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Best Day Hikes In Colorado: Devil's Backbone

Best Day Hikes In Colorado: Devil's Backbone-Wild Zora

It’s March and we are all tired of winter, right? There is nothing like a nice hike in the sun to chase away the winter blues.

Did we mention we love Colorado?

When you live in Colorado, day hikes are all around and many of them offer breathtaking views. Plus, we have 300 days of sunshine a year.

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Healthy Backpacking Food: Eat Better, Feel Better

Healthy Backpacking Food: Eat Better, Feel Better-Wild Zora

Backpacking is one of the greatest ways to get a break from the modern world. Ditching all your devices, completely disconnecting yourself from the overwhelming stream of news and information and just being one with nature is compelling and backpacking is growing in popularity.

Are you beginning to feel the itch? Are you dreaming about fresh mountain air and the wonderful silence of the majestic peaks? The smell of pine trees, soft forest ground, and chirping of the birds?

hiker

Spending time in nature just feels right. Moving along using just your two feet gives you a sense of accomplishment that is hard to match. 

Getting rid of all the civilization's junk means giving up all its niceties.  In my opinion, it's well worth it. But the civilization provides us with necessities, too. You know, like food and drink.

To make a backpacking trip a success, you need to start planning early. There are many experienced backpackers who are happy to share their knowledge. REI also offers a basic guide on how to pack food.

Here is a look at some healthier alternatives to a few backpacking staples. 

Classic Backpacker's Fare: Healthy Food?

Source: http://blackwoodspress.com/blog/

Every backpacker knows that a long trek is no time for low-calorie foods. Days filled with often strenuous activity require a bit more than a lettuce leaf and a low-fat dressing, a.k.a. "healthy food". 

Because you have to carry your own food, you often go with high-calorie fare that doesn't weigh a ton and doesn't require long and fussy prep. That leaves you with a wide variety of convenience food.  Let's take a quick look at some popular options:

Breakfast

Instant oatmeal is a popular choice. It is lightweight, and let's face it, having something warm to eat on a crisp mountain morning is marvelous. It's not only warm, it's also filling. Preparation is not difficult, all you need is boiling water.

This is a popular oatmeal brand:

This is our Paleo Meals To Go - Cliffside Coconut Berry.  

 

They both require the same amount of preparation. In all fairness, the Paleo Meals To Go can be prepared with cold water if hot water is not available. You will lose the wonderful warm breakfast but it still beats trying to chew on uncooked oats.

So, what's the big deal?

Fat!

While the oatmeal is packed with those nice filling carbs, that's pretty much all you are getting. Oh, and some quick sugar.

The Cliffside Coconut Berry will give you whopping 50 grams of fat from the nuts and seeds, plus sugar and fiber from the fruits. Oh, and did we mention the divine flavor?

All joking aside; you will need fat to provide you with energy on those long hiking days. Choose your breakfast wisely.

Meat on the Trail

 Yes, we said meat. 

Your muscles will need the essential amino acids to recover from the daily strain. Here is the catch: your body gets essential amino acids from complete protein. Most plant sources of protein are incomplete, which means you have to know how to combine them for optimal nutrition. 

Here is a shortcut: eat some meat. Meat contains complete protein, plus the coveted vitamin B12. Because meat is a nutritionally dense food, a little bit goes a long way.

Here is the problem: how do you store it?

We don't expect many backpackers to hunt their own food (if you can do it, more power to you). 

Realistically, your best bet is some sort of shelf-stable meat - salami sticks or jerky. The problem is, those foods are often filled with things that you may not want to put into your body

If you are a jerky fan, we have a great alternative for you:

Added bonus: these bars have meat AND veggies, which means you will get some fiber and vitamins too. And yes, they are insanely tasty.  

Dinner Time!

Let's say you stuck with your favorite fare of trail mix and such and now you are ready for a meal!  That can be a challenge if your kitchen and your pantry have to fit into your backpack. 

Freeze-dried meals to the rescue! Freeze-dried meals have been around for a while and chances are, you already tried a few and maybe have a favorite. They are light-weight, pack enough calories, and are easy to prepare. 

