The Clean Body Podcast

Raw Food Diet, Adrenal Fatigue + Harmful Ingredients Found In Sweets

June 09, 2021 Lauren Kelly / Samantha Abrams, Emmy's Organics Season 1 Episode 11
The Clean Body Podcast
Raw Food Diet, Adrenal Fatigue + Harmful Ingredients Found In Sweets
Show Notes Transcript

Today on The Clean Body Podcast, host Lauren Kelly talks to the Co-Founder and President of Emmy's Organics about: 

  • Raw food diets
  • Healing from severe burnout, insomnia, and adrenal fatigue
  • Restrictive diets & why they aren't ideal
  • Health-damaging ingredients found in conventional cookie and dessert brands
  • Sourcing organic ingredients
  • Keto products & why they're not all "healthy"
  • Misguiding packaging and seeing through false marketing
  • The facts about natural flavors
  • Supporting & hiring refugees 

About Samantha Abrams:

Samantha Abrams is the Co-Founder and President of Emmy’s Organics, Inc. which she founded in 2009 alongside her partner and husband, Ian Gaffney. Emmy’s Organics came from the shared desire to take real ingredients and turn them into something delicious that everyone could enjoy. There lay the opportunity to turn Ian’s Coconut Cookie recipe into a real product that you could buy at a store.

Samantha’s enthusiasm to make a difference and to do business the “right way” motivated the company to become a certified B-Corp which is recognized as the highest standard of corporate responsibility. When not giving her heart and soul to Emmy’s, Samantha can be found walking her dog, Sadie, in the woods and eating Dark Cacao Coconut Cookies.

About Emmy's Organics Tea:

Emmy’s got its start in a home kitchen (that belonged to Ian’s mother, Emmy) where Samantha and Ian made small batches of Coconut Cookies and sold them door to door in their local Ithaca community and eventually, New York City.  Creating gluten-free and vegan treats that actually live up to the hype, Emmy's Organics Coconut Cookies and Chocolate Covered Bites have put them on the map as the fastest growing organic cookie company in the US. All of Emmy’s products are plant based, gluten-free and certified organic. But, more importantly, taste incredible since they are made with the highest quality organic ingredients like coconut, almond flour and coconut oil. Emmy’s uses business as a force for good and is a Certified B-Corp and Living Wage Employer. 

For more on Emmy's Organics, visit

For more on Lauren Kelly and The Clean Body Project:

Other brands mentioned during the episode: 

So in 2018 and 2019, I started dealing with some really bad insomnia. And that was how I found out that I had adrenal fatigue. I started seeing a few doctors and I was just like, this is not just because I'm stressed. Like there's something wrong. And, um, I was eventually able to do sort of like some hormonal tests and find out that I have adrenal fatigue. And so I've even since then, like completely changed my lifestyle and have now like 2020 was a really challenging year for us, you know, just business owners, but it really supported me and just kind of slowing down and kind of reevaluating how I've been operating just as a human. Welcome to the clean body podcast. I'm Lauren Kelly, a certified nutrition therapist, and soon to be specialized holistic cancer coach with a certification in cancer biology from UC Berkeley. I am so grateful that you're here. This podcast introduces you to the souls and brains behind some of the cleanest food beverage and lifestyle products on the market, because what you put on in and around your body matters from cookies, bread, and mushroom superfoods to adaptogenic lozenges, clean medicines, organic mattresses, and fluoride-free toothpaste. We'll explore how the brands came to be how scientific studies drove decisions about ingredients and materials. And most importantly, how the products support all the physical and mental microscopic miracles that occur in your body every minute of every day. Thank you for being here. Let's get this started. Hello and welcome back for another episode of the clean body podcast. I think this is episode 11, which is awesome. And we also have some really exciting episodes coming up in the coming weeks. I thank you all for being here as always today, we are talking about cookies because even I have a sweet tooth, but what you really need to know, and I'm sorry to kick this off with some bad news, but almost every store bought cookie that you loved during your childhood is full of hydrogenated, GMO oils, such as canola oil, which has been linked to heart disease. They contain synthetic pesticides, which have been linked to cancer, bleached treated flour, which I'll talk about in a second and aluminum, which has been shown to increase risk of Alzheimer's. So let's quickly talk about one of those ingredients that you'll find in a lot of products before we get to the interview. When you flip over a package to review its ingredients list, you'll often see bleached wheat flour. So basically what happens is as the term insinuates, the flour gets bleached. But during this bleaching process, the chemical breakdown of nutrients that are normally found the flower is initiated, especially that a vitamin E, which is a fat soluble vitamin. So don't go overdoing it with supplementation, but it acts as a powerful antioxidant and can help repair damaged cells because the bleaching process breaks down important nutrients like vitamin E. They have to be then added back in, or in other words, also commonly found on food labels, the foods must be fortified or enriched. Now this practice began when people were consuming lots of pre packaged and processed foods. When they first started coming out and hitting the market and started experiencing extreme nutrient deficiencies, the answer, just throw those nutrients back into the food. But the problem is these synthetic vitamins and minerals are slightly different than the ones we get from whole natural foods. So our bodies metabolize and use them differently time for some good news. Not all cookies are created equal and not all cookies use bleached or enriched flours, or pro-inflammatory that damaging hydrogenated oils or pesticides that throw off our hormonal balances, disrupt fertility and increase risk of diabetes, obesity, or cancer. Today we're talking to the co-founder and president of one of those brands. Samantha Abrams founded Emmy's organics alongside her partner and husband, Ian Gaffney from their home kitchen. In 2009, they started just making small batches, sold them door to door and farmer's markets. And since then Emmy's organics has become a nationally recognized brand. Now it's sold in stores, including whole foods, sprouts, Walmart, CVS Wegmans. I was buying these cookies way before I ever started this podcast. During this episode, we talked to Samantha about why gluten-free certified organic and vegan is so important to them when making their cookies. We also discussed the raw food diet, how severe burnout and adrenal fatigue for Samantha to change her life. What other ingredients often found in conventional cookies are problematic. Why not all keto products are healthy for all you keto, dieters out there and why? Neither of us really believe in the diet Dharma. We also touch on Emmy's organics, dedication to hiring That was a lot of information. I just threw at you. If these intros are too long, please someone message me and just tell me, and I will make them shorter, but hopefully you like listening to them and you learn a little something before we hop into the interview. If you liked this episode, please don't forget to review rate, subscribe, share it with a friend. All of your support is always so appreciated, but that's not for me. Let's get into this interview. Welcome to the clean body podcast. