Interview with Jen Smiley @wakeupandreadthelabels

Interview with Jen Smiley @wakeupandreadthelabels

My first IG live ever with the amazing Jen Smiley from @wakeupandreadthelabels

Great convo that covered Lovebird's mission, ingredients, paying more for quality, and the origin story of Lovebird's 20% of profit to fight childhood cancer.

Please read through and ask any questions in the comments.

Jen Smiley   00:02

What's up everybody? Jen Smiley here. Creative, wake up and read the labels where I'm an expert food coach. I love to show you all clean labels on the market, right? So, I'm so excited today. I'm going to be going live with someone that makes a convenient product for you if you're looking for something clean in the morning. Often people are doing the same routine every morning and they don't realize that the ingredients of what they're eating every morning is contributing to their leaky gut, their inflammation. They're stubborn weight gain, things like that. So, I'm going to be bringing a brand on today to show you guys what this brand looks like? What ingredients they have, and how these ingredients can actually heal a lot of your chronic illnesses or your inflammation. So, here we go and the brand is actually called Lovebird and I believe we're going to be talking to Parker today who is the creator of eat love bird. How are you doing, Parker?

Parker   01:07

Good, how are you? Thanks for having me.

Jen Smiley   01:09

Nice to see you here. I'm curious, why do you have cassava in your cereal?

Parker   01:16

Yeah, for me, personally, it's a great allergen friendly ingredient. It's actually not farmed on an industrial level and it's high in resistant starch, and also prebiotic fiber. So, it was a good building block for Lovebird.

Jen Smiley   01:31

I love that. Okay, and then all your other ingredients, what made you choose these ingredients, almost what I like to tell people is, hey, you have these choices in the food industry. When you go down the cereal aisle, there are so many options and people are often led to marketing. So, if anybody goes to your website, which everyone should or click the link in his bio, I love that you have your ingredients, and you're transparent on the front, I think it is such a beautiful thing. So, why do you have those ingredients in your cereal?

Parker   02:08

I've been on a health journey myself, managing some autoimmune disorders and then when I became a dad, I just was looking at cereals like this and I just thought there had to be a better way.  I had this bold 

idea of putting all the ingredients on the front with the mission to clean up junk food and fight childhood cancer. But, really just to make sure that all manufacturers at some point, put their ingredients on the front because there's no line about ingredients, there's still a little difficult as your kind of advice your audience to navigate it even then. But for me, it's really important to put them right on the front to hold myself accountable, but also make it easier as a shopper. I've had so many trips down the aisle where you'd find something that you thought was great, then you look at the ingredients and you're like what? Like, I feel like I've been lied to and so for me, this is the most transparent way.

They all match up to what's on the side of the box as well, to communicate that this is something that's clean, and good for you and good for digestive health. I mean the specific ingredients, we talked about cassava. But there's also coconut oil in there for healthy fats. There's collagen in there for protein and in addition to protein, a bunch of other benefits, and some other things as well and then as you look at my flavored cereals, if it's honey or cinnamon, it's actually flavored by honey. I think a fun exercise is go down the cereal aisle and look at every honey cereal and honey is no more than the fifth ingredient on the box, which means there's enough honey in there for them to make a claim with made with real honey or call it honey. But no more than that. Honey is my second ingredient. So, what you're really getting as high-quality honey at a large amount.

Jen Smiley   04:33

Yeah, and what I think most importantly, I always tell people, look, it's actually not people's fault that they don't know what to look for. We haven't been trained what to look for, because when you do look at a typical box of cereal or any food product, the nutrition facts are so big and broadcasted and, on the front, it says things like zero grams of sugar or 50 calories. It's like we've this mindset they were all trying to, keep track of our numbers where no one's really doing that and it doesn't really matter. I would say if you can't recognize an ingredient, neither does your body, which is kind of like you said, these are real ingredients that you what these are, if they were on a table or out in nature, as opposed to like those lucky charms, you showed it, no one knows what those ingredients are. So, neither is your body. So, tell me this. Most people think clean eating is expensive. What do you have to say about that?

