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Helen Jon loves Amazing Grass! And we want to share it with you.
We are doing an Instagram giveaway: one lucky winner will receive Helen Jon's beautiful Marina Stripe Swim Set and Jamie active wear -- along with the Amazing Grass Detoxifying Cleanse Kit (pictured above). The winner will be chosen Monday, May 1.
Enjoy our interview with the awesome Brandon Bert, one of Amazing Grass's founders. He shares with us delicious recipes, excellent healthy-living ideas, and thoughts on why he believes living the good life grows from the inside out.
We love your story! Organic, like your products.
Rewind to 2002: You and your great friend/co-worker, Todd, shared a passion for the outdoors and led active, healthy lifestyles. But your morning routines differed. Todd loved coffee; you consumed greens. You convinced Todd to switch his morning coffee for a specially-created green drink, and his increased energy level and better digestion made him a believer.
Amazing Grass founders, Brandon and Todd
And, as luck or kismet would have it, you had a plentiful supply of amazing wheat grass, barley grass and alfalfa, direct from your family’s farm in Kansas. Then, whamm-o, you took it from there. Amazing Grass was born. Great idea, great product, and great story of origin.
Q: Honest, simple, good-for-you. All of your products are from small family-farms, not factories. They are all 100% USDA organic, vegan, gluten free, Non GMO - and even kosher pareve. All great stuff. Tell us, how did you first get into eating this way, introducing greens in this form to your diet? Was there a seminal moment or “gateway-food?” that made you want to try this?
I was fortunate to grow up with a Grandfather who was a true pioneer in dehydrating green foods. As a young kid I had an endless supply of wheat grass, barley grass and alfalfa pellets. If you’ve ever had a rabbit or guinea pig, the pellets are of similar shape to their feed. I thought the pellets were kind of cool and remember bringing them around to show my friends. It didn’t take long before I was consuming them regularly and noticing that I felt better when I consumed them. I had more energy and I wasn’t getting sick when most of my friends were. In college they were the hangover cure. As I learned more about nutrition, I became convinced they made a difference in my health along with my friends and family who also consumed them, and I guess you could say that was when ‘I became a GrassHead.’
Q: Did you have to develop a taste for it? And do you find there’s a learning — or taste-bud “curve” — for people as they dip their toes into the world of wheat grass and other green super-food supplements?
Indeed, there is a taste progression for most people whose taste buds haven’t developed the appreciation for greens. To this day, I recommend first timers mix the powder into their favorite juice, milk or smoothie initially…really anything that will get them to consume regularly. I find that many people will actually begin to crave the taste after a few weeks and many find that all they need is water. At Amazing Grass one of our goals has always been to make these seriously healthy super foods taste delicious and many of our products taste great mixed only in water.
Q: You’re fifteen-plus years into Amazing Grass. That history might feel very long from some vantage points — and, at the same time, very new, with broad horizons ahead. What is your favorite piece of advice for entrepreneurs starting out?
The advice I would give young entrepreneurs are the three P’s: Passion, Perseverance and People. First, make sure whatever you are doing is something you are extremely passionate about. Anything that you spend 15 plus hours every day doing…you better enjoy it. Second, there will be many times where you’ll hit dead ends, you’re told “no,” you’re almost out of money, you feel like quitting. It takes a lot of patience and fortitude to continue. Lastly, make sure you have the right people on the bus. Realize what you don’t know -- and hire the best people who do know. You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t have the best people to match it, success is going to be elusive. Your team makes all the difference and you absolutely need positive, energetic and hard-working team members that believe in what you are doing and will walk through walls to help you achieve your goals.
Q: We love how your website suggests incorporating Amazing Grass into your daily routine: Drink, Bake, Snack.. or just Grab and Go. All of those options sound appealing. How would you direct a newbie to get started in the wild, wonderful world of Amazing Grass?
I would start with 2 of our products, our Protein SuperFood, which comes in 3 delicious flavors (vanilla, chocolate peanut butter or original) and mix the powder with your favorite milk or smoothie. The 20 grams of plant-based protein are great for both athletes in the bike lane along with moms in the car pool lane. It provides an easy way to start your day with a great shake that is satiating and can get you through until lunch. I would also recommend one of our Green SuperFoods. We have an entire line of flavor and function based blends depending on what you are looking for.
