SHINE Health was born in 2018 when Greg (my closest friend and the one who saw me through my health challenges and eventual recovery) and I (Phil) decided to invest some of our own money to share with others what I had learned.
Our solution came out of my own struggle familiar to those who want to reach their full potential - it was simply too time consuming and complicated to find natural supplements that actually worked and were tailored to meet our own unique needs.
We couldn’t understand why such powerful and naturally derived ingredients (often referred to as Nootropics and Adaptogens) were only understood by and used by athletes and CEOs. Clearly, we thought, everyone deserves to benefit from the best nature has to offer.
We knew that creating this kind of supplement would mean taking matters into my own hands. Inspired by Functional Doctors, addressing the root cause of disease, Greg Leger and I co- founded SHINE Health and immediately got to work.
We spent months searching for the perfect team of doctors and nutritionists (learn about them below), building our health quiz and formulating our products based on 10's of thousands of research studies and 1200 patients visits. We then searched globally to partner with trusted growers of the purest forms of ingredients.
We worked closely with a Health Canada site licensed facility capable of applying a slow batch method which avoided the use of fillers. To top it off, we found 100% recyclable and sustainable packaging. Great for you and the planet – everything you should expect from your supplements.
The Hunt for a Cure
From the age of 25 to 40 years old I (Phil) estimate that I spent over $50,000 meeting with Naturopaths, taking customized blood, urine, hair and feces tests and buying every possible supplement to return to who I truly was and unlock the potential I believe I had inside of me. I came to learn that we are chemical beings and if our chemistry is out of balance our health suffers. I'm so grateful that I found my balance and we exist with the simple goal of helping you find yours.
My Health Recovery Routine (for real)
Run 3-4 times a week for 30 min. & a shoe tip
I don't necessarily love to run...but it's free and I love the feeling that raising my heart rate gives me. I have an Apple Watch and around the 8 minute mark I notice that my brain fog starts to lift, I start to feel happier/more hopeful and I feel a sense of calm. When I miss my runs I start to feel very impatient, I get angry more easily and find it much harder to get out of bed. I need running shoes with lots of padding to put less pressure on my knees and hips. My running shoes are the Mizuno Wave Rider 25. They are expensive at $174.99 - they last about a year which in the grand scheme of things is a good investment.
Sleep 8-8.5 hours per night & the bed I use
I know...it's pretty boring. But sleep dramatically affects the power of my brain, my motivation to eat the right foods (for me) and ability to check things off my to do list. I used to believe sleep was a waste of time but when leaders like Arianna Huffington writes an entire book on sleep (The Sleep Revolution) I am reminded as to why sleep is so precious. My bed is a base model by Beautyrest ($699) but my wife and I also decided to buy a 2 inch memory foam mattress topper. It's a really nice touch we love.
The 3 prescribed medications I take daily & why I chose to take them
I share this information with hesitation out of fear that you will judge me. But that's my own stuff! My intention in sharing this with you is to have complete transparency in the spirit of what I have had to do to be my best.
I remember the turning point in my decision to take medication. Prior to that I had tried them but they did not work, had too many side effects and since then had committed to taking a natural approach...but I was still sick.
I was driving in the car with Greg (Co-Founder of SHINE and my closest friend) back in 2011 telling him that my mental and brain health was struggling so much I did not know how I would continue, "Life is just to so hard!" He then said "In a way, we are lucky that we live in a time where we have access to these types of medications." It was at that moment that I said "F$%k it! I'll take whatever I need to be myself again."
NOTE: I am not a Doctor and the following is not intented to diagnose or recommend a medication for you. Discuss with your Doctor for what might suite you.
IMPORTANT: Prior to taking any medication I spent $2,200 on a special blood test to check the levels of my neurotransmitters. This test was not covered by my health insurance. The day I got the results was truly a turning point in my life. My Dopamine levels where half of ideal levels, Serotonin was about 25% below target, Norepinephrine was 50% below target and GABA was double 200% higher than it should have been.
