My Personal Cacao Incident – The Renegade Health Show Episode #189

Friday Nov 21 | BY |
| Comments (173)

So you guys have been asking…

So I will be glad to share this with you. This video is my own personal cacao experience. So the information contained in this video is for your own educational purposes. 🙂

Some people may not like what they hear, some people will be reassured.

I’m making this public because it may help someone who’s experienced what I went through. It’s pretty important! 🙂

So here we go… (Please forward this episode to your friends!!!)

Your question of the day: What is your own cacao story?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comment now!

You can get more info about Dr. Richard DiCenso by clicking here!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Kharen says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing that Kevin, I was really curious to hear about your problem with cacao. So far, so good with cacao and myself, but I think I will get a mineral level test to see…
    I know I can’t eat bananas, they make me wheeze, which seems totally bizarre, but it’s true 😀
    Anyway, something occurred to me while listening to this episode, remember Annmarie and you were saying how much you love dulse in your salads? Maybe it was because you were so depleted of minerals, your body was talking to you, asking for something rich in minerals…just a thought 🙂
    Peace from Canada,
    Kharen 😉

  2. Deirdre says:

    Of course it’s the cacao – I think many people are allergic to it, even raw, and it’s a stimulant, so I think eaten daily, over the long term, it’s not good for you. And it’s highly addictive. I think things like cacao and maca should only be eaten sometimes.

  3. Jennie says:

    Hey Kev, thank you so much for sharing your cacao story in depth. I’ve heard before that if the liver is stressed that cacao will highlight this. In fact, when I first went raw, I had a smoothie with beans in it and was nauseous for two days. These days I can have that much cacao in a smoothie and my liver is in much better condition. I would love to hear what David Wolfe has to say on the subject as he has been studying it for years! Although he may be a tad biased…

    Also I’ve heard that the Indians used cacao as a medicine. Not for every day use. I wish I could remember more of that article!

    My children have cacao powder in their smoothies everyday for breakfast and sometimes lunch too. Their teeth are not doing so well and teeth are a mineral indicator. Thank you again for this.

    Hugs to you Kev…


  4. Deborah Gordon says:

    Hi, I also was under the impression that cacao was good for you. I am a 100% raw foodist for 1 1/2 years now. So, I added cacao to my diet. I was drinking a cacao mint drink that I get from one of my favorite raw food places in Manhattan. I noticed that I couldn’t take deep breaths, like I was short of breath or something. I also noticed that my heart was racing. I could not figure out why. I just didn’t feel so good anymore. I was winded just walking up the stairs. I was doing to well on the rawfood diet and I was NEVER tired anymore. I had so much energy. Now I noticed I didn’t feel as energized and wasn’t getting as much done as I used to. One day I decided to have 2 of the cacoa mint drinks. A little while later, I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. Although I’ve never had one, I just felt like my insides were shaking, I couldn’t breath right and my heart was RACING like crazy. I started to realize these were all the symptoms magnified that I’ve been feeling lately, but why are they so much worse today? Then I remembered that I had 2 cacao drinks instead of one. That night I could not lay down the ENTIRE night Everytime I laid down I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin and I literally sprung out of bed just walking quickly through my house all night long. Well, I cut the cacao out of my diet and I feel back to my usual self. Energized happy and calm. By the way, this drink had cacao powder and a TON of cacao bits in it. It had to be at least 2 tablespoons per drink. Anyway, about 6 weeks later, being the masochist that I am, I had to really make sure that cacao was a problem, so what did I do……I tried it again. Not a smart thing to do. My heart was racing, I felt winded, couldn’t breath right and I never had cacao again and I never had those symptoms again.

    Debbie Gordon

  5. Mark says:

    My cacao story is that I don’t eat it. I don’t think it is fit for human consumption – just not human food.

  6. Lisa says:

    THANK YOU for sharing!
    I was wondering about “your cacao incident” also.
    By the way, have you read Victoria Boutenko’s book Green for Life yet? It’s AMAZING.. it’s rocking the foundations of what I believed to be the correct human diet. And I got it because of her interview on the Rawkathon!
    Everyone needs to read this book.
    Sorry.. I’m just so excited about what I’m learning and how I consequently feel!

  7. Lisa says:

    Ah.. about cacao.. nothing has happened to me related to cacao, because I fortunately don’t like the taste of chocolate!

  8. debbie says:

    Hey Kevin, thanks for sharing.. I wonder if there is anything else that is affecting you?
    I use cacao, just a small amount and very occasionally.

  9. Scott Gordon says:

    Very interesting show Kevin. I’m interested in some more possibilities here. I assume that you are eating some sort of “minimally processed” cacao – but what if you’re not? Some of the processing chemicals in extraction can be pretty bad. You don’t mention the brand, for understandable reasons. But did you try switching sources of the cacao? I’m left wondering if it was actually cacao or processing chemicals or any other factor. The theory is that cacao is natural and healthful. I’m willing to believe that’s incorrect, but since so many health benefits are attributed to eating chocolate this one is worth a closer look. Also, no one should ever, ever be eating commercial milk chocolates now with the melanine poisoning prevalent in milk and other products coming from China. Google this and be alert. We are the only country who didn’t pull food from the shelves or food-processing stocks and the FDA as usual has done nothing until recently and it’s way too little – way too late. Those products are out there and labeling hasn’t been required yet. Cheap milk chocolates are among the top products to be alert to. Melanine poisoning is apparently long-term (it builds up and doesn’t get processed easily), with painful consequences. Anyway, for whole foods/raw foods enthusiasts – we’re not high risk, but still want to know if chocolate or its base, cacao, could really be a cause for concern.

  10. KRunner says:

    Thanks for sharing…I love chocolate in fact I eat a little everyday. I think I will cut it out and see what happens. Can’t afford to leach any minerals….need to keep all I can get. thanks again that tip has probably saved me big time.

  11. Lucia says:

    Hi, Thank you for sharing your story Kevin. It illuminated something I experienced along the same lines as you, a rash on my arms and legs, similar to an eczema. Without intention, I discontinued eating raw cacao beans and the eczema is now slowly disappearing. Perhaps cacao, perhaps not, but something to consider investigating. I have been a chocoholic all my life and when I learned about raw cacao I was ecstatic to know that it was actually good for you, so I switched to raw cacao beans, nibs, powder, treats, etc. Love your show. Thank you.

  12. Simona says:

    Stimulant. I was high for about two days the first time! And TOTAL aphrodisiac. Whoa :$ haha. Major stimulant. I never liked chocolate much but heard a fuss about it in the raw community. Gave it my shot.

    If I eat cacao beans I do no get any sleep and it “open my heart” as I am told from cacao fans. Haha, well it seems to work like a drug in me more than a health promoting food.

    Interesting story, Kevin. And I like the Fitness Fridays, bodyweight exercises and stretches are great to learn more of.

  13. Monica says:

    You are a great health journalist, one of the best out there. Thank you for this particular episode. We needed it.

  14. I agree about it not being a superfood. I feel it’s ok for a treat or special occasion, but not to be used on a regular basis, at least from my own experiences. I used it a lot last winter and initially felt a boost of energy but noticed after taking it for a prolonged period of time, I started to feel burned out. Then I started drinking yerba mate with cacao in it on a regular basis to try and get that ‘high’ off of the cacao. I find now that drinking green juice, though it may seem less appealing at first, gives me the sustained energy, minerals, vitamins, etc. that my body needs. I know cacao is a touchy subject, so I say experiment for yourself and see how your body handles it. Thanks for being candid about your experience, I appreciate it. 🙂

  15. natasha says:

    If I have cacao daily, within a few days I break out with rashes on my chest and smalls bumps on my forehead. For some reason its really irritates my bladder, weakening it and making me run urgently to the bathroom, like I’m verging on a bladder infection. Its terrible, especially because I love the taste of cacao– but its not worth the discomfort. The withdrawl from it is no fun either!!
    I look forward to hearing your test results Kevin!

  16. MARY THOMAS says:


  17. Mike says:

    I have noticed mostly good effects of eating cacao. I went raw a year ago and have eating cacao everyday and sometimes twice a day. It does keep me up at night if i have too much but i am able to do what i love so i think its a good thing. I noticed after i took cacao out of my diet after hearing some things about it that my energy levels dropped massively. When i put it back in again i was fine. This is just my experiance but i noticed that enough greens in my diet does offer a great balance for my high cacao intake. I lived off green juice and cacao for a week once and thats when i felt the best. I have a feeling the more i clean out the less i will need cacao in my diet. Thanks for the video it does keep me aware of both sides of the story.

  18. Laurel says:

    Wow, that’s crazy. I use cacao as a dessert, mostly b/c I’m a college student and I’m poor. The first time I had a lot of raw cacao I couldn’t sleep all night, and ended up watching all of Peach Girl in one night (Anime). The next day I had some serious heartburn. I don’t eat it that close to bedtime anymore XD.

  19. dede says:

    Hey Kevin – thanks for being so honest and open – – it benefits each and every one of us sooo much.
    My own cacao experience? – been there, done that, won’t go back :-).
    Besides, who needs cacao when there are things like Frank Giglio’s breakfast pudding to eat as a treat 🙂
    hugs, Dede

  20. Sal says:

    Hey kevin,

    I think we did have the same reaction to cacao.

    To Your Good Health,


  21. sonja says:

    Hi Kevin, thanks for sharing this. I have been wondering what has been going on. Not 100 sure if it is the cacao. I bought loads, as I heard David Wolfe talk so positivley about it. I really had more energy for days, could not sleep at night because I was so alert…Now I am feeling very tired all the time. I am not addicted to it, so can take it or leave it. So will cut it out for a while, see what happens. I feel my mineral levels have gone down. What is the best way to remineralise. I am now got a juicer and have celery, apple and carrot juice every other day. I must admit I do feel my body is thanking me for it. It feels really alive. I think raw is great, even if it takes a long time to really get there.. Any other ideas for juices? Tried cabbage and my husband said it was vile! I prefer eating my cucumbers, and other greens. I will try some of your raw recipes. At the moment it is mainly salads and juices..

  22. jen says:

    hey kev, thankyou for all your shows. it makes being raw all the more fun. you are awesome.

    i do the cacao, and though i enjoy it (to much perhaps?) i am open to the critisism. thanks for your ohnesty.

    for excersices i recommend these yoga moves….(your gonna think this sucks)…..i cann’t remember the names of these moves but they tone and improve the digetion and elimenation of your intestines.
    they are in the bikram yoga classes. you lie on your back and pull your knees towards your shoulders one at a time.

    anyway, thought you could google it.
    it’s an easy and surprisingly effective move to get you ‘moving’


  23. karen says:

    Fitness Friday feature idea: TRX from Fitness Anywhere.

    keep on rockin’, kevin!

  24. Holly says:

    Fitness Friday idea, a rebounder, it is a small trampolene, it needs to be a high quality one to not have adverse effects on you joints, it exercises every cell as you bounce on it. Once again the place to research it is on Dr. Young’s website I hope you can interview Dr Young and Shelley someday.

  25. Randy Smith says:

    Years ago I learned from more than one live blood microscopist that chocolate was bad news. I have never known the answer though as to why. Now that the raw foods – network marketing – community has taken an interest (ownership) in cacao, it is being acclaimed as a ‘super food’– interesting. Am I one of the few people that feels that these types of communications are just flat out self serving or is there truly something about cacao that is worthy of exploration? So, I join a MLM company that sells what they call raw cacao —
    the company is Xocai. I’ve been eating several pieces a day. Honestly, it tastes great! Hope to get some feedback>>>>

  26. bryan says:

    you mentioned adding cooked grains back into your diet would it be for the calories the protein just curious

  27. John says:

    I started consuming cacao nibs in my smoothies, probably about a tablespoon a day, and it definitely gave me a little buzz. The first time I bought it I just tried a pinch to see what it was like and it immediately made my eyes kind of tingle and felt like they were sort of opening more, and I liked it. So I was hooked pretty quickly for sure. I am currently in the process of taking less and less and will only consume it occasionally as a treat in something. I think that if other animals in the wild will not eat it then the human animal probably should not either!

  28. Helga says:

    Hi Kevin,
    thanx for this show … very enlightening info !!
    I’m having the odd (twice to 3 times per week) cacao drink, and so far, no adverse reactions. My husband has up to TWO per day … and so far, no negative reactions.
    But we’ve only been having raw cacao for about 5 months regularly.
    We’re also doing a regular “mag-therapy” with magnesium oil (footbaaths, full baths, spray-on mag-chloride, it’s great !), so mag-levels are fine.
    However, I’ve read in Jinjee’s (thegardendiet) newsletter the other day that she has been getting off cacao because she’s experiencing ‘mind-fog’.
    The additictive factor is probably a BIG one …..
    I’m going to look into cacao and it’s regular use a bit closer from now on.
    Thanx again !!
    Love and smiles from Australia,

  29. Charles Gregoire says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Interesting…I first got re-turned on to raw cacao when I heard you interview David Wolfe as part of your free bonus introduction when I first started watching your shows last spring(i.e. prior to that I was fairly indifferent to cacao…had a small 8oz bag which I hardly touched over 1 year. Then I remember having an incident with cacao where I was feeling very depressed in the afternoons after taking a lot of this in the morning (and I mean a lot …like two or three tablespoons of the nibs eaten mixed in with nuts, figs and dates). Anyways you ended up answering one of my questions on your show awhile back by suggesting it was a stimulant and that I take it easy…i.e. so I did…I got off it for awhile but have been slowly using up the large supply I bought in my morning smoothies (i.e. one tablespoon of the nibs every morning…so that ends up being about 2/3 tablespoons of nibs a day (i.e. because my wife and I share this smoothie). With that dosage I have not noticed anything bad but have observed that my morning meditations are better if I wait ’til after I meditate to have the smoothie…I think the cacao is one of the factors in this observation…so now being armed with your observations (and I look a little like you…i.e. I’m tall and thin like you) I think I’m going to play it safe and cut down to 2/3 of tablespoon once a week or less. Thanks for sharing this even though what you’re sharing will obviously have some financial impacts on some of your associates…its important that this get out there…I probably would have kept going the way I was…i.e. and I was thinking a little was going to be good for me i.e. all the hype about it being a great source of magnesium and combining with horsetail and all…that may be true for David Wolfe and others but I don’t plan to continue this experiment on myself (i.e. but I’ll stay on the horsetail and use the cacao very sparingly…i.e. and I suspect I will feel a little addictive pull when I start cutting back tomorrow).

  30. Catherine Simard says:


    Awesome..thank you for this piece on Cacoa…if chimpanzees can live on greens and fruit..we certainly don’t need all these superfoods that are making some people super rich.


