Four Sigmatic: An Interview with Tero Isokauppila [+exclusive promo code]

Mushrooms are the original superfood.

Mushrooms have been used medicinally in Japan and China for Millenia, and for good reason, as certain mushrooms are strongly antibacterial and antiviral, and contain powerful immune boosting compounds.* Medicinal mushrooms are a specific species of mushrooms that are wild, non-toxic and non-hallucinogenic. Mushrooms are the world’s most scientifically studied superfoods and many drugs are derived from fungi - penicillin is one example. 

I am always looking for the best whole foods with the greatest health benefits, so when I met the Finnish #FunGuys from Four Sigmatic a couple of years ago and tasted their mushroom drinks, I immediately recognized that this brand is the real deal. Four Sigmatic is on a mission to popularize drinking (yes, drinking) mushrooms. Using mushrooms in the whole food form is not new, ingenious cultures have used them for thousands of years. But, what is unique about Four Sigmatic's medicinal mushroom products is that they have been crafted to not only taste good, but are also easy and convenient to use. 

Four Sigmatic Cordyceps Mushroom Elixir Mix for an energy boost and recovery. Image courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

Four Sigmatic Cordyceps Mushroom Elixir Mix for an energy boost and recovery. Image courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

I love using Four Sigmatic's products to add an immune boost and other healthful benefits to my daily routine. I've often passed on coffee at my office, and instead made a hot cup of Cordyceps Elixir for a mid-day energy-boost. This has sparked conversation with my colleagues in the break room who were pretty intrigued when they learned that I was making a superfood mushroom drink, simply and quite effortlessly with a Four Sigma powder packet and some hot water. The Cordyceps Elixir is my go-to coffee alternative, as it supports the adrenal glands and helps produce and maintain constant energy levels. 

all about four sigmatic

Four Sigmatic was founded in 2012 as a self-funded startup, and has since grown a serious following. The Four Sigmatic core team has known each other for years. Most of the team members were roommates in college and left their well-paid corporate jobs with the likes of Google, Citibank, and Hewlett-Packard to work on behalf of the great mushroom. Their products can now be found in more than twenty-five countries world-wide. While Four Sigmatic has grown in popularity, is remains as a small-employee owned startup, made up of an awesome team of #FunGuys who continue to work to make a difference in global health. 

When we founded Four Sigmatic, our first goal was to find the smallest thing people could add to their current diet to produce the biggest positive impact on their health. For us, the answer was obvious: medicinal mushrooms.
— Four Sigmatic Founders
Four Sigmatic Immunity Bundle with Hot Cocoa with Cordyceps, Chaga Mushroom Elixir Mix and Superfood Blends Winning-X. Image courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

Four Sigmatic Immunity Bundle with Hot Cocoa with Cordyceps, Chaga Mushroom Elixir Mix and Superfood Blends Winning-X. Image courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

Four Sigmatic has gained well-deserved recognition and has been featured in Forbes, Time, Bon Appétit Magazine and Well+Good, who wrote, "In Los Angeles, Mushroom Tonics are the new latte." Celebrity athletes and highly regarded individuals in the health and fitness world have also taken notice. Big names like, Rich Roll (Ultra-Endurance Triathlete and Best Selling Author), Ben Greenfield (Speaker and Author / Top 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness) and Terese Alshammar (3-Time Olympic Medalist), among others, have praised the benefits of using Four Sigmatic products.   

All of Four Sigmatic's products are made with the highest integrity and are 100% vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, sugar-free, soy-free, peanut-free, and nut-free. They also are free from pesticides, additives and GMO's.

four sigmatic: giving back

You might be surprised to learn that fungi are involved in the industrial processing of about half of the most profitable products used in human medicine, and medicinal mushrooms have been particularly widely studied for potential cancer treatment. According to the team at Four Sigmatic, although more research is needed, many top cancer organizations and hospitals recommend the use of medicinal mushrooms as an alternative or complimentary treatment.

For every Four Sigmatic mushroom box sold, a portion of the proceeds are put toward providing free mushroom Contribution Kits for cancer patients. Four Sigmatic has partnered up with Boarding 4 Breast Cancer (B4BC), a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation focused on breast cancer prevention to distribute these kits which include more than $1,500 worth of mushrooms for patients. Four Sigmatic also donates Contribution Kits to non-breast cancer patients and survivors. 

interview and giveaway announcement

Visit today's Instagram post to enter to win a Four Sigma Prize Pack! You can also find the recipe for this refreshing Chaga Ice Tea from Four Sigmatic pictured above here. Photo courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

Visit today's Instagram post to enter to win a Four Sigma Prize Pack! You can also find the recipe for this refreshing Chaga Ice Tea from Four Sigmatic pictured above herePhoto courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

This past March, I got together with Four Sigmatic's Head of Sales, Mikael Mäkinen, at Bulletproof Coffee in Santa Monica, a couple days before the Natural Products Expo West. We chatted about Four Sigma's new products that had just been added to the line, while we soaked in the California sun on the cafe's patio. In addition to a recent branding change, Four Sigmatic showcased a number of new products at the Expo including their lemonade and a new line of children's products.

