It’s been a while! Not much has changed on our end in the past year, honestly – I’d been hoping we’d be announcing our shiny new rebrand by now, but things are still a few months behind schedule. :p
As the great Shigeru Miyamoto once said, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a bad game is bad forever.” Spoken like a true perfectionist. In other words, stay tuned.
The good news is we’re not increasing our prices! Other than that, we just have some supply issues and delay-causing complications to update you about. And a survey at the end. A fun survey.
- Delays, especially for international shipping!
- NATURELO: temporary placeholder vitamins.
- Super Micros: out of stock for a few weeks.
- Strawberry: out of stock until next March!
As you may have noticed, we’ve got a perpetual rolling backlog that is putting us as much as two or three weeks behind on some orders. I’m sorry about this ongoing issue. :/ If you’re lucky, you might not get much of a delay at all, but most likely, it will take a couple weeks before we can ship out your order. On top of that, the postal system has been slower than normal, and it’s particularly bad for destinations outside the US, like Australia. If you can swing it, I’d recommend keeping some extra on hand to cover you when these delays happen.
We also just got notice that the EU is adding customs taxes to smaller orders that may have previously slipped under the threshold. We are already barely breaking even (or even losing money) on international orders, so this is not something that we can really help with right now. If you’re in Europe, you might want to hold off on ordering for a bit, given the combination of our backlog, slow international shipping, and additional customs fees – we honestly may not be able to provide enough value to make it worth your while (or ours, for that matter!).
You may have also heard about the global supply issues that have been affecting businesses all over. There was even an article about it in the San Francisco Chronicle recently, featuring our friendly business neighbor Nana Joes Granola! We’ve so far been able to stay nimble and dodge most of these issues, but there are a couple that we’ve just been hit with.
First of all, we recently ran out of our custom vitamin premix before we were able to get a resupply, and so – a year and a half since the last time – we are back to using placeholder vitamins instead. As before, we’re substituting the high-quality vegan brand NATURELO, which includes the same methylated B vitamins and chelated minerals so it will hopefully be of comparable quality. But it’s still not the same, I know. Fortunately, we should be getting the next shipment of our custom vitamin mix before the end of this month, so you can expect to see it back in our products (and Super Micros!) by January.
We also got word from our freeze-dried strawberry supplier that they will be out of product until next March, which is a long time. Yes, there technically are other suppliers of real strawberry powder, but based on our taste tests, there’s only one that tastes good enough to (barely) justify the price, and so we’re out of luck. :/ We still have some of our strawberry products in stock, but they’ll be gone soon, and it will be a few months before we have it available again. So if you have a subscription that includes strawberry, I’d recommend switching the flavors now. Feel free to email us and we can take care of it for you – just let us know what flavor you want instead.
I also want to say a big thanks to all of you who participated in our scoop size survey earlier this year! :) There was a very slight majority in favor of keeping the big scoops as-is, so we haven’t changed anything.
And now for the speculative stuff…
- netParcel: cheaper Canadian shipping?
- Glycine: should we add it to our formula?
- Inulin: dare we open Pandora’s box again?
- Please take the survey!
Have any of you had experience with netParcel? One of our Canadian customers recommended it as a way to get cheaper Canadian shipping. We might give that a try soon, which would involve switching (only) Canadian shipments from USPS to UPS. This could potentially save enough money that we could afford to bring our Canadian shipping fees down to (nearly) the level of our US shipping. Seems almost too good to be true, right? If you have experiences with netParcel, good or bad, let us know. If you’re in Canada and have opinions on UPS shipping in your country, please let us know also!
Lastly, the fun stuff. In the past several months I’ve been experimenting a lot with various supplements for sleep and mood and tissue repair, and one of the most interesting I’ve come across is glycine. Glycine is an amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein, found in significant amounts in collagen and skin and joints, moderate amounts in plant proteins, and smaller amounts in muscle tissue (and rice protein, turns out!).
Super smart nutrition guy Chris Masterjohn (check out his free resources on vitamins and minerals!) recommends supplementing glycine if you eat meat (or rice protein?), in order to achieve a 4:1 ratio of glycine to methionine in your diet and improve your physical and mental health. He suggests that the human body expects this ratio in order to function optimally, which is easy to achieve if you’re eating mostly plants and “the whole animal” but rare these days when muscle meat is the main source of protein for most people.
The good news is that glycine powder is cheap, vegan, hypoallergenic, and tastes sweet (with a slightly weird aftertaste if you take a lot). And in order to achieve a 4:1 ratio of glycine:methionine, we could add 2g of glycine per meal of Super Body Fuel. It would even pay for itself, given that we could lower the amount of expensive monkfruit sweetener slightly to account for the sweetness of the glycine. Initial taste tests are very promising. The slight sweetness even balances out the natural bitterness of the Plain flavors as well.
The bad news? Well, there isn’t any, as far as I’ve found. Glycine can even improve your mood and sleep, via very gentle effects on the serotonin system (unlike the heavy-handed effects of tryptophan or 5-HTP, for example). People like Chris Masterjohn might argue that it’s just about giving your body the glycine levels it naturally expects, so it can run smoothly and calmly the way it’s supposed to. I just want to run it by you all before we pull the trigger and add it. What do you think? Let us know in this short survey! :)
I’ve also spent a while experimenting with prebiotic fiber sources this year and building up my tolerance for the notoriously potent inulin, and I’ll admit I’m tempted to play with it again in our Super Body Fuel formulas. But don’t worry! I wouldn’t do it without consulting with you all first, via this same survey. ;) Inulin is delicious (tastes like cotton candy), sweet and smooth, the best prebiotic fiber source… if not for the explosive flatulence it can cause in some people. :o
But you know, with up to 1g of inulin and 2g of glycine in a meal of one of our plain flavors, “Plain” becomes truly neutral and decently tasty, all without any sweeteners at all (no monkfruit!). The texture is better too. And if you start small, you can usually adjust to tolerate inulin without all the gas – there’s certainly an argument to be made for mixing fermentable fibers, like acacia and inulin, rather than using high doses of a single type as we currently do…
Still, that’s all theory – if it doesn’t work out for you in practice, it doesn’t work out. :p We’re not going to do it unless we’ve thoroughly tested it to the point of success. So let us know if you have a concern, and let us know if you want to be a brave tester to find out if it would cause a problem for you, via the survey:
Even if you don’t have an opinion on glycine or inulin, we’d also like to hear from all of you about your digestive experience generally on Super Body Fuel – any gas or bloating, constipation or diarrhea, or is it all just smooth sailing for you? :) Please weigh in on the survey!
Thank you, and Happy Holidays! :D See you next year. ;)
Alex Cho Snyder (axcho)