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    Give Your Veggies A Glow-Up With These AIP Paleo Recipes

    Give Your Veggies A Glow-Up With These AIP Paleo Recipes

    Vegetables are the key to nutrient-dense, elimination diets like the Paleo and AIP diet.  Here are some recipes to give more life to our fibrous friends.


    Lemon Rosemary Cranberry Brussels Sprout Recipe

    Brussels sprouts are a multi-tasking vegetable packed with nutritional benefits! If they aren’t in your diet because you have sour childhood memories of boiled brussels sprouts (me), it’s time to change your tune! This recipe will help you achieve that crispy, restaurant-style sprout at home.

    These Lemon Rosemary Cranberry Brussels Sprouts are a perfect spring-time vegetable. They are citrusy and herbaceous with a touch of sweetness from the dried cranberries.  I love to incorporate them into my weekly meal plan routine because they are rich in fiber that regulates gut health and digestion, high in vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron and boost immune function, and are packed with your full daily recommendation of vitamin K, which improves bone health.

    Time Required: 1 hour

    Prep Time: 15 Minutes

    Cook Time: 40-45 Minutes

    Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, AIP Friendly, Paleo Friendly, Nut-Free

    Ingredients You’ll Need:

    • 3 cups brussels sprouts
    • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • ½-¾ cup dried cranberries
    • 2 sprigs rosemary
    • 1 medium lemon
    • Sea salt ½ Tbsp + extra to taste
    • Wild Zora Mediterranean Lamb Bar

    1. Preheat the oven to 450°.
    2. Cut all of your brussels sprout bulbs in half and lay them out on a sheet pan. Press them with a paper towel and sprinkle ½ Tbsp sea salt over them in order to draw out moisture.  Let them rest there for 10 minutes while your oven preheats. This will dry them out and lead to those crispy leaves you are looking for!
    3. Place the sprouts in the oven on the middle-rack and let them bake for 10 minutes.  Open the oven, shake the pan or use a wood spoon to turn over the sprouts. Bake another 5 minutes. The leaves should be browning and the sprouts will develop light golden brown color.
    4. While the sprouts are in the oven, dice the garlic and pull the rosemary needles off of the sprig and chop roughly.
    5. Take the pan out, and turn the oven down to 400°.
    6. Place the sprouts in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, garlic, and half of the rosemary. Mix everything together, and spread the sprouts back in the pan.
    7. Bake for another 30 minutes. While the sprouts are baking, chop the Mediterranean Lamb Bar into small pieces.
    8. Pull the sprouts out and give the pan a good (and careful) shake so that you can get an even bake.
    9. Sprinkle the chopped lamb bars and the rest of the rosemary over the sprouts and add the juice from half a lemon over the top. Place the sprouts back in the oven for the last 10-15 minutes.
    10. Pull the sprouts out for the last time (phew!) and add the cranberries.  Taste the sprouts and add more lemon and sea salt to your preference!
    11. Enjoy!

    I oftentimes pair these with roasted chicken breasts or seared lamb chops! The kids love them and your gut will thank you.


    Other AIP recipes to make your veggies delicious…

    Michelle from Unbound Wellness provides so many Paleo, AIP and Whole 30 recipes that are highly creative and incredibly easy to achieve! Her Hashimoto's diagnosis has led to such empathetic and practical knowledge that makes her recipe content as educational as it is delicious. She makes me feel like a chef on a regular basis.

    My favorite veggie recipe? Her Turmeric Cauliflower Risotto! She walks you through the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and even teaches you to make your own bone broth.  It’s a must-try!

    I go to Angie from Autoimmune Wellness (I know I always talk about them, but they’re the experts) for recipes every time I’m in a cooking funk. Her recipes are incredibly well-balanced and thoughtfully put together.  


    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: salads do not generally excite me. A bowl of greens, while great for me, often leaves me wanting more.  This Beet and Blueberry Chop Salad is a very tasty exception! The golden beets prepared in this way are perfect.  They are not overwhelmingly earthy as they sometimes can be in their raw state, and paired with the tart blueberry and slightly sweet balsamic dressing, they are beautiful. I’m gushing, can you tell?

