Today’s podcast is all about algae superfood. We’re gonna find out how Catharine found algae, or really how algae found her and how awesome of a superfood it really is. First, a little about Catharine and how awesome she is.
Catharine Arnston, CEO & Founder of ENERGYbits® (an algae superfood provider), graduated with an MBA from Ivey School of Business and a Health Coach Certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Her career spans thirty-three years during which she has been an international attaché for the Canadian and British Governments, publisher of an international magazine and the Founder of three startups.
After researching alkalizing foods for her sister that had been diagnosed with cancer, Catharine began her journey learning about algae, the most nutrient dense, alkaline plant in the world with vast medicinal properties unknown outside of Asia. Catharine realized algae could have a powerful impact on the world if it was only better understood. Catharine has devoted her life to researching algae and educating consumers, athletes, wellness, spa, fitness and beauty professionals about its therapeutic, sustainable benefits. She is now considered one of the country’s leading experts on algae nutrition, a sought-after speaker at wellness conferences and a frequent guest on podcasts and television.
Evan: Hello, my friend. Well, it’s good to talk to you again and welcome to the Health Detective Podcast.
[00:04:18] Catharine: Well, Evan, thank you for having me. It’s so great to be here and share all my wisdom of algae with the world and your community.
Evan: So, Reed and I, and actually Reed’s wife Rae, were down at the biohacking Congress in Miami in Florida, and we got to see this woman throw the heck down.
She knows her stuff. If the bio wasn’t clear, it’s really cool to have someone that’s so knowledgeable on. I love when it’s a topic that I don’t know nearly enough about because it just makes for such an organic conversation. The one thing I want to start with that is a little interesting to me is it seems like I can tell that you obviously did a lot of research, and what would have motivated you to get into this space overall. But I’m curious, did you have any personal health issues that led to this or was it the stuff with maybe family members that more motivated?
[00:05:00] Catharine: I know algae is a very unique specialized area. Certainly not well-known if known at all in North America, although I’d say multi-billion, that’s with a B, billion-dollar industry in Asia where people in Japan don’t leave their house without it.
I didn’t go looking for algae. It seemed to come looking for me. I’m actually Canadian although I’ve lived in Boston for 33 years. I have an MBA and I was doing international business with a corporate career of 25 years. I had nothing to do with nutrition, nothing to do with biohacking. Then 13 years ago, my younger sister in Canada, who I’m very close to developed breast cancer.
First of all, I want everybody to know that she’s completely fine, completely healed and 11 years cancer-free. But as she was preparing for her chemo, her Oncologist, which is a cancer specialist, advised her, didn’t even recommend, but basically told her to change her diet to an alkaline diet because it would help with her healing.
Now they didn’t tell her what an alkaline diet was or why specifically it was good for her. When she got home that day from her appointment, first person she called was me because I love her. Also, I’m just a really darn good researcher. I can find out anything. So, I had no idea what an alkaline diet was, and you may not either. But you can certainly Google it or I can save you some time. Cause it’s basically a diet based on plants primarily because of the phytonutrients and the chlorophyll that had been proven for decades to build your immune system. I did some research, recommended some foods to eat, ones not to eat.
She did go through her chemo and as I mentioned, she’s 11 years cancer-free. In the process of helping her, I started burrowing into all the documents and its library studies, books on plant-based nutrition. You have to remember; this was 13 years ago, and nobody was talking about plant-based nutrition 13 years ago.
And as I saw the power that it had on health and wellness and longevity, sleep, gut biome, mental health, I thought, man, somebody needs to get this information out. I’m just a very passionate person. I thought I’m going to do what I can. I have no idea what I will do, but I’m going to do something because I can’t stand having all this knowledge and not sharing it.
Why Aren’t People Eating Their Veggies?
So, I enrolled myself in a school called the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, which gave me a one-year course on health coaching, not too deep, but just enough of something and a certification of some kind. Then I taught plant-based nutrition for free at corporations and hospitals, basically anybody who’d let me in. And this is where my epiphany happened that led me to algae. And the epiphany is this, I’m sure your listeners will appreciate this, telling people to eat more vegetables, isn’t new. Our mothers have been telling us to eat our vegetables since we were kids.
I got pushback from people saying, well, you know, that’s nothing new. I know all of that. But what I did learn was that even though people knew they should eat more vegetables and 97% of Americans do not get their daily fiber requirement, according to the centers for disease control. So, the reason was it’s too much work. Period.
They are heavy to carry home from the grocery store. They take a lot of room in your fridge. They take a long time to clean, to cook, to eat. Let’s face it, kids and men are notorious for not liking their vegetables. I thought, okay, I’ve seen the science. I know what green nutrition does for people’s health and wellness. I need to find something that’s fast and easy, that gets the nutrition that they need into them without any effort. Once again, I had no idea what I would find, where I would find it, but back to the drawing board I went. And I just kept looking at everything I’d found for my sister the previous year and did a deeper dive on the science.
Algae Superfood is Super Nutritious
After three months, nothing had come to fruition until I hit algae. That’s when the miracle happened. Because it turns out, first of all, algae is the most alkaline food in the world. We can talk a little bit about the importance of an alkaline diet for your overall health, cellular health, your blood health. So that box was checked. It turns out it’s the greenest food in the world that has the highest concentration of chlorophyll in the world. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green, and algae has 500 times more chlorophyll than arugula. It even has 25 times more chlorophyll than liquid chlorophyll. That box was checked.
As if that wasn’t enough, it has the highest concentration of protein in the world. It has three times the amount of protein as steak and has been endorsed by the United Nations, an international agency. The United Nations endorsed spirulina algae, which is one of the two algae we’re going to talk about today, as the answer to world hunger, because it has so much protein – three times the amount of a steak and is an eco-friendly sustainable crop. It’s also endorsed by NASA as the most nutrient dense food in the world. It’s got chlorophyll, it’s alkaline, it’s got protein. It’s also nutrient dense, 40 vitamins and minerals. NASA says one gram of algae has the equivalent nutrition as a thousand grams of vegetables, one to a thousand.
