Lively: Thanks for sharing your day with us! To kick things off, can you tell us about what you do at Vital Proteins and what you enjoy about your role?
Jake Zeh: I help bring Vital Proteins to the masses. I am Vital’s Director of Sales for our Food, Drug, Mass, Club channels. My team and I are lucky enough to call on and partner with some of the largest retailers in the world including Costco, Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Albertsons/Safeway and Publix. Vital’s growth has been nothing short of explosive creating a working environment that operates at a pace of I have never seen before and I absolutely love it! Building my team over the past year from 2 people to 7 has been extremely rewarding and I feel lucky to have such talented people around me every day. Growth is the name of the game, both as a leader of people and revenue driver. I am proud to sell products that positively impact people's lives and help them live a healthier more vibrant life.
L: Walk us through your morning routine – how has it changed (or not) since staying home?
JZ: My mornings usually start around 5:30 a.m. with a 15-lb. cat named Roofis (he’s big-boned) jumping on the bed begging for food the moment my alarm goes off. Quickly, I make my way to the kitchen to begin the morning ritual of making an americano (Counter Culture Big Trouble is my roast of choice lately) adding in OG Collagen Peptides. This is usually right around the time the entire pack of cats (we have three cats: Roofis, Drago and Blue) has made their way to the kitchen for their morning feeding and meds. Most mornings I also reach for a Defense Collagen Shot or Restore Collagen Shot. These have become some of my favorite products due to the taste and functional benefits. Around 6:45 a.m. I’m off to the gym for 1:1 training with my boxing coach, a conditioning session or a lift. Before the gym re-opened, I would head down to my parking garage and workout there.
During COVID I acquired (bought and borrowed) a bunch of equipment to pull together a garage gym including kettlebells, dumbbells, jump ropes, sandbags and an agility ladder. Basically, the starter kit for all of your neighbors to look at you like a lunatic while you work out aggressively in your parking spot. No gym no problem. Around 8:00 a.m., I make my way home or back upstairs from the dungeon (underground parking garage) to start breakfast while I ease into the workday. Post-workout while I drive home or make breakfast, I sip on Vital Performance RECOVER™ in Watermelon Blueberry. Breakfast usually consists of an omelet filled with spinach, red onion and mushrooms topped with green onion and goat cheese, likely some sprouted grain bread on the side. 9:00 a.m. is usually when my calls start, and the day is a blur from that point on.
L: Where have you been getting inspiration for projects or tasks you might be working on throughout the day?
JZ: My team really is the big driver of inspiration for me. Their passion for growth is contagious and I feel like they are always looking for ways to push the boundaries for Vital. Those boundaries might mean monthly/annual revenue goals, gaining distribution at a new retailer or creating an exclusive product for a major customer. Vital’s culture invites our employees to push their ideas forward and go after things that have not been done before. This is incredibly inspiring and pushes me to stay on top of my game so I can keep up with them. I believe in hiring smart people and learning together. That way everyone rows the boat.
L: Lunchtime! What’s your plan?
JZ: Nutritious and delicious keto-friendly tuna salad has been my go-to lately. Made with keto mayo (made with avocado oil vs canola oil), sustainably-caught tuna in water, celery, red onion, green onion, bacon, lemon juice, walnuts, black pepper & salt on an egg wrap with a kosher pickle. Pinterest is where I have been finding most of my keto recipes which has been super helpful in providing me with lots of variety in my meals.
L: You’re hitting your mid-afternoon slump. How do you re-energize your afternoon?
JZ: Coffee is always the answer. I have never been a big iced coffee drinker so I have been experimenting with iced coffee beverages and I finally have found one worth making. The recipe is simple and coffee forward.
- Step 1. Pull 2 espresso shots over ice.
- Step 2. Add 1 C of coconut/almond milk.
- Step 3. Add 2-3 T of MCT Oil and ½ t of vanilla extract.
- Step 4. Add a sweetener of your choice or skip the sweetener for a bolder coffee flavor (my preference).
- Step 5. Blend.
- Step 6. Enjoy and re-energize with some brain fuel.
L: How have you been practicing #wellnessfromhome these days?
JZ: Experimented with the keto diet and intermittent fasting for the past 60 days (successful experiment), parking garage workouts, regular walks around the neighborhood, morning runs in the park, CorePower yoga on demand in my living room and breaking in the new NordicTrack bike (graduation gift for my girlfriend).
Rapid Fire Questions:
Favorite Podcast? The Joe Rogan Experience
Favorite Workout? Boxing and yoga
Binge-Worthy Show? Goliath on Amazon Prime