Listen to the podcast here:
Longevity Inducing Herbs, Superfoods, And Natural Products with Len Foley
I’ve got a quote for you, Sean. This is an oldie but goodie from Hippocrates. He says, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
What does that mean, Taylor? Explain that to us.
It means that if you eat right, your body knows how to take care of itself. That’s the simplest way I can put that. When you start to create a relationship with the food you’re eating and understand how different foods affect the body, you can start to figure out that nature has all these natural medicinal properties and chemicals that can help support the body no matter what it’s going through. Some foods are going to help bring the body to balance. Some are going to help you if you’re getting sick. As you’ll find out, I’m just going to hint at it right now. We’ll go a little bit deeper. Our guest, Len Foley, is an expert on herbs and nutrition.
First, I want to give a little love to our community and we’re going to read one of our five-star reviews from iTunes. If you have not done so, jump on over to iTunes and leave us a five-star review. Let us know what you’re enjoying about the show. We would love to hear from you. We’ve got Laadman with the title, “Inspiring and Motivating.” The review says, “They say at one time or another, all of us get frustrated, overwhelmed and maybe even a little down. Sean walks his talk on looking at life and particularly health as an adventure. The interviews are fascinating with people who have been knocked down in one way or another and they have figured out a way to accept what is and continue to make the best of it.”
Taylor, where are we with the views and what are our numbers? Our community can help us push that over.
We’re crushing it in terms of we just started to show. I’m going to break it down. As a community, we can all start to grow and build this. The first month of having the show live, we’ve already hit a thousand total downloads. To put that into perspective, we had a call with the company that helps us edit and produce this show and they said that some podcast won’t even hit those numbers in six months of the show. Thank you to everyone out there who has been a part of the show so far. We’re going to say an audacious goal right here, right now. Our goal for year one of the show is to reach 10,000 downloads per episode. What that means is we need a little help on the way to get there.
Please share, listen and review because we need you to help us as a team here.
Not just we need help, there’s so much value from the guests on this show. There’s so much value from the content. If someone in your life needs to hear from one of these beautiful people on our show, share an episode with them. You never know what that little spark can do for someone to shift their perspective or shift the entire trajectory of their life. I’m speaking from experience. I would not be sitting here if it was not for podcasts. If you know anyone who could benefit from the content that’s being put out, please share right now and spread the love.
Who’s our guest right now?
Our guest is a man named Len Foley who is the Creator and Owner of Longevity Warehouse and Longevity Coffee. What he gets into the show is his love for herbs and the power of herbs to help bring the body and the balance and the power of herbs to help heal the body. What I loved most about his philosophy and approach is he says that we need to start tasting our food and creating a relationship with our food. When we do, our body intuitively starts to understand when it needs a specific food or herb. As we start to build this relationship, we start to become our own doctors and we can heal faster.
What’s great about him too is his passion. He’s awesome. He’s knowledgeable. He’s not only a brilliant inventor or creator of this. He’s an artist. He is a wonderful husband and father and he has got the biggest smile and the biggest heart and he backs up everything he says. He is in his coffee shop every day and people say, “I get my Starbucks. I get my this and my that.” What if I told you his coffee can help your body put it back into balance? That’s what he does. I don’t want to go more in-depth because Len is blowing it up and he believes in what he’s doing and I believe in what he’s doing. I’ve been to his conferences. I’m drinking his coffee. The guy should run for mayor or governor of our states because he’s going to change everything.
You know you’re getting something from Len after just talking to him for 45 minutes or an hour. You know that you’re getting something that’s high quality because he lives and dies by bringing the highest quality products to himself and to his customers.
Welcome to the show, Len. How are you doing?
I’m doing great. Thank you for having me on. I appreciate it.
Len, we love what you do over at the Longevity Warehouse and with all your stuff. I would be curious first to just go into who you are and how you first became interested in the health and wellness world.
I’ve always been interested in health even from a very young age. In high school, I was always the weirdo bringing wheat bread at class in school. I’m eating bags of nuts, raisins and things like that back when nobody ever knew anything about health or even cared about it. I was a health fanatic even as far as I can remember. As I got older, it becomes more important to make it a daily part of your life. Some of the things I was doing as I got older were easy for me, but not that easy for other people. I started getting into manufacturing products that would be interesting for other people to take, but easy for them. The biggest problem with the health industry is that if it’s healthy, it tastes horrendous. If it tastes great, there’s something weird about it. It’s not as healthy as they’re claiming it is. It may look healthy, it may have a nice package but if you dig into the ingredients, it’s not the best thing for you to be eating. My passion is to make things that taste amazing so they become part of your life. It’s not a discipline. It’s an enjoyment. It’s something that you like to do.
