If you were onboard with us through January, you may have joined us to make more health conscious decisions in your life. It means being keenly aware of your unconscious habits (become more present), reactions (staying at peace), judgements (let the universe unfold), and intentions (what you feel is your purpose).
February is going to continue on the positive January path of daily walks or movement of some sort, reduction of alcohol and sugar, the elimination of artificial sugar, and taking a few minutes each day to sit in stillness with a meditative mind (without thought).
This month we'll also add the conscious reduction of empty carbs (pizza, bread, white flour pasta, wheat snacks, white crackers, & white rice). We've all heard that an excess of carbohydrates is a burden on our digestive system. Switching to alternatives from these foods, or reducing the amount of wheat products that you eat for the month will most likely result in less mucous in your body and less demands on your system to remove it. You'll feel clear and cleaner, all over.
It's fun finding new foods to replace the white breads and pastas....your favorite lunch spread rolled in a collard or lettuce leaf, bean pasta or spaghetti squash under your favorite sauce, nut or seedy crackers, cauliflower "rice" instead of white rice. You can always check if a restaurant has gluten-free options, many of them have wheat alternatives. The month of less mucous! Good time of year for it.
Included is our favorite raw cracker recipe for those of you who have a dehydrator. Red Hot Snackers
This month we'll also encourage a 1 day fast. You can schedule it when it is convenient for you, but the following link is focusing on a day when others will be joining in from around the world.
"The Pope has called for a worldwide day of prayer and fasting for peace on February 23." Read More
We have fasted a number of times*. It may sound scary, and may feel that way the first time, but once you've made it through your day and head to bed at an early hour, waking up the next morning is filled with a clarity and sense of accomplishment unlike other mornings. Be reminded, everybody is different. Do not undertake a fast without the advice of a doctor, especially if you abstain from food for more than a day.
Even though the fast that Pope Francis is calling for falls on the first Friday of Lent, a time when Christians typically "give something up", he is asking people of all religions to join in and observe the day by fasting and saying a prayer for peace and non-violence. This may be the best way to fast, by thinking of people in other nations, non-violence, and peace on earth every time a food thought comes up. Happy Healthy February!
*Typically when we have paused our eating, we would begin on a Sunday evening after dinner. Monday seems an easy day to skip eating, and Monday is usually just water. Lately we've allowed ourselves a cup of organic herbal tea or a cup of organic decaf coffee as they are clear liquids, and bring us enjoyment. A true fast (like the Dr.'s orders kind), doesn't allow anything but water. Getting through breakfast and lunch has never been a problem. Getting home at dinner time is the testiest time. We would recommend keeping yourself busy to distract your mind from food. It's also best to stay out of the cupboards and refrigerator. If thoughts of eating get very strong, just go to bed. The longer you sleep, the more time your body has to heal, and without needing to work on digestion, your cells can do other things - like become more youthful and energetic. Like anything, taking a break from eating/digestion gets easier after you've practiced a few times. You may even be able to make food for others while you abstain yourself. A day once a month or once a season would be a healthy accomplishment. Maybe you can start with February.
Dehydrate at 118°
This was a recipe from our "raw" years. We made them as often as we did our beloved fruit and nut "Jungle" snacks.
If you're avoiding regular baked crackers, you still need something to munch on, right? These crackers are easy to make, dehydrated for minimal processing, and delicious.
3 cups organic sunflower seeds
1 cup organic flax seeds
2 cups water
2 organic tomatoes
1/2 cup organic onion
1 Tablespoon organic chili pepper flakes (or less if you want)
2 teaspoons organic whole cumin seeds
2 1/2 teaspoons Real salt (or your favorite high mineral salt)
Soak sunflower seeds in plenty of water and place in the refrigerator overnight. Drain, and use them within 2 days.
In a bowl, add flax seeds to drained sunflower seeds, along with 2 cups water and all other ingredients. Let sit 30 minutes - 1 hour.
In a food processor with S blade, blend to creamy. If it takes 2 batches of blending, mix the batches together after all is processed to get flavors incorporated.
Spread 1 to 1 1/2 cups of batter onto dehydrator teflex sheets. Spread with a flexible spatula or any tool that works for you. Spread all the way to the edges, It should be 1/8 inch thick. If it's too thick, it will begin to sour during the drying time.
Score gently with your spreading tool or a butter knife into cracker shapes - squares or diamonds.