My question to you: are they tasty? If the freeze-dried meal feels like making-do and its lackluster flavors and strange textures leave you a bit sad, you need to try the Paleo Meals To Go.

Don't take our word for it. Look at this review:

 

 

What do you think? Which one of these meals and snacks will make its way into your backpack? Let us know in comments!

 

 

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Colorado Ski Trip: Discover the Hidden Gems

Colorado Ski Trip: Discover the Hidden Gems-Wild Zora

Colorado stole our hearts right away.  We moved here several years ago and never regretted that decision.

I love my job but sometimes you just have to take a break and recharge your batteries.  An all-Czech, all-girl, weekend was just what doctor ordered. 

The Best Colorado Ski Trip Ever

 The day on the slopes was just perfect.  Colorado blue sky (yes, it is a special hue you can't see anywhere else), perfect temperature and dreamy powder made this a memorable ski trip.  Add a company of great friends, and you have a recipe for a wonderful day. 

Skiing with friends at A-Basin in Colorado

We decided to skip the major ski resorts and instead spent the day at Arapahoe Basin, or as locals call it, A-Basin.  It was my first time at A-Basin and I must say, I am a fan!  A-Basin is Colorado skiing at its best.  Mellow, laid-back crowd, skilled skiers and snowboarders and of course, breathtaking views.  Everything A-Basin promises in this video:

 

 

A-Basin is one of the highest ski areas and it took me a while to adjust to the altitude.  When you find yourself in a similar situation, make sure you stay hydrated and take frequent breaks.  In fact, if this is your first Colorado ski trip, make sure you are prepared. 

 

Tips for Colorado Ski Trip

Although A-Basin is renowned for its expert terrain, an intermediate skier like myself can still have plenty of fun.  Because most of the runs are above timberline, they are nice and wide and not crowded.  I think my family would really enjoy skiing here. I had a blast!

Skiing with friends at A-Basin in Colorado

I made a "shocking" discovery while skiing: Wild Zora bars are the perfect ski snack!  I know I am tooting my own horn here but I was truly surprised how great our bars are for skiers.  I could easily fit 3 or 4 bars in the pockets of my ski jacket.  Because the bars are relatively small and not sticky, they were easy to eat on the lift or even under a tree.  I appreciated the energy I got while not feeling too full. 

Enjoying Wild Zora bars - the best ski snack!

 

Breakfast of Champions (Or Champion Skiers)

We spent a night in Dillon, Colorado.  It's the perfect spot, located near seven ski resorts.  We found a great little cafe and had a pleasant brunch.  The Sunshine Cafe was a little crowded, but the food was worth the wait.  It's so nice to enjoy breakfast made from scratch with fresh ingredients.

 

 

Apres Ski Soak

Because our muscles were little stiff from the day on the slopes, we decided to visit Hot Sulphur Springs.  It is another hidden gem, just like A-Basin; fun and not overrun by tourists.

The spa is about an hour drive from Dillon.  We drove on quiet mountain roads and enjoyed more only-in-Colorado views.  The drive was a bit longer than we anticipated but the scenic route was worth it. The sky was cloudy, as a storm was moving in, which added a sense of drama to an already stunning scenery.

Hot Sulphur Springs offers a series of small pools connected to different hot springs.  Some are quite hot and you can only stay in for a short time.

Laughing at Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado

Others have a lower temperature, so you can soak as long as you need after your ski trip.  The mineral-rich water wasn't too drying; I was surprised how smooth my skin was after the long soak.  And the soreness in my muscles, so typical for the day after skiing, was gone.  I know I will be coming back to Hot Sulphur Springs.

Friends enjoying a soak after a ski trip

 

 

There is nothing quite as refreshing as a fun weekend spent with good friends. I came home rejuvenated, refreshed, ready to run my business.  Discovering the lesser-known places in Colorado definitely contributed to the fun factor. 

How do you recharge your batteries? Is a Colorado ski trip the right thing for you? Let me know in comments!

Love, Zora 

 

 

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Is Paleo Diet Bad for Your Heart?

