Cacao Benefits (besides the amazing taste)

Hi friends! It’s me, Taylor, back to talk about another amazing ingredient we use in Lil Bucks. To start this off I have to ask a serious question… Have any of you seen Portlandia? Ya know, the show with Fred Armisan and Carrie Brownstein? Well, if you haven’t, it’s the first thing that came to my mind when Emily was telling me about Cacao Lil Bucks. I still to this day have a scene from the show stuck in my head every time I hear or see the word Cacao. If you have no idea what on earth I’m talking about, please do yourself a favor and look up the Portlandia Cacao scene. I made Emily watch it one day when we were shipping out orders. 

 

All jokes aside, it’s not a bad thing to have the word ‘cacao’ stuck in your head all the time. It is my personal favorite ingredient that we use and my favorite flavor of Lil Bucks to put in all of my smoothie bowls! For starters, we use a raw, organic cacao powder that is certified organic, kosher, non-GMO, and naturally gluten free

 

Cacao Bucks are slightly sweet (with only 3g of sugar per serving) because we strive to keep the sugar content down so the cacao flavor can shine! I’m also a huge fan of the Cacao Bucks because they contain a little bit of cinnamon and maca root powder, making the flavor that much more bold. 

 

Our favorite benefits of Cacao (besides taste) are: 

 

  1. Cacao is high in magnesium, just like buckwheat, so you’re getting an extra dose when you eat Cacao Bucks. Magnesium is a great component to keep in your diet because it has sleep-promoting, stress-reducing, and disease-protecting power. 
  2. Cacao is made from unroasted, cold-pressed beans with NO added sugar, making it super nutrient and antioxidant dense (unlike cocoa, which we explain below). Raw organic cacao has 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Crazy right! 
  3. Raw cacao contains Anandamide. Anandamide has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, and it’s a great thing to have when you need to calm down. Many people eat Cacao before bed. 

 

We often get asked, “Is cacao the same as cocoa?” Common mistake, I thought the same thing, too! Cacao is actually not the same as cocoa, though it does come from the same bean. Raw organic cacao contains healthy fats that help us to stay energized, making it a perfect post-workout snack. Normal cocoa powder and chocolates are chemically processed and roasted, meaning a large amount of the antioxidants and flavonoids are destroyed in the process. We like to keep chemicals and things we can’t pronounce out of our diets anyways. 🙂 

 

We could go on and on about the benefits and flavor, but you should taste and see for yourself! 🍫😋

Buy Cacao Lil Bucks

Lil Bucks Featured in Raaka Chocolate Bar

A dream collaboration has come to fruition with Raaka Chocolate. 🙏 I met someone from their team at EXPO West (the first trade show I ever went to) and was blown away by the packaging, the traceability of ingredients (most importantly, cacao) and unique flavors. And all the bars happen to be vegan! They also don’t roast their cacao so you are getting the most potent form of antioxidants from cacao in their chocolate. Raaka aims to capture “the brighter, bolder, and fruitier side of cacao.” My favorite flavors were the Coconut Milk, Oat Milk and Bananas Foster–so unique.

In true Emily-fashion (becoming obsessed with superfoods I come across cough sprouted buckwheat), I became extremely obsessed with Raaka Chocolate. Might’ve even ordered 5lbs of Raaka chocolate chips to experiment with recipes for a Lil Bucks chocolate (which confirmed, even more so, why Raaka is so amazing. High end chocolate is hard to work with, y’all). So I left the collaboration work in the hand of the chocolate masters themselves, Raaka. I mean, really. We just supplied the sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat and they magically transformed it into a GRANOLA BOWL BAR. 🍫🍫🍫

62% @raakachocolate + Lil Bucks Original + banana + hemp hearts + oat flour = “a chocolate reminiscent of morning granola.” Hi. This bar is part of their monthly chocolate subscription (you can subscribe to as little or many bars as you’d like), called First Nibs (great name). 