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah. I told you before we started recording that I am such a fan of Emmy's organics. Actually my husband, who I always bring up on this podcast, he's going to be like, why do you always talk about me on the podcast, but does not eat as clean as I do. And I have a hard time convincing him to eat cleaner, especially when it comes to sweets. So I'm organics is actually the cookies that I will bring home and he will eat them. And I'm like, see, they're so good. You don't have to like, you know, give taste away in order to enjoy something sweet. You just gotta be more mindful. Well, that is like, I mean, we can stop the interview now because like, that is like, all I ever want, you know, is, um, you know, we really started the company, um, to create something that was better, but that everyone could enjoy, not just people who are, you know, like eating clean or have dietary restrictions, like that's really what we're out to do. So that means so much to me that you said that. Yeah. Well, before we jump into talking about Emmy's organics and all the cookies that you have, I, and also the social impact that your company is making. I'm excited to jump into that, but, um, I would just love to kind of hear your own health and wellness story and how you ended up coming to kind of this place of wellbeing and following a passion. That's more within the well-being's fear. Yeah. Um, and man, it's like even, you know, cause I've been running the company for 12 years. So even like in the past 12 years, I feel like my wellness journey has continued and has taken so many different terms. But, um, what originally kind of got me into wellness I guess, was, um, I grew up as a dancer. Um, and so I just, I think it was maybe I was a senior in high school and my mom had offered that I maybe go see a nutritionist before heading off to college because, um, she knew that being active was important to me. And also when you go to college, there's like lots of unhealthy foods that are presented to you. And, um, and so I feel like that was like the first time, you know, just like making different choices to feel better, what kind of came into my life. Um, and just throughout college. Um, I really, yeah, I was really interested in like, just how do I feel my best? And so I, um, just, I think explored a lot during those years. Um, but it was when I was a senior in college that my stepmother, um, she had actually had this like pre like cancer condition in her eye and ended up going to the optimum health Institute in San Diego, I believe at San Diego, um, where she went on this whole like raw food cleanse, like crazy kind of detox place. And I remember her coming back and she was like, she had it, she bought a dehydrator and she was like sprouting all this stuff. And I was just like fascinated by what she was doing. It was something I had never seen or heard about before and after like a few of her coming home, like she got really tired of like doing all of that. So she gave me her dehydrator and a bunch of like seeds and things that I could sprout. And I brought it back to college with me and I started just like, I don't know, diving into this world of kind of like sprouted and raw foods. And, um, it was just like a huge interest. And I like had the weirdest lunches. Like I would just bring the weirdest things to the class and people would like, look over at me, you know, who have like sandwiches, you know, and I have like the salad, but like Keevon Brussels sprouts and that doesn't sound well, now it doesn't. But then, you know, that was like 2007, 2008 because I graduated college in 2008. Um, that was not a thing then, you know? And so, um, that was like, I guess the beginning of really like, you know, just like choosing, uh, just like cleaner, high quality foods as a way. Cause I also just, I felt amazing when I would do that and I just really saw the impact of, you know, eating, choosing differently and feeling really well. Um, and then the summer after I graduated is when I was first introduced to my now husband, Ian, who we were co-founders. We started the company together and he had had all of this experience, very randomly, uh, working in raw foods kitchens, um, like back like many years prior to us meeting. And so when we met, there was this like instant connection and like interest in this space and he ended up teaching me all these amazing recipes, including what is now our chocolate and vanilla, uh, coconut cookies. And when we first started the company, you know, we were really into the whole like raw foods thing. Um, and it's really interesting because our brand and us as people we've really evolved over the past 12 years and you know, we're not like raw food people so much anymore. We eat plenty of raw foods in our diets. But, um, what we realized was that what was really important to us was having transparent, clean, and high quality ingredients in our foods and creating things that everyone could enjoy. Right. Like exactly what I just said and not just people who maybe are like really clean eaters, you know, or gluten-free so, um, I mean that was sort of how the business kind of got started and my wellness journey until then. And then I would say just the next chapter has really evolved where, um, I, I burned myself out basically, um, starting a business, putting a lot of pressure on myself. Um, just as a person, I think there's a lot, I think we do this, you know, just humans, you know, and I think, um, women do that a lot. Also just putting a lot of pressure on themselves to be great at everything. And, um, so in 2019, no, 2018 I started, Oh, and 2019, I started, um, dealing with some really bad insomnia. And that was how I found out that I had adrenal fatigue. I ended up, I started seeing a few doctors and I was just like, this is not just because I'm stressed. Like there's something wrong. And, um, I was eventually able to do sort of like some hormonal tests and find out that I have adrenal fatigue. And so I've even since then, like completely changed my lifestyle and have now like 2020 was a really challenging year for us, you know, just business owners. But, um, it really supported me and just kind of slowing down and kind of reevaluating how I've been operating just as a human. So, um, I don't know, there's a lot in there, you know, of a wellness journey, but I feel like that's so important to chat about because, um, you know, I think that we push ourselves really, really hard and it can actually really hurt you. So lifestyle has just as much an impact on our health as the food we put in our body does. So yeah, the way we sleep, the way we stress, the way we worry about things, or don't actually self care that all throws our hormones off balance creates, you know, a stressed out environment for ourselves to be living in on the inside. And so, yeah, it'll catch up with you and what I always love to tell clients and my friends is your body makes you stop. That's why, that's why you get adrenal fatigue because your body is like, I'm done and yeah, just stop so that I can heal. And so when you get to that point, it's really your body like screaming at you. Like I'm done and I'm not going to support this and support you anymore. And so you have to listen, you have to change. Yeah. And what was crazy is that I knew it was happening, you know, like I, I heard and I saw