We are in the same boat where we’re willing to eat anything if it’s healthy. We just ignore and go through the weird flavors and tastes along the way. What were some of those first ideas you came up with where you’re like, “I’m willing to do this but somebody else isn’t?” Were there some interesting early experiments?If it's better, it's better no matter what you put into it or what your attitude is. Click To Tweet
Mostly when I started getting into herbs like Reishi and all the tonic herbs that are so fantastic, you have to get over the hump of how bad they taste individually and when you start combining them into drinks. When I brought friends and family over, I wanted to make things that they could enjoy and they like. They wouldn’t even know that they were filled with herbs and were good for you. That’s how I got started. I didn’t get started at some big company with a huge budget or some big investor. I literally started all this stuff in my kitchen. I buy some stuff. Back in the day, you couldn’t get a lot of these herbs. If you went to Chinatown, you could get some of them but they weren’t the highest quality.
If you are a Westerner, they’d sell you the cheapest stuff so you had to know what you were looking for. I learned a lot to that as time went on. You could tell bad herbs and good herbs the more you take them because you get a good feeling from high-quality herbs and the difference between high-quality coffee or high-quality wine compared to the cheap stuff. I was always interested in the highest quality because it does have a more nuanced flavor. You could do a lot more with it whereas the cheap stuff is if it’s bitter, it’s bitter no matter what you put into it or what you add to. I was looking for things that had more of a complexity to them that was more interesting for me to work with. The more expensive they were and the high quality they were, the more things I could do with them from a culinary basis to make them taste good.
I’m hearing a version of myself because I’m the guy who has eight different herbs in the closet making tinctures and medicinal mushrooms. At one point, I was doing the Reishi, Chaga and the Cordyceps all at the same time and just mixing and mashing in my closet right alongside a pot of fermented vegetables. I know you’ve done work with the medicinal mushrooms. Why medicinal mushrooms and what was your first interest and experience getting into those?
I first learned this from the great tonic herbal master, Ron Teeguarden. There are thousands and thousands of herbs throughout history throughout the world that are available, but you only need about ten to twelve of them. Out of the thousands, there are only a few of them you can consume daily as a part of your daily regimen like food. There are certain herbs like Echinacea. You can’t take Echinacea every day. Echinacea is an herb that you would take to help boost your immune system. If you feel that you’re getting a cold or flu, then you would stockpile Echinacea and start taking a lot of it for a few days. If you continue to take that, it can break down your immunity. It’s not considered what they call a tonic herb. A tonic herb is something that you can consume daily that has no adverse side effects no matter how much you take. Although you do want to be careful. They are herbs. It is a medicine. It’s not just like eating a potato. You have to be careful about how much you consume. From a tonic alchemy perspective, herbs need to be tasted.
A lot of people that go to a naturopathic doctor or maybe even our own doctor and the doctor says, “You need to take some Reishi.” They go to the pharmacy or the drug store or the health food store and they’ll get some Reishi in a capsule. You can get Reishi in a capsule on CVS. The problem with taking things as a pill, your body is not tasting it so you’re not developing a relationship with that herb. You need to taste the texture and the complexity of it and have it touch your tongue because when your body craves it or needs it, it’s going to know what to crave. For instance, if you never had an orange and you had scurvy, back in the old days when the sailor’s run ships, that’s how they realized that there’s so much vitamin C in oranges. They would eat those oranges and it would help heal them of scurvy. Unless you tasted that, you would never know to reach for one on a tree. You’re literally training your palate, but you’re also training your immunity and training your body what to crave when you need it and you’re in the healing crisis.
We did an event in April 2018 and it was such a hard event. We’re working round the clock. We get a few thousand people at the Longevity Now Conference in Costa Mesa and in Anaheim. This one was at the Anaheim Hill next to Disney. Just the amount of work for two weeks that I have to go through to put the tonic firing up and just get the whole event go with my wife. At the end of that event, I was so depleted. When I got home, I was craving He Shou Wu. I was scooping it into my drinks and just drinking it because I knew my body needed that. It wasn’t like I thought I needed to take it. My body was telling me, “Eat this.” The more I ate it, the more I need it. I did it for three to four days and then my body’s like, “Nope, you’ve had enough. That’s great.” I just go back to my normal regimen. Unless I tasted Ho Shou Wu and knew what the powder or the tea tastes like on my tongue, my body wouldn’t know why they crave it. That’s an important thing.
