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    Traveling with dietary restrictions?

    Traveling with dietary restrictions?



    If you have dietary restrictions, the thought of traveling can be daunting. You may be in a "food desert" where you can't find safe and healthy food options that work for your diet.

    Whether you’re following the autoimmune protocol, living paleo or gluten-free, or in the midst of a Whole30 challenge, sticking to your diet is important for your health. While traveling makes doing so more difficult, it’s not impossible!  With a little extra planning and preparation, you can take that summer trip and eat well, too!

    We’ve put together some tips to help make traveling with dietary restrictions more manageable.

  • Do your research.
    Consider where you are going and for how long. Will you have access to a kitchen? Can you bring a cooler? Get on google and look into the destination’s local resources. Arm yourself with knowledge about the local grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants.

  • Plan ahead.
    If you follow a special diet, you know how important planning is. When preparing for your trip, decide on your meals ahead of time, make a grocery list and stick to it. Also, if you know you will be dining out with friends, call the establishment ahead of time and discuss your needs and concerns. Most restaurants are happy to cater to your needs if given advanced notice.

  • Pack some snacks.
    Even if you’ve lined up a grocery store to visit upon arrival, it’s a good idea to always have some healthy food on hand. If you’re hungry and unprepared, you’re more likely to go off your diet.

  • Consider these packable snacks:

    • Prepped fresh veggies
    • Fresh fruit
    • Dried fruit/veggies
    • Canned tuna or salmon
    • Wild Zora Meat & Veggie Bars!

    Understanding Celiac Disease

    Understanding Celiac Disease


    May is Celiac Awareness Month and Wild Zora wants to help you understand the disease that affects an estimated 1 in 133 people in the US. 

    Over the past few years, gluten-free diets have become extremely trendy. But for those diagnosed with celiac disease, adopting a gluten-free diet is not a fad, but a vital treatment. 

     

    Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune disorder in which gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. This damage can lead to serious side effects like malabsorption, anemia, thyroid disease and osteoporosis. Currently, the only known treatment is a strict gluten-free diet.

     

    Of the roughly 3 million people in the United States who have celiac disease, only 10% of them have been diagnosed. There are more than 300 symptoms of celiac disease, but the most common are digestive discomfort, recurring headaches, skin rashes, chronic infection, depression/anxiety and body fatigue. If you are experiencing these symptoms and believe gluten to be the cause, it’s important to consult with a trained healthcare professional.

     

    Managing celiac disease and maintaining a 100% gluten-free diet can be difficult. Gluten lurks in many foods, beauty products and even medications. Avoiding it takes vigilance and often means planning ahead. Check out the links below for resources and tips on living with celiac disease:

     

    Wild Zora is proud to make delicious snacks that are completely gluten-free. Our snack bars provide a safe and nutritious on-the-go option for people with celiac disease.

    Why eat healthy food?

    Why eat healthy food?

    eat healthy - photo of kale on a wooden cutting board

    Wild Zora creates truly healthy gluten-free snacks that you can feel confident to feed to your family. In the interest of helping you start -- or continue -- to eat with nutrition in mind, we’ve put together a list of the benefits of a healthy diet. Some may really surprise you!

    Top 5 Benefits of Eating Healthy:

    1. You will be happier and less stressed. What we eat affects our brain, and certain foods can increase good hormones and/or moderate detrimental ones. For example, kale contains a plant-based omega-3 called ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid), which helps lower risk of depression and decrease anxiety. And the folic acid found in spinach supports serotonin regulation, a key contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.

    2. You will maintain the weight you want -- or lose if you need to. Eating less bread, starch and sugar and more meats and vegetables will help you reach -- and maintain -- a healthy weight. With this type of diet, you reduce your carb intake, minimize cravings and feel more satisfied from less food. Everyone’s healthy weight range is different, so make sure to talk to your doctor about what is best for you.

    3. You will reduce your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. Trading processed junk food for fresh fruits, veggies and meats will lower your risk of heart disease. It will also help regulate or prevent high blood pressure -- a serious and common ailment that can lead to heart disease.

    4. You will be at lower risk of getting cancer. Your lifestyle and diet affect your risk of getting cancer. Eating lots of fruits and veggies helps lower that risk.

    5. You’ll be more efficient. Foods with grain and added sugars lead to sudden spikes and drops in blood sugar levels which causes fatigue and puts you at risk of losing productivity. Choose healthy, gluten-free snacks for lasting energy.  

    Still not convinced? Don’t take our word for it -- try it for yourself and see how you feel!

    Paleo vs Primal

    Paleo vs Primal

    What's the difference?

     

    Difference between Paleo and Primal - Meat and Vegetable diets

    The Paleo Diet vs. the Primal Blueprint

    The Paleo and Primal diets both advocate eating more like our ancestors did. So where do the two diets diverge? Here we’ll outline each diet and explain what makes them different.


    Understanding the Basics

    First popularized by Loren Cordain (in our home town of Fort Collins, Colorado) in the early 2000s, the Paleo Diet harks back to the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. It advises a diet of lean, pasture-raised meats, wild-caught fish and seafood, eggs, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthful oils such as olive, coconut, macadamia, and avocado. Grains, legumes, dairy, potatoes, refined sugar, and processed foods are off-limits.

    The Primal Blueprint is very similar and also emphasizes pre-agricultural foods. “Eating primal” means choosing meats, vegetables, nuts, fruit, and healthy fats, while cutting out all grains, excessive carbs, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils. Protein and fat macronutrients form the cornerstone of this diet.


    Key Differences

    The Paleo Diet and the Primal Blueprint differ on two main issues: saturated fats and dairy.

