Today, I am excited to welcome Junaid Kalmadi as my guest! Junaid is the founder & CEO of Farmers Juice, which delivers organic cold-pressed juices and wellness shots, including keto-friendly options, at nearly half the cost of a juice shop. The juice stays fresh for thirty days, using an innovative technology called HPP.
Farmers Juice has developed the world’s first keto-friendly and functional green juice line that includes adaptogens, antioxidants, and mushrooms to boost focus, calm, and athletic performance. Their mission is to make the highest quality cold-pressed juicing affordable, support the human rights of 2.4 million farmers in the US, and champion the next generation of farming with regenerative agriculture. Stay tuned today to hear about Junaid’s journey, and learn how to upgrade your diet by incorporating cold-pressed juices into your lifestyle.
“It’s not just about diet. It’s about your mental health.”
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- What motivated Junaid to jump into the entrepreneurial space and get to where he is today.
- How the Standard American Diet (“SAD”) impacted Junaid’s mental, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing.
- How Junaid managed to overcome his unhealthy lifestyle habits and improve his mental health when he was in college.
- Why you should care about soil.
- Why Junaid focuses on supporting the farmers.
- What you need to be looking for when purchasing a good quality cold-pressed juice.
- What cold-pressing does to fruit and vegetables.
- How you can prevent food waste in your home.
- The daily rituals that Junaid recommends for grounding yourself and helping you to evolve as an individual.
- What prompted Junaid to create a line specifically for carb and keto-conscious individuals.
- How to home-blend a delicious and nutritious smoothie.
Connect with Junaid Kalmadi
On his website
Get five dollars off your juice HERE! Use the coupon code CYNTHIA at checkout.
Connect with Cynthia Thurlow
- Follow on Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn
- Check out Cynthia’s website
- Check Out Dry Farm Wines: www.dryfarmwines.com/cynthiathurlow
About Everyday Wellness Podcast
Welcome to the Everyday Wellness podcast with Cynthia Thurlow! Cynthia is a mom of 2 boys, wife, nurse practitioner, and intermittent fasting and nutrition expert. She has over 20 years experience in emergency medicine and cardiology, but pivoted to focus on food as medicine. She loves to share science-backed practical information to improve your overall well being and is grateful to be interviewing leaders in the health and wellness field. Her goal with Everyday Wellness is to help her listeners make simple changes to their everyday lives that will result in improved overall wellness and long term health.
Presenter: This is Everyday Wellness, a podcast dedicated to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals, and provide practical strategies that you can use in your real life. And now, here’s your host, Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Thurlow.
Cynthia: Today, we are joined by Junaid Kalmadi. He is the founder of Farmers Juice, a company that delivers organic cold-pressed juices and wellness shots including keto friendly options and nearly half the cost than a juice shop that stays fresh for 30 days using an innovative technology called HPP. Welcome, Junaid. I’m so excited to have you. I’ve been loving your juices. How are you?
Junaid: I’m so good, Cynthia. It’s great to be here. I’ve been a fan of the show. So, excited to talk juice and life.
Cynthia: Well, one of the things that I really appreciate and value is each one of our journeys that have gotten us to where we are today. Tell me how you evolved from being an undergrad, getting out to get your first job, and then deciding to jump into the entrepreneurial space, which is scary for anyone to do. What was the impetus? I was listening to you on other podcasts giving your story but for the benefit of the listeners, what is about your impetus to jump into the entrepreneurial space that really has gotten you where you are today?
Junaid: That’s a good question. It’s a personal story. I am 30 years old today and–
Cynthia: Oh, happy birthday.
Junaid: [laughs] Thank you so much. When I actually came into college, was raised by a wonderful Indian mother. She gave me some of the highest quality love and she poured that love into her meals every day. I grew up pretty healthy, but when I came into college, I got into the standard American diet, and I began to just have a lot of dietary stress that I didn’t identify acutely at the time, but it caused me to have a lot of anxiety, a lot of depression. Because of that, my cognitive performance went down, came into college with a scholarship. By the time into senior year, I lost that scholarship, and I was at a point where I was going to 50 plus job interviews, and I couldn’t get a single offer. I had all these wonderful friends were making beautiful plans for their life, and I was sitting there in senior year, I was like, “You know what? If no one is going to hire me, I had to look in the metaphorical mirror.” I was like, “I guess I have to hire myself.” So, that’s out of necessity to move forward in life that I had to start my first company, and they say that necessity is the mother of invention. It’s certainly true in at least my journey.
