Rich Cocoa Tea Recipe

Cocoa tea is a unique hot chocolate beverage that is very popular in a number of Caribbean countries.

To make this tea, the cocoa beans are first roasted, and afterward grounded and rolled into a cocoa stick. This is then grated into a cocoa powder, which is the featured ingredient of this drink.


  • 1/3 cup of grated cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • brown sugar
  • nip of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of almond or whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • Bring water, cocoa, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and bay leaf to boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Stir in coconut milk and your choice of either almond or whole milk.
  • Sweeten with brown sugar to taste, and then add a tiny amount of salt.
  • Continue to simmer mixture on low heat for a minute or two.
  • Strain into your favorite mug and enjoy your cocoa tea!


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Eliciting the Relaxation Response

relaxation response

It’s no secret that stress can have a damaging effect on one’s health. The good news is, understanding the relaxation response, may help us to counter it.
That said, relaxation is “the state of being free from tension and anxiety.” This outcome is essentially what is referred to as the relaxation response.

“The relaxation response” was first coined by Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard Medical School. According to Dr. Benson, it is “a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress and the opposite of the fight or flight response.”

Consequently, we won’t elicit the relaxation response by lounging around the house all day or sleeping. Instead it involves using proper tools to better manage the negative stress in our lives.

Stress and the Relaxation Response

Stress is a part of everyday life. However, when the nervous system is overwhelmed by stress, it inundates the body with chemicals that prepare it for “fight or flight.” Yet while the stress response is needed for learning, creativity, and can be beneficial in situations where you need to act quickly, it wears the body down when there is constant activation.

Additionally, abnormal responses to stress can have a negative effect on us behaviorally, emotionally, physically and cognitively. Research even shows that stress plays a role in the onset of many illnesses and conditions, such as high-blood pressure, anxiety, heart disease, headaches and depression. This is why it is so necessary to know how to utilize proper relaxation strategies.

The Benefits of Eliciting the Relaxation Response

Studies reveal that relaxation may reduce the damage caused by the negative effects of stress and have a positive effect on our health. Essentially, when we activate the relaxation response, it enhances our immune system functioning. This means an improvement in breathing, sleep patterns, digestion and mental clarity occurs. Moreover, when we allow the system to experience this rest, it creates a balance awareness that enables us to make healthier and wiser lifestyle choices. It also empowers us to pursue and embrace more joy and peace within.

Utilizing Relaxation Techniques

The most common and effective relaxation techniques involve meditation and proper deep breathing exercises.


In the American Heritage Dictionary, Meditation is defined as: a devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation. The word meditation is also synonymous with words like thought, reflection, concentration, and even prayer. Therefore, as essential as these all are, meditation is more than just a practice; it is a lifestyle. For instance, with scripture meditation, the goal is to seek to commune with God by contemplating on His Word. This basically allows us to continuously build our faith, by connecting more with scripture and applying it to our everyday lives.

Breathing Exercises

When it comes to proper breathing, our souls (mind, will and emotions) as well as our bodies, were not meant to function in a healthy way without our natural breathing pattern. This is because the breath is what essentially makes us a living soul. However, for many us, due mainly to the pressures of life, our breathing tends to become more and more shallow over time. Yet this creates an imbalance that can hinder our overall health and well-being. Hence the reason why proper breathing exercises often play such a key role in our pursuit of greater well-being.

Try Free Guided Meditations that combine scripture meditation with proper breathing on Spotify

Managing the Negative Stress in Our Lives

In our everyday lives, we all have to figure out our stress triggers and how we react to them. In other words, know what situations tend to make you stressed and understand those you can and can’t control. It may also be helpful to prioritize tasks and/or prepare for stressful events in advance.

Finally, knowing how to relax and be still are vital aspects of effective stress release. And, ultimately, they both contribute to the maintenance of our overall health and well-being. So don’t rule out visiting a community health and wellness center or consulting a licensed professional if you are having difficulty managing stress.

Create a Cozy, Relaxing Space with this Collection

These Brown, Beige and Black Striped Pillows are from our “Chocolate Candy Stripes” home collection.

Made with high-quality simplex knit fabric, this clean design will add a relaxing, casual flair to your family room or even a neutral bedroom decor.

Essentially, this collection will add a warm and cozy sensibility to any room or space!

Check-out some pieces from this collection:

Chocolate Candy Stripes
Chocolate Candy Stripes
by KaySahai Designs

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Caribbean-Style Salt Fish and Shrimp Fritters Recipe

salt fish fritters

The following is a simple recipe for Caribbean-style salt fish fritters (salted cod fish fritters) with shrimp.


  • 2 stalks of scallion
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion or 1 small onion
  • 1/8 tsp of scotch bonet pepper (optional)
  • 6 ounces of salted cod fish (de-boned)
  • 2-3 ounces of cooked shrimp (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • salt (optional)
  • coconut or vegetable oil


  1. Place salted cod fish in a saucepan covered with water. Boil for 5 minutes and cool.
  2. Chop scallions, bell pepper, onion and scotch bonet pepper.
  3. Flake the salt fish into smaller pieces.
  4. Add salt fish, cooked shrimp, chopped ingredients, black pepper, salt, sugar, flour and water to a bowl and mix together to form a batter.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan.
  6. Spoon batter into pan and fry until golden brown.


salt fish fritters


Check-out some of our kitchen & dining pieces:

Carolina Collection

Carolina Collection
by KaySahai Designs


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At-Home Spa Pedicure: Create a DIY Experience

Is an at-home spa pedicure something you have been considering lately? Certainly, there is nothing like a professional spa pedicure. However, you can surely come close to this rejuvenating experience in the comfort of your own home—and with some basic tips and resourcefulness, your DIY pedicure will make you feel like a brand new person!


Essentials you’ll need:


At-Home Spa Pedicure Directions:
1. Use nail polish remover to remove old nail polish from your toe nails.

2. Add warm water to either a foot spa or basin.

at home spa pedicure

Epsom salt helps get rid of toxins and reduces pain and swelling, while promoting stress release. Try the Spa Luxetique brand in lavender, vanilla and coconut.


3. Add some Epsom salt and/or your favorite foot soak or even body wash to the water.

4. Soak your feet for 7 to 10 minutes.

5. Scrub your feet with the foot file, and follow by applying some foot scrub. Massage both feet entirely in a circular motion, and then rinse in the water.

6. Cut your toe nails straight across with the nail clipper, and then use the nail file to smooth/groom each nail.

Finishing Up…

Shea Butter has anti-inflammatory properties, while giving your feet the nourishment they need. Give Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub a try!

7. Massage some cuticle oil into your cuticles; use the cuticle pusher (in the nail set) to gently push them back.

8. Moisturize your feet with your favorite lotion or cream. However, be sure to remove any excess oil/lotion from your toe nails with nail polish remover.

9. Place a toe separator on your feet and apply a base coat to your nails, followed by your chosen nail polish. After a few minutes, add some nail polish remover to a q-tip and use it to clean up any excess nail polish around the nail. Finally, add a top coat.

There! Your at-home spa pedicure is now complete! That wasn’t so bad now, was it?

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