Those who I’ve met from the Raaka team are also the loveliest people, on a mission to create unique bars using traceable, high quality, single origin cacao. This is truly one of the best parts about being a food entrepreneur is meeting other passionate foodies behind the brands changing the game. If you are a chocolate fiend this is a must-try, and if you’re in Brooklyn visit the factory! 💙 Linked to their website below — take a look!! 

SHOP RAAKA CHOCOLATE

Matcha Benefits (and why we love it so matcha!)

Matcha. You know it, you love it (we can only hope), but how much do you actually know about this fantastic green tea powder? 

 

Lil Bucks’ love affair with matcha started while Emily (the founder) was living her best life in Australia, eating all the activated buckwheat (that’s what the Aussies call sprouted buckwheat) and sippin’ on the most perfect matcha lattes by the beach. 

 

Matcha can be an acquired taste to some, but when paired with the right flavors (or a really, really well-executed latte), you can grow to LOVE it and crave the complex, earthy taste. Beyond that, the health benefits are AMAZING, so we were thrilled to introduce Matcha as one of our first Lil Bucks flavors back when we launched.  

 

So what is matcha, anyways? 

 

Matcha was popularized over 900 years ago by Chinese Zen Buddhist Monks and is created by the grinding of young green tea leaves, which then turns into a bright green powder that you can do just about anything with… drink it, bake with it, season with it. We love the old, traditional and timeless uses of Matcha, but we wanted to push its uses even more with Lil Bucks! 

 

Not only do we love Matcha for its unique, earthy, vegetal yet sweet flavor, but we are obsessed with of all the amazing benefits! There are so many. Let’s review, yeah? 

 

TOP 5 MATCHA BENEFITS

 

1. Matcha helps you focus (I could use some right now.)

In a study, one group of individuals consumed matcha tea or a bar containing matcha, while another group consumed placebo tea or a bar. The group that consumed matcha showed higher improvements in attention, reaction time and memory opposed to the other group who consumed placebo. Matcha is also packed with L-theanine, which is known to alter the effects of caffeine, while avoiding the crash in energy levels after regular caffeine consumption. For all you coffee addicts out there (I’m guilty, too) this is a much healthier alternative that doesn’t leave you with the anxious caffeine jitters and the horrible crash you get afterwards! 

 

2. Matcha is known to burn calories and can help you lose weight! 

Matcha green tea utilizes fat as an energy source. The EGCg and caffeine in  matcha work together to naturally boost metabolism, which helps you burn more calories on a daily basis. So, if your workouts aren’t giving you everything you want, add a little Matcha to your regimen! 

 

3. Matcha is great for an immunity boost! 

Know what’s sick? Not being sick! Matcha is known for boosting the immune system and halts the growth of various viruses and harmful bacteria in our bodies. Matcha is loaded with antioxidants that fight off the nasties that cause us to get sick. Specifically, the antioxidant called EGCg binds to cells and stops the growth of disease-causing microorganisms like influenza A virus, viruses that cause Strep Throat, Herpes Virus, and Hepatitis Virus. 

 

4. Matcha = Cancer-Fighting Power!!  

Like stated earlier, Matcha is insanely loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants have tons of health-promoting compounds including some that have been directly linked to cancer prevention in different test-tube studies. HOW COOL! The studies have found that the EGCg in Matcha helps kill off prostate, liver, skin and lung cancer cells. And if you love the sun as much as we do at Lil Bucks, we definitely need to take an extra dose of Matcha for our sweet skin (and sunscreen. V important). 

 

5. We <3 Matcha because it’s also good for our hearts! 

With heart disease being one of the leading causes of death in people over the age of 35, we are so grateful that this powerful powder protects against heart diseases and lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Drinking green tea and matcha is linked to reducing risk of strokes and heart disease. So drink up, ladies and gents and protect your precious heart! 

 

Buckwheat is also incredibly great for heart health, so we’re hoping to offer Matcha Lil Bucks as an antioxidant-rich, heart-healthy cereal/granola for you. 