  31. James Thomas says:

    Hey Kevin… thanks for sharing.
    Most of us have been informed that cacao is one of the most priced staples of the Aztec civilization, worth more its weight in gold by King Montezuma. And, contemporary chocolate connoisseurs claim that this sensual and tasty raw bean is loaded with the love drug, “theobromine,” as well as anti-oxidants.
    Consequently, we are left with the question, “what gives?” Obviously, what may be of merit for one, is bunk for another. For me, its all about moderation, and using the best cocoa for an occasional treat. In fact, I grind my own beans with a coffee mill.
    At the 2006 Raw Spirit Festival, I remember Victor Kulvinskas mention that cocoa, due to its high caffeine level should be treated like coffee. Now, that I’m hearing these alarming testimonies… I am going to be more conscientious to see how I feel. Thanks again to addressing this important topic.

  32. Elaine says:

    Thanks for sharing this Kevin. It was very helpful. I am forwarding it on to my son as I think he uses cacao in his smoothies. I don’t use it that much. Always enjoy your show, especially when your lovely wife is involved.

  33. John says:

    I think the important thing to remember is that anything you consumed on a daily basis in large quantities has the ‘potential’ of turning into a food allergy. Once the allergy begins, it takes awhile to tune it back down. Additionally, the impact of that food being in your digestive tract could begin to tear things down by way of your own immune system. I would suspect allergy over throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Just my take, as someone with extensive personal experience with food allergies, where at my peak I reached a point of being allergic to more things than I was not… including EMF!

  34. Roni says:

    THANKS Kevin for being so upfront about your problems with cacao. I did buy some this past weekend at the BWE but now will use it as a treat and ( I still bake for the holidays as gifts and will use it there as well) and then just treat myself in a smoothie from time to time.

    Appreciate all you do for us out here!!

  35. Tara says:

    As a raw food chef that began my raw journey as a raw food nutritional researcher, I try to steer my clients away from cacao due to its effects as a stimulant. My body has no interest and intuitively rejects cacao.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Info that was shared by Paul Nison recently:

    My good friend John Kohler, who has the largest living and raw food website on the internet,, was at Raw Spirit Fest 2008, handing out flyers that stated the facts about raw cacoa.

    Here are some facts:
    *Raw cacao nibs are up to 84% fat
    *Cacao contains high levels of saturated fat.
    *Raw Cacao is acid forming because it contains caffeine according to scientific journals.
    *Monkeys in the wild generally do not eat cacao beans; they eat cacao pulp & dispense the beans.
    *As little as 4 ounces of raw cacao can kill your dog. It can also be deadly to cats, horses, and parrots. It is estimated that 22 pounds can kill you. Why eat any amount of poison?
    *Is considered a psychoactive substance.
    *Raw Cacao can be addictive.
    *Can Dilate blood vessels and increase urine.
    *A stimulant that can increase heartbeat.
    *High in oxalic acid that binds calcium.
    *Can cause hyperactivity, sleeplessness, tremors, restlessness, anxiety and headaches.
    *Contains theobromine… a “poisonous powder” according to the Random House Dictionary.
    *Can cause chromosomal breaks and gene mutations.

  36. Geordi Tanner says:

    Im having a cacao drink maybe twice a day. i havent noticed anything adverse. My mother has reduced her blood pressure through having a cacao hot drink everyday, so is it still good. Are there still some of us whom it is good for?

  37. janell says:

    Hi Kevin…

    I’ve heard lots of “yays” and “nays” about cacao. I don’t worry about it; I don’t use it often (maybe once last year. It’s a good thing I’m not a choco-holic.

    By the way, Kevin please do a 20 minute intense but fun workout with tha medicine ball that we can do at home.

  38. Monica says:

    Kevin, This show is very good, thank you.

    Cacao is just not for me.


  39. Margie says:

    I’m SO glad you wrote about this. I was wondering why I got headaches and felt sick just hours after eating it. I love the taste but I can’t take much of it. Thanks again for sharing your story. That was very helpful for me in my journey towards better health.

  40. Bernadette says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Besides the fact that cocoa came up as one of my food allergies on the Biomeridian, I experience huge crashes the day after comsuming raw cocoa. The day of.. I am full of energy, but the day after.. I can hardly muster the energy to put one foot infront of the other.. which I would interpret, from my experience, as adrenal burnout. Thank you for today’s video.. it confirms some of the things I was already thinking. Also.. thank you so much for the telecast by Jameth Sheridan! That really straightened out a lot of confusion for me as well.

    For Fitness Fridays.. I like Holly’s idea of a rebounder routine. I do believe it is a good way of keeping your lymph circulating and have been looking for a routine for quite some time. I usually get on it and do a bit of jumping to music, but beyond that, I really don’t have any idea of what exercises can be effective.. would love your imput on that one if you are so inclined.

  41. Faye says:

    Very true. Thank you again Kevin for your honesty & sharing your personal experience.

    Everybody’s comments so far speak for them self.

    My experience is extreme headache when the cacao is very strong and to much.

    Please no more raw cacao propaganda @ Raw Spirit Festival!!

  42. Sammi says:

    Wow. This is good to know. My right kidney has been in immense pain for about a week- after I’ve gotten half way through a big bag of cocao beans. I also just got through a long stint of drinking cocoa driks-I just HAD to have one or 2 every day so… addictive much? This was a very timely post for me… I’ll be cutting out cocao and see if my kidney starts to feel better. Thanks!!

  43. Jes says:

    This is a link in defense of cacao:

    Thanks for sharing Kevin. Remember guys, not everyone is the same as you. So I’d becareful in warning everyone away from cacao. To some of us it is beneficial. And moderation is important too.

  44. Nimeesha says:

    For a while I was wondering why I wasn’t having the fun all other people were supposedly having with cacao. Cacao makes me feel weird in ways that I can’t properly describe in words….a feeling of being uncomfortable in my own skin. Also, skin issues occur immediately after consumption of cacao. It’s delicious but not worth the aggravation and therefore not a real “treat” for occasional use anyway. Thank you Kevin for your transparency and honesty.

  45. Michael T. says:

    Hi Kevin,

    It sounds like you were eating too much cacao. Two tablespoons of cacao powder is a lot to eat every day. Also, just having it with a smoothie is a bad idea, because you absorb it too fast, and all that theobromine hits your system at once.

    I eat raw cacao almost every morning, and I have no problem with it, as long as I only eat a moderate amount, equivalent to about one tablespoon of cacao powder. Also, I always eat it combined with coconut, hemp seed, almonds or other protein and fat sources. Never eat cacao with just fruit — that is asking for trouble. Combining cacao with nuts slows down the rate of absorption, so the stimulating effect develops gradually and does not stress out the body.

    I agree that it is best to not eat it every day. Also, there is a wide range of individual tolerance. Some people are more sensitive to stimulants than others.

    People who follow a mono diet obviously should not eat cacao. Animals don’t eat it because they eat mono diets. Cacao must be combined with other foods that contain protein and fat to slow down its effects.

    Also, Kevin, your dark urine was a symptom of dehydration. Cacao can cause you to get dehydrated, so you need to drink a lot of water before and after eating cacao. This is probably the single most important reason why you got acidic and lost minerals — you were dehydrated. Some raw fooders don’t drink water, as they believe they can get all the water they need from fruits and veggies. This is a big mistake, resulting in chronic dehydration. If a person who is already dehydrated tries eating cacao, they will immediately get nauseous, as they cacao forces the body to eliminate water. Cacao is a powerful diuretic.

    I drink over a gallon of water a day, because I live in Hawaii and work outside and sweat a lot. This is probably why I can eat cacao with no problem — I am very well hydrated.

    Try an experiment some time. Start you day with at least a quart of water. An hour later, have a moderate amount of cacao, with nuts and seeds and a banana. About two hours later, or when the stomach is empty, have another quart of water. You will probably have no problem from the cacao.

    Please let me know if that works for you.

    Michael Treeplanter

  46. Andrew Norris says:

    Glad you sorted it out and thanks for sharing. There is so much info about cacao being ideal for all that people need to know this.

    PS. Also glad you guys survived that car shunt.

    Q. was it the caffine or something else? In this case green tea would cause some people problems?

    I personally think this should be looked into in an honest transparent way. And if something comes of it all raw chocolate bars should contain warnings on the label. Otherwise we end up putting profit first like most food companies.

  47. Carol Kraft says:

    Helpful info. I myself am very sensitive to caffeine so I know cacao is not a match all the time.
    For the not so pure raw people I have a question. Would regular processed chocolate, organic dark have the same health issues stated with raw cacao? Curious to hear from someone.
    Carol from Can

  48. Carrie says:

    I’m also interested in what David Wolfe would say to that. Have you asked him?
    Maybe it could be a detox reaction?
    And by the way, you cannot see if you have got too many heavy metals in a hair test. Heavy metals don’t show up in hair analysis. And since you have a candida issue it pretty much could be you have heavy metals in your body.

  49. Markji says:

    Great show, Kevin! Thanks!

    New Friday Show…
    I really like the Q & A Shows… would be great to have an extra show a week where you answer more Viewers questions!

    Regards from Sweden,

  50. Nancy says:

    Yesterday was the first time I had eaten any raw cacao. I ate a large Mushroom Sacred Chocolate Heart and gobbled it up for breakfast. The taste was peculiar but very rich. I noticed I had lots of energy but no appetite for food at all for the entire rest of the day. But I craved mint herb tea. The cacao was a definite appetite suppresant. By evening I forced myself to eat a banana for dinner. I was so curious as to the flavor of the Amazonian Sacred Heart that I nibbled a couple bites of it and my body had had ENOUGH. My body felt aversion to any more cacao. I felt sort of icky and had to lay down. My heart was racing.
    Today I took a couple more bites of the Amazonian Sacred Heart and had a gag reflex. My body wanted to reject it totally. In contrast real food tasted soooooooh delicious. I noticed how absolutely great my salad greens were for lunch and how flavorful and yummie mandarin oranges and fresh squeezed orange juice with aloe in it was. I tasted other foods such as nuts and olives and my body was enjoying those immensely. The strange thing is that even though my body was repulsed by the cacoa, by evening I was craving a few more bites of the remaining Amazonian Sacred Chocolate heart. So I think it is addictive even though gross. It’s 11 p.m. and my energy level is high from the last few nibbles I had earlier in the evening. I don’t want to crave something that my body initially had the wisdom to tell my mind, yuk! A little bit is all it seems to take for my body to be intolerant of it yet to want to eat it anyway, so I’m done with it. I’ve never done any recreational drugs in my entire life and Dr. Jameth Sheridan on the Rawkathon series said the raw cacao is risky because it is a recreational drug. I didn’t see how cocao could be risky since my mother used to let me have Coco and toast for breakfast when I was growing up. But regular chocolate never made me want to throw up and it never gave me a racing heartbeat. So there is something much different about the raw caco and I’ve lived a clean life so count me in as one with no further interest in any more of it.

  51. millie says:

    Thanks for the warning.

    Kevin, recently I read an article of people who don’t shampoo their hair!

    Do you shampoo your hair!

    Have you hear of this practice.

    Would like to know what yo think.


  52. Roy Wilhite says:

    From what I understand, not all cacao is the same, and to report problems without stating specifically what the source for your cacao was, and exactly what kind of processing it had, is potentially misleading.

  53. Pat says:

    I know David Wolfe uses and promotes this stuff, and I bought about 10 lbs at the last Raw Food Festival in Portland, OR from his group. I would like to see how David performs after a week of not using cacao. Also, I understand that those beans are not necessarily raw. Fred Bisci PhD, who walks the talk and has actively helped cure many of fatal diseases over the last 40 years, says it’s dangerous. I guess we like to forget that we don’t give chocolate to dogs, because it could be fatal….hmmm….might that be the theobromine that makes it so? BTW, Dr. Bisci is a true living example of athleticism and perfect health, teaches how to healthfully eat raw foods, and has a system to healthfulness for every individual. He’s in Staten Island, and will work with your issues. He’ll be able to help you recognize that you don’t need to eat meat for protein. Good luck, Kevin.

  54. Elicia says:

    what happened to the video…it seems to be down?

  55. derek moore says:

    If cacao is NOT recommended by people like Brian Clements, Paul Nison and Gabriel Cousens then I wouldn’t eat it ever again, not even for a treat.
    Tests have been shown that cacao is TOXIC.

  56. Muriel says:

    I regularly add cacao nibs to my daily smoothie. I am made aware by your story and that of others that my metabolism seems to be racing 24/7. I do not sleep well, wake up feeling overly energetic, crave my cacao smoothie and start all over again. I do not have external rashes or symptoms but i plan to delete cacao from my diet for a month and see what happens. Thanks for sharing.

  57. Carolyn says:

    I started drinking a raw cacao “alchemy” “synergist” drink as a primary food about 6 months ago…sweetening it with a raw vanilla agave product…recently experienced a hemorrhage in my eye and subsequent detached retina requiring surgery to re-establish sight in that eye. In pondering all the possibilities of “what went wrong”, I have been curious if the installation of drinking my “bliss” drink–either the cacao, the sweetener, or both had a part to play. What did you use to sweeten your daily cacao smoothie?

  58. David H says:

    I was thinking that cacao might have did those things to you because you said you were taking it everyday. Maybe it could provide some benefit if you took it say, once a month…

  59. nitabear says:

    So it just goes to show that variety and moderation in all things is better then the same thing all the time… A very interesting post, thanks for sharing… As for the fitness part of your post…. The Raw Games are happening here in beautiful Hawaii this weekend. Do you need a remote corespondant to get you some video and scoop on the happenings here?

  60. Melina says:

    Hey Kevin,

    Cacao is an interesting substance and different people react differently to DIFFERENT types of cacao. I personally eat cacao every single day 1-3 times a day, however the cacao I eat is FULLY FERMENTED. And that makes a HUGE difference. For me personally, when I ate too much non-fermented cacao I would get headaches and feel stimulated, then when I made the switch to fully fermented cacao my health actually went way up. I’d be interested to know if you were using fully fermented cacao because I know that the fermentation of cacao is often overlooked in the raw food world, when, at least for me, it made a huge difference.

  61. Sparrow says:

    What’s interesting to me is that I experienced something very similar and I’ve never had cacao in my life.

    A little over a month ago, I was finally ready to go raw and I did. One thing that had been holding me back was the cost of going raw because raw nuts are EXPENSIVE and I live on a fixed income and have somewhere in the neighborhood of $25/week I can spend on groceries. By really cutting back hard, I can almost stretch that a little farther, but I only get $500/month and some things, like rent, just can’t be cut back.