These medicinal foods, you have to develop a relationship with them and an instinct for how to consume them. Sometimes you’re not going to have a naturopathic doctor who’s going to be able to do a reading on you and say, “You need to take this herb for your immunity right now.” Sometimes it’s just not available. I learned this also from Ron Teeguarden. You have to become your own doctor. You have to learn what your body needs and how to heal it because at the end of the day, your body is what heals itself. It’s not the herbs, it’s not a drug that’s going to heal you. Your body’s going to do that. We have to learn about the different ways to do that and the different modalities that are available to us. We’re so fortunate nowadays that all these different mushrooms and things and elixir, drink mixes and things, they are a click away. We can get them delivered to our house within a few days wherever we are, which is just incredible that we have all the stuff to do. When I got into the industry, half of these things that I consume or we serve here at the Longevity Coffee shop didn’t even exist. You couldn’t find them anywhere. You couldn’t go to a store and get them. You couldn’t get them online. We’re very fortunate that all these things are so available and so plentiful everywhere.
I picked up on something in there. You touched on it at the end when you’re describing having to taste and experience these different herbs so that your body creates a relationship with them. It starts to learn and understand how each of these different herbs is affecting it and when it might need it. What I’ve noticed is that we’re often just not even paying close enough attention to the food that we’re eating and savoring it to understand, “This is making me feel subtly different, but it’s because of this or it’s because of that.” When you start to get into these routines and you start paying attention, you start to learn how these subtle differences into what you’re putting in your body have an effect.
Our relationship with food has changed so much. When I was a kid, my parents never bought junk food for us or sugary cereals but when they did, it was a huge treat. After church, they’d have coffee and donuts and we’d be able to eat donuts. I knew that when I was eating that donut, that was sugar and flour. It was considered junk food and it was a treat. That same donut was made with flour and sugar and then they’d fry it in regular oil. As time went on in the ‘80s, a lot of those things that went into that donut became not food but chemical. Instead of using sugar, it’s high-fructose corn syrup. Instead of flour, it’d be some genetically modified wheat or whatever. They boil it in some weird oil that was more synthetic than was natural. What happened was the ‘80s and the ‘90s evolved. The food technology evolved. The food became more chemicalized, which is crazy.
If you go to a health food store and they serve you a donut that’s made with real sugar and real flour and they say it’s organic, for some reason, people think it’s a health food now. When I was a kid, that was junk food and it’s still junk food. It’s not as junky as the chemical garbage laden donuts and cookies and French fries and stuff, but it’s still junk food. People need to realize that what we’ve established now as a health food, the bar is so low and we need to raise that bar as high as possible especially if you have kids. The most important thing you do for your kids is to serve them real food. What I mean by real food, meaning you buy real string beans. Not out of the package and not candy. Buy string beans and you cook it with some olive oil and a little bit of salt and some garlic. My daughter had it for breakfast. I made some string beans with some organic eggs. I knew that those eggs were from chickens that weren’t fed soy nuggets and all that junk. They’re real chickens living out in nature producing these real eggs.You have to learn what your body needs and how to heal it because at the end of the day, your body is what heals itself. Click To Tweet
These are string beans that weren’t sprayed and chemically processed or created by some hybrid of these weird seeds that scientists are making in a laboratory that has no resemblance to what real food is either. It may look bigger and greener, but there’s no nutrition to it. Redeveloping our relationship with food is so important. The best place to start is getting familiar with herbs, but the most important place to start is growing stuff yourself. Learning what it’s like to grow a tomato in your garden or growing a cucumber or a pumpkin or lettuce. If you’re a bad gardener, just plant herbs. Plant little things like mint. It grows like a weed here in California. I have tons and tons of mint in my backyard and it’s fantastic. I add it to everything. It’s an amazing addition to food and stuff. Rekindle our relationship with food and cut out all these middle men and middle women who are turning it into such business and such an industry.
We can’t all grow everything we eat, but growing some things gives us insight. I’m a big fan of farmer’s markets. I’m supporting them and supporting grocers who support local farmers and people who grow things within your area. I know that if you live in the Midwest or East in the middle of the winter, that’s not going to be the case, but in the summertime it certainly is. There’s a lot of great things to grow. Rekindling and establishing that relationship to food is so important and continuing that with our herbal additions. A great way to start with herbs is to buy some Chaga and buy some Rehmannia. Put it on your stove top during the winter and make a tea out of it. Every day take a little cup of that and drink it.
Before you keep going, can you explain to everyone who doesn’t know what those are?