 

For the taste, we add a good amount of pure vanilla to our recipe as well to balance out the earthiness of the Matcha to let it shine. The maple syrup is the binding ingredient, making the Matcha Lil Bucks slightly sweet, but these still go great on sweet or savory dishes. Perfect to add to any summer salad, toast, açaí bowl, smoothies and more! Not to mention they add a scrumptious crunchiness to everything! 🙂

Buy Matcha Lil Bucks

@PageAndPlate's Gluten-Free Sprouted Buckwheat Snickerdoodles

This wonderful recipe is a healthier, gluten-free twist on Snickerdoodles. The creative genius behind this is Laura of Page And Plate. Make sure to sign up for her newsletter for quarterly updates and more. She does book and meal pairings IS ANYTHING BETTER THAN THAT?! 📖🍝

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 cups of sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 TBSP of vanilla
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1 cup of Cacao Lil Bucks, ground finely
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tsp of cardamom

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400, and line a cookie sheet. In a mixer, beat together the butter, coconut oil, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.

2. Sift the almond flour and Lil Bucks into a bowl, then add all at once to the mixer with 1 tsp of cinnamon and the cardamom.

3. Beat together until a dough forms. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, make the coating: mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together. Form the dough into balls, then roll in cinnamon sugar. Flatten onto baking sheet.

5. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 and bake for 10 more minutes.


Benefits of Reishi Mushroom: The Queen of the 'Shrooms

Hi everyone! My name is Taylor. The Lil Bucks founder Emily so graciously invited me to join the Lil Bucks team as the Marketing and Production Assistant, and let me tell you, I’ve been LOVING it! Emily is not only an amazing boss, cook and leader, but she has such a passion for her brand which I really look up to. Today I’m writing about Reishi Mushroom benefits and why we include this amazing adaptogen in our Clusterbucks! After you read this I can only hope you get as hyped as I did while learning about this cute lil fungi. It is truly the Tyra Banks of mushrooms (aka a powerhouse).

Like I mentioned, Reishi is an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress and exerts a normalizing effect on bodily processes. It’s practically a doctor’s office in a mushroom, which is why we include a full dosage in EACH SERVING of our Chocolate Reishi Clusterbucks (1000mg per serving to be precise).

A little backstory on the Reishi Mushroom… They have long been relied upon, mostly in Asia (where reishi mushrooms grow). The Chinese regarded the Reishi Mushroom as the “herb of spiritual potency” symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. Sounds like a well-rounded shroom to me!

The mushrooms are known to be potent because of the unique collection of organic compounds and components they contain. If I  named all of them my fingers might fall off from typing. The fungi also wears the nickname “The Mushroom of Immortality” because of its history of medicinal use in ancient Chinese medicine. People used it thousands of years ago to stay alive forever. Which might seem a little crazy, but recent studies have actually proved that it does help you live longer – just not forever. Which honestly, thank goodness. The impressive amount of polysaccharides (a carbohydrate whose molecules consist of a number of sugar molecules bonded together) can be credited for these insane immune-boosting benefits.

Different antioxidant properties of other organic compounds in Reishi Mushrooms also neutralize free radicals – and you don’t want too many of those nasties in your body as they can cause chronic diseases and premature aging (and no one wants that).

Emily decided to create a product using Reishi Mushrooms after feeling amazing from taking reishi in her daily smoothie for three months. Lil Bucks needed to share the benefits of reishi mushroom with the world (in a form that’s not a mushroom coffee… not that we don’t love those 🍄☕). If you have a serving of Clusterbucks a day, you’re not only getting that plant-based protein, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants from the buckwheat, but you’re also getting:

  1. Neutralization of free radicals
  2. Anti-aging properties
  3. Longer lifespan (if taken over time)
  4. A slew of healthy organic compounds, and perhaps the best part
  5. Combat stress, and help boost your mood if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or irritation.
  6. Protection by fighting off various cancer cells and reducing the size of tumors.

