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Sarah Brandow of V Bowl: “Spending time in nature is essential for me”

Follow your passion but be ready for the challenges along the way. Worthwhile things rarely come easy, but personal development is also an important part of the process. Starting a company and taking the route of entrepreneurship comes with high rewards, but also plenty of stresses, responsibilities, risks, increased workloads, potential instability, and the need […]

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Follow your passion but be ready for the challenges along the way. Worthwhile things rarely come easy, but personal development is also an important part of the process. Starting a company and taking the route of entrepreneurship comes with high rewards, but also plenty of stresses, responsibilities, risks, increased workloads, potential instability, and the need for patience. All of these things become an acceptable trade-off when you are truly passionate about your business, and are motivated by your greater mission as opposed to just making money.


I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sarah Brandow, a Public Health Nutritionist who specializes in plant-based nutrition and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases. She graduated with a Masters of Scienceat the top of her class from the University of Westminster in London, UK in 2014 and has worked internationally as a nutritionist ever since. Sarah has consulted for companies, restaurants, and hotels in over 10 different countries, helping them optimize menus and provide meals that are balanced, delicious, and truly nutritious. She also works one-on-one with professional athletes as well as individuals looking to improve their health status by embracing an anti-inflammatory diet.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know’ you a bit. Can you tell our readers about your background?

My journey started over 10 years ago, when I first learned about the animal agriculture industry and the ethical and environmental costs of our food system. I knew that I didn’t want to support that system anymore, but I didn’t realize the incredible health benefits I would experience as a result of changing my diet. After a few months on a plant-based lifestyle I noticed I had more energy, better focus, softer skin, needed less sleep and was generally always in a great mood. This inspired me to change my area of study to nutrition, where I learned the science behind these positive changes I experienced so I can properly guide others towards achieving their best health as I did.

I am extremely picky about the food I eat and the products I use. Being able to design a lineup of food, snacks, and juices that align with my standards definitely keeps me motivated and inspired. I love watching people try the food for the first time — they are always pleasantly surprised by how amazing and satiating plant-based foods can be. I love to create products that are delicious, nutritious, and accessible to all, while dispelling myths about veganism.

Can you share with us the story of the “ah ha” moment that led to the creation of the food brand you are leading?

I began my career in nutrition while I was living in Costa Rica in 2013. I had already been guiding people on plant-based diets for a few years, but I really expanded my knowledge and felt comfortable working one-on-one with people during this time. I worked under a nutritionist and midwife, and got incredible hands-on experience guiding others on how to achieve better health by changing their diet. I saw incredible transformations, and even learned about reversal of chronic conditions such as arthritis and Type 2 diabetes. After this experience I knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life, and I moved to London, UK for my Masters of Science program to become a Public Health Nutritionist.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a food line? What can be done to avoid those errors?

One of our first initial challenges was launching during the COVID-19 crisis, and adapting quickly to ever-changing environments and regulations. Our initial contracts with major Silicon Valley/ Bay Area company offices were lost as soon as the offices all closed during the lockdowns. Luckily, we acted fast and immediately pivoted to home deliveries and contracts with health providers such as the UCLA Health System. As terrible as this pandemic has been, it has opened a lot of people’s eyes to the importance of taking control of their own health and eliminating underlying medical conditions through proper nutrition.

Which five tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

  1. I typically have a lot of things on the go at once, and so staying organized is essential. It may sound silly, but I absolutely love making lists. Each day I add things to my to-do lists based on priority, and this ensures that everything gets completed on time and in order of importance. This allows me to see a clear roadmap for my work, and also prevents overwhelm. Plus it feels great to cross things off the lists!
  2. Believe it or not, diet can play a role in staying focused. Avoiding blood sugar spikes from simple carbohydrates such as sugar, bread, candy, pasta, white flour and white rice can have a positive effect on cognition and attention. I avoid processed foods with harmful food additives, drink plenty of water, and consume nutritious foods that have been associated with enhanced focus on concentration such as blueberries, leafy greens, avocados, and chia seeds.
  3. Something that I also find very helpful is to avoid touching my phone for the first and last hour of each day. In the morning I use this time for meditation, stretching, and exercising. In the evening I use it for reading, taking a relaxing bath, and clearing my thoughts. These practices keep me motivated and grounded, and able to focus on important tasks during the day.
  4. I genuinely love what I do, which makes it easy to feel a sense of fulfillment and balance. I enjoy answering emails about the company at all hours of the day, creating new recipes, speaking at online conferences and webinars, and connecting with other entrepreneurs. Watching things progress and grow and working with such an amazing team is inspiring. I also make sure I allot time every day to move my body, eat nourishing food, meditate, and connect with friends and loved ones.
  5. Spending time in nature is essential for me. Studies have shown that this is a great way to lower blood pressure, curb anxiety, boost the immune system, and decrease rumination/overthinking. In order to really thrive, we need to have more time out in the world than in front of a screen.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We have proudly stood out from the start because of our commitment to creating food that is not only healthy, but healing. By elevating our ingredients and cooking methods to a premium level, our customers notice immediate and tangible benefits- they have reported things like improved digestion, higher energy levels, better focus, better sleep, and weight loss. We never take shortcuts or sacrifice our quality or our methods in the preparation of all of our products. Even techniques such as soaking and sprouting our grains unlock increased nutrition that you simply will not find elsewhere. We soak and sprout our grains and proteins, and maximize nutrition every step of the way.

Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create a Successful Food Line or Specialty Food” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Follow your passion but be ready for the challenges along the way. Worthwhile things rarely come easy, but personal development is also an important part of the process. Starting a company and taking the route of entrepreneurship comes with high rewards, but also plenty of stresses, responsibilities, risks, increased workloads, potential instability, and the need for patience. All of these things become an acceptable trade-off when you are truly passionate about your business, and are motivated by your greater mission as opposed to just making money.

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?

It’s very hard to choose a favourite book- I love reading fiction as a way to decompress, and a few of my top favourites are Dune by Frank Hebert, Island by Aldous Huxley, and 1984 by George Orwell. Science fiction is often is used as a tool to caution, inspire, or motivate. Books like these allow us to analyze the multi-faceted ways that our technological advances or contributions shape the future, and how our seemingly small day-to-day actions mold the world we live in.

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?

Chef Chloe Coscarelli is definitely a role model of mine. She is a vegan chef and entrepreneur who built her own plant-based empire, was the first vegan to win a culinary competition on television, and was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017. She has spoken in interviews about overcoming obstacles by staying true to her mission which is bigger than her, and that really resonates with me. Adaptability, flexibility, and focus are the driving forces behind success. When I first changed my diet over 10 years ago, she was one of the only female vegan entrepreneurs who was breaking down barriers and dispelling myths about this way of eating, while building a business without compromising ethics.

Thank you so much for these insights. This was very inspirational!


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