the warning signs, but I just like, did not know what to do. And it's so funny because I'm a very like educated person when it comes to wellness, you know, like I'm, you know, just, I pay attention and I've been, you know, in the kind of health food world for so many years. And so you would think that I would just like, know what to do, but I really didn't. And I just, yeah. I didn't know how to make any changes. And so, um, it really, I just like watched myself kind of crumble and to this point where I was not sleeping and like just, uh, I was just like hanging on for dear life. It was, and I say that it sounds dramatic. You know, obviously I'm like aware of, you know, how lucky I am in so many other ways. And I think that's also why it was so hard to actually say I have an issue because I was like, I'm just not sleeping, like dealing with like, yeah, like so many people are dealing with like really big problems, health problems. And this seems so minor, you know, so I should just like keep pushing forward. But, um, but my body really did like break down a little bit and um, yeah, so that's been just an amazing learning opportunity and, um, I'm feeling great now. Um, so I'm happy to be on the other side. Yeah. I mean, it was just another step in your health and wellness journey and I'm sure the, both of us are going to have like 30 more steps in this ladder of climbing up to what is optimal health and everybody's body is different and figuring out what your unique body and order to thrive. It's a constant journey. Yeah. And it's always changing too. You know, like my needs now are different than they were even like two years ago. So, um, you know, it's always an evolution, so yeah. Well, it's like even going back to how you were saying you followed a raw diet for some time and then you kind of got off of it because maybe it wasn't fueling your body the way you wanted to. I had the same experience when I went vegan. I was vegan for, I think like 11 months, which is not as long as most people go before they start to hit a wall. Um, but I was doing long distance with my now husband. And I remember he came to visit me and he was just like, you look sick, like you, it's not even a weight thing, but I looked tired and I had bags under my eyes. And if you just touched me, I bruised. And so, you know, vegan is a diet that some people can thrive on, scientifically speaking one out of 10, but, um, you know, it everybody's different and you can't just follow a trend for a trend. You gotta just figure it out. And I kind of believe now in my thirties, having experienced and done multiple diet fads, that any kind of diet that restricts you from something probably is going to end up having some consequences to it. It's really about like moderation. And like you said, high quality and knowing what you're putting in your body, not necessarily restricting to this extreme amount. Right. Yeah. And being able to be intuitive and listen, I think that's a skill that it took me a really long time, you know, cause I was like telling myself what I needed instead of listening for what I needed and not even with food, you know, like you just in life, you know, being like, okay, my body needs rest right now. And I'm going to actually do that instead of like, no, you have to work out right now, you know? And with diet too, it's um, I feel like that's, that intuition is so important and it's really hard to learn when we're being fed so much information, you know, from all these different industries and just what you eat and how you should be exercising and sleeping. And like, it's like, it's so much and it can be overwhelming, so it is overwhelming. But then once you kind of get over this hurdle and you start to learn and educate yourself, it actually becomes a lot easier than then most food companies and organizations want to make it seem they want to make it seem complicated and overwhelming and scary so that you've listened to them and you trust what they say, but really it's just kind of getting back to the basics and what our ancestors did and just living in a clean body way. And that's why we're here. Um, full circle, full circle. We could just call it now 12 in with tell the whole story. Um, now I know we've already spent 12 minutes talking about not really Emmy's organics just yet, but I love that you were a dancer. And I was also, I'm more of an artist soul, um, growing up, I mean, now I make podcasts and content, so it's still kind of the same realm. You, you know, make delicious cookies and it's all still using creativity, but I just kind of feel like my years of dancing and acting and music, it naturally inf is infused into everything that I do. It's like changes the way I think about things. So I'm just curious how your dance background, you see it embed and weave into now what you do at Emmy's organic. Hmm. Yeah. That's so interesting. And it's something I don't really think about a lot, but I know it's such a, you know, it's a part of me. It's like, that's such an expression of who I am and like dancing was how I kind of expressed my feelings and, you know, things I was going through and, you know, that's definitely just evolved and changed as I've grown up. And um, you know, I just, I see that it's the creativity. I think that's in me that I just, I see like infused into my business and coming up with ideas and how can we do things differently? You know? And I think with dance, you know, I learned, um, you know, especially with like interpretive dance I was really into, um, just like, yeah, how can we do this differently? You know, how can we express this same thing in a new way? And I just think that you do see those skills coming out in business. It's just so different. Um, but it's definitely there because it's just, it's part of who I am. Yeah. I mean, I think everything is an art. I don't really believe in left brain. Right. Brain too much. I think it's just the area of life that we're focusing in at that time. Yeah. And also like a big part of dance for me. Um, cause I was a dance minor in school and my major was theater management. So I was really interested in like business and marketing, but for the arts, because I grew up as a dancer, I loved musical theater. I loved all that stuff. And um, so a lot of my, like a big part of dancing for me was like, how do we put on shows and how do we like get costumes? And so it was just like the production part of it also, which, um, and I also would like produce a lot of friends plays and that they wrote. And so it was just like that kind of like hustle of like making things happen because you love them is definitely something that I've kept, you know, in running a business. So, well, we would have been in circle had we been in the same city at the same time. Um, but let's get into Emmy's organics. Speaking of art, this is your new art form. Um, so when you were creating the company, um, I think you said 10 years ago, has it been about 10? Well now, which is just insane. Yeah. What were some of the brand pillars and values that you knew you wanted to build the company on then? Um, I think the biggest thing was short and simple ingredient lists and high quality organic ingredients. That was really the big thing. And then taste, I mean, taste and flavor. It's like, you know, we hear so much about what certain products don't have in them or like here's what we do have, we have amazing taste and texture and like that's something that's been so important to us ever since we started and also just doing things, you know, our way. Um, and so, yeah, that's really it, I