“At it’s core, it’s designed to taste, look and crunch just like real junk food. The dream is if junk food could be more nutritious let’s create it.” -Nick Desai
Nick Desai, CEO, Snack It Forward, maker of PeaTos is revolutionizing the billion dollar snack food industry because Americans demand better junk food.
Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King have a favorite snack. BBQ potato chips. Well, wait until they get a hold of PeaTos!
BOLD flavor without all the junk.
They must try Crunchy Curls PeaTos in Cheese!!
Turns out, Oprah and Gayle aren’t the only people who love snacking. 94% of Americans snack.
Ha. Who are these other 6%?
77% of Millenials say they can’t get through the day without snacking. Consumers have spoken.
“The goal was less junky junk food that’s still flavorful and fun.” -Nick Desai
Smart move as no one wants to stop snacking.
Instead, we want snack companies to create better junk food.
Nick Desai, CEO of PeaTos was inspired by the concept of “pea based salty snacks” during childhood visits to India…junk food style texture and BOLD flavors that are delicious, which makes it hard to believe it’s plant-based, non-GMO without any of the harmful chemicals, like the toxic Yellow #6 dye used in one of the most popular snacks, proven to be a toxic chemical that causes hyperactivity, anxiety and other problems. We say Amen to that.
PeaTos is already the fasting growing better junk food with repeat customers, because like I said, they’re delicious. If you’re going to stock your pantry with better junk food, PeaTos is a winner.
“We launched in the Produce section. Kroger launched nationally and has been an amazing partner. It’s become the fasting growing snack in the produce section and #2 selling snack in California in our category. You can also find them on Amazon.” -Nick Desai
PEAS JUMP TO THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Rich in protein and fiber
No known allergies
No synthetic colors
No artificial flavors
Reduces blood sugar
Improves digestive health
Peas are drought tolerant
Peas reduce the need for nitrogen
Ideal for crop rotation
Fertilize soil with rich nitrate growth
Prevent polluting runoff
Almost 800 new pea-related foods hit the shelves in 2018
Peas are packed with vitamins & minerals
Member of Plant-based Pulse foods, which include dry beans & lentils
Totally Vegan and Vegetarian
PeaTos are also lower in sodium, fat and calories, while retaining the yummy taste and texture of why we love crunchy snacks in the first place.
Snack It Forward is a better-for-you snacking company with a focus on plant-based snacks. The company has a portfolio of brands that includes World Peas and Sunkist Snacks.
The World Peas brand Peatos’ mission is to help mainstream America eat better by creating snacks that taste like “junk food,” but have more substance. Desai entered the food and consumer space in 2011 by leading the acquisition of Energy Club, a snack food manufacturer.
Before dedicating his career to the snack industry, Desai’s experience spans an extensive background of over 25 years of operations, private equity/investment banking and law. Desai has a JD/MBA from Loyola Marymount University, and was a UC Regents Scholar at the University of California, Irvine. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children.
1. What are the best words of advice you’ve received?
“Once you make the sale, shut up.” — My dad.
2.What are your goals for the next 12 months?
We are on a mission to eliminate the compromise that has become prevalent in snacking: do I eat tasty or do I eat better? World Peas Brand Peatos does that and allows fans to get the full “junk snack” taste experience while still being full of plant-based protein, fiber and cleaner ingredients. Like many junk snack brands, I want Peatos to become a household name and the go-to snack for kids. We were fortunate to have Kroger as our initial national launch partner. They understood right away that Peatos belongs in the produce section. Consumers are embracing us via social media telling us how much they love Peatos due to their great taste, broad appeal and better-for-you positioning.
3. What do you do to relax?
I like movies and yoga, but in all honesty, I don’t have much time for either these days.
4. What would you like to be your lasting legacy?
I want to build something that grows beyond any individual, like a lasting entity with brands that endures (which is exceedingly rare nowadays). What is today’s Oreo, M&M’S or Doritos? I want to build something that will take on a life of its own. Maybe my kids get involved, maybe they don’t, but at least there is something of value that is left behind and continues on. World Peas Brand Peatos is the snack that people have been waiting for. We dared to take on the big guy because we knew we were on to something. I want to be the man who helped the vast majority of Americans eat better, and not just the small percentage who is shopping in high-end natural channels.
5. What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1, Get a pilot’s license. 2, Watch my kids become adults and prosper. 3, Celebrate my 90th B-day!
