Here's Why We've Been Eating Chocolate for Breakfast (Without Guilt)
What if we said you could eat chocolate for breakfast every day (without a lecture from your parents, doctor or dentist)?
We recently discovered NaamNom Cherub bars, made primarily of carob and cacao butter. These organic bars—despite their deliciousness—contain 100% natural ingredients, an average of 22 grams of carbs, and no added sugar (only an average of 13 grams of natural sugar), allowing them to satisfy the sweet tooth without concern. We've learned from experience that they make an excellent dessert, but also act as a perfect breakfast bar if you're on the go. FYI, if you live in Los Angeles, you can find them at many of your local Erewhon health stores. Otherwise, you can purchase them online.
All 10 flavors (Almond-Raisin, Lavender Dream, Mulberry-Ginger, Simple 'N' Yum, Mess-o-Pistachio, Peppermint, Chicory Crunch, Raisin, Current Coconut, Cinnamon Date Walnut) have their own unique ingredients, while still bringing out the brand's signature rich, dark chocolate taste.
Most importantly, they are packed with love. Created by holistic-living yoga instructors, the back of each bar instructs consumers to "smile and take a long deep breath. Eat slowly, savoring each bite in health, joy & consciousness." It also says the bars are "made with peace, joy & love," and are "best if eaten with a friend." Cute, huh?
We fell head over heels for these bars so much that we reached out to Fjóla, who kindly chatted with us on behalf of the brand, created by her husband Oshri Hakak. Fjóla answered everything from how they broke into the wellness food industry, to the inspiration behind the bars and so much more.
Sweety High: Tell me about your general lifestyle and career background
Fjóla: I'm a Kundalini Yogini, a mantra musician, a mathematician, a mother and a wife. I'm passionate about holistic living and love helping others find balance in their bodies and harmony with nature. This I do mainly by raising awareness of consumption habits, promoting plant-based and organic food choices, and bringing waste-free lifestyles to the foreground.
I teach Kundalini Yoga and Naad Yoga, the Yoga of Sound, which helps us open our voices and bodies with the yogic technology shared by Yogi Bhajan. I also teach mathematics and music at a Waldorf Steiner School in the pristine nature of Iceland.
SH: How did the idea of NaamNom Cherub bars come to be, and how long was the full process, from start to getting the bars into stores?
F: Oshri, my husband, has a close friend who was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and shortly after, her doctor advised her not to eat chocolate. He made them up for her to eat initially, with no intention of starting a business. It took about five months from that point before it started selling in any store, as it grew only by encouragement from early fans.
SH: How would you classify the bars? Breakfast/workout/snack?
F: All of the above. Since they are sugar and caffeine-free, with some good fats and lots of sustainable energy, and taste like treats, they easily tick all the boxes. I often give my son one for breakfast if we're running late in the mornings and need to grab something before school, or I'll have one myself for an energy boost midday, or for a yummy evening dessert that won't give me a caffeine buzz. I can't think of an occasion where NaamNom's Cherub bars are not appropriate.
SH: What was the most important thing to you in creating these bars?
F: My husband has all the credit for creating the bars, but I know we share a common goal in terms of their importance in the world, and that is to give people an easy, delicious, healthy, holistic and conscious choice of eating.
SH: With such a competitive market for whole food bars, how do NaamNom Cherub bars stand out from the rest?
F: They have no added sugars or sweeteners, no caffeine, no additives (no nonsense), all organic ingredients, compostable packaging, are handmade with love. They're delicious and feel amazing in the body.
SH: NaamNom Cherub bars are for the consumer who…
F: …is looking for or open to a chocolate alternative and is trying to curb sugar or caffeine intake; or someone looking for a delicious treat that makes them feel good, too.
SH: NaamNom Cherub bars are not for the consumer who…
F: …doesn't like nice-tasting food.
SH: What was the easiest and most difficult part of seeing these bars come to life?
F: The easiest part: The bars are delicious and people enjoy eating them. They've really been pulling their own market.
The hardest part: Oshri continuing to navigate life as an artist and musician while keeping up with and growing the business.
SH: How did you get the bars into stores?
F: Some stores reached out to us when hearing great things about the bars. In one case, my husband was introduced by a broker to a distributor in New York, and that expanded the reach quite a bit. Then some of our friends also offered to collaborate by representing NaamNom and working with him to create a social media presence. Oshri also reached out to a number of stores personally. So really, each store has its own store-y.
SH: What does Naam mean?
F: Naam is a sound, a word or a mantra that has many layers of meaning. The most popular translation of it is "identity" when paired with the word Sat; Sat Nam means "truth is my identity." But, Naam itself is really a sound current, a sound that helps us shift our awareness towards joy and health. It's the birthplace and home of all truth, of all that was, is and ever will be. Naam is also, of course, the sound that we make when we find something delicious.
SH: What other wellness companies do you admire, or other wellness products you use?
F: I really like products that have similar values to us ("pure"/organic ingredients), and are environmentally conscious. A chocolate company in the Netherlands is one that comes to mind, Love Chock. One non-food industry company that comes to mind is Patagonia. Their founder aspires to do business with a projection of how they will resonate with the business in 100 years, and this is also the awareness that we're cultivating as we evolve this food company.
SH: Anything else you want people to know about the bars, healthy eating, or anything else?
F: NaamNom products really are made through the labor of love. The care, love and kindness that my husband has for humanity shines through in his dedication of making these bars amazing in all dimensions. On the back of the bars, we also bring attention to how to consume it. To breathe deeply, to smile and to enjoy is just as important as what we are actually putting into our bodies.
If you're craving more cocoa content, HERE's our definitive ranking of the 14 most popular traditional chocolate bars.