The word supplement can be a scary one, in part thanks to the quick-fix styles we see all over social media. But in today’s climate of busy-life-living, its no wonder more and more women are turning to supplements in the hope of claiming back some of the energy they have lost while running the rat race. This is where Equi London comes into play – a powerful nutritional formula that supports energy, detox, brain function, digestion and immunity. And the best part? It has been created by two superwomen who have had their fair share of “rat race moments”, so much so they put their heads together to come up with a beautiful product that speaks to today’s modern woman.
Taking the guess work out of what a real energy supplement looks like, Rosie and Alice have created a simplistic recipe that follows a philosophy of only including ingredients that talk to our key body systems. Feeding your body the right nutrients to process and work in harmony is what makes Equi different. Having trialled Equi for almost 30 days now, I can honestly say I have noticed a change in my overall energy levels, sleeping, and skin health. They say it takes 21-days to create a habit, and for me now, no morning is complete without my glass of “Fundamental”.
We took 5 with both Rosie and Alice to get to know a little more about life before Equi, and just how they came to creating a product that has the fashion and corporate world standing up and taking notice. Its an in-depth interview, but I promise from reading it you will walk away with a new found knowledge of gut-health, and the understanding of just how a few small changes everyday can increase your energy levels.
Rosie: Can you paint a picture of what a day in your life before Equi looked like? We all know too well just how stressful “normal” life is, but I imagine the high flying corporate life takes it one step further?
Like so many others who have a busy job and also want to have a social life, the day to day could be pretty full on. The fact that I also wanted to exercise and be healthy also meant I needed to be prepared and make time to look after myself. I’d be up and out by 5.45 to cram in a workout at the office gym which was painful, especially in winter when it’s still pitch black at that time. The gym was pretty amazing on the 10th floor of one of the Canary Wharf sky scrapers and the views in the morning was a great start to the day, even if I was exhausted and had a foggy head! I’d be at my desk for 7.30am for market open at 8am, having stopped by the coffee shop on the floor to buy a large and very much needed coffee. If I’d been out the night before with clients, I’d buy a large vegetable juice with detox booster – the queues were always out the door at the juice bar on a Friday morning.
The trading floor was huge with over 1000 people working there – it was a fantastic atmosphere to work in and I loved the high energy. There was always pressure to perform and the day was pretty much non-stop, sometimes it would go in the blink of an eye because you hadn’t paused to take a minute. We had daily team meetings discussing progress and generating ideas which kept the pressure on; as with anything, when things are going well this was great fun but when budget numbers weren’t getting hit for whatever reason it was stressful. If I wasn’t out with clients in the evening, I’d leave the office around 7pm, sometimes later if there was something important on and I’d be checking emails and market news on my blackberry until bed time. I could get into my office direct from the underground so in winter or bad weather, it sometimes meant that I wouldn’t go outside from getting on the tube that morning to getting off it in the evening – not a surprise that so many of us are vitamin D deficient.
The large majority of people in the city are aware of the effect the stresses, long hours and drinking culture can take on our bodies. Most people were going to the gym and most definitely taking supplements – I can’t remember many desks that didn’t have a pot of some vitamin tablet. I was taking a multi-vitamin, superfood powder and fish oil and trying to eat well when I could, spending far too much money on vegetable juices and detox booster shots. But the hectic lifestyle was definitely still taking it’s toll – I’d pick up colds easily, my concentration definitely could have been better and I wasn’t sleeping well even though I was so tired, but it was my skin issues that made Alice and I really address my diet and supplement regime.
Alice: When working on Harley Street, did you ever feel there was a common theme between your patients in the way they were feeling, and how they were living?
Yes, I absolutely did. I see people for a variety of reasons – skin is where I specialise, but I also work with a lot of people suffering with digestive problems, immune issues, low energy, hormonal imbalances and beyond. To some extent, being based in central London, you would expect many of my clients to work in quite corporate environments, but it seems as though everyone is manically busy these days – whether you’re a mum, work in an office, work outside or have started a business. Though everyone is different, there is a lot of commonality in symptoms we experience when we push the body to its limits. Energy is often first to go, along with sleep disturbances, hormonal trouble and digestive concerns. It very much depends on the person and their own set of unique circumstances as to the main issue, but often it is the same underlying systems that are out of balance and need support.
It does amaze me what we put up with these days – it’s considered normal and acceptable to have big energy dips, terrible PMS each month, be bloated or have spot prone skin… though these are not life threatening issues, they are signs that something isn’t working properly and if left unchecked, more serious issues can develop. The good news is that nutrition can do much to help fine tune and rebalance. Diet is key to this, but good quality supplements can speed up the process and really target things that need to be supported. We are used to have immediate results with medication, and people also want quick results. Though there is never a magic bullet, supplements can make the process easier and also work for those who aren’t always able to eat well all the time. Though the body is sensitive, if you get the treatment right then resilience returns and makes you stronger.
