It’s a bit deceiving, this vegan diet. You would think that someone who is vegan is indeed a healthy person. Well, like any unbalanced diet, you can be both vegan and unhealthy. In an ideal meal plan, a vegan’s diet should consist of mostly plant-based foods which include fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, grains, fermented foods, legumes, beans, etc. A junk food vegan is a vegan who consumes a high amount of processed foods which are essentially made in a science lab.  Moving on from that sad reality, let’s focus on what makes our mouths water and causes our sweet tooth to take the lead in our food decisions.    Here are my top 10 vegan junk foods that made me squeal for joy and forget all about my own home-made, self-loved muffin top: Thin Mints Oreos Smartfood Delight Sea Salt Air Popped Popcorn Sour Patch Kids Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch Lay’s Potato Chips Clif Bars Airheads Fritos Nabisco Triscuits Don’t be Fooled by Labels Although I joke around in this article, we all know just because a junk food is vegan, it does not mean that it is nutritious. Therefore, vegans wanting to improve their health should stick to minimally processed plant foods and limit their use of the following products: Vegan junk food: Vegan ice cream, candy, cookies, chips and sauces generally contain just as much added sugar and fat as their non-vegan counterparts.Plus, they contain almost no vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds.  Vegan sweeteners: Vegan or not, molasses, agave syrup, date syrup and maple syrup are still added sugars. Eating too much of them may increase your risk of developing medical issues such as heart disease and obesity. With obesity on the rise, don’t allow yourself to be a part of the issue. If we could take away one quote from Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, it would be “Take care of you”.  Mock meats and cheeses: These processed foods generally contain lots of additives. Additives equate to added health issues. They provide you with far fewer vitamins and minerals than whole, protein-rich plant-based foods like beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds. Some dairy-free milks: Sweetened dairy-free milks generally contain a good amount of added sugar. Opt for the unsweetened versions instead. Eventually, you will get used to the taste. Vegan protein bars: Most vegan protein bars contain high amounts of refined sugar. What’s more, they usually contain an isolated form of protein, which lacks the nutrients you’d find in the plant it was extracted from. That’s not great news – sorry for the being the bearer of bad news. ​But wait, there’s more…. Profit over Responsibility Nutritional content and marketing are two ways businesses are deceiving us and impacting society in an unhealthy way (pun intended). The nutritional content of food is an ethical issue. Companies are solely focused on profit over responsibility. Food developers are concentrated on ways to entice addictions by making foods convenient, less expensive, and extremely unhealthy. As we know, salt, sugars, and fats satisfy our physical cravings and create powerful food addictions.  This practice has had a profound effect on our public health. The next time you are at a public place, stop and look around. You will notice the increase in American obesity. The State of Obesity has published data that shows in some states, obesity has increased nearly 40% since 1990. Americans have nearly doubled in size.  So, who is to blame for the U.S. obesity epidemic? Is it the public for not taking good care of its health? Is it the government for not doing their job in regulating the food we consume? Or is it the food industry that sells us our food? I would dare to say, it is all of the above.  If we can not make the government do its job or change the way the food industry does business, then the responsibility lies solely on us, the consumers.  When food companies choose to be less responsible and increase sales without considering the long-term health impacts for their formulating and marketing decisions, it inevitably makes it much harder for the consumers to do the right thing. The good news is that this will not last forever.  One group leading the way for ingredient and brand integrity is the Council for Responsible Nutrition. CRN’s mission is to sustain and enhance a climate for our members to responsibly develop, manufacture and market dietary supplements, functional food and their nutritional ingredients. In a recent statement towards the FDA’s commitment to increased enforcement action, CRN applauded the FDA Commissioner for recognizing the maturity of the dietary supplement industry and the need for increased agency activity to promote consumer safety: "As the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) celebrates its silver anniversary, the time is right to dream of an even more vibrant future. CRN imagines that in the next twenty-five years, science-based nutritional products will become universally accepted and trusted as essential choices for consumers to achieve and maintain good health and wellness. The balance DSHEA achieved between preserving consumer access and assuring consumer safety, along with FDA’s appropriate regulatory oversight under DSHEA, have helped make the industry the robust market it is today. Through the commitment expressed today, FDA can make possible an even more vibrant industry tomorrow.” Eventually stakeholders will follow pursuit. We can only hope they will begin to demand and define the limits of responsibility for the companies rather than leaving it for the companies themselves.  We must begin to educate ourselves on what we eat. We need to stop asking, “where’s the beef?” and start asking ourselves, “what do our bodies need?”. (Answers are found all over Google.) But, when in doubt, remember the Vegan Golden Rule. Vegan Golden Rule If a product is loaded with salt, sugar, fat, and/or is derived from an animal – and lacks any notable nutritional value – abstain from eating it. If you are still in doubt, simply eat your vegetables and pop an Ahiflower pill for a superpower dose of your daily need for omega-3, 6, & 9.  Like everything in life, balance is the key. Sorry to break it to you, Junk Food Loving Vegans.    
