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Active August

Stay Active this August with Paleo Scavenger GranolaThe month of August is often referred to as the “dog days of summer.” The temperatures are rising, the humidity is intense, and every time you walk outside you just about melt, BUT you still want to stay active.

Today we will be sharing with you some of our top recommendations on how you can stay cool and stay active during the dog days of summer.


General Precautions for Outdoor Workouts in Hotter Weather:

Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is always important, but especially during the intense heat and humidity of August.

Less is more. We can appreciate a hard workout, but take it easy in warmer weather and build in rest breaks as needed.

Seek Shade. We love our Vitamin D, but save the sun for when you aren’t trying to catch your breath in between burpees. Head for the shade, and hit the sun rays post-workout instead!

Hot, hot, hot. Noon to 3pm is the hottest part of the day, so avoid outdoor workouts during those hours. Save your outdoor workouts for first thing in the morning or later in the evening. After dinner stroll anyone?

Keep it light. Wear light colored, breathable clothing (we love wicking fabrics that dry fast to keep you cool!). Darker colors attract and absorb the sun and its heat, so stick to light colors and loose layers.

Outdoor Summer Activities with Paleo Scavenger Granola

Staying Active Outdoors:




When participating in outdoor activities during the hot summer months, always be sure to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors!

Swim. This one may seem obvious in the middle of summer, but swimming is a great way to stay cool and get in some physical activity.

Walk. Take a walk early in the morning or later in the evening. Grab Fido or a friend and hit the nearest trail for some light cardio.

Water Activities. If you live near a body of water (i.e. lake or ocean), see what water activities are offered like paddle boating, sailboating, or kayaking.

Yoga. Most cities and towns offer outdoor classes like yoga or pilates. Some gym studios even move their workouts outdoors during the summer months. Check your city’s park district website and see what they offer during summer. Don’t forget to see what your local gym or fitness studio has scheduled either! 

Bike. Take a spin on your bike under a shaded path or during a cooler time of day.


Indoor Activities with Paleo Scavenger Granola

Staying Active Indoors:



If it's too hot to get outdoors, then stay active inside - there are plenty of ways if you get creative!

Run errands.
Grab your grocery list and your fitbit and head out for a day of errands. You will be getting your steps in, staying cool, and getting errands accomplished all at the same time. Look at you getting things done!

Stay Home. Stay home and work out! Use a fitness app for on demand workouts (the Nike Training app is our personal fave). Use your own body weight or basic equipment like free weights and resistance bands. Don’t have any gym equipment at home? Grab some laundry detergent and start lifting! (Just make sure the cap is nice and tight.)

Join a Gym. Most people start their gym memberships in January, but with only four short months away from the start of the holiday season, what better time to sign up for a membership package. It’s never too late to brush off those New Year’s resolutions!

Meditate. Your body needs physical activity, but your mind needs a workout too. Find a cool spot inside and give meditation a try.

Move. Whether you jump rope, have a dance party in the living room, or go up and down your basement stairs, there are plenty of ways to move while staying cool inside, you just have to get creative!

How do you like stay active during the dog days of summer? Leave a comment below or tag us on social media so we can see how you stay active during the month of August!

 

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Three Easy Breakfast Recipes for Summer

Summer is officially here, which means the temperatures are heating up! Eating for the seasons means eating lighter foods that will not weigh you down during the hot summer months. Think fresh fruit, fresh salads, and smoothies. Yum! Today we are sharing three breakfast recipes that are perfect for the dog days of summer.

Paleo Scavenger Granola Berry Tart RecipeBerry Tart
Ingredients:
1 - 1 ½ cups of your favorite Paleo Scavenger Granola (We recommend the Original)
1 - 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1 cup of Greek Yogurt plain or vanilla
1 - 2 cups of fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)


Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.) Place ¼ to ½ cup of Paleo Scavenger Granola into a small pan.
3.) Add 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil then take the back of a spoon and press the Paleo Scavenger Granola into the baking dish to form a solid tart crust.
4.) Place in the oven and bake 10 minutes or until golden brown.
5.) Remove tart crust from oven and let cool.
6.) Add desired amount of Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Serve immediately to avoid a soggy crust!