I started my first company and went through a lot of the typical, self-doubt, journeys, and a lot of the blood, sweat, and tears. Fast forward seven years into the journey in roughly 2016, 2017, I was at a point where I had a decent amount of “outer” material success and entrepreneur success. But speaking truthfully, my inner life was bankrupt. I had a low sense of psychological wellbeing, my inner peace was missing, I still suffered from the dietary stress that plagued me from college. I just came to a point where I was like, “I achieved the “American dream,” but where is my happiness? Where’s my wellbeing? Money does not equate happiness”
I realized that at the time– So, I did a radical experiment. I took six months off everything, and I just had the privilege to do that at the time, and I just focused on the simple question, what does it take to be a healthy happy human? Just what I began to do is just introduce a ton of really healthy habits. The first one was meditation. Second one was fasting. The third one was just fueling a lot of my relationships, it might be family, friends, healing a lot of relationships and just pouring everything would love, every single life department.
Over this period of time, I came across cold-pressed juicing. I was very skeptical because I’d only heard of juicing as cleanses or it’s just really high in sugar. But I would go to this juice shop, a local juice shop, in Austin at the time, and I would custom make my own cold-pressed juices and pay up roughly $10 to $15 per juice and they were very low carb and incredibly healthy. With each juice, I feel this rush of vitality and a jolt of energy. Actually, I was noticing my mental health, my emotional health, my physical health, everything was having this holistic vibrance come to life. I did this for four months straight, and I noticed by month four of daily juicing, it completely had my life go from black and white from the depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms to go to full vivid color. It always stuck with me that chapter. So, now, starting my– I was looking for what’s the next venture that I want to start, I thought about, what if I looked into cold-pressed juicing? It’s expensive and I wanted to make it affordable. Our juices are $5.99. Most juice companies are $10 to $15. So, that was the birth of the original idea of Farmers Juice.
What Farmers Juice, what we do is, we deliver nationwide organic cold-pressed juices and wellness shots at nearly half the cost of a typical juice shop. We’ve worked with an alliance of family farms in California, and by doing that, we use a lot of non-aesthetic produce or ugly produce that would have gone into the waste or had a low economic value for it. We use a lot of that non-aesthetic produce that there’s some initial data actually saying it has more antioxidant density in those produce items.
We also in addition to delivering these cold-pressed juices nationwide, we’ve partnered with Dave Asprey, who is one of our founding advisors to develop the world’s first line of ketogenic, cold-pressed juices, and wellness shots that are all functional. One of the green juices is called Focus Greens. It has matcha, cucumber, celery, mint, basil, ginger, turmeric. Another one is called lion’s mane. It’s called performance greens, and it has lion’s mane, which is an adaptogenic mushroom that’s just known in Chinese medicine to improve your brain’s vitality and your cognitive performance. So, we’ve developed this functional and Green Juice line. We’ve got total 10 juices, and we introduced two to three juices every single quarter.
The last step in terms of what we do is, most juice shops or who juice at home, it degrades within two days. As soon as you make it, it begins to have oxidation, and oxidation causes the juice to degrade. What we do is we use this innovative technology called HPP, which basically is a unique process with nothing artificial added. It’s sort of machinery, if you visualize a yellow school bus, and you put in a juice or shot into that school bus, and you introduce enough cold water and pressure, the juice bottle can go to the bottom of the ocean. With the physics and the chemistry of this with nothing artificial added, it keeps the nutrients intact and makes a juice that would have typically degraded in a day or two days last approximately 30 days. So, we’ve created this option– My first customer was myself and my close friends just to like, can you incorporate juicing into your lifestyle and upgrade your dietary basic needs by having a well-rounded lineup of veggies like a cucumber, basil, lemon, mint, turmeric, beets, a little bit of apple, we’re very sensitive in terms of the sugar, and a whole plethora of Mother Nature’s kitchen every single juice.
Cynthia: Well, what an incredible journey and how amazingly insightful that as a 20 something, you were really trying to get connected to your why and I feel like many people in middle age, which is where I am, struggle with that themselves. But you yourself are recognizing that you were maybe receiving some validation on the exterior of your success, but were really looking to the interior. It sounds like your mom is probably a lot like Italian mothers like my mom. Your mom probably really enjoyed cooking and might have instilled that in you.
So, let’s start from, you went off to college, you got introduced the standard American diet, and that impacted your mental health and your mental wellbeing. What was it about the foods that you were eating that you think really made a huge impact? I am a firm believer that it all starts with food, that our health really starts with the foods that we eat. It impacts our gut health, it impacts the neurotransmitters that we’re able to produce, the bulk of which are produced in our gut. So, what was it about the college experience? Was it the dining hall? I’m not sure where you went to college, but I feel the dining hall food is sometimes like the lowest level [laughs] that’s available to our students. Here we are, we send our kids off to college, and then they’re getting processed garbage, and then they’re supposed to aspire to greatness when they’re in their second stage of education.
