[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]en years ago, doctors diagnosed Brennen Boomhower with Crohn’s disease, a chronic disease that causes painful inflammation of the intestine and affects several of the body’s basic functions —including the ability to absorb vital nutrients. The typical treatment would be prescription meds with the possibility of severe side effects, and, even though Brennen was in full remission, his troubles could come back at any moment. His doctors said there were no guarantees that the meds would help, so instead of just giving in and hoping for the best, he started looking for alternatives.
“Crohn’s disease is a digestive disease, so why shouldn’t I look into what I eat first?” asked Brennen. In an attempt to find a solution to his health problems, he started reading books on nutrition and superfoods. “I want a meal a day that would be the perfect meal. The one nutritional meal that would make you feel good, but also carries curative and preventative health properties,” Brennen said. “That’s when I started making healthy smoothies that would provide all the essential nutrients I need for the day. Seeing the curative potentials of a nutritious diet, I told my doctors I didn’t want to rely on medication and I’d like to change my diet to see if it would help my condition.” However, none of his doctors were supportive of his decision. “They all told me ‘good luck with that!” he laughed. Brennen has now been in remission for more than ten years.
While such positive results can’t be expected for everyone and further symptoms should not be ignored, Brennen’s change in diet seemed to work wonders for him. “I’ve never been back to the doctors for my Crohn’s disease after I started implementing nutritious smoothies into my diet along with regular exercise.” Brennen offered meal plan consulting on the side for a while and he got immensely positive feedback for his smoothie recipes. “My clients told me how much they like my smoothies and that it would be much more convenient if someone could make them for them.” It was then that Brennen decided to quit his job in finance and start up his own business. “I’ve always loved food and cooking since I was young. So why not do something that I’m truly passionate about?” After a year of countless experiments, blending greens and fruits and perfecting the taste of the smoothies, SmoothMeals was born in 2013.
That Special Something
Each SmoothMeals smoothie is handcrafted by Brennen in his kitchen at home and bottled in a mason jar. Almond milk serves as the base of every smoothie, while chia seeds, hemp seeds and nut butter are used to create a consistent, thick and creamy texture. Their best-seller, Green Skinny Booster, is a blend of spinach, kale, parsley, banana, pumpkin seeds, oats, vanilla and spices etc. While some might be put off by the greenish color, the Green Skinny Booster tastes nothing like raw veggies. When I had my first jar of Skinny Booster (500ml), the smoothie tasted like a harmony of natural sweetness and creaminess. I’m usually very adventurous with food, so I also tried the Orange Immune Booster. Its main ingredients include sweet potatoes, carrot juice, vanilla and oats. It didn’t disappoint: it was like tasting autumn distilled in a mason jar. Before I knew it, I finished the whole jar and understood why some of Brennen’s regular clients order the 1 liter jars on a weekly basis.
This stuff is highly addictive, it tastes good and it’s also very filling (in a good way). “Each jar is so dense with nutrients that your body is satisfied and you won’t be craving food as much. It naturally lowers your food intake and in return results in weight control. My clients usually order the 1 liter jars pack, they drink half a jar in the morning and finish the rest before lunch. It has around 600 calories per jar, which equates to a normal size meal”, explained Brennen. Customers came back with feedback that they have a lot more energy after replacing their breakfasts with SmoothMeals and they snack significantly less. “I personally drink a 1L jar for breakfast each day so I’ll have enough energy to start off my day. It keeps my diet well-balanced and weight on track.”
So what’s next for SmoothMeals?
SmoothMeals is currently a one-man-band, with Brennen producing and running the operation and delivery. “I’ve been working around 16 hours per day but I love it. I haven’t looked back since,” he explains. “A new flavor called the Pink Vitamin C Booster is coming out this Spring, which is a jar of goodness filled with dark cherries, strawberries, vanilla, hibiscus and goji berries. I’m constantly experimenting with different combination of fruits and vegetables, but it takes a long time to perfect a recipe. I’m also working on rebranding Smoothmeals’ website but it’s hard to balance everything while I’m the only one working! If things take off well this year, my next plan would be expanding the business, rent an industrial kitchen and hire 2-3 employees so I can serve the greater Montreal area. My goal is to eventually have a production facility where I can produce SmoothMeals on a larger scale and sell them wholesale to different gourmet groceries stores.”
For more information, check out SmoothMeal’s website: www.smoothmeals.com
Photos courtesy of Lufa Farms.