After eighteen years of working in the fast-paced fashion industry left her rife with exhaustion, anxiety, inflammation and illness, Candice Puthawala walked away—and healed herself with chocolate. Her brand, Beauty Bar Chocolate, was founded during her time at culinary school, when her meditation practice guided her to create her own brand of sugar-free wellness chocolate that balances hormones, relieves stress and restores your natural glow. Packed with premium ingredients such as pearl collagen, rhodiola and monkfruit—a creamy plant-based sweetener that does not interfere with blood sugar levels—a few squares of Beauty Bar Chocolate each day promises “peace, focus and glowing skin”, as Puthawala’s motto goes. Despite a recent partnership with Free People and a business projected to triple in size over the next few months, the certified holistic health coach continues to produce every bar of chocolate with care, shipping a thousand bars across the country and around the world each month from her kitchen in Santa Monica.
“In fashion, it’s all about beauty from the outside, but I was suffering so much on the inside with inflammation, autoimmune diseases and anxiety and I knew this couldn’t be my life,” she said. Puthawala took matters into her own hands, enrolling in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and curing her candida, thyroid issues and adrenal fatigue by removing sugar from her diet. “I added collagen and adaptogens to my diet and focus on beauty from the inside out, while realizing that none of the sugar-free chocolate I found in health food stores tasted good,” she said. With her background in fashion and sales, Puthawala set out to create a product to help people feel better. Inspired by the delicate prints on the soap boxes she saw on her previous trips to Paris, she brought her visual expertise from fashion to design a vintage yet modern aesthetic to convey that chocolate can be beautiful and good for you.
The biggest misconception in the wellness world, according to Puthawala, is that wellness is only for rich people. “Wellness is not just for the elite, it can be as simple as eating nourishing whole foods,” she says, adding that the overconsumption of health fads can sometimes cause other issues. Her favorite healthy habit? Switching out her 2pm coffee habit for 1-3 squares of Beauty Bar Chocolate and some herbal tea.
Since Beauty Bar Chocolate’s launch in January 2018, interest in Puthawala’s product has skyrocketed, and a new CBD wellness chocolate product is in the works. “Many customers have told me that they have not been able to enjoy chocolate in years because of the common ingredients that can trigger health problems,” she said, adding that she hopes to educate people about sugar’s detrimental effects on the body, and the fact that high quality, thoughtfully produced chocolate can be healthy. At some wellness events, Puthawala holds “chocolate meditations” akin to cacao ceremonies, in which participants simply allow a square of chocolate to melt on their tongue, feel grounded, enjoy the flavor and regain mindfulness while being energized by the high cacao content of Beauty Bar Chocolate. “Chocolate makes people so happy,” she said. “I had no idea.”
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