    Biohack U puts out tons of innovative AIP and low-fodmap recipes like this Rhubarb Ginger-glazed Bok Choy with Bacon.  They often force me to branch out and try cooking things I haven’t tried before. This bok choy is savory and deeply satisfying, plus it really impresses at a dinner party!


    Need more information about the AIP Diet?

    In case you are new to the term Autoimmune Paleo Protocol Diet (AIP), it is a slightly more restrictive version of the Paleo diet. Along with the foods you cannot eat on the Paleo diet, AIP eliminates nightshades, alcohol, eggs, nuts, and seeds.  These foods have nutritional benefits and are not harmful to everyone. But for some, eliminating them from their diet reduces inflammation, supports more prosperous gut health (no more leaky gut), and helps combat the frustrating, chronic effects of autoimmune diseases.

    Once your body has adjusted to the much more limited food selection and you feel better, you can slowly reintroduce foods. The process will give you a greater understanding of what triggers your own immune system. For more information on this, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne from The Paleo Mom provides detailed, step-by-step information about the AIP diet (like the graphic to the right).

    So whether you follow the AIP or Paleo diet, these recipes are safe for you.

    Four Tips For a Truly Jolly Season

    Four Tips For a Truly Jolly Season-Wild Zora

    Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... and you are trying very hard not to think about all the foods that are a part of the holidays but not a part of a healthy diet. 

    Don't despair.  We bring you news of great joy: you can have a healthier, happier holiday season.  Here are four ways you can improve your holiday season:


    1. Put a Spin on Holiday Classics

    You can still have most of your favorites, only slightly improved.  It's OK to tweak Mom's recipe, especially if it calls for a can or two of Cream of Whatever Soup.  Go for the real food version.  Season your food with spices and herbs.  Replace the canned creaminess with a simple bechamel or veloute sauce, or use cooked blended veggies.


    Veloute sauce is basically the same as bechamel; instead of milk, you use a stock of your choice.  The beauty of making your own sauce is that you know exactly what's in it and you can make adjustments for people with food insensitivities and allergies. 

    Now, imagine the "traditional" green bean casserole, made with fresh green beans, sauteed mushrooms, a touch of homemade bechamel sauce with nutmeg and fried onions on top.  All the familiar textures and flavors will be there, it will just taste ten times better. 

    This article brings few more tips for healthier "swaps".  Do you have a new and improved holiday classic?  Let us know in comments!


    2. Knowledge Is Power

    First, know your enemies. There are many offenders in the "traditional" holiday fodder.   Number one?  Sugar.  We have been told for decades to avoid fat like plague but it's really sugar that's responsible for a host of health issues. 

    Sugar is rather addictive and it can be hard to eat it in moderation.  The Whole30 program talks about a "sugar dragon" inside of us that grows bigger with each sweet bite and as it grows bigger, it demands more sugar. 

    To make things more difficult, the cold, short days of the holiday season often bring us emotional discomfort and sugar seems to be the perfect substance to chase away the holiday blues.

    Second, know yourself.  It's important to understand why you eat what you eat.  It's twice as important when it comes to sugary food.  If you absolutely have to have your Mom's Christmas cookies because the taste brings back good memories and she would be hurt if you didn't eat any, go ahead.  Eat slowly and mindfully.  Savor every bite.  That way, it will be much easier to really eat just one.

    If you know that sugar is your drug of choice to cope with more difficult issues, try to look for alternatives.  If you can, go for a walk or stretch.  Hug someone you love.  Try to do something rewarding - your brain chemistry will provide you with that same "sweet" feeling and your body won't need to cope with all the negative side effects of sugar.

    Do you still just want that sweet taste?  Good news: Mother Nature gave you plenty of sweetness in a form that's much healthier than that white stuff (no, I don't mean snow).  Have you guessed yet?  Right!  It's fruit!  To get the most health benefits, choose whole fruit over fruit juices; the fiber in whole fruit will help your body process the naturally occurring sugar more slowly.  Unsweetened dried fruit can be a good choice as well, just keep in mind that the sugars are more concentrated, so you should only eat small amounts.