I had the opportunity to interview Four Sigmatic President Tero Isokauppila, who shared all about his travels in search of superfoods, some common misconceptions about medicinal mushrooms and, of course, his favourite way to drink mushrooms. You'll find the full interview below.

Exciting giveaway announcement: I have teamed up with my friends over at Four Sigmatic for a giveaway! Visit my Instagram page to enter to WIN a Four Sigmatic Prize Pack! This contest is open to Canadian and American residents and closes September 1, 2016 at 8pm EST. To enter to win visit my Instagram post by clicking here!

Click here to check out Four Sigmatic's full line of products and I've got a special promo code for Love Wild Live Free Readers - enter code LOVE for 10% off!


An Interview with Tero Isokauppila, President of Four Sigmatic

What was the motivating factor that inspired you to make the shift from your career in the tech industry to establishing a business based on superfoods?

It was a combination of wanting to do something more meaningful, my personal love for superfoods, and the wish to create a lifestyle that was more aligned with my own personal values. 

I understand that your goal in founding Four Sigmatic was to help make superfoods taste better and be easier to use, and that your first mission was to popularize drinking mushrooms. What is your favourite way to drink your mushrooms?  

Honestly, I do like our mushroom coffee. That with a bit of almond mylk is the bomb. But I don't drink coffee everyday so another favourite is to drink our Chaga Elixir the same way. The earthy flavour of chaga combined with one of my favourite adaptogens, eleuthero, is a killer combo. 

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee with Cordyceps - stimulation without jitters. Image courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee with Cordyceps - stimulation without jitters. Image courtesy of Four Sigmatic.

Are there any misconceptions that you often hear about using medicinal mushrooms? 

So many. Like that people who have candida can't eat these mushrooms. Or that one can eat them raw. And the list goes on. Peoples knowledge about medicinal mushrooms has increased a lot but there's still much work left. 

I understand that your core team has known each other for years, and that most of your team members were roommates in college. What has been the best part of working with a group of people who share such a close connection? 

This comes with many benefits. Like that we don't have to keep that many internal meetings, which I do hate. Also just sitting in the sauna with the guys few times a year on our team offsites is the best. 

You've spoken about eating mostly local, organic and wild foods while growing up in Tampere, Finland and how you've explored different food trends and diets over the years. What is your current food philosophy? 

Experimental. I do have some fundamentals, liek fasting and importance of hydration, but I like to test new stuff. 

What has been your favourite place that you have traveled in search of superfoods? 

Palawan in the Philippines. It's quite beautiful there.

Do you have any tips for maintaining a healthy balance while traveling? 

There are again many. But generally people should eat less, use enough salt, and really up their supplement game. Iodine, B vitamins, chlorella, astaxanthin, and of course medicinal mushrooms are examples of good things to take while on the road.

You recently added a number of exciting products to your line including, Superfoods Blends, Smoothie 'Shroomers and Kidz Mushroom Hot Cocao. What can we expect to see in the future as Four Sigmatic continues to evolve?  

Many new products, and constant innovation. We're totally fine if most of our new products don't become bestsellers. It's just fun to try new stuff and keep learning ourselves. Of course we hope to make again something truly innovative that will catch on more widely as well, like our mushroom coffee and dual-extracted products have. 


Four Sigmatic has shared their recipe for a refreshing Chaga Ice Tea - click here to check it out! 

Special thanks to Mikael and Tero for their time! Don't forget to check out Four Sigmatic on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and on their website.

Click here to check out Four Sigmatic's full line of products and I've got a special promo code for Love Wild Live Free Readers - enter code LOVE for 10% off!

Much love,

#LoveWildLiveFree

This post was in collaboration with Four Sigmatic and the product used were kindly gifted for review. I only share products that I personally use and that are made with the highest integrity. The links and coupon code provided are affiliate links, which means that if you visit Four Sigmatic's website through one of these links and purchase product, I’ll get a commission. Don’t worry – the price is still the same for you, plus you'll get a 10% discount with my promo code! 

To work with Avra and Love Wild Live Free on collaborations, reviews and sponsored posts please get in touch on the Contact page!

Source:

*Savona, Natalie. Wonderfoods: The Best Nutrition and Recipes for Optimum Health. London: Quadrille Limited, 2006. Print.