Because I sell some herbal drinks here at the coffee shop and because I do have herbal drink mixes we sell some on Longevity Warehouse, I can’t tell you anything about what Chaga does once it goes in your body. I can hint that it supports immunity and it supports this or that, but I encourage everybody to do their own research when it comes to herbs. I’ll name the herbs that I suggest researching because the research is out there. It’s all over the place. There are all the benefits of taking these fantastic tonic herbs. For people to realize how crazy our relationship with food has become, it’s illegal for me to tell you unless it’s a drug with millions of dollars of clinical studies behind it. I can’t tell you any food that goes in your body does anything inside your body. If it goes in your body and makes any changes at all, for me to state that even if it’s a fact, I could get arrested for it. It’s completely illegal, which is crazy. If it’s a drug, I can say that.
I’ll say something for you just so everybody out there knows. Chaga is a medicinal mushroom and it’s known for being one of the highest antioxidant foodstuffs on the planet. You can’t eat it raw because it’s very woody and if you tried to, you’d have a bad day. What you do is you would steep it in water, you can do an alcohol extract. You’re going to get all the beneficial compounds from the mushroom to put in drinks, coffee and tea.
You know my story because I fall within the guidelines of what the attorneys may say, “You can’t and cannot.” As someone who had a brain injury and stroke, what would you recommend for me to take from your shop? Would I be doing Chaga? Would I be doing Reishi?
The good thing about tonic herbs is what’s called adaptogenic herbs. That means that if you’re tired and need a little energy, the herbs will balance you out by giving you some natural energy. If you’re amped up and stressed out and you can’t sleep and you take some Ho Shou Wu mixed with some Reishi tea, that will help relax you.
That’s brilliant because my nervous system is so damaged or faulty. Most of the people who we talked to on the show had suffered a stroke or something comedically affecting their brain. What you’re saying is there are certain herbs out there that may help put us in balance.
I suggest experimenting in your own health protocols. Try out stuff if you’d like. A great place to start is with Chaga. It’s a mushroom that’s grown mostly on birch trees in the Northeast of United States and in Canada. Iceland has some as well. Chaga is a fantastic and an amazing herb. Reishi is also another fantastic herb. Chaga tastes a little bit better than Reishi. Reishi can have a little bit of a bitter flavor, but I enjoy the flavor of a delicious Reishi tea. It’s a Chinese mushroom and I recommend getting it sliced and not getting the whole Reishi slice so you can brew it into a tea. A little bit goes a long way. You can brew that for days in a big pot on your stove. What’s great about this too is you can experiment by adding other things to it to give it a little bit of flavor. You can add some goji berries. The goji berries are so wonderful. They taste great but they’re also delicious. They’re also good for you as well. There are a lot of health benefits taking in goji berries, but they make a fantastic tea. It’s a rich red. It’s beautiful. It makes an amazing and incredible tea.
What I’m stating is what you’re saying because I came to your conference and I met Ron Teeguarden. He invited me down to his shop and he started showing me everything. I was so mesmerized and in awe. Watching me go through my stroke and the brain injury and on all these meds and eating the wrong foods. When I started to get help from Ron, I felt better. My energy was clear. My eyesight was better. My hearing was better and things started to wake up on my weak side which had been paralyzed. I can state that because I’m an actual person who had been through the traumatic event and back. I have too at one point, built a wellness company and it sucks because I couldn’t say anything about my product to the world unless I came from me having a stroke. I understand what you’re saying. I admire you for what you’re doing. Tell me a little bit about your coffee shop in Westlake Village here in California.Savor your food to understand. Click To Tweet
It’s a coffee shop that started out as a laboratory for our company, Longevity Warehouse. We needed a place where I could test drink products that I was creating. I need a place I could bring people in with a little bar and I can make drinks for them and see what they think. We found this little space. It’s not a super high-rent area, so we had a little bit of lower risk as far as experimenting and we had a lot of margin for error with that flexibility. We’re happy to open the shop. It took on a life of its own as people were coming by and trying the drinks and wanting this place to be a regular coffee shop.
I love to go there because the energy and the atmosphere and the people there is a place for healing and balance. I love going there and the coffee is great. I like to go there and stay.
In my opinion, coffee is a great delivery vehicle for nutrition. They put caffeine and a lot of supplements because it helps deliver the nutrition to your body. For me, coffee and herbs are a phenomenal combination. For a lot of people who can’t drink coffee and don’t like coffee, when you add some herbs to it, sometimes that helps. Some people don’t like coffee because it makes them jittery. When you add some nice herbs to it, it helps balance that out. In addition to that, our coffee is low acid and organic. It’s a very special kind of coffee that we serve here and it’s only one brand and that’s Longevity Coffee. Our number one customer demographic are people that never drank coffee or had stopped because of nervous issues or because of health issues and because of acidity in the stomach. That’s our number one customer. Now, they have reinvited coffee into their life and they love it and they drink it all the time. They enjoy it especially with the herbs. I’m a big fan of adding herbs to coffee. The chemical complexity of coffee, they have written books about it. There’s so much to coffee and how it feels good to get a cup of coffee.