Algae Superfood Hydroponic Crop
As you’re going to find out, we sell our algae in tiny little tablets that are about the size of a baby aspirin. You can swallow, chew, add to smoothies, whatever you want. Each one of those tablets has the same nutrition as an entire plate of vegetables. Now it’s what I call effortless nutrition. Kids, adults, pets, you, your entire family will never have to eat another vegetable again in your life. And it’s effortless, one calorie, 40 vitamins and minerals. Unbelievable!
As if that wasn’t enough, algae has been used in Asia, as I’d mentioned, for about the last 50 years. It’s a multi-billion that’s with a B, billion-dollar agricultural crop. Yes, algae is not a supplement. Supplements are made in labs, in factories with artificial extracts, with high heat. Not algae.
It is a vegetable crop grown in fresh water. Yes, algae does exist in the ocean, but the two that are consumed by everybody, or in mass consumption, and what we sell – spirulina and chlorella – they are grown as food crops in water. It’s called hydroponic. It’s just like kale or broccoli or lettuce, except it’s more nutrient dense. It’s very safe, not from the ocean and we air-dry it into these little tablets, as I mentioned.
In Japan, they don’t leave their house without taking chlorella, which is the other algae we’re going to talk about. Spirulina and chlorella are completely different. They are the two algae that you shouldn’t leave your house without every single day. And if you do, you will never get sick. You will have a wonderful life. You’ll have lots of energy. Your kids will be healthy. You’ll sleep well. It’s unbelievable.
Scientific Evidence Backs Up Algae Superfood Claims
The only problem with algae it seems is that nobody knew about it here in America. That’s because the quality has been poor. It’s been mostly out of China until we got involved.
The packaging has been terrible. It looks weird. It looked like it could have worm guts and there was no branding or education. I decided 11 years ago, I drew a line in the sand, and said, okay, my life from now on is devoted to helping people understand algae, helping them understand why it’s so good for them, helping them understand the science of algae.
I forgot to mention, algae is the most studied food in the entire world. There are almost a hundred thousand studies collectively. There’s 60,000 on spirulina and about 40,000 on chlorella; that’s a big number. That’s not 10 or a hundred or a thousand or even 10,000. That’s a hundred thousand. There’s so much science about algae, it’s irrefutable what it does. But here’s the problem. It’s all read by scientists, and scientists like to talk to other scientists. Nobody in North America has gotten this knowledge about algae and its health benefits out to you until I came along. Probably the good news was the fact that I didn’t have a science background.
I know what it feels like not to understand algae cause I didn’t either when I first started, and I had to teach myself. So, I’ve done a deep dive on the science and put it together in a way that makes it easy for you to understand. As much as possible on our website and everywhere we go, we reference all of these scientific documents, so you know ‘m not making this stuff up. It is evidence-based as we like to say in the biohacking world.
Devoted to Taking Algae Superfood & It Shows
There you go. You, your family, your pets, your children can be healthy, nourished, energized, not have any chronic illnesses, you avoid things like the COVID virus, have great skin and hair, great sleep, great digestion effortlessly. Absolutely, if you can swallow water, you can get the nutrients you need from algae. You could live on this stuff forever. It’s pretty wild, huh?
[00:13:17] Evan: Well, I love people who are like an unintentional walking billboard, cause I mean, your energy is through the roof. I love that. I mean, you had high energy in person. I think this even surpasses. That’s pretty impressive. That’s really cool though. I do think that matters. I’m never one to judge anyone that comes on here if they don’t seem healthy yet, because I know I was on a health journey and probably didn’t seem so healthy at one point, even though I was heading in the right direction.
But I do think it’s a lot more convincing when you hear from someone who is clearly high energy and can rattle all this stuff off. You can be as smart as you want, but if someone’s sick, they can’t do that anymore. I’ve seen that with highly intelligent people. This is very interesting.
One of the things, I knew it wasn’t even the main point, but I got to focus in on this for a second because I just thought it was cool, the fact that, yes, you’re not a researcher necessarily by trade, but you are good at researching. Then you bridge this gap between the science and the public, because that is always how I view kind of what I do.
Talk About it: They’re Not Going to Read the Studies
I’m not a PhD, but I don’t mind going on PubMed and checking this stuff out. Then I’m like, here’s the translation in English guys. This is what this actually looks like, but I could still back it up. It’s so sad because it’s clearly happening with the algae as well, especially a hundred thousand.
I mean, that’s ridiculous. What’s happening here is yes, if the consumer isn’t reading it, you talk about this stuff and whatever topic it might be. This happens with light a lot as well, which I know you’re familiar with, with the biohacking space. People are like, oh, that can’t be true. What are you talking about? Where’d you get that information? One of those YouTube doctors? I’m like, PubMed? No, actually. It’s just a shame because we live in a world where, unless it’s spoon-fed to them, figuratively, they don’t really get it. It has to be fed to them by their doctor. But guys, doctors are humans too. They can’t read the amount of studies that come out every single day. There’s more to it than that.
So, how did you end up formulating so many different types of products? Because I remember when I was down there, there was more energy ones. There was recovery ones. What is the difference between these different types? Please feel free to go in as much depth with breaking down the different products. I know there’s several.
Macroalgae and Microalgae
[00:15:06] Catharine: Let me give you a bigger picture, first of all, algae was the first life on earth, almost three and a half billion years ago. And there’s fossils to prove it. It was spirulina algae, by the way. You have to think that, hey, something was the very first life on earth and is still here, outlived all the ice ages and the dinosaurs predated us by 3 billion years. It’s gotta be something special about that.
So, with that in mind, I want you to understand that algae is everywhere. It’s in the, ocean’s the lakes, the rivers, the streams, the soil. And there’s two main categories. Nobody ever explains this to anybody, so I’m glad to be here to help you. One type of algae is called macroalgae, and the other one is microalgae. We’re going to primarily focus on microalgae
But let me tell you first what macroalgae is so you can put it in context. It’s that big stringy stuff that washes up on shore, also known as seaweed, dulse, kelp. It’s very important because it has a lot of fiber, which is good for you and iodine, which is also good for you. But it comes from the ocean, and it has virtually no nutrition.