think 12 years ago, simple ingredient lists and all organic wasn't maybe for some people it was a focus, but not really, it wasn't very popular. So what was driving that passion back then? Um, well I think it was, you know, both me and Ian, like we had very separate experiences with kind of eating cleaner, you know, for him, it really came out of the necessity cause he has a lot of, um, just health issues where he actually was forced to cut out gluten and dairy and soy and other processed ingredients from his diet where, for me it was more of a choice. Right. Um, but just, you know, we were just both so passionate about how good, like these better quality foods made us feel that we really wanted to share it with our community and beyond. And so that was really what drove us in the beginning. And yeah, we were told like so many family members and people just thought we were so crazy at the time because we were like having this little like coconut cookie company. And we were like at the farmer's market and you know, but it really was a good time, even though it was not strategic in any way, because like the years following it was when like gluten-free really became huge. And um, you know, we were just lucky in that sense because a lot of retailers were wanting to put more gluten-free products on their shelves. So, um, yeah, it's, it's been a journey and just even to watch the industry changed since we started, all right, it's changed so much in the last 10 years. And I think it's going to just continue snowballing faster and faster. I've had people ask me, you know, do people really care about holistic health and functional medicine? And I'm like, yes, if you look at even search results in Google, how much it's increasing, especially after COVID, I think people really want to support brands who are transparent and authentic in what they're doing. And they want to vote with their wallet to support people who are trying to do something good, not just trying to make money. Um, and so I think, yeah, the evolution of the industry has been amazing. And I don't think it's going to stop anytime soon. No, I don't think so either. I think it's going to keep growing and, um, it's been really cool to see, honestly, even though we do have more competition now and like all that, but it's like, I enjoy that. Like it just shows what a w w there's such a high demand, you know, for the better for you products now. So it's really cool. Yeah. But MES was the OJI, the OGL. So through your evolution of, um, just learning about food and feeling your own body with healthy foods and now creating a cookie company, essentially, what are some things that either science you learned about how ingredients impact our body or even ingredients you learned that other companies were using in their cookies that kind of shocked you and you decided you would never put in your, yeah. I think that if you look at just like, if you go to the cookie aisle, you know, in any grocery store and just start to look at the ingredient lists, even in like a whole foods, you know, or even like a natural section of the store, like there's just, there's just a lot of extra stuff that's added that we don't feel is necessary and our process is different. Um, it certainly isn't, I think a lot of much bigger companies, it's all about throughput. Like how can we make this as fast and inexpensive as possible? Um, and that's just like the opposite of how we've operated. Um, and so, yeah, there's a lot of like stabilizers, preservatives, natural flavors, um, emulsifiers, like, um, there's, there's all kinds of ingredients that kind of like in our point of perspective, kind of cut corners. And so that those are types of ingredients that we'll never have in our products, no matter what. And then also, you know, it's actually crazy. You would think, you know, organic is so big now, but if you really look at any aisle where, whatever, wherever you're looking there, aren't actually that many certified organic brands out there. And so we really feel like that's something that does ways. Um, and it really is important to us. It's in our name, you know, so it's always going to be a part of our company. Um, I didn't even think about that yet. No wiggle room there at all. And honestly, we've, we've thought about it though, because it's really challenging to source organic sometimes. And I see why other companies don't do it. Um, it's more expensive. Um, it can be harder like on your supply chain. Um, so it's a lot of extra work for us to really make that happen. And man, we were like, what if we just it'd be so much easier if we change our names? Like Emmy's naturals or something and just use some organic, but not all, you know, but we're just not going to do that. It's just not who we are. So, um, yeah, it's surprising, you know, and it's funny cause we're the number one, we're the fastest growing organic cookie brand in the U S which you're like amazing. But then you're also like how there's no organic, I mean, there are, but it's not like as many as you might think, you know, which I'm not saying that to like downplay us. It's just, it's true. And so, um, it is really interesting. Yeah. I mean, your it's just impressive because I have even gone to farmer's markets and there will be people selling their own cookies at my farmer's market. And as interested in ingredients as I am, I'll flip over their, um, label to see what's in it. And I'm even surprised, you know, there's like a nutritionist that sells cookies at our farmer's market and I'm like, why do you have rancid vegetable oils in your cookies? You shouldn't, you should know better than that. You know, it's so interesting. You know, everyone has their own unique perspective. And some people, like, I think about all of the keto product products that are out right now, you know, and like the, the main focus there is like zero carbs, zero sugar. I don't know what else, but, um, that's all that matters. Right? So it doesn't really matter what the ingredients are if you can achieve that. You know? And I think that there are other, there are other things that matter to other companies where maybe that's the only focus and then like the ingredients kind of get lost in the shuffle because they're just trying to have like this many calories, you know, like some people are like, this is a landmark, it's a marketing thing. It's not a health thing, right? Yeah. Yeah. It's, that's a, it's a big topic because, you know, I think about keto and so many people, like, even my step-mom I'm here visiting my family and I, um, I got this Quito ice cream to try that. I just didn't, they had it here in the store. We don't have it at home. And she was like, Oh, that's healthy. Right. And I was like, it's like, it's not healthy, but it has low sugar, which for some people maybe is what they're trying to it's just so it's such a meaty subject, you know, and everyone has their own unique perspective. And it is funny how people kind of attach to certain like diets and lifestyles. And there's assume that that means it's healthy, but it doesn't always totally. And I think there's a time and a place, right? Like for certain people who are suffering from cancer, ketogenic diets can release starves the sugar from the cancer cells impact. So there's a time to place. But again like this keto turnout, I always just have to give the disclaimer that back in the nineties, we thought low sugar, low fat was all the thing. And so if it had that label on the packaging, then you just buy it and you wouldn't think about it. And now we know that that's