6. What work would you have pursued if you had not been in the fruit and vegetable industry?
I am kind of following my dream here so this is really it, but I also do love the entertainment business.
7. What is the one truth you’ve learned about the fruit and vegetable industry?
This is true for any business, but Steve Jobs said it best: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” I would add: never give up.
Courtesy: Food Processing
The Rise of the Pea: How an Unassuming Legume Emerged as a Frontrunner in the Race to Replace Meat and Dairy
No one denies peas are nutritious. Whether they’re delicious—that’s debatable. But arguments over taste no longer matter because peas, specifically yellow peas, are being formulated into so many products, they’re unavoidable, and often invisible.
As a crop, the pea has risen and fallen in favor, but today everyone seems to agree that it checks the box against the biggest problems plaguing the Earth: climate, food and health.
From a sustainability standpoint, peas, in the legume family, do everything wheat, corn and soy don’t. They require less water, are drought tolerant, reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizers because they take nitrogen gas from the air and store it in their roots, and make an ideal candidate for crop rotation. Worried about GMO peas? They don’t exist outside the lab. Want to avoid allergens? You’re probably good there too; allergies are rare, another reason peas are leaving soy in their dust.
Mintel, the market research firm, reported that 757 new pea-related foods hit the shelves last year. That’s in addition to what’s already out there, including the most famous pea food, the Beyond burger. With one of the strongest first days of trading for an IPO in the last two decades, Beyond Meat is a prime example of our food system’s new priority: plant protein. Much of the 20 grams of protein in each burger comes from peas, but some comes from rice and mung bean. “One goal of this innovation is to diversify protein sources,” says Ethan Brown, the founder of Beyond Meat. “We believe it isn’t a desirable consumer proposition to have pea protein as the sole protein across our product platforms.” He’s right. Who wants to eat the same thing everyday?
Almost any doctor will posit that a plant-based diet is healthier than one high in animal protein. They would also agree that eating a plate of peas is better than eating processed foods made from fractions of peas. Nevertheless, “there is an assumption in food science that we’re going to break things into components. I guess it has become a part of our culture,” says Liz Carlisle, author of The Lentil Underground. Understanding that the food industry has started to utilize plants as source material for multiple components is key to understanding the pea’s newfound financial success.
Peas are easily broken down into building blocks of function: starch, fiber and protein. In China, home to many of the manufacturing plants that do this work, called fractionation, pea-protein isolate is widely thought of as the byproduct of the process. Pea starch is used to make noodles, and the leftover protein is shipped over to the US. McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams makes five non-dairy flavors starring micronized pea protein; Ripple Foods has sold 7 million gallons of its non-dairy milk made with Ripptein, a proprietary protein made from yellow peas; and Annie’s, one of the scant few utilizing organic peas, stashes it in its mac and cheese.
The United Nations named 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, which include peas, lentils, chickpeas and beans. That, says Tim McGreevy, CEO of USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, helped kick off a “paradigm shift towards plant-based foods” in the U.S. “Up until five years ago the majority of our product was exported,” says McGreevy. But now, the U.S. is getting on board with the rest of world, where highly adaptable pulses like peas, chickpeas and lentils are widely used across cultures.
The federal government is helping push the trend, as well. In the last two farm bills, the government authorized funding for the Pulse Crop Health Initiative, including almost $3 million in the last two years to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finance proposals that will accelerate our knowledge of peas.
However, these efforts pale in comparison to Canada, which has $115 million (about 153 million Canadian dollars based on current conversion rates) earmarked for research into plant protein and plant-based products. Canada is also luring investors out to build processing facilities closer to its pulse crops, which are more than double what’s planted in the US. Roquette, a French company, is spending $300 million (about 400 million Canadian dollars) on a pea-protein facility in Manitoba, and Verdient Foods, a pulse processing facility in Saskatchewan, largely invested in by married partners James Cameron, the film director, Suzy Amis Cameron, an environmental activist.
In addition, Canadian companies don’t have to deal with the constant threat of retaliatory tariffs from places like China. “All of US agriculture has been hugely affected by the tariffs,” says McGreevy. “We’ve been completely shut off of green and yellow peas, and the Canadians are taking full advantage of that.” Because the U.S. is no longer a reliable supplier, McGreevy reports that his Chinese counterparts are looking towards the Baltic region of Europe to fill the gap.