Junaid: Yeah, definitely. That’s a great question. I went to a Big Ten school called Indiana University, Bloomington. From my understanding, most schools have a similar dietary staple. They give you a meal plan, so you have to prepay for this meal plan for the entire year or the next semester. The options that you get is what’s available through whatever the college provides. Yes, we did have salad option, but none of it was to my knowledge organic, and I would have thought that it would have [unintelligible [00:09:30]. But this was 2008, I doubt if many people knew what [unintelligible [00:09:34]. There wasn’t Whole Foods everywhere either. There is a plethora of the Burger Kings and a lot of the fast-food joints that are everywhere. They’re just everywhere on the campus. It becomes part of the culture that you don’t even think about it. Fitness is a part of it, but a lot of people just in college at least, when I was there at the time, there was a plethora of two unhealthy activities. The first one was unhealthy food. The second one was, I’m sure maybe you’re aware of, is the ADD and ADHD medications. Adderall and Ritalin are just– It’s everywhere in 2008, and I’ve heard it since I left, it’s still pretty prevalent talking to the 20-year-olds of today.
When basically, you take out anything that’s hurting your system, so anything that you’re taking like fast food or any kind of food, because you have to be very intuitive, and I know you stress that, to trust your own body’s inner intuition. Until you get to that point, you can go through an experimentation phase, but actually be diligent about getting to a point where you know what works for you. By taking out what didn’t work for me, by taking out all the unhealthy stuff like the typical fast food or a lot of the pasta’s that you don’t know where it’s coming from, and adding a lot of the positive things like just having a daily smoothie, having a lot of just really high-quality meats, if you do choose to have meats, having really high-quality seafood. For me, a lot of it has been– It’s not just about diet. It’s about your mental health. For me, meditation, fasting is one of the most profound ways, just fasting alone. If you fast for 16 to 18 hours and you, do it responsibly with a medical professional if needed, but if not, you can really trust a lot of thoughtful resources like yourself. Especially when it comes to women and fasting, that’s just you have to be careful with multiple different factors, especially, if you’ve never done it before.
I think with the combination of just diet, fasting, you can turn around your foundational level to upgrade it. We don’t say juicing is a replacement for daily salads or smoothies. We think that in general, the soil, most people are unaware of soil’s depletion in its relationship to your daily health. If you take a step back to talking about soil, most people think of soil as just dirt. But what I would say is, why should we even care about soil is, soil is actually the living skin of the earth. It gives our plants the nutrients that it needs to grow, and plants are food and fuel for our bodies as well as for the animals, if we choose to have an [unintelligible [00:12:09] diet and go that route. So, it’s an important national foundation that supports life on Earth, soil is. By the year 2060, about 95% of our entire food production is going to be coming from soil. The Rodale Institute, its nonprofit, they were one of the pioneers of organic agricultural research. They had a researcher and she said it so beautifully. She said, “In every handful of healthy soil, there’s more organisms that have ever lived in the entire history of planet Earth.” Just in every handful of soil, more organisms that have ever lived in the entire history of Earth.
The key principle that Dr. Mark Hyman and Michael Pollan really emphasize over and over again is that you’re not just what you eat. You’re not just the food that’s in your fridge or in the grocery store. You’re what your food eats. If you go to a standard American diet, and you see a lot of the fast-food burgers or even generally burgers out there, a lot of the cows that we’re getting to be aware of now is massive factory farming. So, they have just really low-quality food. It’s real cruelty in terms of how they’re treated in terms of their environment. There’s a lot of emotional stress, dietary stress on them. If you have a really low-quality burger, you’re not going to feel good because the animal has been mistreated. You’re going to get that second order effect into your system.
The same principle, even though people are getting more knowledgeable about grass-fed meat, and having free-range chicken, or just having more consciously sourced meat, people are beginning to make that same connection with soil because your plants come from soil. Over the past 50 years, Dr. Mark Hyman, he said, the depletion of our soils causes our vegetables to have up to 50% less minerals and nutrients. There’s an overarching story of soil that we’ve gotten disconnected with but soil in general, because of its depletion, what I found is cold-pressed juicing is this nutritional insurance or this way to get your nutritional edge. In case, even though, you would regular with your smoothies, you’re regular with your salads, it’s a way to make sure that you fill in the gaps to make sure you’re supporting yourself and you’re doing the duty of caring to yourself and your family to make sure you get your nutritional edge. If you’re not there, it’s a great way to support your dietary and your emotional, mental, physical health by giving you this jolt of nutrients.
