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Dragon Door Interviews Jordan Rubin, Best-Selling Author and Founder of Beyond Organic

July 5, 2013 10:50 AM

Jordan Rubin with two kettlebells double clean
Dragon Door: Why did you start Beyond Organic

Jordan Rubin: Initially, the Beyond Organic vision was to start a sustainable food and beverage supply for our turbulent times.  Over the last six years, I realized that many things in our environment, economy, and certainly in our healthcare and agricultural system have really gone awry.  Once we started to procure the land, live springs, livestock with the correct genetics, and the right heirloom seeds, I realized that we needed to get this food out to people. 

Sources like these simply don't exist anywhere, and that’s where our Beyond Organic 20/20 Vision came to be—we want to see one million people living Beyond Organic by the end of this decade.  So, we created a vehicle to provide these foods, beverages, skin and body care products, and nutritional supplements direct to the individual.  Our format is vertically integrated and transparent, so people know exactly where their food comes from. There's also an opportunity to share the message with others, while working towards eating Beyond Organic for free. 

Dragon Door:  Is everything made on the Beyond Organic ranches?

Jordan Rubin: We produce almost everything that we provide.  There’s a few products that we don't make, but those are probably going to be short lived.  Since no one could produce foods to our quality standards and specifications for our meat and dairy, we decided to control the entire supply chain. 

Right now we have several manufacturing facilities including a dairy processing center, a meat processing center, a smokehouse, a fermented beverage facility, our own mountain spring for spring water, and a facility that produces our Enzymatically Activated (EA Live) foods and snacks.  In the future, we may use these very same facilities to make prepared foods.
Jordan Rubin at the Beyond Organic Ranch

Dragon Door:  As a very busy person, what are some of your favorite on the go foods?

Jordan Rubin: I know this situation first hand after a 10 day trip to India at the end of last year.  Because I had suffered from and overcame serious digestive issues in the past, I was extremely concerned.  I was told not to eat the food, drink the water, or even open my mouth in the shower!

Our EA Live foods were really my saving grace.  I brought enough of our granolas, crackers, cookies and snacks made from sprouted nuts and seeds to last for the whole trip. The enzyme activation process (EA Live) basically creates some of the healthiest, most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and makes them more available to the body.  They're nearly pre-digested—the proteins are converted to amino acids, the starches to single sugars, et cetera.  They're high in healthy fats and protein, so I brought enough to feed myself the entire time, and to share with my family. 

Most days I was able to eat one good meal at a safe restaurant connected to the hotel, but many times, consuming the EA Live foods was vital to save my health.   In terms of favorite items, I cycle through them.  For a while, my favorite was EA Live Sprouted Seven Powder that contains seven pre-digested seeds—a great source of nutrition including omega fatty acids—added to a smoothie.  But now, I just love our plain Amasai poured over the Sweet Greens granola.  It’s a great way to get the right proteins and fats.  It's also a really good treat before bed. 

Dragon Door: Something we have in common is a love of kettlebell workouts.  How were you introduced to kettlebells? 

Jordan Rubin: At some point, I saw kettlebells in a fitness catalog.  I didn’t know what to do with them, but they looked unique.  I also really bought into the idea of training the way that the body was created, not just using exercises that aren't replicated in daily life.  I ordered the Enter the Kettlebell book and DVD, and started using them.  At first, my technique was very poor, but I still enjoyed working with kettlebells. 

I went on a six month tour to promote a new book and television program called Perfect Weight America, and reached out to John Du Cane at Dragon Door for sponsorship.  John was kind enough to send me an entire set of kettlebells.  We toured on a 45 foot bus to 250 cities while towing a little VW Bug, and I always had my kettlebells with me. 

On many days when I couldn't do a full workout, I’d simply do five sets of five reps of double snatches with my 24kg kettlebells in my hotel room.  In five minutes I'd do the five reps on the minute.  Double kettlebell snatches are a favorite exercise because I have to work fairly hard, and sometimes have to partially press the last one or two reps.  I met with Pavel while I was on the tour, and he helped to correct my form.  I was very blessed to have a great start with kettlebells, and I’m still using them today.  It’s almost hard for me to want to do other things because there’s so much you can do with kettlebells, and I’m still a novice. 

