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Shari Leidich is on a mission to educate people about the importance of eating right. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 15 years ago, Leidich started looking at food as medicine. The results were so positive that she founded Two Moms in the Raw—a sprouted, raw, organic snack food company known for its bars—to make eating nutritiously more convenient. (She’s no longer involved with the business, which has been rebranded as Soul Sprout.)
Now she’s on to chapter two: Last November, Leidich launched Know Brainer, a line of “functional coffee creamers and beverages.” The products are all ketogenic (high-fat, low-carb). The single-serve creamers are made with coconut medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and ghee (organic, grass-fed clarified butter), a combination of nutrient-dense fats that are designed to boost brain function and focus, curb cravings, and rev up your metabolism.
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Last month, the Lafayette-based company added instant coffee, chai tea, matcha tea, and hot chocolate to its offerings; each is available full dairy or lactose-free. Simply add hot water to the no-sugar-added powders, and breakfast is ready. “You have that in the morning instead of grabbing a bagel or muffin,” Leidich says. “It fuels your mind and body for three to four hours. When your brain and your body are satisfied, you don’t grab the carbs, you don’t grab the sugary foods the rest of the day.”
Ketogenic diets are a hot topic these days (check out this beginner’s guide). A recent study done on mice at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that a high-fat diet could increase a person’s life span by seven to 10 years. Leidich says humans are biologically meant to break our fast (aka, sleep) with fats. “Fat is essential to brain health, to metabolic health,” she says. The ease of Know Brainer’s pour and stir process means even folks who usually run out the door without breakfast can squeeze in a nutritious, fueling morning meal.
It seems the public is catching on. In September, Know Brainer won the pitch slam competition at the Natural Products Expo East. Know Brainer’s products sell out weekly on Amazon, according to Leidich. And the company was recently named to Terra, a food and ag-tech startup accelerator based in San Francisco. “What an honor to be part of this,” says Leidich, who has already starting collaborating with Nestlé through the program. “They bring a lot of expertise and understanding to the table. We bring a lot of excitement and energy and risk.”
During the five-month accelerator, Leidich hopes to figure out how to streamline production and work out a pilot for a refrigerated 16-ounce creamer (think: half-and-half), which will include collagen and will be available full dairy or dairy-free.
Know Brainer products are available to purchase online or at Whole Foods Market, Lucky’s Market, Alfalfa’s Market, and Natural Grocers.