45 episodes

Active Ingredient is a weekly podcast hosted by Sophie Weill where she takes a deep dive into why people do what they do and what it is that drives them. The podcast is a mix of both business stories and soul searching covering people across the board with fancy titles like editors in chiefs, founders and ceos, to under the radar activists who are changing the world one person at a time. The goal is to get to the bottom of how these incredible people discovered their passion, channel their talent consistently and ultimately, how their Active Ingredient is making the world a better place.

Active Ingredient Podcast sophie

    • Careers

Active Ingredient is a weekly podcast hosted by Sophie Weill where she takes a deep dive into why people do what they do and what it is that drives them. The podcast is a mix of both business stories and soul searching covering people across the board with fancy titles like editors in chiefs, founders and ceos, to under the radar activists who are changing the world one person at a time. The goal is to get to the bottom of how these incredible people discovered their passion, channel their talent consistently and ultimately, how their Active Ingredient is making the world a better place.

    Problem solving, probiotics and thinking about how you want to spend your time with Ara Katz and Dr. Azza Gadir

    Problem solving, probiotics and thinking about how you want to spend your time with Ara Katz and Dr. Azza Gadir

    This episode is with Ara Katz and Dr. Azza Gadir, two powerhouse women behind Seed, an innovative consumer health company focused on the microbiome which is the collection of trillions of microorganisms which are mostly bacteria, that live in and on the human body. Seed’s daily symbiotic pill combines the best of probiotics and prebiotics developed for systemic benefits such as digestive health, skin health, gut barrier integrity, heart health, micronutrient synthesis and gut immune function.
    Ara Katz, is the co-founder and Co-CEO of Seed. Prior to starting Seed, she Co-Founded and served as CMO of Spring, a mobile commerce marketplace and was also on the Founding Team of social commerce company, BeachMint. Ara’s breastfeeding experience led her to the microbiome and inspired a personal mission to explore the importance of microbes and how they can impact the health of our bodies, our children and our planet.
    Dr. Azza Gadir is the director of research and development at Seed. She completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School where her published research was focused on the immunological mechanisms that underlie the role of the gut microbiome in conferring protection to diseases early in life. On today’s episode we get into both of their career journeys and what led them to devoting their life to unearthing the microbiome and all of its intricacies, they explain what the microbiome is exactly, what constitutes a probiotic and the dangers of brands marketing anything as a probiotic, how academia and scientific research gets lost in translation to the consumer, what advice they’d give to someone who is trying to find their passion, their love of problem solving and really taking a step back to identify how you want to spend your time and who you want to spend your time with.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    The importance of alone time, why the "cool" job is not always the right job and disrupting legacy brands with Lily Galef

    The importance of alone time, why the "cool" job is not always the right job and disrupting legacy brands with Lily Galef

    Lily Galef is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Hilma, a brand that recently launched that is reimagining our medicine cabinets with natural remedies, that are all backed by science. Think natural and homeopathic alternatives to Advil for example. Prior to starting Hilma, Lily built her career as a creative brand marketer and strategist managing content and partnerships at some really impressive companies like Vogue, Vox and Refinery29. At a certain point in her career, she felt she had to take a step back and really ask herself if the jobs she was going for were for the sake of having a "cool job" or if they were really fulfilling her deeper needs and goals and eventually got comfortable with the fact that having the glamorous job for the sake of having a glamorous job was not cutting it for her. She also had come across a major pain point which was that the health and wellness space was offering alternatives to every area of our life except for our medicine cabinets, which is arguably one of the most important areas we should be paying attention to. She and her co-founders took that insight and ran with it and after two years of research, assembling a world-class team of scientists, and kicking off three clinical studies, they were ready to launch Hilma not too long ago and have already gotten a ton of buzz in the wellness space.
    She walks us through how her past jobs have helped set her up for success in leading Hilma in all things brand strategy, the first steps she and her co-founders took to test to see if the concept of Hilma was viable, how they test for efficacy and why being grounded in science has been their biggest differentiator, how the over the counter aisles and supplement aisles are starting to overlap, why spending time alone opens you up to a lot of growth.

    • 49 min
    Hormonal health, leading with intuition and how to live in your flow with The Cycle Syncing Method with Alisa Vitti

    Hormonal health, leading with intuition and how to live in your flow with The Cycle Syncing Method with Alisa Vitti

    Alisa Vitti is a functional nutrition and women's hormone expert, the founder of modern hormone health care company FLO Living, bestselling author of WomanCode and In the FLO, and creator of the MyFLO app, the #1 paid period app on iTunes. She has spent the past 20 years studying, researching, personally applying, and globally teaching how to stop hormonal chaos and get into hormonal flow. She is a true pioneer in the world of female biohacking, demystifying every single symptom we face and has come up with solutions for all women who are currently struggling with hormonal issues - which btw it’s reported that 50% of us are dealing with it. Her reputation most definitely precedes her. She has been featured in Dr. Oz, The New York Times, TED, Women’s Health, Forbes, Refinery29 and so many others. 
    In today’s episode we get into Alisa’s personal hormonal journey having suffered from PCOS and having dealt with debilitating symptoms from the age of 12-22, how she healed herself from her own hormonal breakdown and how that experience led her to devote her life to empowering women to live in harmony with their hormones. We talk about how women have historically been left out of clinical research when it comes to health and fitness and how that has affected us, how women can be living an optimal life - or life ‘in the flow’ - as she likes to call it by simply eating, exercising and working in a way that supports the four phases of our cycles vs. against them, what our infradian rhythm is and how it differs from our circadian rhythms, and listening intently to our intuition. 

