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Benefits of Delicious Organic Mango

Posted by Alex FitzGerald on

Mangos deliver more than just a burst of tropical sweetness, they’re packed with Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. 

The organic dried mangos we use in Brave are sourced from farms in Sinaloa, Mexico and are grown with organic farming best practices which means minimal soil disturbance, a focus on crop diversity, and no use of pesticides or herbicides. Our mango farmers believe as we do in the benefits of promoting organic farming within their communities. 

Organic mangos come in many sizes and varieties so you may notice subtle color, taste and texture differences. Bonus points if you can recognize which bite contains one of the three varieties we use; Kent, Keith, or Ataulfo. 

While fresh mangos are delicious, they can be difficult to cut, a bit of a mess to eat and don’t last very long once ripe and off the vine. Luckily dried mangos are just as delicious and nutrient dense and are also portable! When buying dried mangos look for those that say ‘unsweetened dried mango’. This will help ensure there are no added sugars or preservatives snuck in there. At Brave we will always use unprocessed and unsweetened ingredients as close to their natural state as possible.

Turning a delicious ripe mango into the yummy bits of dried mango you enjoy in Brave is a surprisingly simple process. Once ripe, the mangos are picked, peeled, cut and then air dried in large racks to capture the most flavor and nutrients possible. Finally, once dried, they are cut again specially for Brave into the perfect bite size pieces you finally get in Toasted Coconut Mango. 

Mangos deliver on all fronts, they’re bursting with tropical goodness and packed with Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. Mangos are a stone fruit - one hard seed surrounded by the fruit - that originally grew in India over 5,000 years ago and were brought to the Americas around 1880. Mangos are grown on deep-rooted evergreen trees that can grow up to 90 ft tall with canopies over 80 ft wide! Luckily for those in the U.S., Mexico is one of the largest mango exporting countries in the world and provides the US with over 80% of the mangos we eat. This means relatively little travel time and peak freshness. 

If you’ve made your way through a packet of Toasted Coconut Mango before, you will have noticed tart and sweet bursts of organic dried mango. We wanted the flavor to make you feel like you were waking up on a beach vacation, everyday so we knew Mangos had to be in there.

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Reducing Our Food Waste

Posted by Cooper FitzGerald on

A shocking 25% of all food that we produce is wasted. To put this in perspective, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, behind only China and the US. 
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Reduce your environmental impact through a plant-based diet

Posted by Cooper FitzGerald on

What we eat has a big impact on our changing climate. So, how as individuals can we make more sustainable food decisions?

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How to break your intermittent fast with whole foods

Posted by Alex FitzGerald on

Intermittent fasting (IF) is having a moment right now. Fully 10% of Americans follow IF making it the country's most popular diet. If you live long enough you see many diet trends come and go (remember paleo) so what makes this one different? For starters, IF is not about what you eat, it’s about when you eat.
 
IF limits the amount of time you spend eating during the day. This simple change has significant health benefits.
As a follower of IF, I can add from personal experience that intentionally taking more time between eating feels like a natural counterbalance to the overabundance of modern life. I also feel darn good when I complete a fast.
 
There is a lot of scientific evidence to back up the health benefits of IF but most discussions over-complicate a simple concept. There is also very little time spent discussing how to properly end the fast. What should you actually eat to break for your fast? I love food so that’s what I care about. I will briefly describe IF, its benefits, and how to break your fast.
 
What is IF
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a daily pattern with periods of eating and periods of fasting. There are several common patterns including; 16:8 (16 hours fasted, 8-hour eating window), and 18:6 (18 hours fasted, 6-hour eating window).
The standard American lifestyle doesn’t naturally hit the optimal IF patterns of eating. Because of the abundance and availability of food, many people eat throughout the day and only pause to sleep. For most, adopting any of these common IF patterns will narrow the window of time for eating.
If 16 hours of fasting per day sounds crazy to you, consider that you’re probably already fasting for 10 hours if you include the time you spend asleep. Most people hit their 16 fast by restricting their daily eating period to 8 hours, like 1–9 p.m.
 
There is nothing new about fasting. Our ancestors evolved through periods of time where intermittent food deprivation was commonplace. IF is a codification of ancient eating habits with scientific evidence to support its benefits.
 
Benefits of IM
Weight loss: IF’s simplicity is its most powerful attribute for weight loss and the reason why people adopt the diet. Simply limiting the amount of time spent eating leads to a reduction in calorie intake. Additionally, IF positively influences hormones for weight loss.
 
Mental clarity: Studies show that fasting improves working memory in animals and adult humans
 
Repair at the cellular level: Fasting causes your cells to start a critical repair process that removes damaged proteins from the cell.
 
Other benefits of IM
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Hearth health
  • Brain health
  • Anti-aging
How to break your fast
So far, we’ve talked about when to eat but haven’t talked about what to eat. Restricting your eating window places an emphasis on what you do eat in that window, particularly on the meal you to chose to break your fast.
 
We used to call this meal breakfast (break-fast). But those practicing IF will typically break their fast in the early afternoon so they don’t eat a “breakfast” as it’s commonly understood.
 
You need to be particularly careful about the food you put into your empty stomach when you break your fast. Whole foods are a must. The last thing you want is a blast of refined carbs or sugar hitting your empty stomach because the negative hormonal impact will be amplified.
 
I’ve been eating Brave in the afternoon to break my fast and I’ve found it to be a fantastic option. Brave is nutritionally optimized so I’m getting a complete meal and it's ready in seconds. It’s perfect for people that enjoy real food, on their schedule, especially if they’re abiding by an IF schedule.
 
Why I choose to break my fast with Brave
  • Whole foods
  • Balanced macronutrients to refuel my empty tank
  • Low glycemic index to avoid an insulin spike
  • No added sugar to avoid an insulin spike
  • Large enough to satisfy as a lunch
  • Cheaper than most lunch options
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Real Vanilla From Madagascar

Posted by Alex FitzGerald on

At Brave, we always like to stick with ingredients as close to their natural state as possible and ask ourselves when introducing new ingredients, “How close is this ingredient the state it was in when pulled from the ground?” The further away it becomes from its natural state the more processed and prone to additives and less nutrient dense it becomes. In our new Vanilla Dragon Berry flavor, we use 100% pure ground Madagascar vanilla.
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