Is Paleo Diet Bad for Your Heart?-Wild Zora

Paleo is all the craze right now.  Maybe you are already an avid follower, maybe you are just curious.  Either way, the question has probably crossed your mind:

How about Paleo Diet and heart health? 

Is Paleo Diet bad for your heart?

Here is a simple answer: Paleo Diet is great for your heart if you do it right.

 

What is Paleo diet?

 

Paleo or Paleolithic diet is based on the premise that we are genetically identical to the people of the Paleolithic era, the hunter-gatherers. This means our optimal diet should mimic theirs. That means you should only eat what you could hunt or pick and leave out foods that have to be farmed. Of course, your food should be clean and minimally processed.

Paleo diet has many enthusiastic followers and a fair number of skeptics. The main controversy comes from some dietary recommendations. Critics claim that by eliminating grains and legumes, you won't be getting enough fiber. Also, many nutritionists disagree with Paleo approach when to comes to fat.

                               

Here are five ways Paleo lifestyle can help your heart health:

 

1. Go outside and move

 

Paleo is more than just a diet, it's a lifestyle. Movement is just as important as the foods you eat. Imagine a day in the life of a hunter-gatherer. No TV, no sofa, no recliner chair. Plenty of fresh air, sunshine and natural movement. 

No, we are not making you hunt your own food. But consider spending more time outdoors. Let's face it, taking a long walk in the park or through a forest is a lot more enjoyable than walking on a treadmill.  Plus, you will get something you can't get at any gym: vitamin D. 

When your body doesn't have enough vitamin D, you are at a higher risk of developing heart issues. So, get out there and move. Your heart will thank you.

 

2. Eat Your Veggies

 

There is a myth surrounding the Paleo diet: many people think that it means becoming a devoted carnivore. That's a mistake.  Paleo lifestyle encourages you to eat like an omnivore, with plenty of vegetables, some eggs and meat and a little bit of fruit, seeds, and nuts.  Meat is a nutritionally dense food, so you can eat a relatively small serving and get plenty of nutrients; to feel full and satisfied, fill up of on a variety of vegetables. 

The Paleo Mom, a wonderful site full of helpful tips, put together a Paleo food pyramid:

Vegetables are not only full of vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive but they are also an important source of fiber.  A long-term low-fiber diet is associated with a higher risk of heart attack. So, if you eliminate high-fiber foods like grains and legumes from your diet, you MUST eat a lot of vegetables.

When looking for savory Paleo snacks, go beyond jerky, and reach for a meat and veggie bar instead.

 

3. No Junk Food

One indisputable benefit of Paleo diet is the elimination of highly processed food. Even the biggest Paleo skeptics admit this is the step in the right direction. If you quit drinking soda and eating chemical-laden fast food, you will make your heart happy. 

 

4. Go Easy on the Fat

The mainstream nutritionists deem saturated fat to be the devil incarnate and want you to avoid it at all cost. The Paleo nutritionists will tell you that added sugar, gluten, and legumes are what lies between you and your optimal health and some saturated fats, like lard or coconut oil are fine.

Look back at that food pyramid. Paleo diet doesn't mean you will gorge on bacon fried in lard. If you are concerned about your fat consumption, go for natural, whole sources. It's OK to eat a piece of fatty meat, as long as it is a small piece and you eat plenty of veggies with it. Just use common sense, and you will be fine.

 

5. Don't Stress Out

One big part of Paleo lifestyle is stress management. Your health is the most important thing you have. Sadly, in today's society, we see stress as a necessary part of success. Excessive stress is known to cause heart attacks.  No matter how healthy you eat, if you are under a lot of stress for a prolonged time, your heart is in danger.

Spending time outdoors is an important part of Paleo lifestyle and it's also an excellent way to de-stress. So, whether or not you are a Paleo enthusiast, do your heart a favor: go for a hike, a walk, or a bike ride. Smell the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine.

 

How do you keep your heart healthy? Let us know in comments!