I mean seriously, y’all (I’m from Texas, by the way) it is a miracle mushroom. On top of all those goodie facts, it helps with liver function. And if you enjoy a glass of wine after a long day like myself, then that’s a great bonus. It can literally death drop (you know, the dance move drag queens do…) on some toxins. The Reishi Mushroom supports healthy neurological functions and is known to have a therapeutic effect on different neurodegenerative (I took biology once) disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Now that you know ALL the important benefits of the queen of the fungi’s, you’re probably wondering how it tastes. To be frank, a little bitter! Which is why most people don’t consume it by itself, and why we at Lil Bucks mix it into a healthy amount of cacao and cinnamon with our Clusters. We (Emily, really) set out to make a granola that not only tasted amazing on its own, in smoothie bowls or as cereal, but one that truly makes you feel better than you did before you ate it!

I don’t know about you, but I am elated to now know so much about this superfood that we include in our recipes. I hope you are too! Get excited, because once you eat a bag of Clusterbucks (which is in fact possible to do in one sitting) you will have the power to take over the world! Well, maybe not, but at least conquer your day.

Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post for Lil Bucks!

                        Xoxo, Tay

Reishi mushroom powder from Terrasoul


5 Reasons Sprouted Buckwheat = The Best Gluten Free Granola

Have you ever had a eating experience that just changed you? The whole reason I started Lil Bucks was because I had an incredible experience eating an acai bowl while living in Sydney, Australia, where they used sprouted buckwheat to replace granola in the acai bowl.

After eating this life-changing bowl, I felt amazing. No sluggish-ness—alternatively I had an amazing satisfaction and sustained energy, like I’d actually eaten some protein. Not to mention, the bowl had an amazing crunch, of course. The hero ingredient here making everything so tasty and making me feel so amazing was obviously sprouted buckwheat. You can find sprouted buckwheat used as a granola base everywhere in Australia (check out my pic of an Aussie grocery store to the right—over half those products have sprouted buckwheat as the base).

Sprouted buckwheat has tons of amazing uses (see: recipes), and you do want to make sure you consume sprouted buckwheat and not toasted or uncooked buckwheat groats, but the O.G. reason for why I started this brand was to be the perfect gluten-free granola replacement. Here’s the top 5 reasons why Lil Bucks Sprouted Buckwheat makes for your perfect gluten-free granola:

1. BUCKWHEAT IS GLUTEN-FREE!

Yes, a key factor in the perfect gluten-free granola is all ingredients actually being gluten-free. People, especially in the U.S., are so misled by the name “buckwheat” so they write it off as something they shouldn’t eat. I’m here to change that. Did you know, buckwheat is most closely related to the rhubarb plant, and buckwheat groats are actually fruit seeds?

According to Whole 30 ideology, buckwheat is still considered a pseudo-cereal and thus banned more for the mental benefit of not tricking yourself into consuming healthy cereal (in the same way paleo/coconut flour pancakes are banned). But if you’re not doing that, this is seriously the best gluten-free crunchy alternative, something you can eat for that grain-like taste and texture without the horrible sluggish feel afterwards (and one could argue you could still eat buckwheat groats on the Whole30, they’re just not popular enough for Whole30 to have a hard rule on it yet hehe).

2. BUCKWHEAT IS HIGH IN PROTEIN

Unlike most standard granolas, Lil Bucks naturally contain 6g of plant-based protein from the buckwheat. Buckwheat has as much protein as quinoa, but in a crunchy more versatile form. I’ll even dare share this research I’ve done on similar popular ‘healthy’ granolas in the granola aisle…

3. BUCKWHEAT IS LOW-GLYCEMIC

What does low-glycemic even mean? From GISymbol.com: 

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. 

Remember when I said I had this amazing sustained energy after eating my magical Sydney acai bowl? The magic was in part thanks to the low-glycemic nature of the buckwheat granola replacement. My rise in blood sugar was more gradual after consuming a serving of buckwheat, which means the energy released more steadily throughout the day, leaving me satisfied for longer (rather than having your standard smoothie/yogurt bowl with granola, when you’re hungry again in about an hour). 