    When I discovered 80-10-10, for the first time in my explorations of information about raw I saw someone saying that I could go raw without lots and lots of expensive nuts. So I took the plunge and loved it.

    I was raving to anyone who would put up with it about how much energy I had. I gained weight the first few days and then my weight stayed the same all month, but I ignored that (previously, I had been losing 1 to 2 pounds per week on my diet of mainly cooked beans and grains and frozen vegetables. I have a BMI of 29 (back in January my BMI was 40!) and am attempting to recover from type 2 diabetes, so I definitely need to lose more weight.)

    After about a month on 80-10-10, I finaly got my first symptoms of detox . . . or at least that’s what I thought it was. I got cold sores in the corners of my mouth and I’m a person who has never had a single cold sore in my entire life. I also got an INCREDIBLY itchy rash under my chin and on the bottom of my face – all the area where I would grow a beard if I were a man.

    And I do mean INCREDIBLY itchy. It took 24 hour a day concentration not to scratch it. It was incredibly distracting. I was just going to tough it through, figuring it was a symptom of detox and would eventually pass as my body cleaned up.

    But then I ran out of food. Even without the expensive nuts and superfoods, even without the incredibly high produce turn-over of juicing, just eating monomeals of fruit, green smoothies, and salads . . . I ran out of food because no matter how many people swear that it’s not expensive to go raw, I was spending twice my old food budget and still didn’t have enough food.

    Sot here I was with this crazy detox stuff going on and no food and starving and I ate some real crap because I was desperate to eat anything and people who have food to spare, well, they give you crap. That’s just the sad truth of the world.

    So I gave up on raw and I’m struggling to get back to my healthy, clean cooked diet of beans and grains and frozen vegetables but I won’t be able to get a really good meal until after December 1st when my next check comes in. I’ll be having Thanksgiving a week late, but I’ll be incredibly thankful because I’ll have food again and hopefully can get back on track with my former diet.

    The rash on my face went away as soon as I quite eating healthy fruits and vegetables and started eating ramen noodles so it either really was detox or it was a bad reaction to lots of fruit sugars. One of the cold sores has healed but the other is lingering on, breaking open everytime I open my mouth. My weight loss is still stuck on stupid but I’m hoping it will take up where it left off once I’m back on a clean cooked diet again. And I’m battling depression – not an emotional depression triggered by failure to go raw or anything like that. It’s a very physical symptom without any of the accompanying feelings of low self-esteem or failure. My body is sluggish and, I don’t know, like my adrenals are exhausted or something? It’s very inconvenient and I’m hoping it passes away soon.

    The lesson I learned was that I am not in a space in my life to go raw right now. In another four or five years I will have finished school and be free to get a decent job (I’m not free to work while I’m in school because I’m the sole caregiver of a disabled spouse (who insists I stay in school so that I have something for myself when he dies) so there’s not much chance that my income will go up before I graduate.) When I’m established in a job and making five times (or more) what I’m making now, I think I’ll be in a good space to try raw again.

    I just think it’s really interesting that I had the same symptoms from a month of raw as you had from however long of eating lots and lots of cacao. It makes me wonder what the common denominator was in our different experiences with similar results.


  62. ejs says:


    Thank a ton for your honesty. I think the key here is moderation. We each need to do what works for us. There is no universal diet that works for everyone.

    Thanks again.


  63. Theresa says:

    I believe in moderation, cacao can be beneficial for some people. For me it has an uplifting affect and makes me feel good. I have never had any adverse affects from it. I don’t eat it everyday but when I do a little goes a long way. It sounds like you were overdoing it by adding large quantities to your smoothie. I think the powder needs to be balanced with high quality fat like coconut oil or cacao butter. Also drinking lots of water is important. I treat cacao like medicine and use it when I need to be uplifted and energized.

  64. Jane says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with cacao Kevin. I experienced heart racing with a top quality cacao and adrenal fatigue when using small amounts of cacao regularly. When I first mentioned it,not many people believed it.

    So thanks for documenting your experience

  65. Phyllis Kreuttner says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with cacao. You’re transparency is truly admirable and I think we all need to follow your example of sharing our experiences. It’s the only way to truly learn what we need to know to keep ourselves truly healthy.

    I love raw cacao but can only consume it in small doses. I’m trying to figure ou the actual dose that is OK for me. If I consume too much I start to feel an acid reflux reaction, which is uncomfortable & frightening. I’ve had serious acid reflux problems in the past & I do not want to activate that again.

    I like to use raw cacao when I have to drive and I don’t want to get sleepy. I won’t drink coffee or diet soda, so the cacao is a viable choice for me (as long as I don’t have too much). Unfortunately, I love it & I do believe it is addictive so I have to be very careful with it.

    I also like to use it to keep me alert at a lecture, workshop, etc. I hope taking it once or twice a week is OK for me. I guess I willonly learn from experience. I’ll let you know if I have any adverse affects.

    Kevin, can you share with us what kind of cacao you were using. I only use raw, organic chocolate nibs. Does that make a difference?

    Thanks againfor your transparency,

  66. Janett says:

    I had challenges with cacao too. My problem was if I had it one day I would feel great, but if I didn’t have it the next I would crash (sounds like an addicting stimulant to me). Then, if I had it more than a couple days in a row I would develop sleep problems and I would have an “exhausted totally awake” feeling. It would take be a few days after having it a few days in a row to recover and feel normal again. I would not recommend having it as an occasional treat even, for those who are stimulant sensitive, as it can
    create an immediate addiction!!!

  67. del says:

    Holy Cacao. That’s so interesting. With David Wolfe promoting cacao like crazy it’s good to hear another side of it. I take about two to three heaping tablespoons of cacao nibs in my green smoothiee pretty much everyday for months. I haven’t experienced what you have but who knows. It’s probably good advise to ease up on it. I work so hard to add more minerals not leach them out. Everyone’s body is unique though and thousands of different reaction. It’s a complex world out there and in here.

    On the fitness side, I love to get your thoughts on excerise programs like the Five Tibetian Rights.

  68. Wendi Dee says:

    You are a brave, brave man to speak out about cacao, Kevin! 😉

    You already know I can’t touch the stuff (even though I love the smell and taste of it), or else I could end up in the hospital. Many people say it makes the heart stronger, but in my case cacao could kill me. I wish I could eat it, but it’s just not something I can do.

    I think it’s important that you are speaking out about it, because there are some who are saying it’s good for *everyone* and it clearly isn’t good for everyone. I wish I was one of the lucky ones who could eat it, though!

    Lots of love to you,


  69. Stepheny says:

    THANK YOU KEVIN. We NEED this kind of transparency. I just pray blessings over you.

    I am at the very beginning of my Raw journey but I listen to everything I can. I do not currently use cacao but I am looking forward to learning how to treat myself with it on occasion in the future. One thing is for sure, I will not be using it as a daily pick-me-up.

    I have recently weaned myself off anti-depressants and I wondered if I needed something like Cacao to help me transition. Fortunately for me just eating raw for the last few weeks has made all the difference in the world!!!! I feel a million times better and I’m completely off all the different medications I’ve been prescribed. All but my Thyroid meds. But even with these, since I’m loosing weight I will be able to slowly go down on this dose too.
    Blessings to you,

  70. Sharyn says:


  71. rachel says:

    i don’t have sound on this computer and it’s miles to a library that does. i also have no car. any way to write down what’s said in the video?

  72. jesse says:

    Hey Kevin,
    Same thing happened to me.
    I could tell my liver and kidneys were stressed.
    The spot on my side was so irritating. It would react to any stresses. Heat, cold, dryness, wetness, electricity (Zapper in case of “bug”), wool, sunshine,… Fortunately we ran out of cacao and did not have the $ to restock. The spot went away. We now have 5 Lbs of raw cacao that will last MUCH longer. I would have to say it is very good for me but not in high doses (Table spoons full a day is a lot!) We need to remember dried powdered cacao is NOT in its natural state and would be closer to a drug then food. Dried food is concentrated and easy to O.D. on. As our systems become cleaner we see and feel the effects in stronger and strong ways. I will continue using it in small amounts. I am very convinced of the positive effects if used in moderation. (An idea that seems to escape most of the raw food community.)

  73. I was in NY and decided to get a small bag of cacao to try it out. I chewed on 1/2 tsp of them and in 2 hours developed a splitting headache that lasted 24 hours, blurred vision – even losing my vision for several minutes, and anxiety.

    It took me about 12 hours to realize that it was the cacao. I am very sensitive to caffiene and I did not realize that there was so much caffiene in this stuff.

    Thank you for being so forthcoming and sharing your experience with it.

  74. John says:

    Thank You Kevin,
    No rash here, but daily – one tblsp – (versus occasional) Raw Cacao (Superfood)in my diet turned my urine dark also and made me crash later in the day. The dark urine was quite alarming (an orange brown).

    David Wolfe has been a blessing in my life and I own several of his books. I do not dispute his claims. Much of what he has written has benefitted my health.

    I do think that despite some general dietary habits, we must always remember to never apply a part to the whole. We are all still individuals and react differently to various foods and envirnmental factors. Cacao is one of those foods. I will not call it “bad”, but like ANY food, I will need to see how to consume it in context. I liked Michael Treeplanter’s post about food combining, since I too had been putting cacao in a smoothie.

    Much Aloha for your video,

  75. mike henderson says:

    I was taking cacoa just occasionally-like
    one bean a week with no adverse affects.
    As a regular sprouter-i’m aware beans or
    seeds do contain what are called anti-nutrients.
    perhaps they should be soaked beforehand and
    rinsed thoroughly to get rid of mould and other bacteria?-just a thought.

  76. Sheila says:

    I liked to add cacao nibs and goji berries to my water (hot or cold) and I found that my heart would be racing after just a couple of sips. At first, I assumed it was the gojis causing this because I really enjoy cacao nibs with yogurt and fruit and nuts in the morning and haven’t had any issue with that. I wonder if dairy offsets the stimulative effect of cacao? I’m really curious what David Wolfe has to say about this. Thanks for your transparency in sharing your story.

  77. sarah says:

    I have tried to like the raw form but never feel quite right after eating…mostly muscle cramp issues. Seems like the high oxalic acid content is the key…Heat and alkali destroy the mineral binding affects that create the problems…Europeans have known for a long time how to make chocolate into a health food…cooked alkalized cocoa…us neophyte Americans can learn a lot from those who have gone before us. Look at all the high oxalic acid containing plants that are considered toxic unless cooked. Rhubarb, Chard etc…

  78. Jos says:

    Great show!
    I cannot eat raw cacao as it makes my heart race and I cannot sleep at night. I love it but…..
    For exercises Annmarie could have a show on Friday demonstrating some yoga exercises in details plus explain all the advantages these bring to the body. Also what about some meditation and relaxation tips?


  79. Debby Grimm says:

    I am so sorry to hear your cacao incident, but so excited to find that my brother and I are NOT the only “chocolate weird-o’s” on earth! Several years ago when I was going through an extremely depressing personal crisis, my brother suggested I check to see if chocolate affected my emotional state. (This from a man who does eat well and exercise regularly–his sister, unfortunately, doesn’t yet) He shared that if he ate even a little chocolate, it would give him what he described as “…as close to PMS as [he] figured a man could experience…” including standing on the top of a mountain, “shooting the finger to God, screaming ‘If you hate me so much, why don’t You just kill me???'” I, of course, thought he was crazy (or that it was the sugar creating his problems), but was in such a dark place I’d have tried anything to feel better. To keep this a little shorter…through numerous experiments, I
    found that chocolate (the “mood elevator”) makes me suicidally depressed! Sometimes it is just a low simmering feeling of sadness that I might not recognize till I’ve been dragging for a couple of days, other times I feel there’s no point to life at all, with these usually lasting for one to two weeks. And all this from a former extreme chocoholic!!! Again, I’ve tested this many times, including one instance where I wasn’t aware of having eaten chocolate, so it’s not just the power of suggestion at work. It is also not something I’d have been aware of, had I not stopped the chocolate consumption. (Note…he and I did try the cacao nibs, hoping that a purer form of chocolate might be accepted by our “weird” systems, but those had the same effect, as did carob, for some reason!) For us, even an occasional chocolate “treat” comes with consequences, so we avoid it completely. I even eschew chocolate scented lotions, as those seem to be good for a day of feeing weepy!
    Again, I’m sorry you have to deal with this, but am so happy to know that we aren’t alone! I suggest all chocoholics give it up for a few days, then try a little to see if it gives you any negative side effects (note…they can take a day or so to show up; it’s rarely immediate, tho my first “test” had me in tears within an hour of consuming a very small amount). Could be that the cravings are that attraction for the things that harm us!! Giving up the chocolate was really hard at first, but when weighed against the side effects, it’s gotten much easier, and now I really only miss it around Christmas, or when passing a fine chocolatier’s shop!
    Thanks so much for passing this info along!!

  80. Cynthia says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I started eating cacao because of its health benefits and until your broadcast did I know what happened. The rash and lack of energy happened so fast I knew that is what it was.

    Thanks for confirming what I thought.


  81. Kory says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It was driving me crazy when you mentioned your incident but did not state what happened.
    I have not experienced anything like that nor has anyone that I know, so it was good to hear how it might effect someone else. I have a small healing practice and will pass on both sides now.
    In regards to Fitness Fridays. Have you thought about more cellular exercise like deep breathing? I think people can really benefit from learning more about that since breath is one of the major ways we detox.
    Thanks again for all you do.

  82. Hi Kevin and others,

    This article is also interesting

    I sometimes get a headache from raw cacao.

    Annet van Dorsser

  83. Patti says:

    Thank you so,so much for talking about this.
    I bought cacao nibs from David Wolfe’s site
    about a year and a half ago. Based on his information I started to eat about 1 tablespoon a day. After 3 weeks my energy was horrible and I had deep, dark–very dark circles under my
    eyes. I had never had any circles under my eyes before. I didn’t look or feel healthy.
    I immediately stopped eating the cacao and the circles under my eyes disappeared with a few days time. I think that much cacao everyday is very dangerous.

  84. stella Morris says:

    Hi Kevin
    I’ve been feeling for a while that I was losing minerals and knew I was becoming more acidic. I started having cramps in my lower legs at night and oddly enough did not get them a couple of nights ago, on a day when I did not eat any cacao. So, I’m going to cut it out altogether and see what happens.
    Thanks for everything.

  85. skorch says:

    i’ve heard that it’s not the cacao, but the envirnomentals toxins that it absorbs before we harvest it, so source becomes the greater issue.

    just a thought.

