The March Madness of Italy and Illinois

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I’m on the home stretch of 19 days of flying and living in Rockford, Illinois. This temporary home and work was preceded by 10 days off adventuring through Italy.

Hello Work Life. Living life near Chicago

Travel Fun and The Duomo. Florence, Italy

Besides the obvious of being located on another continent and conversing in a different languages, the cultural and daily aspects of life also contrast. In Italy, and all of Europe, walking is as normal as breathing. In Rockford, Illinois, sidewalks are basically non-existent, and it’s typical to ask the hotel driver to take the other stews and I across the intersection to Starbucks.

Walking through the canals of Venice somewhat lost


That brings me to another point. As Starbucks is creating the “Trenta,” a coffee cup that holds 31 ounces of liquid, while Europeans are quite content where the size of a cappuccino in there world is about 5 fluid ounces. And, if you order that standard cafe to go, it will arrive in something similar to a dixie cup. I usually do not drink coffee in the states because I don’t care for the caffeine crash and the coffee chemicals generally give me a tummy ache. I experienced nothing of the sort in Italy, and cappuccinos were more than once on the trip a highlight of my day. After returning from Italy, I’ve unsuccessfully tried to re-inact this morning experience. Coffee just doesn’t come in any less than 12 ounces and the flavor is horrid.

The Size of A Trenta And Your Stomach
Morning Cappuccino in Venice, Italy
Why do Americans automatically assume bigger is better?

Bigger is noted every time the girls and I go to various Rockford restaurants. One entree order is usually enough to feed a family of 4. Is that really necessary? This either creates a lot of waste or a lot of waist. I think we most often see the second, which is paired with the health challenges and complications of diabetes, heart attacks, and a lower quality of life.
Fast-food isn’t fast in Europe. The culture enjoys life. Italians enjoy their food, their wine, and their gelato. Life isn’t necessarily a slower place, but the culture savors the moments. Statistics have shown that the more often people eat on the go, in their cars, or distracted, the more likely they will be overweight.
Americans need to take note of our European friends. Walking won’t kill us. Trenta’s might. And slowdown! When was the last time you enjoyed a dinner with your family, sitting down without the TV on?

Traveling Nutrition Challenges or Creativity? You Choose!

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Traveling puts a new perspective on the day to day. Along with new sites, meeting new people, and maybe dealing with language and culture differences, one has to face different habits and practices when it comes to food and eating. Out of the entire month of March, I’ve spent all of 2 nights at my apartment (I just cringe when I think of that fact and my LA rent…ughhh). But, the lack of time in LA, has lent itself to the adventures of 10 days in Italy, and I’m currently finishing up a 19 day work assignment in Rockford/Chicago, Illinois.

When it comes to your nutrition, living out of a hotel, hostel, or spending an entire day on an airplane or wandering airports, creates either challenges or lends a hand to a creativity, depending on how you want to look at it. Sometimes healthy options are not readily available, and you are forced to make the best choice that you can, or you must give yourself full permission to embrace the experience.When you are constantly on the go, it’s hard to plan ahead with your meals, but there are some simple things that you can do, that will save you time, money, and the headache of finding yourself starving, and nothing available to eat.

Here are some tips for when you are on-the-go:

  • Pack raw almonds in your carry-on bag. Protein and healthy fats keep you satisfied.
  • LaraBars are awesome; easy to pack, all raw, and contain lots of fiber.
  • Drink water! It’s soooo easy to let yourself get dehydrated when traveling. Take an empty Klean Kanteen with you through security and fill it up on the other side. You save money and help reduce environmental impact.
  • Eat as balanced as possible when you are traveling. You feel more jet lagged and tired when you are just grabbing candy and sweets.
  • And probably the best tip, and I’m serious when I say this because I’ve learned from experience; Tortillas are awesome to have in your bag when you travel! It’s so much better than the Kraft packaged snacks that Southwest dishes out or the snack packs that you pay a pretty penny for. Take Justin’s individually packaged Nut Butter’s with you or individually packaged hummus, or of course, I just eat tortillas straight. When you leave for the airport, take your tortillas out of the freezer, and when you eventually reach your destination, just put them back in the fridge…that’s if there are any left after that 10 hour flight:)

Tortillas took a trip to Whistler, B.C.

Best Mountain Snack EVER!

Make Burritos For Lunch!

