Healthy habits are absolutely critical to be a happy person, which is ultimately the goal of life in my opinion. Like health and wellness regimens, daily habits build up and show huge benefits over time although you may not notice the benefits in the first day or week. If you replace an unhealthy habit such as a nightly cocktail (likely rich in sugar), with an herbal tea rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients, you will notice major health benefits overtime.
As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewingJordan Dorn.
Jordan Dorn is a certified Nutritionist and Co-Founder of Zuma Nutrition, a line of the very best nutritional supplements and beauty products developed In Malibu, California with the finest biochemists, herbalists, physicians, and botanists to deliver effective results from the inside out. Every product in the line is 100% vegan and includes the very best of superfoods, nutrients, vitamins, minerals and healing tools!
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?
Iwas born in Malibu, CA on January 27, 1993. I have been passionate about health and wellness since I was a young kid as I began playing competitive soccer at the age of 8. I had a pretty successful soccer career in my teens as my team from southern California became one of the top teams in the nation by the time I was 15. I attended Malibu High School where I also developed a passion for the ocean and an outdoor lifestyle involving camping and surfing the California coast. I was recruited to play Division I soccer up the coast from Malibu at University of California at Santa Barbara where our team was nationally ranked. I was blessed with multiple amazing mentors in my childhood and would not be where I am today without the guidance and coaching these mentors offered me.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
In my young 20’s after retiring from soccer I was partying, surrounding myself with not the best influences, and not taking very good care of myself. At the age of 23 after a rough breakup I hit rock bottom and was feeling anxious and down on myself, my body was beat up and I was simply not very happy. About a year later was when I met my mentor Richard Helfrich, my current business partner. Richard introduced me to a much deeper layer of health and wellness, beyond just physical fitness, but concepts such as adrenal health, hormonal health, and the gut micro biome. Although I was physically fit at this age, I had a lot of health issues Richard was able to help me identify. I healed over the next few years, not just a physical level but on a spiritual and mental health level. I dove into yoga, getting back to my roots of spending time in the ocean surfing, and getting away from poor lifestyle choices and people who were bad influences. Richard has been the most amazing mentor to me over the last 3 years and has been the largest influence on me pursuing this career route. Zuma Nutrition would not exist without Richard, I feel extremely blessed to have him as a business partner. Richard is the smartest person I have ever met, and I have met a lot of people in my life. Reading Richard’s books was really a huge inspiration for me to commit to building this lifestyle brand around his life’s work. I am really grateful that we have gotten to do this together and we are just getting started.
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?
Aside from my father who has been an incredible mentor to me, Richard Helfrich, co founder of Zuma Nutrition, has been the most amazing mentor and influence on me without any doubt. I have never experienced someone who consistently builds my confidence and believes in me as much as he does. As a young man, having someone who helps push you and believes in you to this extent is motivating and inspiring. Richard consistently over the last few years tells me that he could never have accomplished what we have in the health and wellness industry without me, and that we are in this together. He is approached by investors from around the world consistently and still wants to work with me solely and believes in me, this inspires me to push myself extremely hard.
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?
When I first met Richard Helfrich, the very first thing I did was pitch us as a team to a well-established health and wellness Restaurant chain, to develop a product line for them in a joint venture. This brand has a large following in California, and I saw this as a short cut to success. We got very far along and just before the documents were signed, they decided to back out. This was possibly the best thing that ever happened to me. Now it is just Richard and I working together, and I could not be happier to have complete control over what we do with our brand. What I learned from this is that there are NO SHORTCUTS to success. You must put in the work, but once you do, the sky is the limit. I am grateful we did not move forward with that venture as it would have been a disaster to have so many “chefs in the kitchen”. Understandably so, people are very controlling and paranoid about protecting their brands, so perhaps consider building your own and not trying to shortcut to success like I did.
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?
There are many layers of advice I would give to someone looking to start any business, but here are two pieces of advice I believe to be most critical.
Follow your passion, entrepreneurship is a long, challenging road to success. You will hit stumbling blocks, unforeseen obstacles, and challenges along the way. If you are doing it only for money, then perhaps go work for an established company because you run the risk you will burn out. If you are deeply passionate about what you are doing, when you hit these challenges, you will just keep going. That is what entrepreneurship takes, determination and grit. Do not stop, just keep adapting, growing and moving forward.
Develop products based on market fit, do not develop products then try to find the market. This has been a big lesson for me, it is much easier to find a market with certain dynamics, for example high demand low competition, develop a product for this market, then find ways to get traffic to your website, vs. developing products then trying to go find a market for that product. Every industry is different but, in the health, and wellness niche this sort of strategic product development is critical to success.”
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?
