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Blog posts tagged "healthy"

Interview with Joshua, Founder of Living Intentions

This week we spoke with Joshua McHugh, founder of Living Intentions, a raw food company based in California. We wanted to learn more and find out what they’re up to.

In case you aren’t familiar with them, Living Intentions were among the early pioneers of the modern sprouted food movement. Over a decade ago Joshua began offering sprouted, activated foods under his Living Intentions brand. He has stayed true to his name, in both his intent to offer clean, nutrient-rich, excellent tasting nuts and seeds and to assure his customers are getting living foods via their sprouting/activation techniques.

Living Intentions | Organic Food, California

What inspired you to start the company?

Many things! I really wanted to start a food company creating innovative snacks that were healthier than the alternative out there. This really kept me on the forefront of sourcing high-quality unique ingredients and herbal extracts from other functional foods.

What are the main benefits of a raw food diet? Would you encourage everyone to try it?

I would recommend anybody try it as part of a balanced lifestyle, I really preach the 80/20 rule: 80% raw, 20% cooked. It’s all about the enzymes. Enzymes create a pathway for the body to rejuvenate and heal.

What product can you not live without?

Two items, Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds and our new Superfood Popcorn.

Tell us how you do what you do in an environmentally friendly fashion.

Well first off, 99% of the ingredients we source are organic. We also source "transitional almonds". "Transitional" is the process from conventional to organic and all farming is done in accordance to organic methods. We have helped a handful of farms move from a conventional crop to an organic crop over the last 15 years.

What’s been the biggest challenge you have faced since you launched the company?

Business is a roller coaster, and things are coming at you from all angles. I'm not sure if there is one specific challenge, however, you just have to take it as it comes and work your way through the process of learning.

Who (or what) inspires you?

I am inspired by innovation. Whether it’s food music or anything else I feel like being at the forefront of any movement takes a lot of courage, strength and perseverance. That's what inspires me.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give to someone that wants to make healthy food choices?

The best advice is actually really simple but under utilized in today’s crazy world. Feel your food! Feel what you're putting in your body, as it knows what's good for you and if you can learn to listen to it, you will be a super healthy person. -- “We’ve been selling Living Intentions since Zebra Organics was founded in 2007. I first tried them an Erewhon Natural Foods in LA, when they first came out over 10 years ago, and fell in love with the flavors and quality" - Randy Olsen, founder of Zebra Organics. “I admire that Joshua and his company always have, and continue to, strive to educate people on the value of sprouted / activated / raw / living foods and the nutrient / health value of such foods.”

View our favourite products by Living Intentions here. Learn more about sprouted foods.

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A Powerful Lesser-known Superfood

If you’ve never heard of Tocos, we’re about to open your eyes to this lesser-known superfood. Move over maca and anandamide (and any other powders and elixirs you may have in your cupboards); it’s time to make way for this nutrient powerhouse of rice bran.

The scoop on Tocos

Tocos, also referred to as tocotrienols, contains protein, minerals, vitamins and healthy fatty acids. It is derived from organically grown brown rice. (A grain of rice consists of three parts; the endosperm and the rice germ and rice bran).

Fun fact: Commercial white rice lacks the germ and the brain. They are removed from white rice to prolong shelf life. Rice bran is the nutritional powerhouse of the rice grain. Its nutritional density is quite remarkable. It is a super rich source of natural Vitamin E. Research suggests that Vitamin E has an array of health benefits. First and foremost, it is an antioxidant that helps to maintain healthy skin. It also helps protect against cancer and other chronic diseases (2010 study). Studies suggest that higher consumption of Vitamin E decreases the chance of developing heart disease.

More research is required to determine the complete role of Tocos.

Why you should try it

Tocos adds a creaminess and frothiness to drinks. It has a delicious vanilla flavour, similar to vanilla ice-cream. It’s like eating some kind of rich, natural protein mix.

How to use it

We recommend adding 1-2 tbsp to the potion of your choice. Our favourite way to use Tocos is to blend it into smoothies. It can be sprinkled on desserts, lattes, yogurt and cereal, and added to nut butters. It can also be used to make face masks with shea butter and raw honey. Try combining it with spirulina, acai berries and chia seeds for a great assortment of nutrients to support your health. Remember to use a high-quality, raw form such as Rice Bran Solubles Tocotrienols.

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Top Hydrating Fruits & Vegetables

Sometimes drinking your recommended daily intake of water can seem daunting. On average, approximately 20 per cent of our daily water intake comes from solid foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Many vegetables that are more than 90 per cent water are low in calories and are easy to digest, making them a great idea for a pre-work out snack.