I eat kelp noodles sometimes, and you can boil the whole bag and put some great sauce on it and have five calories because it’s just fiber. There’s no nutrients, no vitamins, no minerals, just fiber. That’s macroalgae, not what we’re talking about today.
Algae Superfood: Microalgae
We’re talking about microalgae, which is called micro because it’s microscopic in size. Something like about a million cells of microalgae could fit on the head of a pin. That’s how tiny it is. This stuff is everywhere. The macroseaweed stuff is only from the oceans. Microalgae is everywhere, your swimming pool, your aquarium, your soil, everywhere. It feeds everything.
That’s the other thing. By the way, it is responsible for 80% of the oxygen on earth. No, it’s not the Amazon rainforest, it’s algae.
Algae Superfood: Not Gunk in the Ocean
So, within microalgae, there are a number of different strains. There’s the two main ones are what’s called blue-green algae and green algae. Within blue-green and green, one of the main blue-green algae is called spirulina and the main green algae is called chlorella.
Now, I want to be sure you understand that spirulina is only one of many thousands of blue-green algae. If you go online and you Google about a blue-green algae blooming on your favorite beach, that’s causing lots of havoc, it’s not spirulina. It’s just another blue-green algae.
Spirulina and chlorella are the only two algae really that are grown, as I mentioned, in fresh water as agricultural crops. Everything else is just gunk that’s out there in the ocean. I feel badly, I shouldn’t call it gunk because poor algae gets the bad end of the stick. It only shows up when there’s already bacteria in the washer because algae kills bacteria.
The reason why you find it on your favorite beach sometimes is because there’s been a lot of runoff from either cultural areas or people peeing in the water. But algae didn’t just show up. It showed up to do the cleanup. Algae is the cleanup crew. It’s not the bad guy. It’s actually the good guy, but it gets blamed for everything.
So, just want to clear that up. We’re going to be talking about spirulina and chlorella, the two that are harvested as agricultural crops. They do not come from the ocean. Spirulina, which is the blue-green algae, is called the blue-green algae because it has two pigments in it. One that you’re familiar with, the green one – chlorophyll – we talked about earlier. The other pigment, which I’m sure you know nothing about, is a blue pigment called phycocyanin.
Now that blue pigment has amazing healing properties, two I’ll mention just so you’re aware of it. One is that it stops the growth of blood vessels to tumors. It has what’s called anti-angiogenesis properties. Angiogenesis is when blood is rerouted by tumors or cancers to feed them. Anti-angiogenesis is a process by which that is stopped and this blue pigment in spirulina, for whatever reason, has that ability and it’s been scientifically proven. I just want to throw that out.
The other really cool thing about that blue pigment is that it has been shown to prevent the COVID virus from entering your cells. Pretty sweet. The way it does that is as we’ve all seen pictures of the COVID virus with those tentacles that extend, and those tentacles latch onto your cell, which is called an ACE2 receptor cell. Now these are specialized cells that are primarily in your nose, throat, and lungs. These are the only ways the COVID virus can enter your body and replicate, basically hijack your DNA and replicate itself.
But here’s what happens. The phycocyanin, again, for whatever reason, acts as a shield that sits on top of the ACE2 receptor cell so the COVID virus cannot enter if you get exposed. It merely slides through your body. And as further proof that this actually works, and there’s lots of signs, we have it on our website as well, the University of Pittsburgh Pharmacology Department has developed a COVID virus vaccine, nose spray. Guess what? Made of algae. Because again, as I mentioned, the virus enters mostly through your nose and that’s where the ACE2 receptor cells are and the phycocyanin prevents it from entering. So, pretty sweet.
Algae Superfood: Energizing Spirulina
But generally, spirulina, the blue-green algae, is known as an energizing algae. When we talk about chlorella, which is the green algae, it’s truly the wellness algae. That’s why when we first launched, we called our spirulina Energy Bits, because it gives you physical and mental energy and satisfies your hunger: nourishes your body in ways that nothing else could.
The reason why it does that is because it has the highest concentration of protein in the world. Spirulina has 64% protein, and what’s amazing is all of the protein is already in amino acid form. Now, when you eat animal protein, your body cannot absorb that protein in that format. It has to break it down into amino acids. To do that, it needs things like factors and co-factors. Very often it takes an average of three days. In most cases you only absorb about 10% of that protein as amino acids. So, it’s actually not very efficient.
But with the spirulina, the protein is already in amino acid form. There is no work for your body to break down, to get access to it. Sort of like a get out of jail card free for those Monopoly fans, who, if there’s still any out there, it’s a freebie. And here’s the other cool thing, spirulina is technically a bacteria. It does not have a cellulous wall. It gets absorbed again by your body almost instantly. No work to get access to the amino acids, and it is loaded with B vitamins. If you’ve ever read the listing on any energy drinks, please don’t buy them. Just look at them maybe from a distance. But you’ll see they’re loaded with B vitamins, because B vitamins are what convert things like amino acids into energy. So, it’s physically energizing.
A Pure Form of Energy
Now, it’s not the kind of energy from a caffeine or sugar because algae and our tablets contain no caffeine, no sugar, no chemicals, nothing. It’s just one ingredient. Very nourishing. The energy comes on a steady format. As the protein works its way through your body, spirulina is also loaded with iron, which is what carries oxygen in your blood. So that is very energizing. It also releases nitric oxide, which is what’s known as a vassal dilator. That means your blood vessels open up to allow more blood to flow, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to your brain, into your body.
Also, spirulina has 40 other vitamins and minerals, but zero carbs. So, people love it for intermittent fasting. They love it for keto diets because it is very nourishing. It gets rid of the hangry feeling when you get up, but again, doesn’t affect your ketones or your glucose. It’s a great way to start your day. Anytime you’re hungry, fatigued, before you’re doing a workout, this is your answer. You could take as few as two, we try to encourage people to take more like 5 or 10.