actually pretty detrimental and could have contributed to some of the increases in chronic conditions that we have today. So we don't necessarily know a person who doesn't need to be on the ketogenic diet, what that's going to do to you. And 10 to 15 years from now, how that's going to change your biochemistry. So you And also the keto trend diet is not the same as the Quito like nutritional. So there's also, yes. And I am like the first person, like I don't have any kind of like diet kind of like Dharma that I think everyone should be doing. I'm like all for people trying different things, if it works for you do it. Um, because we're all so different. We're made ups so differently just in our bodies and our needs are different. And like, when I was really healing from adrenal fatigue, I was really working on low sugar. And so like, you know, for even my own products, I was having like one cookie instead of three or four, you know? And like, I really was, you know, I had to limit my sugar intake because I was really just trying to stabilize my hormones. And so there is a time and a place for that. And, um, and I was buying keto type products. Like if I wanted a treat of some kind. And so, yeah, I'm, I, I think there's lots of different lifestyles that And like you said, like eating that Quito ice cream and having some keto snacks, like, you'll be fine. Your body is proxification system. You don't have to stick to one thing like crazy. Um, I have pizza once a week or burrito once a week or, and totally intuitive. You can't limit yourself a hundred percent and everybody is different. Like your, um, partner, Ian, he, I hope your partners. And I was correct in that. Okay. Yeah. Um, he, uh, is dairy free and gluten free because those things don't work for his body. Um, I can totally have gluten and dairy. I only eat sourdough that's made with fermentation processes, but I can have those things and I'm okay. Like everyone's different. It's all about the listening to your body and intuitive eating is like a journey in and of itself to learn what your body is saying after you eat certain things. Totally. Yes. I'm right there with you. Yeah. So what are some things though that when you go to the grocery store that our listeners can kind of think of, if you flip over a label, um, and you see certain ingredients you steer clear of. I mean, anything that you can't pronounce, I would say is the biggest thing that I stay away from. Sometimes you can't always make that happen. You know, like I I'm in Florida right now. And like the grocery store where my family lives near it, it's like very conventional. So it doesn't have like, as many of the natural things. So like, I feel like there are one or two things that I felt like I was compromising. Maybe I wouldn't do it home, but like not making a big deal of it because that's no fun, but, um, but I'd say yeah, ingredients that you can't pronounce is a big one. And, and usually those are the stabilizers and the emulsifiers and the preservatives, you know, so, but in general, like I, you know, I don't like to be super strict about things, you know? And so, um, I'm all about like, I want to just know what's in my food. So I guess, you know, the things that I want to see are, you know, fruits, vegetables, nuts, um, oils that are high quality organic ingredients. If I can, um, beans, you know, like I just, I go for food. And so I think that's, that's what I'm going for. And yeah, there's so many products just have so much extra stuff in there that, uh, that you just don't need. And so that's, that's kind of how I shop. Yeah. I've learned over the past couple of years too, that you can't just trust a store by its name or a packaging by how it looks, you know, I recently so tricky. Yeah. It is. I recently went to Aspen with my husband and I went into a whole foods and, you know, all stores have different types of products. I was getting so frustrated because I am, first of all, I love looking at products. I love grocery shopping. Hence why I'm doing this podcast. Like, I'll go to the grocery store and spend two hours there. Like, I'm good with it. But I was flipping over all the packages and I was like, what the hell, whole foods? Like, why is there all this crap on your shelves? So, yeah. I mean, that's, I guess when it sounds like it's difficult and overwhelming, but Hey, that's why I'm creating a list and making it easy for people to know what they can eat. So it's not, you don't have to spend two hours looking at packages. Yeah. It's, it's really tough and packaging so beautiful now, you know, it's like even a product that has lots of stuff in it. Um, might look really healthy and, you know, I know even my mom, as an example, you know, she's just a different generation. Like, she'll be like, look like this looks healthy, you know, just from the look of the packaging and really good marketing it is. And it works. So, you know, yeah. The prettier, it is sometimes the more weary I am. I'm like, I don't know, but you brought up sourcing and I would, I'm really interested in how you, you said it's really difficult, obviously with organic. How do you source your ingredients and what kind of requirements do you have half of them? Well, I think the biggest thing, like we, you know, we definitely go the extra mile and we, you know, we don't just like bring on a new supplier because their pricing is good. Um, obviously we need the certifications that we have, which is we have organic, we have non-GMO, we have kosher. Um, and, but we always test our samples. So we always get an amount that we can do, like a full batch of product with that we don't sell that we just test internally, um, so that we can taste for the quality. And so, um, I, you know, that that's a big part of our sourcing. Um, and it's really interesting, you know, and as you grow things change because you have higher volumes and so maybe you can move to a larger supplier, but then, um, maybe they're not as like, they're not paying attention to certain things. So, you know, we do a lot of quality control internally, um, to just make sure everything's good. And, um, yeah, and the quality is right for our product. Um, we have like a whole team that does that now, which is awesome. Yeah. That's interesting. Yeah. I did an interview with the founder of bright and he was talking about how sometimes they'll like get coconut or something and one coconut will taste based on the geolocation of where it came from. One coconut will taste so good while the other one is kind of bland, but when they put it in their product, the bland one actually tastes better with all the other ingredients. It's because, I mean, it's, it's a form of chemistry. Like everything reacts with one another and changes the overall like taste and experience you're going to have. Yeah, it's such, it is so fascinating. And we've definitely experienced that with coconut, you know, cause that's like the number one contract for, and we've for the most part, stayed with this one supplier that we really like. And actually it's a supplier that in 2014, I actually went to Sri Lanka and visited the coconut supplier or the coconut has grown and how they're processing it. Um, but just as a business grows, like you need secondary suppliers because sometimes things happen and you cannot, you know, not have your raw materials in house. And so, um, it's been an interesting process just to try to find someone that matches that. And we have, we actually have it take, it takes a lot of time, but, um, it's been so important for us to have those kinds of backups suppliers