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The Unhealthy Vegan
Have you noticed veganism in the mainstream media?  It seems that it is making its way throughout every industry on the planet and has come a long way once reserved for peace-loving hippies.  So, what exactly is veganism?  Well, simply put, it is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals.  A follower of the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan.  Interest in a totally animal-free diet is at an all-time high, with celebrities such as Woody Harrelson, Alicia Silverstone, and Beyoncé (just to name a few) using their influence to encourage others towards a vegan lifestyle.  Speaking of Alicia Silverstone, she is far from “Clueless” when it comes to veganism.  Silverstone runs an online community over at “The Kind Life”, based off of her book “The Kind Diet”.  Her focus is all about living your healthiest and happiest life to the fullest while taking care of mama earth at the same time.  Most vegans strongly agree with this statement.  There are a handful of topics that can stir up strong emotions and controversies in the average person.  Politics, religion, and food choices are at the top of this list.  Different diets seem to work and make sense to different people and everyone swears by what they are doing. As someone who is looking into veganism, there might be a few different vegan diets you’re not even aware of.  Allow me to break them down for you. Different Types of Vegan Diets Whole-food vegan diet: A diet based on a wide variety of whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Processed foods are not an option.  Simply put, stay away from anything in a package or in a box. Raw-food vegan diet: A vegan diet based on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, or plant foods that are to be eaten raw or cooked at temperatures below 118 degrees.  Vegans on this diet are motivated by health reasons and believe that raw and minimally heated foods are more nutritious than cooked ones. 80/10/10: The 80/10/10 is a raw-food vegan diet that relies on mainly raw fruit and soft greens & limits fat-rich plants such as nuts and avocados.  Also referred to as the low-fat, raw-food diet or fruitarian diet.  When considering this diet, you will want to make sure 80% of your calories come from carbs, 10% from protein and 10% from fats. The starch solution: A low-fat, high-carb vegan diet like the 80/10/10 but that focuses on cooked starches like potatoes, rice, beans and corn instead of fruit.  Raw till 4:  Raw foods are consumed until 4p.m. with the option of a cooked plant-based meal for dinner. Junk-food vegan diet: A vegan diet lacking in whole plant foods that relies heavily on mock meats and cheeses, fries, vegan desserts and other heavily processed vegan foods. Who knew there were multiple ways to be vegan and that “Junk Food Vegan” was a real diet trend?!  (Sign me up!  Ok, ok.  I’m just kidding.  Kind of.)    Let’s break this down a little further.  What do vegans eat exactly?  9 Foods to Embrace on the Vegan Diet Fruits and vegetables: adopting a vegan diet gives you an opportunity to branch out beyond your old standbys.  Did you know bok choy, watercress, kale, and mustard greens contain high concentrations of iron and calcium?  We normally intake these nutrients through eating milk and dairy.  One can also try using fruits and vegetables in new ways, for instance, jackfruit tacos or stewed carrot “pulled pork”.  Nuts and nut butter: From almonds to macadamias to walnuts and beyond!  If you stay away from the overly processed, sugar-laden varieties, nut butters can be just as nutritious as nuts themselves.  Depending on the nuts, they can deliver iron, fiber, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and/or vitamin E. Legumes: Beans and lentils and peas, oh my!  To meet your body’s amino acid needs while eating a vegan diet, you’ll want to incorporate plenty of legumes.  And take the time to learn how to cook them well. Tofu, tempeh, and seitan:  Often used to make plant-based meats, like burgers, sausages, deli slices, and more. These versatile, protein-dense foods have proven health benefits and can take the place of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and even cheese in many recipes.  Seeds: Add these to salads, veggie bowls, and smoothies to up your nutrient intake.  Hemp, chia, and flax all contain impressive amounts of protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids.  Another way is to add Ahiflower to your favorite smoothies. Plant-based milks, yogurts, and cheeses: Again, make sure to choose ones that are minimally processed and don’t contain unnecessary additives and chemicals.  Whenever possible, though, go for varieties that have been fortified with calcium and vitamin B12, and vitamin D.   The Jonas Brothers recently sang about vegan milk during their appearance on the Late Late Show with James Corden.  Just for fun, be sure to listen to “Got Milk?”  (Thanks for the great video, Live Kindly!)  Ancient grains and pseudocereals: Yes, this means quinoa, but also spelt, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, and more.  These foods are time-tested powerhouses that provide varying potent combinations of complex carbs, fiber, iron, B-vitamins, and several minerals. Algae: Yes, seriously.  Blue-green algae like chlorella and spirulina are complete proteins, while other kinds of algae can help you meet your iodine needs.  Nutritional yeast: Called “Nooch” by it’s fans, this umami-bomb can add a cheesy flavor to vegan dishes and (if it’s a fortified variety) increase your vitamin B12 intake.    6 Foods to Avoid on the Vegan Diet Meat and Poultry: Bid your farewell to anything that has two eyes; beef, lamb, venison, chicken, turkey goose, duck, and quail.  Whether wild or farm-raised, all kinds of animal flesh are out.  Fish and seafood: If it had been swimming in the sea, you will have to say, “just keep swimming.” Vegans do not eat fish, squid, shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, scallops, and so on. Dairy: Cow, goat, and sheep’s milk are out.  Your taste buds will not be bathing in yogurt, kefir, butter, ghee, cream, cheese, ice cream, and all other dairy products. Eggs: Whether sourced from birds or fish, eggs are not allowed on a vegan diet.  Bee byproducts: This not only includes honey, but also bee pollen and royal jelly, too.  Ingredients derived from animals: This category can be tricky and requires close label reading.  Some items to look for include whey, casein, lactose, gelatin, cochineal, isinglass, L-cysteine, animal-derived vitamin D3 and fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids. If you have made it to the end and you are still interested in the vegan diet, here are some tips to help you get started: You don’t have to go cold turkey.  You could start by preparing a couple meat free dishes each week and gradually make more substitutions – tofu in stir-fry instead of chicken, say or grilled veggie burgers instead of beef.  If your aim is also weight loss, amp up your exercise routine and eat fewer calories than your daily recommended max. Feature vegetables in your meals.  Loading up your plate with vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and fiber, which can help you feel satisfied. Shoot for the colors of the rainbow. Research supplements to ensure you do not lack daily nutrients that are essential in preventing serious consequences later in life.  Plant-based eaters tend to not get enough vitamin B12, vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids.  All can be found on the shelves of your supermarket.  Finding a vegan omega-3 source is now easier than ever.  One ingredient sold by Stratum Nutrition is Ahiflower, a super plant providing omega 3, 6, & 9.  It is vegan friendly and making its way to the top of all omega supplements. Like everything in life, find what works for you.  Veganism isn’t as scary or difficult as it may sound.  There are tons of options for substitutions and people are way more understanding than in years past.    However you plan to start your journey towards a vegan lifestyle, be sure to not go extreme like one vegan bride did.    Remember balance and kindness go a long way.                