According to research carried out by the University of Aberdeen Medical School in Scotland, water-rich fruit and vegetables may hydrate our bodies twice as effectively as a glass of water. Research suggests that they may be more hydrating than some isotonic sports drinks, due to their content of mineral salts, natural sugars, amino acids and vitamins lost during exercise.

“To be properly hydrated, you need to replace fluid lost from the body with one that's similar to the body's natural composition,"- Dr Susan Shirreffs, exercise physiologist and hydration expert at Loughborough University.

“Watery fruit and vegetables often contain levels of minerals and sugar that mirror this, so they can hydrate you more effectively than water alone.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Cucumber Water content: 96.7%

Cucumber has the highest water content of any solid food. Great in salads or served with hommus, it can be blended with yogurt, mint and ice cubes to make a refreshing and delicious chilled soup. A cucumber can produce similar hydration levels to twice the volume of water with the bonus of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.

Iceberg lettuce Water content: 95.6%

Although iceberg lettuce lacks the fibre, folate and vitamin K nutrients found in darker greens such as spinach and romaine lettuce, it has the highest water content of any lettuce. Instead of adding it to a sandwich, it can be used as a wrap for tacos and burgers.

Celery Water content: 94.4%

Celery’s high water content helps neutralize stomach acid and it is commonly recommended as a natural remedy for heartburn and acid reflux. White containing folate and vitamins A, C and K, celery’s fiber content helps you feel full and curbs your appetite.

Radishes Water content: 95.3%

Radishes are filled with catechin, an antioxidant that is also found in green tea. They spicey-sweet flavour of radishes can be enjoyed by slicing them up and tossing them with other ingredients in a summer salad.

Tomatoes Water content: 94.5%

An excellent hydrating snack that is well-paired with basil and mozzarella as an appetizer.

Watermelon Water content: 91.5%

Watermelon is one of the richest sources of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Containing essential hydration salts calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, watermelon is also high in vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene, which helps protect the body from UV light.

Spinach Water content: 91.4%

Raw spinach leaves are rich in lutein, potassium, fiber and folate. One cup of spinach will give you 15 per cent of your daily vitamin E intake, an antioxidant that fights damaging free radical molecules.

Other fruits and vegetables to note are the star fruit, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, baby carrots, green peppers, cauliflower and cantaloupe, which are all more than 90 per cent water.

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5 Tips for a Healthy Christmas

We often get swept up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas time and sometimes we put our health on the back burner. During this busy season, it's important to take time for yourself. Be mindful of the following tips to help you feel your best while you're shopping for gifts, enjoying good food and perhaps indulging slightly more than usual. 1. Make a list and check it twice

Lists can be a powerful tool that help keep the mind calm, relaxed and focused. Keep track of groceries, gift ideas and errands and you'll be more organized and less likely to stress out over last-minute Christmas shopping.

2. Don't forget about your greens

During the holiday feasting month of December, try your hardest to include greens in your diet and eat sensibly. Parties and functions leading up to Christmas can create opportunities for unnecessary weight gain, with carb-loaded dishes and irresistible sweet treats often being served up. Try to maintain reasonable portion sizes while indulging and don't forget that your body is still craving nutritious, healthy foods such as fruits, veggies, lean meats and grains.

healthy-salad3. Choose healthy sweets

Those with a sweet tooth can opt for healthy, lighter alternatives that still taste great.

  • For Christmas baking, choose almond or oat flours instead of refined white flour
  • Coconut sugar or maple syrup is a great alternative to refined white sugar
  • Avocado puree has nearly the same consistency at room temperature as butter. Its subtle flavour and creaminess lends it to be a suitable substitute for butter in brownie recipes
  • Mashed, ripe banana has a creamy, thickening power and can be used instead of butter or oil in some recipes, such as muffins

If you need something sweet after dinner and want to serve up healthy options for your friends and family, consider the chocolate dipped strawberry or chocolate-coated frozen banana. A yogurt parfait with nuts, fruit and chocolate shavings is another great, simple option. Use the healthier dark chocolate instead of milk or white.

chocolate-bananas4. Limit alcohol consumption

If you drink, keep it moderate. Be mindful that some drinks are more than one standard drink. You may choose to avoid top-ups so that you can better keep track of your drink count. Alcohol is a diuretic that encourages fluid loss from the body, so remember to alternate alcoholic beverages with glasses of water to maintain hydration. Coconut water is also a great way to rapidly restore electrolytes.