as we grow. Um, but that was really cool to go and just learn about how coconuts processed, you know, and I hope that as we grow that I could maybe do that with another one of our ingredients. I feel like next time I'll be talking to you, you'll be in Sri Lanka living your best life, but coconut, you know, that would be awesome. I really did love going there. It was, I learned so much and enjoyed the country so much. Well, I do want to talk to you about certain ingredients that MES organics has chosen to use. Um, and the first one being coconut sugar, why did you obviously it's a coconut based product, but why did you decide to use coconut sugar versus other either conventional sugars or sugar alternatives? It's probably going to be because you aim for whole clean foods, but if there's any other reasons related to digestion or how you feel when you use the products, I'd be curious to, to hear that. Yeah. So we use the coconut sugar in our chocolate covered products, so not in all of them. Um, and so the chocolate that we're in robbing the cookies and is, uh, coconut sugar sweetened chocolate. And when we were developing the product, we just did different tests. And so yes, I personally like was loving coconut sugar, sweetened chocolate bars. I love chocolate. Like that's, I really love it. And I love like very pure dark chocolate. And so just before we launched that, I just was like, could we do a test? Because the other option for us would be like an organic cane sugar, which I'm not opposed to at all. Um, but for us it was really about, um, texture and, and we just really loved how dark and I just feel like it really enhanced the flavor of the chocolate. And, um, we also know that coconut sugar has wonderful like minerals in it and great other like health benefits, but the biggest thing was definitely flavor. Um, and it was, that's another thing that's sort of hard to find, but, um, we really, really like it and I think it shines, it also just makes sense like the, in the feeling of that product is coconut based. So to be able to have that like kind of throughout is really special. Yeah. It does make sense. I was curious too, is it the same idea and ethos behind using a Gavi syrup versus maybe honey or maple syrup? Yes. I mean, flavor flavor is so important to us, you know, like that's really, we want everyone to enjoy our products and what's awesome about a Gavi is that it's so neutral in its flavor. So it's really enhancing the flavor of the ingredients that are already there, you know, whereas using honey or maple syrup, um, even coconut syrup, they have this really, I love the flavor of all of those syrups. Um, but they, but they're strong. And so they tend to overpower and we definitely have done tests like with other sweeteners just to see what it could be like, but it really just takes away from like just the natural flavor of the ingredients that are in the product. Um, and so that's really why we like it Gabi. Okay. I'm getting really granular with this one, but you use Himalayan sea salt rather than regular sea salt or iodized salt. So I was curious why Himalayan? Well, flavor number one. I mean, like if you taste, if you do like a salt taste test, like I love flavor of Himalayan salt. I know I love salt too. And I like other salts other than Himalayan salt, but, um, we just like, that's what we would use at home. And when we put it in the product, it just like, it just worked. And I mean, there are amazing health benefits of Himalayan salt. Although I don't think we use enough in our product where like, you're going to see like a big impact, like in the nutrition, you know, but, um, Himalayan salt does have amazing mineral content. Um, and it's beautiful. We use it at home. Um, and so it was really about the flavor there and we just knew that it was a better quality than like I would, I saw, I mean, I don't even, it's like highly processed. Um, I don't really know the, the whole process of making iodized salt, but there's a lot that goes into that or just like regular, like table salt. Um, it's basically like stripping all the minerals out of it. And so we really wanted like the whole ingredient. Yeah. That makes sense. The last one I had was extracts and oils versus using like natural flavors. Well, so natural flavor is kind of a, that's a topic in and of itself. Yeah. Natural flavors. They're not using real ingredients, you know, so they're, they're synthetic and, um, there I've tasted some products where it actually like, it tastes really good, you know, like there's a balance there's other times where it's like, Oh, let's just like too much, but in natural flavors, like you just, you don't know what's in natural flavors. Like it's just a term that encompasses a lot of different things. Um, and so that's a no-no for us and we'll never use natural flavors, but so we use like a vanilla extract instead, you know? Um, and we use lemon, uh, oils and we use lemon peel powders. Like there's just ways to achieve that amazing flavor without going synthetic. And so, um, that's always been really important to us, uh, with all of our products. Yeah. You guys are pushing it on all the cylinders because you know, generally speaking really good products, but they still use natural flavors. And depending on what it is, sometimes I won't ding them for that because they're doing 90% everything else. Okay. And, or great. And then there, they have some natural flavors in there, which I would hope because they have this dedication and all the other areas they're being like mindful of the natural flavors, but you guys are just hitting it hard on all of them. It's definitely gotta be hard, especially when you're trying to create new products. Yeah. You know, it is. And it's so funny though. Cause it's like, it's just so who we are. And so what's important to us. And so just, I think in all the ways that we run our company, it's like some people, so many people say like, it must be so hard, but it's not when it's just truly like your commitment, you know? And so we just figure it out. Um, and yeah, I'm not going to like on anyone for using natural flavors. I, I wonder, and I don't even know that much about natural flavors. Like maybe there's a way that there are better ones that, you know, like don't contain glyphosate or, um, you know, any other synthetic pesticides or things that you're avoiding. Maybe there is a way I don't know, but it's just not for us. And just, it's just not who we are. Yeah. Well, you, you do have other ingredients and your cookies that I just love. You have spirit Lena lemon peel powder, which I've never heard of. I thought that was pretty cool. Ground ginger CACO, uh, cacao powder, um, all in your cookies. How do you evaluate and explore what new nourishing and healthful ingredients you want to include in products when you're wanting to come out with a new cookie? Well, I think the biggest thing is like, you know, we have a lot of ideas for different flavors, you know, and what that could be like. Um, but then sometimes they're just the ingredients aren't available for us. You know, like we actually had the idea, it was like kind of wacky, but we were like, we should make like a smores flavor where we had like, gluten-free Graham crackers and like marshmallows in there, but there are no, well, there's no organic and vegan marshmallows. I think there are, I think you can make them yourself, but you know, you'd have to go into the marshmallow makeup business. Yeah. I know that would be a lot. Um, maybe we could do like a really short run of them. I don't know. But, um, it