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Vegan Diet
“If you are going to build muscle, you have to eat more meat.”  If you are an athlete, the odds are you have heard some version of this statement at some point in your lifetime. For most, meat = protein = muscle = athletic success.  In contrast, the highly visible success of athletes in 2018 (and prior) who shun animal products is challenging this belief as the number of athletes following a vegan diet is growing at a rapid pace.  Many athletes are claiming that they are lighter, stronger, more successful, and healing faster with a plant diet providing an impetus, if not the tipping point, for the rest of us.   Global elite sports stars that have gone vegan include Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton, David Haye, Mike Tyson, Tia Blanco, Jermain Defoe, Steph Davis, and UFC star Nate Diaz - just to name a handful.  Certainly, more and more elite athletes are turning to veganism in a bid to improve performance levels. So, how does a plant-based diet help improve performance?  Fueled by Plants Dr. Neal Barnard, President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and his colleagues have examined the science behind the advantages a plant-based diet provides to athletes.  In a new review, he published these interesting claims for the performance-boosting power of a plant-based diet: A plant-based diet keeps athletes’ hearts strong by reversing plaque, bringing down blood pressure and cholesterol, and reducing weight. Meat consumption and high cholesterol levels exacerbate inflammation, which can result in pain and impair athletic performance and recovery.  A plant-based diet may have an anti-inflammatory effect. A plant-based diet, which is low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol, helps improve blood viscosity.  That helps more oxygen reach the muscles, which improves athletic performance. Plant-based diets improve arterial flexibility and diameter, leading to better blood flow. Compared with meat-eaters, people eating a plant-based diet get more antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals.  Free radicals lead to muscle fatigue, reduced athletic performance, and impaired recovery.  Plant-based diets, which are typically low in fat and high in fiber, can reduce body fat. Reduced body fat is associated with increased aerobic capacity – or the ability to use oxygen to fuel exercise.  Studies show that athletes on a plant-based diet increase the maximum amount of oxygen they can use during intense exercise – leading to better endurance.  With claims like these, it is no wonder why more athletes are currently pursuing a vegan lifestyle.  Let’s look at what some have to say about going vegan.    Vegan Football Player: David Carter David Carter is a former NFL Defensive Linebacker and vegan activist.  On his website, The 300 Pound Vegan, he explains how going vegan is better for his long-term health.  “Converting to a whole foods-based lifestyle was the best decision I could have made for my body, mind and spirit.”  He thought about how the average life span of a professional football player is only fifty-six due in part to excessive consumption of anial products.  Red meat contains a lot of saturated fat, which is a known risk factor in the development of several chronic illnesses including heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. “By making this one small change not only have I saved my own life but the countless lives of voiceless and defenseless animals everywhere.  Not to mention veganism is great for our planet as well.  Becoming vegan has given me a greater purpose, something bigger than myself to fight for, and fight I will.” Vegan Pro Bodybuilder: Julia Hubbard Julia Hubbard is a former masters 200m world champion, current British indoor 200m champion, and in bodybuilding, 3 x NPA British Champion, 3 x World Champion, Universe Champion, and former Olympia Champion.  “In 2015, the same year I switched to a vegan lifestyle, I won British World & Universe titles, along with winning my pro cards with four federations, and making my Pro debut in the USA.  I am fitter, I am stronger, and I also find it easier to stay leaner year-round (since going vegan). I think being a positive role model is the best way to help others think about the issue.  I try to inspire others to go meat-free, by trying to be the best example I can be of how you can really thrive on a plant-based diet.” Vegan Strongman: Patrik Baboumian Germany’s Strongest Man, Patrik Baboumian, is a vegan who holds world strength records.  Patrik turned vegan in 2011 after several years of being vegetarian.  In 2013 he set a world record in yoke walk by carrying a 550kg yoke at a Toronto Veg Fest.  After the amazing feat he told the audience, “This is a message to all those out there who think that you need animal products to be fit and strong.  Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before, and I am still improving day by day.  Don’t listen to those self-proclaimed nutrition gurus and the supplement industry trying to tell you that you need meat, eggs, and dairy to get enough protein.  There are plenty of plant-based protein sources and your body is going to thank you for stopping to feed it with dead-food.  Go vegan and feel the power!”   Vegan Rock Climber: Steph Davis Steph Davis is a world-leading professional climber, skydiver, and base-jumper.  She is the only woman to have climbed a 5.11 grade route without safety equipment, and the first woman to summit the 2685m icy peak of Torre Egger in Argentina. Following a plant-based diet and remaining at the highest level of performance is not something that traditional climbers had previously believed possible. “Twelve years ago, people were generally very negative and unsupportive of veganism in general, and especially relative to climbing.  Now it seems like most people know about the health and athletic benefits of veganism.   There are a lot of vegan climbers and athletes demonstrating the advantages of eating plant-based.  I have found that eating a vegan diet gives me optimum physical and mental awareness.”           Ultramarathon Runner: Scott Jurek Scott Jurek is described in Chris McDougall’s Book Born to Run as “the top ultrarunner in the country, maybe in the world, arguably of all time”.  Scott is an American ultramarathon runner who has run many of the most prestigious endurance races in the world.  In his book, ‘Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness’, he explains how adopting a vegan diet improved his performance. “It’s not like you wake up the next morning and feel ten times better.  The changes are more gradual, and you can see them better once you continue down the path for a while and then look back.  In regard to competing and training, I noticed my recovery times had shortened, that I was less injury prone, and had a higher level of energy.” Insight for Supplement Companies         These testimonials show that athletes can get the nutrition needed from a solely, plant-based diet.  Plant-based ingredients can be incorporated into their diet to ensure they are getting the essential nutrients their body needs.  However, out of the handful of nutrients lacking in a vegan diet, omega-3’s may require more research to find a plant-based source (non-fish).   What would be our recommendation, you ask?  Definitely, Ahiflower Oil.  It is the best omega value from a single, sustainable and traceable plant.  Ahiflower Oil is a balanced combination of omega-3, 6, 9 essential for health, vitality, and wellness, and it is vegan friendly with no fishy taste.  Unlike fish and flax, Ahiflower contains GLA, an omega-6 associated with skin health, hormonal balance and a healthy inflammatory response.   With the rapid growth of athletes going vegan, it would serve the supplement industry well to tap into vegan friendly ingredients to help replenish nutrients lacking in a plant-based diet.  We believe Ahiflower could be a profitable supplement option for your formulation team to look into.  Contact Stratum Nutrition to help formulate your finished product (without the fishy taste).      
