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    Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

    Healthy Easter Basket Ideas

    The seasonal isle in your grocery store is full of brightly wrapped candy, plush toys and various Easter-themed tchotchkes you're told to purchase for your children. Most of them will be interesting for a few days and then they just become clutter.  So naturally, you are hesitant to buy them.  And if candy is not an option for your children, how do you create healthy Easter baskets?

    Think outside the box.  Or in our case, the basket.  We came up with a few ideas that can be adjusted for children of all ages.

     

    Adventure Easter Baskets

    Give your kids the gift of adventure.  There is nothing better than family time outdoors.  Fresh air and sunshine do wonders for your body and soul, and discovering nature through the eyes of a child is delightful.

     

    Take a Hike Basket

    Plan a hike in advance. There are many wonderful resources online.

    Wild Zora Healthy Easter Basket for Hikers

    Here are a few ideas for your hiking basket:

    Water Bottle

    Healthy Snacks - we recommend our "pizza flavor" Parmesan Beef Bar; it's highly popular with kids

    Map

    Compass

    Hat

    Sunglasses

    Sunscreen (yes, even the Spring sun can burn!)

    If your child doesn't own a hiking backpack already, buy one and use it instead of a basket; just add a little bow or a festive tag.

    To make the hike more fun, plan a simple scavenger hunt.  Try to spot an animal - mammal, bird, or insect.  Look for flowers, trees with interesting bark or funny shaped rocks.

     

    Birds of a Feather Easter Basket

    Bird watching is a great family activity.  It teaches children patience and respect for nature's beauty.

    Birdwatcher's Easter Basket Idea

    Some ideas for bird watcher's basket:

    Binoculars

    Water Bottle

    Healthy Snack

    Book or a Brochure About Your Local Birds

    Notebook or a Journal - here is a great printable one for young children

    Pen or Pencil

    Tip: To make the basket look like a bird's nest, we used raffia instead of the plastic "grass" basket filler.

     

    Sports Easter Basket: Get the ball rolling

    If you live in an area where exploring nature is more difficult, you can still give your children a gift of spending time outside. You don't have to enroll your children in team sports or buy expensive equipment. The idea is to play outside and have fun. 

    Sports Easter Basket

    Some ideas for Sports Easter Basket:

    Volleyball

    Football

    Frisbee (or frisbee-golf frisbees?)

    Healthy Snack - try our BBQ Beef - healthy BBQ with veggies that even picky eaters like

    Water Bottle

    Stop Watch

    We started this basket with a volleyball because you can use it in any park; simply stand in a circle and try to keep the ball up.  Have fun - invent your own silly rules (i.e. everyone has to stand on one foot when you yell the code word).

     

    "Easter Basket" for college kids

    Your kids are no longer living with you, but you still want to get them something.  Wild Zora meat & veggie bars are a great little gift for a college student.  They are easy to carry around campus and because they are high in protein, they are the perfect brain fuel for your hard working student.  Try our popular sampler with all seven flavors.  Don't forget to add something "green", because it's Easter (wink) and because college students always appreciate a little cash.

    College Student Easter Basket Idea

    Tip: To keep the Wild Zora packages together for a neat presentation, we used little double sided tape.  Glue dots would also work well.

     

    What is your go-to healthy Easter basket? Let us know in comments!

     

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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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    When to Avoid Nightshades

    When to Avoid Nightshades

     

    Nightshades, a large family of plants that include such kitchen staples as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and paprika, are a dietary issue for some people.  Wild Zora now offers TWO delicious nightshade-free snacks.


    Nightshades are blamed for increased inflammation and a host of other medical issues, such as migraines, GI tract irritation, and arthritis flare-ups, among others. 

    The culprit is a group of alkaloids these plants contain.  One of them, called solanine, impacts metabolism of neurotransmitters which means it can negatively affect your nervous system if it builds up in your body.  That certainly sounds scary, but remember that many nightshades, like peppers and tomatoes, are full of vitamin C and other antioxidants.  Furthermore, ripe nightshade fruits and vegetables contain only traces of alkaloids and won't affect most people.

     

    Nightshade vegetables

    Source: draxe.com

    Artichokes, cherries, huckleberries, and blueberries don't belong to the nightshade family, but they also contain solanine.

    At this point, there are no major scientific studies on the effects of nightshades. Anecdotal evidence has linked nightshade consumption to rheumatoid arthritis in certain people, however, there are also many people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, but nightshades don’t seem to have any impact on them.  It has been suggested that some people are more sensitive to alkaloids than others.

    Some can also have an allergic reaction to nightshades.  The reactions can vary from a rash to anaphylaxis.  The nightshade allergy is rather rare, so is not considered a common allergen.

     


     

    How do you find out if nightshades cause your painful arthritis flare-ups or leaky gut? 

    1. Start by keeping a food journal.  Check labels carefully and ask questions when you eat at a restaurant.  Don't forget to write down any medications, vitamins, and supplements you take.  Note all the symptoms you experience.

    2. Try to avoid nightshades for at least two weeks.  This can be tricky because nightshades are common ingredients in many foods.  Be careful with spice mixes and store-bought salad dressings, as they often contain paprika or cayenne pepper.

    3. Share your food journal with your doctor.  The information you gathered will help you both determine whether nightshades are the culprit behind your condition.

    Eating a nightshade-free diet can be challenging, but it's not impossible, and Wild Zora is here to help: our Mediterranean Lamb bar was our first nightshade-free flavor and we added a new nightshade-free Apple Pork flavor.

     

    Nightshade-free Apple Pork Wild Zora Bar

     

    Wild Zora Star

     

    Love Pork? Boy, Do We Have News For You!

    Love Pork? Boy, Do We Have News For You!

    Natural Pork

    Yes, we completed two new paleo snack recipes featuring pork and you can be among the first people to try them!

    Thanks to our Kickstarter campaign, you will have the opportunity to enjoy our new Taco Pork paleo snack bars or the AIP-friendly Apple Pork at an introductory price. Can't decide? We have a pledge level that allows you to get both!

    Visit our Kickstarter page today to get early access these new and amazing recipes!

    Which one will be your new favorite Paleo snack bar? Lively, mouthwatering Taco Pork, with jalapeño, lime, and cilantro? Or the comfort food on the go, Apple Pork, with familiar notes of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme?

    Let us know in comments!

    Wild Zora Kickstarter

     

    Love Your Body Challenge

    Love Your Body Challenge

    We live in a culture that promotes perfection. Perfection portrayed by a lean, well toned body. The multi-billion $$ weight loss industry is thriving. There are so many new and improved diets and challenges that claim to lead to a new and better you. And yet, eating disorders and obesity are epidemic. We know something isn’t right.


    This Valentine's Day, we present you with a new 30-day challenge. Or a 3-day challenge. Or a new lifestyle. You decide. We challenge you to simply love your body. Stop counting calories, points and steps.

     

    Could LOVE be the solution?

    Who do you love? Your significant other. Your family, your friends, your pets. Thy neighbor. But do you love yourself? Do you love your body?

     

     

    Loving your body is easy. Take a deep breath and let’s get started:

     

    Your words are powerful. Use them  wisely.

    If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. We’ve heard the adage so many times, it became a cliche. Still, most of us apply it only to people we love. How do you talk about your body? So often, people talk about what they hate about their bodies. Be mindful of that. Talk about your body as if it were your dear friend. Embrace it, flaws and all, the same way  you embrace the people you love.

     

    Listen to your body.

    You listen to your best friend. Treat your body the same way. Pay attention. How do you feel  after eating sugary treats? How do you feel after taking a walk? You will start making healthier choices if you follow your body’s lead.

    If you feel hungry, eat. Eat slowly and pay attention to tastes and textures.

    When you feel tired, rest. We know that seems like a luxury not always available. But even closing your eyes for a moment and taking a few deep breaths can make a difference.

     

    Treat yourself.

    Your amazing body deserves only the best fuel. Eat well, but instead of trying to ban yourself from unhealthy foods (or shaming yourself after you do eat them), just try to think about treating yourself to healthy ones. Stay away from ingredients you cannot pronounce. The most important ingredient, however, is your mindset. Drop the guilt and the “I should” attitude (don't "should" yourself). Instead, think about your new friend, your body.

    The simplest way to start eating well is to choose real food. You don’t have to start munching on kale while dreaming of donuts. But what if you treated yourself to a handful of berries instead of candy? Read labels. Think about what you eat. Is this the food you would want to give to a dear friend?

    Eating real food is simple. People are often intimidated by cooking or feel pressed for time. But you can find many easy recipes or quick snacks. Eat as much as you need. Don’t count calories or points. Just let your body enjoy good and wholesome food.

     

    Celebrate!

    If the idea of weight lifting or a Zumba class doesn’t excite you, don’t despair. We often feel like we need to use exercise as a punishment for our dietary sins. Here is your challenge: Celebrate your body’s amazing ability to move! Stretch, jump, and dance. It’s a party honoring your body!



    Go ahead. Love your body. It will love you back.

     

     

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