    3. Fill Up on the Good Stuff

    Before you head to the next party, eat something healthy.  Go for protein and vegetables, to feel satisfied but not uncomfortably full.  The veggies that are in season during winter months are hearty and many are perfect for roasting.  How is that for comfort food?  Add a quickly seared serving of grass-fed beef and you are ready to face whatever the season throws at you!  Or, whatever is served at the party.

    If you like spicy food, 'tis the season to eat some! Especially if you are worried about portion control. That wonderful heat will not only brighten your day, it will also tame your appetite. 

    Our holiday to-do lists tend to be too long for comfort.  In order to get everything done, we often put a lot on a back burner, including eating.  Going hungry all day and stuffing yourself at dinner is far from ideal.  Stopping for a quick bite at a fast food place is also a bad idea.  Be prepared: stock up on healthy snacks that are easy to carry around. 


    4. Relax!

    The holidays tend to center around food but it doesn't mean we should focus on it too much.  Remember, stress is not healthy!  So, if you are stressing over eating too many cookies, take a deep breath and give yourself a break.  That extra adrenaline is worse than the extra sugar. 

    Managing stress during the holidays will help you manage what you eat.  Here are a few tips:



    The most important thing to remember about the holiday season: all of it is supposed to be fun and bring you joy. 


    Thanks for reading! We would like to wish you and your family a peaceful and healthy holiday season.



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    Why We Love Meat

    Why We Love Meat-Wild Zora

    What is the first thing that comes to your mind when somebody says “healthy food”? Let me guess: it’s not meat.

    Meat consumption has been blamed for a slew of health problems.  But high-quality meat is really a superfood!  

    Here is why:

    Meat is a great source of protein

    Meat is an excellent source of complete, easily digestible protein.  There are many plants that contain protein as well, but only a few have the complete protein that your body needs.  So if you are on a vegan diet, you need to make sure you understand your protein sources and plan your meals carefully.  If you just want to eat well without too much fuss, add meat to your diet.  Stick to healthy meats that were raised naturally.  Or, grab one of our bars.

    What’s the big deal with protein?

    Simply put, we would fall apart without protein. Proteins are often referred to as “building blocks” of all lifeforms and we humans are no exception. Our body tissues are made of protein.

    Protein is also a source of energy, along with fats and carbohydrates. Unlike carbohydrates, protein helps you feel full longer and it doesn’t cause energy spikes and crashes. If you feel hungry often, consider a protein-rich snack. If you are trying to lose weight, a diet high in protein and low in carbs will help you lose body fat and keep the muscle.

    What’s a complete protein?

    Protein is a type of chemical compound with large, chain-like molecules consisting of smaller units known as amino acids. We need them to digest food, repair body tissue, grow and much more.  Our bodies are capable of creating some of the amino acids, while others, called the essential amino acids, need to come from food.   

    The complete protein contains all nine essential acids. Essential acids are, surprisingly, essential for our well-being. Our bodies cannot make them and also they are unable to store them.  If your diet doesn’t provide enough essential amino acids, your body will extrude them from your muscle. People who lack essential amino acids in their diet can also experience weakness, fatigue and increased anxiety levels, among other symptoms. This means essential amino acids should be a part of our daily food intake in a form of protein, preferably complete protein.  

    Meat Gives your immunity a boost

    With cold season creeping upon us, we would love to boost our immunity, right?  Let’s eat some meat, then! As we mentioned earlier, a healthy amount of complete protein you get from meat helps your body to perform its best, but that’s not all. Meat is an excellent source of zinc. Zinc is crucial for a proper function of your immune system. Zinc deficiency is on the main causes of weakened immunity. Many doctors recommend taking a zinc supplement to help you battle common cold.  Here is an idea: how about a diet rich in zinc? Try grass-fed beef or lamb; they are both rich in zinc and quite tasty!

    Meat Contains Iron

    Iron is a mineral essential to our survival. It’s a major component of hemoglobin, a protein in our blood cells that is responsible for oxygen distribution.   Iron deficiency results in anemia, or low red blood cell count.  Anemia causes fatigue, pale skin and you can also experience shortness of breath.  While there are plants that contain iron, your body doesn’t absorb it as well as the iron from meat.  The best sources of iron include liver, sardines, oysters, clams, and beef (100%grass-fed is the best).

