Enjoy food, enjoy travel and enjoy life. You're listening to travel gluten free by Elikqitie.
All right, my friends, my guest today was raised on her family's 350 acre dairy farm in western Michigan, so rural Michigan and she had a big home and garden with loads of veggies and fruits. She did planting and harvesting and cooking and preparing seasonal foods and that has always been a part of her life and continues to be an integral part to her personal, steadiness and happiness. She was introduced to our your Beta and it's teaching of the six Ross's which are case where the 20 years ago when she studied classical yoga therapy as an elective and then she found that yoga was a perfect companion for studying and then her major anatomy and physiology. She then moved to Boulder and enrolled at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and [inaudible] at the University of Colorado in Boulder where she earned a degree in integrated physiology with a focus on neurophysiology and at this time she met her teacher who condensed steels and was certified with honors by him in his structural yoga therapy program.
She had a private practice for four years in downtown Boulder where she offered structural and now you're retic therapy in the setting of a one-to-one therapy. Then she started giant mixed in her home kitchen with the intention to create three recipes to start with. That would include the six tastes of our your Betta, which are salty, sour, bitter, astringent, pungent and sweet and be beneficial for a wide variety of ayurvedic constitutions. Of course because it's a snack, it had to be compellingly tasty. And my guest today wanted to create unique recipes that would hold up to the well love race-based snacks that can be found throughout India and Nepal and the east. In her quest, she made batch after batch and tested them on the focus group, which was in her budget, which was her family and friends, which are a lot of startup and entrepreneur is usually do.
And in April of 2018 she took samples of three favors to the Boulder Alfalfa's and Lucky's market. Both markets loved from mixes and invited her to their shelf space. In October of the same year, GI mix hit the local shells in their local partnering markets and they'd been growing and adding markets ever since. And I met her in Denver. Her product is amazing and delicious and it's very unlike other snack mixes, which is what I love about it. So without further ado, I'd love to introduce my guest today. My featured guest is Nichole Nurenberg from Jai mix. Nichole, welcome to the travel gluten free podcast.
Hi there. Thanks so much for having me. I'm really glad to be here with you.
I went to Boulder, Boulder, I was in Boulder, I was in Denver, we went to the show and I met you. You had such a great personality and you're very warm and I could tell your just a very like warm and loving person. So I felt like you would be a great guest for travel gluten free podcasts.
Oh, that means a lot to me. Thanks for that. Yeah, I really had a great time meeting. I'm having people sample the product and getting to talk to them. And really having that moment of wow is it's really, um, it's a delight to see people try the snacks and, and be surprised at how wonderful they taste.
Yeah. And I actually was one of those people, oh, another snack mix gives you a lot of snack mixes. And I tried it and I was like, this stuff is great. And, and I couldn't eat it in the car. Well I could eat it in the car, but it would've made a mess on the way home. Cause I drive. I drove to Denver from Park City. I, the one day I pulled it out of my pantry when I got back home and I was like, oh, I just want to have two handfuls, like half the bag later.
I should probably not eat the whole, well, I don't know. That's good for business. It's good for business to have it have it be that tasty.
Right. No, it's really good. And what I love about your snacks, and we're going to get into your background or just a second, but I just wanted to start off to say, but what I love about your snacks is that you can definitely identify it as a snack mix, but during nice cause they're different. A lot of snack mixes have like trail mix like nuts and fruits or whatever in them. And that's okay and that's fine. But I like yours because it has that really great like east Indian flavor to it and that makes it a little bit different and, and it makes it different enough where it's like, oh this feels new. And so I liked that. It feels new, but it's still tastes really great.
Yeah, absolutely. Are these, this family of snacks is rice based snacks are so common throughout India and Nepal into nor there in Thailand and northern Vietnam. Like my friends who grew up there, their mothers have these ingredients in their pantries as well. Um, so I am definitely looking the introduction and um, and these aren't common snacks for a lot of people who I'm sampling at the grocery stores for.