  86. arlene says:

    I noticed a small eruption like a boil on my stomach. I have been having 72% cocoa chocolate as a snack and also occasional yogurt not sure which of the two as I am otherwise 90% raw diet

  87. Laurette Janak says:

    Current medical literature shows that lack of quality sleep causes an increase in urinary wasting of magnesium which, over the long run will result in intracellular magnesium deficieny. I have seen this happen even in persons taking large amounts of magnesium either through diet or with supplements. The magnesium will keep being dumped in the urine until the sleep issue is addressed. SInce many people on this blog have told of the problem sleeping being associated with consumption of cacao, it is reasonable to say if this goes on at lenght then you can end up magnesim deficient. Magnesium is required for hundreds of enyme reactions in the body so the consequences of magnesium can be many and variable. For instance, magnesium helps to regulate the release of histamine and therefor low magnesium may increase the likelyhood of having allergic reactions. Serotonin uptake by a post-synaptic neuron is a magnesium dependent step. Decreased magnesium can cause increased release of catecholoamines and thereby contribute to a sense of anxiety. Low levels of intracellular magnesium is associated with low levels of your bodies very important antioxidant glutathione. Thus magnesium deficiency is aasociated with oxidative stress. Magnesium is involvoed in insulin sensitivity making persons with low magnesium more likely to be unable to control sugar metabolism. Magnesium is need for energy production and is necessary at many steps in the glycolysis pathway and in several steps in the krebs cycle which terminates in the production of ATP the energy molecule. Thus persons low in magnesium run short on energy.
    Even though chocolate contains magnesium, if it causes sleep problems the net result may be a loss of magnesium. A vicious cycle can ensue because mageneium deficiency then feeds back to causing sleep problems and the cycle of sleep loss leads to more magnsium loss.
    Additionally, chocolate has been found to contain high levels of toxic heavy metals. Low levels of toxic metals in the hair indicate the inability of the body to excrete the metals. A urine test would be more informative. Also, the low levels of glutathione found in persons with low intracellular magnesium will cause a decrease in the bodys ability to excrete heavy metals and once again a vicious cycle spins around.
    Sorry for carrying on so but this is important. It is important to note that serum magnesium is NOT a good indicator of tissue levels and can be normal even in the face of tissue deficiency. Many doctors are unaware of this and only measure serum Magnesium.

  88. Kendall Black says:

    Thanks, Kevin, for telling us something I have known for years, that raw cacao is a slow poison. Just the fact that it contains caffeine should alert anyone who is health-conscious. Smooth-tongued salesmen like David Wolfe have made a fortune by promoting and selling this stuff,as well as many other dubious products. So-called “superfoods” are not what many people think they are. At best they are simply a waste of money. At worst they will make you sick.

  89. Jenna says:

    All of the bad effects above for me also, very small amounts seem ok but if I go past my limit it is VERY NASTY to me!

  90. Tracy says:

    By the way, the argument that dogs don’t eat cacao and therefore it is not a healthy food for us is bogus. My dog does not eat grapes or kale either, so what does that say? I think there are people who are allergic to cacao and therfore should avoid it. For others it is fine. Everything in balance and moderation.

  91. RawCreoleGoddess says:

    Oh brother, yet another thing not to eat. 🙁

    Before I listened to what you had to say about cacao, I would saying NO WAY would I give it up. I like it every now and then in a smoothie. But after hearing about the liver toxicity– I have decided I CAN give up cacao if it is that toxic.


    Thanks though!

  92. Rob says:

    Hey Kevin

    Have you tried NAET for your cacao, go to and read about it. I have been doing it for a while and it is amazing. It will definetly help you with the cacao in a positve way.


  93. Brianne Beattie says:

    I completely agree with your POINT OF VIEW on Cacao. I am definitely addicted (like most of the world!) to chocolate. I can sometimes see the benefits of chocolate for certain types of people, but I have recently eliminated it from my diet and I feel MUCH BETTER! As a teen, my emotional state was less sensitive and chocolate just made me hyper and gave me extreme energy BUT now that I am more in touch with my body and also more sensitive and fragile emotionally, chocolate gives me so much anxiety and too much energy to realistically burn off on a normal day. If I eat chocolate at work or when I’m just hanging out, all the energy goes to my head and I feel crazy! SO FOR ANYONE WITH ANXIETY, STAY AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE! (In my opinion anyways.)

    PS. when your coming “off chocolate”, carob somewhat satisfies the craving!!

  94. Liz says:

    I’ve always been very sensitive to stimulants and never got into eating cacao for that reason. I’m really interested in your blood test results and the problem of mineral depletion.
    My biggest concern about the raw diet is the ingestion of raw greens. They are extremely high in oxalic acid which causes mineral depletion. I was raw for 1 & 1/2 years and initially my energy levels were good. I discovered raw smoothies and I felt even better but over time I started having health problems. I developed a rash on my stomach and had several bouts of colds and flues. I stopped the green smoothies and started eating grass fed meat and raw dairy and immediately felt better. Through saliva hormone testing I found out that my adrenal glands were completely depleted.
    My health has greatly improved since ingesting animal foods, and I never imagined I would eat meat, having been a vegetarian most of my life.

  95. Nancy says:

    You may want to look into this: Lead contamination in cocoa and cocoa products: isotopic evidence of global contamination –
    Also more on heavy metals in cocoa:

  96. Stephanie says:

    Yea i’ve noticed a major drop in my energy and menal clarity since consuming cacao regulary. I cant seem to think straight and on one subject and high and low mood swings. not to mention im a nursing mother. Im intrested to see what happen when i cut it out and only eat it as a treat.
    BTW please email me with what mineral test u took from directlabs.

  97. Renée says:

    I love carob, so I don’t bother much with cacao, except when I feel like a little bit of a change – have to be careful not to eat too cacao, or I end up wanting more & more! (I was a chocolate fiend as a kid – yuck!) Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like an allergic reaction of sorts, & the urine issue like either kidney failure or massive dehydration, or elements of both. &with the oxalic acid binding up calcium – once one nutrient is made more difficult to absorb, others can’t be taken up in the correct ratio to the missing one, & then everything starts going down. It’s all about finding balance! Thanks again 🙂

  98. Richad says:

    Hey – I met your wife at the nighttime NYC David Wolfe meetup that you recorded live…at CosM. I didn’t get to meet you because I had to go but you all seem cool and honest.

    And this was an honest story considering you’re an EFL distributor. So good job on transparent journalism. 🙂

    Now – I know some people do good on high fruit and some on more balance or high fat. Now metabolic typing is not mentioned often in the raw community but there must be something to it if people react differently to different foods. So, I am curious if you could do a show on fast/slow oxidizers and metabolism in determining which raw diet variant is best for you.

  99. andy says:

    After eating even a few cacao beens i couldnt sleep, so gave up after 2nd 150 g pack

  100. Lena Buhr says:

    Hi kevin; thank you for sharing!

    I’ve had serious thoughts on starting my own raw food dessert shop with lots of raw cacao but never seem to get it going, starting. There is always a problem EVERYTIME I try, for example everytime I try to order it over the internet, something goes wrong technically: the VISA card suddenly doesn’t work or the computer won’t take me to sites who promotes and sell raw cacao etc(??). I wonder if that is Gods way (Universe) of telling me something. I’ve tried now for over a year…last christmas I was asked to join our local christmas market, selling my raw chocolate sweets. I finally got some from a site in UK (man, is it expensive!)I was so happy! But I was placed at a corner outside.It suddenly started to get terribly windy and I almost couldn’t keep my stuff from blowing away on the table. I stood there in the corner for four hours and I was freezing down my very bones. I hardly sold anything. And ever since I have had these problems coming my way everytime I try to sell or start my business…and for a girl like me who LOVES chocolate and love ‘baking’ it is devastating news. But I think you guys are right: it isn’t all that harmless to consume so I have now giving up my raw chocolate dessert shop dreams. In a way I am glad now, because I don’t think I could live with the fact that I might have injured people from eating it. But I still love the choco taste but now I will look into carob instead. I don’t think carob will deplete you of minerals.

    Love and Peace, Sweden!

  101. Linda Miller says:

    Thanks for sharing about the cacao. A couple years ago I was eating it almost every day. I loved the nibs mixed with almonds and raisins. Also I had a cookie recipe made with the powder. I still have a bag and half of nibs in my fridge. I can’t remember why I quit using it. Something alerted me. But I read that it was high fat, and I think Dr. Graham, along with Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. McDougall, and Dr. Fuhrman, has it right about keeping down the fat to 10% and eliminating the oils.

  102. lisa says:

    i have been about 80% raw for about 1 1/2 yrs. some days 100%.
    CACAO:can’t really handle it too well! I LOVE chocolate, and can eat a whole big bar of ‘normal’ chocolate & feel just a bit blobby and slightly mucusy after. BUT if i have a few squares of raw chocolate equal to half the size of a hens egg, these are my symptoms-
    heart racing/palpitations
    shaking hands
    feeling like i am just about to go into convulsions(never have tho!)
    feeling faint (never have tho!)
    wanting to run, but no ‘real’ energy to do so
    confused thinking,unable to focus
    tight chest
    cant seem to get enough air into my lungs
    aching adrenals
    emotionally all over the place, ‘high’ then easily angered (i am normally rarely angry)
    feel very spiritually disconnected
    itchy face
    feeling a sort of prickly feeling all over

    all within half hour of eating & lasting intensely for several hours, down to mild for several more.
    I had no idea what it was the first time it happened and i was pretty scared-even considered going to hospital!(but am not into mainstream medicine). The next time i got all the symptoms, i wondered if it was the raw chocolate. Then the next time, i was deliberatly doing it as a test.

    Strangely, i can occasionally have a little chocolate raw ‘cake’, smoothie etc. And the effects are just me feeling a bit hyperactive for an hour or so. Maybe its because its much less cacao diluted in many other ingrediants.But i simply cannot handle the raw chocolate itself!

    Some friends of mine are very experienced raw fooders, and have none of these symptoms!

    So now, i either make my own raw choc, using 75% carob powder (not raw, i know:-( ), and lots of nuts/dried fruit, and have one small square, or, more usually have ‘normal’ organic chocolate.

  103. Amanda says:

    I googled Frank Giglios breakfast pudding and couldnt find the recipe. Does anyone have the recipe?

  104. a.d. says:

    Opponents claim that raw cacao produces an acidic residue (thus, not an alkaline ash) in the body and that it’s addicting because it contains theobromine. David Wolfe and Shazzie are in favor of raw cacao, since they just published a book together called, Naked Chocolate. Paul Nison and Frederic Patenuade, on the other hand, seem to think that raw cacao can be dangerous.

    In his most recent newsletter, Paul Nison had this to say about raw cacao…
    “And while I’m on the topic of my new book, I will expose the truth about the cacao craze. BOTTOM LINE: CACAO IS DANGEROUS! It is another addicting food that is setting people up for a big down fall.

    Adding fuel to the fire, Frederic Patenaude writes this about cacao and raw chocolate…

    Many of my readers have been asking me what I think of the whole raw cacao craze. For those who don’t know, raw cacao beans are now sold by different raw-food companies as the latest ‘superfood.’ Cacao beans are traditionally roasted and used to make chocolate. Now, raw-foodists have found a raw version of the beloved bean and are apparently using it for its magical properties.

    First, let me start by explaining what my own personal use of cacao is. I’ve known for a long time that cacao is a stimulant. Not as strong as coffee, but its stimulating ‘qualities’ are easy to spot when your body is not used to eating such foods. Because of this, I often used carob powder in my recipes. Carob powder is made from a fruit and has a taste that reminds of chocolate. It is naturally sweet. Instead of being a stimulant, carob is a mineral rich food and has a calming effect. So, like most raw-foodists, I used carob powder in my recipes. But, then one day, I decided to use cacao powder. I figured: if I’m going to make something that tastes like chocolate, why not use the real thing? I’ve noticed that cacao has a stimulating effect, but since I was using it occasionally (i.e. less than once a month) and just for fun in some recipes, I was not too bothered by that little indiscretion. However, I never considered it to be a health food.

    Now, cacao beans are sold to us at an exorbitant price under the assumption that it’s one of the best things we could ever eat. I couldn’t disagree more.

    First of all, cacao beans are not really food. If you found them in nature, you wouldn’t eat the seeds. You would eat the fruit, which is apparently delicious, and throw away the seeds. Even if you wanted to eat the seeds, they would not taste like chocolate. In order for the cacao seeds to taste like chocolate and become the cacao beans that we know, they have to be fermented first. They are fairly bitter, indicating the presence of a poison. And when I say a ‘poison,’ I’m not making this up. Just do a little research and you’ll discover that cacao contains many chemicals with a stimulating effects, such as theobromine and caffeine.

    A popular article on raw cacao beans claims that cacao “increase(s) your focus and alertness and contains nutrients to keep you happy.” My answer to that is the same as has been said and is being said about coffee. The fact is that what people actually confuse with “alertness” is actually an adrenal response to the stress that the body has to deal with when eliminating the toxins found in cacao beans. What you get is NOT energy. What you experience as energy is actually your body working hard to establish balance (homeostasis) again! It’s like whipping a horse. Eventually, it will fall down.

    Here’s an excerpt from Neal Barnard’s book, Breaking the Food Seduction…

    Researchers at the University of Michigan brought out the truth about chocolate. In a research study, they gave 26 volunteers a drug called ‘noxalone.’ They then offered them a tray filled with Snicker’s Bars, M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies, and Oreos. Normally, these snacks would have quickly disappeared. But, the drug knocked out the desire for chocolate. A candy bar was not much more exciting than a crust of dry bread.

    Noxalone is an opiate blocker. That is, it stops heroin, morphine, and other narcotics from affecting the brain. And, it blocks the effects of chocolate, too. This research study showed that chocolate’s appeal does not come from its creamy texture or deep brown color. Chocolate stimulates the same part of the brain that morphine acts on. For all intents and purposes, chocolate is a drug — not necessarily a bad one and not a terribly strong one, but strong enough, nonetheless, to keep us coming back for more.”

    Many people would argue that when cacao is not cooked, these chemicals do not have the same effect on the body. But yet, those same people actually admit to eating cacao beans for their stimulating effect! Many people have reported not being able to fall asleep if they eat cacao beans late at night and that they are still looking for the “best” time of the day to eat them. Others tell me that when they eat cacao beans, they get so much energy, but then have a ‘down’ later on. Does that remind you of something?

    If you like the taste, you could use some cacao once in a while in a recipe. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that there’s somehow something really good about this. Personally, I would consider using cacao when making a special desert for a special occasion. I don’t recommend eating cacao otherwise. I don’t find anything special in it. I don’t buy the whole raw cacao craze and I don’t think it is worth the price that is charged for it.