Paleo Scavenger Granola Chocolate Chia Seed PuddingChocolate Chia Pudding
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
Pinch of sea salt
Your favorite Paleo Scavenger Granola
Fresh fruit - Your pick! (We recommend fresh berries from the local farmer’s market. Blueberries and raspberries are both in season!)

Directions:
1.) Mix the chia seeds, cocoa powder, unsweetened almond milk, and sea salt together in a bowl. Whisk until the cocoa powder has completely dissolved.
2.) Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight or until the mixture has thickened into a jelly-like texture.
3.) Scoop into a glass and add desired layers of fresh fruit to create a colorful pattern.
4.) Sprinkle with Paleo Scavenger Granola and top with a piece of fresh fruit for a final pop of color and flavor!

Paleo Scavenger Granola Breakfast CookiesBreakfast Cookies

Ingredients:
1-2 cups of Paleo Scavenger Granola (We recommend the Original)
½ cup chocolate chips
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon 
½ teaspoon of sea salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup of nut butter (We recommend almond or cashew butter)
¼ cup of honey

Directions:
1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.) In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients: Paleo Scavenger Granola, chocolate chips, cinnamon and sea salt.
3.) In a second bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients: mashed bananas, nut butter and honey.
4.) Combine the dry and wet ingredients together and mix thoroughly.
5.) Spoon cookie batter onto baking sheet. Remember to spray your cookie sheet with coconut oil or line with parchment paper to avoid a kitchen disaster!
6.) Sprinkle with shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes for an added taste of summer.
7.) Bake 12-15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown around the edges.
8.) Remove from the oven. Let cool and enjoy!

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Health and Wellness Podcasts

Health and Wellness Podcasts
Here at Paleo Scavenger, we believe in mindfulness. It’s all about listening to the most important voice in your life, your body’s!

However, it doesn’t hurt to listen to other health and wellness experts throughout your own journey to health.

Today we are sharing our favorite health and wellness podcasts to enhance your mind and accompany you on your own journey to living a healthy and happy life.


The Well and Balanced Podcast
The Well & Balanced Podcast
New episodes debut every Wednesday
The Well & Balanced Podcast is hosted by three besties, Chelsea Gross, Melanie Morton, and Brooke Perlman. Holistic practitioners and self-proclaimed wellness junkies, these three women discuss all things health and wellness. From food, fitness, lifestyle, and everything in between, nothing is off limits. These ladies believe in a holistic and balanced approach to life and understand the power of self love over dietary dogma. Join them each week as they share their insights from their own health journeys to help you live a well and balanced life of your own! Catch our founder, Brittany, on this week's episode talking all things entrepreneurship and what wellness means to her.


Fed and Fit PodcastFed + Fit Podcast
New episodes debut every Monday
Join Cassy Joy Garcia, Nutrition Consultant, as she empowers healthy lifestyle transformations through clear nutrition science and delicious Paleo-friendly foods. Join her each week on her podcast, Fed + Fit, as she discusses topics ranging from bioindividuality to business to blogging. Cassy conducts interviews with some of the leading experts in the field of health and wellness, like Robb Wolf, and also hosts Q & A’s with listeners just like you! If you have ever wanted a podcast that covers mindset, meal prepping, and more, then this is the podcast for you! Cassy’s positive energy and bubbly personality are absolutely contagious you cannot help but tune in each week.
The Balanced Blonde Soul on Fire PodcastThe Balanced Blonde - Soul on Fire Podcast
New episodes debut every Wednesday
Jordan Younger, commonly known as “The Balanced Blonde,” hosts her very own podcast, “Soul on Fire.” Here, Jordan discusses life as a young entrepreneur and yogi living in LA. Podcast topics include Jordan’s life as a professional blogger, wellness hacks, friendships, branding, building a business, nutrition tips, and living a life you are passionate about. Join Jordan as she interviews leaders in the health and wellness field as well as close friends and family members. Listening to an episode of the Soul on Fire Podcast is like curling up on the couch and talking to your best friend. The interviews are very conversational, casual, and most importantly fun!