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Traditional schooling is not for everyone and a lesson on nootropics with Dan Freed

    Traditional schooling is not for everyone and a lesson on nootropics with Dan Freed

    Dan Freed is the founder of Formula, the world’s first personalized and completely customizable nootropics company. For those of you who don't know, nootropics are nutrient compounds shown to enhance mental performance in areas such as motivation, creativity, mood, memory, focus, and cognitive processing. FORMULA has amassed the largest dataset on the efficacy of nootropics to date.

    Dan dropped out of high school at 16 and says that ever since he can remember he has always struggled with procrastination, staying focused and staying motivated. After dropping out of high school, he went from making sandwiches at Subway to working his way up the culinary industry ladder and ultimately landed at a Michelin star restaurant in France where he first started dabbling with biohacking. He later completely pivoted tracks and with the help of nootropics, decided to go back to school and now has two master's degrees, one from INSEAD and one from Yale, without a college or even high school diploma.

    After witnessing his success story, his friends started organically asking Dan to create nootropic formulas for them and he started seeing crazy successes in their lives - his friends were acing their MCATs, getting promoted, and doing amazing at work. More and more people asked for it to the point that he eventually decided to start Formula and the rest is history. Formula has amassed an organic following from very influential names in wellness such as Dr. Mark Hyman and Vanessa Fitzgerald.

    It is worth noting that Formula only uses ingredients that are classified by the FDA as generally recognized as safe or have passed through phase 3 clinical trials but nootropics as a category are not a regulated substance so please do your own research before trying. Also worth noting is that nootropics work best when combined with exercise, proper nutrition, and meditation.

    On today's episode we get into Dan's career journey and how he got into biohacking, why traditional schooling is not for everyone, what nootropics are and the importance of customizing your dose to your personal brain chemistry, the difference between nootropics and Adderall, navigating an unregulated industry, building trust with consumers and lastly, finding your unique rhythm and way of learning to ultimately build your dream life.

    • 1 hr
    Self worth, nutrition and producing from a place of abundance with Alana Kessler

    Self worth, nutrition and producing from a place of abundance with Alana Kessler

    Alana Kessler, is a registered dietician, yoga instructor, and founder of the holistic lifestyle program, Be Well. Alana has dedicated her practice in helping others learn how to nourish themselves, create balance, and understand their true nature through nutrition, yoga, and inner wellness. Alana developed IBS as an early teen and started to experience high levels of anxiety. By high school, she developed an eating disorder that she carried with her for 15 years. After feeling she was living a double life for far too long, she decided to heal herself and these early health struggles inspired her to pursue a masters in Clinical Nutrition, spend years studying yoga and Ayurveda, and open a yoga studio. Her current practice focuses on Eastern and Western nutrition, Functional and Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, mindfulness, Interpersonal Psycho-Spiritual Healing and life coaching modalities. On today’s episode we get into Alana’s career journey, her history with an eating disorder, her goal of helping people with their relationship with themselves and their relationship with food, the physical manifestation of being disconnected to your inner self, and producing from a place of abundance.

    • 48 min
    Sarah Paiji Yoo on being deliberate with who you are surrounded by, taking calculated risk & disrupting for the greater good

    Sarah Paiji Yoo on being deliberate with who you are surrounded by, taking calculated risk & disrupting for the greater good

    Sarah Paiji Yoo is the founder Blueland a new, eco-friendly and sustainable consumer products brand that is reinventing conventional household and personal care products to shift the way consumers think about and choose their everyday necessities. Her mission is to drastically reduce the need for single-use plastic through innovative, biodegradable and thoughtfully designed cleaning products that will eliminate the need for 100 billion single-use plastic bottles in the US.
     
     Sarah is no stranger to the start up life. Before Blueland, she was a Founding Partner at LAUNCH, which created cult-favorite brands like M.Gemi, Rockets of Awesome and then went on to become the CEO and Co-founder of Snapette, the largest mobile platform for local fashion shopping that was extremely ahead of its time that she eventually sold to PriceGrabber in 2013. After having sold Snapette, Sarah attended Harvard University for her MBA from 2010 to 2012 and ultimately decided to drop out of Harvard to start Blueland and the rest is history. Even though Blueland just launched, it is already being praised by Fortune, Fast Company, CNN, Refinery29, Business Insider, and countless other outlets as the new eco-friendly company to watch.

    On today’s episode we get into Sarah’s career journey and how she knew when it was time to leave her previous ventures, her decision to go to business school and also her decision to drop out, how she came up with the concept for Blueland and what it was like to launch a first-of-its-kind, we talk about her experience being on Shark Tank and landing a deal with Kevin O'Leary, how Covid-19 has impacted the business, the intersection of sustainability and racism, and why it is so important to be radically honest with yourself on your values and priorities before making any career decisions.

    • 51 min

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