In the future, we’re going to do another version of our Natural Athlete program, combining Beyond Organic products and primarily kettlebell exercises.  We’ll also use battling ropes, and bodyweight exercises.  Since we’re training baseball players, exercises like double kettlebell bottoms-up thrusters are great.  By holding the kettlebells bottoms-up the whole time, it really challenges the whole body and the forearms.

It's definitely been a couple of years since I've picked up another piece of equipment besides kettlebells.  Kettlebells can be so challenging that sometimes people who are used to traditional weightlifting—even Olympic weightlifting—find that there’s a lot that they can't immediately do with kettlebells. 
Jordan Rubin Pressing a kettlebell overhead

Dragon Door: What are your favorite pre and post-workout foods and beverages from Beyond Organic? 

Jordan Rubin:  I believe our cultured whey beverage, SueroViv is by far, the ultimate pre and during workout beverage.  It has the right balance of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium—a super electrolyte infusion that's superior to coconut water.
Usually, sports drinks are very poor sources of minerals.  And while they may give you immediate additional hydration by stimulating thirst with sodium, you really pay for it with artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, and preservatives.  The name SueroViv means "whey of life."  It's based on a cultured whey beverage that's been used since the 17th century, as the main attraction of hundreds of health and medical spas throughout Switzerland and Europe.  Today, there's only three cultured whey beverages commercially available in the world; one in Iceland, one in Switzerland, and now SueroViv in America.  All five flavors of SueroViv contain the ultimate source of effective electrolytes, a small amount of protein of the absolute highest quality available, along with probiotics, and enzymes.  This not only supports fitness efforts, but boosts post exercise protein consumption and utilization. 

For post-workout protein, I would recommend our Amasai, a cultured dairy beverage that I believe contains the most bio-available source of protein on the planet.  It is a pre-digested dairy protein with a unique protein complex we call Z-protein. Z-protein only comes from a specific type of cattle which isn't typically available in the United States.  It's very unique.  Old-time bodybuilders would have loved this stuff if they had known about it. 

I like the plain Amasai, it's a little sour, but it's the most balanced.  In addition to the protein, it gives you CLA, omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics, enzymes, and vitamin B12.  It’s awesome, and if you want even more protein, we also have what I believe to be the most unique protein food available—we call them raw cheddar bites, and they're made using our unique process to capture all the nutrients and beneficial compounds in our raw milk from cows who eat grasses, herbs, and forbs.  Each ounce of raw cheddar bites provides about seven grams of protein with quality fats, and hardly any carbohydrates. 

The raw cheddar bites are made in small batches.  There’s nothing else like it available today.   The raw milk underground is a very rapidly growing niche, despite the fact that consuming raw dairy is illegal in most states.  The reason people love raw dairy is because the proteins and nutrients are completely un-denatured.  These are powerful foods.  We've been able to capture these benefits in our cheese which is aged for 60 days so it can be legally sold and consumed.  We produce the raw cheddar bites differently than our other cheeses so they're softer and milder.  It's the closest thing to consuming raw milk without the carbohydrates. 

I believe if someone were to constantly consume SueroViv or SueroViv Gold before and during their workout, and Amasai and cheddar bites within an hour afterwards, that they’ll see incredible results, not just in building muscle, not just in recovery, not just in burning fat, but in overall health.  Most supplements geared towards fitness and bodybuilding are very isolated, laden with chemicals, and ultimately unhealthy. 

Dragon Door:  You mentioned that the protein in Amasai and cheddar bites is very bio-available.  Is that more important than the actual grams of protein in a given item?

Jordan Rubin:  Yes, it’s critical.  Isolated proteins from whey, eggs, soy, et cetera, are completely imbalanced.  First of all, isolated whey protein is not really a food.  Historically, no one’s ever consumed whey protein.  They consumed whey, and curd, which is cheese.  Isolated whey protein goes through a tremendous amount of processing leading to denatured amino acids.

It's optimal to consume protein with enzymes to break it down, probiotics to break down the residual byproducts, and fat and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.  When you consider a raw food protein like steak, avocado, or anything in between, they have those four components.  But when guys and gals are consuming 250, 300, 400 grams of protein mostly in the form of protein powders, I believe they will suffer greatly. 