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Athletes Fueled by Plants
Since the days of our youth, we’ve heard it said, “health is wealth,” but with deadlines and hectic schedules filling up our work day, our health is quite possibly the last thing on our minds while at the office. The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay this way. Incorporating small, realistic changes to your everyday work routine can make all the difference. We have compiled our top 12 tips to help improve your health while at work. 1. Just Say No We all know it’s hard to pass up the tempting candy so sweetly displayed on our coworker’s desk. But before you go consuming hundreds of unnecessary calories and wonder why your khakis don’t fit next week, start avoiding their desk like the plague when hungry. Those little candies will only give you an unhealthy sense of enjoyment. Start by keeping healthy snacks at your desk and trading in the candy jar for a fruit bowl. Need help on what to bring to work? Check out this list of 33 healthy snacks for work provided by Healthline. 2. Guzzle H2O It is easy to avoid drinking enough water when focused on getting work done. Many turn to caffeinated beverages to stay alert during the day, but this is actually counteractive due to their diuretic effects, which lead to dehydration and a decrease in productivity. So instead of grabbing that second cup of coffee, try replacing it with a glass of water. Guzzling water throughout the day comes with clear bodily benefits: Maintains the balance of body fluids Controls calorie intake Energizes muscles Enriches healthy skin Aids in kidney health Maintains normal bowel functions One simple way to ensure you are drinking water is to mark your water bottle with the hours 11am, 2pm, and 5pm. Try to drink past each hourly line before the hour arrives. This will ensure you are drinking the right amount of water each day. 3. Work it Out Did you know that exercise offers benefits like a boosted metabolism and better sleep? In fact, early morning workouts are proven to boost your energy, self-discipline, and focus throughout the day. Not only is a morning workout great for you, but also try incorporating a few of these exercises into your work day: Hit the gym on your lunch hour. Walk with a coworker during your afternoon break. Schedule walking meetings in the afternoon. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the back of the parking lot. 4. Preppin’ and Savin’ Gone are the days when mom would pack our lunch, but the importance of meal preparation still remains true for all of us. It can be difficult for most of us to make good choices when we are hungry or when we eat out, especially if the restaurant has free chips and salsa. One way to help what goes on your plate is to pack your own lunch. Not only will your body thank you, but so will your wallet. How Sweet Eats has made lunch planning easy with this list of 45 healthy lunch ideas. 5. Be Like Gumby Sitting at a desk and typing for the majority of the day can cause all sorts of aches and pains. Try setting an alarm to stretch every couple of hours. Prevention lays out some perks to stretching that are worth mentioning: It increases blood flow through your entire body. It could help muscle coordination and help to avoid awkward tumbles. It loosens you up to make the most of your workout session. It helps you focus and lessens your chance of injury. It lowers your blood sugar. It tames the tension both physically and mentally.   To get you started, be sure to check out these 17 desk stretches. 6. All About the Eyes If you sit in front of your computer all day, you are most likely aware of the strain it has on your eyes. Eye strain causes headaches, difficulty focusing, and increased insensitivity to light. The best way to help your eye health is to ensure that your computer screen is arm’s length away from your face and that your computer’s brightness is turned down. If you have trouble seeing the screen, it’s ok to up your font.   The Mayo Clinic recommends blinking often to refresh your eyes and to give your eyes a break by looking away from the monitor. Have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? Every 20 minutes look at something at 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. 7. Take a Vacay This is the tip we all want to hear. Vacations are an important part of staying healthy at work.Taking time off helps recharge, reduce stress, and it allows your mind to rest. Stress can impair your immune system, which increases the risk of illness. Fortunately for all of us, vacations are just the way to minimize the stress in our lives. So, go ahead and book that trip to Tahiti. Your cheeks deserve to be sun-kissed. 8. Prioritize Your Day   We all have those seasons where we have focused on a task and feel the need to stay later in order to get it done, but most of us are unaware of the impact it has on our health. Staying longer days at work affects our relationships, our mood, and our productivity. This can lead to burnout. Burnout, like stress, can impair a person’s immune system, as well as interfere with sleep and the ability to concentrate. Prioritization is a highly effective way to not only get your work completed but to eliminate stress. Learning how to prioritize at work and in your personal life will leave you feeling more productive and less anxious. 9. Disinfect – Disinfect – Disinfect Your keyboard, mouse, and phone can harbor thousands of germs that are just waiting to make you sick. So, grab the disinfectant! According to the Science Daily, researchers at the 100th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology reported, “We know that viruses can survive (remain infectious) for hours to days on a hard surface…if a virus such as the rotavirus were on the surface of a telephone receiver, infectious doses could easily be transferred to persons using the telephone.” 10. Gratitude - Attitude The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have a stronger immune system. The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for each day. Gratitude journaling works because it adjusts our focus and slowly changes the way we perceive situations. Incorporating this into your work day is simple. Before grabbing your morning brew, try sitting down and writing out three things you are grateful for. 11. Time to Move Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns that include: Obesity Increased blood pressure Increased blood sugar Excess body fat around the waist Abnormal cholesterol levels Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer It’s hard to ignore the evidence of the downsides of sitting. To ensure you are moving hourly, try setting a reminder for every 30-60 minutes. Remember any activity that involves movement is beneficial to your health. Examples of movement while at work include: Taking a break from sitting every 30 minutes. Stand while talking on the phone or watching something on your computer. If working at a desk, try a standing desk – or improvise with a high table or counter. Walk with a coworker for meetings rather than sitting in a conference room. Position your work surface above a treadmill – with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand so that you can be in motion throughout the day. 12. Lunchtime Siesta Daytime drowsiness can affect concentration, mood, productivity, accuracy, and creativity. When it comes to boosting your productivity, sleeping on the job may not be so bad after all. The Huffpost lists out 6 convincing reasons why you should take a nap today: Boots alertness Improves learning and memory Increases creativity Boosts productivity Lifts your spirits Zaps stress Don’t worry if your workplace doesn’t have a designated area for naptime. Try one of these ways to sneak in a quick nap at work: Park your car away from the front door and take a quick nap inside. Lay your head on your desk and snooze away. Hide behind a plant. Sleep sitting up in the bathroom stall. Whichever option you choose, don’t forget to set a timer for 20 minutes. The last and final tip is this: do everything in moderation. Healthy habits are about balancing work and pleasure, vegetables and cookies, sitting and standing. You don’t have to completely change it all, but if you slowly start incorporating these 12 healthy tips, you’ll get to a better, healthier you all while working the daily grind.                            