PaleOMG PodcastPaleOMG Uncensored
New episodes debut every Saturday
Founder of the blog, PaleOMG, Juli Bauer discusses all sorts of things: fitness, fashion, beauty, travel, and oh yeah, all things Paleo. Now don’t get us wrong, we aren’t fans of this podcast just because it has “Paleo,” in the title. No, it’s more than that! PaleOMG is all about living a well rounded, happy, and healthy life inside and out, and isn’t that what it’s all about? There is actually life outside of the gym and kitchen and we couldn’t agree more, which is why we are fans of PaleOMG. Juli’s candor and tell-it-like-it-is attitude will leave you laughing and learning all at the same time!

The Nourished PodcastThe Nourished Podcast
New episodes debut every Tuesday
Best friends Shawn Mynar (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) and Meg Doll (Registered Holistic Nutritionist) chat about real food, real health, and real happiness. Both Shawn and Meg have healed themselves from ailments including eating disorders, imbalanced hormones, inflammation, and autoimmune disorders all through their diet and they want to help others do the same. In The Nourished Podcast, these ladies cover a wide range of topics related to a Ketogenic lifestyle, self-love, balanced hormones, recipes, as well as interviews with key leaders in the health and wellness industry. Shawn and Meg go in-depth to listener questions and give detailed responses to all of your health questions. Nothing is off limits, so tune in!

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Picking the Right Running Race

Picking the right running raceNow that spring is turning into summer and the warm weather is here to stay, more people are trading in the treadmill for outdoor trails. You may even consider signing up for your first running race.

If so, congratulations! 

However, if you find yourself in analysis paralysis with all of the races out there, read our guide below to pick a race that is right for you.


Go the Distance...or Not
Races vary in length, so take the length of the course into consideration before you register. Here is a quick break down of the most common running race distances:

5K = 3.1 miles
10K= 6.2 miles
Half Marathon = 13.1 miles
Marathon = 26.2 miles

Summer running racesIf running long distances is not your favorite, you may want to consider a shorter race like a 5K; but if you are up for more of a challenge, it may be time to up your mileage with a longer race such as a half marathon. 

Do Your Research You wouldn’t want to sign up for a color run and show up in your brand new running gear not knowing you will be covered in dye at the end of the race. Would you? (See our point?) Make sure you know what you are getting into before you officially sign up.


Ask Friends
Ask your friends what races they have completed in the past. Some races may be more family-friendly with runners of all ages, but maybe you don’t want to be dodging strollers for three miles, or maybe you are up for the challenge.

Some smaller neighborhoods and communities host races that only locals know about, so before you register - ask around. See what’s out there before fully committing. Speaking of commitment…

Commit
Running races should be fun, but some races require serious preparation, like training for a marathon. Make sure you can make the time to prepare and train properly. If you have long-term commitment issues, swap your marathon for a 5K or 10K instead.


Preparing for a running raceIf the Shoe Fits
Stop by your local neighborhood running shop and get properly fitted for a running shoe. Many people skip this step, but it is crucial to have a pair of running shoes that fit properly for your race. The staff may even ask you to hop on a treadmill at the shop so they can see your running form. Don’t worry, it’s not for long, you won’t even break a sweat! This will help them find the best pair of shoes for you.



Grab a Group
Everything's better with friends, including running, so grab a group of your friends or family and sign up for a race together. If you sign up for a longer race (like a marathon), commit to a training schedule together so you are ready come race day. Make your best buddy your new running buddy!

Pace Yourself.
The thought of free T-Shirts and post race tailgates may sound appealing, but pace yourself. Don’t overcommit to more races than you can physically, or financially, handle in one season. The cost of race fees can add up quickly, so make sure you won’t be breaking the bank.

Let us know what races you are running this season, and be sure to stock up on your favorite Paleo Scavenger Granola to enjoy pre or post-race. Remember to tag us on social media!

Still looking for a race to run this year? Check out Runner’s World to find all of the races near you.
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Navigating Your Local Farmers Market: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

tips for navigating your local farmers marketShopping at a farmers market is the best way to eat locally. You know where your food comes from, and if you have questions, you can ask the grower directly!