5. Exercise

Whether you hit the gym for a workout or head outdoors for a stroll with family or friends, adding some physical activity to your daily routine during the festive season is a fantastic way to keep your body and mind feeling fresh. Enjoying the outdoors can break up the day and you'll find that the fresh air will leave you feeling rejuvenated.

6. Spend quality time with family and friends

The most important part of the festive season is spending time with loved ones. Remembering this may help reduce the stresses associated with this time of year and distance you from the commercial side of the holiday. Be sure to remind the special people in your life how much they mean to you.

Photo_FamilyFunBlessings,The Team at Zebra Organics

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Supremely Green

Supremely Green is as the name states a supremely green healthy plant superfood powder.

You may not have heard of the formula or this company but if you take a look at the ingredients you may wonder why it is not in your cabinet.

Ingredients Well over half of the formula consists of Barley and Alfalfa grass

juice concentrates, with the early growth benefits of Wheat sprout concentrate, including as well the algae Spirulina and Chlorella. (Full

profiles are available on these particular items.)
+ Indicates extract * Indicates extract/powder concentrate

Barley (24:1),Alfalfa (19:1),Spirulina, Chlorella They

are all rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and protein, and are body and blood building, tissue healing, detoxifying, deodorizing, help with bowel regularity, and are antioxidants. Because of their alkalizing nature, they purify and help maintain healthy blood. Alfalfa and Barley are also rich in complex carbohydrates and


Wheatsprout concentrate:

Rich in vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, it balances blood sugar, is immune enhancing, detoxifying, and has all the strong antioxidants of

the early sprout stage of the plant.
Nutritive Rice Complex: Tocotrienols (Solubles) & Brown rice bran An

enzyme rich source of the vitamin B complex, vitamin E complex, carotenoids, all essential amino acids, and other vitamins, minerals,

Vitamin C & Bioflavonoid Sources: Acerola+, Bilberry+, Amla+, Schizandra+, Baobab+, Goji berry+, Quercetin, Grape seed+, Hawthorn+, Elderberry+ Powerful

antioxidant properties, improving blood, circulation and wound healing; are also anti-inflammatory, support connective tissue, provide disease


FOS Blend (Fructooligosaccharides): Chicory, Mesquite, Burdock, Yucca Excellent

source of inulin, a non-glycemic beneficial food for intestinal tract probiotics, soothing and nutritive, helps with vitamin B production and vitamin assimilation, lowers cholesterol, increases mineral

Multi-strain probiotic, including soil-based microorganisms

Establishes and maintains friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract, helping the body to get more nutrition out of the food we eat. Also curbs growth of harmful, disease-causing bacterial strains and other microbes, produces many important enzymes, increases bioavailability of vitamins, fatty acids, lactase, calcium, helps strengthen the immune system, neutralize toxins, normalizes bowel movements. Lactoferrin

production is stimulated.

Digestive & Assimilation Factors: Green papaya, Mesquite, Carob, Ginger, Fennel

They all help to digest and metabolize foods and assimilate nutrients. Digestive cleansers provide fiber, yet have a soothing, nutritive nature. They assist the intestines and colon. Mesquite also helps lower

blood sugar.
Adaptogens: Siberian eleuthero+, Fo ti tieng+, Rhodiola+, Aloe inner fillet conc. (200:1)These

tonics balance, harmonize, and fortify the body, providing strength and stamina, with anti-stress effects, strengthening digestion and the

immune system.

Amazon Complex: Una de gato*, Maca, Stevia Rich in minerals, they are immune builders, adaptogenic, and helpful in lowering blood sugar.Maca and Stevia provide natural sweetness.
Essence of Sea Plants: Red dulse, Norwegian kelp, Giant kelp, Laminaria, Gracilaria, Lithothamnion, Bladderwrack, Irish moss, Sea palm

Highly nutritive, rich in micro-minerals, with vitamins, protein, chlorophyll, enzymes. They help re-mineralize the body, are restorative,

antibiotic, hypotensive, and detoxify heavy metals.

Mushroom Power: Full spectrum extractions of Cordyceps, Reishi, ABM, Maitake, Shiitake, Turkey tail, Chaga Immune

and stamina enhancing, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, help in cold and flu recovery, stress relief, are cholesterol reducing,

non-candida forming, containing complex carbohydrates and B vitamins.

Hepatics: Milk thistle+, Turmeric+, Dandelion root+

They tone and detoxify the liver, and help to purify the blood. Proper liver support helps the body process excess waste, chemicals, and


Brain & Nerve Tonics: Gota kola+, Ginkgo biloba+

Also blood purifiers, they increase blood flow and oxygen circulation

to the brain, improving brain function, memory, and mental clarity.

