Breakfast Criminals is a community of people who believe that healthy can be indulgent and that listening to your body and following your dreams is more important than putting labels on what you eat and do. In “Wildly Inspiring”, I interview people who light up my fire the most —ones who found what makes them feel alive and turned it into their life purpose and maybe even career, changing lives along the way.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed colorful bottles of Life Equals vitamins, probiotics and Omega 3 here and there next to my luscious breakfast acai bowls and matcha chia pudding. I’ve been actively supporting fair trade and ethical shopping (and even started Fair Tuesday), and when I found Life Equals through my rockstar yogi pal Abbi Miller, it was love at first bottle.
You know Tom’s shoes, right? For every pair you buy, they give one to someone in need. It’s called “one for one” business model. Instead of some faraway goal, your impact is very much direct and clear. Well, Life Equals pretty much did the same thing but for the vitamin industry.
I’ve been taking their multivitamins religiously for a few months, and swear that my nails and hair have been growing faster (and thicker!) than ever. I mean, my diet is already quite nutritious and superf00d-packed, but there’s something about getting those basic vitamins that just works for me. Or maybe it’s also the skin-hair-nail boosting and imflammation-reducing Omega 3 that I’ve added to my morning routine? Or the daily pre-breakfast probiotic that I take before drinking my cleansing lemon turmeric elixir? I don’t know.
What I do know is that when I buy and use products that in one way or another give back to the planet or the people, it just feels sooo good. It’s like a soulful dance party in every cell of my body. Nourishing myself AND someone in need at the same time, without even leaving my house? That’s a revolution. Yeah, I think that’s really the secret to my abnormal nails and hair growth.
With this, I’d like to introduce you to the game-changers behind Life Equals–COO and co-founder Chris Thowe, and CEO & co-founder Kyle Fitzgerald. I spoke with with the guys about the importance of taking your vitamins (mom was right!), staying well and healthy, global shift towards wellness and the relationship between amount of work you do and luck.
How did the idea of Life Equals come about?
It all started with my own (Kyle FitzGerald, CEO) personal need for a product that would help focus my mind and energize my body without overwhelming me. I’m 6’3” 200+ lb. but if I drink a whole cup of coffee I am jittery all day. So, after tons of research and medical collaboration, we formulated our first product Focus & Energy(™).
How are Life Equals vitamins different from other vitamins on the market?
Higher absorption and 100% Made in the USA. If you’re taking vitamins or any nutritional product, you’d should be absorbing them or what’s the point? There are TONS of cheap supplements and nutritional products in the market that don’t use bioavailable ingredients like we do, which make a huge difference in absorption. We are also committed to making our products 100% in the USA, which means you know exactly what you’re getting.
Living well and being healthy cannot wait another day.
Should everyone take multivitamins, even people who have a nutrient dense, balanced diet?
Even people who eat ultra nutrient dense meals like you (Ksenia) have shown benefits from taking daily multivitamins. High-quality daily multivitamins provide such a broad base of foundational nutrition that is virtually impossible to find every single day from food. We have always believed that whole foods are the best source of nutrition but realistically it is hard to get enough consistently.
Omega 3! A magical supplement. What’s the reason everyone can benefit from taking it?
Inflammation reduction is top on most people’s list. Usually inflammation shows up as heart disease later in life but it can show up earlier as joint and muscle pain especially with intense workouts. Omega-3 is taken to balance the overdose of omega-6 that is typical of the standard American diet. When your omega-3/omega-6’s are out of balance, your body begins to develop chronic inflammation. Other benefits include balancing emotional equilibrium and helping keep your mind sharp.
For every bottle bought, one goes to those in need with the help of Vitamin Angels. Do you have plans to go to Africa and see people who you’re making healthier through your generous giving?
Yes! We have been working with Vitamin Angels from the very beginning and would love to join them on a trip to document that story and bring it back to our community.
The harder you work, the luckier you get.
What’s your philosophy on living well and healthy?
Living well and being healthy cannot wait another day. You only have one life and every day counts so live it up! My wife and I have focused on making small, incremental changes to live simple, honest lives while not being caught up in trying to be perfect. You have to meet yourself where you are and make your lifestyle healthy so it’s sustainable rather than chasing fads.
What social businesses do you look up to?
Warby Parker does a fantastic job of helping others and has built a gorgeous brand. TOMS started it all so I have to give them a shout out, and SoapBox has a great team behind it as well.
What have you been inspired by recently?
I’ve been inspired by the overall greater awareness of wellness and how it’s manifesting itself in our society. It’s my experience that millennials or “millennially-minded” individuals are leading this incredible shift in our society towards wellness. People, now more than ever, seem to be willing to challenge the status quo and take responsibility for their long-term wellbeing and health. It’s very exciting!
I know you have exciting expansion plans. Tell me more!
We are really crunching away on a new product line that is focused on fixing the standard American diet by helping all of us reach the recommended daily servings of whole food nutrition. This is going to be revolutionary stuff so I can’t say too much but it will make nourishing your body convenient and wildly delicious! The new line should be ready to roll out in September so stay tuned.
What’s your favorite breakfast?
We love to make super simple meals with fresh local ingredients. This time of year that centers around eggs from our home flock of heritage breed chickens, greens like kale and arugula from the garden and some goat cheese to deepen the flavor.
We try and get as many fruits and veggies first thing in the morning after my wife and I’s yoga routine. Here’s our morning smoothie recipe.
2 Large handfuls of chopped kale (~3-4 cups)
4-5 oz filtered water
4 capsules of Focus & Energy(™)
1 cup of ice
Words you live by?
Get busy living or get busy dying. (Chris)
The harder you work, the luckier you get. (Kyle)