Parker   05:32

It's a complicated issue. I would say it is more expensive than what people are used to eating. I think there are ways to work around that. I think it's also a question of quantity versus quality. I think we've been trained just to overeat, whether it's through natural flavors, or things that drive cravings and so a lot of packaged food is guilty of that, right? It's a lot of food for a little price but you wind up eating the entire box while you sit down and go eat it and so my philosophy is, I'm personally willing to pay a little bit more for better quality ingredients that I only have to eat a fraction of to feel satisfied. So, there's a whole tangent, you can go down in terms of like subsidies and the industrialization of agriculture, and things that have artificially kept prices low. Whether it's refined grain, like oats, or wheat or corn, those 

prices are being subsidized by the government and so you're actually buying something that in a roundabout way your taxpayer dollars are actually paying for to keep it low and so that's the philosophy, yes, it's more expensive, but it's worth it for me because I eat less of it and it's higher quality ingredients.

Jen Smiley   06:46

I also think it plays into the fact if you're spending a little more money for good quality food, you're going to spend less money on medication or doctor visits, or this heartburn medication, people take all these chronic diseases that they're battling, which I thought was really cool on your website that you had said one in two children have chronic diseases, and it's caused from their leaky gut or their junk food and so it's really funny, I'll go in the grocery, and I just stand there and I love to watch what moms are putting in their cart, because I've been out the game for a while of buying this junk food and I forget like, what actually are these people buy in and they're all buying in a goldfish, they buy in the cereal, they buy an Eggo waffles and all this stuff, and no one's alerting them that hey, look, this is actually all preservatives and things that are causing this whole leaky type gut. So how did you get into promoting, it sounds like you're kind of promoting your profits go towards childhood cancer, which I think is a beautiful thing. and leading up to say what kids are battling against.

Parker   07:51

I think it's a great point and I really believe that we're at a crossroads in our country. I think prior to the pandemic, convenience food, junk food was headed in the right direction. But since the pandemic, everyone's falling back to kind of their old habits. It's kind of a critical juncture and then to build on the point you mentioned, health, for me is a compounding activity. So, one bad decision today isn't going to hurt you. But over time, those add up and so you have to look at it as the long game, right? If you have an allergy or an extreme sensitivity, you will know right away that something is wrong. But if you're managing your health, for food, it's all those little decisions add up over time and eventually they will catch up to you for some of the conditions you mentioned earlier. For Lovebird, the focus is really cleaning up junk food as we've kind of touched on and the second part is really fighting childhood cancer and it was kind of a combination of two emotions. As I was kind of dreaming up Lovebird, I was getting some testing done for some of my autoimmune disorders and believe it or not, I went to a children's hospital.

So, it was like six foot five me and a children's hospital next to a lot of brave and courageous kids that are battling an unforgiving opponent and childhood cancer and there was a little wall that all of them would write inspirational quotes to each other on and one of the quotes that really stood out to me it was written by like a seven year old, you're stronger than you know and I was like, floored that a seven year old battling, a potentially terminal cancer could kind of come up with that courage and strength. So, if you look at the back of my box, I have that quote on the Lovebird poem.

Then when I became a dad and my daughter was born, I was just like, I need to help kids. I combined my passion for food and clean eating with my purpose of really helping children everywhere, because as you mentioned, it's kind of this slippery slope where one decision or two decisions not going to get you on the wrong track but those decisions over time will lead you into a position where you're just not the best you could be.

Jen Smiley   10:07

Exactly. I always tell my clients and everybody I interact with I say, if you were eating clean seven days a week, and you have say, two, three cheat meals or something bad, well, odds are, you're probably going to fail, say a little hungover, a little funky, but you can get yourself out of it. But if somebody is not eating clean that seven days a week, and they decide two or three of their meals are going to be clean or healthy, then that's not really going to reverse all of their chronic diseases that they're battling. So, I think what you're doing is awesome. I think everybody watching this and this sends it out to all my email contacts as well check out eat love bird cereal, you are doing great things. I really appreciate you coming on air and the world needs more of you for sure.

Parker   10:51

Well, I really appreciate that and thank you for helping little bird fly and have a great day.

Jen Smiley   10:55

Of course, you too. I'll see you soon Parker. Have a good day. Bye.

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