Each juice has roughly 1 pound to 1.5 pounds of produce. The produce items we use, we only use organic. We partner exclusively with family farms. The family farms that we partner with, they care about the soil the same way they care about their children. So, the quality of water that they give to the soil is the same quality of water that they give to their own children. That level of precision, certainty any food company, any juice company, any beverage company, you have to be mindful in terms of the sourcing because as an entrepreneur, I’m like, “Oh, well, I am responsible for influencing the health of thousands of people. I want to make sure I do my very best diligent effort and take this responsibility seriously.” So, the way we do that is by partnering with this network of family farms in California. That’s the little bit of the high level of why soil matters and why cold-pressed juicing matters.
If you take a step back even further, most people are not aware of why does organic or nonorganic matter–? Why is our soil depleted? The roots of industrial agriculture, it goes back to a German scientist whose name was Fritz Haber. He invented a process for making synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. His other big scientific breakthrough was the creation of poisons known as pesticides. Haber uses pesticides as the first chemical weapons in history in the gas chambers of the Holocaust. That’s what was the first use of pesticides, most people are not aware of that. Now, after the war efforts ended, they converted a lot of those sorts of pesticide-producing factories that were used for war into farming, because they had all this economic and supply chain potential. What fertilizers and pesticides allowed to do, they said, there’s any yield deficiencies, say, for example, you could have 100 crops produced, but because whatever disruptions with Mother Nature or the farmer didn’t do the right practices, you could produce 150 by adding pesticides. But the quality of those 150 in total now is a lot less, and it has these poisons in it. Instead of understanding and honoring the natural processes, you can just throw these chemicals in, and you can focus on the short-term advantages at the expense of the long-term gains for soil.
Modern agriculture is not designed for the betterment of the soil. What we emphasize, the reason why our company is called farmersjuice.com is that we focus on supporting the farmers because if we support the farmers, you support the soil, you support everyone’s daily health, you support the health of the planet as well because unhealthy soil releases carbon. So, it gets carbon into the atmosphere. Healthy soil captures carbon, and it can be one of our most undertapped allies in fighting climate change. For example, the number one crop in America right now is called field corn. It’s entirely sprayed by glyphosate and Roundup, which is a poisonous chemical. Every year for every American alive, there’s three pounds of toxic chemicals that are sprayed into the food. There’s over 200 peer-reviewed studies that now correlate the spraying of these chemicals to effects like ADD. We talked Adderall, the connection, maybe, some link to the soil. There’s been juries that have given out in terms of lawsuits against these chemical companies. For example, Monsanto got hit by $2 billion fine for a couple that got cancer by using glyphosate. There’s thousands of other lawsuits right now.
So, what we urge, even if you’re not thinking about checking out Farmers Juice, just be mindful in terms of where you’re supporting your local farms, going to a farmers’ market if you have the option do that or making the political civic action, buying organic at your grocery store and understanding nonorganic, even though, it looks the same, there’s subtleties, nuances that even a microscope can’t catch. So, that’s what we advocate, is just beyond juices, can you be a champion of the soil, champion of the farmers, and for the future of the planet?
Cynthia: I think it’s really important to bring greater awareness. I think the average person much to your point probably doesn’t think a lot about soil. They very likely don’t recognize that even organic farming that was done when my grandparents were younger, our soils are so depleted now from micronutrients including magnesium– I’m always talking about magnesium as one example but between the magnesium-depleted soils and then also the amount of stress, we’ve had this ever– seems like it’s ongoing pandemic, there’s just a lot more stress. People are losing these micronutrients just through day-to-day existence, and how very, very important, I always say, you buy the best quality food you can afford. If it comes down to having to make differentiations when you’re in the farmers market or the grocery store between organic versus nonorganic, Environmental Working Group is a great resource. The Clean 15, the Dirty Dozen really helping to fine tune if you have to economically make some decisions.
You also touched on livestock and how important it is. How the food our food eats is really important and I always bring up the example of the Skittles truck. I wrote an eBook a couple years ago with primal man talking about the Skittles truck that It was overturned somewhere in the Midwest, and it was being brought to a feedlot. People say, “Oh, there’s no way that’s urban myth.” I said, “No, actually, it’s not.” It’s actually true that oftentimes, farmers who don’t have the ability to perhaps– They’re in a massive feedlot. The quantity of animals far exceeds the quality that I’m sure they probably ideally would like to feed their animals. Sometimes, animals that we eat are actually eating candy as a source of fattening them up prior to slaughter. So, I’m glad that you touched on the importance of ensuring we eat the highest quality meats, fruits, vegetables that our budgets can permit.