Since many people drink coffee every single day, what would you say are the top herbs to mix with coffee in your experience and the ones you should avoid mixing with coffee?
We created a product called Coffee Blast and that has all the herbs that we recommend. It’s got Reishi, Cordyceps, Ashwagandha, Ho Shou Wu. Those herbs blend into coffee elixir nicely. I would never add Lion’s Mane to coffee. Lion’s Mane is very acidic and bitter. No matter how little you put in, it turns the flavor of coffee into an acidic mess. I would never recommend Lion’s Mane. We’ve experiment all the time. We stick to the basics. Chaga is a great addition. Cordyceps is good. You want stuff that mixes in nicely and I don’t always recommend adding powder. If you don’t like to have the powder, you can just make a tea and cut that tea with coffee. You can have a Rehmannia Chaga tea and then have half of that hot tea added to a half cup of coffee. You can add any kind of creamer. We make house-made nut milk here and organic house-made nut milk. We top a lot of our drinks too with that vegan whipped cream made from coconut cream and a little bit of stevia. It’s delicious. It gives that creamy and elegant texture, but it also tastes good. It tastes like whip cream.
If we don’t live near your shop, how do we get this product? I’m going to have people scheming for this at the end of the show. I’ve got people all over the United States and some in Europe. Do you ship everywhere?
We do ship worldwide from Longevity Warehouse. We are re-building the Coffee Blast product because we just sold out.
What’s that website, Len?
I drink it and I take it. Because of Len, I got on this path of healing myself through foods. Taylor learned his background with Dave Asprey with Bulletproof coffee out there as well. Len, what’s the difference between the Bulletproof and Longevity?The most important thing you do for your kids is actually serve them real food. Click To Tweet
I don’t drink anybody else’s coffee. I have drunk Bulletproof. The only noticeable difference that most people don’t realize is that Bulletproof isn’t organic and ours is. Organic coffee is much more expensive than non-organic. Our distributor always offers to sell us non-organic coffee. It’s two to three times less than we pay for our organic coffee. To us, it’s worth the extra assurance that it’s not being sprayed and there’s nothing weird that people aren’t going to like. We found also that real organic coffee that’s grown without pesticides and things tastes better. People feel better when they drink it as well. I don’t have anything bad to say about Bulletproof. I don’t drink it regularly. I sip it a couple of times in the past.
I know that they’re not certified organics, but I’m sure they have a practice of testing their coffee and they grow it in good ways they just don’t formally get the certification. Just so everybody knows out there. There are a lot of farmers and organizations who don’t necessarily get the certification, but their practices are organic and sometimes even beyond organic. It sounds to me that you’re the mad scientist of the herb world and you’ve built your career and your passion behind just experimentation. What were some of your favorite experiments that you got into and what were some of those moments? I come from a culinary background, so I know every once in a while you try something and you go, “That was a bad idea.” What were some of those funny moments?
I’ll tell you a good example first. My wife’s mom had breast cancer and she got a protocol from her naturopathic doctor. Her doctor was an MD and a naturopathic doctor and said, “You need to make Rehmannia Chaga tea every day. Drink it every day at least three to four cups.” When she came to visit us, she lamented that the worst part of her day was having to drink this tea because it was just so disgusting. To be honest with you, it is disgusting. She made it thick and viscous. It was not a pleasant experience for her. I said, “I bet I can make something to make this taste good.” She was like, “Whatever you can do is better when you do it now.” I thinned it out a little bit so it wasn’t as thick. I cut it with a little bit of house-made nut milk and I put a little stevia and whip cream. I added a few other things and some coconut powder coconut cream and mixed it in. I made this little drink for her and she’s like, “This tastes great. It tastes like coffee.” I add a little coffee to it. She’s like, “It’s delicious. I could drink this every day.” I showed her how to make it. This was towards the end of the winter.
I was messing around with this drink concoction and then I was thinking to myself, “I wonder what happened if I started drinking this cold because it’s starting to get warm in Southern California?” I started putting it in the fridge just the Rehmannia and Chaga and drinking it straight. I’m like, “It’s refreshing.” I’ve put a little lemon in it, I put a little stevia and a little mint and I was like, “This isn’t too bad.” Then I had a crazy idea. We got a SodaStream from Costco and it was $50 or $60. I got a SodaStream to make bubbly water with lemon soda and some mint. I would drink that during the summer. I didn’t even know you could infuse carbonation into other things other than water because they say in the box that they don’t do that. I just did it with the Rehmannia and Chaga. I’m like, “This is interesting.”