It is clear that you can get a lot done with this formula not only do you get the greens but you also get the richness of an herbal boost and boost of sea plants. And on top of all that Supreme Greens very affordable as well, so you can be kind to yourself and your wallet as do good for your body.

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More About The Amazing Brown Seaweed Extract Modifilan

Interest in the compound Fucoxanthin has sky rocketed recently thanks in part to Dr. Oz. Which has led us to share a bit more about this amazing substance. Fucoxanthin is a seaweed compound and we are big proponents of consuming seaweed, a natural wild vegetable from the ocean. One reason we like wild foods is because they offer a richer and wider nutritional content than farmed foods.

Rich in Nutrients
Seaweeds are a miraculous food, they contain an array of complex nutrients and minerals not found anywhere else. Of particular interest are the polysaccaride compounds and antioxidants in brown seaweed. On a recent Dr. Oz show he mentioned a report which showed the promise of the antioxidant, fucoxanthin. Fucoxanthin is a caroteniod compound found in brown seaweed aka as wakame. By working to increase the synthesis of a key protein involved in fat metabolism, fucoxanthin helps the body burn extra fat.

Cellular Metabolism: Fucoxanthin
While wakame contains this substance it is not present in high of quantities to make a difference. Researchers recommend using it in supplement form where this key antioxidant is concentrated to levels that make it useful as a fat burner. This amazing substance increases cellular metabolism even while the body is inactive. This in turn also helps to normalize cholesterol levels in the body. Taking Modifilan Brown Seaweed extract in addition to a healthy diet can help you get over the hump and headed to the proper weight and cholesterol level for your body.

Other Health Benefits
When using Modifilan seaweed extract not only will you be helping your fat metabolism but you get added heavy metal and radiation cleansing effects as well. This product has been studied for its ability to bind to and help the body excrete radioactive isotopes including cesium, strontium and radioactive iodine. This is promising, as the nuclear disaster in Japan has many people worried about potential radiation poisoning.

Heavy Metal Cleansing
In a previous blog post I talked about the ability of seaweed to cleanse heavy metals from the body. Modifilan being a concentrated supplement greatly assists in the removal of heavy metals from the body. Our environmental conditions today means that we are exposed to heavy metals, of these metals mercury is common contaminant we must deal with. In studies researchers have found that Modifilan binds to and removes this toxic heavy metal from the body without incident.

Other Research
Researchers have also found that brown seaweed extract is useful for the heart, it is cardio protective. And it has certain anti-inflammatory properties that benefit the gastro intestinal tract. As well as protecting the thyroid gland and causing certain types of cancer cells to self destruct.

Final Thoughts
Along with its belly fat burning properties, brown seaweed extract has a many positive health benefits. Whether using it for weight loss or to cleanse the body this is a powerful supplement that will help you on your path toward total body well being.

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Drink Tea

Tea, is a healthy ritual beverage enjoyed by people around the world. Next to water tea is the most widely consumed beverage. At Zebra Organics we love tea and we love the varieties available, from herbal to caffeinated, we carry a select range of fine teas.

Eco Teas Yerba Mate, our most popular tea comes from Argentina. Yerba Mate is a member of the holly family and when brewed produces a green, earthy tasting stimulating beverage. Mate is rich in vitamins and minerals and unlike coffee mate produces a clean jitter free lift and nurtures your body at the same time. Mate is a wonderful tea to use to help increase metabolism and burn fat, this makes it a great addition to any weight lose program. Mate does contain caffeine at half the rate of coffee per cup.

We are also pleased to offer you Eco Teas newest product, "Holy Mate" a combination of the revered Indian herb tulsi with yerba mate. This combination supports balanced energy and a clear mind. Tulsi is highly revered in India for its uplifting effect on the mind and spirit. This tea blend will support you both physically and mentally in all you have to achieve in your day.

Need a break from caffeine take a trip to South Africa to the home of Rooibos, an herb in from the pea family. When brewed as a tea it provides the body with abundant antioxidants and soothes the the nerves. Rooibos is traditional beverage in South Africa, it is known for its hydrating and calming effects especially on the stomach, for this reason it is good for children.

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Zebra Organics Off and Running

Our team, here at Zebra Organics, is excited to bring you foods and products that support a green, healthy, natural, organic lifestyle.

Visit our online store...

And begin shopping for goods you can trust. Visit this blog frequently to learn more about how the foods and products we sell support our commitment and mission as well as how you can better your life and the world around you.

Thank you for your interest,

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