(NaturalNews) In June of 2009, I embarked on an adventure into the Podocarpus National Forest near Vilcabamba, Ecuador. This trip was primarily on horseback (with a lot of walking through rugged terrain, too), and I documented the entire thing with photographs you can see here: http://www.naturalnews.com/phototours/podoca...
At this point, we were absolutely exhausted. This high-altitude hike really took it out of us, and one person in our group was even suffering from altitude sickness (probably combined with physical exhaustion).
How we recovered from exhaustion
I remember distinctly that our guide, Angel (pronounced An-Hel) used his machete to prep some firewood from an old tree that had died perhaps a year earlier. Within minutes we had a roaring fire going, and Angel and his helper were steaming up some hot water.
As I often do, I had brought a number of superfood powders with me, but there's one in particular that I think really saved us from total exhaustion that night. It's called Cocoa Mojo, and it's made by a company called Enerhealth Botanicals founded by Steve Sinclair.
Steve had visited me in Vilcabamba and handed me a 12 oz bag of this Cocoa Mojo powder. I didn't think much of it at the time, but decided to bring it with me on the hike, figuring that it might come in handy during the cold nights at high altitude. Boy was I ever right!
Cocoa Mojo is made with Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic South American Cocoa and Organic extracts of a number of very potent mushrooms: Cordyceps Sinensis, Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), Coriolus Versicolor and Agaricus Blazei.
But even though it packs a nutritional punch, it tastes like hot chocolate, and that evening, we drank cup after cup of this warming, nutritional superfood drink while talking, laughing and playing cards. Within an hour, the exhaustion we all felt from the day's hike just seemed to fade away. We were downright jubilant, in fact, and while I can't credit Cocoa Mojo with all this -- because obviously we were also in a very special region of the planet -- I found myself deeply grateful to have remembered to bring Cocoa Mojo with me.
At that time, I never would have imagined telling you what I'm about to share with you now: Steve Sinclair, the founder of Enerhealth Botanicals, has given us permission to carry Cocoa Mojo in our NaturalNews Store.
This is a rare special price on a "hot chocolate" product that impressed me so much, I've often described it to people as "the best healthy hot chocolate product I've ever found," period.
If you love hot chocolate but don't want refined sugars or low-grade cocoa, I think you'll absolutely love Cocoa Mojo. It's an organic, fair-trade product, and the combination of organic palm sugar (the best sugar!), South American cocoa and amazing mushrooms like Reishi and Cordyceps make it a one-of-a-kind superfood product that you simply mix with hot water to keep you warm throughout the winter months.
The 3-pack really works as a gift, too. You can give the entire 3-pack to someone who loves healthy living and enjoys hot chocolate, or you can give each of the 12 oz bags to three different people!
Enerfood Superfood received my "Best Superfood Editor's Choice Award"
Beyond their amazing Cocoa Mojo product, Enerhealth Botanicals also makes a spectacular green superfood powder called Enerfood.
I actually awarded it "Best Superfood" a year or two ago, and at the time I never imagined we'd actually be carrying the product in our store. But thanks to Steve, we've got it now -- a 2-month supply comes out to about 75 cents a day. It's one of my top superfood recommendations, along with several others like Boku Superfood, Living Fuel, and Rejuvenate Berries & Herbs.
Organic Spirulina - A nutritionally dense blue green algae, rich in protein, Beta Carotene and B vitamins, especially B12.
Organic Chlorella - Also a form of blue green algae, like spirulina, giving Enerfood an even more potent source of optimal nutrition.
Organic Non-active, Vegetarian, Saccharomyces Cervisiae Nutritional Yeast - The second highest source of protein in nature and the richest source of B vitamins known.
Organic Dulse - Seaweeds are nature's richest source of minerals.
Organic Kelp - Also a nutrient dense seaweed.
Organic Barley Grass - Grain grasses contain more nutrition by weight than the grains themselves, providing a powerful source of vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll.
Organic Wheat Grass - Is also a grain grass.
Organic Alfalfa Leaf - Known as the most potent land source of minerals. It sends its roots down as much as 50 feet drawing up valuable minerals and converting them into a bioavailable form.