Based on that, I started messing around. The first thing I said, “This tastes like root beer.” I started playing around with the flavors and the extraction process. I ended up creating this product called the Longevity Soda. We have a whole line of it now, but it’s concentrate. We take two squirts, put it into bubbly water and it turns it to a delicious root beer. It’s sugar-free and it’s organic and it has third herbs. If you drink one cup of this, which is 2.5 squirts, it’s like getting a full tincture shot of Rehmannia Chaga on your tongue. That’s the thrill. Anybody can take a drink mix powder and say it’s an herbal powder and put two specs of herbs in it and say, “It’s got Rehmannia in it. It’s got Ho Shou Wu in it. It’s got Reishi in it.” There are no nutritional facts in the back. What we’re good at is putting a lot of herbs into stuff and making it taste amazing. Our soda is the best gateway drug for people who want to take herbs. You’ll get some Rehmannia Chaga tincture, you squirt it into your glass, pour bubbly water into it, then you drink it.
My daughter is six years old now and she’s never had a soda in her life. She’s been drinking this since she was born. She’s never tasted Coca-Cola or Sprite, which I’m so proud of because that stuff is so bad. She’s in England. I wouldn’t even mind if she drank it there because in Europe, they won’t let the companies put in high fructose corn syrup in their sodas. I let her drink but she doesn’t want those. Only in the United States is the only place that has high fructose corn syrup. Maybe Mexico too has high fructose corn syrup as the sweetener and it’s so bad. Just type in high fructose corn syrup danger or high fructose corn syrup risk to kids or adults. There are so much evidence and so much research about how bad this stuff is.
The reason why they haven’t taken off this in the market is that it’s so cheap. Because the corn industry is subsidized by the government, this stuff is almost free. It’s garbage from the corn industries because they use the corn husks or whatever for other products. This is garbage for them so they can take it. The high fructose corn syrup is a concentrate from the corn, but it’s so cheap and plentiful that it’s a perfect way for them to increase the profits and it tastes good. It tastes like sugar to a lot of people. That’s why they use it but it’s so bad for you. If you’re drinking soda, at least drink soda with no sugar. I recommend not drinking it at all. I did a lot of research on this when we were creating our soda and that’s why we use this high-quality stevia called REB A that doesn’t have an aftertaste. I was experimenting because I wanted to do a soda concentrate with real sugar because people would like it with sugar as well with the herbs as well as stevia.
It was taking eight to twelve teaspoons of sugar per cup of soda to make it as sweet as it does with two squirts with the stevia. The average soda has between seven or eight and twelve and sometimes even upwards of fifteen teaspoons of sugar in a single can, which is outrageous. That’s so much sugar. If you sat down and saw somebody scooping that much out into a cup of coffee, you think they were crazy. That’s what the average kid drinks when they’re drinking soda. That’s why they say that people who make their own food at home consume less sugar and salt and fats than people who just go to a restaurant and buy their food. If they know sugar is going into the pumpkin pie they’re making, they’re going to be less prone to eat as many slices as if they get the same pumpkin pie at Whole Foods and it’s organic like, “It’s going to be good for me. I’m going to eat the whole pie now.” It’s got a lot of sugar still. As a treat, it’s great but you don’t want to make that your lunch or your breakfast. A lot of people do that because they’re like, “It’s Whole Foods. It’s going to be good for me.” Not necessarily.
Everything you’re saying is so spot on. Just so everyone knows, I’ve done taquito diet and Taylor cooks a lot for us at the office here. There are fresh veggies and everything is organic. Taylor had been a culinary chef and working with the Bulletproof Labs. I could tell you that I see a difference in myself. I’ve dropped twenty pounds. I eat more the veggies and the number of fats I eat. He’s got all the mushrooms all lineup. Not yours but other companies and just you’re spot on. Do you plan to build more Longevity shops? Are you going to expand?
We’re designing this as a template for more shops to be built. The only thing I can say with certainty is that yes, we will go to more shops but no, I will not be running them. Running a shop is so much work. Every day from morning until night I’m in here dialing recipes. For everything that works on the menu, we’ve tried ten things that just doesn’t work. Either it’s great, but it’s way too expensive and we can’t charge people $20 for this because that’s how much we need to charge for it to even make a couple bucks off it. Some things are so costly. It’s just too cost-prohibitive to have in the shop and other things, they just don’t taste good enough or they taste great, but only two people in the whole shop can make them and make them taste as good.Coffee is a great delivery vehicle for nutrition. Click To Tweet
Through online though, people can buy your products. I’m sure they’re not as expensive as in the shop.
