I used to be a straight up meat and potatoes guy. You couldn’t pay me to eat a vegetable. I used to pound back Monster energy drinks, Red Bull, and sweet candy treats nearly every day at work. This was all to get over the afternoon slump that came from eating heavily processed foods for lunch.
It wasn’t until I was introduced to raw foods that I made a drastic life change. One weekend in Austin, I stayed with, my now business partner and his wife. At the time they were 100% raw vegan. So, that is all I was able to eat the entire weekend. I left that weekend with an open mind. I found that raw fruits and vegetables can, and do taste good.
Upon returning home, I began doing research on the health benefits of raw foods and I was convinced I needed to make a drastic change in my diet. I realized the meat and potatoes diet was not going to sustain me long term, and could even kill me.
Almost immediately I switch over to a 50% raw food diet. I was drinking smoothies every day for breakfast, snacking on fruit and nuts throughout the day, and eating salads almost every day. At first I was still eating meat, but it wasn’t too long before that started making me feel bad, and I gave it up cold turkey.
I was experiencing pretty extreme detox symptoms for weeks, but at the same time I was noticing drastic improvements to my health. I was a stronger rock climber, I lost 10lbs within two weeks, and I wasn’t having the afternoon crash like I normally did.
Pretty soon I started to increase my raw food intake and was quickly eating 75-80% raw diet. The raw food lifestyle led me to make smarter health choices and caused me to see food as a source of life and energy. Even though I’m no longer a raw foodie, it drastically influenced the way I look at food.
During my time as a raw foodie I discovered there was an extreme lack of raw portable foods that I could take with me on climbing and hiking trips. Most commercial energy bars were also full of highly processed ingredients. This lead me to crate my own raw, organic, gluten and soy free treats to carry with me on my outdoor adventures.
Aside from a raw food lifestyle and an active outdoor enthusiast I was also an aspiring entrepreneur. I had attempted to leave my full time job many times to venture into freelance photograph and graphic design, but fear constantly held me back from pursuing my dream. I also had this crazy idea in the back of my mind to start selling the energy bars I was creating for my own personal use.
Living in Dallas at the time, I didn’t think there was a market for something like this, so I buried the idea further into the back of my head. Later, I ended up getting engaged to my now wife, and moving to Austin.
When I arrived in Austin one of the things I noticed most was the huge number of active, healthy individuals. I thought it would be a perfect place to start the energy bar company. Soon after, I teamed up with Chris (the other Bearded Brother) and started the energy bar company.
Years later Bearded Brothers is a growing and thriving business, and my dream about becoming an entrepreneur is larger than life! We started off with a vague idea to sell healthy raw energy bars, and have since grown a successful brand that is gaining recognition worldwide!
In the midst of startup travails, I got married, and had two children, all while running ultra marathons, riding my bike, and climbing rocks any chance I got. I hope you enjoy the advice I have to share on this blog, through lessons learned in business, as well as life as a husband and father.