Our Health Journey
WHY HEALTH FOOD IS OUR PASSION:
JAKE’S HEALTH AWAKENING:
Hi! Jake typing here. I had always been into extreme sports from wakeboarding, longboarding, snowboarding, BMX racing, and racing Snocross. Having constant, stable energy was a requirement for me to be able to perform. In my mid-20’s, I had a large health scare with reactive hypoglycemia. My blood sugar levels would drop (excess insulin), even 10 minutes into a walk, and I would have to immediately eat something or I’d faint. In fact, before I knew what was going on, I had fainted various times in public places. This eventually developed into insulin resistance (which is pre-type 2 diabetes). This caused great fear and restrictions and I felt like a prisoner to my body.
My doctor had initially misdiagnosed me, causing symptoms to worsen, which drove me deep into a season of research. Through my research, I decided to make large diet changes. I went all out! I began eating all whole foods, nothing processed, mostly low glycemic, nutrient dense, raw foods. I began sprouting, drinking green smoothies, growing wheatgrass, brewing kombucha and even grew my own garden. Overtime, through eating differently, I was able to reverse my diagnosis.
Through this health scare, I became a very selective grocery shopper; always reading ingredient labels carefully and only buying organic. I didn’t really eat protein bars because it was so hard to find ones with all pure ingredients. I usually would just take nuts and goji berries on the go; however getting enough protein on the run was a real struggle.
RACHEL’S HEALTH AWAKENING:
Hey! It’s Rachel. Collegiate distance runner gone bodybuilder, I went from eating whatever I wanted, to being entirely driven by macro nutrients (carbs, proteins, fats). As a runner, I had eaten a mostly processed foods diet consisting of a lot of cereal, sandwiches and chips. Transitioning to bodybuilding, I began to focus on eating primarily meat, potatoes and broccoli. I thought this new way of eating was “healthy” and to some extent it was, especially compared to what I had been eating, but I largely lacked variety and nutrient dense foods and was still consuming junk under the mask of “healthy”.
HOSPITALIZED IN THE MIDDLE MY 1ST SHOW PREP
While training for my first fitness competition, I began to have digestive issues with deep internal pain. A couple of hospital trips, an MRI and colonoscopy later, I discovered I had an adverse reaction to gluten and had become intolerant. I quickly went Gluten Free and this scare stirred me to become more educated in nutrition. Although I was learning a lot, my diet was still in great lack. Many of my grab-and-go snacks were still jammed with sugar alcohols, preservatives and GMO ingredients.
I was sponsored by a protein bar that I consumed on a daily basis, due to their “low carb”, high protein content. They eventually began to make me feel sick. I didn’t know it at that time, but the super high content of fortified fiber as well as the low quality whey protein in the bars were what were giving me constipation, bloating, gas and weight gain (excessive water retention). The fake sweeteners were giving me headaches and the gross aftertaste grew more and more obvious. I was slowly becoming more in-tune with my body! At this time, I then further began to question the food I was consuming.
TWO YEARS WITH NO PERIOD
In this same season, I had also gone two years without a period! My now mother-in-law recommended a naturopathic doctor. This doctor did EDS testing, testing how my body would reply to certain foods, nutrients, potential allergens and more. She went through each system in my body and red flags flashed as she went through my endocrine system (hormones).
She discovered my testosterone levels were way too high and that a sulfur deficiency was the culprit. She asked me if I had been focused on eating greens and had neglected other vegetables, to which I replied, “Yes”. She told me to add more onions and garlic into my diet. After a month of adding in these sulfur driven foods, my period came back and has been regular since.
THIS WAS THE POINT IN WHICH ALL THE DOTS BEGAN TO CONNECT FOR ME AND I REALIZED THAT WHAT I PUT INTO MY BODY IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. FOOD TRULY IS EITHER FUEL AND A MEDICINE OR A TOXIN.
RACHEL’S FINAL WAKE UP CALL
After all these personal experiences, I felt like I had finally woken up to how ill-informed I was about health. I cut out everything with fake sugars, most dairy (cheese, milk, whey protein), synthetic vitamins, preservatives, pre-workouts, fortified fibers and began to buy only organic fruits and veggies. Jake was ahead of the curve, as he had already made these changes! He had kindly been waiting for my “Ah-ha!” moment.
These changes had left us with a void however; we had no protein bar for our busy lifestyle. We searched every health food store and online looking for a bar with high protein, that was plant based, organic with NO fake anything. We wanted sugar content relatively low and TASTE to actually be good. We came up empty handed.
THIS LED US TO THE KITCHEN, IN 2014, WHERE WE CREATED A BAR TO MEET OUR NEEDS!
This was only the beginning of our health journey! June of 2017, Rachel, who has a personal training business, became Certified as a Holistic Nutritionist and Jake has the aspiration to someday become a naturopathic doctor.