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  • Writer's pictureAmy Slater

The Great Real Food Zooventure!

Planning and packing for an out-of-routine day trip with four kids always involve, I feel, I shockingly significant amount of work! From the stroller to the car entertainment to the snacks, a day trip ends up filling up the van.

I feel confident saying it is worth every second! We are so fortunate to have an amazing zoo, in fact, it is the “world’s largest zoo”, within a little over a one-hour car ride.

Car snacks: the absolute must!

We LOVE Epic Bars for car snacks!! They are a great source of protein! You can easily pair the bar with an apple, grapes, or melon. You could also make a mix of carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. Protein will keep the boring car munchies at bay for a little while and help you move the kids towards reaching their daily protein needs with 100% grass-fed meat!

Protein also helps prevent blood sugar crashes that could result in a less than an optimal day!!

Everything about this trip was fabulous! It was a relatively cool day, the kids had a great time!! The highlight for all… especially me, was feeding the giraffes!! They are such fabulous animals!!

Zoo Snacks

I packed snacks for our walk around the zoo separate from our lunch. I always pair a protein with a carb or fat with a carb to increase the satiating effect.

SNACK 1: Green Olives, Strawberries, and a Cashew Crispy Bar

  • Olives are very high in Vitamin E which is important for heart health. They are also a good source of powerful antioxidants. The monounsaturated fat in olives is good for reducing inflammation.

  • Strawberries: lower blood pressure, increase HDL cholesterol, and protect against cancer. They are high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and polyphenols!!

  • Cashew Crispy Bar: this homemade treat is made with cashews, flax seeds, and dates.

  • Cashews: are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining good bodily function!

  • Dates: are high in fiber, which is helpful for digestion and helps with blood sugar control. Dates are high in antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acid. They are also good sources of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, and iron.

  • Flax seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and heart health as well as reducing inflammation!! They are also a good source of fiber.

SNACK 2: Homemade Trail Mix, Black Grapes, and a Spinach Cookie

  • Homemade trail mix: pumpkin seeds, coconut chips, macadamia nuts, raisins, and dried apple chips.

  • Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants, magnesium, and fiber!

  • Coconut chips are rich in fiber, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6, and minerals, including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.

  • Black grapes: are high in antioxidants such as anthocyanin a flavonoid compound that is abundant in the dark fruit and Resveratrol.

  • Spinach cookie: This homemade treat has almond butter, dates, spinach, and eggs.

  • Almond butter is rich in magnesium, fiber, and vitamin E.

  • Spinach: is high in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9, and E. It contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.

  • Eggs are a great source of protein, selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and copper.

When you look at snacks or food in general for what it can do for you based on its nutrient value… it makes the choice a lot easier!!

It’s a lifestyle that makes it easy!

The great thing about consistently living a real food lifestyle is that it is just that… a lifestyle! That means when we leave our typical environment, it is easy to simply plan and pack to ensure we have healthy choices.

Why is it important?

Everything you put into your mouth has an effect on your body. Obviously, if you are reading this, you are interested in your health and the health of your kids. The cool thing is, that we have a choice about how we want the food to serve to us. Do you want it to move you towards or away from health?

Steering clear of inflammatory foods is a no-brainer! My philosophy is I am not going to feed my kids something that I would not eat myself.

What did we pack for our zooventure lunch?

  • Homemade Spelt bread rolls with grass-fed raw gouda cheese and Applegate Farms Boiled ham with Avocado oil mayo:

  • Spelt rolls: making your own bread at home allows you to control the ingredient quality! We try to avoid gluten as it serves no purpose in building health. Spelt is a gluten-containing grain. But, when you ferment it, the yeast breaks down the gluten reducing the amount in the final product!

  • Grass-fed raw cheese: has numerous health benefits over conventional cheese. There are no growth hormones or antibiotics, high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, important for heart health), high in omega-3s, a great source of vitamins A, D, and B-12, it is a unique source of Vitamin K and choline!

  • Avocado oil mayo: avoiding large intakes of vegetable oils is a great way to reduce inflammation! We love the avocado oil mayo from Costco!

  • Strawberries, Apple and Orange: adding an orange to your cut fruit bowl keeps the apples from oxidizing and turning brown!

  • Fermented Carrots and Cucumbers: probiotics should be a part of our daily nutrition plan! Adding a good dose of healthy bacteria, keeps digestion efficient and the immune system strong!

  • Barnana Plantain Chips: this was a great find from Thrive Market! Plantains are a great source of starch and these were fried only in coconut oil!! Most are fried in some sort of vegetable oil!

  • I also brought some honeydew for another option!

Lunch was a hit! We ate a little later, trying to stretch the day. But the kiddos were pretty much all “zooed” out and ready to hit the zoo mobile and gift shop!

If you are still reading this post! Kudos to you!! I hope this inspires you to challenge convention, think outside the box and move towards nutrient density for you and your family!


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