Welcome to Kitchn's series My Healthy Morning, where we show you how one person greets the day in a way that makes them feel their best. Each post will chronicle how that person defines healthy for themselves, and the habits and recipes that make their morning a little bit better.
Daina Trout and her husband, Justin, started Health-Ade Kombucha with their friend Vanessa in 2012. For those of you counting, that's just five years ago. I point this out because in those five years Health-Ade has grown at an astounding rate. I remember starting to see the brand at some select stores a couple years ago, and then suddenly it was everywhere across the country.
I think this success speaks to the great product, of course, but also to Trout's dedication. When I met with her last summer, she told me that they play special music in the fermenting area of Health-Ade's factory, and that they only brew in 2.5-gallon batches to preserve the integrity of the product. How cool is that?
I recently caught up with Trout to talk about her morning routine. As you might imagine, kombucha is sometimes involved.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm an American-Canadian-Lithuanian woman who lives in Los Angeles and is most proud of her family of three (husband, Justin, and son, Hendriks) and of co-founding Health-Ade Kombucha in 2012.
I'm definitely not perfect, but some of the things that make me special include my willingness to work harder than most, affinity for being unconventional, and love of people. It's becoming more clear as I get older, but I think my purpose is to inspire others to make their own proud mark on the world — that said, I love encouraging, coaching, cultivating, and celebrating. I am also silly, confident, energetic, and extroverted, and like nothing more than to achieve and win.
I also like wine … and kombucha!
What does healthy mean to you?
Healthy is not a place you arrive or some kind of achievement of numbers. To me, it's a mindset — and it includes your mind, drive, confidence, and happiness, just as much as it includes your body. I always like to say that I believe in the health it takes to be happy, and for the most part that's true. The exception is that I also think it's perfectly healthy to be sad sometimes. So perhaps a better way to say it is — healthy is being your best self, and only you know if you're healthy.
What is your healthy morning routine?
My morning is full of life! I wake up at 6 a.m. and am out the door for work by 8 a.m. In those two hours, I do a five-minute gratitude/intention session, an intense 45-minute workout, and get my 2-year-old ready for the day, splitting the child duties with my husband so we can each get dressed too.
The reality is I don't have a lot of time, so I usually have my coffee on the way to work and do my makeup while driving (not recommended). I am starving by the time I get to my desk at 8:30 a.m., so I scarf down a yogurt and some granola while I plan for the day ahead.
On weekends there is no set time to get out the door, so it's all those tasks (but with coffee first ) in a more leisurely fashion and always with music playing in the background.
The five-minute gratitude/intention session is by far the most important thing I do. I recite what I call my "I AM" statements that detail who I want to be, every day. These five minutes reinforce a positive self-image, inspire me to be my best, healthiest self, and motivate me not only for the day but also for what lies ahead in the future.
Since there's always so much to do in the morning, I don't often spend time thinking about breakfast. Therefore, nearly every day I have yogurt with fruit, granola, and nuts. I pull out the more creative recipes on weekend nights, when I have the time to be creative.
How much kombucha do you drink a day, and do you have a favorite flavor right now?
I drink as much as I feel like — I'm not precious about it. Of course, I'm always testing and trying our brew at work, so I probably end up drinking about a bottle per day. But if I'm ever away from the office, I probably drink around three bottles per week, or whenever I have a craving.
My favorite flavor has always been pomegranate, but I love them all!
Thank you for sharing your healthy morning with us, Daina!