Whether you are a seasoned vet or newbie, read our top 10 tips for navigating your neighborhood farmers market this season.



#1 Shop Early or Late
Farmers markets are usually less crowded right when they open, so if you want first dibs on certain food items, go first thing in the morning. If you are looking for a deal, try shopping towards the end of the day. Most vendors may be more inclined to give a small discount so they don’t have to repack any leftovers.

#2 Take a Lap
If you have the time, take an initial lap around the entire market before you buy. The worst thing to do is purchase the first item on your list later to realize you could have gotten two for the price of one at a different stall, so if you have the time, peruse!

#3 Bring Bags
Most farmers offer plastic bags, but when you are hauling home a half dozen summertime peaches and heavy home grown tomatoes, you may be wishing you had sturdier grocery bags. Grab those reusables before heading out - you will be thanking yourself later.

#4 Cash Over Cards
Although most vendors accept credit cards these days, it’s always best to have cash on hand, just in case credit cards are not accepted.

#5 Make a List
Whether you are trying a brand new recipe or stocking up on snacks for the office, make a farmers market shopping list before your trip. It will make your visit easier and a lot less stressful.

#6 Try Something New
Although a grocery list is good, don’t be afraid to go rogue and try something new. That crazy looking vegetable could turn out to be your new favorite. You will never know unless you try!

#7 Leave Space
If you decide to venture off your usual list with something new, make sure you leave enough space to haul it home. Whether you bring an extra canvas tote bag or two, be prepared for the unexpected.

#8 When In Doubt - Ask
If that crazy looking vegetable looks too crazy for you, don’t be afraid to ask the farmers, they are the experts! They usually have the best preparation tips and recipe recommendations, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

#9 Shop for the Seasons
Learn what produce grows in your region so you know what food is in season. If you are unsure, refer to tip #8. Also, inquire what’s to come in future weeks so you can plan your upcoming trips accordingly.

#10 Come Hungry
Some farmers markets not only offer fresh produce, they have hot food stands as well. Grab a friend, go for a stroll, and share a lunch together outside in the summer sunshine while you pick up your weekly farmers market haul.

Looking for a local farmers market? Check out the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory and if you are in Chicago, here is a list of the city’s farmers markets.

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Meditation and Goal Setting

Today’s modern life is plagued by chronic stress and high levels of anxiety. (Tell us something we don’t know, right?) Enter meditation! Meditation has been around for centuries and there are plenty of reasons why. Meditation reduces stress, improves concentration, and increases happiness, but did you know it can also help you reach your goals?

Grab your meditation cushion and some mala beads because we are about to meditate on both the mental and physical benefits of meditation and how it can help you reach your overall health and fitness goals!

benefits of meditation

Mental Benefits of Meditation

  • Better executive functioning including planning and problem solving
  • Improved self-regulation of emotions
  • Decreased negative emotions including depression, tension, sadness, and anger
  • Reduced fear, stress, and anxiety
  • Increased levels of dopamine, the happiness hormone
  • Boosted attention span and focus
  • Higher tolerance for physical pain or discomfort.
  • Improved memory
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Assistance in goal setting

Bottom Line: Meditation leaves you feeling calmer, emotionally stable, and helps you be your best self!

Physical Benefits of Meditation

We know stress is prevalent in our busy modern lives, and if you know anything about stress, you know it causes an increase in cortisol levels, which can lead to unwanted weight gain. By entering a relaxed state of meditation, you can regulate your cortisol levels, essentially tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system.

In the parasympathetic nervous system, your body enters a relaxed state of being and can more easily rest and digest. This is crucial for things like decreasing abdominal fat, improving overall digestion, and getting a better night’s sleep. If you are looking to lose some unwanted lbs. or get a better night’s sleep, meditation may be the answer!

Meditation and Goals

Meditation increases self-awareness of your physical body in that it helps you focus on other areas of your life that impact you physically. This can include your food choices and exercise regimen, as well as other habits that affect your ability to move toward your optimal health and weight.

