May 19, 2022

Melissa Urban (Whole30) - How she founded Whole30 and created her own health & wellness content empire

Melissa Urban (Whole30) - How she founded Whole30 and created her own health & wellness content empire

Our guest today is Melissa Urban, Founder of Whole30. The Whole30 program eliminates cravings, improves physical energy and quality of sleep and has changed millions of people’s lives. It’s a pretty amazing story. We’re going to hear how Melissa changed her lifestyle completely, getting into nutrition and getting in shape. Why she started a blog and ran this 30 day diet experiment and that turned into what became Whole30. How she approaches partnerships with CPG brands that fit the Whole30 identity, and what led her to create her own products. Without further ado, here’s Melissa

  1. When did you become interested in nutrition and fitness?
  2. Why did you decide to blog?
  3. What compelled you to write a book?t
  4. How do you approach partnerships or relationships with brands?
  5. Why did you decide on the name Whole30?
  6. How did you think about the differences between the Whole30 diet and the Paleo diet?
  7. What was the original intention of the brand?
  8. Who is the target audience for Whole30?
  9. Was there a clear path to success and a business plan or were you just kind of figuring it out?
  10. When did you decide to start launching your own products? I.e. salad dressings?
  11. How do you select the right partners to license products for?
  12. Did you ever think about raising capital for Whole30?
  13. There are lots of food fads out there. How do you think about longevity, sustainability with Whole30?
  14. What do you think is misunderstood about nutrition?
  15. Do you iterate what’s allowed and not allowed on Whole30?
  16. Recently you came out and said that MSG for example is now ok on Whole30 when it wasn’t allowed on the diet before. How do you think and approach the evolution of Whole30?
  17. Do you have any advice for other founders in your willingness to learn and evolve?
  18. What do you see as the future of wellness or what makes you excited about?
  19. What’s one book that inspired you personally and one book that inspired you professionally?
    1. The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter
    2. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  20. What’s one piece of advice for founders?
Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:12.400 --> 00:00:17.039 Hello and welcome to the consumer VC. I am your host, Michael but 2 00:00:17.120 --> 00:00:20.960 and on this show we talked about the world of venture capital and innovation in 3 00:00:21.000 --> 00:00:25.480 both consumer technology and consumer products. If you're enjoying this content, you could 4 00:00:25.480 --> 00:00:30.480 subscribe to my newsletter, the consumer VC DOT sub stackcom, to get each 5 00:00:30.519 --> 00:00:34.840 new episode and more consumer news delivered straight to your inbox. Our guest today 6 00:00:34.880 --> 00:00:39.679 is Melissa Urban, founder of whole thirty. The whole thirty program eliminates cravings, 7 00:00:39.719 --> 00:00:45.399 improves physical energy and quality of sleep and has changed millions of people's lives. 8 00:00:45.439 --> 00:00:49.159 It's a pretty amazing story. We're going to hear how Melissa went from 9 00:00:49.240 --> 00:00:54.399 Rehab to changing her lifestyle completely, getting into nutrition and getting in shape, 10 00:00:54.399 --> 00:00:58.520 why she started a blog and ran this thirty day diet experiment that turned into 11 00:00:58.520 --> 00:01:03.520 what became whole thirty. Will also discuss the business behind whole thirty, how 12 00:01:03.560 --> 00:01:07.719 she approaches partnerships of CPT brands that fit the whole thirty identity and what letter 13 00:01:07.840 --> 00:01:17.280 to create her own CPG products. Without further ADO, here's Melissa. Melissa, 14 00:01:17.439 --> 00:01:19.159 thank you so much for joining me here today. How are you? 15 00:01:19.519 --> 00:01:22.840 Hi, Mike, so good to meet you. I'm doing great thank you. 16 00:01:22.879 --> 00:01:25.719 Thanks for having me. Oh, it's an absolute pleasure. Thanks again 17 00:01:25.760 --> 00:01:27.840 for taking the time. I wanted for start the very beginning. What was 18 00:01:27.920 --> 00:01:34.480 your initial full attraction or how did you become interested in nutrition and fitness? 19 00:01:34.480 --> 00:01:38.879 Well, it was a little bit of a roundabout approach. It actually started 20 00:01:38.239 --> 00:01:42.400 when I entered into recovery for my drug addiction. I was addicted for a 21 00:01:42.439 --> 00:01:47.640 period of about five years, from my late teens and college years and to 22 00:01:47.719 --> 00:01:51.599 my early S, and when I got out of Rehab for the second time, 23 00:01:52.120 --> 00:01:55.640 I realized that I was going to have to change everything about my life 24 00:01:55.640 --> 00:01:59.359 if I was going to maintain my recovery. I had already relapsed once I 25 00:01:59.400 --> 00:02:01.400 didn't want it to happen again. And so, you know, I made 26 00:02:01.400 --> 00:02:05.239 a ton of changes all at once. I changed my friends, I changed 27 00:02:05.280 --> 00:02:07.719 my clothes, I got a new job, I moved, I changed the 28 00:02:07.760 --> 00:02:10.719 music that I listened to and I started going to the gym and eating healthy, 29 00:02:10.800 --> 00:02:15.280 because I said to myself, what would a healthy person with healthy habits 30 00:02:15.319 --> 00:02:17.000 do? Because that's who I wanted to become. That was desperately who I 31 00:02:17.000 --> 00:02:20.599 wanted to be and I was like, well, a healthy person with healthy 32 00:02:20.599 --> 00:02:23.719 habits would start getting up before work and they'd go to the gym five mornings 33 00:02:23.719 --> 00:02:28.919 a week. And so that's what I started doing in response to my recovery 34 00:02:29.039 --> 00:02:31.759 and soon it became a habit and then it became a real passion and a 35 00:02:31.800 --> 00:02:35.919 love and I've been doing that for, you know, the last twenty two 36 00:02:36.000 --> 00:02:40.159 years straight. Wow, that's really just amazing and I really appreciate you sharing 37 00:02:40.240 --> 00:02:46.439 that. For anyone that's looking to change a major maybe habit change or anything 38 00:02:46.479 --> 00:02:50.439 like that, which is really, really hard to do, what would be 39 00:02:50.520 --> 00:02:53.479 maybe some advice that you have for them? Yeah, so I have a 40 00:02:53.479 --> 00:02:57.960 couple tricks that I used because it wasn't easy for me to start getting up 41 00:02:57.960 --> 00:03:00.680 early going to the gym. I lived in new ham sure at the time 42 00:03:00.719 --> 00:03:04.800 it was cold, it was dark in the morning, I wasn't at all 43 00:03:04.800 --> 00:03:07.080 fit. I had just gotten out of Rehab so it was a real challenge. 44 00:03:07.159 --> 00:03:10.120 But I did a couple things. The first thing that I did was 45 00:03:10.159 --> 00:03:15.400 I made it as easy as possible for me to maintain that habit. So 46 00:03:15.479 --> 00:03:19.039 every night before I went to bed, I would set out everything I needed 47 00:03:19.080 --> 00:03:21.560 for the next day, my gym clothes, top to bottom, all the 48 00:03:21.599 --> 00:03:23.319 way down to like my socks, my underwear. I'd plan out, I'd 49 00:03:23.319 --> 00:03:27.120 get all my work clothes ready and they'd all be ready to go in the 50 00:03:27.159 --> 00:03:30.039 spare bedroom. I packed my lunch and it was in a bag in the 51 00:03:30.039 --> 00:03:32.039 fridge. So when I woke up in the morning, there was like very 52 00:03:32.080 --> 00:03:36.560 little friction between me and actually getting in my car to go to the gym 53 00:03:36.560 --> 00:03:38.719 because I had everything done the night before. The second thing I did as 54 00:03:38.759 --> 00:03:43.120 I told myself all I had to do was show up. That was it. 55 00:03:43.159 --> 00:03:45.159 All I had to do was show up at the gym and if I 56 00:03:45.159 --> 00:03:47.719 walked in and checked in with the front desk person and I wanted to walk 57 00:03:47.800 --> 00:03:51.680 right back out that door, I could and that was it. That was 58 00:03:51.719 --> 00:03:54.120 all I needed to do because I had gone to the gym in the morning 59 00:03:54.159 --> 00:03:57.560 and inevitably, of course, I would get there and I'd be like, 60 00:03:57.560 --> 00:04:00.439 well, I'm not just going to walk out what I'm already here and I 61 00:04:00.560 --> 00:04:04.199 go in and make the effort. But it made showing up the goal and 62 00:04:04.240 --> 00:04:09.800 that allowed me just to be really consistent and successful. So the goal wasn't 63 00:04:09.840 --> 00:04:12.719 the workout. It wasn't to work out for forty five minutes or to hit 64 00:04:12.759 --> 00:04:15.960 a certain, you know, wait on my squad. It was just show 65 00:04:15.040 --> 00:04:18.680 up. And then the other little trick that I used was I told myself 66 00:04:18.720 --> 00:04:21.600 if I got out of bed in the morning and put my gym clothes