Our NHL players (we fuel five NHL teams) they put 75 in a smoothie before a game because, of course, they need access to very bursts of energy as they skate across the ice, and they need access to that. Spirulina does give that to them.
When he first launched, for five years we actually became a sports nutrition company because the marathoners, the triathletes, the ultra-runners, these are ultra-runners of people that will run a hundred miles, they were running on water and our spirulina, that’s it, for days, that’s all. They would have no muscle loss, no hunger, no fatigue. Pretty amazing stuff.
Our Algae Superfood is the Safest
And we still fuel Olympic teams. We had so many for a while during the winter Olympics at Sochi. I sent two of my team members over to Sochi, and we had the complete welcome and access to the U. S. Olympic village and also the Canadian Olympic village, because as I mentioned, I’m Canadian. It’s pretty amazing stuff.
It is so safe. It’s the safest – ours, not everybody’s. We’re known for our safety and purity. We’re the only algae that’s sold nationwide by functional medicine, chiropractors, homeopaths, naturopaths because we do all the science, and we do third-party lab tests. And our algae is a raw food. We don’t use high heat to dry it. So, the enzymes are all intact.
There is nothing more nourishing, safer, pure, and easier than taking our algae tablets in the morning. You can give them to your newborns, your pets, your kids, your teens, your grandparents because you don’t have to cook, clean, or eat these things if you can swallow water. And remember, every single tablet has the same nutrition as an entire plate of vegetables.
It replaces most multivitamins. Spirulina will replace your fish oil. By the way, when you buy all that that fish oil, with the Omega 3, where do you think the fish get the Omega-3 from? Drum roll. Okay, yes. You win. It’s the algae. They get nuggets free from algae and they just consolidate it in their bodies. But as you may or may not know that most fish oil goes rancid before you’ve even bought it. Go to the source, go to where the fish go.
Algae Superfood Can Replace Multivitamins
Algae never goes bad. We put an expiry date on it because we’re required to by the FDA. It’s usually three years, but I’ll tell you it never goes bad. There’s never any waste like there is with vegetables, even if you do eat vegetables. You don’t have to cook, clean, or eat the stuff. It can replace, as I mentioned, multivitamins, fish oil, CoQ10, magnesium, potassium. There’s five or six right there. Very efficient nutrition that has a safety factor and a purity factor that can’t be met by anything. Oh, and let’s not forget that it’s the most sustainable crop in the world.
[00:25:43] Evan: One thing, I’m connecting dots as you’re talking. You actually end up usually getting to the same dot I was trying to connect. I do have a question here, but the one thing I just got to make a note of that I find really cool is I’m someone who has found huge benefit from true ketosis, measured in the blood, actually getting into it. I’m about to do a 72-hour fast this weekend, actually. I feel great when I do this. So, I know it works for me.
But what I love about what you’re saying is, this would be a perfect thing for me while fasting, because one of the reasons I don’t take a multivitamin while fasting is because I have no fat in my stomach. What happens? I get nauseous from the zinc. I get nauseous from the other fat-soluble vitamins.
But if I was taking this, I would consider this a water fast. I think that’s totally fair. I don’t think algae was a good break from my water fast. I think I’m still on par with doing that. It’s really interesting that it has this nutrient density.
Daily Algae Superfood Dosage
And just to be clear, I was trying to understand something, with the NHL teams, when you said they take 75, is that a dosage or do you mean they’ll take 75 of those things that you had down at the biohacking conference?
[00:26:40] Catharine: They’ll put 75, they’ll grind them up first into a powder and then just add them to… And you know, I don’t want to freak anybody out because you don’t have to have 75. When we work with elite athletes, like a marathon, we do recommend 30 because that will give them fuel. That’s a very high, energy endurance sport. If you are working out, whether it’s a three-mile run or weightlifting or doing anything, you’ll get more benefit the more you take. Try to take twenty. Thirty would be better.
But on a daily basis, if you’re just looking to replace your multivitamins and you want… and here’s the thing, even a multivitamin doesn’t fill you up. It doesn’t stop your hunger. But spirulina does. You wouldn’t believe how many people, they get up in the morning and they toss back 5, 10, and your hunger is gone for hours. You’ve just given your body, all the nourishment you need.
What you put in your body in the morning is the most important time to feed your body because you’ve just come through a fast cause you’re sleeping. I usually start my day with a fresh water with squeezed lemon. Then I wait a few minutes and have a Yerba Mate tea, and then I have my spirulina and chlorella. That’s all I have for three or four hours and then have lunch maybe around one o’clock.
Algae Superfood is a Better Choice Than Collagen Powder
But once you start taking this, my goal is to educate people about it and then just invite you to try it because it’s been used for 75 years in Asia. It’s been used for centuries by the Aztecs, the Egyptians. The only problem here in America is that nobody told you about it. One of the things I like to emphasize for people is that algae isn’t new. It’s just new to you, that’s all. Just like we didn’t know about chia seed or Quinoa or Macha or collagen even. It took somebody some efforts to explore the science and then help explain what it did to people.
While we’re talking briefly about collagen, I do want to point out that collagen powder, which is now very popular, is not sustainable. I don’t know if people know this, but it’s made from crushed animal bones, tendons, and skins. They have to use heavy chemicals to melt all that down into a powder.
So, it’s not good for you, and it’s not good for the earth. Guess what? Algae has more collagen than collagen powder and it’s sustainable. Of course, collagen powder is just protein. Algae also has high chlorophyll and 40 other vitamins and minerals, and it’s friendly to the earth and no chemicals.
So, up level to algae, if you’re thinking about collagen or if you’re taking collagen now. By the way, collagen is not a complete protein; I forgot to mention that algae is. It has 18 of the 20 aminos and it has all the aminos, all nine, that your body cannot make. And collagen is missing tryptophan. Algae has all of them, so it’s a much more efficient way to feed your collagen needs and to protect your health and the earth.