You can get a cup of coffee for $1.95. We do keep the entry level stuff inexpensive. You can get a Longevity Soda here for $3. Anybody who wants to come in here and get something, it’s affordable. There are other things like the Herb Bomb at $7. That’s an inexpensive drink because there are two tablespoons of high-quality herbs mixed into this amazing creamy elixir which is handcrafted.
It’s worth $7 to help heal yourself and to put yourself balanced. $7 is worth all of that. I was spending thousands of dollars on medical doctor’s drugs and you can only imagine everything I’ve been on. It was temporary and it was numb in my brain where you’re helping the body heal itself from inside out.
There’s a saying in our industry, “The best insurance is to ensure your health.” That goes through the process of investing in products and experiences that are going to help keep the body healthy and in balance versus down the line. Allowing your body to drift out of balance, you’ll end up on the back-end pain and thousands and thousands of dollars in treatments and medical fees because you didn’t spend an expensive amount of money to take care of yourself. You save yourself a lot of trouble if you invest in your health now.
What we like to do is show people what’s possible. A lot of people think healthy food is equated with wheatgrass enemas. Things just taste like cardboard, like their old school raw toast they make out of flaxseeds. I want to blow people’s minds. We want them to think that this is a good experience as going to the Four Seasons to go get a high-quality cocktail there. We consider our drinks just as amazing and they’re good for you.
I come from a culinary background and now I come from a health background. What I do is I’ll often cook for a friend and go to yoga retreats and cook super healthy vegetarian food. What I’ll do is I’ll sneak in ten to twenty different herbs throughout the weekend. Most people would never touch it because they taste terrible. I weave them into my food with other ingredients to help balance and compliment the flavor. When you do that, you’ll find that you can make something that once was bitter. With a little bit of acidity and with a little bit of sweetness, it actually helps bring out the nuance of the flavor and you start to appreciate it.
Your cooking, Taylor, is exceptional. I could eat it all day long. He’s always cooking something new similar to what you do with your warehouse. You’ve got to get together and geek out. Everything you’re saying is what Taylor has been in my ear.
Do you work at Bulletproof Labs, Taylor?
I was originally one of the trainers who started Bulletproof Labs, but I left back in June 2018.
I have eaten at the Bulletproof coffee shop and the food was excellent. I got these salmon sliders. I was very impressed by the food there. That was before the lab opened up. It was right when the shop opened a month and do it.The best insurance is to ensure your health. Click To Tweet
Len, when are you doing your new next big show and your conferences? Are those still going?
We did one in April 2018. We had one planned but then we canceled it. Whatever I decide to do, I want to do it right. We’re focusing on the coffee shop right now. We’re going to definitely do another event. We’ve been doing it for fourteen to fifteen years now. We have people from all over the world. The last event was 2,800 people from all walks of life all over the world. We have a lot of people that have been coming in every event we do. We feel an obligation because a lot of these people, like our family, friends, we’ve known them for so long and we’ve been around them for so long. We want to continue it. The only issue with the events is that they’re such hard work. My wife and I ran the whole thing. I did the tonic bar and she does everything else. From the vendors, we handpicked each vendor. We have a limit to about 40 vendors. We have hundreds and hundreds of applications at each event. We limit it to 40 vendors to make sure that nobody is competing with each other. We try all the products.
Every single speaker, we review everything that they’re going to say on stage. We’re making sure that it’s in line with our vision and what the conference is about. We don’t agree with everything they’re going to say because it’s not about what’s right, but what’s right for you. We have a huge team of people to put these events on. Each event takes a minimum of a year planning before we can launch the event. It’s a full-on thing for that whole year. Meetings every single week and then prior to the event, it’s meetings every day. We’re picking the speakers, making sure they’re the right speaker. It’s so much work. The tonic bar is insane. We create a restaurant in one-day, a full-service restaurant in a ballroom with nothing in it. They pump everything they bring into the ballroom. Within one day we build this whole restaurant. In that night, we start servicing people and from the moment it opens, there’s a line out the door that does not end until the event is over. We close down at 9:00 or 10:00 PM.