on 67 00:04:21.639 --> 00:04:25.839 and like didn't want to go that day, I didn't have to. And 68 00:04:25.959 --> 00:04:28.759 I almost never needed to use that trick because I'd be up at five o'clock 69 00:04:28.759 --> 00:04:30.120 in the morning and I put my gym close on, be walking around my 70 00:04:30.199 --> 00:04:33.079 like dark cold house with my dog and be like well, I'm now, 71 00:04:33.079 --> 00:04:35.639 I'm up, I might as well go. So there are a few little 72 00:04:35.639 --> 00:04:40.720 things I did that I now know we're very grounded and habit research. That 73 00:04:40.800 --> 00:04:45.319 just felt very intuitive to me. Make it as easy as possible, reduce 74 00:04:45.360 --> 00:04:48.480 as much friction as possible and make the goal showing up, and it also 75 00:04:48.639 --> 00:04:53.040 required less will power. So I think one of the things people don't they 76 00:04:53.040 --> 00:04:56.879 think about will power and you think about it in terms of I'm going to 77 00:04:56.920 --> 00:05:00.000 resist the temptation of the you know cake that's in the break room and you 78 00:05:00.000 --> 00:05:03.879 think about this like very active resistance, but there are a zillion acts in 79 00:05:03.879 --> 00:05:08.000 our day before we even leave the house to go to work, that require 80 00:05:08.000 --> 00:05:11.920 will power, not hitting snooze, getting up out of bed, brushing our 81 00:05:11.959 --> 00:05:15.600 teeth, all of these things require effort and will power, and the more 82 00:05:15.639 --> 00:05:19.480 you can preserve that will power for, like the big things that you really 83 00:05:19.519 --> 00:05:24.319 want to do, the more you'll have. So to reduce the amount of 84 00:05:24.319 --> 00:05:27.920 will power I had to use to not hit snooze, I had my clock 85 00:05:28.000 --> 00:05:30.680 radio set all the way across the room. I couldn't hit snooze, I'd 86 00:05:30.680 --> 00:05:32.360 a physically get out of bed, and so that's how I learned not to 87 00:05:32.399 --> 00:05:35.000 hits news. All of my clothes were ready, so I didn't have to 88 00:05:35.079 --> 00:05:39.959 like will power my way to like finding my sports bra and my tights, 89 00:05:39.959 --> 00:05:42.480 like Nope, they were all right there and super easy for me to put 90 00:05:42.560 --> 00:05:45.959 on. So I reduce the amount of will power I had to use to 91 00:05:46.000 --> 00:05:48.360 make that habit successful as well, and that was really important because it meant 92 00:05:48.399 --> 00:05:51.800 I had more when it did come to things like, okay, now I'm 93 00:05:51.800 --> 00:05:54.839 going to try to eat healthy for the rest of the day, or I'm 94 00:05:54.839 --> 00:05:58.360 going to go to bed earlier instead of, you know, watching another Netflix 95 00:05:58.439 --> 00:06:01.199 episode, totally total. Really know that makes a ton of sense. Just 96 00:06:01.240 --> 00:06:05.040 trying to make it all very kind of simple and easy to do so you 97 00:06:05.040 --> 00:06:09.439 don't really have to use up your will power or to actually go to the 98 00:06:09.439 --> 00:06:14.120 gym, what have you. So I sure develop e these new habits. 99 00:06:14.120 --> 00:06:16.879 You're becoming much more interested in nutrition, you're going to the gym, you 100 00:06:17.000 --> 00:06:21.439 gain in shape. Where did you think? Where to kind of whole thirty 101 00:06:21.439 --> 00:06:26.000 trickle in into your mind, or even that, hey, maybe I want 102 00:06:26.000 --> 00:06:29.240 to help other people with this goal and maybe you just even, just a 103 00:06:29.240 --> 00:06:33.279 little capacity. Yeah, so whole thirty started into April two thousand and nine. 104 00:06:33.360 --> 00:06:36.160 So this is about nine years after my normal reckon. You know, 105 00:06:36.199 --> 00:06:40.879 I had begun to write a regular exercise routine. I started doing cross bit 106 00:06:41.000 --> 00:06:43.920 in two thousand and six and that's when I really started paying attention to things 107 00:06:44.000 --> 00:06:47.319 like performance and recovery and started exercising in a more deliberate way. In two 108 00:06:47.360 --> 00:06:50.519 thousand and nine, whole thirty started as just a two person self experiment. 109 00:06:50.680 --> 00:06:56.920 My cofounder and I were sitting around after a really challenging Olympic lifting session and 110 00:06:56.959 --> 00:07:00.639 I remember I was eating thin mints right out of this leave because I had, 111 00:07:00.639 --> 00:07:03.000 you know, just exercised and I had earned them. And we were 112 00:07:03.079 --> 00:07:09.879 talking about this nutrition seminar we had recently attended that was talking about anti inflammatory 113 00:07:09.879 --> 00:07:15.680 foods and foods influence on things like athletic performance and recovery, and my cofounder 114 00:07:15.720 --> 00:07:18.480 was like, what if we did this super squeaky clean, like thirty day 115 00:07:19.079 --> 00:07:23.839 really strict elimination protocol, like we just, you know, kind of strip 116 00:07:23.879 --> 00:07:26.319 the last twenty percent a junk out of our diet? I meeting my thin 117 00:07:26.360 --> 00:07:28.439 men's and I'm like, yeah, that sounds great, let's do it. 118 00:07:28.920 --> 00:07:30.800 When do you want to start? He was like let's start right now. 119 00:07:30.839 --> 00:07:34.160 And all the things that made me a really good drug addict make me really 120 00:07:34.199 --> 00:07:38.160 good at habit change, because I can be like very black or white or 121 00:07:38.160 --> 00:07:41.439 honor off. So I handed my thin mints off to my friend Zac and 122 00:07:41.439 --> 00:07:43.920 I was like yeah, let's do it. And so the whole thirty was 123 00:07:43.959 --> 00:07:47.120 really just let's do this little self experiment clean up the last twenty percent. 124 00:07:47.160 --> 00:07:49.959 I was already eating what I thought was pretty healthy. I was like the 125 00:07:49.959 --> 00:07:55.079 healthiest person in my office. But what I wonder what that last kind of 126 00:07:55.079 --> 00:07:59.120 little clean up would do. I was hoping to see athletic performance and recovery 127 00:07:59.120 --> 00:08:03.879 improvements, and I certainly did, but I also saw tremendous improvements and energy. 128 00:08:03.000 --> 00:08:07.720 No more to PM, had slumped on desk. Need Caffeine, need 129 00:08:07.759 --> 00:08:09.879 sugar. That was gone. I had energizer, Bunner, bunny energy all 130 00:08:09.959 --> 00:08:13.759 day long. I was sleeping so much better, my mood was so much 131 00:08:13.759 --> 00:08:18.000 happier. People at work we're noticing that. Like I was more talkative and 132 00:08:18.000 --> 00:08:24.279 more jovial, and it identified for me a dysfunctional relationship with food. Not 133 00:08:24.399 --> 00:08:26.560 that I ever had an eating disorder or anything, but like I was using 134 00:08:26.639 --> 00:08:31.360 food kind of the way I used to use drugs as a reward, as 135 00:08:31.360 --> 00:08:35.159 a punishment, to self soothe, to relieve anxiety, to show myself love. 136 00:08:35.200 --> 00:08:37.000 And in the absence of those foods for thirty days, I had to 137 00:08:37.000 --> 00:08:41.960 come up with other ways to manage my stress, and that actually felt really 138 00:08:41.080 --> 00:08:45.720 healthy and affirming for me. So, because I had such a great experience, 139 00:08:45.720 --> 00:08:48.919 I shared about it on my crossfit training blog and couple hundred people were 140 00:08:48.919 --> 00:08:52.639 like, I'd be interested in trying that. So I wrote up this really 141 00:08:52.720 --> 00:08:56.840 rudimentary set of rules and in July two thousand and nine, that was the 142 00:08:56.840 --> 00:09:00.840 start of the official like I guess, the very first group pull thirty. 