There are many books that have made a huge impact on me, my personal favorite book is Letting Go by David. R Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. This book helped my mental health tremendously and David R. Hawkins is a brilliant author and spiritual teacher I recommend to a lot of people I work with on their health and wellness. He really goes deep into the connection between physical and mental health in his body of work. This book has helped me to let go of what I do not control and focus on what I do control. This is an important concept for anyone, but particularly for entrepreneurs. You do not control the outcome of many scenarios that happen in life and business, but if you focus on what you do control, and do your very best, you will be successful and happy along the way.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
The day I let fear deter my ability to follow my dreams, I have already died.”, this is a quote from a dear friend of mine who has passed away now, Johnny Strange. Johnny was an extremely inspiring individual that was a professional action sports athlete. He climbed the tallest mountain in Antarctica at 12 years old and after climbing Mount Everest at 17 became the youngest person to climb the 7 summits. I looked up to Johnny as a kid for never letting fear drive his long-term decision making. This is what inspired me to not take the safe route into the corporate world and to take a leap of faith into being a health and wellness entrepreneur.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Richard and I are expanding our product line with a variety of new products that are unique and special. In the next quarter of the year, we will be launching 4 new products to the Zuma Nutrition line that I forecast to be top sellers in our product line. Additionally, we are working on some very special new products that counteract the negative effects of alcohol on the body. Stay tuned!
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?
Healthy habits are absolutely critical to be a happy person, which is ultimately the goal of life in my opinion. Like health and wellness regimens, daily habits build up and show huge benefits over time although you may not notice the benefits in the first day or week. If you replace an unhealthy habit such as a nightly cocktail (likely rich in sugar), with an herbal tea rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients, you will notice major health benefits overtime. Another habit swap is when you wake up, rather than going straight for your phone, go take some time for yourself, perhaps meditate and spend a little time grounding yourself, then prioritize a to do list for the day, then begin your day. Healthy habits first thing in the morning are critical to having an awesome and productive day.
How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?
Over the last year I have noticed my productivity increase dramatically, I attribute this increase in productivity to my morning routine, a combination of healthy habits. I am an early riser, usually I wake before the sunrise, upon waking every day, before looking at my phone or emails, I will enjoy my morning coffee then go on a beach walk. I am blessed to live near the beach, and I find this to be a place of balance and happiness for me. While at the beach I take a couple of minutes to meditate, walk barefoot, and do some breathing practices. After this I will make a to do list handwritten in my journal, I will include business and non-business to dos for the day. Upon returning, I usually go for a run or do some sort of physical exercise where I break a sweat. I usually complete this full routine by about 7:30am — 8:00am, following this I dive into my workday. Additionally, I have specific habits around how I eat food that I will share here:
Focus on cleansing and purifying foods in the morning. This includes high fiber fruits, oatmeal, smoothies etc. I do not eat until after my workout in the morning for a variety of reasons.
I only will eat sugars (natural sugars such as fructose) on an empty stomach in the morning, as sugar wreaks havoc on digestion
Around 11–12am I have my first meal of the day where I focus on unprocessed low inflammation foods such as Ezekiel bread, free range eggs, avocado, cooked with a healthy oil. I usually make the same thing for lunch every day.
Around 3–4pm I will have a healthy snack.
Around 6–7pm I will make a delicious dinner with my girlfriend, once again focusing on unprocessed low inflammation foods.
After dinner, I will turn off the work and pay attention to my loved ones.
I have found this sort of daily regimen filled with specific habits, to have helped me be the happiest, in the best physical and mental shape, and to be the most productive I have ever been in my life.”
Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?
To replace a bad habit with a good habit. Like bad habits, good habits can be addictive. Replace a nightly cocktail with a nightly herbal tea. Replace a daily Coca Cola with a daily smoothie. Replace looking at your phone first thing in the morning with a morning regimen focused on being in the present moment.
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.
Wellness- I take a combination of vitamins every morning focused on rebuilding, repairing, and rejuvenating the body while supporting immune system function. While on an empty stomach, I take these Zuma Nutrition products, Vitamin C, Co Enzyme B Complex, and Complete Amino Acid Complex, mixed with a small amount of sugar from either organic non acid juice or raw honey. Additionally, I add our Fulvic & Trace Ocean Minerals to my purified drinking water for the day. This regimen has helped me tremendously, some of the benefits I have experienced include, less fatigue, better physical endurance and focus, weight loss, and enhanced immune function.
Performance– I like to work out on an empty stomach with amino acids in my system. I find this to be a way that I can have high levels of endurance and energy without being to full to really push myself. The habit that I do prior to exercise is 2–3 Zuma Nutrition Complete Amino Acid Complex + a small amount of sugar, then about 30 minutes later right before I start my workout, I will have some caffeine. This regimen has greatly improved my workouts and performance.
Focus- Daily Meditation and breathing I have found to be critical for mental focus. Taking time to do this may seem to be taking time out of your day away from being productive but it is actually the opposite, I find this time to sharpen my senses and to make me more focused and productive.
Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?
