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Ryan and Jeremy Black

The health food entrepreneurs on how they stay in shape

As owners of Sambazon, you guys undoubtedly have your share of acai berries. But what else does your diet consist of?
Ryan: I do this smoothie in the morning and its packed with all these really high quality ingredients, the base of which is frozen acai packs, hemp milk and hemp protein powder. Hemp is incredible. I've been using it for probably six years now. I use hemp milk in my smoothie and then throw hemp protein powder in the with it instead of using some kind of soy or something. Hemp protein is one of the few plant sources of protein that you can get and it has Omega-3 in it, as well as some Omega-6s. They say it's the healthiest food on the planet because of its complex of protein and healthy fats. So it's a great base for a smoothie.

Jeremy: I drink yerba mate as a kind of metabolism booster and to wake me up instead of coffee. Just being in the natural foods industry, we get to know a lot of the guys who own the companies that provide a lot of these cool ingredients. We do acai, but we know the guys who do yerba mate and learned a lot about that plant and all the beneficial properties. Recently, I started brewing my own Kombucha at home. Pretty amazing stuff. If you make it yourself, it's a lot better than what you've probably tried in a bottle in a store because that stuff's been sitting around for a while and it gets gnarlier as it gets older, but when you get it fresh it's incredible. Kombucha that's not raw is kind of a joke.

Do you guys still surf?
Jeremy: Sometimes it's a few times a week. Sometimes it's not once in three weeks. We go on three or four big trips a year where we surf every day, and when you do that, it's the preparation for the trip that really gets you in shape. You don't want to travel half-way across the world to surf these perfect waves in Indonesia and be out of shape and end up getting your butt kicked and sitting on the boat.

What else do you guys do to stay in shape?
Ryan: I run three or four days a week and I do pilates twice a week. I'm pretty serious about that regimen and I do a little physical therapy as well. My background before Sambazon was playing American football and I had a professional career and everything. My body is pretty beat up from that so I do Pilates and physical therapy to keep everything working properly and healthy.

Jeremy: We both actually skateboard a little on halfpipes. When we were young we used to compete in competitive skateboarding. We sponsor Bob Burnquist, who is one of the best skateboarders on the planet, and he has this ramp down there, it's like Disneyland for skateboarders. We go down there and we skate that every now and then, and that's a pretty amazing workout.

Ryan: And during the winter I get on the mountains quite a bit for snowboarding, so that's a pretty good workout too when you're riding in waist-deep powder.

Jeremy: I also do some in-house yoga and some light weight training just on my own at home. Our main things are surfing and hot power fusion yoga. Sometimes we do the yoga classes together, but not that much. I also play tennis, but not with my brother.

How hard is to get workouts in when you're operating an acai empire?
Ryan: Well it's definitely a full-time job but we have a lot of support and a lot of employees that help. You've just got to make time. Early bird gets the worm. I do probably 90% of my workouts before work. That means I'm either running to start the day off right or doing pilates.

Jeremy: It's one of those things where you just have to make it a priority.

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