What Healthy and Happy Means to Us

Welcome to “Health & Happiness,” the blog of It’s NOLA. This is a place where we will share ideas about beauty, better health, fitness, food, general health, nutrition, recipes, wellness and basically any other information we hope will bring value to your life. 

This blog is for YOU, our faithful community. Although we have a range of topics we want to cover, we also want to discuss topics that are important to you, our loyal readers, so if you have questions or want to read more about a specific topic surrounding any one of the areas mentioned above or perhaps something completely different, please send us a message over @itsnolasnacks so we can review.

Okay, now onto the good stuff. (No, we don’t mean our addictively delicious granola - that will come later!) For our pioneer post, we want to discuss what “Health & Happiness” means to us. 

It’s NOLA Lifestyle

Our team at It’s NOLA knows, first hand, health and happiness go hand in hand. As a Vegetarian and Vegan, our fearless founder, Margaret M. Barrow, knows how making dietary and healthy lifestyle changes can impact overall health and happiness. Small changes, like daily movement, meditation and switching to a real, whole foods diet that includes high quality foods from ethical sources can truly make all the difference in creating a healthy and happy lifestyle. Here are five of our favorite ways our team likes to honor health and happiness in our daily lives. 

#1 Do Daily Movement


One of the ways our team likes to stay healthy and happy is by incorporating daily movement into our schedules. Whether it’s a gentle yoga flow, an intense sweat session at the gym or a long leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, daily movement is an important element to creating a healthy and happy lifestyle. Catch up with a family member or friend with a quick phone call, plug into a podcast, tune into your favorite tunes or simply bask in the beauty of Mother Nature and enjoy your surroundings. No matter how you decide to enjoy exercise, find a way to move every single day and choose an activity you enjoy, which means you’ll be more likely to stick with it over time.

#2 Make Time for Meditation


Another way our team maintains health and happiness in our lives is by meditating. Our Founder, Margaret Barrow, is an advocate for daily meditation. She says, “One way I engage in being healthy is that I choose to meditate because I've learned the practice of meditation helps me to focus on what my purpose is in life. I can lower the noise and the stresses in life through meditation and focus on the end goals and how I need to proceed in micro steps to reach those goals. This keeps me calm and focused.” 

Being healthy and happy means intentionally and purposely taking care of ourselves and that means carving out time for self-care. Whether that’s daily movement or taking up a meditation practice, giving back time to yourself truly helps you present the best version of yourself to yourself and others. Margaret goes on to say, “I am my best self when my life includes meditation. People also enjoy the best of me when I am taking care of myself.” 

#3 Reach for More Mindful Snacks

Three year old girl eating her It's Nola Snacks with yogurt.

Our team here at It’s NOLA is all about reaching for snacks made with real food ingredients. You know, ingredients you can actually pronounce and ones your body can actually recognize. When we make more mindful choices, we feel good from the inside out. This is why we have chosen to create our perfect portion granola snack bites with real food ingredients. Think of foods like dried fruit, nuts, organic rolled oats, seeds, spices and of course the most important ingredient of all, love.

Low in both salt and sugar, each bite of our handmade granola has the perfect combination of salty and sweet flavors. Consider it a match made in culinary heaven! Each ingredient is carefully selected to optimize a healthy snacking experience. Natural sugars from vegan marshmallows are sweetened with the real flavors of apple juice and cranberries, mangos and other dried fruits while a pinch of salt subtly brings out the other flavors of our granola and really allows them to shine. Check out our Brooklyn bold flavors: Dark Decadent Chewy Chocolate, Luscious Cranberry Coconut and Sassy Mango Mansala. Trust us, your tastebuds and stomachs will thank you.  

Fun Fact: It’s NOLA is low in carbohydrates and fats. Plus, our granola is a great low calorie snack at only 120 calories per serving. Someone pass us a bag please!

#4 Select Ethical Sourcing

Person at computer typing.

It’s clear choosing foods made with real food ingredients can help create a happy and healthy life, but it’s also important to consider where ingredients come from, which is why we strongly believe in ethically sourcing ingredients. At It’s NOLA, we source gluten-free, organic and non-GMO ingredients straight from the best source possible - Mother Nature herself. This ensures you can enjoy her ingredients the way she intended it - in their purest form.

We create a one of a kind chewy nougat that pairs perfectly with our crunchy handcrafted granola. The perfect snack for any time of day, our better for you granola will quickly become your favorite all day every day snack. The perfect adventure snack, It’s NOLA can easily accompany you wherever your day, schedule or next adventure takes you. 

#5 Support Social Causes with a Positive Impact
Two Black women hanging out with big smiles on their faces. This is an image for illustrating mentoring relationships.

Besides providing high quality, good for you snacks, It’s NOLA strongly believes in supporting companies and organizations that are committed to making the world a better place. Our team here at It’s NOLA, is fiercely committed to supporting community college mentoring programs. As our founder fondly reflects, on one of It’s NOLA’s most important principles - giving back.  “Building on our relationship and my deep commitment to mentoring, It’s Nola's social commitment is to donate to community college mentoring programs. All of us women owners have benefitted from healthy mentoring relationships and want to ensure we give back and pay it forward.” Learn more about our founding story here.

We’re More Than Just Food

At It’s NOLA, we’re more than just food. We are a lifestyle. We know health and happiness lies in more than simply making mindful food choices. It’s about the complexities of living a life well lived and the choices we make to share and connect with others to bring value to our lives. 

Yes, diet, food choices and nutrition are incredibly important, but food is only a small fraction of what we believe embodies health and happiness. Things like beauty practices, daily movement, emotional health, exercise, fitness, mental health, relationships, self-care, sleep, spirituality,  wellness and community are all elements of a happy and healthy life. 

At It’s NOLA, we want you, our community, to know you’re eating food from people who care about you and your health. We truly want you healthy and happy. Our team really cares about you and that means caring about the whole person, both inside and out, which is why this blog will feature all of these elements (and more) because we know health and happiness goes well beyond our bag of handcrafted It’s Nola bites. We are so happy you are here and we hope you will continue along this journey with us. Until next time, stay healthy and happy!

Looking for an easy and delicious way to add a little bit of health and happiness to your plate? Try this Vegan recipe, courtesy of our fierce and fabulous founder, Margaret M. Barrow.

Mango Sun Smoothie Bowl

Add a burst of sunshine to your day with this Mango Sun Smoothie Bowl. Skip the straw, grab a spoon and dig in! Want a tropical topping? Add a sprinkle of our Luscious Cranberry Coconut or Sassy Mango Masala. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 mangos
  • 1/2 cup of pure lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon raw almond butter
  • 3-4 ice cubes 


Directions: 
Blend until smooth. Add a handful crushed, raw peanuts and enjoy! Serve as a summer appetizer or delicious dessert.

Bonus Beauty Tip: Save some of the pulp and skin from the mango and create a DIY beauty mask for your next at-home spa night. Combine 1 tablespoon of the mango with 2 tablespoons of avocado and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix together until well combined. Apply to the face and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Gently rinse with warm water and enjoy the fresh tropical feeling! 


Looking for more Vegan recipes? Follow Margaret at her Vegan Share account @MBVeganShare and join her @itsnolasnacks every other Sunday for live Vegan cooking. If you try this recipe, be sure to tag us @itsnolasnacks so we can see all of your culinary creations.