I have been fascinated with health and longevity for as long as I can remember. I was a competitive tennis player from the age of 8, so working out, eating right and being at the top of my game was ingrained in my head at an early age. Also, I was afraid of dying. When I was 14 years old, I saw my cousin almost die from a severe drug and alcohol addiction, and I was determined to live a clean life. I had hope, as my great grandparents on my dad’s side had lived to 97 and 98 and my grandparents, also on my dad’s side, lived to 92 and 94.
I remained in excellent physical condition through my teen years and played Division I tennis in college. After college, my health began to deteriorate. My energy was consistently low and I was getting sick all the time. I didn’t understand why. I was still exercising, playing sports and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Why was I feeling so horrible?
Thus began my lifelong quest to achieve true health, inside and out.
When we discuss health in our society, it’s usually in the context of physical health, which is why your annual doctor appointment is referred to as a “physical.” The questions that come up are things like: Is your body disease-free? Injury-free? Are you exercising? Eating a well-balanced diet? Sleeping? You get the picture. Less consideration is given to the aspects of mental and spiritual health. But humans are more than just physical beings. We have a distinct mental and spiritual capacity that is interconnected with our bodies. Without attending to all of these components, we cannot achieve true health.
Samantha Walravens is a journalist, author and women’s health advocate. She writes for Forbes, Healthy Women, Elle and Disney Interactive and has published two books, TORN and GEEK GIRL RISING. She is an advisor and investor in several early stage startups and a member of the Pipeline Angels Group. At Project You, she advises on content, branding and social media strategy. In her free time, she likes to hike the Marin Headlands and surf at Cronkhite Beach.
Gregory W. Cumberford
Botanical Wellness Solutions Developer
Greg Cumberford has a 25+ year career as a natural products industry executive and thought leader in sustainable, vertically-integrated botanical solutions, primarily via botanical products R&D, quality management, new product innovation, and manufacturing. He is a senior executive with Natures Crops Incorporated (NCI), a plant-derived specialty oilseed grower, producer, and distributor based in Kensington, PEI. NCI is the exclusive global supplier of Ahiflower® oil, the richest essential fatty acid source from a single non-GMO plant. His responsibilities include:
- Managing natural products industry outreach and communications underscoring Ahiflower oil’s unique core value proposition (CVP) in various channels including dietary supplements, foods/beverages, and body care;
- Leading the company’s equine marketing and sales efforts;
- Outsourced technical solutions development including regulatory clearance, client-based new product R&D, and academic research liaisons;
- Client branding, marketing, and label compliance including trademark license review/approval;
- New Ahiflower-related trademark and intellectual property filings