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“Slow down your reptilian brain”, Roy Krebs of Natural Stacks and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

…Breathing. Force yourself to take deep, conscious breaths. Slow down your reptilian brain. Focusing on your breath for just 30 seconds can provide a significant cognitive reset and help you focus on your positive habits. As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the […]

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…Breathing. Force yourself to take deep, conscious breaths. Slow down your reptilian brain. Focusing on your breath for just 30 seconds can provide a significant cognitive reset and help you focus on your positive habits.


As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Roy Krebs, CEO and founder of Natural Stacks supplements, is a lifelong athlete who became passionate about brain health after watching his Grandfather suffer from cognitive decline. This inspired him to create a brand that will better the community’s health through an all-natural approach. He was uncomfortable with the “shotgun approach” of proprietary nootropic blends and the ineffectiveness of stand-alone herbal ingredients. Roy is on a mission to build a billion better brains through natural ingredients that are effective for long-term brain health.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

My parents taught me not to care what others think and that everything is going to be OK. I think this gave me confidence. I’ve always been into challenging myself physically. I started training in Aikido when I was 5 years old (my dad lied about my age, you were supposed to be 6). I trained in martial arts my entire youth and played football in high school and college. I thought real estate was my career path. Out of college, I worked in real estate, but my timing was inopportune (2007–2009). I was grateful to learn about negotiation, communication, and contracts during this time, but I needed to make a change. That’s when I took the leap into entrepreneurship. I discovered natural ways to improve mental health and wanted to create products that could help people.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

After a couple of years of running a business on my own, I noticed my own brain wasn’t working as well as I liked. I was procrastinating a lot. I also had some brain fog. Since I played football for years and hit my head a lot, I became nervous that that was the source of my brain fog. At the same time that I became interested in optimal brain health, my grandfather got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This is when I became passionate for brain health. I co-founded NaturalStacks.com in 2013. I’m humbled by the opportunity to provide products that help build better brains.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My father-in-law pushed me to create my vision and to always work with integrity.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

The most vivid mistakes are the mistakes with hiring, and this goes two ways:

  1. Hiring in-experienced people and trying to train them to fit into a role
  2. Hiring over-experienced people and expecting them to perform with no support

The lesson learned: Building a team is the hardest and most rewarding part of running a company.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

Take action & stop reading this and go create something! Share your ideas and constantly seek feedback. The important thing is to get started.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Edge Effect by Dr. Eric Braverman. This book changed the way I think about the brain. It allows you to reflect on how your own brain works by gaining an understanding of the roles of the four main neurotransmitters — Dopamine, Acetylcholine, Serotonin, and GABA. Thinking about cognition and mood states in terms of neurotransmitter levels helped me optimize my own brain and help others find their own ideal balance. I found that all the major personality tests (Myers-Briggs, Dr. Katherine Benziger, Hans Eysenk, and William Moulton’s DISC) divide personality types into four quadrants. What’s super interesting is that each one of those quadrants seems to be directly associated with one of the four main neurotransmitters. Everyone is naturally dominant in a specific neurotransmitter, and that defines your personality.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Every problem is an opportunity in disguise” — John Adams

Opportunity is everywhere. But often opportunities can be hard to spot. Problems help reveal them. I find that this quote helps me stay calm. I try to focus more on solutions than problems. Some of the greatest opportunities I’ve encountered have been when faced with problems.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’m excited by new dietary supplement delivery formats that are more approachable than traditional capsules. I think mental health and mental decline are the biggest health issues of our time. I hope that innovation in supplements will encourage more people to make better health a priority.

Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you, but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Habits create a foundation for “working in the right direction”. Sometimes I’ve tricked myself into thinking I was being productive by keeping busy with meaningless tasks. Habits help you to stay focused on working towards a greater goal.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

I create small (3–5 item) to-do lists every day. I make sure to accomplish at least 3 things. Even if they are small tasks it feels good to check them off the list. Most people overestimate what they can do in one day or week and underestimate what they can do in one month. You can achieve more than you think. Take action every day — it compounds.

“We have a strategic plan — it’s called doing things” — Herb Kelleher

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

Track what you do all day. Write it down and do this for a couple of days in a row. This has always been eye-opening for me.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

This all comes down to being introspective. Take time every day to self-analyze your brain and body. How are you feeling right now? Define it the best you can. Make it a regular habit to introspect. Once you truly understand how you are feeling mentally and physically then you can optimize for wellness, performance, and focus.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Breathing. Force yourself to take deep, conscious breaths. Slow down your reptilian brain. Focusing on your breath for just 30 seconds can provide a significant cognitive reset and help you focus on your positive habits.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

The most impactful habits tend to be related to creating structure. But I’ve found that too much structure can actually hamper performance. I’m most efficient when I start the day with a to-do list that is not prioritized — I’m flexible to attack the list in any order.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Balance. To develop performance increasing habits you must have some balance in your life. Prioritize sleep, family, and personal time. Once you are fulfilled in these areas your habits will become more effortless.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

20-minute stopwatch. Remove all distractions and focus on a single project for 20 minutes. Then take a mental break before resuming.

Go outside right when you wake up every morning. Fresh air and sunlight make for a better start to the day.

Find the ideal time of day that works for YOUR brain to best achieve a certain task. Try not to be so strict with your schedule.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Focus on optimism. An optimistic mindset can accomplish anything.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

Flow state requires that your neurotransmitter levels are in sync with the activity you are doing. Be fluid with your day structure and try to work on things that are conducive to your current mental state. Your neurotransmitters fluctuate — Do the work when your brain wants to do it. You might find that it’s easier for your brain to enter a flow state early in the morning or late in the evening.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I’d love to inspire a movement of re-structuring the food supply and reducing food scarcity for people in need.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

https://www.instagram.com/naturalstacks/?hl=en and naturalstacks.com

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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