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Health at Work
Jolaine Undershute is no stranger to CrossFit. She is one of the world’s fittest and has been a master athlete at the CrossFit Games since 2013. Jolaine is the owner of Endeavor Fitness, a single mom to a precious 9yr old boy, and a lover of the water. Her strength is not only seen in her box, but also in her daily life. We are honored to have her join us for this interview. Let’s get to know her a little better, shall we?! Tell us a little bit about where you are from and what led you into Crossfit?  I moved from Vancouver to Invermere just over 12 years ago and I have recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary of owing my own business, Endeavor Fitness.  My ex-husband found the CrossFit workouts online while searching for something to challenge one of his clients. We did our first one in December 2018 and picked Cindy because we thought it looked easy. Boy, was I mistaken! What is it about CrossFit that stuck?   Results! In only a few months! Previously I had 18 years of body building and several other ports under my belt. I started comparing my scores online and thought, “Hey, I could actually beat the other girls.” From there, I never turned back. What does an average week of training look like for you and how does it change when training for the CrossFit Games? You might be surprised to know I only train about 2-3 hours a session, 5 days per week. Occasionally, I add a 6th day to finish off things I may not have had time for. I always take Sunday off as my mandatory rest day. I may add in more active rest closer to the CrossFit Games prep.  If I’m feeling particularly drained or I’m nursing an injury, I take more rest days and modify my program.  I prioritize my training and focus more Olympic lifting in my off season. For 2018 and 2019 I have kept myself conditioned all year. I enjoy the cardio too much and I also like occasionally competing in local competitions. How do you balance coaching and being a competitive, ridiculously good athlete?  It’s very challenging. I coach from 6am-12pm, train from 12-2:30pm, pick up my son from school after that, and then come back three evenings to coach from 4-6:30pm.  After the age group qualifier, the Games prep begins and my volume increases.  Do you have any specific routines when you compete, lift and train? Yes, I train from 11am to 2pm and always start with foam rolling and Myofascial release. Then it’s a thorough dynamic warm up and primer.  When I’m competing I religiously go to the medic tent to have A.R.T. (active release technique) to prep me for the events and take my time to complete my warm up.  I follow the Comptrain Masters programming for Games athletes.  When things get really tough in WODs, do you have any mental tricks that you use to stay focused and keep going? I sure do! I always break down sets into smaller numbers in my head so I never feel like I’m doing as many reps. For example, if there are 20 wall ball in a row, I’ll count in sets of 5 and still do the 20 unbroken. Sets of 5 are easier to wrap your head around. Experience has helped me out big time. I enjoy the opportunity to be able to compete at the event, which everyone should because it’s all going to be over sooner than you think. If you can enjoy the experience it helps you think positively and keep the doubt demons away. We are our own worst critics and often obsess about all our areas of opportunity, comparing ourselves to our fellow competitors.  I also focus on one event at a time like it’s the only event I’m competing in. If you look ahead too far, you can become overwhelmed.  Are you proactive in your joint health?  If so, how do you protect your joints from cartilage damage?  (Exercise, supplements, diet, can discuss your seminar here, etc.) Yes, I take a medical grade Omega-3 supplement and as stated above have a long methodical warm up including Myofascial release. I also take care of problem areas that I cannot release by going to see an A.R.T. practitioner or having Heller work done.  Nutritionally, I know what foods flare up inflammation and I avoid processed foods and sugar for the most part. I do eat a far amount of really good quality organic dark chocolate and I will admit, I have a Goldfish addiction, lol!  What do you feel are your biggest weaknesses and strengths in CrossFit?  Mentally, my biggest strengths are experience and determination when it comes to working on my weaknesses. Physically, my upper body strength is one of my strengths.  My biggest weakness used to be my mental game. But 2018 changed everything for me. Now it’s just certain movements that I continue to train to improve. Everyone has a few so I do my best not to obsess but just to continue to go after it. The more you work on those areas of opportunity, the more well-rounded you become.  What would you say your greatest accomplishments are and why? My greatest accomplishment is taking 3rd place in the 2018 CrossFit Games. I sprained my AC joint 10 days before the competition. I had to fight every mental and physical demon to stay on track and to fight every single event. I had to overcome pain that was so bad it reminded me of labor. It’s a miracle I could compete. I couldn’t get dressed or tie my shoelaces! I needed to know that I wouldn’t make it any worse. I dug down deep to complete the Games and to finish in the top 3 of my division. I would also say consistency. I have qualified for every year for the CrossFit games as a master from 2013-2019, except for 2017. I took this year off to focus on my weaknesses.  When it comes to competing, is there a shift in mind-set that occurs as opposed to when you’re training?  Yes, the shift was most apparent this year. I’ve doubted my abilities in the past and it’s held me back. This year, after I knew my sprained AC joint would be ok, I just went for it. I’ll train all out several times in a month, so I know what it feels like. When I compete, I seem to have another gear I can kick into.    We were thrilled to cheer Jolaine on this year at the CrossFit Games as she took 3rd place in her age division. Way to go, Jolaine!
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If you are in the CrossFit world, you most likely are familiar with Bill Grundler. He is a father to two, beautiful girls, a lifelong athlete and competitor, a long-time coach, a CrossFit affiliate owner, CrossFit Games Masters Athlete, named 2nd Fittest 45-49 yr old in the world in 2015, commentator/broadcaster/analyst for the CrossFit Games, fitness consultant to public safety agencies, and a retired captain from the CAL Fire Department.  His credentials are impressive, but the thing that drives him every day is the improvement and advancement of people he works with.  “Age is just a number.  Life doesn’t care how old you are.” - Bill Grundler Tell us a little bit about where you are from and what led you into CrossFit? I am a lifetime athlete. My main sports are wrestling and swimming. I did swimming for fun and for the girls, but wrestling was my main passion. I’ve competed since I was five years old and have been lucky enough to have had some success. I was a state wrestling champ, collegiate state champ, wrestled internationally, swam at the state finals in high school, competed in triathlons and did well in my age division, was one of the top beach flag competitors in the nation for lifeguard competitions, and competed in firefighter challenges. I have competed in CrossFit for 10 years (just missing going to the big show in the open division being 15 to 20 years older than everyone else), was the second fittest man in the world in the 45 to 49 division in 2015, and I’ve won the open competition every year in my age division for the last seven years. I found out about CrossFit around 2002 from a buddy of mine that actually was a member at the original Greg Glassman CrossFit gym. He knew that I like to do crazy workouts, so he told me about it. I thought the workouts were fun, but I didn’t really understand the purpose behind them. I would play with them every once in a while, but I was busy doing my regular Globo gym routine. Eventually I got bored and wondered why I was lifting as hard as I was with nothing to compete for; as well as my shoulders, elbows, and knees were getting extremely sore from the overuse of the same movements. I read an article by Greg Glassman called What is Fitness and the lightbulb went off. From that point which was around 2006, I started incorporating CrossFit. By the end of the year I was all CrossFit and anti-regular gym routines. Now I’m pretty much a CrossFit fanatic. LOL You started the Legacy Programming & Master Experience Seminars.  