Episode 42 Resources

Links and addtional info about everything discussed in this episode

Q&A with Tyler Gage

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Below is the Q&A from Episode 42 – RUNA – follow along with the YouTube version of the Episode and learn more about this amazing drink that brings us clean energy! No doubt, you will love it!

Q&A

How do you think Runa can best be used to help fuel an active lifestyle?

What types of activities do you think are best fueled by Runa?

How do you keep up your active lifestyle while running a successful business?

What kind of advice can you give to young people who have an idea for their own business?

What are the additional benefits of drinking Runa?

How did you come up with the flavor options?

When did the energy drink come into play?

How is the tea processed?

What was the first place you distributed to?

What was the initial response?

What has the response been from the communities who have benefited most from the development of Runa?

Tell us a little about the social and environmental impact of Runa.

Tell us more about the Runa foundation.

Tell us about the Runa Tribe.

Where can people find Runa?

Any new exciting upcoming retail partnerships?

Finally, tell us what’s next for you and for Runa!

CONTACT

Learn More about Runa & Show your Support!13 - Contact Image

#drinkRUNA – check out runa.org, as well as like Runa on Facebook and follow them on Twitter & Instagram.

More on Guayusa

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7 - Runa Image

GUAYUSA (GWHY-YOU-SA)

Guayusa (gwhy-you-sa) is an Amazonian super-leaf naturally packed with caffeine and polyphenol antioxidants, so it provides a clean, focused energy. There are no tannins in guayusa, so it lacks the astringent, bitter taste sometimes associated with green and black teas. Instead, it tastes smooth and naturally sweet.

ENERGY

Guayusa gives you a unique kind of energy, different from what you get from coffee or traditional energy drinks. We think of it as “clean energy” – it’s how we describe what Amazonian hunters call the “mental strength and courage” they get from drinking guayusa.

The compounds in guayusa give you sustained and focused energy. There are no harsh chemicals. No feeling burned out later. Just organic, healthy energy from a leaf. Drink guayusa to get the energy you want now without sacrificing how you feel later. Not all energy is created equal – keep yours clean.

HEALTH

Guayusa contains twice the antioxidants of green tea. These compounds neutralize free radicals and may help prevent premature aging. It also contains chlorogenic acids, which have been reported to contribute to cardiovascular health, help reduce high blood pressure, and regulate body weight. In addition, guayusa contains 15 essential amino acids and has ferulic acid, which can help improve blood circulation.

GROWING

Guayusa is grown in biodiverse agroforestry plots, or chakras. To the untrained eye, these ‘forest gardens’ look like pristine natural rainforest, though, to the farmers who cultivate them, they are highly managed agricultural plots combining a diverse mix of plants. Guayusa is a shade-grown plant – meaning it needs the shade of other trees to fully develop – and flourishes in this setting.

After a long history of cultivation, guayusa no longer naturally reproduces. New trees are planted from cuttings. This process involves taking part of a branch from an existing tree and placing it in rich soil. New cuttings reach productivity approximately 3 years after planting, when they grow to a height of about 8 feet.

Runa regularly purchases fresh leaves from Kichwa farmers. We then dry and mill the leaves in our processing facility in the small town of Archidona, in the Napo Province of Ecuador. The leaves are air-dried (we do not use burning wood in the drying process).

TRADITIONAL USES

Traditionally, indigenous Kichwa families wake up before dawn and gather around a communal fire to drink gourds of guayusa. During this early-morning ritual, community members share dreams, myths, and legends. Several myths recount how the guayusa plant taught human beings how to dream, and throughout the morning shamans interpret dreams from the previous night.

Hunters also drink guayusa before nighttime hunting trips in order to heighten their senses of awareness and focus. Drinking guayusa enables them to get more in touch with the surrounding environment, allowing them to hunt safely in the jungle. For this reason guayusa is known as “The Night Watchman.”

In contrast to many indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon that grow coffee or tea (plants imported from other parts of the world), the Kichwa people grow guayusa, a native plant of immense cultural importance and mythological significance. Growing guayusa and sharing it with an international community is a powerful way for the Kichwa people to observe traditional cultural practices and recognize important values they hold in the modern world.

Who is Tyler Gage and What is Runa?

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3 - Tyler Image

Tyler is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Runa. After his freshman year at Brown University, Tyler decided to follow his passion for Amazonian plants and languages and moved to South America. He witnessed firsthand the struggle indigenous communities face between earning income for their families, largely through deforestation, and their intention to preserve their culture and the rainforest. During this time, Tyler first tried guayusa and recognized that it could be produced to create a new, sustainable income source for these communities. Tyler turned down a Fulbright grant so that he could co-found Runa, for which he was named a Forbes “30 Under 30 Entrepreneur” in January 2013 and the Citizen Leader of the Year Award in January 2014 by the Specialty Food Association. In his free time, Tyler enjoys playing soccer, practicing yoga, traveling, and eating good food. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Runa 

Runa is a Brooklyn-based social enterprise that makes beverages brewed with the guayusa (pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”) “super leaf” and improves the livelihoods of Amazonian farming families through its supply chain. When brewed, guayusa has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, double the antioxidants of leading green tea products, and a smooth, clean taste.