Organic Spinach - Another rich source of minerals, especially iron.
Organic Rose Hips - Along with orange and lemon peel this is a strong source of the nutrients that make up Vitamin- C complex, such as hesperidin and rutin, calcium and other nutrients necessary to assimilate Vitamin C.
Organic Beet Root - Just as spinach, beets have long been known to provide us with iron and other minerals.
Organic Orange Peel - Vitamin C complex and bioflavinoids.
Organic Winter Cherry Root - An ayurvedic herb to strengthen and rebuild the body.
Organic White Asparagus Root - Another ayurvedic herb to strengthen and rebuild the body. It is revered by women and also men in the ayurvedic pharmacopia.
Organic Dandelion Leaf - Known herbally to build and cleanse the blood. Rich in calcium and organic sodium.
Organic Lemon Peel - Vitamin C complex and bioflavinoids.
Organic Papaya Leaf - Contains powerful proteolytic enzymes such as papain, which are known to assist in the digestion of protein.
Organic Horsetail - Used by herbalists for millennia to strengthen tooth enamel, hair and nails. It also helps the body absorb calcium.
Organic Barley & Wheat Grass Juice Powder - An even more potent source of the nutrition provided by the simple ground grasses themselves.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your physician before beginning any diet, nutrition, exercise or dietary supplement program.
Hiking back down from Podocarpus
The Podocarpus National Forest hike we endured didn't seem so bad the next day -- the "downhill" day. It took about one-fourth the time, and our packs were lighter, too, because we had eaten most of the pack rations. (Our horses were no doubt happy about that, too.)
Within a few hours, we reached town and I headed back out to Hacienda San Joaquin (www.VilcabambaHomes.com) where my home was located (I no longer live there, but did at the time) and took a long, hot shower.
Three things stood out in my mind about the Podocarpus adventure:
#1) Ecuadorian trail guides are amazingly resourceful people. In particular, I strongly recommend that if you visit Vilcabamba, ask for Angel the horse guy. He lives about two blocks South (downhill) from the Southwest corner of the main town square. You can't miss his residence because he has a large wooden door with horses carved into it.
#2) The Podocarpus National Forest is a real treasure of Ecuador. This is one of the most humbling yet inspiring places you'll ever visit (and we barely got into it with a one-day hike, as you can actually hike in for weeks).
#3) Cocoa Mojo earned a well-deserved place on my very short list of really amazing superfood products that have helped me through challenging moments in life. I personally credit this product with supporting the stamina and willpower I needed to recover from a very difficult journey while staying warm in a very unforgiving environment (it's cold at high altitude in the Andes at night!).
Today, I have fond memories of Ecuador, and every time a take a sip of Cocoa Mojo, it takes me back to my horseback adventure across breathtaking ridges and through lush waterfall canyons -- an adventure that left me humbled and silent as I struggled to grasp the awesome power and beauty of Mother Nature.
Those flowers are sticky, and they're used by the high-altitude locals there as a fun, free set of earrings! I saw women picking the flower buds them sticking them onto their ear lobes and walking around with their own "natural jewelry!"
As a side note, if you're ever interested in visiting Vilcabamba, be sure to check with "Angel the horse guy" about horse tours. He's super nice, and be sure to tell him you heard about it from Mike, because he'll remember me.
And if you're ever looking to retire in Ecuador, the real estate company to work with is VREC, which you'll find at www.VREC.org (ask for Nick Vasey). They are one of the very few officially authorized real estate companies in town (a lot of operators aren't licensed). Ask for Marco Muņoz there if you need help from an attorney for anything such as immigration papers, driver's license, etc. (Yes, I have an Ecuadorian driver's license. It was not an easy thing to get. I actually had to take the written test in Spanish...)
And by the way, for all my good friends in Vilcabamba who might be reading this, I want to say hi and wish you all very well. I'm not going to print all your names here out of respect for your privacy, but I'm sending you all some positive vibes.
To recap the Enerhealth Botanical products we now carry, here they are:
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