Tell us what that is all about. I’ve always been told that I was the guy carrying the flag for all the other older athletes. I’ve always been proud of that and I want to be able to give back and help the older crowd keep kicking it and really believing that age is nothing but a number. This is why I have my Legacy Program and my Master Experience Seminars. It’s my way of giving back to other older athletes that want to excel and it’s my goal to help 100,000 masters athletes. Since older athletes have a “little more wear and tear” on their bodies, we need to have programming that works best for us. However, being and older athlete doesn’t mean one should have some watered down, “easy” program, but it also doesn’t mean that one needs the same programmed volume of what the twenty-somethings are doing. LEGACY is designed to handle the most ELITE Masters athlete and it has all the appropriate scales and modifications for ALL Masters athletes to be able to enjoy the same stimulus appropriate to them. This programming has a unique way of making sure that YOU get the BEST version of the day for you. It’s not just simple levels or lighter weights.  It’s truly tailored to YOU! “Mobility decreases injury and increases ability.” What does an average week of training look like for you and how does it change when training for the CrossFit Games? When I’m training for the games I train five days a week for about an hour and a half a day. Obviously when I’m in heavy training mode, I will also spend more time with mobility to keep my body moving. When you’re in training mode, you also have to consider your sleep, your recovery, how you’re eating, and really assessing how your body feels and how it’s working. An average week of just regular life stuff has me at about 3 to 5 workouts a week and these are the regular class workouts. Since I do the programming for the gym, I know how great our workouts are and doing those is all I really need to keep myself going. In fact, the last two years for the open and the online qualifier I only did our class workouts as training for them. When you get really busy in life with kids, the business, & just life in general, training takes a backseat and so you need to be as efficient as possible. Do you have any specific routines when you compete, lift and train? When I am in competition mode, I take a supplement called ATP mechanics pre-and post. This is a full spectrum amino acid blend that helps with my body to get the needed nonessential amino acids as well as the essential amino acids. As we get older, our liver doesn’t produce as much nonessential amino acids anymore and that affects our recovery. Other than that, it would be using floss bands on my hips, joints, and knees to keep them as movable as possible, & I use a crossover symmetry band for my shoulders. When things get really tough in WODs, do you have any mental tricks that you use to stay focused and keep going? In the heat of battle the worst thing you can do is start to have a discussion with yourself. Trying to figure out why things are or are not going as well as they should be just slows you down and gets you out of your flow. Small Mantras like, ‘you’re OK’ or ‘just one more’ repeated over and over in silence helps conquer a lot of the things going on in your head. I think this is very important during the competition. I also try not to get frustrated when plans have to change during the work out. There will always be things that happen.For example, you thought you could get 15 reps on broken but realize you need to change that to five. You need to be able to make that switch and have that be OK. Otherwise you’re just going to get frustrated and start slowing down. Beforehand, I think it’s important not to get into too much of deep thought about what you have to do. I like to keep what is in my head as light and fun as possible because once I get into it, I will be going for it! So, there’s really no reason to overthink what will have to happen. “Being older doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t push hard.  It just means you have to push at the intended intensity for the workout. And this will be relative based on YOU and your abilities. NOT on your age.” Are you proactive in your joint health?  If so, how do you protect your joints from cartilage damage?  (Exercise, supplements, diet, can discuss your seminar here, etc.) I try to be as proactive as possible by being very aware of how my body is feeling. Using the floss bands, lacrosse balls, barbell mashing on muscles, etc. are used to keep my body as movable as possible. Then, I’ll get into mobility movements to ensure that I can move as efficiently as possible. The better movement I have the less chance I have of getting injured. As far as my diet goes, I try to stay away from inflammatory type foods like bread, sweets, and pastas. I’ve also taken omegas to help promote joint health. During my master’s experience seminar, I go over many mobility tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years from some great coaches and explain to older athletes how important maintenance both proactive and reactive are for the longevity and fitness. Mobility time isn’t about the social aspect. It’s got to be as important as the work out.   What do you feel are your biggest weaknesses and strengths in CrossFit? My biggest weakness is my max strength on the lifts. I will never win a one rep max lift on anything, but the flipside of that is I think my biggest strength is my capacity in a lift. This means I could lift 85% of my one rep max for more reps than any of my competitors. I also feel one of my strengths is my mobility and flexibility. Because I don’t have many issues with that I’m not fighting against my own body.   What would you say your greatest accomplishments are and why? It’s easy to say my athletic stuff, but I think what’s more important is the length of time I have been able to compete. So many athletes, younger and older, see a time frame of their competitive time. They won’t say it, but they train, eat, etc. so they have their “hay-day” of 3-8 years. I have been competitive my whole life and I want to be able to continue to be competitive for years to come. This is the Fountain of Youth and I drink from it daily.   “Age is nothing but a number “ can’t just be a MEME on Instagram.  It CAN BE and is a real thing if you believe it is!  I think that this is what Master Aged Athletes really want.  They want to still compete but not be all broken so they can still play hide and seek.  My ability to do this, and bring the information to the Masters Realm is something I’m very proud of and enjoy doing.  “There’s no EASY way, but there is a RIGHT way and a WRONG way!” What’s coming up for you?  Any particular goal or challenges you’d like to pursue next? Right now, I’m honestly just concentrating on my kids (two daughters 18 and 4), my business CrossFit Inferno, my Master Experience Seminars, my Legacy Program, and my commentary work. That’s not to say I won’t find something fun to compete in, but I don’t have any major athletic pursuits on the horizon. We wish you all the best, Bill! 