I took this blood report to my doctor and I believe it was the reason I found the right medication. PS. Prescription medication is often prescribed randomly and through trial and error. I refused to feel like a guinea pig and risk an adverse reaction which is why I did all the testing.
WELLBURTIN XL (150MG): This medication is like a shot of energy and helps me to increase focus and face challenges. It helps increase norepinephrine and dopamine, two neurotransmitter levels I was low in.
DULOXETINE/CYMBALTA (60MG): I find this medication helps reduce my anxiety in particular and stabilize my moods. This medication helps increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels, two neurotransmitter levels I was low in.
QUETIAPINE (12.5MG): At very low doses this medication helps me sleep. Wellbutrin is very energizing for me and I need this medication to be able to sleep. I take it two hours before bed and typically have a good 8 hours of sleep.
If you choose to take or not take medication there is no judgement. You decide what you need to do to find health.
Meet my councellor Bob West on a monthly basis & what I have learned
Bob West, with Abundant Living Counselling has been invaluable in my recovery. Talk therapy with an outsanding listener and wise coach is why Bob has been so instrumental in my life. He has helped me see why I set unrealistic expections for myself and how ignoring my emotions led to burnout, my brain shutting down and depression. He aslo helped me see that when I don't communicate my needs I get angry. Above all my work with him led to self-acceptance, self-love and a feeling of freedom. If you want to try councelling make sure that you love working with the person.
The food I eat that makes me feel great & a few foods I eat less of
I have learned that the judgement of food (good food vs bad food) and the diet culture is very dangerous to finding the right foods that make you feel great. Choose the foods that make you feel amazing either in the short term and/or long term. I love green tea, split pea soup, curried lentils, brown rice, chicken, red meat, dark chocolate, pistachios, carrots, apples, oats, and almonds. I also love the following foods but eat them less frequently because they make me feel foggy headed, constipated, anxious and depressed: Tortilla chips, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, peanut butter & jam sandwich, and salt and pepper chips.
There is no good or bad food. There is only food that makes you feel great or not. Listen to your body and love the body you are in.
The 4 Natural Supplements I take & why I take them
My medications have many side effects and I need natural supplements to counter act them. Supplements have also been invaluable to my recovery. I have also relied on them to surpass the limits I used to have. I might be considered a neuro-hacker. Someone who has spent a lot of his time trying different natural ingredients to optmize my brain, energy, recovery, immunity and health overall. These are the supplements that I take after years of trial and error to see which one works best for me. NOTE: I also take all my supplements two hours before or after taking my medication to avoid any risk of interaction.
SHINE Memory (600mg): I friggin love our herb Bacopa because it includes both the leaf and flower parts of the plant (which I learned in my past works best). It is also very high strength. Bacopa for me is like a secret super brain power herb that gives me great focus (with no crash) and a sharp memory. It also helps me be more calm under stressful situations.
SHINE Mood (12,000mg): Our own double strength Omega-3 fish oil is crucial to handling my anxiety. I love it because it has high levels of EPA/DHA which are the medicinal parts of the oil. I take 12 pills per day with food (6 capsules at around 10am and 6 capsules at around 3pm). Our package recommends 2 per day so please follow these instruction and if you want to increase your dosage talk to your doctor. I need 12 to address my anxiety. Our brand SHINE Mood also taste sweet which I like.
MULTIVITAMIN (2 tablets/day): I have taken every multivitamin on the market! The best for me is Whole Earth & Sea for Men (they also have for women) by Natural Factors. I love that the vitamins and minerals are food based. It's also more expensive then other brands because it includes many green ingredients like chlorella, brocooli, and green tea. I find it helps most with my ability to focus and deal with stress.
GREEN POWDER: When I don't take my favorite green powder I tend to get the flu...so it helps improve my immune system. I like VegeGreens by Progressive. It's quite expensive but good ingredients often do. I'll usually put it in my smoothy and oats.
This was Greg (left) and I, Phil (right) back in 2007. We were on Blackcomb Mountain in the back bowl taking a break. We had a favorite spot about halway down the hill where we could enter a really cool glacier behind us.