Meditation invites you to go within and discover how you truly see yourself in all areas of your life: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. As scary as this venture may be, if you want to see changes in your life, including leading a healthier lifestyle or accomplishing your fitness goals, you have to go within. If you do not go within, you will go without. Meditate on that!

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5 Ways to Eat Mindfully

We have all heard the phrase, “mindful eating,” but what exactly does it mean? Mindful eating can be a multitude of things, but today we are focusing on five ways to be more mindful when it comes to food when we are: shopping, cooking, eating, thinking, and being.

Be mindful when shopping for food.
When grocery shopping, be sure to read your labels. Stick to the outer perimeter of the market where real, whole foods are kept. If you purchase food with a label, make sure you know the ingredients listed.

Be mindful in the kitchen.
Be mindful when preparing your food. When it comes to cooking and baking, think of how you can make each meal healthier. There are plenty of healthy swaps you can incorporate: use olive oil instead of vegetable oil, throw some veggies in your morning smoothie or add fresh fruit to your bowl of granola. Fresh berries from the local farmers market is one of our favorites!

Be mindful when you eat.
When you eat, focus on the food. That means put down the phone, turn off the TV, and avoid your inbox. Slow doooooown and savor each and every bite. Try placing your fork down in between each bite of your meal, and be sure to finish chewing your current bite before grabbing another. Be grateful for the meal in front of you and take note of the sight, the smell, and the taste of your meal.

Be mindful of your mind.
Ditch the negative self talk. Abandon the worry, shame and guilt that surrounds food. Remove the mental restrictions of “good food” or “bad food” and try to think of food in a different way altogether. Ask yourself, “Will this food help me reach my overall health and fitness goals, or will it not?” You will always have a relationship with food, so why not try and make it a healthy, positive one!

If you choose to indulge or overeat (which will happen from time to time; we’re all human!), do not guilt yourself afterwards. The goal of mindful eating is to embrace and own your food choices. If your favorite cookie sounds really good in the moment and you want to eat, then go ahead and enjoy it! You do not need permission from anyone. Savor each and every bite and be pleased with your decision. Do not guilt yourself into a trip to the gym just because of the cookie. Simply sit with the idea you gave your body what it wanted and move on!

Be mindful of your body.
Get familiar with your hunger and satiety. It takes serious inner wisdom and the silencing of your mind’s chatter to tune in to your body’s natural cues, but listen to your body’s signals to learn when you are hungry or full.

Let’s get sciencey for a second. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone that tells you when your body needs food for fuel. Leptin is the hormone that signals satiety. It let’s you know when your body is full and when you should stop eating. It takes time for these hormones to do their job, which is why slowing down when eating is so crucial.

Final Thoughts
Mindful eating is all about listening to your body. We believe food should bring both your body and your mind to a better state. This is why we only use good-for-you ingredients in our granola. Think almonds, walnuts, coconut, honey, vanilla, cherries, blueberries, and pecans. If that sounds good, grab a bag here!

Mindful eating may be a new concept to you, so be patient with yourself and take it one meal at a time.

Try it out! Pick one meal this week and eat it mindfully. Report back here and let us know how it goes or tag us on Instagram @paleoscavenger so we can see those mindful meals!

five ways to eat mindfully

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PALEO SCAVENGER MEETS CLUMSY & CO

Aria, lifestyle blogger and self-proclaimed "clumsy girl" of Clumsy & Co recently interviewed our founder, Brittany Chibe, to talk inspiration and female empowerment. Read the full #girlboss interview here and check out Aria's clumsy moments on her blog!

 

#girlboss: clumsy & co meets paleo scavenger!

If you know me, there's nothing I love more than a little female empowerment. I am so into hearing women's success stories - girl power is SO real. That's why recently, when I had to opportunity to talk to Chicago entrepreneur Brittany Chibe, founder of Paleo Scavenger (only my FAVORITE granola in the WHOLE world) I totally jumped at it.  You guys, this granola is FANTASTIC and has quickly become my favorite yogurt topping. I was so excited to chat with Brittany about her granola, her inspirations, and what it's like owning a small business.