In any case, peas are likely here to stay. “I don’t see this as a trend that is going away as the world works towards meeting food demands globally,” says Ron Kehrig, deputy director of investments for the Saskatchewan ministry of trade.
It’s not only food manufacturers who see the beauty in peas. If science can make a more protein-packed legume, it could answer the looming question of how to feed our growing population. To that end, an international team is poised to release the entire genomic sequence of the pea, opening the tiny legume up for genetic studies. “It puts peas back where they belong,” says Rebecca McGee, a plant breeder with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, who worked on the project. “Of course, this comes from a pea breeder, so take it with a grain of salt.” McGee is currently working on a related initiative called “MP3,” which stands for “more protein, more peas, more profit.” The goal is to find the genetic nature of protein concentration, which could then be modified to make a more powerful pea.
We’re in a world that craves new and there’s a line of plants waiting quietly behind the pea for their 15 minutes. In Canada, Kehrig reports his farmers are testing fava beans and canola seeds. From Brown and his team at Beyond Meat, we may soon get sausages made from lupin beans, or camelina, mustard and sunflower seeds. The message is clear and there’s a not-too-distant future where our unsustainable reliance on animal protein is jettisoned for the almost limitless variety of our plant kingdom.
Do you love snacks? You’re not alone. Here’s why you eat more of them all day long.
The days of eating three large meals a day have gone the way of the butter churn.
Now, it’s all about grazing from morning to night, and often relying on foods traditionally thought of as snacks to power through a busy day, according to new analysis by the research firm NPD Group. Americans ate an estimated 386 billion ready-to-eat snack foods last year, up from 356.4 billion in 2011.
A granola bar, dried cranberries and yogurt are often a meal for Shamika Johnson of Akron, Ohio, who also has protein snacks and almonds to get her through her daily to-do list.
“I work. I’m busy. Sometimes, it’s easier to get snacks,” said the 27-year-old masseuse. “Half the time, I don’t have time to sit down for a meal. Combining a bunch of snacks gives me what I need nutritionally.”
Whether you like chocolate bars, pretzels and dried fruits or string cheese, beef jerky and candy, here are four trend takeaways to munch on:
No candy for lunch, but …
Snacks are increasingly becoming part of Americans meals. We’re not talking about crushed potato chips on top of a casserole or raisins tossed into a salad. Snacks are no longer just munchables for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up, but the building blocks of meals.
“There’s a changed definition of what a meal is,” said David Portalatin, NPD’s national food and beverage analyst. “Today, I might have a piece of fruit and trail mix and call that lunch. In the past, we would’ve thought of that as exclusively snacks.”
The blurred line between snacks and the traditional trio of breakfast, lunch and dinner impacts what Americans choose to munch on, too. He pointed to breakfast sandwiches eaten as snacks, despite the first word of the food’s name.
Nick Desai, CEO of Snack It Forward, visited the Livestream Studio at NOSH Live Winter 2018 to discuss his brand Peatos. Peatos is a peas and lentil-based snack that takes on the “junk-food” platform with a plant-based approach.
Desai discusses the mission of Peatos, distribution of the brand and how his childhood experiences influenced the approach to the plant-based snack.
PEATOS VARIETY PACK – GET ALL YOUR FLAVORS HERE!: All your favorites are here, Masala, Fiery Hot, Cheese and Chili Cheese. So Enjoy all of them without the guilt.
MADE FROM POWERFUL PLANT PROTEIN: Don’t let these words fool you, nutrient-dense pulses are here to take the snacking crown. We combine the strength of powerhouse pulses— like yellow peas, and lentils— with all the bold, flavors you want from a snack. (It’s just like “junk food,” except we tossed out all the junk.)
130 CALORIES, Low Sodium, 4g Protein and 3g of Fiber – GOOD FOR YOU SNACK FOOD : We put everything good into Peatos. Only 130 calories, low sodium. These SuperFoods (Plant Proteins) pack a nutritional punch: non-GMO, gluten free, and sustainably grown, in addition to delivering vitamins and minerals.
NON-GMO, GLUTEN-FREE, NO MSG, VEGETARIAN AND NOT FRIED We use the finest Non-GMO ingredients to create the base of our snack. We stay away from artificial, man-made colors like Red 40 and Yellow 6. We keep it real with bold colors that come right from natural sources, like vegetables, real cheese, and spices!