    Remember: A rose by any other name is … just as thorny.

  105. Angie says:

    Kevin, I hope you got leveled out with your kidneys, liver, and minerals. I take it that you eat no meat at all, is that correct? Although I feel an all vegan and/or vegetarian diet is healthy, a small amount of occasional meat and fish give you that added boost of vitamins and minerals that can be somewhat insufficient in a vegan diet. Also, some of the foods in a strict vegan diet can cause allergies and put the body out of balance. What I mean is that if some vegan foods are eaten too often or not in moderation, the body tries to kick the over-excess out. It’s like anything you put into your body. Too much of a good thing is not always be the best. When the body is trying to get rid of excess waste or unnecessary things it can show in levels being off in the liver and kidneys. Some of the foods you eat may be ‘exotic’ and may be toxic to a degree. Have you been vegan all your life? If not, the ‘newer’ foods that you have introduced may not be right for you as in the cacao. There may be others. Who used cacao powder daily 20 years ago? Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think many people did if any. I feel if we eat healthy and don’t go overboard and become too obsessive about it, then it will help us tremendously. This may or may not apply to you but I thought I would just offer my advice as things we learn from other people can help us. Take care.

  106. Molly D. CMT cHT says:

    So sorry, I don’t have time to read all the previous comments. I have two things:

    One: The powedered Cacao is NOT usually a whole food. This opens up all the difficulties of eating a part of a food without the balancing effects of the part you are missing.

    Two: How about some yoga for your Friday Fitness? You could get someone to teach some simple Anusare poses that anyone could do.

    Peace and Blessings,

  107. Wendy says:

    You mentioned candida. Do you think the cacao contributed to it? How does one get candida after being raw for a period of time? I thought it was more of a SAD diet thing.

  108. Biljana says:

    Thank you for being honest.
    I personaly have hot flashes and heart pulpitations after raw cacao drink (I do have hyperthyroid issues but no palpitations problems unless I take same raw cacao).

  109. Rama says:

    You asked about new exercise games!


    It looks like a cross between two people dancing and wrestling, very intesive calorie burning muscle building exercise

    I invented this exercise after watching two ants wrestle together, and I knew intuitively they were not fighting

    I call it Mutual Sphere exercise, and it is non-competitive wrestling

    if you’d like to interview me about it at some point that would be fun!


  110. Erin says:

    Hi there Kevin, really glad you shared your story. I LOVED chocolate as a kid and on into adulthood and by that time, along with other bad dietary and lifestyle habits I was quite out of balance hormonally and in general. I finally made it round to a holistic nutritionist (who I have worked for now for 8 years; am also getting my degree now) and she had me completely eliminate all high copper foods, which includes coffee (though I never was a big drinker), chocolate, black tea, nuts, shellfish and even moderately high copper foods such as grains, avocados and beans/legumes. I had a very limited diet and I did struggle with cravings for quite some time, HOWEVER, when I was off those foods I never felt better or more balanced. I also had a hair analysis after a period of detoxing on this diet which showed very high levels of copper. Once these levels went down I did reintroduce many of these foods, all but coffee, chocolate, shellfish (for other reasons), nuts and black tea. I have no desire for coffee or black tea. I do occasionally eat nuts, like a few times a month. I have tried raw chocolate but it totally screws with my hormones; I get really moody after I eat it and it affects me for over 24 hours if I eat more than a very tiny amount. So, needless to say, I don’t consider it a super food and I feel a lot of people are craving it or just LOVE it so much, like I did, because they have copper toxicity. The phenomenon with that is that when there is a toxicity in the body the body craves more of it because what it does have is biounavailable. And as a testimony to that, after I went through my ups and downs with craving chocolate for about a year trying to get off of it I actually lost my craving for it altogether. I had no desire for it at all. I eventually tried the raw chocolate because I did like the taste and thought maybe since it was raw it would not affect me so, but it did. For more on copper toxicity check out Ann Louise Gittleman’s book, Why Am I Always So Tired. It explains a lot of this. Part of why copper toxicity is such an issue is because most of us came off of a pretty typical SAD (standard american diet) which is very high in copper and deficient in zinc. And those 2 minerals work synergistically together. By the way, the copper will not show up on a hair analysis right away unless you cut out high copper foods and then give the body the opportunity to dump, or eliminate excess copper from wherever it might be stored. At this point, if you do have copper toxicity you’ll definately experience cravings for one or more copper dominant foods. Also, vegan & vegetarian diets are often deficient in zinc and excessively high in copper. Check out the Weston A Price Foundation website for a great article on it. And I don’t promote animal based diets but I do believe this issue of copper toxicity is a key for many people right now. Take care.

  111. marilyn says:

    I learned about raw food by eating instictively.I was very sick and healed myself this way. One food at a time, what tastes good and smells good is what our bodies need. You can eat as much of a food as you like until the body lets you know by way of taste change you’ve had enough.Only works with foods in there natural state. I observed and that hardly anybody that ate this way was attracted to raw cacao beans. I would not eat more than one piece.

    Recently I joined a multilevel raw chocolate company and ate tons of it .Obviously this chocolate was not in it’ natural form or else I could never eat that much ot it. I had fatique, the addictive quality and dark urine as well as candida from the sugar This was not a good idea. Genefit nutrition is the web site of a couple of friends that eat and research the instictive way of eating raw food. Simply Miraculous. I wanted to share this information as it was so helpful to me.

  112. Linda says:

    are you familiar with the 80/10/10 diet by Dr Douglas Graham? he swears that candida can be defeated in a couple of days. also, my husband battled it for years and now gets rid of it by a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water a couple of times a day plub a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar a couple of times a day. he does not like to do the raw food all the time so it will come back on him so he just clears it up in a couple of days by doing the above. good luck

  113. lauren says:

    Where can I get a mineral test and/or a heavy metal test?

    How could I find a doctor here?
    I live in Idaho near Boise.

  114. Annalee says:

    I used to eat chocolate. One day I realized that it magnified all my emotions – especially the anger ones. My older kids remember a mom that was so angry she made her kids take a nap on vacation to the beach. And I didn’t even know I had eaten chocolate – I found out a week later that it was mixed into the mole I ate. Finally, last summer with much prayer and meditation and the help of God, I was able to stop eating chocolate. I am a different person and much happier. My health is better, too. And now I enjoy green smoothies and am able to eat much healthier. Every time I am tempted and eat a little – whether it is Xocai (excellent chocolate) or anything else, I feel angry until it goes out of my system. I can relate to Debbie Grimm’s brother – I feel like PMS.
    Kevin, you are so awesome to be real about this. I like how you say it affects you and that everyone needs to get their own diet. We are all different chemically, like you say, a fast oxidizer (I am too) may have different needs and allergies than a slow or mixed. And maybe today in the lifestyle and age I am in I need to avoid any cacao but in a few years when stress is less (is it really ever?) I may be able to partake once in awhile. Awesome to speak up even though it isn’t in a popular vein – but then, I find you are always honest and in a right vein – never proud or selling, just transparent and good. Thanks!

  115. Connie says:

    Kevin, I so appreciate your candor about all these food trends. It helps to keep me from jumping on the bandwagon without really thinking and doing it in moderation. THANK YOU!

    I think you will really enjoy an article I just received from Dr. Ben Kim (Barrie, Ontario) tonight. (Link is at bottom.) It was a wake up call similar to this post–especially since my daughter has been having serious problems with her asthma the past couple months, so I took her to a naturopath. Your cautions and those of this article will help me keep balanced as far as what I do for her.

    Please check out this article!

    Connie in Canada

  116. Thanks for sharing your story Kevin! Wow. I have never made cacao a habit. I’ve been raw over 5 years now and have never felt the need to eat it. I’ve had it once or twice and it made my heart beat fast and gave me a headache. that was enough evidence for me it was not a natural food and wasn’t going to do me any good. 🙂

  117. Sal says:

    Thank you! Great personal story on an important topic. Here’s a post by Dr. Douglas Graham about this topic.

    From: Dr. Doug Graham (
    Subject: Chocolate
    Date: June 7, 2005 at 3:49 am PST

    In Reply to: Naked Chocolate posted by Jamie Clark on June 5, 2005 at 5:35 pm:

    Briefly, ever so briefly,

    First, there is no raw chocolate being sold, anywhere. In order to taste like chocolate, cacao beans must be heated. I have lived in the tropics and have tried to bring out the chocolate taste in other ways, it simply cannot be done. There is no such thing as raw chocolate.
    Even the chocolate that is fermented so said to be raw is eventually heated, and high enough to be cooked.

    I am sure you know that heating the proteins in chocolate denatures them and causes them to become carcinogenic. I assume you are aware that heating the carbohydrates caramelizes them, adversely affecting their GI rating and also creating carcinogens. It made worldwide headlines three years ago that heating fats, even the fats in chocolate, results in the production of carcinogens, so that is no news to you, I am sure. It also results in the production of enzyme resistant protein bonds that are a causative agent in conditions ranging from arthritis to allergies, leaky gut, and many others. The double bonds of the fats in chocolate become triple bonds under the influence of heat making them physiologically nonviable for humans and adversely impacting upon our cholesterol levels.

    As far as the components of chocolate, essentially it is a cocktail of toxic chemicals and drugs.
    Cacao beans contain:
    methylxanthines such as the stimulant drugs known as caffeine, theobromine, and theophyllin, all of which are known to produce permanent degenerative alterations in cellular protoplasm.
    More tannin than tea.
    Oxalic acid

    There is not the time to go into the toxic impact of each of this drugs, but if you want such information I can supply it via a consultation. I am sure you can do a search on these substances to find their debilitating effects on human health.

    So, chocolate is not raw, is defintely not health food, and cannot be considered a superfood. There is nothing about marketing chocolate that can be considered a positive except for the possible bottom line profits that it may offer.

    Hope this helps,
    Dr D

    Here’s the direct link to his post:

    This is a very informative post:

    For the whole discussion, you can continue reading here:

    From Another Forum:

    Plus if you’ll discover proof that a major raw food author plagiarized his first book.


    *** Is Raw Chocolate Healthy? ***

    Raw Cacao: another stimulant disguised as a healthy food

    by Frédéric Patenaude

    Many of my readers have been asking me what I think of the whole raw cacao craze. For those who don’t know, raw cacao beans are now sold by different raw-food companies as the latest “superfood.” Cacao beans are traditionally roasted and used to make chocolate. Now, raw-foodists have found a raw version of the beloved bean and are apparently using it for its magical properties.

    First, let me start by explaining what my own personal use of cacao is. I’ve known for a long time that cacao is a stimulant. Not as strong as coffee, but its stimulating “qualities” are easy to spot when your body is not used to eating such foods. Because of this, I often used carob powder in my recipes. Carob powder is made from a fruit and has a taste that reminds of chocolate. It is naturally sweet. Instead of being a stimulant, carob is a mineral rich food and has a calming effect. So, like most raw-foodists, I used carob powder in my recipes. But, then one day, I decided to use cacao powder. I figured: if I’m going to make something that tastes like chocolate, why not use the real thing? I’ve noticed that cacao has a stimulating effect, but since I was using it occasionally (i.e. less than once a month) and just for fun in some recipes, I was not too bothered by that little indiscretion. However, I never considered it to be a health food.

    Now, cacao beans are sold to us at an exorbitant price under the assumption that it’s one of the best things we could ever eat. I couldn’t disagree more.

    First of all, cacao beans are not really food. If you found them in nature, you wouldn’t eat the seeds. You would eat the fruit, which is apparently delicious, and throw away the seeds. Even if you wanted to eat the seeds, they would not taste like chocolate. In order for the cacao seeds to taste like chocolate and become the cacao beans that we know, they have to be fermented first. They are fairly bitter, indicating the presence of a poison. And when I say a “poison,” I’m not making this up. Just do a little research and you’ll discover that cacao contains many chemicals with a stimulating effects, such as theobromine and caffeine.

    Frederic Patenaude has a free weekly e-newsletter filled with unique nutrition tips, informative articles and exclusive interviews for you.

    A popular article on raw cacao beans claims that cacao “increase(s) your focus and alertness and contains nutrients to keep you happy.”

    My answer to that is the same as has been said and is being said about coffee. The fact is that what people actually confuse with “alertness” is actually an adrenal response to the stress that the body has to deal with when eliminating the toxins found in cacao beans. What you get is NOT energy. What you experience as energy is actually your body working hard to establish balance (homeostasis) again! It’s like whipping a horse. Eventually, it will fall down.

    Here’s an excerpt from Neal Barnard’s book, “Breaking the Food Seduction”:

    “Researchers at the University of Michigan brought out the truth about chocolate. In a research study, they gave 26 volunteers a drug called ‘noxalone.’ They then offered them a tray filled with Snicker’s Bars, M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies, and Oreos. Normally, these snacks would have quickly disappeared. But, the drug knocked out the desire for chocolate. A candy bar was not much more exciting than a crust of dry bread.

    “Noxalone is an opiate blocker. That is, it stops heroin, morphine, and other narcotics from affecting the brain. And, it blocks the effects of chocolate, too. This research study showed that chocolate’s appeal does not come from its creamy texture or deep brown color. Chocolate stimulates the same part of the brain that morphine acts on. For all intents and purposes, chocolate is a drug – not necessarily a bad one and not a terribly strong one, but strong enough, nonetheless, to keep us coming back for more.”

    Many people would argue that when cacao is not cooked, these chemicals do not have the same effect on the body. But yet, those same people who say that actually admit to eating cacao beans for their stimulating effect! Many people have reported not being able to fall asleep if they eat cacao beans late at night and that they are still looking for the “best” time of the day to eat them. Others tell me that when they eat cacao beans, they get so much energy, but then have a “down” later on. Does that remind you of something?

    If you like the taste, you could use some cacao once in a while in a recipe. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that there’s somehow something really good about this. Personally, I would consider using cacao when making a special desert for a special occasion. I don’t recommend eating cacao otherwise. I don’t find anything special in it. I don’t buy the whole raw cacao craze and I don’t think it is worth the price that is charged for it.

    Remember: A rose by any other name is … just as thorny. Have fun! 😉

    Frédéric Patenaude has written several great books on the raw food diet and is the publisher of a great weekly ezine called “Pure Health and Nutrition.” To learn more about what Frédéric has to offer, please visit his website with the link below.


    I hope you’ve found this information helpful to you. I’m sorry if I burst your bubble about so-called raw chocolate or cacao. You can still eat it (I’d only do it occasionally if at all.) but at least now you know what you are getting yourself into.