    Yes, Meat Is Full of Vitamins!

    Meat is well known for high levels of B vitamin complex (B1, B2, niacin, B6, and B12), as well as vitamin D.  Vitamin B12 can only be found in animal-based foods.

    Vitamin D helps calcium absorption, among other things, so it is important to your bone health.


    It's Easy To Eat

    Let's face it, there are numerous foods that you know you should eat but you don't exactly enjoy them.  Meat is tasty and a little bit goes a long way.  A 3oz steak will give you 22g of complete protein, whereas a cup of cooked beans will get you about 15g.  Unlike beans, meat, when consumed in moderation, won't give you any unpleasant digestive issues.


    Hungry for meat? How about a tasty meat snack?



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    Choosing a Healthy Meat Snack

    Choosing a Healthy Meat Snack-Wild Zora

    You probably still remember where you were when the World Health Organization announced that eating processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer. The announcement that likened bacon consumption to smoking in terms of cancer risk caused mild panic among carnivorous Americans.

    As you know, we at Wild Zora make meat snacks.  Should you be worried about eating them?  

    Here are four things you need to know:

    1. Processed Meat

    The WHO defines processed meat as "meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.  Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood.  Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces."

    How are Wild Zora bars different?

    The big difference here is that some companies “bake” or “cook” their meat protein-based products at high heat in order to dehydrate them more quickly, which then causes the formation of the compounds that are suspected to cause cancer.  The worst offenders would be grilling, frying, and broiling, but baking too, if it causes a browning action, does the same.  At Wild Zora, we DO NOT do any of these things. We use a more time-consuming (and to be honest, more expensive) low-heat slow-dehydration method which does not cause any browning at all, and so formation of these dangerous compounds is avoided.  

    Summary: Look for meat snacks that have been dehydrated slowly, at lower temperatures.

    2. What chemicals are found in processed meat?

    In the previous section, we mentioned harmful chemicals that develop during high-heat processing.  The main suspects include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic aromatic amines.  In laboratory tests, they were shown to alter the DNA and increase the risk of cancer development. This doesn't mean that they wreak the same havoc when they actually enter your body but because DNA mutation is irreversible, it's a good idea to limit your exposure to these chemicals.  Because Wild Zora bars are NEVER processed in high heat, they don't contain any of these chemicals.
    Other chemicals commonly found in processed meats include MSG, nitrites, and nitrates. Let's take a closer look at them:
    You are probably familiar with this flavor enhancer.  It is still deemed safe to use despite growing anecdotal evidence linking MSG to a host of health problems.  Why is that?  The scientific evidence is inconclusive, so far.  Lab studies on rats showed no negative effects of MSG.  There are no large scale human studies, only case studies and anecdotal evidence.  Although MSG is deemed as "safe" the growing number of individuals who report health problems after ingesting MSG led us to create and MSG-free meat snack
    Nitrates and Nitrites
    Nitrates occur naturally in meat and vegetables.  Our digestion system or other chemical processes break them down into nitrites.  Nitrites then can form either nitric acid, which can be beneficial in small doses or a nitrosamine, which can be harmful and potentially support cancerous growth.  Nitrosamine needs high temperatures to develop.  So again, when meats
    are processed at high temperatures and contain added nitric acid or nitrites, they are likely to raise your cancer risk. To stay safe, look for meat snacks with no added nitrites or nitrates, like Wild Zora bars.
    Summary: Although we need more research, we already strongly suspect that MSG and added nitrates and nitrites in processed meats are harmful to your health.  Read labels carefully and avoid meat snacks that contain MSG, nitric acid, nitrites, or nitrates.

    3. Cancer Prevention

    Scientists agree that eating diets rich in fiber that include a variety of fruit and vegetables can lower your risk of colon cancer.  Maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, and lowering your alcohol intake can also help your odds. 

    Not only are the Wild Zora bars processed in a safe way and contain no potentially harmful additives, they also contain about vegetables and fruit, giving your body added nutritional benefit.