    While the Paleo Diet suggests that lean cuts of meat are key to optimal health, the Primal Blueprint encourages followers to enjoy fattier cuts of meat, citing the benefits of “a diet rich in animal fat and cholesterol.”

    The two diets also differ on their attitudes toward dairy. Strict Paleos avoid dairy altogether, whereas the Primal Blueprint places dairy in a gray area. Primal Blueprint founder Mark Sisson sees dairy as a viable nutritive source and highly subjective food with no “one-size-fits-all” approach.


    At Wild Zora, we believe that not all dairy is created equal. Our family drinks milk from a local farmer who never gives her cows antibiotics or hormones. Similarly, the Wild Zora Parmesan-Beef recipe uses only cheese made from milk from cows who aren’t given antibiotics or hormones, especially the quite-controversial rBST hormone (administered to conventional cattle, which causes them to lactate continuously).  The Organic Dairy Farmer’s association sued the FDA in 2008 and again in Federal Court in 2010 to win the right to put “rBST-free” on their labels (it was deemed that the FDA violated the First Amendment of the Constitution by trying to prevent this) -- but unfortunately, because our products are produced under the USDA, not the FDA, we still aren’t allowed to write “rBST-free” on our Parmesan-Beef package.  We’ve already asked our Congressman why the USDA is still allowed to violate our First Amendment rights… and we’re waiting to hear back from him.



    The Good News

    We make Wild Zora snacks that are safe for both diets! Our meat and veggie bars are made from 100% natural and pasture-raised meat and organic fruits & veggies that are minimally processed. All our products are grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and never contain added sugar or chemical preservatives. Our Cheese recipe is Primal-friendly, and all our other recipes are milk-free and Paleo-Certified. Whether you live Paleo or Primal, we’ve got you covered!

    Our Commitment to Family-Owned Growth

    Our Commitment to Family-Owned Growth

    Like most individuals in a start-up company, we find ourselves up to our ears in to-do lists each day. There are certain things, though, that will halt that flurry of activity and push us to reconnect with our mission and hopes for the future. Last Wednesday, we were stopped in our tracks when we learned that General Mills had acquired EPIC Provisions, a fellow purveyor of premium meat snacks based in Austin. 

    Why did this stop us in our tracks? First, because it was a bigger indication of the awesome growth the meat-based snacks category is experiencing. Second, we found ourselves asking if we’d want the same thing; if we’d want to be acquired by a larger company, or even just secure large investments from outside firms.

    You may have heard about Hershey’s acquisition of KRAVE Pure Foods in January of last year, which was similar to the news about EPIC. Together, these acquisitions validate the trend and demand we’ve anticipated for nutrient-dense, meat-based, convenient snacks made with the best ingredients. It’s amazing to learn that our category will reach $3 billion in sales in 2016, which also means there’s no shortage of opportunity for brands large and small to compete. That being said, we do not believe all meat snacks are created equal. We do believe it’s our responsibility to make snacks that satisfy not only our taste buds, but also the deeper needs of our bodies and the planet.

    As we’ve shared many times on our blog before, we created Wild Zora out of necessity. As an active family with two children, we struggled to find savory, protein-rich snacks to fuel our fun that weren’t full of sugar, preservatives or other yucky additives. Inspired by the Paleo and Primal meals we made for dinner as a family, we begin experimenting with combinations of dehydrated grass-fed and pasture-raised meats and organic veggies to create snacks that kept us feeling energized and satiated, and that steered us clear of debilitating sugar crashes. After nearly a year of testing our recipes, Wild Zora was born and we now proudly offer five different flavors of The Original Meat & Veggie Bar®.

    We are taking the news of this acquisition as a personal challenge to continue making our bars from all the good stuff and none of the bad, like free-range/grass-fed meats, organic veggies, dried fruits and bold spices. We also remain committed to sourcing many of our ingredients from local farmers and ranchers like Bowers Farm and Sun Prairie Ranch. You won’t ever find growth hormones, sugar, preservatives or additives in our bars. The result? A snack as nature intended that’s not only perfect for families like ours, but also, to our delight, a nutrient-rich and delicious option for people on a Paleo or Primal diet; endurance athletes; those eating foods that are gluten-free, soy free, nut free, nightshades free or that fit into an autoimmune protocol diet (AIP). We’re thrilled to share that later this year we’ll also be introducing two new products, including a second AIP-compliant flavor and a Taco Turkey flavor of our meat and veggie bars. Delish!

    We also want to take a moment to acknowledge that there are many paths to growth as a natural foods company. The founders of EPIC, Katie and Taylor, shared in a blog post that they are hoping their decision to sell EPIC to General Mills will help influence change within General Mills, and also positively impact large-scale grassland restoration; further create a need for pasture-raised animals; and increase the availability of EPIC’s nourishing food to consumers.

    We are excited to grow and can’t wait for our bars to be available to the masses, but to us, ever-more-important than fast growth is our commitment to creating products made from ingredients we are proud to stand behind, and that provide our customers with the best, healthy and delicious snacks. We believe it’s possible to influence changes in our food system as a smaller producer, and we take this news as a challenge to continue to grow in the way that best suits us – as a family-owned and operated company that does not have to answer to investors or shareholders. We are so proud that in our short time in business we are already available in Whole Foods Market and Natural Grocers stores throughout the Rocky Mountain Region, 100 independent retailers across the U.S., and will soon be available in Lunds & Byerlys stores in the Midwest! We are looking forward to a big year of growth, and we hope you will continue to support us on this exciting journey.

     To the Future!