The Shine Health Story
Our passion for herbal medicine and holistic nutrition is rooted in our founder Phil Desrochers’ personal health transformation. He used to struggle with depression, anxiety and challenging side effects like poor concentration and brain fog. That is when he realized he had to take control of his own health by also looking at an alternative approach. As part of his health rourtine he turned to nature and discovered the power of certain rare plants, the combinations of these ingredients and at the correct dosages - the very kind of ingredients and dosages found in our simple and proven with customer formulas.
Phil Desrochers & Greg Leger, Co-Founders
Our History to This Day
SHINE Health was born in 2018 when Greg (my closest friend) and I (Phil) decided to share with others the health breakthroughs I had learned in developing mindfullness and adding a holistic nutrition and food based approach to recovery.
Mindfullness is about being present in the moment and aware of how you and your body is feeling. The food you put in your body can have a huge impact on how you feel.
In my recovery I have learned that we are human and chemical beings. If our chemistry is off, we feel sick. Food that makes you feel bad, poor sleep, no exercise, no love, no friends, no fun, no purpose and no spiritual connection can all disrupt your chemistry.
Holistic nutrition is one way to find balance and plants make up nutrition - this is where SHINE Health comes in.
"TAKING THE RIGHT PLANT AT THE RIGHT DOSAGE HAS LITERALLY TURNED MY LIFE AROUND" - Phil
Our solution came out of my own time consuming and expensive struggle to find the right plant based supplement that were right for my unique symptoms, that actually worked, and best of all were backed by modern science.
We couldn’t understand why such powerful and naturally derived ingredients (supported by clinical studies) were often overlooked and not understood. 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 dis-ease, 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.
We are very passionnate about helping you reach your health goals and optimal mental, physical amd emotional well-being through the most effective plant-based ingredients this world has to offer. Supplements to become resilient and thrive.
The Hunt for a Cure
I spent over $50,000 meeting with Naturopaths, taking customized blood, urine, hair and feces tests and buying every possible supplement to discover the right mix of ingredients at the right dosages to find my optimal health. It was an incredible amount of work and when we founded SHINE our commitment was to simplify the process for you to help you make a confident choice that fits your unique needs.
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 mental health challenges and eventually recover - and truly learn the meaning of friendship.
Phil's 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
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 Brain : I 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.
Omega 3 : I use a double strength Omega-3 fish oil to handle 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). This is a lot! Most packages recommend 2 per day but the research also support higher dosages. I'll usually purchase Kirklands Omega 3 Super Concentrate.
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.
Giving Back Together
1% of profits are donated to The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre because this amazing institution played an important part in our co-founder's recovery.
The Shine Medical Advisory Board
Dr. Jan Dorrell, ND
Dr. Jan Dorrell has over 20 years experience practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor. She is a very gifted and caring natural healer. She joined SHINE in 2018 and advises on our formulations, our ingredients and the latest developments in natural ingredient research.
Jen Kane, RHN
Jen Kane is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with over 15 years experience in the retail health food industry and supplement account management - she is also a self-prescribed supplement nerd and health hacker. She joined the SHINE Board in 2018 and advises on natural ingredient trends and the research to support them.
Dr. Suman Khulbe, MD
Dr. Suman Khulbe is an accomplished physician with over 20 years of experience in anti-aging and regenerative medicine. Dr. Khulbe is extremely passionate about natural and alternalive ways to reach our full potential. She joined the SHINE board in 2020 and brings an innovative approach to natural ingredient combinations and the clinical research to support them.