    To Your Radiant Health, Happiness and Fitness, Roger Haeske

    P.S. Which Easy, No-Equipment Exercise, Can Give You Explosive Speed, Marathon Endurance And Sculpted Muscular Legs, That You Can Do While Watching TV? for more info.

  118. Hi,

    I am a chocoholic. For years I was eating about 8 oz. of dark chocolate (70% pure) every day. I began to suffer from my gall bladder and never made a connection with my diet. My MD. had me on a restricted, no fat diet. However, he said you are pretty thin, so you probably are not eating much fat to begin with. Anyway, after a few years I had my gall bladder removed. Almost immediately I began to suffer from pancreatitis. Not a good thing. I finally noticed that every time I ate chocolate I suffered extreme pancreatic pain. Also, after repeated tests during my chocolate phase, my liver enzymes were elevated. The Doctor wanted to do a liver biopsy because he thought I had liver cancer (I refused). A 5th generation chinese acupuncturist/herbalist told me to stop eating chocolate forever. It falls into the medicinal plant category and should not consumed as a recreational food. I have been feeling pretty alone with this. Thank you for sharing your experience. We can learn from each other from sites like this.

  119. Jacalyn says:

    Hi Kevin, I’m not either “super-healthy” or young! but I just happened to catch your video.I do “traditional” (ie, university)health research. I take EMPower+ vit/mineral mixture – originally developed for biopolar (see http://www.TrueHope),but now also used by many others for optimum health. The TH folks also say that chocolate makes their supplements less effective. Just thought I’d add a vote on “your side”, Cheers! Jacalyn

  120. Bridey says:

    THANK YOU KEVIN!! I am seeing a Naturpath now for eczema on my face, (and it also swelled up) and I am now inspired to cut cocao out of my diet to see if it helps my situation as well. I just started eating raw cocao for about less than a month, and it was great at first, but I too have noticed a drop in my energy levels after the first week. Your experiences with cocao sounded like a mirror of what I had been experincing as well. Thank you for sharing, and for your great shows.

  121. Raluca says:

    Hey Kevin,

    I don’t have any cacao incident, because I havent’t tried it yet, but I would have consider it a treat, from time to time. We shouldn’t eat anything too much everyday.

    I’ve got a question for you and I don’t know where to write it, so I guess I’ll say it here.

    I’m very concerned about my Vitamin D intake. I don’t take any cod liver oil and I live in a very cloudy and cold climate.

    I’ve read about Dr. Mercola’s Sun Splash system. Are they really that good? What do you think? And if you think they are ok, is that the case with all tanning systems? Since I’m from Europe, I don’t know if I can buy these stuff from US, anyway.

    Do you think I should consider cod liver oil? I don’t eat animals because I love them, so I really would like to find other healthy sources of vitamin d. Please help.

  122. lee vardi says:

    immediately upon consuming raw cacao powder in my smoothies my elimination cycle went haywire and I now have a greater undestanding of the term …”SHITTING BRICKS”…..It was seriously bad……I’ve got 450g organic cacao powder for sale….make an offer…love your show…lee[down under……where the livings easy….why dont you come walkabout]

  123. Raluca says:

    An adding: I’ve searched here, on the site, and somebody is saying that raw milk is a good vitamin d source. I would rather consider that (if it’s true), than killing some animals. What do you think?

  124. Rod says:

    Great health information Kevin… Thanks

    We all want to live healthy and really live a life that is high energy living.

    I feel that this is a wonderful example of listening to your spirit and body. Each of are individuals and need to pay attention to our inner self.

    We have all that we need to live and awesome life as you so passionately display.

    So often many of us seek the quick fix the do all pill.

    I have had a few instantaneous that I needed to evaluate and resolve similar to your cocao situation. One of them involved honey and we know how good natural honey can be for us. It boiled down to one particular honey and not all.

    Moderation is really the key to most of what we consume there is no one substance that is the ultimate answer as you know.

    Your passion and honesty is really a gift. Keep up the awesome passionate giving that you do so well.

    You are a voice and a voice that many deserve to hear. A voice bout healthy and wellness that needs to be heard and wants to be heard by many… health and wellness is the voice I hear and I do listen.

    You ROCK!

  125. Peggie Russo says:

    I tried organic cacao nibs last year. I purchased them at Wild Oats. The first day I made a banana cacao smoothie. It was wonderful. A couple of days later, I made another smoothie with bananas and cacao nibs suing a little more of the nibs this time. I got so sick after eating that smoothie. I felt horrible. I knew that it was the cacao. I was sick for 2 days! I threw the nibs right in the garbage! Paul Nison had warned all of us to stay away from cacao and because of my experience with cacao I have to say that Paul is right!

  126. tim says:

    just wandering what david wolfe thinks of this? he is promoter of cacao…..

    what are his thoughts of whats happening to u??

    Cheers tim

  127. Carole Arecchi says:

    Hi – Love yr show. Had to respond to cacao. My husband retired from major company doing extensive research on cacao & proper way to create powder, etc. Have been with company in Panama meeting Kuna Indians who have used in their culture long time. They roll their food in salt (!!!!!), use cacao as a brewed drink, and maybe in more ways. As they age, they have NO incidence of high blood pressure, cancer or stroke (which is why company is studying them and cacao, hopefully to be used as an additive in foods in the future). Sounds like great stuff, and my husband has been using for several years with no problem. However, two comments. One is, when given to some elderly patients on blood pressure meds, blood pressure was so dramatically lowered, that patients were overdosing on their meds. Blood pressure was way too low, which is why I’m not taking it until I can get off blood pressure med. Second, efficacious dose is 1/8 TEASPOON, (and that small amount caused low blood pressure problem when combined with blood pressure medicine). You may have had extremely low blood pressure as well (TIRED, SLEEPY?). 1 to 2 TABLESPOONS is major overdosing, based on their lab research. Good luck!

  128. Catherine says:

    I have never eaten raw cacao, because I had to stop eating chocolate long before I began eating raw. It made my face turn red & my face & neck break out in hives.

    Chocolate, raw or not, contains caffeine, which is a drug. Not as much as coffee, but it’s still there. Chocolate also contains other substances that make it allergenic, and addictive.

    Not everything natural is good for us. Tobacco, hemlock, and poison ivy are natural.

  129. Amy Rhodes says:

    I know you posted this 11/21 but it’s only 11/23 and it says that the video is no longer available. This one is particularly important to me. Would you PLEASE set it up again so I can view it. I promise to check my email tonight and tomorrow before I leave town.


  130. Cheryl Holt says:

    Wow, I do not no what to say about that. I have had some people tell me they get very hyped on Cacao and I run much faster on it as well. I remember what good Dr. Sheridan had to say about cacao at the Raw Spirit Festival.

    However I just purchased Naked Chocolate and I love Sacred Chocolate hearts and Gnosis Raw Chocolate with my favs being Mint Sacred Choc and Superchock from Gnosis.

    I had eczema and after I started using raw foods my skin has cleared up. Since I started using raw foods I have always used CACAO and absolutely love it over coffee in the am. Traded cacao for coffee.

    I also had fatty liver and since my conversion to raw I now have two normal liver function studies. Kevin, I am sorry you had these issues with cacao. I have had none of these problems and I am what I would consider a heavy user.

    I love cacao and have cut back a bit to use more greens in my diet. It seems there are many variables here left to explore. I will not be giving up my CACAO. It is always great to hear others experiences though as someone else may have the same and passing on the word is major here.

    Thanks for passing on the word. Oh & BTW I would love to see more yoga for fitness friday. : )

  131. Kathie says:

    Great great story!! Keep learning, and don’t turn back!!
    I, too, had a horrible experience with cacao, and ended up sending it all back to where it came from. I will never take it again!
    I was finding that I could not even write my name, as my hand shook so bad. My handwriting looked like I was an extremely old person. Also, I could not sleep well. I could fall asleep quite easily, but minutes later I would be wide awake, until finally I dragged out of bed with 2, 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Every day was ruined by a lack of sleep. I put on weight that I did not expect, as I have been a fresh-raw-foodist for over 10 years. My mood swings were just awful. I finally decided it had to be the cacao, and cut it out. I, like you, immediately noticed the difference. Praise God!! I can write again, I sleep the night thru, and the mood swings are gone, as well as the extra weight.
    Kevin, I want to share with you that cacao is 84% fat, and when one takes in more fat per calories of fresh raw fruits and vegetables, the fat stays in the bloodstream. It blocks the sugars from being released so they can do their necessary work of providing fuel for the cells that will in turn energize a person. Candida is a natural substance in everyone’s body, but when it gets out of control, as it will because of all the fat in the bloodstream, it now becomes candidiasis. The way to get rid of the candida overgrowth is by taking in more juicy sweet fruits and reducing fat intake at the same time. It is extremely important to stay in balance. The body is a fine-tuned instrument, and it demands balance.
    Please read Dr. Douglas Graham’s book “The 80/10/10 Diet” for more information on this subject. It is one of the most important books out there about getting and maintaining optimal health.
    By the way, you will learn all about the myth of “fast and slow oxidizers”.

  132. Patricia A'amina says:

    So… Kevin, why is the video no longer available?

  133. Chris says:

    I wonder if there is a difference between cacao powder and cacao nibs/beans? I believe the powder has some, or all, of the cacao fats removed, right? And if so doesn’t that make it a non-whole food? Might that contribute to the potential issues with cacao powder in smoothies?

  134. Chang-yu says:

    Hi Kev, Thanks so much for sharing with us your Cacao experiences. I strongly agree with you about raw Cacao issue.

    My family’s been raw vegan for nearly 5 years, all raw with high greens & sea veggies.
    Our bodies tell us cacao is not good for us when it was 1st introduced to raw-food world 3 years ago. People stared at me & said ” you DON’T like chocolate, not even raw ones!!”

    Now it’s great to know more raw-food friends have discovered the cacao myth and stop use (or less) this strong “subsistance”.

    Thank you for your honesty & sharing these valuable infomation.

    Love & Peace, Chang-yu

  135. KING ARTHUR says:

    So where does this place David Wolfe’s beliefs and claims that Cacao is the ‘best super food ever.
    I personally think Brian Clements has got it right. These David Wolfe types are very enthusiastic with dangerous claims.

  136. Got a question about maca…

    On Nov 21st Deirdre wrote:
    Deirdre on November 21, 2008 7:50 pm
    “…I think things like cacao and maca should only be eaten sometimes.”

    What are the dangers of eating too much maca? I put a tablespoon of powder in my smoothie each day. (I have smoothies 5 days a week.)

    I just started this practice and was hoping it would help with menopause.

    Looking for feedback. Thanks! Sharon

  137. Sarah says:

    I’ve got the rash and I’ve been living with it since i started putting cocoa in my morning shakes. However, you’re right it is hard to break the habit. This morning was a little rough!

  138. Arti says:

    Do you think that the problems you’ve had has to do with oxalic acid in cocoa/cacao? Check out this article on oxalic acid and phytates…
    In addition to causing osteoporosis, I think that I’ve also heard that oxalic acid and phytates can cause kidney stones…

  139. Leslie says:

    As with everything, good in moderation.

    I learned the principal of “food rotation” from Victoria Boutenko’s book Green For Life. That same principal works in just about everything. To get a balanced diet, you need to rotate your food, not eat the same thing for months on end.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I love cacao, make raw chocolate for potlucks and special occasions. Funny, though, I’ve been known to be addicted and compulsive with food, but just one bite of my chocolate and I’m completely satisfied and no cravings or addiction. (quality over quantity)

  140. Heather says:

    thanks for sharing your experience !

    I’m not surprised about the toxic component of cacao, however, I am pretty shocked about the magnesium and mineral deficiency part …. I guess just from listening to D Wolfe go on and on about how mineral rich cacao is.
    Hmmmmm…I mean, he really pushes the idea of cacao as something to be respected and as a ‘deliverer of medicines’….that’s so different from a leacher of minerals ! I will be wondering about this for a while. thanks.

  141. Heyward says:


    you have no idea how much that post means to me. I always intuitively felt that cacao wasn’t that great for me but I was resisting that feeling because I kept hearing how good it was. My sides always hurt me when I eat cacao more than 2 days in a row and whenever I do a muscle test on cacoa and carob powder, carob ALWAYS tests stronger. Brenda Cobb, and Dean Martens PERSONALLY told me to stop taking it, but I STILL didn’t listen…until now.

    Your post is the final confirmation, the last snowflake that breaks the branch.

    Thank you very, very much.