And so I wanted to get a little bit of background, Nichole, about your studies because you've actually Jai. Nick's actually comes from the base of you studying Aryuveda. The nice thing is that right at your vendor, right where I am a Midwestern American English speaker. So Ayurvedic is probably the closest I can get.
Sounds great. Well, we'll lead you in another direction, but yeah, commonly used as Aryuveda.
Interesting. And so tell me a little bit about, because I didn't know that rice snacks were really popular in like India and such. And so tell us a little bit about your, what you know about that, that uh, the rice acts in India.
Great. So I'm snacking is a big deal. Um, there's Holmes homemade snacks. There are snacks on the train platforms. There's snacks with actually Chai with afternoon beer and morning coffee. And, um, you can sometimes have a puffed rice and depending on which part of the country you're from, you're gonna have a different name for it. The, the rice that I use is a fermented rice flakes. So it's a really tremendous product. It retains about 80% of it's whole grain nutrition. Um, it becomes, it starts as a whole grain, whole grain rice with the Huston. It's for soaked and then it seemed, and that seeming drives to be one vitamin in the fiber into the kernel of the rice. And then it's fermented over a few days, similar to what a coffee or a Huckabee would be fermented. And then it's on point. It allows, it's allowed to dry and then it's flattened in the flattening is what removes the outer Husk, but it's not a polished rice. And that's what I use. So in western India, um, and I believe in a bit of northern central India as well. It's called [inaudible]. P O h a customers, fans, friends in the, in the east and the south have different names for it as well. So you'll, you can learn all the different names. But in western Indian wine, how I was taught with, Oh huh.
And so did you actually live in western India for a time?
I didn't. I've traveled significantly in India on, had the good fortune to travel and study and cook and taste and be invited to share family's meals with them on trains. It's really lovely that has the hospitality and that spirit of kind of the blessing of the host and the blessing of the guests is a really beautiful part of Indian culture that I always admire. And I miss when I come home where you just, my husband and my son and I would be in that chuck took driving down the street and we'd be at a stoplight and someone that would invite us, you know, come to my house and have dinner. And so we couldn't always take up everyone's offers. But we did share some family meals, which is really lovely.
Oh, that's really nice. So because this is a travel show, I have to ask you what parts of India are your favorite or your most memorable cities that you would recommend to travelers?
Sure. So in northern India and Modac lay is a really beautiful, it's Ludacris in incredible part of the country and has some of the highest motorable passes in the world. And um, my husband and I, we rented a motorcycle and we spent, we spent almost a month in that part of the state. We've, we've had some, we've had three trips around the world as a family. We used to spend a lot of time to India and I, when my teacher was alive, we have connect with him outside of Mumbai in Maharashtra. Uh, his own teacher wasn't going to query, so we would spend time in rural India as we've repeated a couple trips to [inaudible] because the Golden Temple is so beautiful. Yeah. And I've gone to Chennai to study. We've been to Calcutta. Yeah. A lot of time in Delhi, Varanasi, Rishi cash, hitting some of the favorites, and then kind of trying to hit a new place each time.
Tell me a little bit about Calcutta because what I remember from Calcutta when I was like four is seeing Mother Teresa on TV taking care of a bunch of very impoverished, starving children.
That that is the kind of the primary, I think that's the primary kind of concept or idea that we have about Calcutta. It's an incredible city. There's a significant wealth and industry and style and fashion. I mean we had argued our traveler backpacks meet. We travel with cherry on a size luggage, so really small and we were outclassed everywhere we went. You know, we just had like a comfortable travel clothes and her tacos and really elegant city I guess. And yes there's parts and there's people of great need, but that's not all for sure. I, and I agree that was my idea growing up as well as mother Theresa and people of need that I would say Kolkata is a swanky city.
Wow. So I guess that it'd be like Las Vegas where you see a lot of people with a lot of money. The people that are very impoverished as well. It's just every other city.