I share this story because it is a glimpse into our friendship and that he was one of the people that supported and believed in me - which made it possible to face my health challenges and eventually recover - to then be able to work together to help you achieve your dreams.
Our mission is to create a world where you receive a customized approach to health in order to feel great and confidently pursue your life passions & goals.
Dr. Jan Dorrell, ND
Dr. Jan Dorrell was my actual Naturopathic doctor during my recovery. She is an outstanding listener and able to identify cures to targetted symptoms. She offers the following therapies: Acupuncture, Botanical Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Counseling, Homeopathic Medicine, Natural Supplementation, Oriental Medicine, and Orthomolecular Medicine. She has too many 5 star ratings from her clients to count. Dr. Dorrell joined the SHINE Board way back in 2018 and was instrumental in building our Health Quiz and developing our formulas. She continues to consult today!
Jen Kane, RHN
Jen Kane is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and has over 15 years experience in the retail health food industry and account management experience in the supplement industry. Like me she is the ultimate supplement nerd and a health hacker and hunter for the latest and greatest natural ingredients to reach optimal health. She joined the SHINE Board at the same time as Jan in 2018 and was instrumental in building our Health Quiz and developing our 5 formulas. She continues to consult today!
Dr. Suman Khulbe, MD
Dr. Suman Khulbe is an accomplished physician with over 20 years of experience in anti-aging, regenerative, and aesthetic medicine and injectables. She is the owner of her own privarte medical practice at www.drkhulbe.com where she treats patients like family. Dr. Khulbe joined the SHINE board in September 2020 and brings an innovative approach to natural ingredient combinations and the clinical research to support such formulations. She continues to consult today!
Yanic Desrochers, Eng.
Yanic runs all our operations and brings with him over 10 years experience handingly the logistics at top 100 consumer package goods companies. From sourcing to order fulfillment he takes care of it all. He is very detail oriented and loves to get things right. He is also my brother, which I am grateful to be able to share the journey with him.
A founding partner of Lex Start Lawyers, John also chairs its Board of Directors. With 20 years of practice he is armed with the Quebec, Ontario and Paris Bars. He has brought great expertise and confidence to the SHINE team to make sure we are compliant with all laws and stay ahead of the curve with innovations in the Natural Health Product category.
Damiano is founder, CEO at Startup Slang. Startup Slang is a creative full service Business Development agency, specializing in helping eCommerce and Web 3.0 companies. Damiano and his team were instrumental in launching our brand by collecting and analyzing survey data from 5000 individuals to focus on which health concerns to address.
Clark Swimm is the owner of Avive Naturals. Avive Naturals has 15 years experiuence and is a licensed contract supplement manufacturer and custom componder of Natural Health Products. They are licensed by Health Canada and are an FDA-Registered facility. Clark has been with us from the very beginning and he has shared with us a passion to source the purest form of ingredients from trusted growers and manufacturer without the use of any fillers, preservatives or sweeteners. All orders are shipped from his facility near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Steve has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and is Managing Director at Novaceutics Consulting which offers research-based expertise in the life science and natural health product sectors. He helps companies develop new products and technologies by providing guidance on various aspects of R&D, business and new product development. Steve was instrumental in reviewing all the research to support the formulation of our 5 products and collaborating with Health Canada to aquire approval for sale and Natural Product Numbers.
Greg has over 15 years experiences in the financial services industry and is a passionate investor in business start ups. He is involved with Anges Quebec (a seed investment group) and is always looking for ways to make the world a better place through innovation and passion. Greg is co-founder of SHINE Health and a heavy investor in the business. He believes that SHINE Health is addressing a greatly underserved market of customers who could benefit from Adaptogens and Nootropics but who need help and guidance to make the right personalized choices.
Phil has over 15 years experience in corporate leadership and talent development. He also spent many of those years of his life on a crusade to find healing in the areas of focus, memory, mood, energy and stress. He tried and tested about every product he could find to uncover the perfect ingredients and doses that are not only effective but backed by clinical trials. He is co-founder of SHINE Health and he brings this experience and passion to serve customers and help them pursue all their life passions and live with no regrets.