Introduce yourself & your company a little. 

My name is Brittany Chibe and I'm the founder of Paleo Scavenger, a paleo-friendly granola company. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago (Orland Park FTW!), and now reside in the city. I LOVE to bake, and I'm pretty sure the first gift I ever asked for as a child was an easy bake oven. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are in the kitchen with my mom and little brother baking cookies and eating the dough off of the beaters. My enjoyment for baking and recreating gluten-filled treats that I grew up with into paleo-friendly ones led me to starting Paleo Scavenger. We make a better-for-you, soft and chewy granola that's grain-free, low in sugar and filled with healthy fats. 

What inspired you to start your business? 

I started the business just over two years ago with the mission to make clean eating easy and accessible. At the time, I had been following paleo for a couple years and had overcome a chronic sports injury and reduced inflammation in my body. I felt so good eating this way that I got really passionate about sharing all-things-paleo with others. I've always been a baker, and because it was so hard to find paleo snacks at the grocery store, I made my own granola to take with me on-the-go. As I shared it with friends and family, it turned out to be a huge hit with just about everyone. I had been working in the food industry for several years was ready to do my own thing. After much thought and restless nights, I decided to take a leap of faith and use everything I had learned over the years to launch my own food company. 

What have been your biggest challenges in starting your own business? What are you proudest of?

My biggest challenge is asking for help. I've always had the mindset that I can do everything, and if I don't know how to do it, then I will learn how. One night I found myself learning how to write code to fix a small change on my website. After struggling for well over an hour, it finally hit me...why the heck am I wasting my time on this?!?! Hire someone that actually knows what they're doing, dum dum! And so, now when I need help with my website, or graphic design, or marketing, I find someone to help. It is such a weight off of my shoulders and the best part of it is that I get awesome insight from people that are pros in their field.

What advice would you give to other young women chasing entrepreneurial dreams?

Two things - have a partner and ask for help. The one thing I wish I could change about PS was that I wish I started the business with a co-founder. The emotional rollercoaster of starting a business is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The high and lows are REALLY HIGH or REALLY LOW. Plus, I have no one to share the good and bad things with. When I get a new customer or any piece good news, it would be awesome to be able to celebrate that with a partner. And when I get bad news, it would be easier to cope with and move on if I had someone to discuss it with. In terms of asking for help...see above.

Who's your favorite successful lady/role model?

Hmm this one is tough. There are so many successful females that I admire. If I had to pick my favorite, it would be my mom. She put herself through grad school and got her PhD, all while raising three babies on her own. She has always been and continues to be my rock and one person that I can count on for absolutely everything. Right after she retired, I told her that I was starting a business. Well, that took my mom right out of retirement! Sorry, Mom!! She was with me every week in the commercial kitchen baking granola, delivering orders to stores, coming with me to trade shows, and always encouraging me to keep going even when I wanted to give up. I truly believe that I turned into the successful woman I am today because I grew up watching her do it all and always strived to be just like her. 

If you could go back to when you were 20, what would you tell yourself?

Ha! I think about this quite often, actually. I would tell myself to relax and enjoy the little things. Spend more time with family. Have more fun. I've always been so serious about school, grades, deadlines, etc., but really, I could have cut myself some slack back then and take more time to enjoy life.

What's YOUR favorite thing to eat with Paleo Scavenger?

If I'm not munching on the granola right out of the bag, I like to use it as a topper on this smoothie. It adds just the right amount of crunch!

Um, pretty cool lady right?! Thank you Brittany for chatting with me - and check out Paleo Scavenger at paleoscavenger.com and at select grocery stores in the Chicagoland area!

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Get Real with Mel's #fangirlfriday

Mel MortonIf you haven't been over to Melanie Morton's blog, Get Real with Mel, then you're truly missing out! Mel is a former trainer turned lifestyle blogger focusing on the real issues that young girls and women deal with, but nobody talks about. She talks about body image issues, eating disorders, postpartum depression and not only how to cope with it, but how to heal yourself by becoming more mindful, listening to your body, and nourishing it with the right foods. And guys, she talks from experience. Just read her 'Meet Mel' section and mission, and you'll see what she has lived through personally and why it's her mission to lift up other women and help them find a self-loving mindset.