Rosie: Why do you think it takes some time for women to acknowledge there’s an imbalance in the way they are living? You say you were burning the candle at both ends… surely there’s a way to find a harmonious balance with work and life?
I think that the very nature of finding a balance between work and life in itself means that you are cramming as much into your life as possible. So many of us are living super fast-paced lives, trying to do everything both professionally and socially which is great and can be incredibly fulfilling, but can also take it’s toll over time. I found that working in that full on environment meant my social life was fully charged too as sitting still felt so odd after a week of going full pelt… finding/making time to switch off was difficult. Plus when you’re in the workplace surrounded by people doing the same thing as you, it’s the norm and so you don’t question it.
I think women by nature are doers- we do it all, work, look after children, run the home, try to keep fit and looking good, look after our boyfriends/husbands, cook, socialise, travel (organise the travel!) … and even if we’re not doing some of those things, we’re filling the gap with something else. Now as a Mother and running a business, finding the “balance” is even more tricky and I’m finding I need Equi more than ever! It’s literally been my saviour and I really notice if I don’t take it for a couple of days. That said, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Both: When did the concept come to fruition? Did you have a defining ah-ha moment?
We had both always been into health and wellbeing – at uni we were often to be found gyming, doing yoga and eating what we thought was a good diet (turns out granola probably isn’t the best!). The idea really came about after Rosie went to see Alice to focus on sorting her skin out. Like so many others, this had massively flared up after Rosie stopping the contraceptive pill, which she had been on for many years. This was in preparation for her having a baby, so harsh medications were out of the question. Rosie was already eating pretty well, but as well as tidying this up, Alice suggested a range of supplements that not only cleared her skin up, but improved her energy, digestion, concentration, sleep. She felt the best she had in years and it was then that she really realised how sub par she’d been feeling on a day to day basis..
The supplements Alice had given Rosie to take were only available through practitioners or specialist websites, were unbranded and sold in single forms – so you needed to have gone to see and expert to know what to take. We quickly realised that there was a real gap in the market for readily available supplements that actually work and make a real difference to how you look and feel. Supplements get a lot of bad press for being ineffective and we tend to agree with this – most of the readily available products don’t give any noticeable changes and so cheap ingredients that the body don’t tend to be very useful to the body. Though there were some good products on the market, that wasn’t anything that was as comprehensive as what we knew was needed to make a difference, that was also formulated for real people living busy city lifestyles.. and not living on the beach!
Alice had been approached by a few companies wanting her to formulate products so it was something she was considering too and we were having a coffee one day when we decided that we should do it together. Having a nutritional therapist as one of the business owners is such an important asset to Equi. Many companies hire a therapist to formulate products, another to write the literature about it, another to blog and the tone of voice can become a bit confused.
As well as the bringing high quality ingredients to the market, the formulations are are designed for on-the-go busy people who don’t have the time to research what vitamin or superfood to buy, nor the time to take all the different pills and powders you need. We deliver everything you need from a nutritional supplement perspective in one scoop, the equivalent of taking 15-20 pills.
Both: From testing to now, what was the process in developing Equi and how did you know what ingredients had to be included to make such an incredible impact?
It took us 15 months to get Equi off the ground, from conception to launch. We started by formulating the products and really ensuring we had our science right and that they were the best they could be. Because of Alice’s expertise in nutrition and experience with supplements, she was able to formulate the products and our UK supplier sourced the best quality ingredients, which came from all over the world. Apart from this, everything else was done and made in the UK which was really important to us. We also kicked the branding off at the same time, which by far took the most amount of time! Pack design also took longer than we thought, and we had to be careful to ensure our supply chain timing was perfect which was no mean feat. The finished products were delivered to our warehouse the week Rosie’s baby was born, so it was all go go go from there, in more ways than one!
Both: Tell us more about the Equi eight philosophy?
The science behind our formulations is something really unique and quite special, and we knew we needed to somehow translate this into an easy-to-understand way so that people could understand why the products are different to everything else out there. We also needed to make sure it didn’t bog you down with jargon and technicalities! We created our Equi Eight philosophy to do just that. Essentially, we have 8 key body systems that underlie all body processes. These function all the time to keep the body running properly, communicating and working in synergy. If one of these body systems becomes compromised, then others can be affected, which ultimately can lead to imbalances and undesirable symptoms. Skin is a classic example of this – it needs immunity to be balanced, digestion to work properly and hormones need to be balanced, which is why it can be so hard to treat acne and other more severe conditions. Many other formulations work on a more superficial level, which doesn’t bring about lasting changes. You need to go deeper, and our products contain a wealth of ingredients that do this, helping to create balance and synergy that makes meaningful changes to people’s health.