Dehydrate 6-8 hours at 118°, remove the trays and flip a sheet of crackers over onto a blank screen, peeling the teflex sheet off. Continue for all the trays. Removing the sheet is an important step so they dry quickly enough without getting the soured taste. They will now dry on the screen rather than a teflex sheet - more air movement around them. Return to dehydrator for another 6 hours or until they are crunchy.
A word on dehydrators.... Our first dehydrator was from a thrift store. It worked, but we needed more tray space for food. Our second dehydrator was a "Harvest Savor", made by Vitamix. It was roomier, but with the fan being on the bottom, the air flow wasn't great at the top. We then bought an Excalibur - 9 Tray. We have had a few of them over the years, I literally wear them out! It's still our favorite home dehydrator.
The journey our little company has been on is like a hike in the wild and wide open wilderness. Beautiful, tuned to everything at once, challenging, educational, and truly adventurous. Gorilly Goods turned six years old this month. Still in our youth, but experiencing so much.
Our latest business tale is a wild ride. Hop aboard and we'll retell it.
A little over a year ago, Nature's Path partnered with Gorilly Goods helping prepare us for the growth to come. With their support, we became HACCP (food safety) certified and developed methods to implement more effective kill steps to our low-temp dehydrating process, making our products of the highest food safety quality. All production and warehouse workers got new steel toed shoes, and cuffed work coats. What's the saying? Smart AND good looking? That was us!
Another big accomplishment during the year was the design, prep and launch of all products into Canada, complete with French/English wrappers, boxes, shippers, and new certifications - almost like a second company.
In October, Nature's Path informed us of their decision to stop funding the Gorilly Goods business. Without their financial backing at this phase, we had to put all growth plans on hold.
The next day we talked with our entire employment team, and had to put them on hold as well. Since then, Stephen, Chris and Cody have kept the business going 1 order at a time. Despite the setback, distributors continued to order, and new accounts opened up. Just this month, Whole Foods in Canada brought all varieties into all of their stores. Each week that passed, we'd be hanging by a thread and then get a breath of stability.
In early December we met Frank, who lives outside of Madison. He was looking for a facility to manufacture a snack product that he was marketing, called Supernola. Next thing you know, Cindy, the founder of Supernola, flew in from Harrisburg, PA, and in one day we tested 4 batches of her delicious grain-free, superfood granola snacks. Business meetings took place and we now have their Letter of Intent to purchase the Gorilly Goods brand and business.
Frank and Cindy, partners in the company EVOLVE Snacking, plan to buy Gorilly Goods and manufacture both Gorilly Goods and Supernola in our Jackson food plant. The sale is scheduled to take place in February.
Cody has been asked to remain with the new company, and Chris and Stephen have agreed to stay on as consultants. We're thankful that Gorilly Goods has an opportunity to continue the steady growth that has taken place over the years. We feel the merger of our production know-how with EVOLVE's marketing and sales strategies is a winning combination.
We'll be sure to announce news as we continue the ride. Thanks for coming along with us. You make it all much more fun! And as always, thank you for purchasing Gorilly Goods. They have all the right things going for them. Good for you!
We were at a Kubb Tournament this past weekend, and with Gorilly Goods in hand, we were referred to as the Good People :) (ha! thanks Kelly!)
This is the link to our latest newsletter, published January 10.
It's a Happy New Year Wish and an invite to join in our pledge to make conscious choices to improve our overall health this year. We're starting now ;)
Additional tips to the beginning guidelines listed in that newsletter, will be posted on this blog so everyone can see, even if they aren't on social sites.
Today while bouncing on the rebounder*, I began thinking about self care. Food choices matter. Exercise matters. Calming the mind matters. Living in the now matters.
What we ingest has an affect on the body and mind. There was a several year period of our lives that we chose only raw, unheated fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds as our diet. It was a clean and clear time. As we immersed our selves in the raw movement, what we didn't care for was the exclusivity of it. We had spent the previous decade learning about, touting and teaching vegetarian and veganism. We were always proudly representing a group, giving ourselves a label of who we represented. We wanted to free ourselves from the "I'm this or that mind". We're often asked, "Are you vegan?" "a meat-eater?" "a pescatarian?" "paleo?" "a runner?" "a meditator?". It goes on, and appears that everyone likes to belong to a group.
The last 20 years of not labeling ourselves has been enjoyed while holding the knowledge we have gained and allowing it to influence our decision making. In the year ahead, we hope to share a recalled or newfound tip as a reminder to ourselves, and perhaps you, to take action....for goodness sake.
Today.... it's an extra glass of water (have it now) and emptying the mind on a walk. Staying alert to the presence surrounding us, wherever we are. Try and stay present for 20 minutes. Come back to the inhale/exhale if the mind becomes involved in a mental conversation.
