I moved into sex and relationship coaching early in 2022. This is a very natural transition from my food and wellness teaching that I’ve been doing for more than a decade. Even though I don’t teach food any longer, I still spend a lot of my personal time dedicated to food, wellness, herbs, and nutritional healing, so I was excited to bring both aspects of my skillset to some workshop participants this weekend.
What is Mindful Intimacy?
This past weekend I taught a Mindful Intimacy workshop for couples, focused on creating deeper communication and building non-sexual intimacy practices in service of creating beautiful relationships. As a Pleasure Coach in Honolulu, I teach workshops and classes to bring people together with a focus on relationship skills building and connecting communication practices. I love seeing people (in this case, couples) open up, experience revelations, and find an embodied understanding of intimate practices.
For this particular workshop, I worked with Sabra Della Lucia, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) to cohost the first of our Mindful Intimacy series. We’re planning on doing additional classes in April for individuals and a level two class to dive deeper into delicious relational practices for both individuals and couples.
Herbs that Support Deep Connection
In addition to the some tea and other herbal drinks, I was inspired to create a warming, heart-opening Rose Cacao Elixir. I use the word elixir to mean a drink with a purpose, usually one that features medicinal and nutritional benefits of herbs, spices, and other botanicals.
This beautiful recipe features the heart-opening and body-warming benefits of rose petals, the relaxing and mentally-stimulating benefits of cacao, and some warming spices. This recipe comes together easily, though it does require some ingredients that you might not yet have on hand.
Be sure to look below the recipe to learn more about the herbal components and how the ingredients come together for a warming, love-inducing drink.
Homemade Rose Cacao Elixir
2 cups macadamia nut milk (or other plant milk)
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 cinnamon stick (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
6 whole cardamom pods (or ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom)
¼ teaspoon vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Pinch of sea salt
2 Tablespoons dried rose petals (green parts removed if using buds)
2-3 Tablespoons of raw cacao powder
2 teaspoons maca (optional)
3 Tablespoons coconut cream
1 teaspoon coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave, or honey
- On very low heat, warm the plant milk until hot.
- Add ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, and salt.
- Keep on low heat for 15 minutes, making sure NOT to boil.
- After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and add the rose petals. Cover, and let stand for another 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a quart-sized jar to remove all the solids, and add cacao, maca (if using), coconut cream, and sweetener of choice.
- Using a frother or whisk, stir the mixture together until it’s smooth and creamy. This might take some time as cacao is hydrophobic (it doesn’t easily mix with liquid).
- Once the mixture is smooth, serve immediately.
- If you need to warm again, do so over very low heat.
- Drink it as part of a cozy ritual of self-love, or with your beloved when you want to drop in to a more connected space and practice mindful intimacy.
- This makes two servings as written; this lovely elixir will keep for a few days in the fridge.
Health Benefits of the Rose Cacao Elixir
Cacao (the name for the unprocessed plant parts that becomes chocolate) has a long history in the Americas, and the roots of the genus name—theobroma—translates to Food of the Gods. Cacao has many health benefits; as a vasodilator it can physically open and stimulate the body, and it can also stimulate the mind. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, don’t drink this right before bed. Cacao doesn’t contain caffeine, but it does contain theobromine, a related compound with a delayed onset that can be too stimulating to those of us that are more sensitive to stimulants. 🙋🏻♀️
Rose is one of the most fabulous plants to use in herbal preparations, and it’s great for both internal (edible) and external (topical) use. Taken internally or used in aromatherapy, rose can help alleviate anxiety, and promote calm. It has a history of being used as a heart-opening herbs, that is, one that helps heal and support our physical and emotional heart. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and has a delicious botanical flavor.
Maca is a South American root that is one of the very few ‘superfoods’ I use regularly in my kitchen. This potent Andean root is credited with a range of health benefits, most importantly as an adaptogenic herb, one that helps our bodies deal with stress. To learn more, peek at my in-depth article about how to use maca.
Spices & Herbs: I used warming and stimulating cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger to help bring the recipe together. These herbs are considered carminative, which means they help relax the digestive system. Not only are these herbs physically warming to the body, they can relax the digestive tract which can help calm your nervous system starting in the gut. Fresh, raw vanilla adds a rich flavor that rounds out this delicious concoction.
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