Both: When would you use “Beautiful”, and when would you use “Fundamental”?
Both products have different types of appeal – I mean who wouldn’t want to have great skin as well as being energised and focussed?! This is why we get a lot of people asking whether the can have both at the same time. Though you can take both, building up to it over a few weeks, you don’t really need to, as the products are standalone and contain everything one needs to stay healthy, including vitamins and minerals.
The ingredients in both Beautiful and Fundamental are designed to support all internal body systems, and by doing so they can help with a whole manner of symptoms from. Ingredients in Fundamental target energy and concentration more than Beautiful, but Beautiful will still support both of these things as well owing to the nutrients, herbs and omegas found in this blend. We did find this with the trial, which was conducted on the 30 people taking the skin product for 1 month. We haven’t done a trial with Fundamental but anecdotally find that this product is incredibly good for energy and that people really notice a difference within a few days. The probiotics and adaptogenic herbs also support digestion, immunity and hormone balance which may also impact on skin as well.
We find that Beautiful is perfect if you want to brighten skin up say for your wedding, an event or in the lead up to a holiday. It’s also ideal for those who have skin issues they want to sort out (acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea) or are spot prone. It’s also good for hormone balance especially in women, though we do also have a lot of men taking it and loving it!
Fundamental is more general, formulated for those who really want a hit of energy and are struggling to feel good on a day to day basis. It’s especially perfect if you workout a lot, like to party once in a while, don’t always have the time/resources to eat well and are struggling with a manner of issues owing to this lifestyle.
Alice: There’s always been this big debate on gut health. Do you have any simplistic rituals (aside from taking Equi) to aid in a much more harmonious digestion?
Yes there is, and for good reason – it is an incredibly important organ and really is at the heart of good health. Every system relies on it in a variety of ways – firstly to deliver nutrients, but also the right balance of bacteria is essential for good immunity and has also been linked with mood, metabolism, hormone health and inflammation. As well as being very complex, it’s also very sensitive to the environment. Poor diet, alcohol, stress levels, medications, environmental toxins and pollution all impact on it, so we do need to take extra steps to look after it if we are exposed to any of these things. Probiotics and enzyme are key, which Equi contains. We also add in anti-inflammatory compounds such as turmeric, and alongside fibre rich superfoods, these help keep the gut well supported. Collagen may also heal and nourish the gut membrane, which can be really important for some people with skin and immune issues.
As well as this, diet is key. Lots of fresh veg, lean meat and fatty fish, as well as legumes, nuts, seeds and wholegrain are key. Though I eat it when I fancy bread or pasta, I don’t have lots of gluten, sticking to no more than once a day and replacing with other natural balanced alternatives. My morning ritual of hot water, lemon, fresh ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper is also a must, to help boost stomach acid, metabolism and rehydrate and I also drink herbal teas like fennel, peppermint and dandelion through the day as well. Lastly, I eat lots of fresh herbs and use spices wherever possible spices – cloves, sage, oregano, turmeric, cinnamon, star anise and of course ginger and garlic also great ways to keep the bacteria balanced and discourage inflammation. I also use gelatin sometimes, as this may help heal the gut – essential if you have a few drinks or a boozy weekend at a wedding or something.
Remember that the liver closely works with the gut, so you also have to support this as well.. another reason why Equi is an all round winner!
Both: And not to mention, the packaging is so luxe. Was the development of the final to-sale product just as important as the product itself?
Absolutely! Our goal was always to create a brand that delivered in both style and substance and we’re so happy with how the products turned out – it took us months and months to get right, and even when we were exhausted in going back and forth with our designer, we didn’t finish until we were 100% happy with it. The packaging is supposed to represent a mix of science and nature- just like the products. The natural imagery overplayed with scientific geometrics symbolises that and we have some great plans for the imagery and naming for the next products!
We needed the packs to have shelf appeal and stand out. We have a lot of information about our philosophy and how and why the products work…without a huge advertising budget, we needed them to stand out grab people that way… especially with so many other products on the market.
Both: Lastly, why Equi? A name is so important, so tell us the meaning behind it.
Equi means balance in Ancient Greek, not that we’re Greek! But we knew we wanted an unusual name but also one with meaning. We are all about ‘balance’, not in a namasta-y kind of way, but in the sense that we promote a balanced life – work and play, diet – allowing yourself that unhealthy meal every once in a while, having a few drinks with friends…. Staying up late with friends and still wanting to do yoga in the morning. The products themselves are perfectly balanced formulations which work to balance your whole body internally so that your body performs at it’s best, hence our Equi Eight philosophy. We absolutely love the name, it nails everything we’re about.
If you want to know more about Equi London, and give it a try, checkout their website here. You can also follow them on Instagram for daily inspirational updates plus news on products and stockists.