143 00:09:00.840 --> 00:09:03.759 Wow, that's awesome. That's awesome. Yeah, we you first did what 144 00:09:05.080 --> 00:09:07.799 became whole thirty. What was maybe like the hardest part about it, in 145 00:09:07.879 --> 00:09:11.840 terms of maybe food that you specifically get had to give up? Yeah, 146 00:09:11.879 --> 00:09:15.919 I mean I wasn't really drinking much alcohol, so that was not hard. 147 00:09:16.240 --> 00:09:22.240 I did miss my like Duncan donuts ICED Turbo Caramel Latte in the morning because 148 00:09:22.279 --> 00:09:24.559 like every morning before I, you know, after the gym, I would 149 00:09:24.600 --> 00:09:28.879 do my Duncan donuts, ice Caramel Lotte and my like everything big all with 150 00:09:28.919 --> 00:09:31.840 strawberry cream cheese right getting those like good healthy whole grains in, and I 151 00:09:31.840 --> 00:09:35.039 definitely miss that. So there was like a learning curve. If I'm not 152 00:09:35.080 --> 00:09:41.000 going to eat these whole grain, low fat kind of bodybuilder type like what 153 00:09:41.080 --> 00:09:43.200 everyone thought was healthy, then if I'm not going to do that, like 154 00:09:43.200 --> 00:09:46.480 one am I going to eat for breakfast? So definitely it was a learning 155 00:09:46.519 --> 00:09:50.399 curve. there. They were specific foods like cheese that I really missed way 156 00:09:50.440 --> 00:09:54.320 more than I thought I would, which was ironic because when I reintroduce cheese, 157 00:09:54.360 --> 00:09:58.279 I realized that, like it did not work well for me at all, 158 00:09:58.320 --> 00:10:01.519 and it also just made me super aware of how often they add sugar, 159 00:10:01.600 --> 00:10:05.919 two things that you would not expect would have sugar in them. I 160 00:10:05.919 --> 00:10:09.240 don't know that there was anyone aspect that was like harder than anything else, 161 00:10:09.279 --> 00:10:11.759 because I'm pretty good about like if I say I'm going to do something, 162 00:10:11.799 --> 00:10:15.360 I just do it. But it was definitely a big learning curve in terms 163 00:10:15.399 --> 00:10:18.879 of grocery shopping and meal prepping. was there any maybe cheese might be one 164 00:10:18.879 --> 00:10:22.919 of them, but was there any foods that you think, okay, I 165 00:10:22.960 --> 00:10:26.279 don't have a sensitivity here at all, and then we you did whole thirty 166 00:10:26.320 --> 00:10:28.600 you're like, oh my gosh, I actually really do big time. Dairy 167 00:10:28.679 --> 00:10:33.799 was huge for me. I used to eat like tubs of low fat cottage 168 00:10:33.879 --> 00:10:35.600 cheese. That was like my jam because it was super high and protein and 169 00:10:35.600 --> 00:10:39.720 low and fat. I ate a lot of like soft cheese, has goat 170 00:10:39.799 --> 00:10:43.600 cheese, feta cheese, and when I reintrud and like Dan and light and 171 00:10:43.639 --> 00:10:46.919 fit yogurts, that was the one thing. I used to love those and 172 00:10:46.960 --> 00:10:50.320 when I reintroduce them, all I could taste was like the artificial flavor in 173 00:10:50.399 --> 00:10:54.960 it. It didn't taste good anymore and I was really surprised at how much 174 00:10:54.000 --> 00:10:58.559 my stomach and digestive tracked like revolted at the idea of dairy. It did 175 00:10:58.600 --> 00:11:01.840 not go well for me and I was so surprised. But I think what 176 00:11:01.960 --> 00:11:07.399 happened is that I had just been walking around like with not great digestion and 177 00:11:07.440 --> 00:11:11.279 bloated basically all the time, and it had just become my normal and I 178 00:11:11.320 --> 00:11:15.679 didn't really think anything of it and it wasn't until I did the whole thirty 179 00:11:15.679 --> 00:11:18.840 that I was like, oh my gosh, my I can have like really 180 00:11:18.879 --> 00:11:20.879 smooth digestion. It took a couple weeks for it to even out, but 181 00:11:20.919 --> 00:11:24.559 once it did, I was like, okay, this is amazing and I'm 182 00:11:24.559 --> 00:11:28.039 not bloated all the time. I noticed that like my skin wasn't breaking out 183 00:11:28.080 --> 00:11:31.440 as often and again my energy was so much better. So there were a 184 00:11:31.440 --> 00:11:35.559 lot of surprises, but that first whole thirty really identified this new like normal, 185 00:11:35.559 --> 00:11:41.000 this new standard that I actually could achieve just with making dietary changes, 186 00:11:41.039 --> 00:11:43.559 and that was now the standard by whish I was measuring like is this food 187 00:11:43.600 --> 00:11:48.159 worth it or not? And those food sensitivity tests, you know, at 188 00:11:48.200 --> 00:11:50.919 the time I didn't realize that I had a lot of issues with my gut. 189 00:11:50.960 --> 00:11:54.840 I probably had leaky got, which is the sort of, you know, 190 00:11:54.960 --> 00:12:00.080 kind of colloquial term for like digestive disruption or intestinal permeability. So I 191 00:12:00.159 --> 00:12:01.960 probably had that, which meant that I was more sensitive to food that I 192 00:12:03.000 --> 00:12:05.600 would have been had my gut had been healed, for example. Now I 193 00:12:05.600 --> 00:12:07.879 feel like I'm in a much better place with my gut and I can do 194 00:12:07.960 --> 00:12:11.840 cheese way more often and it's way it has like far fewer negative effects. 195 00:12:11.840 --> 00:12:18.320 Those food sensitivity tests can sometimes identify intolerances that aren't really intolerances, just because 196 00:12:18.320 --> 00:12:20.559 your got is leaky and stuff is getting into your blood stream where it doesn't 197 00:12:20.600 --> 00:12:24.840 belong. An elimination diet is still, I buy a lot of doctored standards, 198 00:12:24.919 --> 00:12:28.360 kind of still the gold standard in terms of identifying food sensitivities and it's 199 00:12:28.360 --> 00:12:31.480 something that anyone can do. You don't have to go through an R D, 200 00:12:31.679 --> 00:12:35.759 which requires money and time and privilege. You know, you don't have 201 00:12:35.840 --> 00:12:39.039 to be prescribed by your medical doctor. You can just eliminate foods for thirty 202 00:12:39.120 --> 00:12:41.399 days and add them back in at the end and see how they work for 203 00:12:41.440 --> 00:12:46.399 you. So it's a very low lift way of figuring out which foods may 204 00:12:46.519 --> 00:12:50.440 or may not work best in your system in this current context. What was 205 00:12:50.559 --> 00:12:56.320 next when you were as you were kind of in the early innings of creating 206 00:12:56.360 --> 00:13:00.519 whole thirty yeah, so that's exactly what I did. I wrote up a 207 00:13:00.559 --> 00:13:03.960 really rudimentary set of rules and I was like, okay, here's what I 208 00:13:03.960 --> 00:13:05.399 did, here's what I want you to follow for the next thirty days. 209 00:13:05.480 --> 00:13:09.919 I ran it all off of like a blog spot, blog post. So 210 00:13:09.159 --> 00:13:13.200 you know, it was like people were asking questions and comments and I was 211 00:13:13.240 --> 00:13:15.320 responding and I was like here's the deal, I'm going to guide you through 212 00:13:15.360 --> 00:13:16.559 this for thirty days. If you have questions, let me know. I'll 213 00:13:16.559 --> 00:13:20.639 share from my own experience. If you have questions about like how to meal 214 00:13:20.679 --> 00:13:22.200 prep or what foods to eat or well, you know what to sub for 215 00:13:22.320 --> 00:13:26.200 certain things, I can help you. You need to do this for thirty 216 00:13:26.240 --> 00:13:28.919 days by the book. You can't like half do it or do it on 217 00:13:28.960 --> 00:13:31.000 weekends, because that's not how an elimination diet works right. You have to 218 00:13:31.000 --> 00:13:35.919 completely eliminate the foods that you're testing and then reintroduce them really like a scientific 219 00:13:35.919 --> 00:13:39.120 experiment. So like do this a hundred percent or don't, but like, 220 00:13:39.159 --> 00:13:41.080 if you're going to do it, you know through me. I want you 221 00:13:41.120 --> 00:13:43.080 to do it the way that it's meant to be done. And then I 222 00:13:43.080 --> 00:13:46.320 walked people through it for thirty days and people ask questions and I answered those 223 00:13:46.399 --> 00:13:52.080 questions and it really wasn't until the end of those thirty days that their testimonial 224 00:13:52.200 --> 00:13:56.279 started rolling in and I realized, Oh, this is like we have something 225 00:13:56.279 --> 00:13:58.960 here, this is something really good. You know, when two people do 226 00:13:58.000 --> 00:14:01.960 a self experiment and they get amazing, life changing kind of similar results, 227 00:14:01.960 --> 00:14:05.840 you're like that's interesting. When a hundred people right back and they're like my 228 00:14:05.960 --> 00:14:09.320 energy skyrocketed, my sleep improve, my skin is better, my digestion is 229 00:14:09.360 --> 00:14:13.360 better, my cravings are gone, my inflammation is down, and then you 230 00:14:13.360 --> 00:14:16.759 start to hear things like, you know, my allergies got better, I 231 00:14:16.799 --> 00:14:20.039 didn't have any asthma attacks, I didn't have any migrains in those thirty days. 232 00:14:20.080 --> 00:14:22.960 Then you were like wow, I mean food is incredibly powerful. And 233 00:14:24.000 --> 00:14:26.559 that was the point where I was like this is definitely something that we want 234 00:14:26.639 --> 00:14:31.360 to keep, you know, talking about and promoting and making better and creating 235 00:14:31.399 --> 00:14:35.440 resources. And that's really how it's snowballed from there. No, that's amazing. 