You talked a lot about pesticides, which I think for most of us, because we don’t see it, we assume that it’s not an issue. In fact, I have a whole board on Pinterest talking about Monsanto. It was saying Monsanto is, I’m sure derive from good intentions, but I know that it has really damaged a lot of smaller farms throughout the United States. I heard that there’s even some punitive things that go on if a seed from one farm that’s affiliated with Monsanto ends up in another farmer’s lot, even if it was a bird that picked up the seed, pooped somewhere else, and then, they’re being held accountable for that.
I love that you’re tying in the fact that these nutrient deficiencies contribute to mental health, it can contribute to some mental health issues. When we are interested in purchasing juice, what are the things that people need to be looking for? Now, I know that you’ve touched on a couple of things that are really important to me, and reminding people that if it’s a juice product, you want more vegetables than fruit. You want to be mindful of the amount of carbohydrates because we’re already a very carbohydrate-fixated culture and so more vegetables than fruit. I actually was stating before we got on our call, I was like I have some of my family’s favorites, which I definitely want to touch on, because what I like about your products is that your commitment to supporting local farms is huge. Your commitment to using organic sourced fruits and vegetables.
But I also love that there’s a little twist on some of the things like you have Ginger Immunity that my husband and my youngest son love that’s got ginger and its apple, lemon turmeric, cayenne pepper. So, it’s got a little bit of a kick. I love that you integrate adaptogens into some of the blends. So, I’d love for you to touch on, what are the things if someone is looking for a good quality cold-pressed juice? What do they need to be looking for? How can they educate themselves? Obviously, we’re going to link back to your products. I know there’s going to be some special offers, but what do people need to be looking for?
Junaid: Yeah, that’s such a good question. We have seven criteria for any juice that has to hit the bar for us. If you were to go and juice at home or juice anywhere, I would recommend this criteria. First one is, it has to be ideally organic for the points that we just touched based on. If possible, from family farms because that just ensures that’s going to be the highest quality produce as well as you’re just karmically doing the right thing in terms of the planet and the soil. The second thing is, I love that you touched base on that it’s affordable. If something is not affordable, you may just have it once and not have it continuously. The best positive upgrades to your system come with consistency. Affordability is a key aspect. Most juices cost anywhere between $10 to $15. That’s part of our mission to make juicing affordable, roughly half the cost of that. So, number two is affordability, because if it’s affordable, you’re going to do it more consistently. Number three is, it has to taste good, because that ties back to the principle of consistency. If it doesn’t taste good, you’ll have it once, twice, three times, but then you’re not going to consistently enjoy the process. You have to enjoy your healthy journey, or your driving journey, or if you’re in the healing part of your journey, it’s very important to make sure that you enjoy it. Great tasting is number three.
Number four is, if you’re sugar sensitive, or as most of us, want to be more carb conscious, just making sure that the carb content is under 9 to 11 grams of total carbs and the sugar is under 5 to 6 grams of sugar. Everyone has different sensitivity levels and how much they exercise. The more you exercise, obviously, you’re going to have a higher– You’re just going to burn more fuel, So, you can take a little bit more sugar. That’s number four, is just having it be low carb and keto friendly.
Number five is just making sure that there’s a well-balanced diversity of veggies, and herbs, and fruits. Because if you have too much of one ingredient, you’re not going to get the plethora of micronutrients and the five essential phytonutrients and have a well-balanced profile of nutrients going into your system. What you don’t want to do is just have the same juice over, and over, and over again every day. You want to have that diversity which really gives you the maximum on a health benefit.
The sixth one for us personally, if you have juice that’s great, but I designed all of our juices along with Dave for a functional purpose. For example, we have one of them called Green Athlete has maca root in it along with one to 1.5 pounds of organic veggies and herbs. Because you want to have a signal and a trigger to yourself. Say for example, you’re about to work out, you can have this juice green athlete and you go work out and you perform better. Then, you have this positive reward mechanism, and then, that can actually encourage a positive habit versus you have to exert all this extra willpower. For us, I tried to look for just having a functional purpose, be it Performance with lion’s mane for a deep work when you’re trying to sit down and get into a flow state. or if you’re right before workout.
The seventh one is, just being conscious and mindful about food waste. Most of the juice pulp– If you take a step back, what is cold-pressed juicing? Cold-pressed juicing basically, if there’s any vegetable, it has two foundational building blocks. The first one is the juice or the liquid. The second one is the pulp or the solid. So, what cold-pressed juicing does, it separates the liquid from the solid. The liquid, for example, for the cucumber, celery, and carrots, 70% to 95% of that vegetable is just liquid. But if you get 1 to 1.5 pounds of produce of that in your system, which is the equivalent of three to five plates of salad, you get that nutrient into your system, you’re going to have this jolt of energy, but you’re also going to– if you’re juicing at home or juicing at a juice shop, you’re going to have a lot of pulp that can be potentially wasted.