  142. april groom says:

    Thanks Kevin! Wow – In the fall of 2005 a friend told me about cacao and she gave me some. I’d been 100 percent raw for two years. I didn’t like it at first. Then, she kept on talking about it and saying how ‘good’ it is for you and that it’s a ‘superfood’. So, after reading the book ‘Naked Chocolate’ by David Wolfe, I decided to buy a bag and have a T. in my morning smoothie. WHOAH!!!!!!! After about 2 days, it didn’t matter WHAT it tasted like at first – I LOVED the way I felt… which was… hyper, happy, buzzed, as if I was hopped up on like 6 cups of coffee, and super pumped up to do whatever needed done!!! Now, on some level, I WAS aware of the caffeine factor of cacao, but I was in denial because it was so ‘good’ for me. I was also aware that I felt kind of like a drug addict (although I’ve never been) and that I ‘had’ to have it. Soon, one T. turned into 3. It seemed to really pick me up and I started even having smoothies other times of the day, as I was in a very busy time in my life. I was doing a lot of photographing and printing up a portfolio of photos to go up at my photography booth at a local Atlanta festival. I was making a new logo and constructing a first-time website. This was all to transition to full-time photographer. I was intensely working on this from Sept to April, all while working a full-time job. Interestingly, I started cacao in Sept. and by February, so that’s 5 months later, I TOO WAS getting ‘ITCHY’ as I called it. But, it would come and go, in several spots all over my body, itch very intensely for about 10 minutes, and fade away. I started charting it. And, I too, was worried. By this time in February, I was VERY STRESSED out and I thought, well, maybe it’s this working two jobs thing and having an incredibly fun social life… I’ll be ok, AFTER my photo festival… Well, AT my photo festival, I was very tired, stressed out, and had to really contain myself not to scratch cause I was itching CONSTANTLY that weekend. I was horrified. So, this level of itchiness and stress remained until June 1 when the effects on my adrenals came to a head. (See story at the end). Well, after cutting things out of my diet also, and adding them back in, I finally cut out the cacao. Nothing immediately happened and by this time I was ‘itching’ about 25 different times a day and I felt tortured, trapped, and scared by this invasive itchiness.I was also EXHAUSTED. I went to several doctors. I couldn’t afford the expensive ‘battery of tests’ and after big bucks two just thought it was stress related anyway. Well, apparently, it WAS… from cacao. At my heart of hearts, I believe that’s what caused it. Well, after going to several doctors, I finally found a naturopath who did computerized comprehensive systemic testing I could afford. MY ADRENALS were practically non-existent, they were so low and MY KIDNEYS and LIVER were weak also. DID I HEAR YOU MENTION LYME AS IN LYME DISEASE IN YOUR TALK BRIEFLY? I ALSO HAD LYME DISEASE, APPARENTLY, BUT WITH NO REAL ‘SYMPTOMS’. I took the homeopathic regimen recommended and after about 6 months my adrenals DID improve and so did my liver and kidneys. The lyme disease was gone also, although a ‘cousin’ of it appeared. However, the dreaded ITCHING, although not as drastic, was STILL happening, but only about twice a day instead of 10-25. It STILL didn’t go away completely… hmmmm… I thought. This doctor’s bills were really started to become a burden, so I just decided to let my body deal with everything and cut out all the homeopathic crap which may be causing other things too, who knows. So, the itching – well, I learned to deal with it, after all, it only lasted 10 minutes or so and was happening MUCH LESS overall, than before. Once a day, if that, WAS a true blessing. But, Oh, was it HARD not to scratch. So, all this itching lasted from Feb. of 2006- March of 2008. That’s 2 YEARS!!! I was still going to doctors and investigating it, but I pretty much just left it to the fact that my body must be getting rid of something and I’ll just TRUST it. So, in March 2008, although infrequent, the itching was STILL there! FINALLY, I brought it up to my new chiropractor in January of 2008. . I had been regularly seeing him for a few months, noticed it seemed to get better, with less itchiness and less frequency of occurrence. It was only happening every couple of weeks or so now. I brought it to his attention. With regular adjustments, it improved. By late spring, I hardly itched at ALL. Now, I’ll notice sometimes when I’m stressed, it’ll come up. I think it’s an adrenal thing. But it’s been real real REAL rare, over the summer til this fall now. Wow – finally GONE – THANK GOD!!! And, I haven’t thought about the itching in weeks, not til this report. Thanks Kevin. I do not believe cacao should be eaten regularly and preferably not at ALL.

    Now, going back to the spring of my photo festival, in 2005, this is what happened by summer: That day, in attempt to find out WHY I was itching I went to ANOTHER practitioner – this time, an accupuncturist. That was at 8 pm. Then, in the middle of the night, I awoke suddenly, with this pain in my colon. I rushed to the bathroom and wasn’t sure if I was going to poop or throw up. I felt nauseous. My heart began racing and all of the sudden I couldn’t breathe. I panicked and at 3 a.m. called a friend to come. Before he could get there, I decided to call 911. I thought I was dying. I went to the emergency room. It was concluded I’d had an ANXIETY attack, and they wanted to give me zan-x. I threw the prescription away and instead added more greens to my diet – dandelion greens, barley powder, chlorophyl, spirulina, ect. I started rotating and experiment with more greens. Interesting that you found you were MINERAL DEFICIENT. Thanks for your info, Kevin.:! Yes, stay away from cacao, or, only as a once in a while treat.

  143. brian says:

    I think too much cacao may cause irritability.

    Is it just raw cacao that causes the effects? what about the commercial chocolate bars? or would cooking the cacao neutralize those effects?

  144. Paul says:

    I hate to jump on the cacao-hating bandwagon here Kevin, but you just confirmed what I’ve suspected for a long time; that cacao is NOT a superfood!

    Cacao does NOTHING for me. Nothing positive anyway. I’ve taken it in small amounts and large amounts, all to no avail. But I bought into all the hype…and waited for this magical cacao bliss to happen every time I consumed it – (sometimes daily for long stretches of time) and yet nothing but tiredness and heavyness. I was really confused.

    Another poster here said something about how he can’t describe how cacao made him feel. I would have to agree, but the one thing that I can deffinately say is – I feel much better when I DON’T take it.

  145. Sal says:

    Response to a couple of comments- Getting vitamin D from the sun in summer and as much as possible in colder months and take a vacation in winter to a sunny place and you should be fine.
    If Cacao is a medicine at a small amount of consumption and a poison at a more than small amount of consumption than it would be considered a poison, period, according to Natural Hygene. Just because it lowers the blood pressure or does anything else does not mean this is good for the body. You can’t trick the body into health with a stimulant or superfood, just give it proper nutrition, rest, happy atmosphere, sun, excercise to be healthy. -Read 80/10/10

  146. Leonardo says:

    Hello! I’ve seen you guys using AGAVE NECTAR in various recipes, so I think you should read this:

    All the best!

  147. Ginny Fisher says:

    I rotate the foods I eat because of food allergies so cacao is only an occasional food for me. But when i add it to a smoothie I feel a little unwell, GI-wise. My energy is zooming due to the caffeine/theobromine, but I know that it isn’t a food for me to eat often. I’ve learned to listen carefully to my body and it says cacao isn’t very good for me. I’ll be interested to hear about your minerals. Hope they have come up. Thanks for the Dr. Sheridan video. It was awesome. I listened to it 3 times!! And thanks for everything. Your show is awesome. Ginny

  148. Pearlis says:

    Kevin, how can I get more details on the cacao that you were eating? I need to know where it is grown, all the different components of the harvest through distribution. I am doing research on why there are such varying degrees of reports about the health benefits done in medical studies compared to your report. Also, what blood type are you?

    Thank you for giving out the information requested.


  149. David Favor says:

    What you’re describing is what happened to me with Cacao also. Over time I had intensifying negative effects. I thought this was just Cacao, as I was purchasing from a high quality source. Finally I stopped using Cacao altogether. Then after months of research, I contracted for Cacao to be fully fermented, the majority of shell debris stripped and then processed at extremely low temperature. This is the product we import now. So, better to say the Cacao you’re using is producing your current outcome. Different Cacao products produce radically different long term effects.

  150. Karen Jackson says:

    Wow, what a response from everyone! We use powdered cacao or nibs in oatneal on the weekends and never have had any problems. I am not a chocolate lover and only added it because it was to hyped. I think I’ll use up what I have and not order any more. Thanks!

  151. RawSpice says:


    By all means… do what is best for your body.

    Just one question. What was the source of your Cacao?

    I ask because I notice a difference in how my body reacts when eating the cacao from one source to another. The purist form I have found is from Sunfood Nutrtion. This one is smooth and loves my body.

    The other source provided a version that made my adrenals race; I experienced severe anxiety and felt very agitated. I figured out this other company was selling cacao that must be cut with Kola nut and Guarana (sp?) seed. … the active ingredient that cause ‘the jitters’ in coffee drinkers.

    It is my understanding that Raw Organic Cacao contains a cousin of caffeine (theobromine) at one twentieth the level of caffeine in a cup of coffee. And that THeobromine activates the cariovasular system, not the nervous system.

    Therefore, know you body, yes. And know your Source and the process it goes through before it gets to you.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with Cacao.

  152. Jackie says:


    I grew up in Jamaica and grew the cacao trees in our yard. We used to make “hot chocolate” with the ground beans. However we never lived on the stuff for long periods of time. The most we would use the cacao for is about 5 consecutive days.

    Whenever we drink the hot chocolate for more than 5 days in a row, our body sweat would be brown around the armsand would stain our clothing (maybe that is why your urine was dark). Maybe that was why we laid off the stuff. It is powerful and good for you, but you have to take it in moderation.

    I love cacao!

  153. chris Yonker says:

    Did you muscle test the Cacao?

  154. Jean says:

    I appreciate your posting your Cacao experience and the additional informative commentary posts. (I took notes 🙂

    While I haven’t been eating ‘raw cacao’ I’ve been a dedicated chocoholic for decades, eating around 3-4 ounces a day of vegan chocolate chips in recent years.

    I’ve recently been seeing a nutritional consultant for adrenal issues, and after a hair analysis I learned I was very low in minerals, and was experiencing serious low adrenal function verified by a saliva cortisol test.

    Nothing was said about chocolate consumption as a possible factor, but after watching your video I feel the chocolate consumption is indeed a factor in my adrenal issues.

    Plus, I was having a great deal of trouble getting my cholesterol levels to drop, even as a vegan, but when I cut out chocolate chips for a period of time I saw a rather substantial drop in cholesterol levels (20%)

    After doing some online research, I’ve also become concerned about the possibility of lead issues after reading the study at:

    Basically, while the cacao bean seems to have little lead contamination, processed cacao/chocolate seems to have quite a problem.

    Consequently I’ll be using some homemade cilantro pesto as a chelator to dump any possible build up of heavy metals, like lead. Online recipes abound so I won’t post a link.

    I’ve decided to stop eating chocolate entirely. It’s darn hard to quit, but it has to be done.

    It’s been very confusing to read about all the good things attributed to dark chocolate or cacao and not feel it’s a ‘wonder’ food o.k. for daily use.

    I doubt that an occasional partaking of chocolate such as at Christmas or Valentines day would be particularly harmful, but it’s clearly not meant to be an ‘everyday’ food – at least for me.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience. It’s been most helpful.

  155. Hi Kev,

    Thank you for expressing your ideas about the cacao. I think you have found PART of the problem, but I also think that you are blaming the arresting officer for the crime wave.

    Let’s start with the confirming part. You said that you were using POWDERED raw cacao. Two things about that. To powder it, they first press the oils out, then grind the residue into a fine powder. It may be raw, but it has become a processed food. For people who want to experience the BENEFITS of raw cacao, I recommend that they use cacao nibs. Add these to the INITIAL liquids in your Vita-Mix to liquefy. That way, the oils are still in the food, and the nibs never are reduced to a POWDER.

    Many years ago it became known by the medical profession that cocoa powder was causing harm to the kidneys and the liver due to the kidneys having to filter out the fine powder from the blood. This was publicized in AMA journals in the mid-1970’s if you want to research it.

    BUT, don’t blame the cacao – blame the human interference with it’s natural form …

    Now regarding your rash and your declining energy, and the dark bags under your eyes. (WAAAYY to dark for someone your age!) Even though you had a hair analysis, I still suspect that you are detoxing from heavy metal poisoning. You described the classic symptoms, especially the rash. (I still have scars from my arsenic rash.)

    Hair analysis is totally inconclusive. The only way you will know for certain is to do a urine challenge test. This has become much easier, and very inexpensive since the public introduction of certain liquid zeolites that trap and remove the heavy metals from your cells. If I were to give you the information about this directly, your system would strip this comment as spam, so instead please allow me to share a series of articles I have written about heavy metal toxicity with you. They are posted on a completely free, mostly non-commercial web site called “Perfect Health: NATURALLY!”. The address is The HM series begins at

    This is a subject that I council people on daily. I invite you to call me to discuss the details that would be inappropriate for this comment. Hopefully we can get you back to enjoying cacao as the healing, DETOXIFYING influence it really is—but AFTER we get enough HM out of your body that it isn’t pushing them to the surface and causing the rash.

    My phone number is 208-278-5800. Anyone who suspects HM toxicity should first read the articles, THEN they would be welcome to call with questions. There is no charge for consultations—I was blessed to have learned it, and I freely pass that blessing on to others.

    Best regards,
    Bruce Chenoweth, S.I.P.E.

  156. One thing I should have mentioned in my previous comment was about your magnesium deficiency. That is completely in keeping with my HM theory. Here is why:

    Mercury mimics magnesium. When your body is building and it needs a magnesium to complete a molecular chain, it will accept a mercury in it place.

    Given that vaccinations contain mercury (under the name “Thimerisol”) and most diets are magnesium deficient, the odds are good that our bodies will have more mercury than magnesium in it’s structure. unfortunately, molecular chains constructed with mercury are non-functional. They become a burden rather than an asset.

    When we have a detoxifying influence in our bodies, the mercury is displaced from the molecular chains to wherever (skin rashes, etc.) in an attempt to dispose of it. This leaves the body desperately seeking magnesium. It will deplete its normal stores. If you aren’t putting lots of it back in, you will become magnesium deficient.

    Interestingly, cacao nibs are an excellent source of magnesium …

    Best regards,
    bruce Chenoweth

  157. Karen A. Di Gloria-Kantrovitz says:

    Hi Kevin: First, I would really like to extend my appreciation for sharing some of your person health experiences and challenges with all of us – the unknown is always the most stressful. Although I don’t know what a typical day is like for you or what you eat and drink from day to day, I will try to offer my own take on what could also be going on – based on what I do know – and my background and personal experience with a total raw food/superfood lifestyle, nutrition and athleticism.

    First, I think it is a bit more complex than just the cacao alone. I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water just yet. It could be as simple as the amount taken, and the fact that it was take in all at once that has contributed or aggravated the underlying issue(s). One the other hand, just like any food or herb, one persons poison is another’s panacea, and if we dig deeper, people sensitive to moderate amounts of cacao may be sensitive to other foods with similar chemical make-up. Cacao is a superfood because of its complexity and amazing abilities to transform with even minimal amounts…definitely not a food to abuse, but to be thoroughly enjoyed. Cacao contains a very strong alkaloid, and theobromine is actually known in medicine to open the pathways to the heart to get things pumping. In my opinion (and I know David Wolfe has mentioned something along these lines as well), cacao should be thought of as a superior food with medicinal properties (this comes from my background in the medical field for several years). Personally, I eat a moderate amount of cacao every day…or at least 5-6 times per week, but I also make sure to eat it with a source of fat (coconut oil/butter, cashews, mac or brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds…even avacado); this way its powerful complex properties can enter the system at a tolerable pace. One should feel sharper and blissful, but not racy or anxious.

    Second, I understand you have certain minerals that have shown up out of balance. I wouldn’t necessarily say the primary reason is cacao; other contributing factors could be the higher intake of fruit for a period of time, which I know couldn’t have helped with your Candida struggles. Fruit has a more cleansing effect on the body, and depending on your fruit choices, eating to much (especially if picked unripe) can cause you to swing more acidic, potentially flushing salt minerals from the body. You mention eating bananas and…I think grains. As far as the phosphorous/calcium ration goes, foods higher in phosphorus (bananas, pineapples, apples, grains to name a few) can cause a lowering of blood calcium and produces a tendency to leach calcium from the bones.

    Third, If you travel alot and exercise as much as myself…which I believe you do, dehydration can come on very quick no matter how good you are at eating a diet high in raw fruits and veggies. Drinking water with MSM, a pinch of sea salt or lemon, and/or drinking green juices with more organic sodium sources, such as celery could be very helpful. Also, low HCL may be in issue in which celery is the answer. Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach is crucial in order to activate the flow of bile as well as activate absorption of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and zinc. Personally, I also consume a few different algae forms, such as Blue Green Algae and Chlorella every AM with a good amount of cool water. This gives me assurance that I am getting mineralized along with kelp and dulse with my evening salads.