* a rebounder is a mini trampoline. It provides the opportunity for cardio workout and releasing muscle tension. Good for the lymph system flow.
If you have been thinking about one, get a good one. It will be several hundred dollars. We've had many brands and the bounce makes a difference on how it affects your back or knees. Our preference is the Bellicon. They take into account your weight and what you want to accomplish.
Temps in the teens today - time to put on the snow pants! Not much beats a walk in the woods.
Chris and Stephen, Founders
We made this for dinner this weekend and wanted to share how to make it with you. It's pretty easy. If you've never cooked with tempeh before, give it a try - It's got some great health benefits...contains probiotics (good for the digestive system) high amounts of niacin (vitamin B3) which helps reduce cholesterol, has calcium and copper which increase bone density, contains isoflavones, manganese and muscle building plant based protein. This sautéing method of cooking is what I use often when preparing tempeh. It doesn't have a distinctive flavor, so be sure to season to your liking.
I used 3 pans for this - 1 10-12" skillet (cast iron is my choice), a favorite pasta cooking pot, small saucepan
Ingredients - as you shop, remember how positive it is to buy organic! Clean people/clean earth - it's worth it!
1 pack of any type of tempeh (fermented soy, found in cooler usually somewhere near tofu) I buy tempeh by the case and keep it frozen and handy for when I want to make something fast and tasty (it has a mushroomy flavor and can be spiced with Bbq, Asian, Thai, Indian flavors, whatever you're in the mood for).
2-3 Tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil for skillet frying (I like olive, coconut, avocado, sunflower)
1 onion, sliced
1 lg clove fresh garlic, minced
1-2 cups frozen vegetable mix (depends on how much you want to make) or use fresh veggies, but precook a little so they are tender for serving
2 Tablespoons tamari or nama shoyu (tamari is wheat free, shoyu is not - both are organic and a tasty choice over regular soy sauce)
3 servings of ramen noodles (I found some organic rice ramen from Lotus Foods - very good when you don't want a bowl full of wheat noodles)
Instant gravy (if desired) I used a pack of Road's End organic Shiitake Quick Gravy mix
1/2 pack Gorilly Goods Hillside Pumplin Seeds and Kale (I like to put my partial pack in a jar to keep fresh for another time)
Procedure - Preheat a skillet to medium high with your favorite sautéing oil. Slice the block of tempeh into strips about 1/3" wide. Once the oil is hot and shimmery, place the strips in the medium hot pan and sear until golden. After a few minutes, flip and sauté the other side. Add more oil if needed. The tempeh tastes best when it has a bit of a crispy outside.
When the tempeh has browned on both sides, move them over to one side of the pan. Drizzle a little more oil if needed in the empty pan area and add the onion. Saute a few minutes. Add garlic and stir for another moment. Sprinkle tempeh and onions with tamari or nama shoyu. (I put my fingers over the top of the bottle and dribble it all over everything until it looks to have just the right amount.)
Add vegetables and gently stir everything around to mix. Taste a piece of something and add salt/pepper, or more tamari/shoyu to taste. I also crumbled in a little dried cayenne pepper. I dry a few whole peppers each fall and have them handy for crumbling in to a simmering pan when it needs a touch of heat.
While all this is happening, get your water boiling and throw in a few blocks of ramen. Cook until soft and breaks apart - just a few minutes. Drain.
I also have some packets of organic shiitake gravy and felt the whole hot pan could benefit from some savory sauce, so I simmered up a quick saucepanful and added it. (I have always been a gravy girl, and have been known to eat something just to have a carrier for some delicious gravy.) This mixed into the ramen and tempeh together like a healthy, yet comforting dish. Perfect for on top of salad greens.
A tasty way to switch up your salads....We put just about anything on top of our big bowl of mixed greens for dinner. If we're in the mood for something warm, we can heat up thick soup or chili and pour it on top, or mix up some black beans and corn with fresh salsa and avocados as a topper, curried rice with veggies, or spaghetti squash and homemade tomato sauce go right on top of the greens. These are dinner salad meals that carry some warmth for our chilly Wisconsin falls and snowy winters.
Remember, the pièce de résistance is what you top the dish with. For the Tempeh with Ramen, I used Hillside; pumpkin seeds and kale, seasoned with tamari, onion and cayenne which gave a savory crunch and perfect taste complement. Depending what you're having, sometimes the best topping is the Coast -curry cashews with coconut and raisins, sometimes it's the spicy Baha, pumpkin seeds with cilantro and lime.