TOTALLY VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN Yes, you can eat this! For all you vegans out there, Masala and Fiery Hot are vegan and Chili Cheese and Classic Cheese are not vegan but they are vegetarian, we thought of all you snackers out there.
This hoodie to help you sleep is now on my list of Favorite Things for Your Health!
Insomnia is no longer something a few people suffer from. It’s now almost at 100% of Americans. All these electronic gadgets aren’t helping our case.
“People spend up to 10 hours a day on electronic devices, which directly impacts melatonin production and stimulates the fight-or-flight response system in the brain. – Jenn J. Allen
Our physical, psychological and emotional health are all linked to our sleeping habits.
University of California, Berkeley researchers recently found that insufficient sleep can amplify levels of anxiety up to 30 percent and, on the flip side, that a solid eight hours or so helps reduce stress.
“Deep sleep seems to be a natural anxiolytic (anxiety inhibitor), so long as we get it each and every night,” Mathew Walker, a senior author of the study and a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the university, said in the published report for the journal Nature Human Behaviour.
The study analyzed brain scans from 18 young adults and discovered that those who got a full night’s rest had a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure, as well as stable emotions when they woke.
According to National Sleep Foundation, most adults need 7 to 9 hours a night for the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 6 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Older adults (ages 65 and older)need 7-8 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual.
There can be underlying causes to insomnia that need to be addressed first because if a you simply take a sleeping pill, you’re masking the underlying cause.
The best way to uncover that is with cognitive behavioral therapy –a fancy name for talk therapy.
Then, you want to set the stage for a good night’s sleep or day if you’re napping.
This is where Glenn Paradise found the ideal solution.
When his wife (who he met in high school…awww) got sick, and was in the hospital for 7 weeks, Glenn was left home alone caring for kids, dog, house and couldn’t sleep worried about everything.
He was brought up to fix things instead of complain, so he ended up designing something that solved every frustration he had when he tried to get a good night’s sleep.
Of course, I tried it and I’m sold on it. It was also incredibly comfortable to wear while commuting. Loved it.
Glenn Paradise invented the dēp sleep hoodie out of a need.
“I wasn’t getting the quantity or quality of sleep necessary to consistently feel or perform at my best. I learned I wasn’t alone and that hundreds of millions of people around the world don’t sleep well. The DepSlepwear hoodie is our first product in a line of wear and gear purpose-built for deep sleep every night. No pills, elixirs or gimmicks required.” -Glenn Paradise
“I consider myself a problem-solving entrepreneur. It’s in my blood. When I was young, I was side-by-side with my father as he created several businesses that helped people learn faster, perform better, and enjoy their lives more. The gratification I felt from helping people during those early years inspired me to keep the good stuff coming in my professional career. The products and services I create are born from necessity and are designed to help people live more fulfilling personal and professional lives. I know and trust they work because I need and use them myself.” -Glenn Paradise
Other tips for a good night’s sleep include:
Do not exercise within 3 hours of bedtime
Turn off all electronic devices 2 hours before bedtime
Spend time outdoors preferably in sunlight in a natural setting during the day
Take a nourishing bath before bedtime
Maintain a regular sleep schedule where you go to sleep and rise at the same time
Take a break from work every 90 min.
Breathe deeply. Focus on nothing except breathing before bed
Prepare items for the next day to alleviate worries upon rising
If you are worried about something remind yourself worrying doesn’t help
Remind yourself everything will work better when you recharge your batteries
Give yourself permission to rest your mind, body and spirit
Remind yourself you get to help more people when you yourself are at your best
Avoid any alcohol 3 hours before bedtime
Do not eat too close to bedtime as your digestive track needs time to rest
As explored in this article on The Sleep Forum, temperature plays an important role in achieving quality sleep. If you’re not taking steps to control your body temperature throughout the night, your sleep will never be optimal.
6. WHOLE WHEAT PASTA – Add fresh veggies & diced chicken with tomato sauce; high protein dish that also releases tryptophan
7. YOGURT SPRINKLED WITH CEREAL – You get the calcium and the carb combo to help bring on the Z-z-z-z’s
A good night’s sleep also spurs creativity and improves your athletic performance the next day. It also curbs inflammation. Those that don’t get enough sleep have higher levels of inflammatory problems.