Target Marketing Algae Superfood
Now what happened was after the first couple of years of our Energy Bits, which is packaged in a blue bag, cause it’s a blue-green algae. I thought it was so clever helping people understand what the product was. But after a few years, I noticed that women weren’t buying any. So, I asked my girlfriends, I said why do you think women aren’t buying any Energy Bits? And they told me, “Well, you got to make it pink and give it a cute name.” That’s exactly the truth.
And because there’s so much collagen, as I just mentioned, and because spirulina has so many antioxidants that remove free radicals, and because it’s so alkalizing to the skin, which helps remove bacteria, which is breakouts, I decided to launch a second brand and call it Beauty Bits. It was also an homage to my sister who was the incentive for me starting all of this. Women’s sales is very important to me.
So, I’ll do whatever it takes to help people feel comfortable with taking spirulina. We call them bits, by the way, because they’re bits of nutrition. That’s it. They’re just bits of nutrition. You can have spirulina as the blue package, which is called Energy Bits, or the pink one with the pink flower, which is called Beauty Bits, but they are absolutely identical. Energizing, satisfy your hunger, nourishing, great for workouts and also keto diets, paleo diets, intermittent fasting, and build your skin and hair.
Whatever it Takes to Market Algae Superfood
[00:31:03] Evan: I think that makes a lot of sense from the business side and marketing side. I remember years ago, I love Shark Tank, and someone brought on these crickets. That’s an ancient food to some degree. But they branded it so well and all of a sudden, eating crickets was cool.
So, I think that matters, because it’s so hilarious to me because I’m sold more on information. I listen to you, and I’m hyped up. Someone else listens to you and then they’re like, oh, well, wait a second, it’s not a cute package. Good Lord, do you guys not care about the science?
[00:31:27] Catharine: Well, I just wanted to cover my basis because I design all the packaging and I’ve been at this for almost 11 years now. We did have our first packaging wasn’t very attractive. It was my first effort. I’m not a graphic designer, but I’ve taught myself how to do it. Once we changed the packaging to something that was more colorful and welcoming, took the weirdness out of anything, people responded 5,000 times better. Whatever it takes; there’s no harm in having welcoming packaging. That’s the first step. I can’t get the stuff into people’s bodies where it will do all this great good if I can’t get them to buy it.
By the way, we almost consider ourselves an adoption agency because every time someone buys any of our algae, it’s like, oh, well go there and do some good algae. We know what you’re going to do. We’re trying to find good homes for this algae. It’s pretty crazy.
Algae Superfood: Chlorella 101
Let’s switch over now to chlorella because we did talk about spirulina and most people as I mentioned take it in the morning, afternoon, when you have that two o’clock slump, before a workout. There is no upper limit to this stuff. It’s just food. It’s like, you can’t have too many salads, or you can’t have too many pieces of broccoli. Although a lot of people don’t have any. Chlorella is a hundred percent different from spirulina.
Chlorella is a wellness and healing algae. Spirulina is an energizing algae. For chlorella, which is a green algae, it helps you recover your health. We call our chlorella Recovery Bits. It helps you recover your health in so many ways. I’ll tell you a few of them. First of all, chlorella has the highest concentration of chlorophyll in the world.
Remember I said, spirulina has the highest protein? Chlorella has the highest chlorophyll. What’s so important about chlorophyll? Well, I could talk about chlorophyll all day, but let me just give you a couple. First of all, if you go online and we’ll send you some documents, you’ll see that the chemical composition of chlorophyll is virtually identical to that of your hemoglobin, the red blood cells.
Why is that important? Well, because chlorophyll builds your blood. The only difference is that your blood has an iron atom in the middle, which is what carries oxygen, and chlorophyll is magnesium. Otherwise, they are identical. In fact, if chlorophyll looks green to us, that’s just because of the way it reflects the light. If you put chlorophyll in a UV or a red light, it’s actually red, just like our blood.
Chlorophyll Keeps the Cell Walls Permeable
Chlorophyll has been used for centuries for helping people recover from surgery, from illnesses. Indigenous people have known this forever. It was even used as recently as World War II, when they ran out of blood for transfusions, they would give the injured liquid chlorophyll because they would heal just as fast as if they’d had a blood transfusion.
So, that’s number one, builds your blood. Number two, chlorophyll happens to be a fat-based pigment. The blue one I had mentioned earlier is actually a water-based pigment. What’s so important about fat-based pigment? Well, everybody in the metabolic health world knows that all of your health issues, good and bad, start at the cellular level and the mitochondria in those cells. Those mitochondria by the way, are what generate all the energy for your body. Not just for going for a run, it’s all the metabolic processes, your digestion, your breathing. They’re pretty important. You want to keep them happy. One of the ways to keep them happy is to be sure they are fed the proper food and that their room is cleaned, sort of like a baby. You got to feed them and get rid of their dirty diapers.
Well, mitochondria are pretty much like a baby. If you do not make sure they get the food they need, that’s when the disease start happening. The way to keep the food coming is to keep the cell walls permeable. The way you do that is with healthy fats. Because chlorophyll is a healthy fat, it keeps the cell wall permeable.
Chlorophyll Builds Your Blood & Keeps Your Mitochondria Healthy
Think of if you have dirty windows, you can’t see out and sunlight can’t get in. I use that analogy to help people understand that chlorophyll is sort of the equivalent of window washers for your cell walls. Keeps everything clean and working. The other thing is when things are clean and working, the toxins can get out.
Just imagine if you didn’t take your own trash out for a week, pretty smelly and ugly picture. Well, the same thing happens in your cells. If your cell walls aren’t permeable, that trash, which is known as free radicals, starts to build up. It causes damage, kills the mitochondria, and makes the cell more acidic.
