about the harmful effects of raw cacao. Hmm... maybe something to give up during Lent and see how it goes....

On February 20, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

Thanks, Tracey! One of the great benefits of being raw is the ability to tap into that intuition, or at least to be able to better recognize that wondrous subtle channel of communication between the physical body and the mind and/or the higher self. That continues to be the most amazing part of living a raw life for me.

On February 20, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

True! Here's to making the most of it! lol... :-)

On February 20, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

LOL, your trip snacks are safe (for now...).

Love your thoughts on this. Sounds like a future blog post! :-)

On February 20, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

Me, too! Wendi took them. Should be posting Monday. :-)

On February 20, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

LOL, my joy *requires* no analysis at all. I was actually laughing while writing all of this -- just extending the fun a bit. T'is the nature of being a writer, to reflect and comment. Much of that was tongue-in-cheek. :-) Great advice, though!

On February 20, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

It is a great source of lots of things. I was actually half-pondering whether the high is a joy-response your body sends you for stocking up on certain minerals. And then once you're stocked up again, so to speak, eating more elicits no high again until you're low. I do admit that I really love feeling that happy, even if it's a chemical thing (esp. as it's not a harmful thing).

On February 20, 2010, Jim Dee wrote:

I think most things in moderation are okay. But, a break now and then is certainly worth a try -- kind of like a fast. I do know that, if you give it up for a period of time, you'll really feel it again the next time you reintroduce it. It would be fun to consciously approach that and to pick a day when you really want to feel electrically charged to the max. :-) Let us know if you indeed do give it up for a spell. I'd like to hear whether you feel different.

On February 20, 2010, bitt wrote:

i was thinking more about this and realized i get a similar response when i have green juice or a shot of wheatgrass. even goji berries and inca berries. those are supposed to be good for you, even though you get a rush.

i have noticed if i have cacao without agave i don't get as wild.

On February 20, 2010, Errigal_lass wrote:

COOL.........I give that a "double cacao thumbs up"! Keep it have no idea where you are headed, but believe you me, it is "Out of this World"!

On February 20, 2010, Errigal_lass wrote:

I use 3 tablespoons a day in my cacao smoothies! <grin> Talk about blissful feelings! And when I go off of it, I have no problem! And when I go back on, I still do not feel much different. Maybe I have a high tolerance, who knows.......but happy, I am!

I do not consume as much cacao in the summertime as there are so many good things to eat in my yard and maybe over the winter, I am just helping myself to feeling good until summertime comes.

On February 21, 2010, Jovana wrote:

Hi there, I'm a 23yr old SAD (though I live in South Africa, so I guess it could work... :/ South African Diet... lol ) but I'm starting on Monday on a complete raw vegan diet.

I've been looking for a blog that offers me answers on all the questions I have + giving me recipies to help me on my journey to purifying my body. I just wanted to say, that this blog is EVERYTHING I need :)

I had so many questions about nuts/seeds, raw vegan pasta, a lot of the posts you have written, I've been pouring over the last few days. Your family has been a GREAT help :)

I look forward to continuing reading this blog! All the best.

P.S. I love chocolate, I don't know if I'd be able to give up raw cacoa as well... :/

On February 22, 2010, deme08 wrote:

The health benefits cacao of over weighs the consequences. I wish you well in everything. Good luck.

On February 22, 2010, WendiDee wrote:


Thanks so much for your sweet blog comment. I've asked Jim to possibly do a blog entry featuring your comment. :-) If he has time, you might see your words up as a blog article in the near future. :-)

I'm so happy you found us and we're meeting all your needs as you walk the raw food path!

Lots of love to you,