It is especially important to pair something like a fruit-based smoothie bowl or yogurt (which, let’s be real, unless you’re eating plain yogurt most yogurts, even the healthiest, have some sugaaa) with a low-glycemic food to help control your energy release. Unless you’re closely watching your blood sugar levels for any reason, the glycemic index probably isn’t the first thing you think about when shopping for your granola, but with the way you feel after eating it, you’ll appreciate this. (oh but for you diabetics, human studies have linked the consumption of buckwheat with lower blood sugar in diabetics. woo.) 

4. SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT IS EXTREMELY HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS + MAGNESIUM

Buckwheat is known as one of the most antioxidant-dense ancient grains (I know, it’s not a grain, but often compared to them due to similar uses and nutrition value). Of all the popular ancient grains, quinoa and buckwheat are known for having the most antioxidants, with a study from Food Chemistry showing that buckwheat has 10x more antioxidants than quinoa! 

More studies need to be done on the benefits of antioxidants and how we can make the most of them, but read this blog post to learn more about antioxidants and why they are good for you. Long story short: Antioxidants = cancer-fighting, anti-aging, energy-boosting, immune-preserving goodness. 

For Lil Bucks, we sprout and dehydrate rather than roasting to preserve as much antioxidants as possible. By sprouting we unleash the nutrition potential of buckwheat and maximize your body’s ability to digest the buckwheat and all its goodness. Then we dehydrate to make these shelf-stable for days (likely at least a year, getting it tested). This also preserves the full nutrition potential of buckwheat, as heat is known to kill off a lot of the antioxidants than come naturally in buckwheat (again, more studies are needed on antioxidants though to determine exactly what temperature antioxidants start burning off). To be safe, Lil Bucks never go over 115°F. 

5. SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT GIVES YOU THE PERFECT CRUNCHY TEXTURE OF YOUR DREAMZ

This all comes back to taste. Of course, if something makes us feel great and gives us a ton of nutrients, we’ll try to eat it, or blend it in a smoothie to mask the taste. But with sprouted buckwheat, you don’t need to do that. On its own (i.e. the Original flavor), sprouted buckwheat has a nice, nutty grain-like taste, and it holds its crunch perfectly in dishes but softly disintegrates right when you bite it. So satisfying. And of course, Cacao (for you chocolate lovers) and Matcha (for you matcha + vanilla lovers) take the taste next level. I highly encourage you to try topping your smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal, desserts, ice cream (yum), salads, ANYTHING with Lil Bucks so you can experience this dreamy crunch like I did in Australia! 

Any questions? Email me: emily@lovelilbucks.com 

Much love,

Emily, founder + owner of Lil Bucks 

Half these products in a standard Aussie grocery store use sprouted buckwheat as the base

THE BOWL OF DISCOVERY. The bowl that changed everything.


Ora Organic THIQ Smoothie Bowl

Finally. I am sharing the THIQ smoothie bowl recipe so you can satisfy all your thick smoothie dreamz with a bowl of your own. This particular bowl is done in collaboration with one of my favorite brands, Ora Organic, a San Diego company who makes plant-based supplements from REAL food and chef-crafted recipes. This pre-workout powder is literally amazing, both in taste and the way it makes me feel. And it goes great with Lil Bucks (particularly the Cacao and Original sprouted buckwheat for this recipe).

Ingredients

  • 1 medium/large banana frozen, chopped up before putting in the blender
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 serving of Ora Organic pomegranate powder 
  • I tossed in a couple frozen strawberries for good measure but not required
  • A splash of unsweetened almond milk – added gradually to achieve desired consistency 
  • Topped with Cacao Lil Bucks and a few more frozen raspberries 😀

Directions

To blend this, you may need to have some patience with your blender. I have a Vitamix which comes with a Tamper and is thus perfect for making thick smoothies, but I’ve done this with something as weak as a Magic Bullet (sorry, throwing shade). You just have to blend a bit, pause, mix up with a spoon a bit, and repeat. Sometimes gradually adding in the milk of your choice just to soften it a bit when things REALLY won’t blend. Enjoy!