Push past the resistance, I find that often people have a little voice in their head that resists these critical healthy habits. One of my health role models, Dave Asprey, often calls this the labrador brain, that part of you that always wants to do the laziest, easiest path for the day. Push past that resistance and make yourself do these healthy habits. Simply do not let yourself back out, especially at first, I find it takes about 60 days of doing something daily for it to become a habit. For those 60 days, simply make this a priority, your body and mind will thank you. Take time to meditate and get back to the present moment. This will help you avoid unconscious / ungrounded behavior that does not serve you such as aimlessly scrolling on Instagram while sitting on the couch. Spend time in nature, away from electronics. I find this extremely critical as it will bring you back into the present moment and help to bring the body into balance. Walk barefoot on dirt or in nature to really take this practice to the next level. Start your day with a disciplined daily regimen / ritual of habits. The start of your day will set the trajectory for the rest of your day.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.
To do lists- We are living in a more complicated time than our ancestors, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements, technology, and social media. I find making a daily to do list extremely beneficial for my productivity as it prevents me from getting overwhelmed. There is something satisfying about completing tasks on a to do list and that satisfaction I find to boost performance and helps me push myself to do more tasks on that list.
Wake at the same time every day- I find this to help sleep cycles, boost mental performance, and reduce stress. I wake every day between 5:30am- 6am, this gives me some time to focus on myself before work and other obligations start popping up.
Break a sweat through exercise once a day- I workout every morning prior to diving into the daily workload. When I break a sweat with a run or workout, I find my to do list to be much easier to accomplish. Exercise reduces stress, improves mental performance, and also improves lymphatic system health which is important for skin health and detoxification of the body.
Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?
Meditation- Prior to making your daily to do list, take some time to meditate. If you have a hard time sitting still, 1–2 minutes of meditation is better than no meditation. Meditation brings the mind to a still and relaxed place, which helps prioritize tasks.
Eat all your calories within a 12-hour window, and do not eat past 8pm. This allows the body to facilitate digestion within this window and improves sleep quality, weight loss, and detoxification. This will help you wake at the same time every day.
Do not eat any sugar within 2 hours of going to sleep- Fluctuating blood sugar levels while sleeping disrupts immune system function. The immune system does a lot of its work repairing the body while we sleep. If you ever wake up super groggy, there fluctuating blood sugar levels while sleeping could be the cause.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.
Breathwork- I make a daily habit of doing breathwork exercises and try to remind myself to pay attention to my breath throughout the day. This is perhaps the single most important habit I have adopted in my life for lowering stress and improving focus.
L Theanine- I take 200mg of Zuma Nutrition L theanine up to four times per day. L Theanine shuts off the stress response in the body and lowers cortisol levels. Lower cortisol levels equal better focus.
Take time to play every day- I take time to play with my dog, surf, play soccer, or some sort of relaxing activity daily. Taking this time to not be serious will improve your focus when it is time to be serious.
Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?
Take a breathwork course or learn through YouTube videos for free. Also, set a daily reminder on your phone for every few hours, and when it goes off, take 5 deep breaths. Read Thich Nhat Hanh’s many amazing books.
Keep L Theanine handy like in your purse or in your desk at work. This supplement has helped me quite a bit with anxiety and I highly recommend it for improving focus, particularly if taken every four hours.
Pick up a new hobby. Hobbies are amazing and make life more fulfilling, learn to play chess, learn to surf, learn to camp, or some sort of new hobby.
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?
I have found that accessing a state of flow is not always available to us, it takes the perfect combination of factors and even then, sometimes is challenging to reach. However, I have noticed that as I have practiced health and wellness, I have been able to reach a state of flow more often for longer periods of time. The following habits, many of them discussed above help make reaching a state of flow a common occurrence:
Here is a list of 7 ways to reach a state of flow:
1. Hydrate with spring water, or reverse osmosis filtered water infused with trace minerals.
2. Focus on proper nutrition, primarily plant based nutrient dense foods.
3. Keep stress levels low, L Theanine can help.
4. Practice meditation, deep breathing and mindfulness.
5. Spend time in nature, barefoot if possible.
6. Make sure you are not deficient in Amino Acids; a quality amino acid complex can help make sure you are not deficient in these building block nutrients.
7. Exercise daily and break a sweat.”
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.
Mindfulness on a mass scale, if everyone could read Thich Nhat Hanh’s body of work, or even just one of his books, people would not fight as much with each other, stress levels would be lower, we would stop damaging the environment, and the world would be a less greed driven place. I believe that a lot of issues in society come from people living in an unconscious way. People are not aware of their actions and are driven by ego and competition rather than being driven by what is best for themselves and society. Unconscious behavior leads to bad eating habits, road rage, social media addiction, depression and anxiety. If everyone practiced mindfulness daily, it would be very interesting to see how society would change. That would be beautiful.
How can our readers further follow your work online?