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond – I look forward to hearing how you are doing.

    Good Luck – Karen

  158. Pam says:

    Regarding the request for ideas about exercise:
    check out Dave Hubbard’s creation at The idea is it only takes 10 minutes – you get it done and it really works you out. Don’t be deceived by the looks of the simplicity of it!

  159. Wayne Martin says:

    I posted your video episode #189 “My personal Cacao Incident” in a forum, and this is the reply I got back and I’d also like to know, OK?

    “The guy is a good talker. That’s for sure. However, there are a couple of things that bother me about his effort to “warn” people about cacao.

    One is that he revealed no blood analysis or hair analysis that were done before the appearance of the rash. This would have been good information to compare to. His analysis could have been much worse before consuming cacao. In which case cacao would have improved his health not worsened it. …if it was raw cacao. Much of the cacao out there is cooked. And cooked cacao may have worsened it.

    And that’s the other thing that bothers me with this video. He doesn’t say which cacao he consumed and how much. Was it cooked or truly raw? Where did it come from? …Ecuador? …Africa? ..Peru? Does he even know?”
    Thank You, Wayne

    Email me please Or message me;

  160. Laura Sholtz says:

    Hey Kevin,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Surprise! Hope you have a great day, and a wonderful year. BTW, have you ever checked out homeopathic healing? Coupled with an excellent diet, it is the best way to fantastic health.

    Happy Birthday,

  161. taylor says:

    i will join the many here that reported skin rashes, addiction, and more with cacao…..i never ate chocoalte as a child or adult until raw cacao came along……i read how great it was and added it into my diet…..daily ate handfuls of the nibs with gojis…..after about a month i developed a rash under my chin…..very very itchy one… drove me nuts……i have never had any skin issues or rashes of any sort….it got worse and worse….an alternative healer suggested i do a coffee enema to support flushing the liver which i did the next day the rash moved to my face….and chest… looked like adult acne….it was horrible and extremely upsetting, i was still eating the cacao… got worse and worse i stopped eating cacao thinking that might be the issue but it didnt go away so i went back to eating it……
    it lasted for 2 years……by now i was beside myself finally a chinese doctor told me to stop eating cacao and goji berrries cashews and avacados…..
    which i did….after 2 weeks finally the skin issue disappeared.
    i cannot even think of eating any of the foods above i get a sick feeling in my stomach….i was extremely addicted to all of the foods above…and could go hours and hours without eating anything else…..

    thank you for compling this feedback to share with others so they use these strong foods in moderation…

    many blessings to you

  162. Chel says:

    Cacao is definitely an aphrodisiac for me. I had been eating a small handful in the morning with bee pollen and gojis all last week (sometimes in the afternoon too) and though I didn’t attribute it to the cacao at the time, I would not let my boyfriend get any sleep at night! he even commented that I seemed to be needing a lot more lovin this week. hmmm..the bag is gone now so I’ll probably give it some time before I indulge again. thanks for the fresh insight!

  163. Brian P says:

    This is my first experience tonight with cacao and I can say with all certainty that… cacao is not a supplement or a super food. Why? Well, in my past I experimented heavily and this is a very strong stimulant. Stimulants taken often deplete the bodies ability to absorb nutrients, minerals, etc. Tea, coffee do the same and they are not nearly as strong. I didn’t even take a tablespoon as suggested and my experiences are… increased heart rate, (eyes) sensitivity to light, euphoria, no sense of time (it’s been 4 hours), jitters, loss of appetite, and definitely high as a kite, etc.

    This should not be used often. Stimulants can be beneficial… once in a while… and not in the sense of pushing limits.

    But I am not who I used to be. I feel nothing compares to eating healthy foods… staying away from sweeteners… things with intense flavor… that are processed…

    How I roll?
    1) consume things that you can identify in their natural state… ex. an actual nutmeg, ginger root… etc.. not in a powder form… tomatoes not from a can… to make sauce.

    2) never heat anything at high temps. 250 to 300 degrees… maintain food integrity as much as possible.. NEVER USE A MICROWAVE for even water.

    3) Buy food only if it is in a glass container.. Even avoid cans.

    4) Do research on GMO (genetically modified crops) NEVER consume what you can’t be sure of.

    5) Research soy…It’s not good for you. Don’t eat it. One of it’s harmful side effects is it makes males feminine and causes sterility.

    6) Do not cook with aluminum pots, pans, or baking sheets…

    7) I use a Berkey water filter.. even removes flouride. Never drink tap.

    8) I don’t use hazardous chemicals to clean anymore.. All my cleaning agents come from 5starsoap company.. Meaning Avoid Petroleum based skin irritants. And don’t use Palmolive – colgate… big brand dish soaps.. unless you like consuming cancerous agents.

    9) If you use cooking oils.. always switch off.. Don’t use the same one all the time.. I don’t believe the hype about olive oil… so I rotate between sesame, grapeseed, and peanut oil.

    10) Switch to aluminum free deordorant and flourideless toothpaste such as tom’s of Maine.

    11) Avoid splenda, aspartame, msg, high fructose corn syrup… and anything that says on it’s label Natural flavors.. Natural flavors means… (FDA) Anything resembling something natural and where the consumer can not tell the difference between chemicals and true natural ingredients…. Yessssss… 6000 products in big supermarkets add excitotoxins to your juices and organic foods… Look up dr. russell blaylock.

    12) Never eat anything with a long ingredient label… Food should not be a chemistry lesson… And don’t eat froze foods.. Go to farmers markets and by fresh…

    13) Decrease usage of sugar to small amounts where you can regain your natural pallette for tasting food. Everything contains way too much flavor… and sweetness. That’s why it’s hard to appreciate BLAH natural foods.. But if you cut out sugar almost completely you’ll see those foods aren’t blah at all.

    14) Don’t use a juicer… That’s BS. Get a cuisinart and make natural smoothies that are easily digestible and great for you.. I have a recipe… hand full of red grapes.. handful of green grapes… 2 juice oranges… 2 apples… 2 thin carrots… 1 banana… Add 2 cups of water… It’s great for you and tastes great..

    15) I use enerfood.. a raw food supplement that detoxes you and gives you energy.. from enerhealth botanicals… It’s amazing…

    And much more if anyone is interested… But my point is… I am in a healthy state… not full of toxins… And I want to make that clear that in my case I am not having interactions or stirring up other conditions or agitating other unhealthy practices. I have had tons of energy just by following my list.. And this seems like a false energy as oppose to living a healthy lifestyle…

    Put some of this in to practice and see what it does for you… I feel alive again and from my point of view i can see vividly the difference between my lifestyle and using a cacao speed drink.

  164. Elaine says:

    Thank you so much for your research and post! I have had VERY similar experience with raw cacao– both nibs and powder. Love it, but get itchy skin rash on my stomach and my lips and hands get extremely dry and irritated almost immediately after eating it. First it gives me a lift, but results in depleted energy for the day, and can also trigger irregular heartbeats and anxiety. I have kept trying to tell myself it must be something else because raw cacao is sooo good for you (I have read “Naked Chocolate” etc), however, your post has helped me to see the easiest thing would be to just cut it out. For whatever reason it just doesn’t work for me, personaly. Hearing such a similar story has helped to drive this point home. Incidentally, I always crave greens juice after cacao– must be to help replenish minerals… Oh, one other note… unfotunately, lower cacao content chocolate bars (like whole food organic dark chocolae, maybe 60% cacao or so) which are cooked and processed, but also contain sugar, are so much more benign in my system. However the sugar is something I just don’t want, so have argued with myself about this too–why would raw cacao have such drastic negative effects and regular chocolate not? Anyway… thanks!

  165. Dave says:

    One or two tsp. cacao powder (from D. Wolfe’s my protein shakes every day since September’08. Had all these symptoms occur (most of them immediately)since taking the cacao: Palpitations (even a hasrh case of v-tac), insomnia, energy level drop, liver or kidney affected, dehydration, headaches (never have them otherwise as I don’t do caffeine.)Many trips to the ER. Could not lie down without the palpitations. Now checking the cacao as the cause. Sounds likely. (Sunfoods was very nice and helpful in discussing this with me.)Wish I knew how long to expect for it to go away.

  166. Will says:

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve STOPPED drinking cacao for many of the same symptoms above. I am a health enthusiast and felt encourage to drink cacao(or if you like killcao) after hearing David Wolfe speak about it as a “Super Food Supplement”. I eat raw foods and feel fantastic. I work a lot and thought Cacao(CaCa) would be a good substitute for a natural healthier energy feel good drink than coffee. I was drinking “Premium certified organic cacao beans that are guaranteed free of heavy metals, fumigants, pesticides, & chemical contaminants like hexane (Probably the better range of Cacao you can buy).
    In the beginning, I liked the taste and drank 1 to 2 cups a day – about two (sometimes heaping) teaspoons with rice milk or plain. After a couple of weeks, I was drinking 2-3 cups (sometimes four cups) 5x a week . After two months, I’ve experienced poor sleep, I’d wake up to use the toilet and then forget to turn off the lights or fan when returning to bed. My urine was a lot darker. I became surprisingly flimsy when playing my guitar. Short turn memory loss too. The worst thing was I started to experience short 1-3 seconds(I think) of colorful daydreams/hallucinations. SCARY THING IS: THIS WOULD HAPPEN WHEN DRIVING!! I ALMOST HAD A CLOSE CALL ON THE FREE WAY. I HAD TO SING OUT LOUD (WITH AGGRESSION) ALONG WITH THE CAR RADIO SO I WOULDN’T HALLUCINATE/DREAM.

  167. tina says:

    kevin, thanks for sharing your story! i’ve been looking up the health benefits of cacao because i recently started making this mexican style chocolate drink. it brings me energy and tastes great and right now i find myself craving some. i love it! so instead of being one-sided and hearing about how awesome cacao is i thought i’d google “dangers of cacao”… which led me to your site! i woke up this morning and one of my molars was chipped and i thought “what have i been doing differently recently?” and the answer is i’ve increased my consumption of coffee, tea and cacao… i can’t say that cacao alone is responsible because i’ve read about coffee leeching minerals from your body, but your story is living proof that even though cacao is high in minerals, it leeches the minerals from your body (much like milk has shown to do in some studies). i’m definitely going to take another look at my beverage consumption and cut down on all three of those even though people are telling me they’re all good for your health in different ways. thanks for sharing, and i’m definitely going to link to you on my (small and somewhat irrelevant) blog about my personal health experiences (which is rarely updated). i just wanted to let you know you’ve presented me with some information that i feel i need to share. thanks!

  168. Brandon says:

    I have been eating raw for 5 years,
    and for 3 of those years have been
    eating raw cacao none stop.

    Recently, Essential Living Foods (Elf)
    (the whole seller of most of the major
    raw cacao companies) released information
    that the manufacturing plants in Ecuador
    create NOT RAW cacao.

    The processing actually brings it up
    to 300 degrees!

    To make a long story short, the only
    raw cacao supposedly comes from Bali.

    Only two companies carry that cacao.
    One is Elf and the other is Living
    Tree Community, So I ordered a bag.

    When it got here, I excitedly made
    a huge shake, and it WAS very different:
    Different odor, color, taste…

    The other cacao powder has always smelled
    and tasted roasted to me.

    I had an INCREDIBLE buzz…which turned
    into a full blown PANIC ATTACK.

    I felt an itch inside my body I
    couldn’t itch. It went up through
    my arm, chest, neck, forehead.

    My heart was beating so fast. My
    girlfriend who also had the shake with
    me ALSO had a panic attack.

    I meditating but it was too

    That’s when I found your blog.

    I’ve ALWAYS intuitively known that
    cacao was not 100% good for me.

    And like many of you, the buzz was
    great at first, but like any drug I
    became an addict and was now I feeling
    taxed in many ways…

    Today is the day I’m giving up cacao!

    But man, this is going to be like getting
    off heroin or some shit for me.

    Thank you for helping me to make
    that decision.


  169. Dani says:

    Ahh I love you thank you for posting this 🙂

    Cacao has given me a looot of trouble…At first I felt lik

    1) Eczema on my face

    2) VIOLENT vomiting..Well, just one day but seriously? gross.

    3) Abdominal pain (well, sugar in general does this to me..)

    4) Excessive thirst

    And I also believe that it has taxed my liver & my kidney…Well, I am going to do a liver/gallbladder flush tomorrow hope it helps!! And saranara cacao it was nice knowing you and omg I will miss you chocolate but I need to just say no to chocolate for now!!)

    Thanks again, you’re an angel 🙂

  170. Deb Martin says:

    This video was great learning for me about chocolate and possible allergic reaction. I have been eating Xocai healthy chocolate for a little over 3 months now, and I personally have experienced 5 separate positive health results, the last of which is that my 4 old-age “barnacles” just fell off! So, my skin is actually healing itself and turning back the clock with THIS particular chocolate.

    I know a ton of people now who have experienced significant relief of various illnesses, including weird, neurological conditions. Just yesterday, I gave two chocolates to my hairdresser who has a Fibromyalgia like disease. She wasn’t sure she could “go on” at work after she finished me because she almost couldn’t lift her shoulders and arms and felt like she had the flu. I asked her to drink a glass of water and eat a chocolate square. After 15 minutes, she was experiencing some actual relief. I gave her a 2nd one after 20 minutes. When I left the salon she was telling everyone in the shop and had called her mother. She felt like she could conquer the world.

    What type of cacao were you eating? I know that some people are allergic to chocolate, and perhaps that’s what happened with you. I also know that the Xocai chocolate is a cold-press, patented process. And, the FDA does in fact list it as a nutrient-dense food–in it’s true raw form. It’s got the highest ORAC rating (ability to heal free radicals) out there.

    Wishing you the best in health, and would love to know what type of chocolate you were eating–made by what company.

  171. Hi! What an awesome post!
    I have been researching Cacao/Cocoa/Dk Choc for a post on my blog – and on the surface, found positive info, then when I looked up scientific evidence, the outcomes were much different!
    Thanks for sharing your story – Maegan

  172. Michelle says:

    Kevin, Tried Cacao for the first time yesterday in a smoothie and I had the worst panic attack I have had in 15 years!!! I didn’t think it was ever going to end!! I wish I had read more before trying it but I simply didn’t expect what was sold in health food stores to be well unhealthy!! What a nightmare I had. Please continue to warn people!!

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