To really get a contextualization of why does food waste matter, in the United States, food waste is estimated anywhere between 30% to 40% of the entire food supply. That’s based on the United States government’s economic research. It’s like 31% of all retail consumer level, there’s 133 billion pounds or $161 billion worth of food that’s wasted every year. That’s a pretty consistent figure. So, you want to at least do your part at home by reusing the pulp, finding creative waste, either put it in your smoothie, but again, it degrades pretty quickly. So, you have to use it the same day. It’s a little bit of a work, but it can be done. Just asking your juice shop or asking a grocery store, “Hey, what do you do with the pulp?” Just being mindful about that because you don’t want to contribute to food waste. You want to do your part in being a positive actor.
Cynthia: Let’s take a little bit of a spin. What are some of the ways that that you are getting interested and involved in the food waste piece? Because I didn’t realize that it was that percentage, which is stifling. I know when I lived– I trained in Inner city, Baltimore, and I know that there were a lot of organizations that would donate, restaurants that, if they had a surplus of food, they would donate to homeless shelters. But what are some of the things that you think beyond, being mindful of the waste that’s created when you’re making juice? But what are some of the other ways that we can be cognizant and resourceful about food waste in our areas?
Junaid: Yeah, that’s such a good question. With food waste for us, what we’ve done is rely on our network of family farms. After every single juice, after we have juiced enough of them, we have all this pulp. A lot of pulp. What we do is, we drive out to the local California dairy farms, and we donate them to a lot of the cows.
Cynthia: Oh, a lot of happy cows. [laughs]
Junaid: There’s a lot of happy cows in the middle of California and they’re so excited. It’s really high quality, nutrient-dense food for them. We do that. We’re also starting a second initiative of partnering with farms around California and even beyond to donate the pulp to enrich the topsoil. If we can do that, we can really create the circle of life, the fact that we’re really enthusiastic about creating and we can either donate it or just do it at minimal cost, because if we can enrich the soil and actually get the produce from that soil back into the juice, that’s just a really virtuous loop that makes us super excited.
In general, to answer your question around, how do you be more mindful about food waste within your own home and you go your daily purchases, it starts with just awareness. Making sure that you’re purchasing just for what you think you’ll actually use and being mindful about that. It’s okay to get a little more and purchase more and make a mistake, that’s fine. But just having more conscious loops in your purchasing cycle, every week, or every month, or whatever frequency you buy groceries, it just starts with mindfulness really.
Cynthia: I think that’s such a good point. I have teenage boys and there’s not a lot of food waste in my house unless we create a meal-
Cynthia: -that’s a total bummer. But the joke is that we can’t make enough food. These teenage boys, their appetites are just unbelievable. But I think being really conscientious about your purchasing, really being diligent about meal planning, being aware of what your family likes, and I tell my kids all the time. I’ve been fortunate that my kids were getting vegetables from– First time they were eating real food. They like vegetables, they like some fruits, they’re generally tend to be very carnivore focused. They eat a lot of meat, but their bodies are growing, and so, that’s obviously something that is without question.
Now, I want to touch back on one of the things that I really appreciated at the beginning of our podcast discussion, was that you are creating rituals for yourself, the rituals that are part of your day or part of your day to day that have really grounded you and allowed you to evolve as an individual. Of course, I love that you talked about fasting, but meditation and things like that. So, do you feel your process kind of evolves? I feel for me, personally, when I left clinical medicine almost five years ago, one thing I became highly protective of was how I started my day. Because for many years, I was rounding in the hospital very early. Maybe, I got a workout in but my day was rushing from one thing to another. So, now, I’m in a position where I really like to savor specific parts of my day, and my morning ritual is really like the whole tone for how I start my day. How has that evolved for you?
I know that you are still very much a young man, but I would imagine you seem like lightyears ahead of many of us. It took me a whole lot longer to figure this all out. But the way I start my day is so critically important. Sounds like you probably start with fasting, maybe some meditation. What else is part of your day to day, the things that you absolutely positively need to fit in, in order to feel like you’re starting on the right foot?
Junaid: Yeah, that’s such a good question. For me, peace is the most important foundational asset. Inner peace. Whatever is weighing on you emotionally, mentally, to face that head on, be it fears, be it doubts, be it attention with relationships to really take the time to introspect and exercise humility to know what and what you don’t know, ask for support and help. I tend to be a very independent person, and I don’t ask for help. For me, I’m very open about my depression and my anxiety over the years. I love my therapist. I totally enjoy whenever I talk to him. It’s not this position of like, “Oh, self-awareness of weakness” or whatever. It’s, “Oh, wow, I want to give myself love and make sure that I don’t cause unnecessary suffering.” For me, I would recommend introspection, journaling, and thoughtfully doing that to just whatever gets you to that inner peace, because that is priceless. Nothing in the world– and that’s the spring of joy, so you can have happiness.