Have fun with the trail snacks as you turn them into meal toppers for extra protein and nutrients as well as crunch and flavor. Experiment and send us your photos. We love to hear and see what's cookin'! Enjoy your time in the kitchen and be sure to eat your greens!
We put in a late planting of lettuce and arugula in the home garden. There's still time in some areas to put some seeds in the ground for late fall salad greens. Go for it!
In the early 90's we supplemented our organic farming business by working for an organic produce distributor. It was late evenings, working in and out of the walk in coolers, building and wrapping orders on pallets, breaking down boxes, sorting produce. Hard work, but we loved it. One of the perks was receiving rejected produce that wasn't in perfect condition to sell. It was plenty to eat, share and preserve for another time.
This is when we started dehydrating food (necessity is the mother of invention). This string of Bosc pear slices hung above our wood stove and dried perfectly. We bought our first dehydrator and the story of our dry food experiments was off and running; tomato halves and sliced apples, strawberry fruit leather and banana based rawies (that turned into Gorilly Goods 20 years later).
We even experimented with building a solar dehydrator and dried in the sun. We discovered along with the solar heat if we didn't have some air movement from a fan, the bugs hung around which wasn't the coolest of situations.
Drying is the oldest method of food preservation. Ancient cultures couldn't have survived without preserving foods throughout the year. We enjoy the nutrient value of drying over other methods. The vitamins and minerals are kept at their peak without high heat involved. The lightweight end result stores in a small space and packs along easily anywhere you want to take it.
Don't worry if you don't have time to dry your own snacks, that's why we're in business! We'll do it for you. We're excited to expand our line of organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, delicious snacks for you to tuck away and take along on your next adventure - even if that's your drive home from work. :)
Happy snacking ~ Chris 🌻
Summer at Gorilly Goods now includes yoga and meditation. Available to any of the team who have the time to join. Everyone is encouraged to participate. Not only does it stretch the body, and increase an awakened feeling, these practices bring us all into the same moment, and that's where it all happens. That connection of being together, on the same page. As the Beatles said "All together now."
We all want to connect. Be together. Have similarities. Experience like things. I think it is human nature to co-exist in a helping way. Society may somehow get our wires crossed and it brings selfishness and greed, disrespect and a confused state of mind, but those are delusional states. Anytime we can bring ourselves into the presence of the moment, the place where there is no good or evil, no opinions or judgement, we experience oneness. Everything just is.
If we haven't grown up with yoga and meditation in our household, we may not be familiar with the practice or the reasons for sitting and giving effort to not thinking. We may have heard good things about the practices, but we are just too busy for another thing in our day. So Gorilly and the gang have decided to sneak it right in, busy schedules and all. If we can keep it convenient, time manageable, and practice when we can, this feeling of presence will flow through more moments of our life.
Peace and presence to all on this sunny summer day. - Chris
From forests and mountains to deserts and desserts, see how some of our fans are enjoying their favorite organic Gorilly Goods varieties.
On the mountain peaks in Utah like @snacknationofficial.
Snacks with a view! Taking a break to soak in the silence and munch on some @gorillygoods 🏂🦍 • • • #snackswithaview #healthyfood #healthyeating #healthy #snack #snacksmart #snackattack #organic #rawfood #vegan #vegansofig #nongmo #glutenfree #glutenfreevegan #nutrientdense #fuelup #snowboarding #winter #parkcity #snacks
Jennah @jennahhhgrace enjoys them in a winter wonderland.
Vacation's over, and I'm back to work today in the food world! Getting to see the journey of local and global crops, to commodities and then to businesses sourcing ingredients for their rad products is pretty awesome. There's great companies out there working hard to give us adventurers the fuel that we need to get up the mountains and then back to our desks, so we can stay healthy and do it all over again! I recently got to try @gorillygoods trail snacks, and let me tell ya, they were REALLY good, as you can see by my mouth so full, so happy, kinda grin! May your bellies be full and your treks long!
Trekking in the Sonoran Desert by Eric and Erin Anderson
Lynn @lowcarbtraveler fuels her hikes.