236 00:14:35.519 --> 00:14:39.159 That's amazing. And so once you realize that not only was this start 237 00:14:39.200 --> 00:14:43.080 off as experiment change your own life right and really made you understand your body 238 00:14:43.519 --> 00:14:46.720 the better, but you're slowly kind of turning into also a thought leader or 239 00:14:46.759 --> 00:14:52.519 someone that's actually helping other people really understand or identify their own bodies, and 240 00:14:52.600 --> 00:14:56.480 obviously with powerful reviews of it about. You know how this is so life 241 00:14:56.519 --> 00:15:00.600 changing. At that point, when you were thinking about, okay, what 242 00:15:00.600 --> 00:15:03.200 additional content or ways that could be help people, what was kind of the 243 00:15:03.240 --> 00:15:09.720 next step that was. Essentially it was me talking to my community, which 244 00:15:09.840 --> 00:15:11.559 continue to just slowly grow from there, going okay, what else do you 245 00:15:11.600 --> 00:15:13.600 need? What do you need to be helpful here? What could I do? 246 00:15:13.639 --> 00:15:16.519 What could I give you? And people would go, you know, 247 00:15:16.519 --> 00:15:18.120 I'd be really helpful to have a shopping list because, like, I don't 248 00:15:18.120 --> 00:15:20.440 really know what to buy when I go to the grocery store now if I'm 249 00:15:20.480 --> 00:15:24.639 not doing, you know, breads and cereals and Pastas and rice as my 250 00:15:24.679 --> 00:15:26.200 side dish, what should I get? And I was like, okay, 251 00:15:26.200 --> 00:15:28.440 I'll create a shopping list for you, and then it was, you know, 252 00:15:28.480 --> 00:15:31.000 there's a lot of at like how do I put a meal together? 253 00:15:31.039 --> 00:15:33.159 How much should I be eating? Should I be counting calories, tracking calories? 254 00:15:33.200 --> 00:15:37.519 And we were like no, we really you're not restricting calories, you're 255 00:15:37.519 --> 00:15:39.360 not counting calories. This is not weight loss program. You're going to eat 256 00:15:39.399 --> 00:15:43.039 to satiety, but like, we want to make sure you're eating enough. 257 00:15:43.120 --> 00:15:46.879 So here's a general baseline that you can use within you know, arrange to 258 00:15:46.960 --> 00:15:48.679 a commodate for like how big you are and how active you are, etc. 259 00:15:50.720 --> 00:15:54.639 How to stock your Pantry, how to order dine out at a restaurant. 260 00:15:54.679 --> 00:15:56.799 This was back in two thousand and nine. So there were no whole 261 00:15:56.840 --> 00:16:00.559 thirty bowls at chipotle. There was no primal kitchen Mayo or like shelve upon 262 00:16:00.639 --> 00:16:04.240 shelf of whole thirty approved goods to you know, pick from. There wasn't 263 00:16:04.279 --> 00:16:07.759 even a Mayo. We were like making our own Mayo, making our own 264 00:16:07.799 --> 00:16:11.480 bone broth, like it was walking up hill. You know, in this 265 00:16:11.559 --> 00:16:15.440 snow both ways. So I wanted to just offer as many resources as I 266 00:16:15.440 --> 00:16:18.159 could to make it easy for people, and every good idea I've ever had 267 00:16:18.200 --> 00:16:22.960 for the whole thirty comes from the community and from comes from them saying I 268 00:16:22.960 --> 00:16:25.840 could use this, I could use some recipes, this would be helpful, 269 00:16:25.919 --> 00:16:27.960 or me noticing a pain point and going, Oh, I have an idea 270 00:16:29.039 --> 00:16:32.679 about how I can make this easier for you. And so that's really where 271 00:16:32.799 --> 00:16:36.960 I spent the next two years of my whole thirty life, is just creating 272 00:16:37.000 --> 00:16:41.240 things to make people more successful with the program. And what do you say 273 00:16:41.279 --> 00:16:44.159 creating things? It seems like, as you describe it, it's a lot 274 00:16:44.200 --> 00:16:47.519 of like consumer education in terms of shopping lists and, you know, things 275 00:16:47.559 --> 00:16:49.960 that you should eat versus that that you shouldn't eat, and when you go 276 00:16:51.039 --> 00:16:55.039 into a grocery store, which, if you want to keep to a specific 277 00:16:55.080 --> 00:16:59.080 regiment, can be pretty overwhelming. So it's really trying to understand what people 278 00:16:59.080 --> 00:17:02.639 actually should be in cheing, be eating or how they should be shopping if 279 00:17:02.639 --> 00:17:06.480 they do want to subscribe to a whole dirty diet. And it also is 280 00:17:06.599 --> 00:17:11.039 well, is this when you also started to introduce your own products in terms 281 00:17:11.079 --> 00:17:14.480 of your own dress sings are now, that didn't happen until like two thousand 282 00:17:14.480 --> 00:17:17.359 and twenty. Oh Wow, okay, oh, yeah, took us a 283 00:17:17.400 --> 00:17:19.640 long time. It took us a long time before we started focusing on our 284 00:17:19.680 --> 00:17:23.799 own products. I was really for the first two or three years it was 285 00:17:23.880 --> 00:17:29.000 traveling three weekends out of a month to various crossfit gym's, talking to people 286 00:17:29.039 --> 00:17:33.240 about how to do the whole thirty, creating resources, really qualifying the rules 287 00:17:33.240 --> 00:17:36.920 and making sure they were really clear and well thought out. And then there 288 00:17:37.039 --> 00:17:41.279 was a I wrote a ton of articles, a ton of articles like why 289 00:17:41.279 --> 00:17:44.319 do I have to do this for thirty days a hundred percent by the books, 290 00:17:44.319 --> 00:17:47.160 and what is reintroduction and why is it important? And how do I 291 00:17:47.200 --> 00:17:51.119 talk to my family about doing whole thirty? And should I be eating fruit? 292 00:17:51.160 --> 00:17:53.240 Why shouldn't I be counting calories? Why isn't this a weight Lost Diet? 293 00:17:53.240 --> 00:17:57.160 There was so much information and people had so many questions about it that 294 00:17:57.200 --> 00:18:00.880 I just was plugging holes and being like, okay, let me create something 295 00:18:00.880 --> 00:18:03.960 for you. So you know, for a really long time we gave almost 296 00:18:04.000 --> 00:18:07.359 everything away for free. There was a ton of writing and resource creation. 297 00:18:07.519 --> 00:18:11.319 We did some workshops kind of educating people around the whole thirty, and it 298 00:18:11.359 --> 00:18:15.200 wasn't until two thousand and twelve that the very first hole thirty book came out. 299 00:18:15.240 --> 00:18:18.599 So you know, three years later came the decision of like okay, 300 00:18:18.599 --> 00:18:21.920 maybe we should write a book about it and then we won't have to, 301 00:18:22.079 --> 00:18:23.920 you know, do workshops for a hundred people at a time three weekends a 302 00:18:23.920 --> 00:18:26.039 month. We can just say like hey, we wrote a whole book about 303 00:18:26.039 --> 00:18:29.440 it and that's all, you know, you'll need to do. And so 304 00:18:29.519 --> 00:18:32.079 that's really where, like the first book, it starts with food, came 305 00:18:32.119 --> 00:18:34.000 from. It's amazing. That's no, it's really cool. Was it also 306 00:18:34.079 --> 00:18:37.200 hard because during this period, like the early two thousand and ten S, 307 00:18:37.279 --> 00:18:44.000 there was also Paleo and you maybe some other diets to that were or lifestyles 308 00:18:44.039 --> 00:18:47.720 that were coming out that were, you know, became quite popular. Was 309 00:18:47.799 --> 00:18:52.240 it hard to make you know, whole thirty maybe distinctive towards of you know, 310 00:18:52.400 --> 00:18:56.039 all the other kind of diets that were kind of around or just kind 311 00:18:56.079 --> 00:19:00.920 of on the verge of gay started? You know, I never really thought 312 00:19:00.920 --> 00:19:03.799 about it. I never I know that there were other thirty or twenty one 313 00:19:03.880 --> 00:19:07.279 day programs floating around. I know that lots of people were doing Paleo. 314 00:19:07.519 --> 00:19:11.240 It was kind of the tail end of Zone in Crossfitland, but a lot 315 00:19:11.240 --> 00:19:14.920 of people were doing Paleo. I never really thought about it. I never 316 00:19:14.960 --> 00:19:18.160 really looked at what other people were doing. I knew that the whole thirty 317 00:19:18.279 --> 00:19:22.079 was really good and it worked so well for the vast majority of people who 318 00:19:22.119 --> 00:19:23.559 are doing it and that was all I focused on. I just put my 319 00:19:23.559 --> 00:19:26.200 head down and thought, how can I help the people who are coming to 320 00:19:26.240 --> 00:19:30.119 me to do whole thirty? So I've never really been a big fan and 321 00:19:30.200 --> 00:19:33.519 of like keeping an eye on the competition and, you know, wondering what 322 00:19:33.559 --> 00:19:37.200 they're doing and thinking about tailoring our approach to meet those I've always just been 323 00:19:37.240 --> 00:19:40.960 really focused on what I know is really good about what we do and just 324 00:19:41.000 --> 00:19:44.039 making it even better. And I didn't think it was hard to to kind 325 00:19:44.039 --> 00:19:48.519 of differentiate ourselves because I felt like I've always had such a strong voice and 326 00:19:48.599 --> 00:19:51.480 my voice has been the voice of whole thirty since day one. So it's 327 00:19:51.480 --> 00:19:53.880 been consistent and the voice has been, you know, there and the program 328 00:19:53.920 --> 00:19:57.160 is always been incredibly well defined and that was always something that was just really 329 00:19:57.160 --> 00:20:02.240 easy to fall back on. How do you also think about, you know, 330 00:20:02.359 --> 00:20:07.680 iterating within whole thirty in terms of maybe what ingredients or products maybe should 331 00:20:07.720 --> 00:20:11.000 be on the Diet or should be not I think of. That