Last April, I approached my sister with a business idea. We are both health enthusiast, my sister, Kelly, especially. Here is how the idea began:
A few years ago Kelly traveled down to West Palm Beach, Florida to attend a Health Educator Program at the world renowned, Hippocrates Health Institute. Kelly returned home with an entirely new approach and passion towards health. "Let food be thy medicine" was her motto. At the time, circa 2006, I was stationed in Quantico, VA, a newly commissioned second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. I was at The Basic School (TBS) learning how to become a provisional rifle platoon commander. Every week, during field training operations we'd indulge in MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), many of which dated back to the Vietnam Era, as well as, gloat in our glorious weekend routine: Outback Steakhouse followed up with at least one stop by the Fro Yo stand.
Kelly, meanwhile, began juicing wheatgrass, taking shots of algae, drinking almond milk, and eating grass fed beef. I can remember coming home to Raleigh, NC and seeing all of this, and thinking to myself: shes gone off the deep end! I can remember telling Kelly, "If someone wants to be healthy, look no further than the USMC PT (Physical Training) Program." I believed exercise could make up for any and all deficiencies within one's diet. It was common practice, among fellow lieutenants, to go crack open a Monster energy drink right before taking off on a run or hitting the weight-room. This was done, obviously, to insure that the high of indestructibility was attained (if only in our minds, which of course, was ONLY in our minds). I guess the best way to summarize the beginning of 2006 for Kelly and I is to say: She went green and I was still on the fence.
As the year progressed, I'd bring my Marine buddies home to Raleigh and we'd tell stories about fellow lieutenants and things we'd experienced during training evolutions in the "Quantico-like terrain". Kelly, on the other hand, would tell me stories about how she had meet a college professor who had beat his cancer thru diet, specifically a non-stop routine of juicing. I spent the rest of 2006 learning how to clean my rifle, lead squad size attacks, and formulate Marine Corps acronyms. Kelly spent most of her time in grocery stores, reading the ingredients on food packages. Kelly would literally spend hours at the local Wholefoods, sizing up different brands of kombucha, almond butters, and sprouted breads.
By the time I arrived home for Christmas, I could not even recognize my parents' pantry. It was revolutionized from the Standard American Diet to a hippie wonderland. Butter was replaced with coconut oil, burgers were now made from vegetables, and cheese was all together banished. I took this personally, nobody, not even my sister was going to force me into a green, card-board tasting diet. Fortunately, my mother was on my side, and we succeeded in hiding our cheese puffs, diet cokes and creamsicles in obscure locations around the home. However my Dad was a different story. He began not only to support, but partake in Kelly's approach to health and diet. After the new year, I returned to Quantico, thinking: there is no way Kelly and my Dad can sustain this health craze.