According to Ayurveda, chocolate deranges all of the doshas. It’s so unfortunate and I’m so sorry to tell you this but it’s true. The all-powerful, ever-sensual ‘hot chocolate’ is not what it’s cracked up to be. Chocolate deranges vata, pitta and kapha. Please take a moment to digest this. Take all the time you need.

So have you experienced this? Feeling over-stimulated, over-heated and struggling with digestive issues after a delicious, decadent chocolate bar? After several years of a love hate relationship with chocolate, I gave it up completely. I meditate and practice yoga daily, which totally cleans and calms my nervous system. I can no longer handle the effects of chocolate and other stimulants. My head buzzes with caffeine, a rash flares up on my face and a belly ache ensues. So I stay away. If you’re like me and you’re aware of chocolate’s nemesis I encourage you to check out the following alternatives. You may find something yummy.

Please note, when choosing a sweetener honey should never be heated.

Sweet Lavender Tea with Milk
1 tsp dried lavender flowers (tri-doshic)
3/4 c boiling water
1 c milk of your choice
1/2 tsp jaggery or other sweetener

Warm the milk of your choice in a saucepan on medium high heat until its just about to boil. Steep dried lavender flowers in a mug of hot water. Top with hot milk, add sweetener, stir and enjoy!

Hot Carob with Cinnamon
1 tbsp carob powder (carob is tri-doshic)
2 c milk of your choice
1 tsp sweetener
cinnamon powder

Warm the milk of your choice in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir in carob powder and sweetener of your choice and warm gently until dissolved. Pour into your favorite mug and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder. Enjoy!

Warm Vanilla Coconut Creme
2 c milk of your choice
1 tbsp coconut milk
1 inch piece of vanilla bean
1 tsp sweetener

Warm the milk of your choice, the coconut milk and the vanilla bean in a saucepan on medium heat. When the aroma surfaces, strain the mixture into a mug. Add sweetener and enjoy.

Vanilla Rooibos Latte
1 rooibos tea bag
3/4 c boiling water
1 c milk of your choice
1 tsp sweetener

Warm the milk of your choice in a saucepan on medium high heat until its just about to boil. Steep your rooibos tea bag in a mug of hot water. Top with hot milk, add sweetener, stir and enjoy!

Chai Spice
1 decaffeinated chai tea bag
3/4 c boiling water
1 c milk of your choice
1 tsp sweetener

Warm the milk of your choice in a saucepan on medium high heat until its just about to boil. Steep your tea bag in a mug of hot water. Top with hot milk, add sweetener, stir and enjoy!

House Made Sesame Milk
(pacifies vata, increases pitta and kapha)
1 c white sesame seeds
8 c water
sweetener of your choice, to taste

Soak sesame seeds overnight in 4 c water. After soaking, strain and discard the water. Add the soaked seeds to your blender, along with another 4 c of water and blend on high speed. Use cheesecloth to strain this mixture into a bowl and discard the leftover seed pulp. Add sweetener to taste and enjoy in moderation.

Rose Petal Tea with Milk
1 tbsp dried rose petals
3/4 c boiling water
1 c milk of your choice
1/2 tsp jaggery or other sweetener

Warm the milk of your choice in a saucepan on medium high heat until its just about to boil. Steep dried rose petals in a mug of hot water. Top with hot milk, add sweetener, stir and enjoy!

Ginger Cafe’ Latte
Contributed from practitioner Talya Lutzker, author of ‘The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen’.