Julia's Power Protein Pancakes

This is a super simple recipe, but a genius, high-power combo of protein dense foods: Kodiak Cakes, RXBAR Peanut Butter, Lil Bucks Sprouted Buckwheat, and antioxidant-infused raspberries. 😋

The founder’s foodie friend Julia always comes up with creative ways to use Lil Bucks (tons of genius savory ideas… coming soon), but this one takes the cake (pun intended) for a fast, easy treat-yoself kind of breakfast.

See more from @jhlytle

Ingredients:

Kodiak Cakes Peanut Butter Pancake Mix (14g of protein per serving!)

RXBAR Peanut Butter (9g of protein per serving–the cinnamon one is so good with Cacao Lil Bucks!)

1/4 cup Cacao Lil Bucks, obvi

A handful of raspberries

Optional: Hemp seed and chia seed to sprinkle on top as well

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Kodiak cakes per their instructions
  2. Top with all the goods. Boom.


Vegan Ice Cream Cookie Bar

Honestly it was hard to come up with a name for this one… It really is a “Crunchy Vegan Ice Cream Adaptogen Cookie Bar” but that’s a mouthful. This recipe was developed in collaboration with two amazing female-owned San Francisco food brands – Completeats Superfood Cookies and  Goldmine Adaptogens. Both are seriously amazing. 

Ingredients:

4 CompletEats cookies in chocolate chia

2 cups soaked and drained cashews (soaked at least 30 minutes)

1 cup almond milk (I love Malk vanilla almond milk)

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tsp GoldMine adaptogen powder 

2 tsp vanilla

pinch sea salt

1-2 tsp beet powder

1-2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 – 3/4 cups Cacao Lil Bucks sprouted buckwheat

Optional 

Dark chocolate melted to drizzle on top with more Lil Bucks 😋

 

Also, muffin tins are ideal for this recipe, but you can make in circle-shaped cups or tupperware too, whatever you can find. 

 

Directions:

  1. Cut the cookies in half and mold and press into the bottom of muffin tins – aim for the cookie layer to be able a quarter to a half inch thick (as you make these more you can adjust on preference – if you find big enough muffin tins you could put the WHOLE COOKIE on the bottom yum).
  2. In a blender, blend the cashews, almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, adaptogen powder, vanilla, and the pinch of salt. Blend until smooooooth.
  3. Split the cashew blend into two bowls. In one bowl mix with the beet powder to create a lovely pink color — feel free to add as much as you’d like for the taste and color. Then do the same in the other bowl with the turmeric powder.
  4. Spoon some of the beet mix into each muffin tin, either making it the first layer or putting the spoonful in half of the muffin circle. Then either top with the turmeric spoonful or put it in the other half of the circle, and swirl.
  5. Sprinkle a nice layer of Cacao Lil Bucks on top.
  6. Freeze for about 3-4 hours until solid.
  7. Once frozen I really enjoyed melting dark chocolate and drizzling over with some original Lil Bucks, and then the chocolate solidifies and it’s just so good.

When you take them out of the freezer you might want to wait 5 minutes to dig in so it’s not too hard. It’s worth the wait! 🙂 Enjoy!


Lil Bucks-Approved Eats in Tulum

I just took a quick vacay from Chicago winter and went down to Tulum with a group of girls for a long weekend. Beach relaxin’, warmth, cenotes (deep water-filled sinkholes, like caves!!), Mayan ruins, tacos and smoothies. And gawking at the prices of some of the eco-chic hotels and boutiques along the beach. It’s definitely a resort town more than an authentic Mexican town but nevertheless worth the visit! And you can explore the town to get more of the Mexico feel. I had the best time!!

The FOOD is the first thing I think of with this trip. Given our big group (5 girls) we tried tons of different places where we could share plates and get a taste for everything!! I am not a huge eater so sometimes this was a struggle hah, but I must say every thing we ate was AMAZING.