If you are STILL tossing and turning or watching the clock, make sure you are doing the following:
1. STOP SIPPING CAFFEINE AT 2 P.M. – Check labels. You may not be aware what you’re drinking contains caffeine.
2. DIM THE LIGHTS IN YOUR ROOM ONE HOUR BEFORE YOU TURN IN.
3. SOAK IN A WARM BATH TO UNWIND AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME, NOT RIGHT BEFORE BED.
4. CLOSE YOUR EYES FOR 10 MIN. AND GENTLY STRETCH BY PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR BREATHING.
5. THIS IS A MUST: MAKE SURE ALL YOUR GADGETS ARE TURNED OFF. PLACING THINGS ON VIBRATE DOES NOT COUNT AS OFF. THAT SOUND CAN STILL DISRUPT YOUR SLEEP.
6. MAKE SURE ALL CLUTTER IS REMOVED FROM YOUR BEDROOM.
HOPE THESE TIPS HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER ALL SUMMER. STAY HEALTHY, EVERYONE! 🙂
“I love giving gifts that improve people’s health and life. This hoodie falls into that category. When I wore it on my commute from New York City to Pennsylvania, I felt incredibly comfortable for the first time. Normally, when I travel the temperature tends to vary from hot one minute to freezing the next, especially in airplanes. The fabric of this hoodie maintains body temperature. No freezing or sweating. And I love that cocoon feeling. This is well designed.” -Maria Dorfner, CEO, NewsMD
Busy Mom Frustrated with Finding STEM Classes for Daughter Starts Online Learning Platform
Learning is always healthy, so today we’re excited to tell you about a new way to keep your brain cells sharp. Meet Amy Olivieri,President and CEO of TakeAClass. TakeAClass is an online resource to support academic, recreational, and professional class searches, payment processing, live stream technology, and Classalytics – an event management tool for instructors, schools, and organizations.
It seeks to revolutionize educational options for adults and children by providing access to local and online classes to anyone in the world.
Turns out, the Global E-Learning Market is expected to reach $325 Billion by 2025.
Welcome Amy. Tell me more about what prompted you to start TakeAClass?
AMY OLIVIERI: “As a busy mom and professional the last thing I have time for is to spend hours online searching for swim or piano classes for my daughter or a salsa dancing computer class for me. I discovered that when needing to take a class there was no online platform that immediately came to mind. So, I would have to search the internet or ask my friends and family for recommendations. So, I created TakeAClass!
Name is easy for everyone to remember. That’s a major plus right there.
AMY OLIVIERI: “Yes! And TakeAClass takes the drama out of the class search process, making it easy for consumers to find exactly what they want – including fitness, cooking, dance, computer, skydiving classes and thousands of other classes. The idea behind TakeAClass is to organize all the information needed to make an informed decision in one place. We allow consumers to search class listings for free.”
Who can use it?
AMY OLIVIERI: “Instructors, schools, and organizations will have the convenience of listing their classes, which will help increase their visibility and get more students with stunning profiles, photos, class descriptions and schedules.”
What if someone wants to teach cooking or how to knit or play basketball on the site, how does it work? Do they get paid?
We charge a 18% booking fee for every class purchased through our website. There is no monthly subscription. We don’t get paid unless a class is paid for.
AMY OLIVIERI: “Teachers are our class vendors. They get to set their own price for teaching and get paid weekly for all completed classes.”
Let’s say there’s a local kid’s cooking class in town or yoga class for adults and they want to fill those classes locally — can they utilize the site to fill classes?
AMY OLIVIERI: “Yes. Right now, we’re launching in Houston, Texas. But we will be available everywhere soon.”
Great. What about the person wanting to take the class? Do they pay?
“It’s free for consumers to search through our marketplace of classes. They simply search, find, and buy the class they wish to take.”
You also intend to utilize blockchain technology. Tell me about that.
AMY OLIVIERI: “We seek to take advantage of the exciting blockchain technology by offering global access to education while removing the barriers to pay for it by introducing our own cryptocurrency, which we hope will change the way payments are accepted for academic institutions.”
You were raised by a single mother who is now a retired nurse. Tell me what role your upbringing played in what you’re doing today.
AMY OLIVIERI: “My mother instilled in me at an early age that if I wanted to be successful I needed an education. So education was my first passion. She raised two children and worked multiple jobs. She was my first role model and gave me my work ethic. She taught me that I could pave my own path, which gave me the confidence to excel in my professions as an African-American woman in male dominated industries.”
What are some challenges you faced launching it and how did you overcome them?