Revered by indigenous communities for centuries, guayusa is also consumed by native hunters before venturing in to the jungle at night. Made from a tree, not from a lab, Runa is “clean energy” that powers you through your day.  Runa supports over 3,000 farming families and is pioneering a new way of doing business in the Amazon. Runa’s products are sold in over 6,000 stores across the country, and are an effective alternative to the legions of artificial beverages and energy drinks on the market. The journey continues at www.runa.org.

Runa’s Story

Runa was founded in 2009, days after we graduated from college. But our story begins several years earlier, when Tyler was living with the Kichwa people in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It was then he was introduced to guayusa – a naturally caffeinated tree leaf brewed like tea, consumed early in the morning to help interpret dreams and late at night to provide energy and clarity while hunting in the jungle. He loved the earthy flavor, smooth taste, and energy boost he got from the leaf.

Living and working in Latin and South America, we both saw how unsustainable activities like logging were enticing ways for people living in the rainforest to pay for education and medicine. We also saw how development projects implemented by NGOs often floundered because they lacked buy-in from local stakeholders.

Upon returning to college we teamed up to write the business plan for Runa. We entered and won several business plan competitions. After graduating from school we moved to Ecuador to begin working with local Kichwa communities to build a guayusa supply chain.

Together with these communities we envisioned a business that could share energizing, rich-tasting guayusa with the world – a business that would respect cultural traditions, support small farmers, and maintain the integrity of the Amazon rainforest. Runa now buys guayusa leaves from over 2,300 farming families. Those leaves are processed in a plant in Ecuador and then shipped to the U.S. where they are shared with a growing number of people.

Runa is proving that businesses in the Amazon can be good for the environment and the preservation of traditional cultural practices while supporting producers and connecting them to consumers around the world.

We couldn’t be more excited.

RUNA offers the following products to fit into your everyday, health and fitness lifestyle!

8 - Product Can

CLEAN ENERGY DRINKS
Berry or Original

An entirely new take on energy drinks. One can of Runa Clean Energy has 120 mg of caffeine, 650 mg of polyphenol antioxidants, and a clean, smooth taste. The kicker? It all comes naturally from a brewed leaf – not a lab.

9 - Product - Bottle

BOTTLES

LEMON-LEMONGRASS GUAYUSA
HIBISCUS-BERRY GUAYUSA
MINT GUAYUSA
TRADITIONAL SWEETENED WITH MAPLE SYRUP
GUAVA ZERO UNSWEETENED GUAYUSA
LIME ZERO UNSWEETENED GUAYUSA

10 - Product - Pyramid Infusers

PYRAMID INFUSERS
Sage Lavender, Hibiscus Berry &Traditional

Brewing Instructions: Pour boiling water over infuser. Steep for 4-7 minutes or longer for a stronger brew

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LOOSE LEAF TINS
Traditional, Mint & Hibiscus Berry

Brewing Instructions: Boil water until it reaches 185 °F / 85 °C then add 2 grams of guayusa (about 1 spoonful) per 8 oz. of water. Let steep for 4-6 minutes.

12 - Product - Runa Tea Box

BOXES

Brewing Instructions: Pour boiling water over infuser. Steep for 4-7 minutes or longer for a stronger brew

Flavors:

CINNAMON-LEMONGRASS GUAYUSA
GINGER-CITRUS GUAYUSA
TRADITIONAL GUAYUSA
MINT GUAYUSA TEA

Recipe: Summer Vegetable Kitcheree

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1 - Recipe - mung bean kitcheree

Tyler shared with us a Summer Vegetable Kitcheree as our recipe this week.  We’ve never had kitcheree before!  Here is some information on kitcheree:

Kitcheree is a highly nourishing, hypoallergenic stew made from mung beans and brown rice. It assists in the detoxification process as it is very easy to digest. The spices and summer vegetables create a luscious stew that can be made in just minutes using a pressure cooker, though you don’t need one to make this.

Tyler Loves TRX

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Michelle’s Team MissFits training is in full effect!  She is into week 2 of a new routine!

We also started running, inspired by Nicole last week, Michelle will be having a few coaching sessions with Kim from inSHAPE!

Our guest this week, Tyler Gage of Runa, enjoys TRX workouts and focusing on core strengthening.  Not sure what TRX is?  Hit this link to find out more!

Core Work Tabata

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tabata

This week’s Tabata is all about the core!  Inspired by Tyler’s current favorite workouts!

20 seconds squat jumps, 10 second break.
20 seconds v-ups, 10 second break.
20 seconds mountain climbers, 10 second break.
20 seconds plank, 10 second break.

Repeat for a total of 4 minutes.

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