I wanted to share some of the top healthy cafes/restaurants in Tulum that we visited. This is not a top tacos list, but please note most places had amazing tacos and there are plenty of lists on that! Basically everywhere you eat will be delish, but if you’re looking for a nice juice, smoothie, veggies, or breaky, here’s what I’d say:

Acai bowl from Matcha Mama

1. Smoothies, Reishi Latte & Swings at Matcha Mama

Okay, this place is so gringo (owned by someone in LA), but whatever. IT’S SO GOOD. The Mamacita smoothie was the group fave, and I loved their reishi cacao latte – got it almost every day! Also smoothie bowls, superfood bites (in matcha and cacao, the Lil Bucks flavors!!). I went nuts here.

2. Breaky & Juice at The Real Coconut

Aaaaand another American-owned (LA again) cafe inside the gorgeous Sanara resort. This is a great place to come have breaky and spend the day. Saw a bunch of people catching up here, posting up with a journal, and coming for a feed after a yoga class. This was def the best cold-pressed juice I had in Tulum, and we had a lotttt of juices. They also had a reishi type of latte, I enjoyed it but TBH the Matcha Mama one was a bit better. Great savory breakfast items here too.

https://www.therealcoconut.com/

 

3. Veggies, Dinner & Vibes at Gitano

A dinner spot! This place has the MOST VIBES of anywhere in the universe. Incense, the building built around trees (indoor/outdoor), a disco ball, candlelit everywhere, art, plants, cool mirrors… it’s also huge. And the food + drinks are juuuuust amazing. There were good fish/veggie options here. We had spiced asparagus under a cauliflower mash and that ended up being one of my fave bites of the whole trip. Who would’ve thought.

https://www.facebook.com/gitanotulum/

 

4. Juice & Italian at Posada Margarita

You’ll randomly see a lot of Italian in Tulum – this is regarded as the best place, and it’s on the beach so you could buy some food to get a bed at the beach for a bit! I ordered a beet ginger juice and it came in the largest jug ever… and it was so smoooooth. Highly recommend for the juice. I didn’t have room to eat much of the Italian but it was all handmade pastas and looked amazing. The best part, though, might be the LUSH walk through a beautiful garden to get to the restaurant!

http://www.posadamargherita.com

 

5. Coffee at Nest

This place is ‘grammed by celebs left and right, but worth strolling off the beach to hang out at the restaurant on the beach and have a drink or coffee. We didn’t stay for food but I must say the coffee I got there was the best I had in Tulum. It was PERFECT!!

nesttulum.com

 

6. Breakfast at Tunich

This is one of the first breaky spots you see when you hit the beach area. We biked here for breakfast after seeing the Mayan Ruins, about a 15 min bike ride. They had an insane french toast for a little indulgence, good juice + smoothies, kombucha, and apparently the breakfast burrito was incredible. It’s nice because this place isn’t as expensive as the others hah. We met a super cute Canadian couple who had breakfast here literally every day. The staff was super sweet too! Good vibes all around.

http://www.tunichtulum.com/

 

7. Raw Desserts & Smoothie Bowls at Raw Love

This place is located in a beautiful garden right by the beach. I loved the chocolate raw cake! I’m pretty picky when it comes to my smoothie bowls (and helloooo I want Lil Bucks in it) and I preferred the Matcha Mama smoothies, but this place was nevertheless a wonderful spot 🙂

 

8. Massage at Shantala Boutique Spa

Lastly, not food, but I must say – the massage at this spa in town was one of the best of my life, and half the price of the ones on the beach. The spa is def hole-in-the-wall vibes, but the staff were so sweet. An hour deep tissue massage cost about $60 with tip!

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, two of my friends did 90-min clay massages at the Mayan Clay Spa by the beach and I believe it was about $150 – better value than a lot of other places they found and it seemed magical! You get massaged in your own little hut.

 

Anyways, hope that inspires some healthy vibes in your travels or life at home! Let me know if you hit any of these up when you go, would love to hear what you think!! Xx