My name is Gina Bergmann. I live and work in Estonia as a mind and body trainer focusing mostly on yoga. It’s my dream job, because it allows me to be constantly moving, improving myself and to pick up new skills. New training styles and knowledge can be obtained endlessly. Why is my job making me happy? Through love and respect to myself I can be a role model and help others improve their quality of life.
My work is filled with good emotions – I’m charged with positive energy every single day as I see my clients reach their goals. We depend only on ourselves when it comes to our happiness and well-being, no matter what age we are or what is our weight. We can always control the health of our body.
During recent years I have been dedicated to the training of the mind and body. My knowledge has value only when I share it. So, the first and most important thing is that satisfaction with our bodies has nothing to do with how we look, rather, it is how we feel. It is not about being thin, it is about being healthy.
Beauty is skin deep and a human being is so much deeper and wider than a creature with merely good looks. We often develop our self-worth from feedback from the outer world like blinks and praise from other people. Instead, we should look into our hearts – what do we see, if we honestly and deeply look within? Is there enough love and satisfaction in us? Enough to attract even more of it to our lives, enough to share to others?
There were times in my life that I spent mostly driving around, being addicted to achievements always moving on from one goal to another. I was managing my home life via mobile phone until an accident happened, when through a painful experience I almost lost my life’s biggest success and treasure – my daughter. I remember when within seconds the whole world stopped. I realized that at the end of the day, after everyday hussle and reaching momentary important goals, the dear ones around us are the most important. We can achieve a lot, but if there’s nobody to share the success with, it has no value (and life lacks real emotions).
Family is like a little personal universe where we accomplish our highest aims as human beings. Around that universe is a bigger universe where we are playing different roles. Most important is however, that our inner world is strong. We can’t be happy at work when we are unhappy in our private lives. And if I’m not happy at work, I cannot make my clients happy. There is a long chain starting from each and every person, ourselves.
With my mind and body lessons I aim to make people their own best friends. I don’t give guidance based on right or wrong, I only share the things I have experienced. To get something we have to have the will. To have the will we need energy. We get this energy from food. I haven’t had any diets in my life and I don’t believe in them. We are what we eat. If we know and listen to and become friends with our bodies, we don’t need any diet. While being young we challenge our bodies, whereas getting older our body is challenging. Healthy eating can’t be a project, it’s a lifestyle. We should always have time to provide the best fuel to our bodies. Body is a treasure which should be treated carefully.
A few months ago I met Davis Lipskis. His offer was to try 2 products to diverse my menu - Instant Chaga and Princess Blend. Using these products during 30 days I felt that they totally met my needs. Everything in our life comes in a right time. I haven’t had a flu for years and this winter I had to stay at home for weeks. I felt that there is no worse punishment than being a prisoner of your body. It had to change!
I’ve always been a big coffee lover and in recent years I’ve noticed that whenever I’m hungry I grab a cup. As an Italian friend of mine said: Estonians are strange people – instead of having a afternoon nap they prefer to have a coffee and move on. My new replacement for coffee was Instant Chaga tea as I fell in love with its taste.
I drank the tea twice a day and the biggest difference between Instant Chaga tea and other natural caffein based drinks is that the effect lasts longer. I often have to supervise several trainings, and it has been quite a challenge to find nutrient rich and practical solutions between trainings. That’s what I like about the Instants – they‘re all in powder and can be easily added to smoothies.
I was usually so late at home and hungry in the evenings that I tended to overeat. Now, using Instant Chaga my eating habits are much more moderate and balanced. Four Sigma Foods recipe page is my favourite to get inspired since it offers plenty of ideas for every occasion. For example, I suggest to try the chocolate truffles. Another important bonus of FSF products is that they are 100% natural and don’t consist of any common allergens, harmful chemicals, or other toxic ingredients.