is what, 332 00:20:11.119 --> 00:20:12.559 to me, is also really fascinate about whole thirty, because I know 333 00:20:12.599 --> 00:20:18.359 that you make changes and are kind of thinking about because I'm sure you're extremely 334 00:20:18.440 --> 00:20:22.480 meticulous when it comes to when ingredients maybe should be on the Diet verse not. 335 00:20:22.799 --> 00:20:26.240 How do you think about that in the progression of whole thirty through the 336 00:20:26.319 --> 00:20:32.960 years? Yeah, we are always always looking at the foundation for our rules 337 00:20:33.000 --> 00:20:36.279 and our support. We're always looking at the science and, you know, 338 00:20:36.359 --> 00:20:40.680 has the science changed? If it's changed, or our understanding of the science 339 00:20:40.720 --> 00:20:42.039 has changed, then we're going to make a rule change. We did that 340 00:20:42.039 --> 00:20:48.240 recently when we removed the rule that said you can't have MSG on the whole 341 00:20:48.240 --> 00:20:51.000 thirty. That's been a rule since two thousand and nine no MSG, and 342 00:20:51.039 --> 00:20:53.079 a couple years ago I started doing some research into it and realize that the 343 00:20:53.079 --> 00:20:59.519 science behind the demonization of MSG is actually super routed and racism and not particularly 344 00:20:59.559 --> 00:21:03.000 well sound. It an evidence based science and there isn't really enough evidence for 345 00:21:03.119 --> 00:21:06.640 us to say no, you shouldn't eat it on a whole thirty. So 346 00:21:06.680 --> 00:21:10.319 we reverse that rule. So we're always looking at the science where always. 347 00:21:10.359 --> 00:21:12.599 You know, I've got a team of clinical advisors that are MD's and ends 348 00:21:12.640 --> 00:21:17.119 and our D's and healthcare providers that we go to and we have questions about 349 00:21:17.119 --> 00:21:19.359 the stuff and try to reach a consensus. We also have now more than 350 00:21:19.359 --> 00:21:25.160 twelve years of clinical experience on the whole thirty. So even if the science 351 00:21:25.240 --> 00:21:27.240 is iffy on something where it's like Ah, man, like this could be 352 00:21:27.319 --> 00:21:30.960 something that we'd want to eliminate according to the science, or maybe like the 353 00:21:30.960 --> 00:21:33.160 science, as it could be really healthy for some people, will go back 354 00:21:33.200 --> 00:21:37.039 to the clinic, our clinical experience and if the vast majority of whole thirty 355 00:21:37.119 --> 00:21:40.519 years say no, I actually did notice when I reintroduced US I had a 356 00:21:40.559 --> 00:21:44.440 problem, then we'll continue to leave it out. So there's no magic to 357 00:21:44.480 --> 00:21:48.359 it. It's not like I can definitively say one way or the other because 358 00:21:48.359 --> 00:21:51.920 everybody's different and there is chat. It is challenging to create ones that are 359 00:21:52.000 --> 00:21:55.920 rules, that works as well as possible for as broad a range of people 360 00:21:55.960 --> 00:21:59.960 as possible. But we're always talking about the rules and the guidelines and whole 361 00:21:59.960 --> 00:22:02.960 thirty approve products and can you have this and can you have that? We 362 00:22:03.000 --> 00:22:07.599 have lengthy internal discussions with the whole h q team and sometimes you know, 363 00:22:07.680 --> 00:22:11.160 two or three years later will reverse our position on something because when we know 364 00:22:11.279 --> 00:22:15.000 better, we want to do better and I feel really good about taking that 365 00:22:15.079 --> 00:22:18.400 stance. I really appreciate you sharing that. I found really interesting and really 366 00:22:18.839 --> 00:22:23.440 appreciate how there seems to bag an evolution, always in terms of the brand 367 00:22:23.720 --> 00:22:27.319 and whole thirty, in terms of what is on the Dian and what's not. 368 00:22:27.480 --> 00:22:30.880 It's not just this is it and this is always going to be it. 369 00:22:30.880 --> 00:22:34.359 It's always kind of you're always kind of thinking and kind of iterating on 370 00:22:34.519 --> 00:22:37.240 more products should be on and off, which is really cool. As I 371 00:22:37.279 --> 00:22:42.000 mentioned to earlier, as the food landscape changes, we also have to iterate, 372 00:22:42.039 --> 00:22:47.039 like when we were making the rules cauliflower did not know that it could 373 00:22:47.039 --> 00:22:49.359 become pizza crossed and pasta and all of the and tortia chips and all the 374 00:22:49.440 --> 00:22:53.960 other things that cauliflower is now in. So as companies find new creative ways 375 00:22:55.119 --> 00:22:57.839 to offer gluten free, grain free, dairy free products, we have to 376 00:22:57.880 --> 00:23:00.839 look at those and go does this fit the spirit and intention of the whole 377 00:23:00.880 --> 00:23:04.960 thirty? Like, just because you can make a cauliflower Tortilla chip, does 378 00:23:04.960 --> 00:23:07.359 that mean we want you to eat it on whole thirty. So there are 379 00:23:07.400 --> 00:23:11.079 a lot of things like as the food landscape changes, as our understanding of 380 00:23:11.119 --> 00:23:15.240 diet culture changes and the science changes, of course we're always iterating and we're 381 00:23:15.279 --> 00:23:18.680 always talking about it and we're always evolving and I think it's, you know, 382 00:23:18.759 --> 00:23:21.839 for the better. I don't know that I would trust a program that 383 00:23:21.880 --> 00:23:23.880 hasn't changed at all in the last twelve years. That feels weird to me. 384 00:23:25.200 --> 00:23:29.720 It's really wonderful when brand's like applegate, for example, you know, 385 00:23:29.759 --> 00:23:32.960 a couple years ago they took the sugar out of their bacon and reached out 386 00:23:32.960 --> 00:23:34.559 and said like hey, we want to make our bacon whole thirty approved and 387 00:23:34.559 --> 00:23:37.799 we remove the sugar to make it approved. Awesome, right, the fact 388 00:23:37.799 --> 00:23:42.559 that brands like applegate and Organic Ville are looking at the whole thirty guidelines and 389 00:23:42.599 --> 00:23:47.359 saying we want to make products specifically that fit our guidelines and we're willing to 390 00:23:47.440 --> 00:23:51.839 change our product formulations to do that. You know, chipotle's another example like 391 00:23:51.880 --> 00:23:56.559 that's amazing and that means that people's voices are being heard. It's also fantastic 392 00:23:56.599 --> 00:24:00.759 for people who discover they have a gluten sensitivity or a dairy sensitivity or a 393 00:24:00.839 --> 00:24:06.440 soy sensitivity that now they can still eat tortilla chips or, you know, 394 00:24:06.519 --> 00:24:11.519 birthday cake or whatever, cream cheese and not have to worry about eating this 395 00:24:11.559 --> 00:24:15.720 food that they love but that also like messing with their digestion or their symptoms. 396 00:24:15.799 --> 00:24:18.400 The thing that's challenging is that the education we have to do around the 397 00:24:18.440 --> 00:24:22.359 idea that just because it's grain free or gluten, for your dairy free, 398 00:24:22.400 --> 00:24:26.440 doesn't automatically make it healthy. And so there is some education around that, 399 00:24:26.519 --> 00:24:29.000 just as we saw with like low fat, you know, back in the 400 00:24:29.359 --> 00:24:30.839 S, like just because it says low fat doesn't mean it's healthy, just 401 00:24:30.880 --> 00:24:34.880 because it says Kyto doesn't mean it's healthy. But I like the opportunity to 402 00:24:34.960 --> 00:24:37.799 educate like that. I think people come to the whole thirty in part because 403 00:24:37.799 --> 00:24:41.119 they want to learn how to read a food label and what's in their food 404 00:24:41.160 --> 00:24:44.400 and how to make the best choices for them, and one of the things 405 00:24:44.400 --> 00:24:48.039 we do really well is educate our community about some of these nuances of the 406 00:24:48.039 --> 00:24:52.359 new food products that they're seeing. That makes a lot of sense it actually. 407 00:24:52.480 --> 00:24:55.200 That leas be to my next question. With those examples, like how 408 00:24:55.240 --> 00:25:00.680 did you early on approach relationships and maybe partnerships with brands that maybe then they 409 00:25:00.680 --> 00:25:04.680 could tie in into hit their whole thirty friendly? Yeah, so the very 410 00:25:04.680 --> 00:25:08.119 first brand we approached is no longer in business. Shout out to primal paths, 411 00:25:08.119 --> 00:25:11.079 based in Seattle, but they this was a two thousand and ten. 412 00:25:11.200 --> 00:25:17.079 They were making a sugar free like jerky snack mix. It was like nuts 413 00:25:17.079 --> 00:25:19.480 and dried mango and sugar free like beef Jerkey, and you couldn't find sugar 414 00:25:19.559 --> 00:25:22.839 free on the go like meat, you know, Jerky like that. And 415 00:25:22.880 --> 00:25:26.359 so I reached out to the owner and I was like, Hey, your 416 00:25:26.519 --> 00:25:30.640 ingredients meet our whole thirty products. I can inter do you shoot to my 417 00:25:30.680 --> 00:25:34.359 audience and you just can tell your audience that your whole thirty approved, and 418 00:25:34.480 --> 00:25:37.920 you know, this is like a win win. I'm going to introduce your 419 00:25:37.960 --> 00:25:41.279 product to more people. My people are going to have now have an option 420 00:25:41.359 --> 00:25:45.920 that they didn't, you know, easily identifiable option, and I get the 421 00:25:45.960 --> 00:25:48.519 you know, tie in with this brand that makes this product that like I'm 422 00:25:48.559 --> 00:25:49.680 not going to make. I'm not going to make a sugar free Jerkey. 