AMY OLIVIERI: “My greatest challenge was finding trusted service providers who didn’t over promise and under deliver. It’s not easy to find the right team ofpeople who see your vision and are willing to move with that vision to make your idea a reality. And as a female founder of a tech company there are many obstacles you must overcome in this space. I have an amazing support infrastructure that helps me navigate around the challenges and stay focused.”
Part of that supportive infrastructure is from you forming a strategic partnership with KiwiTech, where we met.
AMY OLIVIERI: “Yes, we’re pleased to join hands with KiwiTech and view them as the ideal technology partner to help us launch our platform and take it to the next level.”
Explain to our readers what KiwiTech does.
AMY OLIVIERI: “KiwiTech, LLC, is a technology services provider that invests in tech startups. Most recently, they featured their first all Female Founders Demo Day in New York City. As part of the partnership, KiwiTech will provide exclusive technology development capabilities to TakeAClass.”
CEO of KiwiTech says:
“KiwiTech is excited to partner with TakeAClass,” says Rakesh Gupta, CEO of KiwiTech. “Their platform offers consumers fast access to academic and recreational local and online classes. Leveraging our deep domain expertise, we’re committed to helping TakeAClass achieve their mission.”
When do you launch?
AMY OLIVIERI: “We’re real excited to go live Monday, June 25, 2018.
How can be people sign up for a class or offer one on the site?
Thank you, Amy! Congratulations and continued success. You’re a great role model.
More About KiwiTech
KiwiTech provides end-to-end digital technology solutions across a wide range of industries, including publishing, healthcare, media & entertainment, education, financial services, energy and nonprofit & government.
KiwiTech has quickly gained recognition as an innovator by investing in numerous early-stage startups and partnering with large enterprises. Drawing on its deep expertise across mobile and web technologies, KiwiTech enables companies to create groundbreaking digital experiences. KiwiTech is based in Washington DC, with additional offices in New York and New Delhi.
ABC-TV is safe. Mark Cuban is safe. And so is Mr. Quiggly.
A start-up is a business or undertaking that has recently begun operation.
A Healthy Start-Up is one that has founders that make their mental, physical and spiritual health a priority. They know that if they are unhealthy, it infects the rest of their team and their company. The same is true if they are healthy. People emulate those they admire. If you’re a leader — you have the ability to influence others. Influence them towards daily healthy habits. Neglect your health. Neglect your company. Great leaders have already learned this valuable lesson.
Lead your team towards healthy habits. Build a healthy company.
Successful companies are built with a strong foundation. Think about it. If your own mind, body or spirit suffers, how can you possibly bring your best to team, employees, clients, customers, board or investors? The answer is you can not. Taking time to nourish those things daily is not selfish or time wasted, it’s actually selfless and time/energy gained to serve all the aforementioned best, as well as family and friends to bring life balance.
I believe Entrepreneurs need to think of their HEALTH as a BANK ACCOUNT.
Make deposits now.
Benefit later. Health is Your Greatest Wealth. Talk to any old rich person to confirm.
Here are 5 things you experience when working on a startup, which may affect health.
1. You will be excited. New start-up. Woo-hoo! I’ll work 24/7 on this!
2. You will get too busy to prepare meals. I’ll just order in a pizza. Again.
3. You will experience information overload and sit at a computer for hours on end.
4. You will get bummed out and not know why. (Refer back to #1, 2, 3)
5. You will get tired and have no time for family or friends.
REPEAT. WHAT GOOD IS IT WHEN YOU, THE FOUNDER, ARE NO LONGER AROUND TO REAP THE BENEFITS BECAUSE WHAT YOU’VE REALLY BUILT IS AN EARLY GRAVE. ALL 5 MAKE WITHDRAWALS IN YOUR ACCOUNT.
The good news is every day YOU get to decide which one you’ll do.
Your aim is to make DEPOSITS into what I call a HEALTHY START-UP ACCOUNT.
1. You will be excited.
You are running on adrenaline. Your dream team is in place. You have a great team in place. You have a vision. You’re executing on it. You’re making sales. You’re gaining traction. You’re meeting with potential investors. Exciting. So exciting you can’t sleep.
Tips to sleep: Create a dark area at room temperature (not too hot, not too cold) with a fan or quiet music (no gadgets!). Remember, you are excited and may be running off of adrenaline. But the same adrenaline will zap your energy and exhaust you if you don’t regulate your daily sleep. Set a regular time for turning in and try to get away from technology and relax your mind beforehand. Step outside, stretch, breathe.