I added the Princess Blend powder in my morning porridge or yoghurt – the taste remained the same and it was so easy! I like also that I can add the powders to all kinds of pastries. FSF slogan says “Princess Blend supports females with their hormonal system and cherish the goddess in them“. I didn’t turn to a goddess after 30 days, but every morning I felt like a real princess!
The testing period of FSF products overlapped with very intense and challenging period at work. I realized that I wasn’t tired after long training and office days. I had enough energy to spend quality time with my family. Through more emphasis on myself with the help of FSF supplements I’m a better mother, wife and person. I recommend food supplements to everyone who hasn’t had the courage to try them. We don’t have to be afraid of changes as they develop us and at the end of the day we are enjoying life more and are more as a whole.
I am, what some might call, a late bloomer in sports. Before I got into an active lifestyle, I was (or still am) a nerdy bookworm. My gateway sport like for so many was trail running. Thanks to Hong Kong’s great trail running community I was introduced to ultra endurance races. I got to train and race with various sorts of people: dedicated newbies, seasoned runners and incredible outliers. We motivated each other and shared advice or GU gels, whatever was needed. The nerd in me gleefully soaked up new knowledge about training structures, nutrition and anything else which could improve an athlete’s performance. Not much of a big surprise, when I stopped racing and became a strength and conditioning trainer with a focus on functional movement and a Paleo streak.
At the beginning of 2013 I had my own training programme dialled in and was working on my own strength numbers. I compared notes with a friend who also happened to be martial arts instructor in Germany. Friendly banter turned into cheeky trash talk which led to a bold challenge to improve fitness and body composition within 3 months. I should mention that unlike me, my fellow challenger has been into martial arts since he was five and is also genetically blessed with stupendous hypertrophy.
I had to kick it up a notch training-wise. And to put it mildly, I needed all the help I could get. Stumbling over the 30 Day FSF Challenge was a lucky sign. I signed up and FSF’s Mikko and Tero thought that the Endurance Blend would be a good fit. I wholeheartedly agreed. My old training plan was very strength oriented. And the first thing that goes with a strength-heavy training is endurance. While rewriting my training program I realised that I had to get endurance explicitly strength- and power endurance back into the mix.
When I collected the one month supply of Endurance Blend I did not know what my palate was up against. Sure I did the research about the ingredients Schisandra, Roseroot and Siberian Ginseng, and was aware about their common uses and positive effects concerning strength, endurance and recovery. I was only hoping that the taste would not come close to healthy but mean-tasting soups one could get in traditional Chinese medicine pharmacies.
Luckily mixed with water it pleasantly tasted like smooth herbal tea. The FSF page was full of suggestions which foods would go well with the blend. But it turned out that I was more of a purist and was very content with my blend and water. Sometimes I would mix it my BCAA powder as the blend’s natural taste would make the BCAA powder’s fake apple flavour more palatable.
Quite surprisingly the first effect I noticed the Endurance Blend had on me was improved sleep. Usually on double workout days especially if the last workout was during the evening I would be too wired to get to bed right away. On days when I used the blend it was much easier for me to wind down after an evening workout and get to sleep faster.
It would be too early to say which effect the blend had directly on my recovery rate. But the improved sleep certainly boosted recovery. At this point I have been exposed to the blend long enough to verify other effects.
What I can say is that the blend was very agreeable with stomach either taken pre or during workout. Its mild formula makes it easy to use the blend long-term and that’s when positive effects might be more obvious. This only endorses my philosophy concerning training and nutrition: Safe and steady is the way to go. The fitness industry is saturated with quick and easy fixes in form of pills and powders as effective as a rabid jackhammer, often too much for the body system to handle.
Big thanks to Four Sigma Foods for giving me the opportunity to join their challenge and test their Endurance Blend. I hope more athletes and sports enthusiasts will find their favourite blend to enhance their nutrition and with that their performance.
Before I begin my story about my 30-day FSF Challenge with the Gizmo high-speed blender I want to say THANKS to magnificent team of FSF for creating such great products and helping people – including myself – to become the best versions of themselves and enjoying life to its maximum!