To introspect, what I would recommend is, you can do it from a place of stress and anxiety or you could do it from a place of unemotional bias where you have peace. You can go on a long hike, or you can go exercise, you can do it at the end of a fast which is probably one of the best times to do it. Or, after meditation or when you’re at a calmer state, you can make a better strategy. You can have a better clear lens of reflection. Because if you introspect when you’re stressed and you’re nervous and you have all these things, you may write something down or have an understanding and story tell your way into not a fully accurate picture. So, I’m very diligent about introspecting. I keep a mental diary. I’m like, “Oh, gosh. I hung up with my mom five minutes earlier, and I wasn’t too kind towards the end. I was just mindless about it.” I’ll send a note after and say, “Hey, Mom, I love you.” That makes my heart feel better. So, just little things about the day, like keeping a mental diary too, little things go a long way. [laughs] especially in human relationships.
Cynthia: Absolutely. Now, let’s pivot back because one of the things that I was really impressed by and I’m always very transparent with my listeners. You were very generous and had a very large container of juice, which we had taste testing, we were trying all sorts of things, but one of the things that I really appreciated beyond the fact that they were organic, and very thoughtfully thought out was that you have these lower carb options because especially for women, women of a certain age have to be a little bit more mindful of the carbohydrates they’re consuming, more from green leafy and less from starchy things. Was it a byproduct of being out in California where I feel so many people are a little more health conscious than they are on the East Coast or is that really a reflection of just the low carb movement? What got you to a place where you were positioning yourself where you were going to create a line that was specific to carb-conscious, keto-conscious endeavors.
Junaid: Yeah, that’s such a good question. Personally, I used to weigh roughly 40 pounds more than I do right now, and when I started doing intermittent fasting, and just being low carb, I got into ketosis for a year, and I lost quite a bit of weight there. But just having a low carb lifestyle for me personally– because when I enjoy food, I like to enjoy food. I don’t like to be feeling guilty about things after I eat them and have — Food should be joy. It shouldn’t be torture after you eat something. For me, just having a generally low carb lifestyle is just how I like to operate. But in addition to that, there’s roughly, I believe, 125 million Americans that are diabetic or prediabetic, and most people may not even know that. So, the general baseline is most people have– And also, there’s 240 million people that are near obese or obese in America. Those are a large volume people. So, if we, as a company, want to create a juice– and most juice companies have 40 to 60 to 75 grams of sugar, can we make sure that it’s just 4 or 5 grams of sugar per bottle and it’s all coming from the veggies? That was the inspiration is my own personal story. But also, just looking at these past two statistics of people who are prediabetic or obese, can we be part of the solution versus being part of the problem.
There’s this interesting company, it’s called Levels. Levels is a continuous glucose monitor. It’s a tech company. What a CGM or continuous glucose monitor does is, it’s a little patch that measures your glucose that you put on your arm or your thigh, and it gives you almost real-time data. If you eat, for example, an orange or if you eat salmon, it gives you the real-time data. How did that affect your glucose and your different biological markers? So, there was really well known and taking off now. I reached out to their team and their team is a group of Stanford researchers and SpaceX engineers. So, they were very skeptical when I reached out and they’re like, “We’re going to do a test with your green juice that you put up with Dave Asprey with Naked Green Juice.” They did a side-by-side test. They saw that the Naked Juice, had a massive spike in terms of the glucose within 24 hours, but Farmers Juice did not have any spike. It was very, very minimal, very manageable, and it did not cause a significant outcome, a negative outcome there.
It’s important to acknowledge that because at least for us, most juice companies, you can promise health. But even with good intention, you can have high sugar content in there that have a harmful daily biological cost and even illness, if you’re prediabetic or obese. During COVID, no compromise diet with high sugar intake can make one pre-inflammatory and risks your body’s entire immune system. Yes, there is a pandemic, and yes, we have to be cautious, but we have to also acknowledge there’s two pandemics and the second one’s not being talked about. The existing pandemic is unhealthy lifestyles that have been going on with the standard American diet and just a lack of balance among your different health habits. If you have this vulnerable population that has a compromised immune system, and then you have COVID on top of it, that is the perfect storm we’ve gotten ourselves into. If we were less immune compromised as a society, one can only imagine, it’s not too far to think that if we were very incredibly healthy, y es, there would still be the losses and the medical system stress, but it wouldn’t be to the degree perhaps as we’re experiencing right now. This is coming from functional medicine doctors like Dr. Mark Hyman.