might be a little too much for us, so they're like, yeah, yeah. I know my production team would be like, what are you making? But like, for example, you know, it's like, we have the flavor idea, but just the ingredients weren't there to support it. So, you know, if we're thinking about doing, uh, you know, anything, we just, once we have the idea, it's like, okay, well, how do we do it? And so sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. So spinach wise, how many ideas have come to fruition versus how many did you have to leave on the kitchen floor? Oh my God. Well, you know, there's maybe ideas that we might be able to figure out for later, but you know, if we're thinking of even just like coconut cookie flavors, I don't know. We probably come up with like 50 over the last, you know, two or three years and like three actually happen, you know, it's, it's, uh, you know, and, and ease of sourcing is also important, you know, it was just like, we're a business. So we can't just like, sometimes like the really like niche and exciting ideas, just like we can't do because there isn't like a real supply chain for it. And so those are the types of decisions we have to make as business owners. It's like, not always, you know, about the like cool, crazy flavor. Um, we just have to be smart about our choices. Yeah. I'll just start emailing you lots of cookie ideas out of all of them. No, that would not be a fun thing for me to do for you. Um, so yeah. Hi, welcome. I welcome ideas and I'll just start cleaning. Yeah. When we can have like regular Wednesday cookie ideation to eat chats, um, in general though, Emmy's organics, you know, they are a treat and they do have some sugar in them, but we also have some nourishing aspects to them. So how do I, me organics, um, help to fuel the body in, in certain ways? Yeah. I think the biggest thing and like, you know, we don't make claims that this is like, you know, a low sugar cookie or like something that you should eat like as a meal replacement or anything like that. Um, you know, we really see our product as a treat, but what's really unique is that we're using high quality fats and real ingredients, which actually just, they fill you up and nourish you. You just can tell the difference between eating like a highly processed cookie where maybe it's just like empty calories. Whereas I feel like, you know, the good fats, um, that are in our product really do they, they satisfy you in a way that other cookies don't and nice because it's like, you don't need to eat a whole box of cookies. You know, you could have a couple and really enjoy it and feel good. And that's really why I think our product is special since I typically eat so clean. This is going to be so TMI. So listeners who don't want to hear this just fast forward, like two minutes. Um, but when I eat, I, since I've been eating clean for a really long time, I can feel things like really fast if it's something bad that I'm eating. And so I'll eat MES organics, and I'm fine. I don't have like any issues, all good to go. If I have chips, a Hoya, which like, I don't even know the last time I did that or Oreos or something to that manner. Um, it goes right through me. So actually I'm just going to say it, if I'm constipated, I'll have an Oreo because it will solve the problem in mere minutes, maybe an hour, it'll go through. Oh my God. No, that's not the first I've heard of that. I love the TMI. I love talking about how our bodies function. Um, but it's true. I've also heard from other people. I don't know if it's necessarily the case for me, but that like really unhealthy oils, you know, like someone, if they're like feeling backed up, they'll like eat some junk food and it just like, anyway, I need to go into that too much, but Hey, maybe there's a time and a place also Oreos just launched gluten-free Oreos, which I kind of want to try, well, I'll look at their label and decide if I'm going to yeah. Oh no, total, total junk. But I like, part of me is just like, I just want to see like, do they taste exactly the same, but that's okay. Also the thing, and I've talked about this in other podcasts, but my taste buds have changed. So what I used to think tasted so delicious and was like a guilty tree I'll have now. And I'm like, Oh, that tastes disgusting. I don't like how that tastes at all anymore. So it's just interesting how like your brain and your taste buds actually change on this journey of actually eating clean. It's so true. I, yeah, the things I used to like and eat like as a kid, it's just, it's the opposite now of what, what I like. And I'm kind of attracted to food wise. Yeah. I no longer attracted, like if I go to a party to like the food, like it's not hard for me to stay away from it. And like, Nope, those races PCs tastes like. I'm good. Totally. Now you guys do promote that your cookies are real cookies made by real people. And I just really love that you put that out there and that's like a, it seems like a sticking point and a pillar for your brand. Why did you want to include real people in the main brand messaging? Well, it's so funny because when we first started the company, you know, we didn't know anything about the industry or how other companies operated. And as we grew, we've always manufactured our own products. We do use a co-packer for our chocolate covered product, just because we don't have the right equipment in our facility. And we may use co-packers for other product lines, but we do the majority in house. And it wasn't until a few years in that we realized how special that was, because I mean, there are plenty of brands that are manufacturing, but for the most part, um, most companies are using co Camions for all of their manufacturing. Um, it's definitely a lot more work to like up your own facility and hire people. Um, and so, yeah, it was just something that we realized really set us apart. And it really is a way for us to kind of maintain our quality. Um, and it's gives us the opportunity to provide jobs in our community and, you know, starting the company, like we never thought about the future and how, like, that was a big goal of ours. Even we were, we didn't even know how you scaled a company like this. Um, but we had, um, this one woman named Donna who who's a Burmese refugee living in Ethica. She came to work for us many years ago and it was the best job she had ever had. She, her job before working for us was at, um, like a fast food chain working like the night shift and she was making very little money. And so coming to work for us, um, we're a living wage employer and we offer paid time off. We offer benefits and she just absolutely loved the type of work, you know, manufacturing. It's definitely a lot of repetitive work, but she loved it. And, um, so anytime we had a job opening, she would be like, okay, my neighbor, my cousin, like anyone, like all these people in my community want to come work here. And so now our entire manufacturing staff has made of a Burmese refugees. And I say Burmese, because, well, my Inmar is now the name of the country, but they consider themselves Burmese. So, um, so yeah, this was like an unexpected turn of our business that we just didn't even, you know, we weren't planning like, okay, we're going to grow our manufacturing so we can hire refugees. We didn't even know there was a refugee community in our area. And so now it's become this really beautiful part of our story where, um, we can support these awesome people and create a, an inclusive work environment for them. You know, we get every single sign translated