Worst of all, many people are consuming protein powders that negatively imbalance their hormones.  If it’s from dairy, they’ll get the remnants of bovine growth hormone—a female hormone designed to make cows produce more milk, and build bigger udders—or they're consuming phytoestrogen-laden soy. Conventional egg protein also has issues because of soy fed to the hens along with loads of chemicals and antibiotics.  Most of these chemicals are estrogenic and cause problems for both men and women.  So, not only is raw, live food better and more bio available, it also doesn't contain any negative compounds that detract from building a healthy body inside and out. 
Jordan Rubin at the Ranch

Dragon Door: How would you define optimal health? 

Jordan Rubin: When it comes to optimal health and fitness, I think one of the greatest keys to determining if you’re following the right program inside and out is a combination of several concepts.  Yes, you should see results in the mirror and on the scale, but everybody knows that there’s still a level of subjectivity. 

If someone is able to increase their exercise intensity over a couple of weeks, then what they're doing is producing abundant health.  The body is reacting correctly to the stress and stimulus.  Another indication of great health is digestion.  After you eat, you should feel stronger.  Many times we’re forcing ourselves to eat, and we feel bloated or bad.  I would wager that almost every bodybuilder in a building stage won't process the white rice, chicken breast, and 500 grams of protein powder very well.  The body was not meant to consume such concentrated foods in powder form all the time.  It’s just not natural or normal. 

When it comes to the exercising and fitness population, they can increase their work capacity and decrease their recovery time with the right eating habits and optimal foods.  Again, healthy digestion and elimination are critical, along with recovery time.  Do you wake up refreshed?  If you start needing less sleep—when you rebuild and restore—that’s also a great sign.  I would say all of these are determining factors the exercising population can use to monitor their internal and external health. 

Dragon Door:  For those unfamiliar with the Beyond Organic product line, especially the new items, where should someone start? 

Jordan Rubin:  If someone wants to improve and take care of their health from the inside, then we'll want to talk about probiotics.  They could start with the plan we just laid out—switching their pre and during exercise beverage to SueroViv.  I would recommend consuming one to two bottles every day.   Then consuming Amasai and raw cheddar bites—up to a pound a day if someone is looking to build muscle really fast—as their main protein supplement post workout—remember it's a whole food and is intended to bring balance.  Amasai is very closely based on the staple food of the strongest, most athletic tribe in Africa, the Masai.  They jumped the highest and ran the fastest.   Amasai is absolutely amazing.

Then of course, people always seem to be in situations where they’re tempted to consume very unhealthy foods.  Our EA Live snacks are highly nutritious and easy to digest.  For salty snack cravings our slightly salted sprouted almonds are a favorite.  Our raw, chocolate covered almonds, cashews, pecans, or walnuts are a sweet snack alternative with good fats, raw chocolate and fiber.  If you like cereal,  you can't beat our EA Live granola.  These are examples of appropriate snacking that can actually be very beneficial.

Dragon Door:  Can you tell me about the special beef jerky included in two of the snack packs?

Jordan Rubin:  Our beef is grown and raised properly without hormones, antibiotics, or grain feeds.  Even in small doses those can rob you of results.  The hormones given to steer are designed to make them gain a massive amount of weight—most of which is internal fat.  At Beyond Organic, we grow, raise, slaughter, and process the beef properly to ensure all the right hormones are in the meat.  I think our beef jerky is a phenomenal product for snacking on the go.

Speaking of hormones, it's very important that people—especially women—aren't exposed to too many artificial estrogens in personal care products.  Our anti-aging skin and body care line are great because they’re toxic free.  Using conventional deodorant, antiperspirant, shampoos, conditioners, lotions containing xenoestrogens or plasticizing compounds, can expose someone to too many estrogen-like compounds.  And while some of our foods like Terrain Omega will help rid the body of these compounds, it's best to stop the problem at its source. 

Dragon Door: These sound like very important ideas for long term health.

Jordan Rubin:  Yes.  I believe that we need to be careful with what we consume.  We can exercise all we want, but if we don't consume clean animal sources of protein without growth hormone, antibiotics, et cetera, we'll have to pay the piper some day.  And 8, 9, 10, 12 years of competitive bodybuilding or professional sports isn't worth spending a lifetime looking and feeling bad. 

small squat
Jordan Rubin is an author and the founder of Beyond Organic.  For more information on Beyond Organic, click here.