Best of The Renegade Health Show: Raw Chocolate Controversy

Wednesday Sep 7 | BY |
| Comments (23)

Like I said in yesterday’s show, for the next few weeks, I’m going to be running some of the best Renegade Health Shows…

I’m hoping to be able to give some commentary afterwords, so you can get an idea of where I am now on these issues.

Today, I have two episodes on my personal incident with raw chocolate (or cacao).

I have a few comments below as well, so be sure to check those out once you’ve watched both videos.

Raw Chocolate Video #1

Raw Chocolate Video #2

My thoughts looking back…

1. First, I’m really surprised at my high energy levels in this show. I haven’t watched it in a while and I’m somewhat embarrassed that I don’t seem to have that enthusiasm on the screen any more – or at least it’s a little different than before.

2. Where I stand? The same. I have a chocolate treat about once every three months and always before noon or so. If I eat it at night I can’t sleep.

3. Since these videos, literally hundreds of people have came up to me and confirmed that I’m on to something. They experienced problems too. Even people who are in the raw chocolate industry!

4. I read through some of the comments while watching these again and I have to say that I’m sure most of the negative ones were people who either didn’t watch the whole video and jumped to rash decisions on what I was saying OR they are so deep into the clutches of chocolate addiction they can’t get out. LOL!

5. Something I think about these days is that chocolate was never really traditionally eaten raw. The traditional way of harvesting and drying is a fermentation process that is coupled with sun-drying. Just a theory, but I wonder if that’s the preferred way to “process” it for our own proper assimilation. Sometimes ancient practices are more effective… other times they’re not.

So while I try to figure out that one, I’m just going to stick to very little amounts, keep my adrenals healthy and get the sleep that I need.

I want to know your thoughts: What’s your take these days on chocolate?

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. Erin Shriver says:

    I’m pretty sure you called David Wolfe a “cog” in the Raw Food movement in the second video…. (Cog = Faceless, nameless, unimaginative office f*%ks who just toe the line.)…. I know that there are other more suitable definitions of the word cog but the above is how many are increasingly defining the word, in part, due to Seth Godins somewhat frequent use of the word to describe those who basically don’t think for themselves. lol!

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      @Erin: I don’t know how the definition of “cog” can go from an essential part of a gear, to unimaginative… 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I’d almost venture to say Seth is using it in a way that’s not exactly correct.

  2. Medkid says:

    wow – you were skinny! – and you look kinda pale too – no offence – but you look a lot more healthy today

  3. Dia says:

    I agree you do look pale and skinny. As for your energy levels, no, I prefer not so hyper, more laid back. As for chocolate, love it. I also like your defense of David Wolfe.

  4. nils says:

    its wonderful how you care.i hope you get playing again. your a bit more joky and funny i like you alter ego….you old charecter.

    do you believe otherpeople can now travel in your being and steal your spirits. can we steal your spirits by watching your vido.

    do we have no live cause we watch you on youtube.? are we that empty that we have to watch you. or is it something else.

    the office looks sympathic. its reay are funny.

    you are more focused on you playing playfulness.
    maybe you wanna go less proffesional and more playfull again

    What is this tshirt going green fat monster?

    i sometimes take raw cocoa. im confused. i have some little raw choclate. its pricy so im very little on it.
    there is so much stimulant food everywhere.

    nice postt. today. thank you . im tired. and thats good i wanna have some rest and some sleep. nik

  5. Anne says:


    Although it’s interesting to see you doing those older shows, I prefer your current energy, more focussed, relaxed and calm than the hyperness of these older videos but that’s not to say they were not good. It’s all good and we all change.

    My aunt had a similar experience with Cacao up till recently and I got her off Cacao and her rash went away as well. She’s ever so happy.

  6. SmithA says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for being here and talking about how chocolate negatively affected you energy and health. Without you being here talking about it and offering the adrenal health program, I don’t know how I ever would have figured out why I didn’t have any energy. My lack of energy was literally stealing my life. For years I went to the doctor complaining that I didn’t have the energy I needed and they would test a few things that always came back normal. I went to a naturopath for two years and he couldn’t figure it out either. I can’t tell you how frustrated I was. But avoiding chocolate and caffeine has given me my life back and I really wanted you to know that it’s thanks to you.

  7. Steve says:

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that chocolate is high in copper which is a stimulant to the CNS. And most vegan/vegetarians are already high in it. In fact most people are high in copper, in which case, chocolate only makes them feel worse. However, I am NOT saying it is the only thing that is causing stimulation as chocolate does have theobromine which can be a stimulant too. Zinc is a copper antagonist which has the opposite effect as copper (calming/sedative) which could help with being overly stimulated. I did notice that the stimulatory effects of chocolate were lessened significantly once I removed alot of copper in my body. I’m not defending chocolate, just pointing out the facts.

  8. David King says:

    Good thing I don’t have chocolate/cacao that much! A few times or so a year and that’s it! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your story Kevin,

    David Wolfe is the man but he’s pretty adamant about chocolate… he likes it! and also sells it, there are some health benefits but obviously too much of anything can have negative effects.

    Keep up the great work!

    David King

  9. JASON says:

    Just like to put the thought out there – that maybe cacao should be treated like coffee & tea – preferably with no sucrose sugar involved. New research from Orie Hoffmeiker has demonstrated that organic black coffee, no sugar has unique properties ( – type in name). Also, nutritionist David Wolfe often stresses – bitter cacao/least sugar/rationally (my take), just like indigenous consumed it – wild.

  10. just sit there says:

    I absolutely concur. Cacao messed up my adrenals Completely! I also had a rash on my midsection, and my minerals were extremely depleted.. As well.. I had zero energy.. feeling dizzy and faint and exhausted and could not get out of bed. Also jittery and irritable… horrible. Will not touch cacao ever again. My friend was selling cacao and ended up in the hospital after eating cacao smoothies and cacao products daily and they almost died with their kidney blood issue went into a coma for a week! WOW! Just sharing it can do more harm than good. Please go lightly on it… just from my experience. But no BODY is like any other BODY.

  11. Jasmine says:

    can I just say that I connect much more deeply with your current “presence” on the show than that frenetic energy you had before…not that I didn’t enjoy the show before, but I just find that you appear more comfortable and at-ease (still with your unique Kevin Gianni energy), but it’s not quite as jarring of an energy.

    Sorry – is this a backhanded compliment? It’s meant to be a positive comment.

    I LOVE YOU GUYS! You’ve come a long ways..always improving, always evolving. Thank you so much for the work that you do for us. We appreciate it more than you know.

  12. Sue says:

    I think that the amount of cacao that you were consuming was excessive! I’m glad that you changed your diet so you can now treat it as an occasional indulgence. Personally, I have never enjoyed chocolate, so for me, it is an occasional indulgence, and when consumed only once or twice a year, I’m probably not stressing my glands with it!

  13. Eva says:

    Thank’s Kevin,

    great feed back, my adrenals are challenged as it is, because of MS. I have been eating
    raw cacoa beans and also unfortunately love
    coffee, but in moderation. I have been following your reports for a while, and learn
    something new all the time, so thanks again
    keep up your excellent work.

    Eva Gamsby/Homeopath

  14. Manwel says:

    I have raw chocolate on average once or twice a week as a treat, on top of that I consume about 3 or 4 raw cacao ‘shakes’ weekly. I can have them at any time of the day and I feel no different. As long as it’s taken in moderation, it’s ok.

  15. Don Dobbins says:

    I use a product called Xocai. It is a “cold” pressed all natural cocoa mixed with acai and blueberry. Eat or drink everyday 4-6 times a day, anytime day or night and never keeps me up. Also lots of other health benefits. Have not tried the Raw stuff Kevin talks about, maybe this is a good alternative.

  16. Velda says:

    Kevin, I agree with Medkit and Jasmine 🙂 You look pail and skinny in this video and the energy level is a little shockingat first.

    I began listening to you several years ago and the videos were similar to this one. It kind of scared me when you frist came on, and I wasn’t sure about it. However, your information was good, and it didn’t really seem to me like you were trying to hype it up and be phony. So I stuck with ya 🙂 I’m glad I did. I like your presentation now better. Still has your great energy, but more mature and refined. It is an improved you 🙂

    I so appreciate you and Annmarie and admire the work you do. Mostly I admire the style and integrity with which you do it. Hope you never get tire of doing it.

  17. Kathy says:

    I agree with Velda. I had forgotten that in “the old days” I used to turn down the volume before you started to speak, and it still made me jump sometimes. I have always enjoyed the show, but really hyper people tend to make me a little nervous. I think the “new you” is more mature and easier to relate to, yet still very enthusiastic and passionate about your subject.

  18. Rhonda says:

    Fun to watch your older shows.

    I have enjoyed raw cacao over the years but in moderation. Maybe 1 or 2 scoops a week in a smoothie as a treat and what I call an energy drink. It is concerning that a natural product such as cacao can be so stimulating and cause rashes and adrenal problems along with other depleting of minerals. I wonder why there are not more studies being done on this product.

    Good luck to you on taking some time off to work on other projects.

    Kind regards,


  19. roni says:

    I posted this on facebook the other day and thought it might be relevant here:

    Here’s an idea for a new political party –
    THE CHOCOLATE PARTY! (Enough tea & coffee already!)
    Environmental, food source protection and preservation. sustainable energy development, production, construction. un-people corporations. restore human rights, free speech, education, health care (including “complimentary”).
    Tax penalties for: jobs overseas, bank / stock swindles, environmental contamination.

    my personal thoughts on chocolate – love it – but like any other stimulant, in moderation.
    I used to eat a lot more, but it made me twitchy, so I’ve cut back.

    I echo the comment on how much your energy has shifted! its a good change!

  20. kit says:

    the energy in these videos is hyper. Your current presentation is more mature and much better.

  21. I agree with Kit, I like the energy in the current shows. Keep up the awesome work!!!

  22. Elaine West says:

    Thanks for this info Kevin! My husband, Dale, is a health fanatic and thanks to the likes of David Wolf and Mike Adams, who both sell cacao, got turned onto it. He had no energy, felt tired, no libido, couldn’t get rid of high blood pressure. We had our blood tested by a naturalpath and the cacao that Dale was enjoying nearly every day was killing his adrenals and demineralizing our bodies as well. We have stopped it and only use it as a treat but the cacao hawkers out there could be hurting people with their “this is the greatest superfood EVER” propoganda, and this only harms the health movement! Thanks for being real!

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