Cynthia: Well, you must be reading my tweets because lately it’s been about the real pandemic is metabolic inflexibility. I love that you touched on CGMs. I’ve been wearing my NutriSense Libre sensor for the last two months, and I’m very transparent, and always share that I’ve been very carnivoreish for the last two years and what I’ve come to find out is that I actually had to increase my healthy fats, go more moderate protein to keep my blood sugars really optimized, although I’m healthy, I fast, I get plenty of sleep, I manage my stress. I love that you went head-to-head with Naked which, not surprising, because I think the last time, I looked at a naked bottle, it had 30 or 40 grams of sugar in it. Absolutely, no surprise. But how neat that you were able to go head-to-head and be able to compare that information.
For those that are not familiar with what a CGM is, it’s a continuous glucose monitor, and one of the things that I’ve gotten very vocal about is that this technology should be available to everyone. Not just pre-diabetics or diabetics, it should be available to all metabolically healthy individuals so that you can see how your body reacts to stress, and nutrition, and sleep, and all of these things, and certainly your delicious juices.
But I have to tell you, I wanted to make sure I mentioned this, my two favorites were Athletic Aid, which has turmeric, ginger, and black pepper, and then, Focus Fuel, which has apple, fennel, lemongrass, which I love jalapeño and matcha. These really kind of cool flavor profiles that were really interesting, and hopefully, listeners will take advantage of the offers that you’re making. Before we wrap up today, is there anything else that you feel is important for people to understand if they’re purchasing juice, what do they need to be focused on? I know we touched on quality, making sure that– as I mention to people, most juices that you find in the grocery store, the vitality of the juice, the polyphenols, etc., have likely– in order to pasteurize them have likely killed off all the beneficial attributes. So, what are the things people really need to look for? If they’re not in a position where they can maybe invest $100 worth of juice, if they just want to pick up one locally, what would you suggest to them? What would be the top three things they should look for?
Junaid: Yeah, that’s a great question. What I recommend is to invest in Blendtec or Vitamix blender, and begin to make a smoothie combination of– If you have a base for juice, great, or you can just use water or something else, another liquid like almond milk or another nut milk that ideally, you’re making at home, but you can also buy it from somewhere else too. Then, you make sure 70% of that is a diverse base of greens. It could be dandelion greens, it could be celery, it could be cucumber. And then, also add herbs like basil mint. To top it off, ginger, turmeric would be fantastic. Then, you can focus on some of the higher end antioxidant berries, blueberries are amazing. In addition to that, I like to add a little bit of fruit. I like to do either one orange or one apple. One great hack is if you put apple cider vinegar in a smoothie, it actually is a natural preservative. So, if you blend it and you have enough for a couple of days, you can put it in a container and have it the next day. You can even stretch it and use the third day, but I typically like to have a 48-hour consumption cycle.
If you’re starting out and juices are too expensive– I’ve been having a daily smoothie almost every day for 12 years now since college. I like to have smoothies and juices because I like to make sure that I’m just at complete high cognitive performance for work and for my family relationships, for my friend relationships, for my relationship with my own self. So, if you want to get your nutritional edge, we recommend juices obviously, but if you’re starting out, I wouldn’t say choose juices first. I’d say choose a smoothie first.
Cynthia: Great. Well, thank you so much. Now, how can our listeners connect with you, how can they find you online? Let us know what’s the easiest way to do that.
Junaid: Yeah, so, if you go to farmersjuice.com/cynthia, you get $5 off with the coupon code, CYNTHIA, at checkout. We recommend to support this podcast and go to farmersjuice.com/cynthia which is spelled as people knows C-Y-N-T-H-I-A.
Cynthia: [laughs] Yes. Actually, one of the things that my friend, Ben Azadi, has encouraged me to do which I will do is, I’m going to do a whole sequence on monitoring my blood sugar with my CGM while doing a day of juice fasting, which is something that– I think it’s like a really fun way to change up what you’re doing. I do one 24-hour fast every week already, but I think it might be a fun variation. I think everyone gets a little bored. So, you have to try different things. But I’ve been really happy, my kids have been happy. The thing that makes me laugh, my 13-year-old particularly likes the Ginger Immunity, and he’ll just go in and steal one, and of course, because he’s 13 and his metabolisms like a hummingbird and he swims, he can eat or consume anything he wants. But even my football player, the one who’s the doubter, has been enjoying the juices as well. So, thank you again for your generosity and we will put all the information in the show notes.
Junaid: Fantastic. It’s great to be here. I’m so happy we can serve the health of you, Cynthia, and your family.
Presenter: Thanks for listening to Everyday Wellness. If you loved this episode, please leave us a rating, and review, subscribe, and remember, tell a friend. If you want to connect with us online, visit the link in the show notes.