I got introduced to Gizmo and FSF by my friend Hanna Skytta who is also part of FSF team. when I stopped racing and became a strength and conditioning trainer with a focus on functional movement and a Paleo streak.
But let’s get to the challenge… Well, actually the real challenge has already been going on for ages as I have tried to prepare my meals with the cheap 30€ supermarket blenders. I am the first Finnish woman holding a IFBB Bikini Fitness Pro Card and to be invited to a Arnold Classic Pro Competitions in March 2013. So as a professional athlete my meal plan is very strict and also – opposite to what most people think – includes a LOT OF FOOD! In fact, many are surprised how much I eat – but because it is all natural, whole foods and nutrient rich, you can also eat it a lot! And eating clean also strips off your belly fat automatically, so I really encourage everyone to swap the refined foods to all-natural alternatives and eat enough so that your body does not go into starvation mode.
But eating so big volumes of eg. vegetables can sometimes be challenging. Quite recently I also started to blend all my vegetables, as I noticed that after doing so I was not that bloated all the time. Also smoothies and recovery drinks are part of my meal plan all year round, so I use the blender many times a day.
But let me tell you – after starting to use blender more, I also lost my nerves more. What my mistake was is that I thought all blenders are equal, so I bought those 30-euro supermarket blenders – which broke all the time. They did not blend my veggies or smoothies fine and smooth, but left nasty little bits in them. So I wasn’t getting all the benefits from blending and the faulty machines increased my stress levels – which is not what I needed before big competition preparation!
So thankfully I talked with Hanna and I purchased the Gizmo. After getting this I have truly noticed the difference in my wellness. My tummy has kept slim, as even though my pre-contest meal plan includes massive amounts of veggies, blending them in fine particles enables my body to use their nutrients effectively without causing any bloating (because of the large amounts of fiber that comes with the veggies!) or putting too much energy on digesting them as Gizmo did all the ”pre-digesting” for me!
I have also noticed a significant improvement in my energy levels – which of couse enables me to put my best gear on at the gym when doing my HIIT and resistance training workouts.
Giving my body enough nutrients in well-absorbing form and lessening the burden on the digestive system also enables me to train more frequently – during the competition prep, my program includes as much as three training sessions per DAY so having a tummy full all the time or not getting enough nutrients might compromise my preparation. Blending also gave me much more time from my normal food prep, as when blending veggies I did not have to steam them first, but could enjoy them in their raw form – which again means more nutrients that would otherwise been destroyed during heating (eg. many antioxidants and vitamins).
And last, but not least… the outer beauty. Even though in my sports the BODY and its form is in the center of the judging, also hair and skin has an important role. When your body gets enough nutrients, some are also left for making the skin bright and hair glow. Because these things are not necessary for survival (although sometimes especially for us women, hair and skin might feel like ”survival” things :)), the body uses all the nutrients first to keep the heart beating, brain fueled, digestive system operating etc and then – if there are some left – the hair and skin gets it. So stack up on nutrient rich foods, blend them and see yourself to transform to the best version of yourself.
I am looking forward to my Arnold Competition in March, presenting myself there at my best and also feeling at my best. You can follow my journey for example from my Facebook page.
Photos: Mike Siren
Boris completed his FSF Challenge with Instant Brain Power, which is no longer sold. Its equivalent product is now called FSF Instant Lion’s Mane: the same product has a different name and a more ecological packaging.
Having worked for many years for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy has made me discover my strong passion for food. Following this passion, my love for outstanding food giving you maximum nutrition and health, I quit my office job 4 years ago. I started a new career as a vegan raw food chef, striving for culinary excellence using the best clean, organic products. As a world traveling raw food chef, I have my base in Berlin but travel for at least 4 or 5 months of the year teaching courses, seminars and retreats worldwide. Teaching and traveling requires a good immune system and the ability to focus and be present and concentrated at all times, while educating others about the benefits of alive food and high-end living cuisine.