We have a team for three and by the end of those three days, you can’t even see straight. Everybody is so exhausted. It’s so crazy. We have 30 people work in the bar. Each person gets their own station and they’re making drinks. As fast as they can make those drinks, they get to make another one and another one. We do that all weekend long and it’s crazy. Those events are a labor of love. They’re amazing, but they’re so much work. What if we hire a company to do this? We could but then you’re going to get this half-assed version. The reason why the events are great is that every single aspect, every banner, I make myself. Every light that goes in that event, I work with all of the video crew. My wife talks to every speaker over and over again. From the smallest detail to the biggest component of that event is either my wife, myself and our team.
I got a chance to cut in front of the line. I bought three drinks at once just to take with me because I know I need it to power through the day. That’s how I got hooked. Our mutual friend, Ryan, took me in there and I watched it. I don’t know how you did it, but that’s when I got hooked and that’s how I met Ron Teeguarden and some other amazing speakers and herbalists. Chiropractors are doctors who helped me heal other than the MDs or the doctors who’ve put their hands on me. It’s a place I look at where I enjoy going there because I learned so much in the course of a couple of days. It’s just awesome. I can’t wait for you to come back again. The speakers you lined up keep going and going. Every time I want to get up and take a bathroom break, I can’t because the next one who comes on is more powerful than the next one. I’m proud of you. I want to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for helping myself and the people I know my community to understand what it’s like to eat the real foods and heal themselves by themselves and not with an MD on onboard.
Thank you and thanks for supporting us in any event.
Now you’ve got to create that Starbucks gift card thing so we can give it out to people.
We do sell gift cards here, but we don’t promote them that much.
I’ve got friends who load up on Starbucks $25 to $50 a week sometimes. It’s crazy how much coffee they’re putting in their system and it’s non-organic, the sugar, the flavors and everything else. I won’t say it’s poison, but it’s not healthy for them. Sugar to me is the worst villain on the planet. I know you like your cookies and your ice cream, but you only need certain ones, Taylor. Being the father of two daughters who are very strict, their mom and I are very organic. They’re very careful in what they’re putting their body in and they’re being raised great. I see what they’re doing compared to everyone else. I know we’re setting up the balance in the systems now for them. As they grow up and they get into middle school, high school or college, they’ll be able to support themselves and their kids with all of this. What you’re doing is making a statement.
Len, I love your passion and your creativity and everything that you stand for and everything that you do with your company and the products that you create. I want to ask you one question. This is a question we ask all our guests. What’s your inspiration?
I get more jazzed and I never thought I’d be at the coffee shop every day like I am. I love being behind the bar, making stuff for people and watching their eyes light up as they drink. I don’t care what they say, I don’t care what your opinion is. I watch their body react to the drinks and that blows my mind watching their minds get blown. They’re having an enjoyable and amazing experience drinking something that normally tastes disgusting. I love that. I get so juiced from doing that and I’m inspired by it every day. I’m here every single day. For anybody who wants to come in, anytime I’m here every day.
Len Foley commits himself to make the drinks for us because he believes in his product which is unfamiliar all these days.
If I’m not in front of the bar, that means I’m back on the kitchen and making stuff there too. Thank you very much.
Thank you so much for taking the time, Len.
Let’s hit where to find you, your website and anything you want to promote on how people can get you.
Just so everyone knows we’re going to set up an affiliate deal with them as well real soon here. If anybody wants to come to the website and who are finding Sean or The Stroke Hacker or the podcast, you’re going to be able to get a code and get into the backdoor with him as well. I suggest everyone who’s doing this to try it, taste it and enjoy it. Get a sense for your palate and the food to become one because Len is doing a great job with all of this. I’m blessed to have him and his wife and his team on board with us and just be friends with us. Thank you, Len, so much.
Thanks, Taylor. Thanks, Sean.
Thank you so much. Let’s see at the coffee shop soon. Thank you.
- Len Foley
- Longevity Warehouse
- Longevity Coffee
- Ron Teeguarden
- Longevity Now Conference
- Coffee Blast
- Longevity Soda
- Bulletproof Labs
- @LenFoley – Facebook
About Len Foley
Len Foley is the CEO and founder of Longevity Warehouse. He is also the creator of Longevity Now Conference and Longevity Coffee in Thousand Oaks, California. According to their website, the mission of the company is as follows.
Our mission is to provide you access to the most amazing superfoods, superherbs, and other natural products with the highest possible integrity so you can take your health to the next level.
In addition, we hope that through the articles, recipes, and information we provide at Longevity Warehouse®, we will help you make informed decisions about your health that will enable you to add more years to your life and more life to your years.
We are committed to constantly improving the selection of our foods, supplements, and services. We avidly support organic farming, and sustainable and fair trade businesses.