If You Want to Be Better in 2017, Don’t Start the Year Without These Two Things

As 2016 comes to a close, many of us are strategizing, planning and visualizing how we would like 2017 to unfold. More specifically, we are giving serious thought about what we want to accomplish, how we want to be better and what kind of impact we want to have on the world.

With this in mind, I have been blown away by two things over the past few weeks that I’d like to share with you. And in my view, these are two absolute must-listen and must-read pieces of information.

LEWIS HOWES’ INTERVIEW WITH JOHN ASSARAF

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My friend Lewis Howes has one of the most popular podcasts on the planet – The School of Greatness – and he has interviewed some incredibly accomplished and successful people, ranging from Tony Robbins to Scooter Braun to NFL great Ray Lewis.

Yet out of the 400+ podcasts he has done, it was his very recent one with John Assaraf that impacted me the most.

Not only was it one of the best podcasts that Lewis has done, but it was one of the most impactful podcasts that I have ever listened to. How good was it?

I cannot remember ever listening to a podcast multiple times and taking notes throughout the entire interview. Furthermore, I plan on replaying it at least once a month just for the reminders. Read more »


Why Sheryl O’Loughlin’s Killing It is Such an Important Read for Organic Food Entrepreneurs

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Serial entrepreneur Sheryl O’Loughlin has just come out with a phenomenal new book called Killing It: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Heart, and it should be at the top of the reading list for all founders of organic food companies, regardless of whether you’re in start-up mode or well on your way to generating $100 million in revenues.

Aside from the fact that Sheryl O’Loughlin has some serious street cred in the organic food industry – CEO of Clif Bar, Co-Founder of Plum Organics and now CEO of REBBL – and has plenty of experience to draw upon as an entrepreneur, this book focuses on the most important aspect of building a company that rarely gets discussed – the human element.

While strategy, branding, operations, and interfacing with customers are critical components of running a company, Sheryl has us look at the human emotions of being an entrepreneur and how it can be enthralling, debilitating and rewarding all at once.

Love, communication, support, honesty, presence, curiosity, self-reflection and radical self-acceptance must all be a part of the business journey. Yet, so many of us get caught up in the grind thinking that start-ups are nothing more than 16-hour days, rushing from to meeting to meeting, and pitching to investors. As a result, our health suffers and our companies do not thrive. Read more »


Living Tree Community Foods Lemon Olive Oil is The Best I Have Ever Had

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Over the past few years, I have developed a relationship with the founder of Living Tree Community Foods, Jesse Schwartz.

Jesse is the person who urged me to check out Organic Circle, an amazing organic kosher supermarket in Brooklyn, that I profiled last month in my Supermarket Spotlight column. Needless to say, I trust his judgment.

When he wanted to send me more samples of his products recently, he was pushing real hard for his almond butter.

I said to him, “Jesse, I am sure it is great, but I really can’t eat almond butter anymore. For some strange reason, I now have an allergic reaction to eating almonds. It is better that you send me your lemon olive oil because that’s what I really want to write about. It is the best olive oil that I have ever had.”

This is not hyperbole. It truly is the best organic olive oil that I’ve ever had.

And when you learn how this lemon olive oil is produced, you’ll understand the reason for my enthusiasm.

The olives and lemons are co-milled, which means that they are crushed at the same time. Hence, a single oil is extracted from the combination.

According to Living Tree Community Foods, most flavored olive oils are infused, with an extract being added. The process of co-milling, versus adding an extract afterward, results in a very different final product.

The olives are a Mission variety, which has been used in Europe for cooking and healing in Europe for thousands of years. Introduced in California a few hundred years ago, the Mission olive contains phenols that are not found in other varieties, particularly oleuropein aglycon, which has significant health benefits.

Not to be outdone, the organic Lisbon lemons are an heirloom variety that is richly flavored and deeply aromatic.

Yet, the story gets even more interesting.

The Mission olives are grown by family farmer Darro Greco on a 100% certified organic estate called the Berkeley Olive Grove.

Founded in 1913 by a group of professors from the University of California at Berkeley, the Berkeley Olive Grove brought experts in from Europe to create an olive grove that would sustain itself. The award-winning grove is located in Sacramento Valley, 150 miles from the town of Berkeley, and is situated in a unique geographical area at the western escarpment of Table Mountain. Water naturally percolates from an underground aquifer, and the trees are 100 years old and are dry farmed. Read more »


TIME SENSITIVE: Suja’s Limited Edition Midnight Tonic — Do What You Can to Get Them

suja-juice-midnight-tonic-product-review(To follow my day-to-day organic food adventures, please be sure to add me on Snapchat: maxorganic)

Last week, I got a mysterious shipment from Suja and it was six black bottles of juice with a note inside of it that said:

A Secret So Juicy We Had to Share

I found this to be very strange on several levels.

Normally, when the company sends me product, I get advance warning and I also know what they are shipping out to me. In this package, not only did I have no idea that it was coming, but I had no idea what these juices were when I opened the box. You couldn’t read the label while the bottle was full of juice.  Read more »


The Benefits of Collagen Peptides for Hair, Skin and Athletic Performance

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Very rarely do I write about supplements, but I came across one recently that I think is fantastic – Collagen Peptides from Vital Proteins.

And even though I have only been using it for a relatively short time, I am already noticing improvements in my hair, skin, and performance levels when working out.

First off, what is collagen and why does it help our body?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body and is found in our muscles, bones, skin, ligaments, blood vessel walls, and tendons. It comprises 30% of the protein in our overall body and 70% of the protein that makes up our skin. Collagen is essentially the “glue” that holds our body together.

Not surprisingly, as we get older, collagen production decreases. Poor dietary and lifestyle choices (processed foods, sugar, smoking, too much sun, chemical overload), stress, sickness and long-term strenuous exercise play a role in reduced levels in collagen as well.

So, if we think about collagen being that “glue” that holds our body together, we need to make sure that we are doing what we can to maintain collagen levels. When that “glue” weakens or decreases, we suffer from wrinkles, sagging skin, muscle soreness, and joint and muscle pain. Read more »