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Ethnic foods are gaining in popularity. The Hispanic population is growing faster than the overall population in the United States, and due to this, Latin foods are becoming more popular among consumers. The Hispanic population encompasses 15 percent of the total population in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow to 30 percent by 2050. Sales of Hispanic foods are at 7 billion dollars annually, and expected to rise to 12 billion by 2014.

Until recently, ethnic foods in the natural marketplace were hard to find, but since 1990 the ethnic purchasing power has more than doubled. This generation is the most diverse in American history, and with that diversity comes an opportunity for unique, tasty, and healthy products.

What’s so cool about being in the tortilla business is that we don’t have to educate people on what a tortilla is; everyone knows. I think the surprise comes when people realize that a whole wheat tortilla can actually taste good. One of our biggest compliments is when one of our Hispanic friends or customers say, “I grew up on grandma’s or mom’s homemade tortillas and these [Created Whole Tortillas] are GOOD!”

We are really blessed to be entering the market at this time, with such an exceptional product. The opportunities ahead of us are limitless.

Make burritos for lunch!

information and facts taken from the following articles:
Ethnic Cuisine Heats up Naturals Market
Hispanic Foods Heat up the Market

Catch The 96

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Did you know that it takes Safeway just one week to do as much business as Whole Foods does in 30 days, or what Wal-Mart does in 60 seconds? Often, when talking with people about our tortilla company, there eyes light up, and they’ll say, “You know what you should do? You need to get into Whole Foods!” This is a little humorous, because they will make the statement with the conviction that the idea has never surfaced ever before.

We have a healthy product, that has a niche in Whole Foods or Trader Joes, but our tortilla is also for those that have never stepped foot into a Whole Foods Market. There is a thriving industry outside of the growing 108 billion dollar organic and health market. 96 percent are currently not buying natural, organic, or healthy products. Now the question is, why spend all the energy and effort marketing to 4 percent when there is a huge potential of people outside of that need to be reached?

These people that fall into that 96 percent may not be engaged in the natural or organic markets, not because of disinterest, but because of mis-information, cost, convenience, or dare we say, taste? We are firm believers that healthy products don’t have to taste like health (i.e. cardboard tortillas or tasteless entrees). What’s great is our tortillas can fit into both the health food markets and the mainstream markets, and the plus side is, we don’t have to educate people on what a tortilla is, because everyone has heard of a tortilla.

Zappos has created a thriving business of selling shoes, along with other items, online. Shoes, historically, are a product that people want to try-on, but Zappos has skirted that issue through free returns, great customer service, and their tag line of “selling happiness.” Some companies are capable of telling consumers what they need, for example, take Apple. No one knew they needed an iPad until Apple told them, and iPod is now synonymous with MP3 player. These companies have not followed the historical way of business, but have created a better way that works. This is something to admire.

An idea for us is to heavily market Created Whole tortillas through our online store. When you think of where to buy whole wheat tortillas, the first place probably is not cyberspace, but why not? It’s convenient, cuts out costs that the consumer won’t have to pay for, and at this point gives us more of a direct relationship with our customers. We hope to be the Zappos of online tortilla sales while developing devoted followers like Apple.

Check out these interesting articles:

The Future of Wellness: Lessons From The 96 Percent
A World of Consumers Exists Beyond Whole Foods Market

Order your tortillas online at

Tortilla Development

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These days, there are a lot of things in the works for us. For Created Whole, it has been almost two years since our first production day, production that happened and for only a short while longer will happen at a small tortilleria, one that we don’t own. To finally have purchased our own tortilla equipment is a huge and exciting step for us.

We’ve only just begun the journey, and at this point, our business is undergoing many changes. What we started out thinking, believing, and focusing on, has adapted and changed. We’ve tested the market and we have a different plan in how and where to market than when we started. It in a sense feels like we are only now launching.

There’s interesting balance between feeling like Created Whole is not progressing and then questioning how we are going to be able to keep up. The growth of the company is insignificant in comparison to the growth that has been seen in our individual characters. God has been opening doors and events and situations have happened that only can be attributed to divine appointments.

To give a brief update on some areas we are working on right now is the manufacturing side of things, where a lot of work has to be done in setting up the factory. Working out supply and distribution. And the major area of focus is marketing. We are focusing on creating a better website, one that looks professional, credible, is easy to navigate, and has an awesome store front. We plan on relying heavily on online orders. You can see the website we have right now at We are also putting together press kits and marketing plans to get our name out there. And, we are looking for people with talents and skills that can be utilized in this growth stage of the company and that would be willing to donate their time and strengths on a volunteer basis. If you want to be part of the growth, let us know. Email