It is like every other city. Yep. Indeed. Indeed. And then yeah, it's, I think that's, I think that's some of the challenge we've had in in the west is maybe trying to oversimplify of of vastly populated vastly integrated city. Like how, yeah, like Calcutta or Mumbai.
Interesting. I had never read any of that about India. Wow. Yeah. Cause it's amazing what we just get filtered out through the media that, that we don't see that whole other side like you just talked about. I would have never have thought that Calcutta would have been a place of, well it does.
So yeah, it is extremely incredible industry and technology and yeah, absolutely.
You have traveled around India and you also have, you had a teacher that taught you about Ayurveda. So can you tell us a little bit about your teacher and how you got into your Veda in the first place?
So my, my first Aryuveda teacher was Alexandra summit, who Dr Alexandra Summit, who I, who was my teacher in Michigan and her lens was around classical yoga therapy yoga because they are key as classical yoga as therapy. So how to work with the person that way. When I moved to Colorado to Boulder, I co-enrolled at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga in Aryuveda and also at the University of Colorado at Boulder and my studies at the racket Rubiez what do you call that institute? I studies at Rumiyah where with Dr Sarasvati Berman with Hudson Knox, with Patricia Hansen, Dr Sita. So I studied argue Doula training a bits it, a bit of training with that, um, with classical yoga therapy and also with like my style using Aryuveda on how to, on a windy day in Colorado you would oil your feet and oil yourself in oil, your sacred, just some very, very simple but very beneficial practices.
And that's just been kind of one of the practical things like starting your day with one t. There's a whole herbal like pharmacy side of it. I never had a lot of personal traction with herbs either. There was other people in my class and my teachers who really had a strong affinity and a really strong relationship with herbs. So I never prescribed in my own practice some needed herbal prescription. I would would refer them out, but I could work with them with pasture, with lifestyle was asking how did you first get into like the initially attracted you to it? What initially attracted me to it, I um, as a component to the classical yoga therapy that I was already doing. It was really such a soothing practice for me and I'm very practical as well. And it was in the early 2000 I think was when I first took my first yoga class and it was like I had moved away from home and I was in college and googling, pulling to explore things that were attractive, you know, and we'll get the titles out.
And I took my first yoga class with Dr Sonnet and I love the people who showed up at class as well. It really got me going. And then being like being in the program at cu, it was just such a tremendous compliment to each other. And one of my classes was asleep asleep lab class doctor, Professor Wright, who is a faculty member at Cu Boulder. He runs a sleep lab and I took his class and we talked about inflammatory markers and what that was looking like in the body and homocysteine. And at the same time we were studying at Ramya, we were studying pitta provocations and what that looked like in the body. And I saw that there was these, they were both speaking, these seemingly different systems were and also different truly different systems. We're speaking to the same issues of inflammation except um, exaggerated heat or heat, not being in the belly where you'd want it, where it can do its work as digestion, but he being in the head instead or our displaced, and I just thought it was so fascinating. It was a really, it was a tremendous way to get to, to really understand Stan understand inflammation. Yeah. It's just one example, but that what's happening over and over. Yeah.
That's interesting because one of the things I know from Chinese medicine is they talk about you being too hot or too cold. Yes. Yeah. So that's kind of similar. Yeah, they share a lot in common.
So Nichole, we talked about earlier, you're the six tastes of Ayurveda. Well, let's first talk about what are the six days, if you can explain just a little bit about each one. So the six case or the six Ross's in our, your Veda are subtlety, astringent, pungent, bitter, sour and sweet.
So in Aryuveda, we, we look to combine or we look to see each of these tastes within a suit to make it delicious into Nike to make it a mutable. So when you enjoy your meal, there's those times in your life when you enjoy the meal andjust you hadn't eaten, you hasn't under eaten, you see a really, really satisfied. That's usually because the chef either knowingly or unknowingly has properly balanced. All of those six, everyone's always experiencing this that either the lack of or the meeting of, but usually they, unless you've studied, are you good and you don't know why, you don't know why is particularly delicious or compellingly tasty as we call it.