A scientist by the name of Otto Warburg in 1941, he’s a German scientist. He discovered that cancer can only exist in the cell if it’s acidic. The key is to keep your cells in more of an alkaline condition, which is 7.1. The pH level goes from 0 to 14. So, 7.1 is just slightly alkaline and that ensures oxygen is in the cell, that the communications up in the cell and between the cells are working and chlorophyll helps facilitate that. Not only from the fat pigment, keeping the cell permeable, but also because it facilitates the health of the mitochondria.
By the way, when you have chlorophyll and you match it with red light, either from red light therapy or the sunlight, it generates ATP in the cell by the mitochondria, in something called the electron transport chains, which is pretty cool. Those are two very important things about chlorophyll; builds your blood and keeps your cells and your mitochondria healthy and functioning and alive, which keeps you alive. That’s pretty important too.
What’s Happening to Our Soil/Plants?
There’s other benefits to chlorophyll. It cleanses your colon, keeps your breath fresh, cleanses your liver and all sorts of stuff. But all of that is because chlorella has the highest chlorophyll in the world, 500 times more than arugula. Think of those little, tiny tablets that we have. Again, each one of those has the same nutrition and chlorophyll as a heaping plate of vegetables. If you don’t like vegetables, and even if you are eating vegetables, I can promise you, you are not getting the amount of chlorophyll that you need because sadly, our soils are so damaged. There are no nutrients in the soils for the vegetables to pull up. And the ozone layer is so damaged, they’re realizing everything that’s growing now has more sugar and less nutrients.
If you want to get chlorophyll, eating vegetables isn’t the way to do it, sadly. I stopped buying vegetables because my Arugula was going yellow after about three days, because it wasn’t much to start with. It’s just a waste and it’s not helping you at medicinal purposes. Not only does chlorella have high chlorophyll, it has a hard cell wall.
Remember, spirulina has no cellulous wall. It’s technically a bacteria. Chlorella is the complete opposite. It has the hardest cell wall in the plant kingdom. What’s important about that? That hard cell wall attaches to toxins of any kind lead, mercury, radiation, all the heavy metals. The United Nations used it during Chernobyl to pull out radiation. We work with biological dentists who use it to pull up mercury when they take out fillings. Algae is also used at all water treatment plants across all of North America because it kills bacteria. Chlorella, because it has this hard cell wall, pulls out all toxins of any kind.
Chlorophyll: Algae Superfood Detoxifier
It doesn’t matter whether it’s lime, alcohol even, in fact, if you take chlorella after drinking alcohol, you will be sober in an hour and a half, and you will never have a hangover. You do need the detox amount, which is a higher amount, which I’ll tell you in a minute. Also, if you’re an athlete or do any kind of exercise, it identifies lactic acid as a toxin. So, it pulls it out. That’s why the NHL players who I mentioned earlier, put 75 spirulina in their smoothie before a game. They also put 75 chlorella tablets in their smoothie after the game to pull out all the lactic acid.
Chlorella, because of the chlorophyll, the detox capability, it also has the daily requirement of K2, which moves excess calcium out of soft tissue and into bones, which is a whole podcast I could talk to you about, which is very important. Cause realizing half of heart disease, atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries. Guess what’s hardening? Calcium. Or kidney stones? Guess what’s hardening? Calcium. Alzheimer’s? What’s happening? Your brain is calcifying. And wrinkles? It’s from calcium damaging your elastin.
Most of us are deficient in vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is the only thing that moves excess calcium out of the soft tissues and into your bones where it will also help prevent osteoporosis. Chlorella is loaded with K2. It also has the highest RNA and DNA in the world, which helps build your cells back healthier. As you get older, your RNA and DNA get damaged, which causes aging. Your mitochondria also get damaged, which causes aging, which is why it’s really great to do fasting because it helps with autophagy and clears out dead cells and allows the healthy ones to grow better.
Chlorella Helps with Sleep & Peristalsis
We recommend it. You can take it anytime a day, but definitely before you go to bed. Why? Because when you sleep, your body goes through a detox and repair cycle. You may not know this, but it does. If you take chlorella before you go to bed, you’re going to have a much better detox. You’re going to have much better repair. It also has the highest tryptophan in the world, which is a precursor to melatonin. It doesn’t make you sleepy, but it helps you get into that deep sleep state much better.
Chlorella also stimulates peristalsis, also known as bowel movements, which is an important part of health. So, you’ll eliminate the toxins that you didn’t need much easier and faster. This whole constipation issue is a big issue. Nobody wants to talk about it, but maybe it will be the next thing to come out in the open, whether you’re keto or carnivore or just aging or not eating properly or you’re traveling or you’re on medications. That’s about 99% of us. Almost everybody has long-term or short-term periods of being constipated and taking drugs are not the answer. Chlorella is. It will move everything along. Pardon the pun. And do it naturally.
In terms of how much to take similar to spirulina, where we suggest if you can get up to 5 or 10 tablets a day, same with chlorella, which we call Recovery Bits. It’s in a green package, cause it’s a green algae. If you take 5 or 10 a day, that will replace your need for vegetables. Spirulina replaces your need for vitamins. Chlorella replaces your need for vegetables or probably a doctor.
Algae Superfood Doesn’t Contain Lectins or Oxalates
But if you want the detox benefits, you do need to take 20 or 30, because without the higher quantity there’s not enough juice, so to speak, for the chlorella to pull the toxins, chelate them all the way out of your body.
Now, here’s the nice thing though, chlorella actually tastes pretty good. Spirulina, I’ll be honest, not so much. Most people swallow that because it’s very chewy and very earthy. You can chew them because of course it’s food. But most people either swallow them or add them to a smoothie. But chlorella, I will tell you is my favorite food in the entire universe.
I eat it all day long. I have it for breakfast, for lunch, for snacks, before bed. I eat mine with macadamia nuts. Oh my God! Delicious! You think you’re eating potato chips. A step down from that is, I now am having pistachios and there’s a flavor I use, it’s salt and vinegar. It’s in a blue bag. You can buy it at whole foods or Amazon. Delicious! Also tastes pretty good with almonds. Although I steer people away from almonds these days, because it’s very loaded with lectins and oxalates, which can be damaging to your stomach lining. Pistachios have much fewer lectins and oxalates. And I don’t think macadamias have any of them.