SLEEP is a DEPOSIT. Repeat that with me. Sleep is a deposit into your Healthy Start-Up.
Here is expert advice from sleep specialists Dr. Kingman Strohl of University HospitalsCase Medical Center, Dr. Joe Golish of MetroHealth Medical Center, and Dr. Douglas Moul of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation:
Go to sleep an hour ahead of time. Same time. Every night.
Don’t just jump into bed — start your sleep ritual an hour or two ahead of time. And, this is crucial: Try to go to bed at the same time every single day. Discern what the best time for you is and go for that, consistently. Don’t tough your way through your sleepy hours and chance getting a second wind.
Avoid all stimulants.
• That means caffeine in any form (it’s OK to drink some in the morning, but not cup after cup after cup), watching TV, working out, doing anything online (the blue light given off by TV and computers have shown to be disruptive to the pre-sleep cycle), arguingwith a family member. Consciously cultivate peacefulness before bedtime. No alcohol before bedtime either (if you fall asleep, you’ll likely wake up again in a few hours).
• Let go of anxiety about going to sleep, and of worrisome thoughts. This isn’t easy, and it takes practice. “You can’t change the world,” Strohl says. “Remember that!” It’s okay to read an enjoyable, but not too stimulating book, which can take your mind off worries.
Lavender is surprisingly effective.
• Good sleep habits are imperative, says Strohl. It’s important to remember that everyone has insomnia at some point and hardly anyone falls asleep right away. We really shouldn’t, because it takes awhile for our bodies and brains to wind down. In fact, says Strohl, “If you are falling asleep within five minutes of your head hitting the pillow, then you are sleep-deprived.”
Cool, dark room with lavender mist.
Do things to create a supportive sleep environment: Make your room cool and dark, don’t have a TV or computer in it, spray a lavender mist on your pillow (it is supposed to be surprisingly effective for promoting drowsiness). If you still can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and read for a while in a chair or inanother room. When you get sleepy again, get back into bed. This way you won’t associate your bed with your inability to sleep.
What about herbs and supplements?
• Some people use melatonin, a dietary supplement available over the counter, to help them sleep. But be careful: the strength of it varies because the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements. Your doctor, however, can prescribe a melatoninlike drug (Rozerem orthegenericramelteon, a melatonin receptor) as an alternative. Some people say valerian, another herb, works for them, but doctors say studies have shown that might just be a placebo effect.
What about prescriptions?
• Try reconditioning your brain. If you are taking a prescription sleep aidand want to stop, start taking it with a glass of warm milk, Strohl says. Tell your brain the milk is making you sleepy. Then, after a week or two, just drink the milk. Your brain is highly suggestible, so this will work — you will establish the thought that milk is what makes you sleepy.
• If you decide to stop taking your prescription sleep medication, it’s best to do it on a weekend or when you have a couple of days off. You will toss and turn for a few nights, but, doctors say, your body will adjust. You have to be patient and give it a few days.
What about coffee during the day?
If you’re tired during the day as a result, beware of compensating with caffeine. As doctors point out, a regular cup of the coffee that we drink today (and it’s usually not a cup if you measure it out, but two or three) has twice as much caffeine as it used to. The same goes for energy drinks or caffeinated soft drinks. They will affect your ability to sleep.
I find it funny because I realize getting coffee away from people in Silicon Valley, NYC or any Urban Jungle is like getting shoes away from Imelda Marcos. Addictions to either (shoes or coffee) aren’t healthy. Period. One or two cups in the morning is fine, but most people crash mid-afternoon and reach for more.
It’s not going to be easy to stop drinking coffee if you’re addicted to it.
If it would completely stress you out to quit your coffee addiction right now, try taking breaks. Try white tea (15mg caffeine) vs. coffee (120 mg caffeine).
2. You will be too busy to eat right.
BREAKFAST, LUNCH and DINNER and spending time OUTDOORS are a DEPOSIT.
Remember when you wake up ready to go to work exclaiming you’re not hungry and just want coffee –that’s a withdrawal in a healthy company leader. That’s you. I’m a big fan of protein in the morning. Protein contains tyrosine, an amino acid that elevates the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine. It makes you feel full too, so you don’t overeat. Protein keeps your metabolism steady. Two eggs in the morning. Ten almonds and water or tea mid-morning before lunch rolls around prevents rollercoaster highs and lows. If you can be outside –the fresh air will do you good. Breathe in the fresh air. If you’re in NYC, unless you can see trees, disregard. Also, whenever you have a meeting –if you can have it outdoors . If you can walk and talk (I always say, “Let’s be like West Wing…”) –even better. All healthy deposits in you and your team. Relaxing together eating a healthy and leisurely meal is wonderful too.
