Nora’s Naturals Coffee has set out to improve the environment one cup at a time, accelerate professional performance and aid in helping people retain their most precious memories. Regular coffee consumption has been correlated with a 65% decrease in developing Alzheimer’s and dementia due to its healthy caffeine content which is packed with antioxidants.
Coffee has physical and mental health benefits and Nora’s coffee is grown in volcanic soil that is rich in silica (which is essential for collagen production – hello better skin, hair and nails). Coffee increases production of dopamine and norepinephrine (mood boosting hormones) by blocking the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. It decreases migraines and headaches due to its healthy caffeine content and improves memory, reaction time and general cognitive function. Coffee also boosts energy levels and motivation, helping improve mental health.
CEO Nora Tobin is the Health and Wellness partner to Fortune 100 organizations across luxury hospitality, financial services, technology, and entertainment.
Nora and her teams have scaled global wellness retreats, senior leadership summits, culinary offerings, media campaigns, corporate consulting and has even partnered with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to design and host 2022 wellness voyages. Nora is also a keynote speaker, performance enhancement and nutrition specialist, brand spokesperson, model, and executive coach. She is certified as an advanced scuba, cliff, and helicopter rescuer, as well as a Del Mar Ocean Lifeguard. Nora has been a contributing editor to SHAPE magazine and Sports Illustrated. She grew up in South Lake Tahoe, California.
Nora recently discussed coffee and her career via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your passion for coffee and how did you break into the caffeine industry?
Nora Tobin (NT): I started drinking coffee right around the time I began to build my business. I was doing too many things at once… trying to make it as a professional beach volleyball player (far from it) while also working to create a wellbeing brand. I was waking up at crazy hours to get it all in and coffee was the ticket. Since then, I have utilized coffee both for my professional fuel, as well as a complement to the wellness programs I teach. One strategy that has been highly effective for focus and overall performance is doing a version of intermittent fasting combined with coffee. By waiting to eat until noon and just consume water and coffee or tea, the body kicks off autophagy (rapid cellular cleanup mode) and starts to burn fat for fuel. I started working with an amazing local roaster in Santa Barbara (where I live) to create a quality coffee that would support the business professionals I was working with.
MM: How did you start researching the health benefits of coffee?
NT: I began to research the benefits of coffee once I personally noticed my mental clarity and sustained energy when fasting with coffee. Just like many topics in the wellness world, there are nuances. Coffee can in fact be a beneficial part of our regime. One of the most important ways to maximize the benefits is by consuming coffee that comes from high-quality sources. There are many steps in the process of harvest that can lose the quality of the bean. Single-origin, small farms, any type of protection of the environment all contribute to a better cup.
MM: Which benefits most surprised you?
NT: One important benefit of coffee is the effect it has on insulin levels. Weight management is a chemical process that relies on blood sugar regulation and the proper production of insulin. When we eat processed foods and have high-stress levels, the hormone insulin can increase in the bloodstream. This can lead to a variety of issues including weight gain and poor sleep. The University of Johns Hopkins found the right amount of coffee can help manage insulin levels. Another amazing benefit is the effect coffee has on antiaging properties (especially dark roasts have on antiaging). Coffee can decrease the breakage of DNA strands. A comprehensive study by the National Library of Medicine found that coffee consumption can increase glutathione levels and improve protection against DNA damage, especially following regular/repeated intake.
MM: How many flavors and blends do you offer, and do you have a personal favorite?
NT: We are at the beginning stages of the business, so we offer a light and dark roast from the Finca Isabel mountain range of Nicaragua. The beans are grown in volcanic soil, rich in silica, an essential mineral to collagen production. We will eventually provide coffee from different regions depending on the season.
MM: What do you wish more people knew they could do to practice daily wellness?
NT: Health and fitness can sometimes feel intimidating or overwhelming. The great news is that we can make meaningful upgrades to our physical and mental wellbeing, without having to overhaul our entire routine or sacrifice enjoyment. When it comes to stress, sleep, nutrition and overall energy, there are several strategies that can be easily implemented into a 24-7 workweek. Here are just a few simple upgrades for sustained energy:
- Result of Low Energy: The body has two forms of energy-burning- glucose and ketones. When the body is primarily burning glucose, it goes through rapid spikes in blood sugar, leading to cravings, energy crashes and weight gain. When the body is burning ketones, it’s receiving steady-state energy while burning its own fat stores.
- Solution to Sustained Energy: Interval workouts, anti-inflammatory foods and an eight-hour eating window allows the body to burn more ketones for energy without feeling deprived. This leads to rapid cellular turnover, efficient weight loss/management, and high energy levels all day long.
- High-Intensity Interval Training raises excess post-oxygen consumption, elevating metabolism for 24 hours post-workout. The form of training is suitable for all levels, takes less than 20 minutes and requires no equipment. This allows the body to burn fat much more efficiently and supply adequate energy to the brain. Alternate with days of low-intensity training like yoga or walking. Check out these Workout & Yoga Videos.
- Increase Anti Inflammatory Foods: Lowering inflammation in the body will optimize and help sustain energy throughout the day, help fight off pathogens and generate rapid cellular turnover. Pick any foods from the attached list to incorporate daily as well as spices and herbs (the more the better).
- Incorporate the 8 Hour Eating Window: Shortening the time window of our meals increases autophagy and allows the body to burn ketones (fat stores) for fuel instead of glucose. Eating in this window a few days per week will rapidly increase cellular turnover, boost irisin and enhance cognitive function. Pair with quality coffee.
MM: How do you think personal wellbeing translates into societal wellbeing?
NT: There are days where we feel fatigued and possibly agitated, even with those we love. Sometimes it has less to do with the circumstance and more to do with the effect of elements like sugar and stress on our brain. The amygdala is the part of the brain that senses fear. This can be overactive by artificial light from screens, foods high in sugar and a taxed nervous system from stress. By incorporating mindfulness-based stress reduction, more healthy fats/whole foods and regular exercise, we can have a direct impact on the fear response in the brain. This can in turn affect how we treat others and the quality of the day.
MM: How do you hope your company evolves and expands from here?
NT: My goal is to expand the company to support business professionals across a variety of industries through monthly delivery, client gifting and live corporate events. Alongside the seasonal coffee, we will provide weekly Fit, Fueled and Focused content to ignite creative projects and professional performance. The environmental component of the business is a crucial piece to the growth strategy. We will maintain the single-origin, micro-lot productions from sustainable family farms, and keep the roasting local to my community in Santa Barbara.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
NT: I am excited to announce my wellness retreats with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection- https://www.ritzcarltonyachtcollection.com/wellness-journey-2022 My team and I are also launching the Nora’s Naturals coffee and elixir bar at a variety of corporate and luxury events in the fall and winter. We recently had the opportunity to launch at the DPA Pre Gifting Suite for the 2021 Oscars- http://www.hollywood.tv/dpa-pre-oscar-gift-lounge-tour/
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LinkedIn: Nora Tobin
YouTube: Nora Tobin