March 2014

Article submitted by: Eileen Johnson, RN, at Valley Natural Foods Are you ready for Valley Natural Foods' Run for Hope 5K on May 3, 2014? Click here to register by March 31 to be guaranteed a t-shirt in your size, along with getting a swag bag of cool healthy goodies and a commemorative bib!  Have you thought about taking it on but weren’t sure how to get ready for it? Running/walking a 5K (3.1miles) is a great way to start the exercise season and/or try out a longer run or walk if you have never done any long distance before. Here are some great training tips: Optimal nutrition is crucial when you start any new exercise program. This is definitely the time to be eating 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Exercise increases metabolism of the cells, in other words they

A friend of mine visited the horticultural building at the State Fair a few years ago and struck up a conversation about growing grapes. After discussing site selection, varieties, soil conditions, trellis construction, pruning and trimming, the woman leaned over the counter and said: “Just stick them in the ground. They’re weeds. They’ll grow.” A perfect message, it turns out. The vines will grow easily and will produce grapes, yes, without much effort or knowledge. With a little info and preparation, however, the homeowner can achieve ‘commercial production’, maximizing outputs on limited space. To give some scope: “commercial production” = 60 clusters/vine growing across an 8-ft span = 1 ½ gallons of grape juice = 1 gallon of wine. What you need is a bit of land you intend to stay connected with for a few years, the ability to sustain delayed gratification,

When Jerry Braun was volunteering at 360 Communities’ Burnsville food shelf earlier this year, there was a young woman that came in with her two kids.  Apparently, she had been living in her car.  Sensing the urgency of the situation, Braun immediately asked her what she needed and gathered as much food as he could along with some mittens and other items for the kids.  As he talked about the situation, one could tell how much Braun cares about the families that come to 360 Communities. His caring nature is evident when he mentions that he derives simple satisfaction from just getting a hug from the people he helps.  Braun relays that there is often the misconception with food shelves that people are abusing the system.  However, in his eyes, if a family is struggling and they are hungry, they just

Thought you've seen (and perhaps tasted) it all with the Caramel Sea Salt food trend? Looks like the folks at Dang Foods Company have created their own amazing version using the ever-popular flavor fusion in their Toasted Coconut Chips. As if their original flavor was not good enough (because it is, and incredibly awesome) Dang Foods had to go ahead and make a Caramel Sea Salt version too. Yes, more coconut obsession, right on our shelves. Staff here at Valley Natural Foods have become addicted to this light, delightfully crunchy snack, so of course it won top votes for our weekly Staff Pick of the Week. Some of us sprinkle it atop yogurt and others just love to eat right out of the bag. Dang Foods even has an awesome Coconut Chip Cookbook to view online, where they share their favorite main dish, side and