Q: We keep hearing about the importance of “Alkalizing” and keeping the body in balance. Can you help us understand this concept better, and let us know how we can pay attention to our diet to ensure we stay in the right Alkaline/Acidic levels?
Our bodies need to be in balance. The ideal balanced pH is slightly alkaline at around 7.4. Processed foods, meats, coffee, alcohol, stress, and even the environment can all lead to acidification. Your body always wants to be in balance so in an effort to maintain that balance, minerals like calcium and magnesium can be leached from your bones. If we get too acidic, it can lead to fat build-up to protect our organs — and then our metabolism slows down. When we consume alkaline foods, they help neutralize acids and help balance our pH. We notice faster metabolism and increased energy as a result. Greens are known to be alkalizing, but there are other great foods too. Some, like lemons, may be surprising because they are acidic in nature, but have an alkaline effect when we consume them. Here is a link from our website with some additional foods to look for: https://www.amazinggrass.com/explore/blog/ten-amazing-alkalizing-foods/
Q: A few of your products have caffeine — what is the difference between the caffeine we would find in these versus, say, a coffee brewed at home or a more “bells and whistles” coffee picked up from a favorite coffee shop?
Most people are familiar with coffee and how the caffeine in it makes them feel. The high acidity can hurt your stomach and too much can give you the jitters, anxiety and then a subsequent crash. Our Energy line of Green SuperFoods not only contains the greens that we’re known for, but also contains Yerba Mate and Matcha Green tea. Each serving contains about 85 mg of caffeine, which is similar to the caffeine content in a small cup of coffee. While mate will also increase your energy and awareness, it tends to have a more clarifying effect, and I find it is more mentally stimulating. It contains more amino acids than coffee, and I find it makes me feel much better compared to coffee.
Q: We would love to know more about a plant-based lifestyle. Do you have a “top-3 facts” or a distilled answer that might help summarize this complicated concept?
First and foremost, a plant based diet is great for your health. There have been countless studies and numerous documentaries detailing the benefits of leaning plant based with your diet. Many people are familiar with the documentary Forks Over Knives and if not, it is well worth watching. There is also plenty of research that shows that plant-based diets can help in reversing heart disease along with lowering risk for Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Plant based diets also make it easy to lose weight. Most fruits and veggies have only 10 to 50 calories per cup and if you are consuming these instead of fatty, sweet, processed and fast foods, you are going to lose weight…and I’m sure your readers will appreciate that as bikini season is fast upon us! It’s also good and essential for our environment. It takes 15 lbs of grain to produce 1 pound of beef and over 2000 gallons of water. Not to mention livestock and their byproducts account for half of all the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. If you haven’t seen Cowspiracy, it is also well worth watching.
Q: Your website is beautiful and packed full of information, (without being overwhelming, which is no easy task!) and gorgeous photographs. We love your Recipe Gallery. Do you have a favorite for Spring?
There are a ton of great smoothie recipes on our website, so I’ll give you a few other recipes that our family enjoys. I especially like the avocado soup and my kids absolutely love the chocolate protein pancakes. A great Spring and Summertime treat is our watermelon lime popsicles. Definitely a crowd pleaser.Q: Lastly, what exactly was in that green drink that your great friend and business partner crafted that made him believe enough and quit his day-job to make a business out of this?
Believe it or not, it was just wheat grass at the time. Once he got used to the taste, Todd experienced benefits first-hand that made him a believer. I think the capper might have been his dad, who was more than a little disappointed at first that his son was about to quit his job to start selling grass. A month later with his increased energy and suits that had to get taken in after he lost some weight, his Dad was fully on board — and so was Todd from that moment on.
We are so glad you did… Thank you, Brandon and Amazing Grass! Like Todd, we now totally get it and are believers -- or "Grass Heads," as you like to call your followers. We love how easy it is to incorporate our daily greens, fruits and veggies thanks to your 100% organic product line.
Don't you want a chance to win beautiful Helen Jon swimwear, Helen Jon activewear and an Amazing Grass Detoxifying Cleanse Kit?! Head on over to our Instagram page and Amazing Grass's for details on our Giveaway with Amazing Grass. Remember... summer is almost here! Winner will be announced May 1. Look amazing, feel amazing.