By the way, speaking of which, neither spirulina nor chlorella have any lectins or oxalates. That’s why I was on Dr. Steven Gundry’s podcast last summer. He endorses algae and has for years, for the same reason – very high nutrition, no plant problems. So, you can see that spirulina gets you moving in the day, and you get your focus, gives you energy, satisfies your hunger, keeps you in your keto or intermittent fasting state.
Why Would Anyone Live Without this Algae Superfood?
Then chlorella builds your immune system, pulls out toxins, helps you recover from your day, from your fitness, from your drinking, helps with bowel movements. And I’ll be honest, I have about 150 a day of chlorella tablets. I love them. Now I will tell you, and maybe this is in the “too much information category”, my poop is a little green because there’s so much chlorophyll. But I am so cleansed out and high performing mentally, physically I don’t know what I would do without them.
I don’t know how people live without this stuff, honestly. I just don’t know. I don’t know what I would eat because our food supply is so damaged. I’m so proud that I do what I do, because I am offering people the last chance, the last easy opportunity to support and protect your health and your longevity and that of your children and your pets, who of course, are part of your family as well. And do it effortlessly.
It’s the effortless part that is key because everybody knows they should work out, but not everybody does. Everybody knows they should eat more vegetables, but nobody does. I can’t give you an answer yet for the fitness piece, but I can certainly give you an answer on how to be effortless in your quest for better health and longevity and energy and digestion and elimination and mental focus and just about everything else you need and support the earth at the same time.
Algae Superfood with Insanely High Nutrient Density
[00:44:52] Evan: We might have to do two podcasts eventually, because this is… Well, I mean, hey, if someone’s going to come on and study their butt off and they can rattle stuff off like you, then yeah, they get priority for coming on again. It’s just how it is in my opinion. But the thing I have to add for this is I really found it fascinating that you’re talking about the plants is because people don’t realize this in today’s world.
What’s happened with the plants, and Courtney Hunt, Episode 90, just talked about this. I think it’s a shocker for people. The nutrient value is going down, but the problem with plants is almost all of them are filters. They absorb the stuff that we have in our environment. So, we have lower nutrient value than ever before. Our environment’s more toxic than ever before.
The green light that’s going off for me right now that’s just like, ding, ding, ding, is like, wait a second, high level of nutrient density, insanely high level of nutrient density, but also something that is small that only has the ability to get so much of this crap in it. If anything, it sounds like it’s very good to be cleaning that stuff out of your body with this. I think the heavy metal or just toxins in general, “environmental toxins” I’ll label them as, that’s an aspect that many people are ignoring. This sounds like a pretty darn good solution to that or antidote at least right now.
What Happens to the Old Stuff Your Body is Regenerating?
[00:45:55] Catharine: If that wasn’t bad enough with all the toxins, and I just came back from a big green spa conference. And I’m speaking at the global wellness summit here in Boston in about three weeks. But the reality is the toxins on the outside in our world are terrible. Something like 80,000 chemicals have been released, or 280,000, I don’t know the number, it’s so ridiculous, since World War II. And our immune systems simply were not built to sustain that kind of toxic load.
Even when they test any of them, they test them in isolation. They don’t test them as layered. You might get a little bit of fumes from a car. You might get a little bit of fumes from your carpet, and you might get a little fumes from the pesticides. Each one of those may, if they’re even tested, are tested in isolation, not tested as a cumulative load on our bodies.
Our bodies are failing. It’s like being in a plane and the red light is flashing, fail, fail, fail. If that wasn’t bad enough, consider this, you know that your body is constantly regenerating itself. Your skin regenerates every 25 days. I think your bones are every seven years. Your stomach lining, I think, is every four days. So, think about it, what happens to the old stuff if you’re constantly growing again?
I’ll tell you what happens to the old stuff, it stays there, and dead cells are toxic. If you don’t clean out those dead cells, it’s like not taking your garbage out for weeks. They attract bacteria, cause your lymphatic system to become clogged, attract more fungus, which causes acidity, which causes less oxygen, which attracts more disease. You can see where I’m going.
Cleanly Sourced with No Binders
I tell people, look it’s not just the outside world that you have to be aware of and worried about and protect yourself and get rid of those toxins. You got to clean the inside environment too. I remind everybody, hey, look, we take a shower on the outside of our body every day. Taking chlorella algae is like giving your body a shower from the inside. That’s as simple as it needs to be, and you want it to be clean.
When your room is clean, you can see stuff, you function better. Your body’s the same way. You just need to give it a little help. Algae is pretty much the easiest way to do it; certainly ours. We grow ours by the way, in triple filtered, spring mountain water, because algae will absorb whatever’s in the water. So, no toxins from our water. We don’t use high heat to dry it, so the enzymes are all intact. It’s not just a raw food; spirulina is still a live food.
We don’t add any binders. We just press the powder into little, tiny tablets, or think of like a muffin tin, just press them in and they’re done. Then we package them here at an FDA approved facility and we do third-party lab tests to prove there are no toxins, to prove that the nutrients are exactly what we say they are because we sell our products through doctor’s offices, and they literally subscribe our algae to their patients.
Just Add Algae Superfood
We also sell them now through spas and some select specialty stores. You can go on our website, energybits.com, to find out where you can buy them. We sell them obviously on our own website, energy bits.com. But I only point this out because algae is, certainly ours, the easiest, safest way to get your nutrient value met and do it in a way that’s effortless.
It’s the effortless piece that I keep coming back to because I know in North America, if it’s too complex or we have to read too much, or we have to change too much, we’re not going to do it. I know that. You don’t have to change anything. Just add the algae. That’s all I’m asking you to do. Just start taking that. You don’t have to change anything, but I promise you, you will start feeling better. You’ll want to change a little bit more.
[00:49:28] Evan: All right, Catharine, we got a bounce. I got two more quick things for you. One is just the obvious. I’ll put this in the show notes of course everyone, where can people find you, because I think everyone is sold. I know I am.