I first met Mel about two years ago when she reached out to me via Facebook because she had found Paleo Scavenger and wanted to help spread my mission. I was so humbled by this, and for the first time, I really began to understand how my product was making a difference in people's lives. Fast forward two years, and Mel has become a good friend and a badass boss lady that I turn to for advice. So when she asked me to be her first #fangirlfriday post, (a weekly feature on someone that Mel finds inspiring and motivating) I was honored and obviously said yes. You can read the full blog post here or read just the interview below.  

You have come such a long way since your corporate days, tell us about your road to success with Paleo Scavenger (how it started, where it is now, what you hope for the future, etc):

It has definitely been quite the journey so far! My idea for Paleo Scavenger started about 2.5 years ago when I was in my second year of business school. I was part of an incredible program at UIC that sparked my passion for entrepreneurship and left me with an itch to do something BIG. After I graduated, I couldn’t stop thinking about my idea for a paleo snack company, and the thought of staying in the daily grind of the corporate world was disheartening. So, about a month later, and after countless sleepless nights, I decided to quit my job to start a snack business. The way I looked at it was this – now is my time to be selfish. I didn’t have anyone to worry about other than myself, so now is a better time than any. And hey, if it doesn’t work out, the experience I’ll gain from starting a business will get me a job anywhere. (Or at least that’s what I told myself to help me sleep at night, ha!) Getting the business off the ground was a hell of a rollercoaster. The highs were so high, but the lows were so low. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I was creating something bigger than myself. I started PS with the mission to make clean eating easy and accessible, and I would remind myself of that whenever I felt like giving up. Now, two years later, Paleo Scavenger has become a successful line of granola snacks that is sold in approximately 90 grocery stores throughout Chicagoland. My vision for PS is to create a full line of paleo snacks (I never wanted to just do granola, but I learned early to focus on one thing and do it right before you launch anything else). So once the granola has national distribution, I will get back into the kitchen to work on the next product line. Maybe cookies?? My ultimate goal is to create a national brand that makes clean eating easier, but still tasty!

When was your “AHA!” moment when you knew that this was what you really wanted to be doing with your life?

My “aha” moment happened in April 2015. I signed up for my very first trade show called Paleo f(x), a trade show for all things paleo, and during setup, I was looking around at all of the big companies near me thinking what the hell am I doing here?! It’s like that moment when you walk into a meeting and realize that you’re totally underdressed and completely self-conscious about it the ENTRIE time. Yup, that was me. I was sandwiched between The New Primal and Fatco Skincare (awesome companies, btw!) and I kept thinking why the heck did I sign up for this. I’m not ready!! As they assembled their awesome booth displays that they had shipped there, I pulled granola samples out of my suitcase that I carried on the plane and set them on the table. I had terrible anxiety about the two days to follow. People are going to think I’m a joke! But the next day when the show opened, everything changed. I could not believe all of the amazing compliments I was getting about the granola and how excited people were to find it. At one point, a young girl came up to my booth, grabbed a sample and walked away. About 10 minutes later she came back and asked me if there were oats in the granola. I said, well if there were oats in it I wouldn’t be able to walk in this door. (We’re at Paleo f(x)…c’mon!) We kept talking and I learned that she was celiac and that the one thing she missed the most since being diagnosed was granola. She said my granola tasted so good that she was worried it had oats in it. She was so happy when she read the ingredient list and thanked me for creating such a great product. That moment was THE moment when I realized that what I’m doing is worth it. I created something that fills a need in people’s lives. Winning the 2015 Top 15 Products of Paleo f(x) was the cherry on top.

What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?

In five years, I hope to be on an endless vacation! Ha, no but really…my dream is to build Paleo Scavenger to a national brand and truly help change people’s lifestyles and eating habits. Once it gets to that point, I want to sell PS to someone that can take it even further. Then…who knows. Maybe take a break, travel the world, and find my next inspiration. I always say I wish I had a magic 8 ball to know what the future holds, but then where is the fun in that?!