423 00:25:49.720 --> 00:25:52.079 That's not what I do. And so that's how it started. In some 424 00:25:52.119 --> 00:25:57.799 of our earliest partners, like Lacroix and epic and CE snacks, are still 425 00:25:57.799 --> 00:26:00.920 with us today. And it really started because I was like, you make 426 00:26:02.000 --> 00:26:04.400 great products that fit our program I want to be able to send my people 427 00:26:04.480 --> 00:26:07.799 to use that they don't have to read so many labels, like what do 428 00:26:07.839 --> 00:26:11.440 you say? And these brands were like yeah, that sounds good and you 429 00:26:11.480 --> 00:26:12.960 know, fast forward. Now we have over a hundred and forty whole thirty 430 00:26:12.960 --> 00:26:18.480 approve partners and some really fantastic and big names like chipotle and like applegate and 431 00:26:18.559 --> 00:26:22.240 Lacroix and Waterloo and, you know, all of these really fun brands. 432 00:26:22.279 --> 00:26:26.240 But that's how it started. It just started because there was a need within 433 00:26:26.319 --> 00:26:30.200 the community and if it just really was like a win all around. Everybody 434 00:26:30.279 --> 00:26:36.319 benefited from the Association brand by brand, name by you know, consumer toys, 435 00:26:36.640 --> 00:26:38.960 and the fact that now my consumers were able to be more successful with 436 00:26:40.000 --> 00:26:44.000 the program because they had some convenience products. For the first few years. 437 00:26:44.079 --> 00:26:45.480 I don't want to say like this, but it was very much like a 438 00:26:45.519 --> 00:26:48.680 content business. Right. You are producing books, you he made near ties 439 00:26:48.720 --> 00:26:52.240 best seller. You are obviously writing a tons of post you were in engaging 440 00:26:52.279 --> 00:26:56.920 with your community. What were the hardest parts about managing like a content oriented 441 00:26:56.960 --> 00:27:00.920 business? Yeah, I mean I would still say we're very much a media 442 00:27:00.960 --> 00:27:04.000 company. We're still very content forward and content heavy. I think part of 443 00:27:04.000 --> 00:27:07.440 it is just the workload. I was the rate limiting factor for a while 444 00:27:07.599 --> 00:27:11.519 because I did all the writing. So, like, I can only write 445 00:27:11.599 --> 00:27:15.359 so much. So that's always definitely, you know, challenging keeping up with 446 00:27:15.440 --> 00:27:18.039 new platforms and technology. So, you know, at first it was the 447 00:27:18.079 --> 00:27:23.480 blog and our whole thirty four Um and then it was facebook and then it 448 00:27:23.559 --> 00:27:26.480 was instagram and then we did a four and a snapchat and then it was 449 00:27:26.480 --> 00:27:29.960 our we on Tick Tock and are we on clubhouse, and you know. 450 00:27:30.039 --> 00:27:33.319 So as social media has grown and evolved, we've grown involved with it and 451 00:27:33.359 --> 00:27:37.000 it's been wonderful. We couldn't, you know, run our business anywhere near 452 00:27:37.039 --> 00:27:41.200 as effectively without it. But that requires a lot of labor and time and 453 00:27:41.240 --> 00:27:44.440 attention and now maybe more of a strategy than we used to have. So 454 00:27:44.519 --> 00:27:48.000 that's certainly been challenging. And then there's just a lot of content out there. 455 00:27:48.039 --> 00:27:55.279 It's easier to develop a fiercely loyal audience and a really strong connection with 456 00:27:55.319 --> 00:27:57.240 that audience when you're talking one on one to them, and for a long 457 00:27:57.279 --> 00:28:00.680 time I had the opportunity to do that. I was doing it in person 458 00:28:02.039 --> 00:28:06.319 at Book Tour Events and at workshops. You know, social media was still 459 00:28:06.319 --> 00:28:11.400 like a smaller venue where you could actually posts were algorithmic or you could you 460 00:28:11.440 --> 00:28:14.119 know you were seeing the post that you really wanted to see and we were 461 00:28:14.119 --> 00:28:18.480 having those one on one connections. And now it feels like the majority of 462 00:28:18.559 --> 00:28:21.599 our followers, you know, you're not seeing as much of what we're posting 463 00:28:21.599 --> 00:28:25.160 and our audience doesn't know us as well or know me as well. So 464 00:28:25.240 --> 00:28:27.400 we've shifted a lot of our content now to our newsletter, which is far 465 00:28:27.519 --> 00:28:30.960 more of a direct one on one connection. But you're all you're just always 466 00:28:32.000 --> 00:28:34.240 thinking about that now. You're always thinking about how can I maintain the connection 467 00:28:34.440 --> 00:28:38.799 as things change? How can I maintain that relationship with my audience? And 468 00:28:38.839 --> 00:28:44.519 then, as we grew and started incorporating sponsored content into what we did, 469 00:28:44.559 --> 00:28:48.000 it was how do we make sure that we continue to ride real value added 470 00:28:48.039 --> 00:28:52.839 information without weighing so heavily on sponsored content that it starts to feel like we're 471 00:28:52.880 --> 00:28:57.640 always just selling people something and we've always aired far more on the side of 472 00:28:57.720 --> 00:29:02.599 value than we have sponsored content, probably to the detriment of our own profit 473 00:29:02.680 --> 00:29:04.359 most of the time. But, like, I'm comfortable with that because the 474 00:29:04.400 --> 00:29:10.119 relationship we've built with our audiences our number one priority. Always. How do 475 00:29:10.160 --> 00:29:14.759 you make sure that whole thirty kind of falls into and becomes more like the 476 00:29:14.759 --> 00:29:18.480 trend side of of that? It actually is a lifestyle it's a really big 477 00:29:18.559 --> 00:29:23.759 change and make sure that not only somebody does whole thirty and obviously hopefully enjoys 478 00:29:23.839 --> 00:29:27.680 it, but beyond after they finish that thirty days, that they're still kind 479 00:29:27.680 --> 00:29:32.000 of in the loop that they want to kind of keep going. It becomes 480 00:29:32.079 --> 00:29:36.599 actually the almost maintain that that lifestyle change. The first thing in this is 481 00:29:36.640 --> 00:29:38.519 going to sound really obvious, but it's often overlooked. You have to have 482 00:29:38.559 --> 00:29:42.640 a really good product. If our product wasn't very good and didn't work that 483 00:29:42.680 --> 00:29:47.880 well, it wouldn't matter how slick our marketing campaigns were or our content was 484 00:29:48.000 --> 00:29:51.480 or how much I wrote. People are going to stick around because it's not 485 00:29:51.559 --> 00:29:55.240 that effective. And what the thing about whole thirty is that it is so 486 00:29:55.319 --> 00:29:59.200 incredibly effective for the vast majority of people to the point where, when you 487 00:29:59.279 --> 00:30:02.240 do it, you want to talk about it with everybody. It's one of 488 00:30:02.240 --> 00:30:04.359 those things like crossfit or burning man, where it's like, let me tell 489 00:30:04.359 --> 00:30:07.240 you about whole thirty. I want to proselytize because it was so great for 490 00:30:07.279 --> 00:30:11.319 me and I think everyone could have this experience and should have this experience. 491 00:30:11.359 --> 00:30:17.079 So we grow tremendously via word of mouth and remain relevant because the program is 492 00:30:17.119 --> 00:30:19.559 so good and it works so well. I don't just want to get people 493 00:30:19.559 --> 00:30:23.240 in this sales funnel for this thirty days to sell them this thing. Like 494 00:30:23.319 --> 00:30:30.240 we are building community ahead of everything, and with that community we're talking about 495 00:30:30.279 --> 00:30:33.920 life before whole thirty, life in your whole thirty, life after your whole 496 00:30:33.920 --> 00:30:37.200 thirty, and your food freedom and what that looks like. inten gentle things. 