I came across Four Sigma Foods during a raw food course I taught in Helsinki last summer of 2012. Shortly before the course started, my assistant drank this tea and I asked him what it was. He offered me a bag of this “Instant Brain Power”, which had a very sweet but not unpleasant taste. I am usually very sceptic about all the supplements out there, but I had already heard about the amazing benefits of medicinal mushrooms before, so I was really interested. That night I taught one of my best classes: I was so focused and in the flow. The next evening I taught another class which went also well, but I felt the regular ups and downs in concentration. That second night, I didn’t have this tea before. So I felt immediately that there is a product that actually works!
From this experience, I signed up for the 30 day challenge of Instant Brain Power. Taking the instant for 30 days in a row daily, I can say that they have increased my cognitive ability and helped me staying more focused, keeping a clear mind and feeling easier to concentrate. Since I didn’t really change my diet during this period and also didn’t use any other supplements, I certainly account this effect to the active mushroom in Instant Brain Power, which is Lion’s Mane. This trial period finally convinced me about this product and so I took the immediate decision to make FSF products available through my online store and promote them to my clients. I think this is an amazing product and people should certainly include medicinal mushroom drinks into their daily drink rituals.
From this positive experience, I was really eager to go on and test more of these great instant drinks. So I went on another 30 day challenge with Instant Longevity (Instant Reishi). Reishi is known to reduce stress, improve blood circulation and sleep quality. Since I have some issues with all of the above, I thought it would be the next best one to try. I have to say that the instant feeling I got from Brain Power didn’t immediately show and nothing noticeable changed at first. Reishi, just like any other Chinese Herbal Medicine, takes some time to show effects on the body. After all, it’s a natural remedy and medicine which takes some time to show an effect in your system, but then can last for a longer time. I think that in retrospect, after the month my sleep quality was slightly better. Actually I remember to have had more issues with slightly cramping up sometimes during my sleep at night or waking up with certain parts of my body having fallen asleep. That did not happen anymore after taking Instant Reishi for a longer time. So that might actually be the effect that it gave me. Also, I have taken a couple of boxes with me to Bali, where I am teaching a raw food retreat at the moment. However, due to traveling and the intense program I forgot about them for about a week and noticed that my sleep in the last nights actually wasn’t great, so there might be another proof of effect. There is never 100% proof, but I have an intuition and that’s always the best indicator!
I like to consume the Instants mostly plain as a tea and find them very nice in a ginger tea, since the spice of the ginger balances the sweet taste of the stevia and the licorice root. However, as a raw food chef, I am now also keen to explore some culinary aspects and will soon start to experiment how they work in certain foods. I can immediately see them work really well in creamy chocolate or maca based smoothies. Also in raw chocolates, they could give a great health benefit and may help a lot in cutting down other sweeteners to sweeten your chocolate. I can also see them work well in soups, like a clear Japanese Style Miso broth with ginger and chilli or in nutburgers and patés and vegetable dips. Check out the recipe section on the FSF page from time to time, since I might put something up there soon :-)
The life of a student-athlete might sometimes feel challenging. Competing on the highest American college level requires dedication and time. Every time you step on the court or improve your fitness you have to give the maximum effort. You know that you are not only trying to improve yourself but also do the best to push your teammates to their limit. Then there is the other side of your life. The life when you have to be able to crunch those equations, learn the ancient Roman history and create new business models after a long day full of practices and lectures. The life of a student-athlete is balancing with athletic training and gaining knowledge. Sometimes it is challenging.
Discovering healthier lifestyle
Until this summer I was all about getting those carbs and proteins. The only essential nutrition components of an athlete, right? Even though I didn’t necessarily enjoy my meals neither felt good after eating I kept going. Having asthma, popping allergy pills and being sick in a fairly regular cycle came natural to me. It was until my asthma got a lot worse and none of the doctors seemed to have an answer. After hours and hours of research and many great advices I slowly started to change my nutrition. That was also when I bumped into Four Sigma Foods and their products.
30-Days of The Lion’s Mane
I signed up for the FSF-Challenge and got chosen to try the Lion’s Mane, which is a herb blend with Lion’s Mane mushroom. Having a sweet tooth like me, the Lion’s Mane was an excellent tea replacement with a great licorice-like taste. Even though I really enjoy it in hot water I also find it easy to use in my post-workout smoothies and after Tero’s advice, also in raw chocolate.
One of the major problems in my student-athlete life used to be staying awake and focusing in long night classes. I found the Lion’s Mane to have a relaxing effect while at the same time keeping me focused and alert. As I’m still experimenting simultaneously with a lot of different foods, it is difficult to evaluate if Lion’s Mane boosted my cognitive abilities and improved my memory, but I think these results will be seen in a longer period of time.
All I can say is that since I started to eat healthier I feel a lot better and more energetic than before. I haven’t been sick once and my skin looks a lot better. Not only is my food looking better than before, it also tastes better. Even though I still have asthma and allergies, I believe that with a healthier nutrition I can at least reduce the symptoms. Four Sigma Foods’ easy-to-use products fit perfectly my hectic lifestyle and will be part of my nutrition also in the future.
My name is Janis Lasmanis (25), I am an ex-pro basketball player from Latvia even at the moment I live and work in London.
I have played basketball for 18 years, out of which six professionally. However, sports is still a huge part of my life that takes a lot of my time and energy as I work out 3-5 times a week in the gym, have 3-4 basketball practices plus 1 or 2 games every week. I am also obsessed with weight lifting at the gym, but because of injuries from basketball I couldn’t focus on it for long enough.
I am now working full time and still doing a lot of sports, my days are getting longer, I get to be outside a lot but it means more running from one activity to another. Living in London doesn’t make it easier with it’s weather and size. We do get a lot of rain and wind, especially in September when weather is changing, it’s raining a lot more, temperature drops a lot more and overall human body is weaker than during the other parts of the year. So I’m very happy I could be part of Four Sigma Food challenge during September, because Instant Chaga is the only reason I didn’t feel even the slightest symptoms of getting sick.
I used Instant Chaga in September, which is the month when everybody gets even a little sick, because of the weather and temperature change. London is well known for rainy and cold Septembers, but it didn’t affect my immunity at all this year, because I used Instant Chaga. It’s amazing how you can feel that it makes you stronger from day one of using it.
I didn’t even have a thought about getting sick, I felt strong like nothing can bother my daily routine. It’s amazing because all of my days are long and full of activities- full time job, regular gym workouts, basketball practices and games…and I truly believe Instant Chaga helped me to stay healthy,active and 100% efficient. I recommend this amazing natural product of Chaga to anyone, it definitely works.
I tried Instant Chaga with hot and cold water, mixing it into porridge and protein shakes. I liked it in porridge the most, but there are many ways to use Instant Chaga, so you can find your favorite!
Once more I want to thank all Four Sigma Foods team for getting me into their challenge and discover this amazing product of nature, that not only taste good, but is healthy and help you to stay on your track from day to day. Since Instant Chaga proved to be so effective, I believe all other FSF products are just as good.
Let’s kick things off with a formal introduction. Wikipedia introduces me in the following way “Tuomas Kytömäki is an actor, who became known for his role as Aleksi Salin in the Finnish hit soap series Salatut elämät. He won the reality television series contest V.I.P. in the year 2004”. I consider myself more as a media professional who has extensive background in both TV and radio. In my personal life I have always been a vivid nature lover and regular sight in the Finnish Lapland hiking trails. This close connection with nature has helped me to sustainably manage the hectic urban life in our nations capital.
My path to finding chaga
My “food consciousness” started to show its first signs in 2005, when I found the writing of Doctor Antti Heikkilä through my friend. Apparently Mr. Heikkilä had cured over 3,000 incurable people with the low-carb diet. Few years later I came across an eBook called Nutrix written by the Official Finnish Jungleman Olli Posti (editors note: the most visited Finnish food blog that FSF also sponsors with mushrooms). Through that eBook I found all the so called superfoods as well. My first big love from them was chaga, which resonated with me immediately after I heard of it. Boiling chaga tea soon became my daily activity which meant that my long-term mushroom hunting habit got new dimensions when I needed to look up as well as down to find the treasures… :)
The results me and my close friends have gotten from chaga are so positive that its even hard to put into words. Deep down I knew I had finally found a long lost “candy shop” called Mother Earth.
Falling in love with Instant Reishi
After hearing from chaga I also met Jaakko Halmetoja (editors note: the Superfood Advisor of FSF), who told me more about medicinal mushrooms. Realizing that we only know about 10% of all the mushrooms on our planet opened the idea of a shroom-revolution. Once I heard of reishi and cordyceps, I knew I needed to try them as well. Just like an answer from some higher force I was given a sample of the Four Sigma Foods Instant Reishi (called Zest then). It was so easy to use and handy that it changed my whole mindset about using mushrooms in my daily diet. I started mixing them with a cup of organic coffee and ever since I have only been drinking that combo at work. No longer I can even see an option taking my daily caffeine dosage without mushrooms. After few months of use I noticed that my sleep quality had increased a lot.
FSF Challenge on Instant Cordyceps
Last summer I had the chance to interview Mikko and Tero for Radio NRJ show, and after that the guys proposed me to go for a 30-day Cordyceps (Instant Cordyceps) challenge. I was naturally in. For one month I drank 3 sachets of Instant Cordyceps every day and after about 2-weeks I noticed how the polysaccharides were seriously starting to kick in. I had more energy in my body and daily chores felt much, much easier.
The biggest difference I felt right after the challenge when I was again hiking in Kilpisjärvi Lapland. Despite packing a too heavy backpack (I know, rookie mistake), vigorous uphills, and the million mosquitoes I was just buzzing. I am an experienced hiker in these terrains, but for the first time in my life the trails of Kilpisjärvi felt easy. I was actually rocking both the uphills and downhills so fast that I needed to calm down in order not to finish the trails faster than planned.
After the FSF Challenge I am still using all the four Instants every week. I can warmly recommend these powerful beverages, especially because they are just so damn handy to use. I have truly never felt better!
Introducing myself to y’all
Hello FSF blog readers! My name is Manuela Bosco and I’m a Finnish-Italian artist. I would describe myself as a child of light, who likes to express my feelings mostly through acting and writing. I graduated from Theatre Academy (Accademia Europea D`Arte Drammatica) in Rome in 2009 and have been working on screen and stage since then. I also recently finished my first own novel in Finnish (Ylitys). Besides arts, I have a deep passion towards yoga/pilates, holistic health, and meditation. I run a small wellbeing practice focusing on energy healing (spiritual and physical), nutrition coaching, and functional training.
My journey with holistic health has been long and full of many colorful phases. I am a former hurdler and I was fortunate enough to compete at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. My career in athletics was full of ups and downs, but I was able to compete at the highest level both at the World Junior Championships and IAAF World Championships. This experience taught a lot about my mind, my body, and about life energy itself. I think that both health and wellness are very holistic concepts. You can’t separate the body and the mind.
Through my career as an athlete and nutritional coach I have almost two decades worth of experience around health and nutrition, which has helped me a bit to see the forest for the trees. These days I believe in plant-based nutrition and the healing power of herbs.
I believe that our body is intelligent
My excitement towards holistic wellness started roughly 8 years ago after I lost my father. This enormous “loss” made me ask for the first time, what is life, who am I, what should I do to be happy again, what should I know to be able to live the life I know inside my heart I have come to live? …And so, some fresh and wise thoughts started to flow into my life. One of the first really meaningful books I read was the Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. Before that I had the more typical mindset of an athlete, which was very left-brain oriented and performance driven. With her smart and deep insights Myss helped me to understand the tacit signals of our body, focus more on wellness, and interpret the body-mind connection in a much clearer way. This understanding has guided my journey for the last years and made it very interesting.
I think that our body is often wiser than our mind, and if we have done wrong choices it gives signal to our brain through various undesirable symptoms. I also believe that our health is directly linked with our daily choices, and despite whatever doctors say, we can’t outsource our health to a 3rd party. By tuning more into our body, we can hear its wisdom about yourself and about the world in general. This will hopefully lead to a more conscious society and caring individuals.
Discovering the FSF Instant mushroom beverages
This summer my path crossed with Tero from the FSF team and he told me about their products. As a health enthusiastic I had naturally heard and tested chaga before, but it was the ease-of-use that got me excited about Instant Chaga. As a busy individual I didn’t enjoy the constant boiling work of normal raw chaga powders. I tried the actual Instant Chaga product for few days and instantly felt that it’s THE BOMB! When Tero proposed me to take on the 30-day FSF Challenge with Instant Lion’s Mane I didn’t hesitate for a second. I have been working hard on some new projects, which have required me to work very long hours, so this was a perfect acid test to see if these products really work.
30-day Instant Lion’s Mane Challenge and more
I used FSF Instant Lion’s Mane made from Lion’s Mane 2-3 times a day for a bit over a month. Only after few days it became my current favorite drink of these four. It has a delicious and vitalizing taste. It gives me very good vibes, which I can try describe as “honest intensivity”. So this product is now my trusted partner that substitutes coffee and tea. It has helped me with intensive cognitive challenges in extended periods of time, and I feel the good spirit it has given me has also a huge “portion” in the overall good feeling I have had recently.
After the challenge I have also used Instant Reishi and Instant Cordyceps. Reishi has helped me to calm down after a long and vigorous work week. It has allowed to balance the thoughts from my work projects and harmonize my body in the evenings. It is far better than the “evening tea” products I have used before. Instant Cordyceps on the other hand has given me energy and boost during a few tough creative days. I have used it both in the mornings and in the afternoons, and the effects have been pleasantly natural and long-lasting. I haven’t felt the stimulative rush like with some other products that “hit me in the head with a hammer”. Works fast, but not too harshly.
All in all, I believe that the Four Sigma Foods products have come to stay in my diet and training regime. They are natural solutions, without any fancy-pancy recipe tricks. Just few simple, yet powerful ingredients. I love this minimalism. And what’s most important, I LOVE ALL OF THEIR TASTE! :P
Cover photo: Risto Kuulasmaa
My name is Devon Anderson and I’m an American Ultimate Frisbee athlete and QA engineer from Menlo Park, 48km south of San Francicsco. I have been avidly playing Ultimate since I was first introduced to it at the University of California Santa Cruz in 2007. I currently play for a club team called Revolver that based in San Francisco. Revolver are the Club World Champions, WFDF World Champions (as team USA) and back-to-back USA Club National Champions. Ultimate is a sport that requires both explosive speed as well as anaerobic endurance for long points. This rare blend of training needs means that I am looking for any way to increase my VO2 max for endurance while focussing as much as possible on explosive exercises.
For those who are unfamiliar with the sport, read more here.
My Introduction to the product: I first heard about Four Sigma Foods products through Markus after we met in Kyoto when I was traveling in Japan after Revolver had won the WFDF world championships in Sakai, Japan in July. Markus and I started talking about the challenge trying to eat healthily while traveling, especially while trying to compete in an elite tournament and soon got to talking his business and FSF Instant Cordyceps.
Though I enjoy a healthy skepticism of any product which promises to increase energy while helping me to make my workouts more efficient, I decided to take the 30 day challenge and see how well it worked for me.
The results: For the month that I was using FSF Instant Cordyceps 1-2 times a day and before workouts, I can say that I felt like it took longer to get me tired, and my muscles felt fresher for longer than the month prior. Because of the myriad of factors that contribute to ones health and athletic performance, I can’t conclusively say that FSF is the singular reason for my athletic performance. But I do believe, as research has shown, that the cordycepts helped to increase my VO2 and lead to a more efficient use of oxygen in my body. I would definitely recommend that anyone try FSF Instant Cordyceps who is looking for a healthy boost of energy or a product which could make your workouts more efficient.
It can be tough on a budget and limited time to increase your intake of nutrient dense foods and I think Instant Performace is a good option for doing just that.
I want to thank Markus and everyone at Four Sigma Foods for outlying a path to a healthier diet and lifestyle and I will continue to benefit from their foods and what I’ve learned during my Challenge.
Jukka completed his FSF Challenge with LUONTOlife Zest, which is no longer being sold. Zest’s equivalent product is now called Instant Reishi. The only difference recipe wise between Zest and Instant Reishi is the taste – Instant Reishi is sweetened with Stevia and is more appealing to most people.. or not as taste is a completely subjective matter.
I like coffee, I really do. Not that I need its caffeine kick, I just enjoy the taste. Although drinking coffee isn’t the worst habit one can have I´m always open to alternatives and the better options.
Around nine months ago I visited Smoothie Studio and chatted with the owner, Jaakko Halmetoja. I have had plenty of good convos with him before, but this time it was something even better. He mentioned that he has a new project going with a few interesting guys. There is this new company, Four Sigma Foods, in Hong Kong, which goal is to produce superfood products that focus on effectiveness, ease of use, and ecological aspects. Their first product, FSF Instants, instant beverages that could be an healthy and easy alternative to coffee or any other similar beverages. I saw that he was serious, but somehow I forgot the whole thing quite soon after our meeting and just kept going on.
Fast forward couple of months and all of a sudden FSF Instants hit the shelves of Jaakko´s cafe and some shops nearby. Jaakko gave me test run right away with Instant Cordyceps. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it that how it tasted. It was quite similar to some herbal infusions.
When I heard about the FSF challenge I definitely wanted to have a go! Why not, I said, what I had to lose? Exactly, nothing. On the other hand I could benefit a lot of all the beneficial effects of medicinal mushrooms. A week later after filling up the form the Challenge package was in my home ready to be Challenged. I can’t believe it came all the way from Hong Kong!
At first I tried quite a many different ways to consume my daily dose of Zest (Editor’s note: Zest is an old product, which is now replaced by a sweeter Instant Reishi). Organic honey was all right, still a bit bitter to some peoples taste. In my opinion it was quite good though. At the end of the day, the winner was to mix some coconut milk and a teaspoon of maca in the mix! Not that I drink it always like that, but in my opinion it’s definitely one of the most delicious mix.
How about the effects? Good or bad? First of all I do not respond that easily to any kind of stimulants or other supplements. It takes a good four or five cups of coffee to get the ”shakes” that some people can get pretty easily. My regimen was the following: One cup of Zest in the morning before heading to the gym and two more (couple of hours apart) before heading to riding in the afternoon. So far I´ve liked the Zest. It gives a steady and balanced drive that can last for the whole day.
One funny thing happened during the challenge. I took a cup of Zest and headed to have a sport massage. Usually I almost fall asleep during the massage or at least I feel really tired for a while afterwards. This time however I was energetic the whole time and almost jumped up from the massage table after the session was over. Coincidence? Hard to say, but I’m going to try it couple of times more to make it sure.
Want something that gives a nice boost to your training, work, sports or what ever you’re doing? Try Zest (Instant Reishi) and you may surprised pleasantly. If nothing else, it doesn’t blow up your adrenal glands or make your body more acidic as coffee does.
Cover photo: Joni Järvensivu