 

 

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Wild Zora Foods, LLC Acquires Paleo Meals To Go

Wild Zora Foods, LLC Acquires Paleo Meals To Go-Wild Zora

Four years ago Wild Zora Foods LLC launched its first product, The Original Meat & Veggie Bar®. Following on the company’s early success in the specialty snacks market, Wild Zora is now expanding into convenient, freeze-dried meals with the acquisition of Paleo Meals to Go.

“Paleo Meals To Go was an obvious choice for us when we decided to expand our product line through acquisition,” said Josh Tabin, Co-Founder of Wild Zora Foods. “Their commitment to using only real ingredients with no added chemicals or preservatives, aligned perfectly with our mission and our existing customer base. These new products help us make the leap from snacks to complete meals.”

Wild Zora distributes its products online via its own e-commerce site (http://www.wildzora.com), Amazon, and a few select authorized resellers. They are also available in select retail stores across the United States including Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and REI. The company plans to offer Paleo Meals To Go products across all of their distribution channels.

Wild Zora is bringing production of Paleo Meals To Go freeze-dried products in-house at their Loveland, CO-based facility where they’ll modify the recipes to use only grass-fed and sustainably-raised meat mixed with organic fruits and vegetables. The only way to maintain the company’s commitment to grass-fed and sustainably-raised meat was to bring the freeze-drying process in house, because the only freeze-dried meat available on the market is conventionally raised.

The privately-funded acquisition also gives Paleo Meals to Go mother and son founders, Dawn Anderson and Ty Soukup, the opportunity to see the vision for their products fulfilled. Anderson will stay with Wild Zora and continue working on creating and providing the meal products about which she is so passionate. Both companies are privately owned and won’t be releasing any additional details of the acquisition.

“Dawn and I met at the networking group she started for women entrepreneurs. We became friends and quickly discovered that there was a lot of synergy regarding our company goals and missions,” Said Zora Tabin, Wild Zora Co-Founder. “Once we brought Josh, the numbers guy, into the discussion, we quickly realized that bringing the two companies together was the best way for all of us to meet our goals.”

 

Paleo Meals To Go was using co-packers and other vendors for product fulfillment. The model was tough to scale, and with Dawn and Ty as the only full-time employees, they found scaling up while maintaining profit margins to be very challenging.

“Under our previous manufacturing model, we couldn’t produce affordable products with organic and sustainably-raised, grass-fed beef, and the only thing available on the market was conventional meat, so we used only conventionally-grown and raised products,” said Anderson. “With Wild Zora’s production capacity and know-how, we’re thrilled to finally see our products move to that next step and broaden the appeal to more health-focused consumers.”

Over the course of the coming months, Paleo Meals To Go will become part of the Wild Zora brand family, but the company is cognizant of the good work that has been done to build equity in the name Paleo Meals To Go.

“We’ll take some time and do it right,” said Josh Tabin. “We’ll integrate the new products into the Wild Zora brand without losing any momentum that Dawn and Ty have already built.”

About Wild Zora, LLC
Wild Zora was founded in Loveland, CO by husband and wife, Josh and Zora Tabin in 2014. The organization’s mission is to deliver healthy, convenient food to families that tastes great and doesn’t contain added sugar or preservatives. They’re fulfilling that mission by manufacturing their food on-site, under their supervision, using products sourced from farmers and ranchers that they have personally vetted. Their first product line, The Original Meat and Veggie Bar® has become one of the top-10 natural meat snacks in sales volume. The bars are available in seven flavors ranging from Mediterranean Lamb to BBQ Beef. They offer six Paleo Certified® and Whole30® Approved flavors, and two flavors that are Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) compliant.

About Paleo Meals To Go
Paleo Meals To Go was also founded in Loveland, CO. The company was launched in 2013 by mother-son team, Dawn Anderson and Ty Soukup. Their product line includes five gluten, grain, milk and soy-free savory meals such as Bedrock Beef Chili and Caldera Chicken Curry, as well as three gluten, grain, milk, soy and nightshade-free breakfast flavors. The company’s story began when Ty, an avid backcountry hiker, realized he could find nothing that met his dietary requirements to take with him into the wilderness, and that there was an opportunity to provide other hikers like him with a healthy, backcountry-friendly product.