Activated Nutrients is not your standard protein powder. Their recipe was carefully designed by Health Science Innovations with best health as their #1 priority! yum. Gluten Free met up with Dr. Jaroslav Boublik to chat about his fascinating background and how he became a core member of the Activated Nutrients team.
yum. Gluten Free: Hi Dr. Jaroslav Boublik! Thank you so much for your time. Tell us a bit about your background.
I come from a background in classical medical research, having completed a bachelors degree in chemistry and a PhD in neuroendocrinology in Melbourne. Post docs in Shanghai China and La Jolla California followed, and I then returned to Melbourne to start a lab at the Baker Medical Research Institute, focusing on drug development using peptides. A complex “mid life crisis” with personal, professional and health challenges led to a reappraisal and to refocus on nutritional medicine. It has become my passion. I have worked as a consultant to the nutritional industry for over 20 years and have watched it grow and diversify. Eight years ago I relocated back to the USA. I work in clinical research, formulations development, education and communication and have an ongoing fascination with how we tick. I joined Health Science Innovations (HSI) in early 2014 and am now the Activated Nutrients Chief Science Officer. I’m always trying to find ways to increase my understanding while simplifying the message – not always an easy balance to strike.
ygf: Wow, what a fantastic resume! So how did Activated Nutrients begin and what is your relationship with the business?
HSI was founded by a group of health conscious individuals who didn’t like what they saw in the existing nutritional supplement industry and thought they could do better. They established HSI specifically to do just that. A mutual colleague asked me to look at the first Activated Nutrients (AN) formulations, and I really liked the approach they were taking. That initial consulting relationship soon grew into a regular role and I am very happy to now be a part of the core team.
ygf: It is awesome to learn about a protein powder that was truly built from nutritional science. Can you tell us about the brand?
Activated Nutrients is the brand under which we market our products. The brand philosophy is on our website: The name Activated Nutrients was inspired by the definition of the word activated, which is to make active. Instead of choosing ingredients based on price points and accessibility, we create our supplements with nutrients in their most active form. In other words, we only use the good stuff, no matter how rare or hard to get it is.
This is a philosophy that we carry throughout everything we do. We never compromise on quality and we’re passionate about bringing our premium products to you. We honestly hope that by sharing this passion we can help get more people ACTIVATED!
Having developed a really excellent whole food based “Daily Superfood,” we turned our attention to a protein powder as the next product. “Daily Protein” is the perfect complement to the “Daily Superfood,” as the main essential nutrient class. We wanted to keep them as separate products for usage flexibility, but they fit together really well as part of a complete daily regime.
ygf: Why is Activated Nutrients gluten free?
The gluten free positioning for our Activated Nutrients (AN) products is to enable them to be available to the largest group of potential consumers. We have found that people that favour a gluten free diet tend to be more educated, careful, selective and discerning and these are exactly the kind of people who would find that our products fit with their lifestyles.
ygf: How long have you been gluten free?
While I don’t personally have an issue with gluten, my wife seems to do better from the point of view of gastrointestinal comfort and regularity, when she avoids consuming gluten-containing foods, so we tend to eat gluten free at home. It’s relatively easy since we cook meals from scratch most evenings. The trend towards eating gluten free has been developing in our household for about five years. Over that period of time we have also modified our use of dairy foods. Being in the industry, I have access to many types of products, so from time to time we have experimented with using tools such as supplementary digestive enzymes to accompany our long standing use of probiotics, fermented foods of all kinds and a commitment to organic and non-GMO products wherever possible.
ygf: What does a normal day in your life look like?
I telecommute from my location in the US and we work on product development, production management, communication, education and consumer engagement. I also maintain a close watch on what is happening in the US, especially on the west coast as this really is the centre of the industry worldwide. I get back to Australia regularly and my HSI colleagues come to the US from time to time so there are always opportunities for face to face interaction.
ygf: What is your inspiration?
I am always inspired by seeing people taking charge of their well-being. Fortunately, I see a lot of that in the small surfing village where I live. It might be someone in the local organic grocer looking at the label on the product they are considering buying, or the surfers with their boards under their arms running for a wave after work. Or the healthy older folks, of whom there are a lot in Southern California, who are out exercising fit looking bodies and enjoying the sun.
ygf: What makes you unique?
Born in Pakistan, Czech parents, educated in Australia, China and the US. That’s a start. I guess growing up as a “New Australian”, as we were called in those days, does tend to foster an atypical world view. I’ve usually followed the “road less travelled” – not always easy but way more interesting.
ygf: Any interesting stories you’d like to share?
My family history around health is one of extremes. My father passed away at 54 from a heart attack. He was a heavy smoker and it seems that was the primary cause of his cardiovascular disease. My mother approaches 90 in great health despite two hip replacements done 25 and 35 years ago. My dad’s history has meant I have always been careful to maintain my fitness via windsurfing, mountain biking and regular running. Three years ago after weeks of hip pain following my morning beach runs, it occurred to me that something was really not right. It seems that osteoarthritis indeed runs in the family. The point of the story is that it’s the first time in half a lifetime that I haven’t been completely well. I think it has given me a much deeper insight into how critical good health is for a happy life.
ygf: What’s one word that sums you up?
My wife says “nerd” but she says that’s a good thing. I trust her.
ygf: What is your motto?
I like to start with Richard Carlson’s quote: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff” and then add the one exception, which, not surprisingly, is looking after your health. That’s big stuff.
ygf: What’s your #1 health tip?
I’ll quote Michael Pollan from his amazing book, “In Defense of Food” and his “Eater’s Manifesto”: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. Your health is your number one personal asset. Without it all the fame and fortune are nothing. Protect it like the precious jewel it is and never stop learning how to do that better.
ygf: What is your vision for the future? Anything exciting in the pipeline?
The focus for now is telling the AN story far and wide and working on the next products. Because of our high standards, the R&D takes quite a long time but if the first two products are anything to go by I think we can comfortably promise some great, effective, innovative products in the future.
ygf: How do our readers stay in touch with you?
The HIS/AN website – http://www.activatednutrients.com – is the best way to see what we are up to and catch our latest educational and informational content.
Check out these Activated Nutrition recipes!
Vanilla Berry Swirl Smoothie
Protein Packed Pancakes with Chia Blueberry Topping
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls