Thu, 15 August 2019
Catharine started ENERGYbits after her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and advised by her oncologist that an alkaline diet would help her heal. Catharine immediately sprung into action to help her sister research alkaline foods and in the process she discovered algae. When Catharine learned that algae was the most alkaline, plant-based, nutrient-dense food in the world and had been used for fifty years in Asia to improve health and longevity, she knew she had discovered something big (and yes, her sister fully recovered - thanks for asking).
As Catharine dug into the science of algae, she learned it had 64% protein, 40 vitamins/minerals and was endorsed by the United Nations and NASA as the most nutrient dense food in the world. She also discovered there were 100,000 studies documenting its long list of benefits and it was the most sustainable, eco-friendly food crop in the world. And yet algae remained virtually unknown outside of Asia. How could this be possible? Catharine knew algae could be a game changer for our health, our children and our world if she could only convince people it wasn't weird. And so ENERGYbits was born.
It took Catharine eight years to bring algae into the mainstream and build ENERGYbits into a national company. We're glad she finally did, because now you and your family can benefit from our organically grown, toxin-free, Non-GMO algae tablets too. A handful will help satisfy your hunger, help give you steady energy, and help ensure your nutritional needs are met. All this from a food that has one ingredient, no chemicals, caffeine, sugar or processing and is the most sustainable, safe, eco-friendly, crop in the world - algae. Your body and Mother Earth say thank you. And we do too.
Questions asked in the episode:
This week, I'm excited to welcome Catherine Arnston. When a family health issue sent Catherine researching the benefits of an alkaline diet, she quickly discovered algae and knew she had discovered big. As Catherine dug into the science of algae, she learned it had 64% protein, 40 vitamins and minerals and was endorsed by the United Nations and NASA as the most nutrient dense food in the world. In this episode, we talk about the importance of an alkaline diet and how algae can help us take our health to the next level. Over to Catherine.
Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Catherine Arnston to the podcast. Catherine, how are you?
Hello. I am great. I'm hailing all the way from Boston, Massachusetts today to talk to you.
Wow, okay. Boston, Massachusetts [inaudible 00:01:37] by Australia, so we have connected.
There you go.
Good to talk to you, super intrigued as to learn a little bit more about your story and your thoughts as well on what we're going to get into shortly. But first up, for everyone out there that may not have heard about you or your work, I would love it if you could just tell our listeners a little bit about yourself please.
About me and or how I started the company, or...
Yeah, just about you and your story.
Sure. Well, I am Canadian, although I've lived in Boston for 20, oh, 33 years, so don't do the math to figure out old I am, please. I'll reveal it later on I guess if I have to. But I had to spend all my time growing up in Canada, did an MBA, was doing international business and I'd started a couple other companies not related to nutrition. I was the publisher of an interior design magazine. And then out of the blue, my younger sister in Canada developed breast cancer. This was 10 years ago. And her oncologist in Canada told her she needed to change her diet to an alkaline diet because it would help her with her healing. So they didn't tell her what it was or why it would help her. So she called me because of course she's my baby sister. Of course I'm going to help. And also just because I'm a really good researcher.
So I said, "Oh, I have no idea what an alkaline diet is, but we will find out." And it turned out to be mostly a plant-based diet and it was because of the chlorophyll and the phytonutrients in the plants that would build her immune system and she was going through chemo, so she needed to keep her immune system strong. So she did change her diet and eliminated acidic foods. And 10 years later she's still cancer free, so I'm very excited about that.
And in the process of helping her, I started reading about plant-based nutrition. Now in America and possibly in Australia as well, plant-based nutrition is pretty much mainstream now. All the research in new foods is pretty much plant-based. But 10 years ago, nobody was talking about it. And as I read the science I thought man, somebody has to get this knowledge out there. So I thought, okay, well why don't I give it a shot?
So I had no nutrition background. So I gave up my career, went back to school, I got a one year certificate from a place called the Institute for Integrative Nutrition so I could get us a health coaching certificate. When I graduated I thought, well now what? So then I taught nutrition for free at corporations and hospitals, just trying to teach people how to incorporate a plant-based nutrition diet to be healthier. And I learned a very important lesson. Pretty much everybody knows that they should eat more greens to be healthier, but they either don't like them, their kids don't like them, their husband doesn't like them, too much work to cut, carry them, cut them. So I thought, okay, if you, if I'm going to help people I have to find something that's got the green nutrition but it has to be fast, easy and maybe not even taste green.
So back to the drawing board, which that basically it was the internet and I just started researching powders and then I stumbled across the algae, which I had found for my sister but hadn't really taken a close look at it. So I started digging deeper into the knowledge and the science behind algae and I was like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole because it was incredible.
Algae has been used for 50 years around the world, mostly in Asia where it's a multibillion dollar crop. It's a crop by the way, algae is not a supplement and I need to be sure your community and anyone I talk to understands that it is not a supplement. Supplements are made in labs and manufacturing plants from extracts. Algae is a crop that's grown in water similar to tomatoes, so it's an aquaculture. So anyways, it's almost as big as the beef industry is here in America. That's how big an industry is. And it's been studied. It's the most studied food in the world. There are close to 100,000 studies on the various attributes and benefits of algae, whether it's athletic benefits, a mental benefits and longevity benefits. It just goes on and on and on, but none of the science has made it out of the scientific community.
I was just at an algae conference, which was basically a scientific algae conference and nobody there knows how to communicate their research to consumers. That's one of the reasons why the knowledge of algae has never really taken off here. It's mainstream in Asia because there's algae farms all over the place. People take it in Japan like we take vitamins here. They don't take vitamins in Japan, they only take chlorella. So I decided when I started reading about all these benefits of algae and how it was so misunderstood... aren't we all... that I would devote the rest of my life seriously to helping people understand algae, getting through the science, getting the credibility out there, taking the weirdness out of it by giving it consumer friendly names, packaging it properly, making sure I had the safest, purest algae possible and educating people so they know what to look for. So that's how I became the algae lady.
My word. My word.
I have to say, after 10 years of spending my time researching algae, which is hilarious because I'm a bit of a glamour girl and I'm the last person you would think would be so intrigued by algae, but I think I'm also a science geek. After 10 years, I'm still discovering amazing nutrients and benefits of algae. It is the gift that just keeps on giving and I can't, I love telling people about it. It's incredible. So there I am. Thanks for asking.
Well, now what an intro. No, I'm intrigued now. So just to backtrack a little bit then it's, well first up, I guess, thumbs up for the oncologists for saying you need to change your diet.
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