So compellingly tasty. Is that an ayurvedic term?
That's in my term, yes.
Well, I guess with people who would be very enthusiastic and they're like, this tastes like crap. Then I would try to steer them away from that language. This is really addictive and I'd be like, oh, well that's not such a great quality was, and are your Beta so compelling? Like tastes you like, you really enjoy it.
That's nice. That's nice. I love that. I'm going to start using that. It'd be like, yeah. From Nichole. That's awesome. So how did you decide when you use your six cases to make your DJI mix, how did you decide what herbs or what spices to use to make your six tastes happen in your mix? Okay.
Exactly. So these, I didn't have to reinvent the wheel here. So these, this rice based snacks, these snacks like this with the fermented Bryce flake or the [inaudible], they're very common theory while love snacks that you'd find throughout India and their after school snacks where you're, your mom would, you know, make a cup of Chai in their chart. You know, kids would be doing homework and they would make these afternoon kind of tea times, snacks and theory commonly, um, you'd start with an oil, a vegetable oil. I use organic refined coconut oil so that I get a lot of benefits on the coconut and it also is Vegan. I don't use the, I use the in my home recipes but not, not in my production recipes. Mustard brand mustard seed is a common ingredients. I use that as well. The mustard seed has a pungent taste so it meets the punch in meat there.
It also reduces what we call Casa and Vata in the system that the system of Casa Cuppa actually is pronounced more properly facta and Pitta. Those are probably terms that your listeners will have heard at least once. It's becoming more common where people are taking dosha tests and things like that. Online. I use coconut as a sweet taste. I use ginger as a pungent tastes. Human seed is a common, uh, common spice that you'd find in these rice based snacks. And that's a bitter taste. It's also a try Doshi try doshic spice sesame which I use is also a bitter. The rice poe has a sweet taste. I also use, um, I also use fresh curry leaf, which is really powerful, beneficial green leaf and it adds such a bright flavor to the bright and necessary flavor to my spices and my spice blend. Oh that sounds amazing.
Okay, so you are using all these commonly used, how long, how old is Ayurveda?
I should know that. I'm trying to like I'm realizing my teachers are going to be like, Nichole you answered this on your exams. It's significantly old and whether it was, you know, kind of canonized and all written down and put together is one thing. But it's always been like just practical. You know you chew fennel after a meal to help with digestion. These are really practical things that people within India, their mothers just talk them. And so whether they consider it are your Beta or just like mom's wisdom or just kind of traditional wisdom is just for an example of just how prevalent and how. Just like every day these practices are like, there was a really early morning where we had to catch a chuck took in our driver, this lovely young man, he wanted us to wrap the scarves around our neck to keep our throats warm because of the cold air and so there's the kind of thing he wanted us to sit chai so that we had a warmth in our chest before we got out on the road because the took trucks are exposed and not completely closed on all sides.
You know, his mother or his wife for some, you know, someone taught him, you know, to keep your throat warm and keeping your core warm as a way to protect against the cold. It's just these kind of practical wisdoms that are built right into everyday life. All common sense things you do every day as preventative and proactive measures so that you don't get sick. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Just as a way to protect your Pronto, your, oh, just you, you know, your sense, your what, what makes you, what enlightens you.
Absolutely. Yeah and you protect that when you have an you, you called your leaky buckets. That's what my teachers used to say.
I love that. Plugging leaky buckets. That's great. Nichole, you have in your though getting back to your snack vaguely. You have three different flavors and I tried all three. Can you tell my friend who's listening your three flavors of your sack mix that you have?
All right, so we have three flavors. Our regional has six grams of protein and three grams of prebiotic fiber per serving and that was my one and only nix for quite some time. And then I expanded it to include two versions of toasty, coconut and ginger. I have a spicy version and the mild version of that. Traditionally a lot of people are not as um, recipes would have cell Tanos or green raisins or brown raisins. I grew up with raising and brand and are maybe knock off generic knock off reason. I've real bad attitude about raisins these days. So I use crystallized ginger, which adds a really delicious, delicious flavor and a sweetness and a texture change as well.
