Round Up: Friends of High Country State Parks

For the month of June, Bare Essentials Natural Market will be partnering with the Friends of High Country State Parks for our Round-Up-For-A-Cause Program. Each time you check out, you will have the opportunity to round up your total a few cents to help fund local state parks in NC. Every penny counts!

Follow our Round-Up-For-A-Cause Program on our Events page where you can see past and future partners and the amounts that our customers have helped raise for them.


The mission of Friends of High Country State Parks is to enhance and perpetuate the High Country State Parks and State Natural Areas for the enjoyment and benefit of all the state’s people.

The Friends of High Country State Parks is dedicated to the expansion and preservation of state parks in NC High Country and to the protection of park funding that has permitted these parks to become valuable assets to the local economy and community.

“We help Rangers with requests to fund items not available through the state budget. We support Elk Knob, New River State Park, Mt. Jefferson Natural Area and Grandfather Mountain Trails.”

Visit the Friends of High Country State Parks website for more information here:

Educating April: Tale of the Blue Taco

Once upon a time, there was a lonely blue taco with no friends. While on the way through the big kitchen forest he met this weird round object. It was called a Roma tomato. They started to talk and said let’s keep walking to find more friends. Up in the deep, dark cabinet there was a strange can, a can of Bearitos lowfat refried beans.

So all three kept rolling and walking through the kitchen forest. Then they came along this huge white cave that made a loud noise. Roma tomato said that she heard it was called a “fridge.” So they bravely went into this fridge cave and there they found more yummy friends, Chestnut Grove Farm ground beef and Organic Valley shredded cheese. They were already friends because they lived so close together. As they were leaving, they bumped into this tall strange object called taco sauce. So all of these random goodies became friends and had a grand ole time.

Suddenly, they heard this loud stomping noise. They knew what it was and started to run but they weren’t fast enough. They were all captured by the giant lady named April, who looked hungry. The giant lady started the process of taking the ground beef to this pot and…cooked him. Everyone was so scared who would be next! The re-fried beans were just dumped in a bowl and thrown into this big box called a mi…cro…wave. An escape is nowhere in sight they all knew what was going to happen.

The refried beans and ground beef were thrown into the taco-topped with taco sauce and Roma tomato then sprinkled with the Organic Valley Cheese. This all happened so fast that no one could get away from the giant lady. Taco said they looked wonderful together until…..she took a bite!!! April was very happy with the taco dinner and the fact that it was healthy and gluten-free made it ever so sweet!

TacoCharacters (Ingredients):

Organic Roma Tomato
Chestnut Grove Farm Ground Beef
Organic Valley Shredded Cheese
Garden of Eatin Blue Corn Taco Kit

 SPECIAL THANKS to Hannah, Wellness Consultant for the cartoon drawings!


June Staff Picks!

Curious to see what we’re addicted to this month? Here are some of our Staff Picks for June…

virgils_cream_soda_1321_generalVirgil’s Cream Soda & Epic Bison  with Bacon & Cranberryepicbison

April McDaniel, Customer Service
When I get hungry in the late afternoon, nothing beats a cold Virgil’s  Cream Soda and a protein bar, Epic Bison with bacon and cranberry. A neat fact about Virgil’s, it’s a three-time Outstanding Beverage Award  winner of the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (the national organization for the gourmet food trade). Both the protein bar and cream soda are gluten-free!

yerbaYerba Mate – Revel Berry

Cody Shaw, Customer Service
If you are sleep deprived as I am on occasions, and still need to exercise nothing is better than a Yerba Mate. I prefer the revel berry (non-sparkling) it has am excellent flavor and digests quickly, making it a great pre-workout drink. It will give you a slow released energy that will help you grind through exercise sessions when your tired.

FriendsAnnie’s Bunny Grahams

Hannah Goncharow, Wellness Consultant

These are a nice treat to have on hand when you want a little sweet something. They are a cleaner version of teddy grahams, made with organic wheat flour, Non-GMO, and have no artificial flavors or synthetic colors. I love the variety that the cute little bunnies come in.

Gluten and Celiac Disease: What You Should Know

Gluten is an ingredient that has moved it’s way into the spotlight over the years, but the problem is that many who follow gluten-free lifestyles don’t understand what gluten actually is, or the role that it plays in food and our bodies. Food fads can be damaging for people that actually have a true reaction, because it can cause those who aren’t fully informed to treat it as a less serious condition. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, recent data has shown that about 1 in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease, and many are undiagnosed. With the prevalence of this disease rising, it is important to understand what Celiac Disease is, how it’s triggered, and treatment options.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye, and often is used in food to provide an elastic and chewy texture (think pizza dough). Celiac Disease is a genetic autoimmune response that happens to the body when it is exposed to gluten. Exposure to gluten causes the body to mistakenly attack itself. Symptoms of Celiac Disease include abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia and fatigue. These symptoms can appear in any person, of any age who has been exposed to gluten. Overtime this negative reaction by the body causes chronic inflammation and damages the villi within the small intestine. These fingerlike structures aid in the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream and when left damaged and untreated, can lead to malnourishment, osteoporosis, diabetes and various autoimmune disorders. No matter how healthy a person eats, the damage to the intestines prevents absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients into the body and the nutritional deficiencies that come as a result of this disease are often the tipping point for other complications to arise.

Treatment Options

Untitled1The only true treatment for Celiac is to adhere to a strictly gluten-free diet and over time sticking with this type of diet can help to heal the intestines from past damage. Some supplements can be helpful in the management of Celiac, in conjunction with gluten-free lifestyle. Probiotics are a great way to build up healthy gut flora, Untitledimmune system function and aids in absorption of nutrients. Strains such as Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus casei can be especially helpful for people with Celiac Disease. If someone with this disease is accidentally exposed to gluten, digestive enzymes can be helpful in easing the symptoms. Gluten-Ease by Enzymedica is an enzyme formula that works especially well for targeting discomfort caused by exposure to gluten. Although enzymes can be helpful, they should never be used as an excuse for someone suffering from Celiac to eat gluten freely.

As with any other health issue, each case of Celiac Disease is different depending on the individual. Triggers differ from person to person, but it’s important to adhere to a gluten-free diet as much as possible. Gluten-Free Shopping Guides are available online here and in the store in order to help you make the best decisions for your lifestyle. If you have questions or would like to know more, please stop by Bare Essentials Natural Market and our Wellness Consultants will assist you in finding something most suited to your needs.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.