As co-founders of The Farmer’s Dog, the leading subscription-based fresh pet food brand, we spend a lot of our time thinking about the impact that food has on health and wellness.
We launched The Farmer’s Dog after witnessing the health benefits of a fresh food diet on Brett’s Rottweiler, Jada. Since our nationwide launch in July 2016, we’ve delivered close to 3 million meals and have been blown away by the incredible effects that fresh, real food can have on our pets’ health.
That said, it’s not surprising that we’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how food impacts our own health and allows us to maximize our productivity as working entrepreneurs. Here are a few of the tips and tricks that have helped us optimize our time and stay healthy along the way:
- Choose real, whole foods whenever possible Skip the processed stuff or anything that spends months sitting in a bag on a shelf. We know this is an optimal way for humans to eat, and the same thinking applies to our dogs. Just because a bag of pet food has the words “healthy” or “natural” on it and shows photos of ingredients, it doesn’t make it equivalent to real, fresh food. Would you eat a salad or steak that spent a year sitting on a shelf?
We eat a lot of the same foods that go into The Farmer’s Dog recipes – fresh vegetables like kale, broccoli, and sweet potatoes, legumes like lentils and chickpeas, and high quality, lean protein like turkey are staples in our diets. And yes, we’ve both really tasted our dog food.
- Eat carbs (yes, really) We’re talking real pasta and rice. Before starting The Farmer’s Dog, Jonathan spent time living in Italy (where obesity rates are among the lowest in the world), and we both swear by a diet with plenty of high quality, fresh pasta and bread served alongside plenty of veggies.
- Get moving – even if you can’t make it to the gym Grueling schedules and frequent travel make consistent gym visits challenging, but we’re both constantly on the go. We takes phone calls while walking our dogs, Jada and Buddy, to a dog park near our Brooklyn office, and our office has become big fans of “walk and talks” (AKA walking meetings). Fresh air and a little movement does the body good and can help reset after hours sitting in front of a computer screen.
- Hydration and Preparation Brett starts every work day with a big water bottle on his desk, and refills it as soon as it’s halfway empty. He uses an app to track his water intake and likes to add lemon or fresh mint (grown in-office!) to help him stay hydrated. He’s also a fan of keeping fresh cut veggies in the fridge at all times. “I find that I get hungry at random times throughout my work day and always go for the foods that are most accessible,” Brett says. “Typically all of those foods are the processed ones. I started keeping fresh snacks prepared at all times so I can grab something smart in between meetings. It helps me avoid snacking on foods that I’ll regret eating later.”
- There Is Such Thing As Too Much Coffee Caffeine is an essential ingredient for most working entrepreneurs, and we would be lying if we said otherwise. Still, we try to limit our coffee intake to 2 cups a day and switch to barley or fresh mint tea by the afternoon. This helps us from getting over-caffeinated and crashing in our afternoon meetings. As young entrepreneurs, we are typically in the office or at industry events most nights, but we make an effort to avoid that 5pm cortado. Caffeine late in the day can affect your sleep cycle, and our dogs wake us up early most mornings, ready for their fresh breakfast and for another day on the job.