497 00:30:37.240 --> 00:30:44.240 You know that our habit related and relationship and Selfcare, but aren't necessarily 498 00:30:44.319 --> 00:30:47.839 tied into just those thirty days. We're talking to people about having a growth 499 00:30:47.880 --> 00:30:52.359 mindset and really reframing the idea of like your identity as a person and how 500 00:30:52.359 --> 00:30:56.720 do you become or how do you see yourself as that healthy person with healthy 501 00:30:56.759 --> 00:31:00.799 habits and staying connected to this community is a really effortless way for people to 502 00:31:00.839 --> 00:31:06.039 remind themselves that I am a healthy person with healthy habits and I can give 503 00:31:06.039 --> 00:31:07.920 back to others in the community now that I've done the whole thirty and I'm 504 00:31:07.920 --> 00:31:11.880 an alumni, which feels really good. And if something knocks me off of 505 00:31:11.920 --> 00:31:17.720 my you know, food, freedom, stressful event or a holiday, I 506 00:31:17.720 --> 00:31:21.240 can come back to the whole thirty and reset again and that feels really good. 507 00:31:21.279 --> 00:31:25.640 So I don't know that we've necessarily like tried to build in a life 508 00:31:25.640 --> 00:31:30.200 cycle of keeping people involved, but they stay involved long after their whole dirty 509 00:31:30.319 --> 00:31:36.000 is over because our continued commitment is to providing value added content for our community 510 00:31:36.079 --> 00:31:40.480 at any phase and all phases. When did you decide that it was the 511 00:31:40.559 --> 00:31:44.240 right time to launch your impious and why was that the right period? So 512 00:31:44.279 --> 00:31:47.079 we'd been talking about it for a while and in fact many of our whole 513 00:31:47.079 --> 00:31:49.720 thirty approve partners and conversation had been like, why aren't you doing some of 514 00:31:49.759 --> 00:31:53.279 this yourself, like you could be creating your own whole thirty branded line of 515 00:31:53.440 --> 00:31:56.440 x, Y and Z, you know, in addition to partnering with us. 516 00:31:56.559 --> 00:32:02.400 Right, but I think we went into it very cautiously because we had 517 00:32:02.400 --> 00:32:07.880 never really sold anything to our community. We had products for sale, of 518 00:32:07.920 --> 00:32:10.319 course, we sold books, we have an SMS text message service, we 519 00:32:10.359 --> 00:32:15.319 have a hundred and two hundred thirty certified coaches who, you know, sell 520 00:32:15.400 --> 00:32:19.359 services to coach you through the whole thirty. But CPG, consumer package goods, 521 00:32:19.480 --> 00:32:22.559 was like a very definitive like we are going to sell you this product. 522 00:32:22.599 --> 00:32:24.759 So we went into it pretty cautiously, wanting to make sure that the 523 00:32:24.799 --> 00:32:29.319 community was right for it, that we weren't just, you know, putting 524 00:32:29.319 --> 00:32:31.640 out a line of like whole thirty branded spatulas just to try to make some 525 00:32:31.680 --> 00:32:35.400 money. Like we wanted to be really intentional with it and it took a 526 00:32:35.400 --> 00:32:38.599 while, but we thought about where we were seeing pain points, products where 527 00:32:38.640 --> 00:32:43.759 we thought we could add our own unique kind of flare or unique touch, 528 00:32:43.799 --> 00:32:46.799 and we landed on this line of five different salad dressing, salad dressings made 529 00:32:46.920 --> 00:32:51.720 with, you know, ingredients that even exceed the whole thirty standards, with 530 00:32:51.799 --> 00:32:55.839 recipes that came from my own kitchen. So you know, there's a creamy 531 00:32:55.880 --> 00:33:00.680 ball somic that I used to like concoct myself out of two or three different 532 00:33:00.759 --> 00:33:02.799 ingredients. At home there's a buffalo and Negrett because I used to put hot 533 00:33:02.839 --> 00:33:07.440 sauce on my salads and everyone thought it was weird, but it's actually amazing. 534 00:33:07.680 --> 00:33:09.920 We made a secret sauce that's a play on Utah's fry sauce, which 535 00:33:09.960 --> 00:33:14.680 is a condiment here in Salt Lake City that is so great and we elevated 536 00:33:14.720 --> 00:33:15.759 it. Of course we made our own version of ranch because, like, 537 00:33:15.799 --> 00:33:20.000 I don't even think you can hold thirty without ranch. But our version is, 538 00:33:20.079 --> 00:33:22.880 you know, so delicious. We just wanted to make it like extra 539 00:33:22.960 --> 00:33:25.720 Herbie and extra thick. So that was kind of what we decided. We 540 00:33:25.880 --> 00:33:29.720 spent about a year and a half and you know, thinking about production and 541 00:33:29.759 --> 00:33:32.200 design and we launched in the middle of a pandemic in August of two thousand 542 00:33:32.240 --> 00:33:36.839 and twenty. Well, it seems like as well, since you approached it 543 00:33:36.839 --> 00:33:40.079 maybe conservatively when you when you first came out. I mean also since you 544 00:33:40.119 --> 00:33:44.920 said that you didn't go into retail when you first came out. It was 545 00:33:45.119 --> 00:33:47.599 the pidemic. It's that was a bit fort it is considering what was kind 546 00:33:47.599 --> 00:33:50.880 of go went on in the world. So that makes sense. What has 547 00:33:50.920 --> 00:33:53.640 been the reaction so far of your products. The communities loved it. They 548 00:33:53.680 --> 00:33:59.400 just love having the extra options. Our flavors definitely added something to the mix 549 00:33:59.400 --> 00:34:02.119 that wasn't already there. They love being able to add them, you know, 550 00:34:02.200 --> 00:34:06.839 through their normal order at thrive market. I hear again and again I 551 00:34:06.880 --> 00:34:08.519 love just seeing whole s on the label. So I don't even have to 552 00:34:08.559 --> 00:34:10.960 think about it. I don't have to worry what's in the ingredients. I 553 00:34:12.000 --> 00:34:14.719 don't have to worry if, you know, the ingredients are good enough or 554 00:34:14.760 --> 00:34:17.519 if they it satisfies my like specific dietary requirements. I know if I see 555 00:34:17.559 --> 00:34:21.239 whole thirty I can eat it. People seem to really love the flavor. 556 00:34:21.239 --> 00:34:23.920 We've got hundreds of like five star reviews in our website, so that's been 557 00:34:24.000 --> 00:34:28.679 really good. Our partners have been incredibly supportive, you know. They love 558 00:34:28.760 --> 00:34:31.840 the idea of making whole thirty more visible in the market place because it makes 559 00:34:31.880 --> 00:34:35.960 their whole thirty logo on the front of their bottle stand out even more. 560 00:34:36.000 --> 00:34:38.639 So overall, I think it's been incredibly successful. We're really happy with how 561 00:34:38.639 --> 00:34:44.000 it's gone. That's awesome and since you obviously were with a ton of partner 562 00:34:44.039 --> 00:34:49.159 products. Has that at all been challenging, since you're launching a CPG brands 563 00:34:49.159 --> 00:34:52.360 yourself? So I had conversations with a few key partners ahead of time before 564 00:34:52.400 --> 00:34:54.199 we launched and I was like, Hey, I just want to let you 565 00:34:54.199 --> 00:34:57.960 know, like we're going to be doing this and I just wanted to have 566 00:34:58.000 --> 00:35:00.800 like a conversation with you ahead of time. Howw do you feel about it? 567 00:35:00.800 --> 00:35:04.239 What are your thoughts? I have very good relationships with almost all of 568 00:35:04.239 --> 00:35:07.800 our whole thirty proof partners and very close personal relationships with some of the biggest 569 00:35:07.840 --> 00:35:10.000 ones and to a point, every single one of them was like, we 570 00:35:10.039 --> 00:35:13.840 think this is great, let us know if we can help. Like they 571 00:35:13.960 --> 00:35:19.400 really recognize that a rising tide lifts all ships, as one of them said, 572 00:35:19.400 --> 00:35:22.440 and the more valuable the whole thirty logo is, the more valuable their 573 00:35:22.519 --> 00:35:25.719 logo is on their product. And we've made a conscientious effort at whole thirty 574 00:35:25.760 --> 00:35:30.880 two. We just work our own products into the normal rotation of talking about 575 00:35:30.880 --> 00:35:34.760 products. So if you look at even my personal instagram, it's going to 576 00:35:34.800 --> 00:35:38.639 be incredibly well balanced in terms of the products I'm using every day at home 577 00:35:38.679 --> 00:35:43.440 and what I share on my instagram story. Like we're not putting our products 578 00:35:43.480 --> 00:35:45.880 ahead of any of our partners, we're just working it into the normal rotation. 579 00:35:46.119 --> 00:35:52.199 So I don't think our community or anybody feels like there's anything kind of 580 00:35:52.239 --> 00:35:54.440 odd or off about it. It's just there's like another whole thirty product that 581 00:35:54.519 --> 00:35:58.360 you can use if you're looking for a cell addressing. That's awesome. That's 582 00:35:58.360 --> 00:36:00.320 awesome. This is a pretty had a question and we can take it in 583 00:36:00.320 --> 00:36:05.960 whichever direction you think is worthy. But what do you think is maybe one 584 00:36:06.000 --> 00:36:12.400 of the most misunderstood parts about nutrition and wellness today? Well, I think 585 00:36:12.440 --> 00:36:15.719 there's a lot of competing information. I mean that you could say this about 586 00:36:15.800 --> 00:36:20.239 any period of time. There's a ton of competing information out there about what's 587 00:36:20.280 --> 00:36:23.199 good and what's not good. Food is very often moralize. Certain foods are 588 00:36:23.239 --> 00:36:27.000 good, certain foods are bad. You're good when you eat them or you're 589 00:36:27.039 --> 00:36:30.280 bad when you eat them, and I think that's made even more pronounced with 590 00:36:30.360 --> 00:36:34.159 social media. It used to be that if you heard someone talking about nutrition, 591 00:36:34.239 --> 00:36:37.719 it was like in your doctor's office or maybe on like a TV show, 592 00:36:37.760 --> 00:36:40.360 and now it feels like anybody who has access to like an iphone and 593 00:36:40.519 --> 00:36:46.400 instagram account can become an authority on nutrition. So I like the idea, 594 00:36:46.400 --> 00:36:50.679 and this is what every like registered Dietitian in the world will say, is 595 00:36:50.760 --> 00:36:52.639 you know, there's no one size fits all. You have to figure out 596 00:36:52.639 --> 00:36:57.800 what works for you and I think people really understand that idea and enjoy that 597 00:36:57.840 --> 00:37:00.000 idea and like want to embrace that idea. But I think there's a lot 598 00:37:00.039 --> 00:37:04.159 of confusion about how to figure out what works for you. So the reason 599 00:37:04.199 --> 00:37:07.639 I think that I like whole thirty so much is that is the answer to 600 00:37:07.679 --> 00:37:10.280 how this here. Take this self experiment and use it to figure out what 601 00:37:10.320 --> 00:37:15.159 works for you. And if what works for you is eating nothing but gluten 602 00:37:15.239 --> 00:37:19.920 and dairy for the next twenty years, awesome, go do it. I 603 00:37:19.920 --> 00:37:22.400 think that's great for you. I love that for you. If it works 604 00:37:22.400 --> 00:37:24.320 super and if it doesn't work for you, like find your own way. 605 00:37:24.360 --> 00:37:29.320 You know, we have a one hundred percent plant based program now, so 606 00:37:29.400 --> 00:37:34.199 it's like if you decide a plant based Diet works better or some combination of 607 00:37:34.199 --> 00:37:37.920 both. I I think one of the most misunderstood things is just this idea 608 00:37:37.960 --> 00:37:40.320 that there's any one way that is somehow going to be like a magic bullet 609 00:37:40.360 --> 00:37:44.639 for you and I don't think that's true, even with my own diet, 610 00:37:44.719 --> 00:37:47.400 having done the whole thirty several times. It's I am always evolving. My 611 00:37:47.440 --> 00:37:52.360 context is always evolving, food is always evolving, my health is always evolving 612 00:37:52.400 --> 00:37:54.880 and what worked for me four years ago doesn't work the same way for me 613 00:37:54.920 --> 00:37:59.239 now. So the kind of bad news is that it's always a process and 614 00:37:59.239 --> 00:38:02.000 you're always going to have to if you want really optimal health and to optimize 615 00:38:02.000 --> 00:38:04.880 what you're eating and to feel as good as you can, you're going to 616 00:38:04.880 --> 00:38:07.320 have to pay attention. But the good news is that you now no longer 617 00:38:07.360 --> 00:38:10.920 have to live by anybody else's food rules. You get to decide for yourself 618 00:38:10.920 --> 00:38:15.400 from a place of you know, an educated, informed decision what works best 619 00:38:15.440 --> 00:38:17.880 for you, and I like the idea of empowering people like that. What's 620 00:38:17.920 --> 00:38:22.880 one book that has inspired you personally? One Book that inspired you professionally? 621 00:38:23.519 --> 00:38:27.000 Well, personally, you know I'm going to talk about the comfort crisis. 622 00:38:27.039 --> 00:38:30.400 I talked about that book all the time. It's hands down one of my 623 00:38:30.400 --> 00:38:34.480 favorite books. It talks about by Michael Easter and it talks about the idea 624 00:38:34.599 --> 00:38:39.320 that our modern day comforts, our comfort in our level of hunger and our 625 00:38:39.400 --> 00:38:44.519 temperature and how cozy we are and how hard we have to work. You 626 00:38:44.559 --> 00:38:47.800 know, maybe all of that comfort isn't in our best interest and there's actually 627 00:38:47.840 --> 00:38:54.000 a lot to be said in terms of managing stress better and training our nervous 628 00:38:54.000 --> 00:38:59.679 system to handle stress better, to purposefully make ourselves uncomfortable once in a while. 629 00:38:59.719 --> 00:39:02.760 So that's a book for sure that has inspired me personally and I recommend 630 00:39:02.760 --> 00:39:06.960 it to everyone. I think one of the books that inspired me the most 631 00:39:07.079 --> 00:39:13.639 professionally is shoe dog by Phil Knight. I absolutely loved his story of building 632 00:39:13.800 --> 00:39:16.679 Nike and I think what it impressed upon me the most was this idea that, 633 00:39:16.760 --> 00:39:20.599 like you think, all of these big companies, these huge you know, 634 00:39:20.679 --> 00:39:23.719 the Nikes of the world, they must have always had their stuff together, 635 00:39:23.760 --> 00:39:29.599 like they always had it figured out. And Shoe Dog was so brilliant 636 00:39:29.679 --> 00:39:35.119 and beautiful because you saw stories of him like packing up shoes and his garage 637 00:39:35.280 --> 00:39:37.760 and kind of making things work as he needed to make them work, and 638 00:39:38.039 --> 00:39:42.000 I just love that idea of going behind the scenes and being a little more 639 00:39:42.079 --> 00:39:45.360 open and vulnerable and realizing like nobody has it fully together and also that's okay, 640 00:39:45.519 --> 00:39:50.039 and also that doesn't mean that you won't get it together in your own 641 00:39:50.039 --> 00:39:52.639 way. So that was a book that inspired me professionally. Yeah, no, 642 00:39:52.719 --> 00:39:55.880 no, I really appreciate you sharing both him with shoot dog. I 643 00:39:55.880 --> 00:40:00.280 think that one of the big takeaways to is there's so many times where Nike 644 00:40:00.360 --> 00:40:02.559 couldn't have made it. Yeah, there's so many moments that it almost it 645 00:40:02.639 --> 00:40:06.519 didn't work out, and so and of course, Nike, you know, 646 00:40:06.679 --> 00:40:08.840 one of the largest companies in the world and you know, they obviously did 647 00:40:08.920 --> 00:40:12.920 work out. So maybe there's a thin line between, you know, success 648 00:40:12.960 --> 00:40:15.239 and failure. It's funny shoot dog is number one book that guess in the 649 00:40:15.239 --> 00:40:21.400 should recommend, but comfort crisis no one has recommended yet. So I am 650 00:40:21.440 --> 00:40:23.639 so glad that you brought it up. It is a great read. My 651 00:40:23.719 --> 00:40:29.000 final question to you is, what is one piece of advice that you have 652 00:40:29.119 --> 00:40:31.599 for founders? I think if I could go back and tell myself as a 653 00:40:31.639 --> 00:40:38.039 founder this, I would say do not be sucked into like the toxic hustle 654 00:40:38.159 --> 00:40:44.320 culture of entrepreneuring. You do not have to light yourself on fire to make 655 00:40:44.360 --> 00:40:47.679 your clients and customers warm. In fact, if you run yourself into the 656 00:40:47.719 --> 00:40:52.800 ground for the sake of Your Business, you're not actually doing anybody any good. 657 00:40:52.840 --> 00:40:58.920 So I would absolutely tell folks like stand make sure you pay yourself first. 658 00:40:58.920 --> 00:41:01.079 Make sure you're sleeping, make sure you're eating. Don't subscribe to this 659 00:41:01.119 --> 00:41:06.079 idea of like all sleep when I'm dead or, you know, hustling seven 660 00:41:06.199 --> 00:41:08.000 or when you're sleeping, I'm working. Like no, no, we're done 661 00:41:08.039 --> 00:41:10.760 with that. That's like old news. Now. What we're doing is sleeping 662 00:41:10.840 --> 00:41:15.159 eight hours a night and we're taking our mental health days and we are setting 663 00:41:15.159 --> 00:41:20.440 boundaries around our capacity and we are making sure that we show up for ourselves 664 00:41:20.480 --> 00:41:23.280 first so that we can show up for our clients and customers in our business. 665 00:41:23.360 --> 00:41:25.559 That's what I would say. I love that. I love that. 666 00:41:25.719 --> 00:41:30.039 I totally agree that. Lissa, thank you so much for your time. 667 00:41:30.079 --> 00:41:31.559 This is so much fun to Chat Oh Mike, it was great. Thank 668 00:41:31.599 --> 00:42:09.199 you so much for the conversation. I enjoyed it. Thank you. And 669 00:42:09.239 --> 00:42:13.360 there you have it. It was amazing having Melissa on the podcast. I 670 00:42:13.440 --> 00:42:16.719 highly recommend checking out her newsletter as well, which you can subscribe to at 671 00:42:16.800 --> 00:42:22.039 Melissa Youcom also check out whole thirty if you enjoyed this episode. I love 672 00:42:22.079 --> 00:42:25.039 it if you'd write a review on the apple podcast. You're also welcome to 673 00:42:25.079 --> 00:42:29.320 follow me your host, Mike, on twitter at Mike Guelb, and also 674 00:42:29.320 --> 00:42:52.280 follow for episode announcements at Consumer VC. Thanks for listening, everyone,