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Meet Jen Dieter. Jen is a 7-time CrossFit Games athlete, instructor, world record holder in weightlifting, mom of 3, physical therapist, and manager of 11 clinics for Select Physical Therapy. She opened their newest clinic inside Crucible CrossFit™ and works extensively with a wide variety of athletes including high level professional athletes, CrossFit athletes, and "weekend warriors." In 2016, Jen set a record for the USA Weightlifting American Master Record for the snatch, clean and jerk and total. This month she competed in the Masters Division in Weightlifting bringing home 3 gold medals.     In a recent phone conversation, she inspired us with her focus and determination to stay active and to trust the process of CrossFit training.     Here's what Jen had to share with us. Tell us a little bit about where you are from and what led you into CrossFit? I grew up in Roxbury, Connecticut. When I was younger, I was heavily involved in gymnastics up to college and was even a scuba diver throughout my college years. I have always enjoyed physical movement and sports. When I was 38 years old, one of my sisters urged me to try CrossFit. I am a physical therapist, so I am kind of an exercise snob. I was against paying for training when I could just look online and do the workouts myself at home. My sister was persistent and even sent me a Living Social deal for a gym that was 2 miles from my house. I agreed to try it out and was hooked by the third workout. What does an average week of training look like for you and how does it change when training for the CrossFit Games? Most of my training is done from 5:30-7:15am. After that, I get the kids off to school and start work at 8am. About once a week, I am able to get in a second session at lunch or in the afternoon depending on my kids’ sports schedules. I also train on the weekends. The gym hosts mock competitions on Saturdays and Sundays. During the summer, the kids’ activities tend to slow down, which is the time my training ramps up. I try to squeeze in a second session of training at least two days a week. When things get really tough in WODs, do you have any mental tricks that you use to stay focused and keep going? I try to remember the day-to-day and to not get too ahead of myself. I don’t allow myself to get stuck on the worry – as in if I didn’t sleep enough, train enough, etc. I take each day one day at a time. Three years ago while in Oregon, I had to complete two open workouts in an unfamiliar altitude and in a gym that was not my home gym. I did one workout, but then had to do the last one at 6am before catching a flight to return home. It would not have been too bad had one of my children not been sick all night long. I could have gotten stuck in my head or even excused myself from doing the workout, but I went anyways and had my best open workout of the entire season. You want to train, plan, and do as much as you can. On game day you just go for it! Even if all your ducks aren't in a row – leave that thought behind you and press on. Don’t focus on the "what if." I prefer to focus on finding the best in myself. Are you proactive in your joint health?  If so, how do you protect your joints from cartilage damage?  (Exercise, supplements, diet, can discuss your seminar here, etc.) First and foremost, and since I am a PT, I do begin with the appropriate amount of stretching, mobility, and hands on body work. This is my number one line of defense. I believe in alternate therapies and healing through nutrition and supplements. I try to get patients into postures to take stress off of their joints. For my patients, I recommend proper mobility, stability, and proper nutrition in order to decrease the stress on our body.  I really like NEM and I have been taking it myself. There are a handful of injuries I personally have had, but by maintaining an anti inflammatory diet, taking supplements like NEM, and by making sure my mobility and stability are properly balanced have made a huge difference on the stress my joints have experienced.   At what age do you believe one should consider joint health care? At the age of 5. I don't think it is ever too early to start caring for your joints and educating children on the proper ways to relieve stress from their bodies. With my patients, we try to catch habits before the become posture and before they become structure. We want to educate people on good habits before they become bad habits when it comes to joint health.  What do you feel are your biggest weaknesses and strengths in CrossFit? My strength in CrossFit is in anything that has to do with high-skilled gymnastic movements; such as handstand walking, pushups, toes to bar, etc. Also, I love heavy olympic lifting and heavy snatches! I would have to say that my weakness is conditioning. When it comes to running and rowing, those are definitely my downfalls. What would you say your greatest accomplishments are and why? At this point, longevity in this sport (at my age) is one of my greatest accomplishments. I feel like the consistency has been a good thing for me. It has helped me place in the CrossFit Games. It has also allowed me to be able to hold a place in high-level competition and to keep my body from falling apart. Last year was such a fun year. It was my last year in the 40-44 age group, so I did not focus on the outcome, but rather the effort. I had a great year taking everything out in strides and doing what I could do. Two weeks after the Games, I flew to Barcelona to compete in the World Championship in weightlifting, and I broke world records! Anything else you’d like to add?  One thing that I am proud of is that the company I work for has allowed me to open up an physical therapy office, Select Physical Therapy, inside the gym where I train. I see patients everyday – CrossFit or not.  They come by word of mouth and it is a pretty nice mix of patients.  I have been with the same coach for the past seven years. Coach Lance Scott has been an integral part of my weightlifting and CrossFit. He does all my programming and the programming for the gym, Forging the Warrior. Most people switch gyms or coaches but staying with Lance has helped me get to where I am today.   Jen, we are inspired by all you do!  Whatever competition you have next on your plate, know we, here at Stratum Nutrition, are rooting for you! 
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Jen Dieter, Master Athlete
From Beef Cakes to Rice Cakes Over the last few years, Veganism has had a serious PR transformation.  The trendier terminology is ‘plant-based diet’ and it’s been embraced by quite a few high-profile athletes. Although some have taken a bit longer than others to jump on this new, athletic diet trend. “Y’all crazy with this vegan thing,” Wesley Woodyard said one Friday night early in training camp before a Tennessee Titans practice.  “I’m from LaGrange, Georgia.  I’m going to eat my pork.”  Little did he realize he would soon swallow his pride in place of his pork and join in on the Tennessee Titan’s vegan movement.  That’s right, there is a vegan movement in the NFL.  No More Linebacker Diet Just a few years ago, vegan diets weren’t necessarily linked to strength and athleticism.  Beefy, meat-devouring football players often head out to the steakhouse following a practice or game, but for Former NFL Lineman David Carter, his plate would look different from the others sitting at his table.  Instead of a juicy Ribeye sprawled out across his plate, he would order a pile of green beans with no butter added.  This was a familiar scene in his final seasons as the rare, vegan football player.  “Socially, it kind of isolates you,” Carter said.  “Football is a machismo sport, which is great, but everything can’t be machismo.  On the field and at practice, yes, you can be machismo, but when it comes to diet, you need to have compassion for your body.”  Carter openly discusses the advantages of the plant-based diet after realizing the negative impact his previous eating habits were having on his health.  He had once adopted the defensive lineman diet, which sometimes consisted of six double hamburgers after a particularly grueling practice.  “I remember one time pushing myself out of the bathtub and it felt like somebody was taking a knife or bat to my elbow,” he went on to say, “It hurt worse than getting hit on the field.”  One night in 2014, he watched a documentary titled, “Forks Over Knives” that explained how dairy and animal fats can cause inflammation in joints.  “It got me thinking, why do we need meat?” Carter said.  “I need protein to be big and strong but look at some of the largest and strongest animals in the world and none of them eat meat.” When he became vegan, all his ailments dissipated, and his performance at practices and in the weight room improved.  Hanging up his cleats, Carter now travels the country advocating for the vegan diet.  This self-proclaimed 300lb vegan promotes, “My food is my medicine now.” The Mighty Vegan Titans For the Tennessee Titans, it all began with Derrick Morgan, a Titans Linebacker, who decided to slowly transition to a plant-based lifestyle back in 2017.  His wife, Charity, joined in and re-educated herself as a vegan chef to cook for him.  One by one, Titans players spotted Morgan’s lunches and asked to be put on his meal plan.  As soon as these vegan athletes started feasting together over a rainbow of vegetables, the jokes from their comrades began.  Many, like Woodyard, teased them about their vegan ways, until they noticed their teammates performance levels spiked. Brian Orakpo, Linebacker for the Titans, is a firm believer in the vegan diet.  “Everybody is making plays.  Everybody is healthy.  Everybody is eating right, and she’s (Charity) been a big part.”  The Vegan Titans believe there’s proof that a plant-based diet helps them lose weight, recover faster and, believe it or not, play better. Could going vegan be their best play move to win the next Super Bowl? (Between you and me, it wouldn’t hurt their numbers if they tested this theory.) Let’s look at Tom Brady, who some claim is the greatest quarterback in football history.  As of 2019, Brady headed to his eighth Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.   Others in the league have not only been watching his career but have also been taking notice of his healthy habits.  As the Boston Globe points out, “Tom Brady dominated the league in his late 30s and is still going strong at 40, thanks to his vegetable-based diet and flexibility training over muscle mass.” Though not vegan, Brady’s diet is reportedly 80 percent plant-based.  Back in 2016, he teamed up with vegan meal delivery service, Purple Carrot, to create a meatless, dairy-free TB12 performance meal plan.  There may be some validity to the claims of the vegan diet and one’s athletic performance after all.  With that said, the Titans might want to raise Derrick Morgan’s salary after he convinced 10 of his teammates to go vegan in 2018.  They ended that season with Tennessee heading to the playoffs for the first time in a decade on the backs of its top-ranked defense.     Vegan Diet Misconceptions Where does a 300lb defensive lineman get enough protein in a plant-based lifestyle to keep his strength?  That is a question that David Carter was faced with when turning to veganism.  For the Titans, they leaned into Morgan’s family and their research to stay informed.  It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein.  Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein. “There’s so many misconceptions.  We were taught wrong as consumers of meat,” Charity said.  “Plants have so much protein.” Charity makes sure their lunches are stocked with high sources of protein such as kale, spinach, nuts, beans, lentils, and seitan.  All the salads are sprinkled with hemp seeds.  It’s more of a holistic diet so very few processed meats, soy or corn crops are used, but she does use honey (not all players are 100% vegan).  There is no question that you can be a vegetarian/vegan and an athlete.  Athletes who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet have two concerns.  One is that these diets are typically low in calories. One way to combat this concern is to make sure calories are increased depending on frequency, duration, and intensity of the athlete’s physical activity.  Second, vegetarian and vegan diets tend to restrict essential nutrients that are primarily found in animal sources: protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.  This is not quite as easy as concern number one.  For vegans, both omega-3s and some of the listed micronutrients should be supplemented to ensure adequate levels are maintained. Supplement companies have every essential nutrient packed into a pill and on our pharmacy shelves, but how do we know what is the best vegan option when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids?  Vegan options for this essential nutrient are not as easy to come by; however, Stratum Nutrition supplies Ahiflower seed oil that is a super omega packed with omega-3, 6, and 9.  It is vegan friendly for any athlete desiring superpowers.  If you haven’t noticed, we think it is pretty “super,” and truth be told, it is superior in comparison to its not named competitors.  For more information about our vegan ingredients, please contact us.  (No bias opinion has been added to this article.)                        
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Vegans and Pigskin
September 13, 2019 (Carthage, MO USA) - Stratum Nutrition, (a business of ESM Technologies), the sustainable supplier of world class ingredient solutions for pet and human health, announces the addition of expertise in their Marketing Department.  David Hoover has joined the Stratum Nutrition team as Marketing Coordinator. He brings with him a wealth of marketing experience and a deep passion for Marilyn Monroe and metal detecting, which will play a huge role in creating new marketing materials to assist our brand partners. He lives on the edge, but we like the change. Before joining the Stratum Nutrition team, he worked at The Carthage Press and Drop Cap Publishing. Like any good guy, he keeps a collection of coins in his pocket.    "I'm very excited to join the talented marketing team at Stratum Nutrition," said David. "I love the direction they are headed with their marketing and look forward to being a part of the think outside of the box mentality that keeps them moving forward. I will be as diligent and patient in my new position as I am when I look for hidden treasures in my parents’ front yard." “David will add a lot of depth to the department with his knowledge of 90s music and his diverse range of prior roles within the publishing and marketing industries,” said Andrew Rice, Director of Brand and Product Strategy. “His personality is not only a great fit for our own company culture, but I am also confident our vendors and brand partners will be in great hands. I mean, what’s not to like about this guy?!” Stratum Nutrition acts as an extension of their brand partners’ teams by being the foundational layer of support and following their 5 Launch Product Development Layers process, including: Efficacy. Quality, Compliance, Story, and Demand. For more information about ESM Technologies (DBA Stratum Nutrition) and its branded ingredients, please contact Stratum Nutrition at www.StratumNutrition.com or email at Info@StratumNutrition.com.  
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David Hoover joins Stratum Nutrition as their new Marketing Coordinator
September 10, 2019 (Carthage, MO USA) - Stratum Nutrition®, (a business of ESM Technologies), the sustainable supplier of world class ingredient solutions for pet and human health, announces the addition of their new Product Manager. Alexis Collins will be managing current products and identifying potential products to add to the Stratum Nutrition® portfolio. Before accepting this new role, she previously worked at For the Biome, LLC, where she was the Chief Science Officer.   "During my career in the dietary supplement industry, I have worked with Stratum as a customer and as a formulation development partner," Alexis said. "I have always been impressed by the sincerity, integrity, and values of this company. Now, as a part of the team, I am excited to contribute my experience in research, product development, and technical sales toward managing our impressive, unique ingredients while also keeping a lookout for the next ingredient that meets the Stratum standard." “We are excited to bring Alexis on to our team," explained Micah Osborne, President of Stratum Nutrition®. “She brings a wealth of experience in supporting ingredients from a scientific perspective and aiding our customers with their product formulation needs.” Stratum Nutrition® acts as an extension of their brand partners’ teams by being the foundational layer of support and following their 5 Launch Product Development Layers process, including: Efficacy. Quality, Compliance, Story, and Demand. For more information about ESM Technologies (DBA Stratum Nutrition®) and its branded ingredients, please contact Stratum Nutrition® at www.StratumNutrition.com or email at Info@StratumNutrition.com.
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Alexis Collins joins Stratum team as Product Manager

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