You run Paleo Scavenger and have built it from the ground up, what advice can you give young entrepreneurs about starting up their own biz?

Two things. First, have a partner. I cannot preach enough about that. My biggest wish if I could go back and start all over again would be to start the company with a partner that I trust and that lives and breathes the brand like I do. Having that support is so important. Someone to share the success with and someone to help you through the difficult times. Luckily I have an incredible support system in my mom and boyfriend. They have been there through the ups and downs and the 2am nights in the kitchen baking granola by my side. If it wasn’t for them, I probably would have given up a long time ago. Second, ASK FOR HELP! I’m the absolute worst when it comes to asking for help. I hate the feeling that I’m a burden on someone else. But you know what, whenever I get an email or a phone call from a young entrepreneur, I am always 100% willing and able to help them out. So why the heck don’t I take advantage of that when it comes to my own business?? I’m slowly but surely getting over that, and I haven’t heard a “no” yet. So…again…ask for help!

What’s your favorite recipe?

My absolute favorite recipe is roasted brussels sprouts. Yessss. So simple, but so good. I literally make a batch every week. It’s my go-to veggie for any meal. Morning eggs with brussels. lunchtime chicken with brussels, you get the idea. All I do is cut the brussels in half, top with ghee or coconut oil, add some salt, pepper and Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, etc.) and roast for 40 minutes. Sometimes I add bacon and raisins and it rocks my world. So yes, brussels sprouts. 

You’re a busy business woman—how do you manage your time so well?? Tips would be helpful!

I am the WORST at time management. I’m typically 15 minutes late to just about everything in my life. My friends and family call me out on it and literally lie about the meeting time so that I show up early. Let’s say I have to be at a dinner event at 7pm, they lie and tell me it starts at 6:30 knowing that I’ll be late. It’s terrible. However, I have to say that when it comes to business, I’m much more put together. If I have an early morning meeting, I have to force myself to stay away from my phone (I live in my inbox) and focus on getting ready and out the door. I wish I had more tips in this department, but it’s still a work in progress for me.

You live such an active, healthy lifestyle! What’s your go-to workout that you LOVE?

I’ve been a runner since I was 14, so I’d have to say my favorite go-to workout is a long run. It is the one ritual I have that allows me to focus on myself. Running is my “me time.” It’s that one hour of the day where I can destress and be alone with my thoughts. It’s probably my favorite part of the day.

Any other comments, quotes, advice that you would like to share with our readers and tell us where we can snag that yummy Paleo Scavenger granola!

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, I always tell people to focus on you and do your thing. My personal motto the last two years has been ‘do you.’ Do YOUR thing, YOUR way, with no regret, remorse or fear. Don’t compare your journey to those around you. Focus on you and your goals and work at it everyday. You’ll probably find that the more you do that, you’ll rid the negativity out of your life and become surrounded by people that believe in the same things as you and help build you up to achieve your goals. So, do you!

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Paleo Scavenger Granola is a Must-Have Snack

Box Owner Exclusive: Claim your FREE samples of our handcrafted, all-natural, soft baked granola today!

Paleo Scavenger, maker of handcrafted, all-natural and certified-paleo snacks, is proud to offer its granola to your Box. Delivering a slightly sweet and chewy texture, Paleo Scavenger’s granola makes the perfect pre- or post-workout snack. Made with a few simple ingredients such as almonds, walnuts, coconut oil and honey, this granola is low in sugar and packed with protein and healthy fats to keep you fuller, longer.

At Paleo Scavenger, we believe the paleo lifestyle is the key to living a joyful, healthy life by giving your body the nutrients and energy it needs to stay nourished all day long. Paleo Scavenger has four flavors of granola: original, cherry, blueberry and maple pecan, which offers consumers a new experience on paleo snacks with its moist and chewy, soft-baked texture.

In our opinion, it’s the must have snack. Don’t believe us? Let our snacks speak for themselves. Contact us for free samples at info@paleoscavenger.com.

See the entire story in Box Pro Mag.

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