My Way: Veronica Bosgraaf
My name is Veronica Bosgraaf and I run a company that makes certified organic raw fruit and nut bars called the Pure Bar. I was inspired to make the Pure Bar in my kitchen, when my 6 year old daughter declared herself a vegetarian. I was desperate to feed her correctly so I created a nutrition bar made with whole, simple, raw and organic ingredients that would meet her needs for protein, fiber, omega three fats and antioxidants. I started the company in 2006, and we are now sold nationwide at Whole Foods, Trader Joes and lots of other awesome retailers natural and conventional. Here are 4 days in life of me, a mom, a business owner, and a lover of all things Pure!
My Way: Veronica
Wednesday - Today is my last day in Southern California (been here for a week often travel here to promote the Pure Bar at events and at retailers that carry our bar in Southern California.
I’m from Holland, Michigan where raw food restaurants don’t exist, so pretty much if I want raw food when I’m home (I always do), I have to make it mysel, which luckily I’m getting better at doing. But when I’m in Southern California, Costa Mesa to be exact, I can pamper myself by going to a raw food restaurant instead of having to prepare it myself. I always frequent one of my favorite restaurants called 118 degrees.
I decided to go to 118 degrees on my last day for dinner so I could relish every bite of raw goodness before my long trip back East. 118 describes itself as a restaurant dedicated to serving the finest "gourmet living cuisine". Everything is organic, no ingredients are ever heated to over 118 degrees (thus the name). Chef Jenny Ross who runs it has been preparing raw foods for 7 years in the LA area, and her unique and delicious raw food recipes have won her numerous acclimates and awards. I am always amazed at the incredible concoctions Jenny comes up with.
From Florentine Lasagna, to Sweet Corn Tamales, to Trio of Enchiladas all of which I’ve had the opportunity to savor, the menu is incredible and diverse. They also serve wonderful organic beers, wines, and freshly squeezed juices.
Oh it is all so delicious, much better than cooked food, much more flavorful, and much healthier. It’s a win-win-win situation! I had a fresh squeezed beet with lemon and kale juice, so yummy, and delighted in the “fried” avocado tostado and pesto stuffed mushroom. The food is served warm at the 118 degrees temperature so you still get the sensory benefit of eating warm food which always makes me feel cozy and comfy inside.
I have had the opportunity to take my meat loving, “cooked food only” colleagues to 118 degrees and although skeptical, they always end up loving it and giving it rave reviews. And now, interestingly I found out Jenny is partnering with Whole Foods in Southern California to create fabulous dishes for the raw food bars within the stores so you can get fast raw food. Yeah, lucky customers! Ugh. When will Holland, Michigan be so lucky?
Thursday - This was boring day of flying home (I’m leaving on a jet plane…) to Holland, Michigan, my beautiful and quaint little home town that I am always so excited to return to. My biggest hassle of course is finding food to eat that is healthy and raw when I’m traveling. Today I ended up eating a banana and luckily a grapefruit from my friend Chanelle’s tree that I had picked earlier that week. And then of course I had my Pure Bars, and enjoyed my current favorite one, the Cranberry Orange on the plane ride home. It was also super cool to work on my board presentation, and be online in flight. Ahh technology.
I’m super excited because we’ve been working long and hard on new packaging and a new website. Everything has launched, the new packaging is slowly making its way through the distributors and starting to show up on shelves, and I get to talk to the board about all of these exciting new aspects to the Pure Bar and the growth we continue to see. What a blessing.
Friday - Friday, Friday, everybody happy? I certainly am. Today I took the kids to my favorite organic blueberry farm, Pleasant Hill Farm. This farm is a little slice of heaven in a busy life.
The farm has acres upon acres of beautiful, fat, sweet, organic blueberries, as well as apple orchards, peach trees, and raspberry gardens, all untouched by harmful pesticides and herbicides, and surrounded by huge Michigan forests.
I love taking my children to places where they can connect with the earth and our food sources. They also understand where and how food is grown seasonally, and the benefit of organic produce. They pop plump little blueberry after blueberry into their mouths while breathing fresh air and interacting with creation. What an amazing experience.
The weather was nice, not too hot. We left with 12 pounds of organic blue blueberries…yay!
Saturday - Today there is not a cloud in the sky. I am going kayaking down the Pigeon River, all the way to Lake Michigan and then back again. It should be about a 5-6 hour trip depending on how much we want to play in the water. I am taking a couple Bell jars full of drinking water, apples, oranges, sprouted Ezekiel bread, almond butter and Pure Bars.
We launched at Hemlock Crossings. The water is exceptional high today which makes the current go faster. It will definitely be harder coming back up later in the day. Even though it is Saturday and there is a lot of activity, it was so peaceful and serene on the water. We barely saw any other people. The beginning of the trip was challenging as there were lots of bends in the fast moving river and the water level brought us close to many low hanging branches. The middle was a different kind of challenge as it was pretty windy on the open water of Pigeon Lake, but the Kayak is so easy to manage that it wasn’t bad at all. The smells on the river and then lake are remarkable. What I love most about kayaking is how you feel one with your boat, and therefore so close to the great outdoors. It's therapeutic to be on the water and physically engaged with nature.
I love the variety of kayaking in small rivers with lots of bends, and then moving to open water and onto Lake Michigan with 3 ft waves. There is no place I’d rather be right now than out in this beauty.
Another thing I love about kayaking is that it is a sport everyone can enjoy. Even Noah my seven year old can handle a kayak very well. I always see people of all sizes and shapes in kayaks out enjoying themselves. What other sport is so accessible to so many?
The ride was gorgeous. My life is full and I am a happy, happy girl. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a sliver of my life with you all. Blessings to everyone!
My name is Veronica and this is My Way