This stuff is amazing!! 🌞 It's Hillside Pumpkin Seeds & Kale by @gorillygoods I got it in a recent @ketokrate and didn't think I'd like it, because I've never been able to love #kale 🙄 lol. But WOW, I fell in love at first bite!!! ❤ It's delicious, and I'm ordering more to take on all my hikes. :) It's a #lowcarbsnack that's also #ketofriendly #organic #glutenfree #raw #vegan #nongmo and tasty #trailfood you'll love!! #ketosnack #lowcarbsnacks #glutenfreesnack #healthyfood #gorillygoods #ketokrate #lowcarb #lchf #ketogenic #keto #atkins #ketodiet #lowcarbchallenge #realfood #lowcarbsnackideas #healthysnack ↪ TravelingLowCarb.com/gorilly ❤
Blended up first thing in the morning like @woodstockfoods
For dessert like Sarah @biteoffmorethanyoucanshew
To warm up with like KK @theguacwardkael
We’d love to see how you enjoy Gorilly Goods. Share your photos using #GorillyGoods.
From early May and into June, cities and trails across America are celebrating Bike to Work Day. With local specials and events, Bike to Work Day is a great time to look into the positive impact cycling has on our bodies and environment. See why you should start hopping into the saddle on your way to the office.
Spend your mornings connected with nature instead of staring at a bumper sticker. Biking to work lets you get out in nature while you burn calories and it helps with your cardio-vascular system, lowers your blood pressure, boosts energy and builds muscles. Plus, all that stress-free fun can help with your happiness levels.
Not only do you get to skip rush hour but you also save time finding parking, taking your car into the shop, filling up your tank and everything else that goes with owning and operating a vehicle. The average person spends $9,000 a year to own a car. Compare that to a couple hundred a year in bike maintenance – just think how much Gorilly Goods you could buy with those savings.
We all know what cars are doing to the environment, but did you know that the transportation sector accounts for nearly 30 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions? Riding your bike lets you appreciate and save the earth at the same time.
This 32-mile rail trail runs between Elroy and Sparta, Wisconsin and stretches between communities, forests, limestone tunnels and so much more. It’s one of the most popular trails in the country and one of our favorites as well. And we always pack Gorilly Goods to enjoy on the many scenic stops.
Weave in and out of the city and enjoy lake views and forested scenery along 100+ miles of trails. The Oak Leaf Trail is a favorite among many and you’ll rarely find yourself alone, especially on an early morning commute. Many cyclists choose this route as opposed to the busy streets because of its safety and scenery.
Hank Aaron Trail June 3-11, 2017
This trail serves as a vital link between the western suburbs and busy downtown Milwaukee. During Bike to Work Week, volunteers on the Hank Aaron Trail will be offering free bike tours and a breakfast station with free coffee and baked goods for morning commuters – what better way to start off your day?
Be safe on the trails and don’t forget your Gorilly Goods!
It was a sunny morning on Earth Day. My adventure buddy Natalie and I were just leaving an overnight at the museum as we scanned our map and made a route. We zipped around Milwaukee on Saturday morning delivering sample packs of Gorilly Goods to volunteers who were helping clean up the Milwaukee River Basin.
Through the four deliveries, we learned about the Milwaukee Riverkeeper Group and their mission to protect, improve and advocate for water quality, riparian wildlife habitat and sound land management in the Milwaukee, Menonmonee and Kinnickinnic River watersheds. I looked up what “riparian” was at that point to find that the Latin word “ripa” means river bank. We met site coordinators who were on hand to direct and answer questions. We witnessed piles of garbage collected and were happy to contribute a nutritious snack for the finish of their good deed.
Prior to this day, the two of us have enjoyed kayaking the rivers and exploring the riparian habitats of many streams and rivers in Wisconsin, but had yet to be introduced to the Milwaukee Riverkeeper Group. They are a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international coalition ensuring clean water and strong communities. We happen to love water –clean lakes, rivers and oceans have been the settings to many favorite times together. The Earth’s waters are a gift. It was clear this group is making a difference in the health and wellbeing of this watershed.
The non-profit has a staff of seven along with 13 board members. They, along with hundreds of trained volunteers monitor the rivers for water quality, patrol the shoreline for signs of erosion or threats of water and wildlife habitat, educate citizens to become water advocates, clean up the watersheds and advocate for funds to remove contaminants and protect our rivers.
On our Earth Day outing, we found out there were almost 50 cleanup sites with thousands of volunteers to help pick up trash. It was their 22nd year of the annual clean up. As we drove, we witnessed many people around the Milwaukee area not only cleaning up the watershed, but readying community gardens and sprucing up all corners of their neighborhood.
Gorilly Goods wants to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers who put effort and time into the cleanup and to the staff and board of Milwaukee Riverkeeper. We’re so glad to have been introduced to this group. Clean water is vital to the health of a strong community. Their work is so important and very much appreciated.
Learn more about what you can do to help at MilwaukeeRiverkeeper.org and spend some time appreciating the beautiful rivers by kayaking them this summer.