One of the most common thoughts that every college student contemplates at some point in the middle of their Netflix and Dominos session, "I should be healthier." But, how? We found the answer by sitting down with one of Vancouver's latest food startups, Kapow NOW!.

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Daniel Chen

We met the KAPOW NOW! Team at a hidden gem called SPACE, a co-working space that is host to a group of multidisciplinary artists, designers, entrepreneurs and oddballs, all with a collective mission to activate the cultural and creative potential of communities and cities at large.

Check out our interview with KAPOW NOW! founder, Tiffany Shen, where we find out what it really means to be healthy, and how we, as college students, can start adjusting our lives, along with some insightful tips and advice for all the college millennials out there. 

We didn't stop there. As a fellow Spooner, we know that there are many of you out there who want to create your own impact in the world through your ideas. Heck, that's how Spoon started too. Entrepreneurship has never peaked so greatly in the history of humanity, and especially since Vancouver doesn't fall short in startups, we couldn't leave without asking how KAPOW NOW! came to be and the journey behind Tiffany's story. 

Sitting down with KAPOW NOW!

Spoon UBC: Hello, thanks for speaking with us today. So, just to start off, could you explain a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Tiffany: I'm Tiffany Shen and the creator of KAPOW NOW!, it's a clean eating food product company. We create health-food products that don't contain any refined sugar, is plant-based, and disposable-free.

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Daniel Chen

Spoon UBC: Ah, so how did you come up with KAPOW NOW! and how did it grow? 

Tiffany: So, *laugh* KAPOW NOW! actually has a bit of a story. I don't necessarily know where to begin, but I would say it started when I needed to change my diet because I was in a place of my life that I wasn't very happy [in]. It wasn't just what I was eating, it was everything. My health wasn't the greatest, I was stressed out at work – I didn't like what I did, and I didn't have the time or energy to do the things that I liked. What I realized was that there was no amount of money or job that could replace happiness. Doing things you love, being with people you love, and having the energy to be present was what was going to make me really happy.

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Daniel Chen

Tiffany: So, I did a whole cleanup of my life which meant that I quit my job and needed to find out my new direction, but I didn't quite have the energy to do that. So, I changed what I was eating. I started with the foundation and looked at my diet and said, "Okay, I need to create a foundation for my body so it can sustain the changes I want it to go through". I stopped eating refined sugar because refined sugar is highly addictive, and is an escape that I think a lot of people turn to, it's the easiest escape in the world today, "Just pick up some sugary goodness like chocolate croissants."

Spoon UBC: *laugh* Or chips.

Tiffany: Chips!

Spoon UBC: Or cookies..

Tiffany: *laugh* Cookies, or brownies, or cinnamon rolls, there's so many, right? So I cut that out. Decided I was going to follow a plant-based diet that was gluten-free. That cut out a lot of stuff for me and I found out that I actually didn't know what to eat. You can only eat so much kale, and avocado, and coconut for a while, then you're like "Okay I need something different". So I started experimenting and the products I have for KAPOW NOW! are the ones that worked. 

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Daniel Chen

Spoon UBC: That's great! We have a testimony right here. So, what is your current lifestyle that you believe is a healthy lifestyle?

Tiffany: I think the journey to a healthy lifestyle is just that, a journey. Balance is something that I think many people struggle with, [and] quite often, it's because we have an overstimulated society where social life, phones, social media – so much stuff – coming at us. So that balance is often missed. Right now, I think the biggest factor of a healthy lifestyle is awareness. Awareness of what's happening right now, where I'd like to be, how to get there, and accepting it in a way that is holistic and fulfilling. I still have days where I don't eat as healthy, exercise, or get enough sleep. But because of my awareness, I am able to stop and say, "Okay, Tif, bring a little more balance to your day." I try not to beat myself up too much. KAPOW NOW! is a fairly young business and it's no easy feat – it does take up a lot of my time – but I really love what I'm doing, so this keeps me going. 

sweet, chocolate, bread, milk
Daniel Chen

Spoon UBC: What are some of the first steps for someone who wants to start this journey– they want to redesign their life?

Tiffany: The first step is awareness. If you're not aware that you want change, or that something isn't working, you can't change it. So be aware of the change you want. Then it's looking at where you want to go and the steps that support getting there. You don't just look at one part, you look at the whole aspect of your life. What it comes down to actually isn't what you're eating and what you're doing, it's what you're thinking. You have a thought first, and then the rest of your actions follow, right? So even before you eat, you have a thought of "I want to eat healthier, I want to be healthier", then you will eat healthier. I think that's the baseline of healthy change.

coffee, tea, beer, wine
Daniel Chen

All in all, it is clear that having a healthy lifestyle has no expiration date, you can start at any time. You just need to have the courage to take the steps that will get you to where you want to be. 

If you're thinking about redesigning your life, I would recommend checking out KAPOW NOW! as a first step towards leading a more nutritious diet. Besides, it's always better to start sooner than later, right?