And the spicy one was the one I got at the show. I loved that one. That was definitely my favorite. What are the things I love about your giant mix? Is that because this is travel gluten free podcasts, I like to feature products on here that are easy to travel with. So these are great because you can throw them in your luggage and you can put them in your backpack or your, your carry on on the airplane and have them as a sack on the airplane. Or if you're going somewhere and you're going hiking or whatever you're doing, you have that and they're all gluten free. So Nichole, was your original intention to make all these snacks gluten free?
Well, they just naturally are. I think the rice itself, it's an, It's a naturally gluten free product. And so that was just the benefit that it was going to be.
So you didn't, you didn't intend to set it out to make a gluten free, but your, all your products are gluten free.
They are the R and d. Yeah. Without any changes to it. I didn't, you know, they just naturally are.
Yeah, and that makes sense because I'm in other places, I know one of the ethnicity foods I eat out a lot because it's easy as Indian food. Indian food dent generally does not. Yeah.
Use a lot of weight. No, we absolutely doesn't. Yeah. It'll use chickpea flour or our rices like this and they use doll as a flower that, you know, various Dulles wheat is not highly cultivated and that that actually might be, might not be true any longer. But traditionally wheat wasn't a heavily cultivated grain there.
That's awesome. Maybe you should just moved to India, ate the food there naturally is that way you don't, there's not any, there's not any tricks to it or you know, something added or avoided. It's just how it is. It's just what they do with their food.
Yeah. I, when I was at the Denver show and I met you and your booth was like crowded, packed and people were just like looking to get a taste and buying your, I wouldn't know what. Do you have a favorite flavor of your three flavors that you offer?
I do. I do have a favorite flavor. I hesitate. I have hesitated during sampling because I do my own distribution still in deliveries and so when I would tell people that my favorite wise it was doing my sales and making my deliveries really off the spicy, toasted coconut and ginger is my favorite for sure. One of the things I think is so charming, it's charming but it's also practical Aryuveda. They have like partnered herbs or partnered spices or what they call sister herbs, sister spices and cream that I use the fresh Curley's Chile is the Tiber Chili, so I use that. The two of them together really bring out beautiful qualities of each other. And so I the, it sounds a little woo sometimes things are, we were, but this is actually, this is actually a legitimate, they taste better together I think. But I do have that mild version for people who can take a little warm from the ginger tolerate Chili.
Cause there were some people that I remember coming up to your table and they're like, I don't like spicy things. So and, and they're, they all taste really great. It's just I'm a big fan of spicy food, something with a lot of time, especially in the winter. So that was like perfect cause it was still, it was still cold enough. Well where I live anyway for it to be, for it to be spicy, to be good. So where do people, if skewed, want to get ahold of GI mix, where can people get Ahold of it?
Okay. So right now we're just local. We're local to my area and Colorado Central Boulder, Denver area. So you can find us at all of the Colorado Lucky's. But these markets there in Fort Collins, there's two in Boulder, there's one in Longmont and one in wheat Ridge and southwest markets, which is in Boulder. And then Lewisville, the Littleton market with just this charming boutique market in old time Middleton, Elisa Coffee House, which is your in Boulder healing gardens, which is in Fort Collins, little tree midwifery center in Wheat Ridge. The grade that collective as well, which is our two track beer park in Boulder because it's beneficial as our snacks are, they're amazing with a glass as really good beer. So I, you know, I sometimes I overcomplicate things in life just needs to be simple.
Absolutely. And then sooner online stories going up. Something that I was hoping to have launched before the nourish festival even, but family owned family operated business. There's a lot of balls in the air, but it's in the works and then you'll be able to buy it online off our website as well.
Awesome. And about what's your ETA for that? I know and websites are hard cause I know I built several of them, but yeah,
By the end of July. Absolutely. And then it's just, you know, Debbie did ww dot [inaudible] dot com.