Where to Find Catharine
[00:49:38] Catharine: Yes. Our website is energybits.com E N E R G Y B for boy I T for Thomas, S for Sam .com. As I mentioned again, there’s two algae, spirulina and chlorella. We have two brands of spirulina. One is Energy Bits, and the other one is Beauty Bits, but they are identical, just different packaging.
Chlorella is the green algae that is detoxing and builds your immune system, so helps you recover your health and that’s called Recovery Bits. We encourage you, if possible, to buy them separately because you’d just have more control over it. But if you can’t, we do have a fourth offering, fourth brand, called Vitality Bits, which is a blend of the two algae. It’s blended in a tablet.
Now, we do sell them in large bags of a thousand tablets. The retail price is $120, but we have a 20% discount code, which is FDNthrive. Just like your podcasts FDNthrive for 20% off. So, it brings the bag down to $96. Now, what I want your listeners to understand is I don’t want you to have sticker shock. Think of this. I use that quote from NASA that says, one gram of algae has the same nutrition as a thousand grams of vegetables.
I did the math and figured out one bag of our algae tablets with a thousand tablets, has the same nutrition as 551 pounds of vegetables. Now 551 pounds of vegetables at $3 a pound if you’re buying organic is $1,500 or $1,600. So puts the $96 into context. You’re getting $1,500 worth of nutrition.
Timesaving & Money-saving Way for Easy, Clean Energy
That’s 551 pounds of vegetables. You didn’t have to carry home from the grocery store. You didn’t have to cook, clean, or eat. Again, it saves you time and it saves you money. But if you’re not ready for a big bag and I completely get it because you’re probably just learning about algae now. We do offer a sample pack on our website, one of each four brands. And we also sell on Amazon, and you can buy a single serving for $5 each and just try it out. There’s 30 tablets in each little pouch, a single pouch. If you took 10 a day would last you three days. It’s a great way to test it. Then come back to energybits.com with the 20% discount code, FDNthrive.
I’m pretty sure you’ll notice the energy within 10 minutes. It’s not that you have to build up anything. Keep in mind that the energy that you’re going to feel, it’s not like lightning bolts from the sky. The best way I describe it is you’ll just feel fresh. You’ll feel alert. That’s it, nothing more. You might not even notice it at first, but what you will notice is that you’re not hungry. You’re not fatigued. If you ran, you ran further and didn’t notice it. If you worked out, you lifted more and didn’t even notice it. You just feel like you had a great night’s sleep and that’s pretty good to me.
I’m very active on social. So come and visit us. We have two handles on Instagram at energybits, and we also have a girly one at beautybits. And we’re active on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and all the other jazz.
Signature Question – Magic Wand
[00:52:34] Evan: First of all, thank you also for the FDNthrive people out there. We appreciate that with the discount. But this question is almost going to seem ridiculous at this point, but it is our signature question on the FDNthrive podcast, and I’m going to make a compilation of these one day. Humor me here. If I could give you a magic wand and I could get you to get every single person to do one thing for their health, what’s the one thing you’d get them to do?
[00:52:56] Catharine: You got me. To take algae tablets every single day. Absolutely. When we’re bigger, we want to donate this to children’s schools for lunches, for assisted living homes, disaster areas. This stuff is the answer; it’s going to save the world. If you haven’t seen the Netflix movie, Seaspiracy, S E A S P I R A C Y. Please watch it. Even they talk about how the commercial fishing industry is destroying the oceans. Even they twice in the movie say the answer to saving the oceans is to eat algae. So, I am not alone on this. I’m just a few years ahead of the rest of you. I was where you were 11 years ago. Not knowing anything about algae. I’m going to try to make it easier for you to get on board because the world is discovering algae.
The United Nations discovered it in 1974. The Japanese discovered in 1950. Why should the Asians be the only ones benefiting from longevity and great health, great skin, low cancer rates? I want you to have those same benefits too. Absolutely, my answer to that question – take algae, spirulina and chlorella, every day and you will never look back.
Plant-based Diets are Inherently Glucose Filled
[00:54:03] Evan: I thought this episode was really interesting. I know that we’ve had a wide variety of guests on and very often the whole alkaline diet thing, well, I should say specifically the work of Dr. Otto Warburg. This is interpreted many ways. Because we know now at least, with what he was saying, we also understand that cancer cells in general, not always, but in general, the rule is that they thrive off glycolysis. And obviously any plant-based diet is going to be inherently glucose filled because they’re plants, they’re carbohydrates.
Now, of course, that’s a little better probably than eating a Hershey’s bar every day. But at the end of the day, glucose is glucose. If you eat excess of amounts of any amount of glucose, yeah. I mean, you’re going to have issues with this type of stuff.
But I liked Catharine’s take on this. As you guys know, we always enjoy bringing on a wide variety of professionals who challenge different beliefs. I mean, obviously it’s working pretty well for her. She seems pretty energized. Obviously, it’s working well for her sister who no longer has breast cancer and hasn’t for, I think she said over a decade. That’s kind of cool. I mean, that’s no small feat.
Hey, if you guys like this information that we are sharing here, please be so kind as to leave us a five-star review on apple podcasts, we would love you even more than we already do.
And thank you again to Catharine Arnston for coming on and throwing it down. Don’t forget to check out their Energy Bit stuff, guys. I think that is a really, really powerful tool. Obviously, we don’t advertise anything on this podcast at this time. But sometimes people come on with supplements or things, and we appreciate the discount code for our community.
That is not an affiliate link. So, if you guys want to check it out, please do. Let me know what you think about it. Drop a comment on the podcast. We would love to share your experiences with it on here. Until next time my friends take care and we’re looking forward to bringing you guys another interview.
[00:56:21] Thanks for tuning into the Health Detective Podcast. If you are ready to finally work with a real health detective on your health journey so that you can get well and stay well naturally, visit us at fdnthrive.com and click on the button to Schedule a Free Health Review.