3. You will be on information overload.
MEDITATION is a DEPOSIT.
Emails, Meetings, Conferences, Phone, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Trade Magazines, Trade Shows, etc. can drain you mentally. Take breaks. Once you do, you’ll take more of them because you’ll notice a positive difference in how you feel engaging in your real community instead of the on-line one.
Computers can be illusions. You won’t recognize when your inbox or online activity really looks like THIS. But you’ll feel it. Before computers, we could visually see when we were “swamped.” Now, it’s hidden. Ten thousand emails. Five are vital. Don’t sweat it. Set technical boundaries. Give yourself at least an hour each day when you are away from all electronic devices. The more, the better.
Whenever you stop to check in with the real you without devices —it re-energizes you. Just 3-minutes of meditating will make you more alert. I recommend doing so first thing in the morning when you wake and again at noon and 3 p.m. These mini-meditation breaks will energize you and keep you focused. Smile at and deep breathe. Breathe 10 seconds (count to 10 slowly) inhale and 10 seconds exhale.
Science and technology reporter, Daniel Sieberg wrote a book called, “The Digital Diet” I recommend. His 4-step plan to help you regain control, focus, and true connection in your life are as follows (but pick up the book for details):
Step 1//Re: Think:
Consider how technology has overwhelmed our society and the effect it’s had on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Step 2//Re: Boot:
Take stock of your digital intake using Sieberg’s Virtual Weight Index and step back from the device.
Step 3//Re: Connect:
Focus on restoring the relationships that have been harmed by the technology in your life.
Step 4//Re: Vitalize:
Learn how to live with technology—the healthy way, by optimizing your time spent e-mailing, texting, on Facebook, and web surfing in this book.
4. You will get bummed out. Meetings will get cancelled. Things may not move as quickly as you’d like. Frustrations at limited resources to compete will happen. You will get bummed out. That is why it’s so important for you to stay in top mental, physical and spiritual form. You will be able to overcome challenges when you are healthy.
On a daily basis, projects can pile on stress. Get up every 15 minutes and stretch or walk around. Exercise. Break it up into 15 minutes of activity if you can’t break away for longer. Walk. Run. Climb stairs. Breathe deeply. Repeat. Take breaks to get outside as often as you can during the day.
Be centered. Centered people do not react. When something happens outside of them –they can reflect on it. Anyone who reacts immediately in a highly emotional state isn’t centered. No good decision is ever made out of anger. Remember that. If you are going to run a company –your ability to remain calm and make good decisions is a must. It sounds odd, but you actually have to practice being calm. Test it out with family members. When someone says something that pushes your buttons –practice not reacting. Breathe. Observe. Don’t react. If you have to silently count to 100 inside. The situation may diffuse by the time you get to one hundred.
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. John F. Kennedy
5. You will get tired. – Start back at #1.
In summary, don’t be one of those founders that brags and boats about not getting any sleep or living on coffee. It sends the wrong message to your team. Be a healthy example. Surround yourself with a healthy team. Build a healthy company or companies.
Consider this advice (some is the same) from local CEOs, published in SMART CEO Magazine.
Meditate: You don’t have to be a monk,
but ﬁnd that one activity that can
always relax you to re-center your mind.
Make it a plan: Schedule your activities
like you would schedule a meeting –
and don’t skip it. Personal time is just
as important as business time.
events and nonproﬁ t organizations
provides a great opportunity for teambuilding and giving back.
Deﬁne your goals: What do you want to
accomplish? Deﬁ ne it, and chase after
it. You’ll be more likely to succeed if you
have a vision.
It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. Mohandas Gandhi
I recommend a copy of Mark Cuban’s book. In one day, the slim under-100-page book, titled “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It,” soared to the top of the bestseller charts at the big online book-buying sites, with particularly strong sales onAmazon, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.
Surround yourself with healthy, positive, can-do/will-do people. It makes a huge difference in execution, results, growth, success and being a healthy founder with a thriving, healthy company that values a balanced life and health as your greatest wealth.