Okay, perfect. So by the time you're listening to this, definitely go to check that out and see if Nichole has that up on my for you to buy online because I would definitely recommend buying this for your next sharp. It's an amazing food. So Nichole, I have a few wrap up questions. So normally I'm, I would ask people guilty gluten questions, but since you are not gluten intolerance or Celiac, I'll get to skip this for you. And I'm going to ask you the three wrap up questions. So we talked about the first one is your future plans if we talked about your website and are there any other future plans that you have going on or you're just focusing on your website right now?
Oh, we're, we've got, we're focusing on so many things, but one of the things I'm really excited about besides the website is our single serving package. So it's going to be, um, our single serving is a 1.75 ounce package. We're going to be doing it in kind of a vertical sleeve tight packaging so you can just shake the mix into your mouth. That's our next up. And then there's kind of rumblings of trying to work on a bar as a kind of, you know, an easier packable snack. But I'm not sure. I'm not sure if that's going to be this fall or if that's gonna be an early spring next year. But those are two, those are two of the things that we're working on product wise.
Oh, that's awesome. Single serving snack. I mean actually I can almost use your whole big bag as a single serving. I do hear people say that right, that compellingly tasty day you go, yeah, but I'm no, these single, they're great because they're great for like lunch boxes for kids snacks. Like if you're CELIAC, there's actually no gluten in your place that you make your batches correct.
Well, so I work, right now I'm in a shared commercial space, a commercial kitchen. So on the days that I'm there, no one is using any flower. But on other days there will be flower or there can be flour use or, I'm sorry I keep using the word flower, but it could be glutenous ingredients, but I don't use, I don't share any scoops, any containers, any pots, any machinery with any other company. It's just mine. And I run my own labs. I voluntarily run my own labs and make sure that I'm always testing on negatives to the 20 parts per million, which is industry standard. Yeah. Because I know people can be, I really take that seriously. I might in my commitment is to be as beneficial as possible and um, I know people can be truly harmed by, by being dosed unknowingly. So we are really careful about that. Our commitment is really careful. That's awesome.
Thank you for doing that now. And I'll say, I'll say thank you for my listening out there too, because I'm sure if they're saying the same thing, my next question is what is your ask of the audience? Where would you like them to engage you?
So you can find us at at Eat Jai Mix on Instagram and Facebook. And then our website, which is JaiMix dot com and you can find his book there. I, I'd love for people to stop by and you're welcome to ask questions or it's been really lovely to see how people are using the snack at these snap, this, um, this mix is, is intended as a snack, but people are using it for toppings of all on top of ice cream on top of doll and soup and vegetables. And even at home, I use it as a, a crest for baked salmon. So it's been really fun to have, have fans engage us in that way and you know, and make it their own.
Oh, that's so funny because the other day when I got down to the bottom of my baggage, I mixed and it had like all this seasoning. I'm like, okay, I don't want to waste this. So I actually, I put it in my seafood salad and it was amazing.
It's so good. And my house, because we have so much of it, we are putting it on everything.
It's like, this is ridiculous. I never thought of putting it on ice cream. It would be really good on like coconut, Vegan.
Oh my gosh. It's amazing. It's so good. It's like it's kind of like a reverse comb. You get that crunchy rice. That's my new summertime treat for sure.
Sounds good. And so your website is spelled J A I M I X.
That's correct, yes. Right and Jai I needs dictionary and but during the goodness and Hindi, it's based on a Sanskrit word or Jaya. Then that's why we use it. And also Nichole, which is the name my mother gave me is we instituted to people in Greek. So it was a combination of so many things.
That's amazing. Well, Nichole, I have so enjoyed talking to you today. This has been so much fun learning about your product and learning about India and your experience and how you tied it all together to make this awesome mix.
Yeah, thank you so much. It was really tremendous to get an invert invitation from your eye. I appreciate being able to be here and speak with you.
And that wraps up another tasty episode of the Travel Gluten Free podcast.
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