    Summary: Look for meat snacks that also contain fruits and vegetables.


    4.  Some Meats Are Healthier Than Others

    The overwhelming majority of processed meat start with the cheapest ingredients, which means commercially produced meat.  At Wild Zora, we only use 100% grass-fed meats, or in the case of turkey and pork, meats that come from naturally raised animals.  Commercially produced meat is typically full of antibiotics and growth hormones.  That type of meat doesn't meet our standards and we never use it. 

    We found that grass-fed meat tastes better and is better for you.  If you are worried about colon cancer, you should definitely make sure you eat beef and lamb that is 100% grass-fed.  Grass-fed meat has significantly higher levels of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), which has been linked to lowering the cancer risk, particularly in the colon area.

    Summary: Choose meat snacks made with naturally raised meat, 100% grass-fed, with no antibiotics or growth hormones, like the meat used in Wild Zora bars.


    Ready to try a healthy meat snack?  We have seven delightful flavors - pick a favorite or try them all!



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    Health Benefits of Rosemary

    Health Benefits of Rosemary

    Rosemary adds its woodsy, crisp flavor to lots of popular dishes.  Today, we use rosemary mostly as a seasoning, but you can take full advantage of its health benefits by using it in a variety of ways. You can inhale its scent, clean with it or eat it.  If you need a quick rosemary snack, grab one of our Mediterranean Lamb bars.  The new Apple Pork Wild Zora bar combines rosemary with the familiar notes of parsley, sage, and thyme.

    Throughout history, rosemary was prized for its many qualities, beyond culinary use.  Ancient Greeks and Romans believed rosemary improved memory; when preparing for exams, students wore rosemary wreaths on their heads.

    In Medieval and Renaissance times, rosemary was used to ward off plague and as a deodorizer.  It was still believed to help memory and later it became the symbol of remembrance and faithfulness.  As such, it was often used at both weddings and funerals.

    Here are three easy ways rosemary can boost your health:


     #1. Plant it for mental clarity

    Wearing a rosemary wreath while studying might seem silly, but rosemary stimulates brain activity.  If you struggle with "foggy brain" every afternoon, try diffusing rosemary essential oil or rub a fresh rosemary sprig between your hands and inhale deeply.

    Potted Rosemary

    Rosemary is easy to grow in pots, so try keeping a small plant close to your work space.  You can grow it outside, too. In warm climates, rosemary is a perennial and will grow into a nice shrub.  If you live in an area with cold winters, you will have to replant your rosemary every year, or you might keep it in a large planter that can be moved indoors during the cold months.


    #2 Spray it to kill germs

    The medieval beliefs that rosemary will ward off plague were not without merit.  Rosemary has strong antimicrobial properties.  If you like to clean your home without toxic chemicals, rosemary will be your best friend.  By killing bacteria, it neutralizes odors and leaves your home smelling fresh and clean.  Use fresh rosemary, lemon and vinegar to make a simple all-purpose cleaner.

    DIY Lemon Rosemary cleaner

     Photo by Mick Telkamp


    #3 Eat it for your digestive health

     It's not a coincidence that rosemary is often paired with pork or  lamb.  It tastes wonderful, but more importantly, rosemary helps you digest those meats.  Because it stimulates the bile flow, rosemary is crucial to digestion of fatty foods.  Like other herbs in the mint family, it helps with indigestion, excessive bloating, and stomach cramps.

    When cooking with rosemary, try to use it fresh.  Simply strip the leaves off the woody stem (if the stem is soft, you can skip this step), and give them a rough chop before adding them to your dish. You can add whole sprigs to stews, soups and sauces, but be aware that the leaves will fall off and you might need to strain them.  If you use dried rosemary, crush it well, because the dry leaves stay hard and are not pleasant to eat.

    Try this recipe:


    Not in the mood for a large meal?  On the go?  Traveling?  Get the wonderful benefits of rosemary from a healthy snack, like Wild Zora Mediterranean Lamb Bar.  Don't forget about the new Apple Pork bar!  It combines pork with rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme for your taste buds and your digestive health.

    How do you like to use rosemary? Let us know in comments!



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