Author: Bre McGee

From New Zealand With Love During their honeymoon in New Zealand, Brady and Hannah Barnstable fell in love with muesli. The newlyweds were camping and hiking across New Zealand to celebrate their marriage and ended up discovering something that would change their lives forever. They ate muesli every morning because it offered their active bodies quick and easy nourishment. The cold breakfast cereal is a combination of oats, grains, dried fruits and nuts that are soaked in milk (or other liquid) overnight. Pronounced 'mew-slee', the breakfast blend was first created in Switzerland in the early 20th century and quickly spread across Europe and to the European colonies. A Craving-Fix That Couldn't Be Purchased After returning to New York after their honeymoon, they were unsuccessful in finding the same muesli they began their mornings with in New Zealand. Nothing they found in stores was quite

Small Town, but No Small Feats Established in 2005 in a Viroqua, a rural Wisconsin small town about 80 miles northeast of Madison, Wonderstate has become one of the first coffee roasteries in the world to be 100% solar-powered. That feat alone could name Wonderstate Coffee as an accomplished company and roastery -- but it doesn't stop there. Led by founders Denise & TJ Semanchin and Caleb Nicholes, Wonderstate Coffee is regarded with an industry-leading minimum price guarantee to farmers, more than 80% above the Fair Trade conventional minimum price and over 50% higher than Fair Trade organics prices. Even more so, Wonderstate donates 5% of its annual profits to community-based initiatives that support a more equitable and resilient future -- both in the coffee industry and beyond. Social Change Starts With Us Wonderstate Coffee goes beyond the call to donate money, run an eco-conscious

  According to the U.S. News and World Report, the Mediterranean diet is a smarter, healthier, dietary lifestyle. In fact, it was even named the healthiest dietary lifestyle overall - characterized by consuming plenty of produce, fish, olive oil, and bread. The problem? Many Americans misunderstand carbs, and more specifically, gluten. With the rise of the ketogenic diet and its focus on high-fat foods combined with almost no carbohydrates, breads have been unfairly added to many "Off Limits" food lists. Paired with the rise of the 'wellness' movement that features less-science-backed studies, carbs have been pushed to the back of cupboards or removed from shopping lists altogether. But all carbs aren't bad -- or created equal! And that's exactly the mindset of the husband and wife team behind Angelic Bakehouse have worked to share with the masses. 'Great nutritional benefits' and 'great tasting' shouldn't be

Mushrooms are one of the most polarizing foods on the planet. You either love 'em or you refuse to eat them. We've all seen someone pick mushrooms out of a dish and create a small pile of the superfood fungus. Better yet, we've all seen that same person scoop a second helping onto their plate and rave about the flavor without realizing it contains finely chopped mushrooms! If even you're not a major mushroom fan, the nutritional value of these vitamin-loaded fungi is enough reason to give them another shot. Small Beginnings, Big Growth After living in Shanghai, China for three years and visiting 12 countries to learn what other areas of the world had to offer, Nick Robinson returned to the United States in 2015 with a need to give back to his community in a local and meaningful way. Having worked

What's your favorite part about winter?  Is it the excitement of the upcoming holidays? What about getting outside and enjoying a day of skiing or sledding? If your most enjoyed parts of our coldest season include cozying up under a heavy blanket and sipping a warm beverage, Winter Goddess has you covered.  Recently featured in our Fall/Holiday dual issue of Living Naturally, Winter Goddess Foods has created a company that envelops the more delicious things in life - chai, caramel, and sweet & savory nuts, among an assortment of other delights.  Read our full feature on Winter Goddess (and snag co-founder Terry's recipe for Chai Snickerdoodles) HERE . . . scroll to page 8! Another Addition After months of anticipation, a brand new Winter Goddess indulgence has finally arrived! "Oh My Goddess! Butter Crunch Toffee" is exactly what your cozy moments ordered. Paired with a toasty

November in Minnesota marks the unofficial beginning of a grey, cold, what some might call "dreary" winter season. What combats the grey sky, snowy ground, and 4:30 sunset? Hot sauce! Warm your body and taste buds from the inside with fermented, vegan, raw pepper hot sauce created from local ingredients! One of Valley Natural Foods' newest hot sauce producers, Lost Capital Foods, is quickly becoming a new favorite among our team members. Based in Falcon Heights, the small but mighty team behind Lost Capital creates their line of hot sauce using as much local produce as possible specifically because they know it's better for their consumers and the local economy. There isn't just one thing that makes Lost Capital stand out from the rest.  Their Name! Lost Capital might sound more like an indie band's newest album as they stick it to "the man" but when it comes

CBD: The newest legal trend to come out of cannabis. For those who haven't tried CBD but are interested in dipping a toe into the pond of potential benefits associated with CBD, the time has never been better! CBD (cannabidiol) is found in the cannabis plant, naturally extracted, and is then manufactured into a variety of forms - though you won't get 'high' from it. THC is the compound also found in cannabis that is responsible for the psychoactive 'high' produced in cannabis-use. CBD sold legally in the United States contains less than 0.03% THC and is non-psychoactive.  Benefits Upon Benefits Among the of host of benefits, CBD is used to treat many conditions, including chronic and acute diseases. Some of the most common ailments treated with CBD include mental disorders, such as: Anxiety Generalized Social Depression Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. CBD is

Ever wonder what happens to the plastic that's placed in VNF recycling containers? What about the plastic used in the transportation of products that end up on our shelves? Valley Natural Foods is proud to partner with Merrick, Inc., a Twin Cities-based business solution company that does more than just the services like plastic recycling and document shredding. Since 1964, Merrick has been empowering adults with disabilities by providing life-enriching activities and meaningful work to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the northeastern Twin Cities. Second-life for Single-Use Plastic On top of that, Merrick partners with Trex, an outdoor furniture and decking company that turns Merrick's recycled plastic into composite decking. Every 2 - 3 weeks, Merrick ships an average of 40,000 pounds of plastic to the recycling facility that turns it into composite decking. In fact, every 500-square Trex deck contains