into their, uh, to Qur'an, which is their dialect. And, um, we have translators at all of our meetings because everyone's English is like, some are really good. Some are not so good. And so, um, and as we grow, we just can see how we can support them even more. And so it's just been a really cool part and, uh, yeah, we make our own products. It's, it's unique. And so yeah, real food by real people is just who we are. Well, that's amazing. That is so incredible. That story of how it just kind of like came to you and it was meant to be, for some reason you were meant to stay at this company and you were meant to create a safe space for refugees to get work that they found fulfilling and inclusive and, you know, equal. And I, that is just such a cool story. Yeah. I love that. That's a part of your brand, and I know you said you didn't even try to go out there and like, get that it wasn't even an idea to you. It really did. And it's been just such a pleasure to get to know all of them and to yeah. To provide this great supportive environment for them. And, um, yeah. I just see, I can see us doing even more and more for them as we grow. And it's been cool to see, like, some people turned into like, you know, shift leaders or like, you know, floor managers are just being like a manager in a certain area. Like we've had some people, I think the longest employee refugee employee that we have is maybe six years, maybe seven. So like they're happy, which is, that's the best thing we can do. So for that, well, on that note, we can hop into the wrap-up questions, the quick hit questions. Um, first one is what does having a clean body mean to you? I think it means feeling good in your skin. Um, being able to listen to yourself for your needs. Um, and, and being able to honor them. That's a great one. And sometimes that can be hard, but it just takes practice. Um, what are a couple other, I know your life has changed a lot recently over the last couple of years, but what are a couple other routine lifestyle and diet that you couldn't live without? Um, I think movement and just like really seeing it as a movement instead of like hardworking out, like just being able to do that first thing in the morning for me. Um, sometimes it's doing just really light workouts. Other times it's taking a long walk with my dog in the morning. Um, that's been just a wonderful, it's a great way for me to start my day and kind of clear my head. Um, diet wise, I have a big emphasis these days on fiber. Um, I eat a lot of, um, beans and I have psyllium husk in the morning, and that took a while for me to build up, to be being able to have as much psyllium husk as I do now, but it also kind of sets my digestion up for the day and it makes me feel really good. I don't think I've ever heard of Celia husk. Oh yeah. It's basically just pure fiber. There's no like nutritional, um, benefits to it. It's literally just fiber. And so I would say if you are interested, I would just start with like a sprinkle of it water because it can like, yeah, it can be intense. And it took me a few months to be able now I have about two teaspoons in water every morning. Um, but yeah, but yeah, and having beans, I have beans like throughout the day as well. And just both of those things has really, like, I think got my body to a place that's feeling great and it's helped with my sleep and everything. Awesome. I'll have to give that a try. I love trying new things. Um, last quick hit question. What other brands are you loving on? Oh my God. So many. Um, well, as I said, I'm a huge chocolate fan. So I think that some of my favorite chocolate that's out there, I love the evolved, evolved chocolate. I know those guys too. I love there. I love the keto cups that they make. I love their regular coconut butter cups. Um, I just think a filled cup is so exciting, especially when you can do it as clean as they do. Um, I love them. Um, my, I have, I have a lot of friends in the industry, so it's hard for me not to like talk about that. But, um, my friend just launched, she has, she's a brand called seven Sundays. They just launched a grain-free cereal into whole foods. That's really delicious. Um, not certified organic, but very simple clean ingredients. I'm pretty excited about that. Yeah, I miss. Yeah. It's so crunchy and good. And there's been a lot of like grain-free cereals that have launched or like keto ones that just like have a lot of stuff in them and that I'm not attracted to. So that's been really fun. Um, I also like, like, I'm not a big drinker, but I've just kind of started, um, experimenting with that brand June shine. I've been liking the hard Chez. I feel like that's a really cool way for me to enjoy alcohol, but in like a more conscious way. I think they're also certified organic and they're activated charcoal one. That's my, that's the one I really liked too. That one's my favorite. I got a sampler and that was definitely the winner. Yeah. Um, man, I dunno. I, I love, I love the industry. I love all the products. So I mean, I could talk about that forever. I'm just trying to think of things that I like consume regularly and all the links in the show notes. So if you think of some that you're like, ah, shoot them over to me and I'll include them in the show notes and then probably reach out to them for interviews because it definitely, yeah, that sounds awesome. Oh yeah. If there are any other brands that you want to connect with. I don't, I mean, I don't know everyone, but I certainly like over the past 12 years have made some amazing industry friends and uh, yeah, I will say, Ooh, another like fun, like junky alternative. It's not, I can't say junky cause it's not, but it's like, when you want something like crunchy, I love, um, Quinn snacks. They make those peanut butter filled pretzels. They have the gluten-free ones. Those are also really fun. They're not junky at all, but it's like, when you want a peanut butter filled pretzel, it's like wanting that kind of like indulgent snack. That's delicious. Awesome. I got lots of homework to do and lots of eating to do apparently. Yeah. Thank you for that. Well, to wrap this up, um, I would love for you to just share how people can get their hands on Emmy's organics, how they can interact with you in the brand. This is your time, whatever you want. Oh my God. I'm you want to call out? Yeah. Um, well our website is Emmys You can shop online there. We also have a store locator, so you can put your zip code in and find where we're sold in, in, um, wherever you live. Um, our Instagram is [inaudible] organics. Um, as well as tech talk, we're kind of the most, um, active on those two channels. And, uh, my personal Instagram is Samantha Abrams underscore trying to get that taken away. But, um, I mean, I don't, I'm not posting, I do post some like behind the scenes type stuff if you're ever interested in that. Um, and yeah, I think that's it. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Everyone go by Emmy's organics are delicious. No more bad cookies that just hurt your template and make you go to the bathroom. That's a great slogan. The way to wrap this interview up. Well, thank you so much for having me and this is really fun. Thank you. Hi again. I hope you enjoyed that interview. As a reminder, this podcast is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional care from a doctor, otherwise qualified health professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that medical or other health related services. If you're looking for help in your journey, seek out we'll see you next week.