Jonathan and Laurena Patarkatsi are the founder and co-founder of a health-focused iced tea brand, Down To Earth that is on a mission to celebrate the healing power of the Earth in its most natural state. Their methods are grounded in sustainability to preserve all the rich earthy health benefits our body deserves – no added sugars, no preservatives, and range from only 5-10 calories per bottle. Jonathan and Laurena are also the founder and co-founder of Loyal Sweets that offers a robust nutritional profile. It consists of a superfood ingredient that has been used for centuries as a longevity aid: the mighty monk-fruit!
Hear Jonathan Patarkatsi’s input on how to make staying hydrated exciting without the added sugar, using herbal teas and monk-fruit!
How Drink Down to Earth Came About
Our mom raised us very health conscious and taught ways to health and nourish ourselves naturally at a time when those resources weren’t as readily available in the world.
Specifically with beverages, our mom avoided giving us drinks with sugars and additives in them and we would instead take time making our own herbal concoctions that are very popular is Eastern Europe where our mom is originally from.
As I grew up, I became the health and wellness guy in my friend group that everyone would go to when they felt sick to have me make them my herbal teas. That’s when things started and when the passion took off.
Down To Earth is a health focused beverage and wellness lifestyle brand that believes in the power of clean, natural hydration. We believe that the earth gives us everything we need to hydrate ourselves and we want to make that accessible to as many people as possible.
Tell us about the tea
Hydration is so important and most people go through their day dehydrated, which causes a lot of problems. Water is a great way to stay hydrated though, you also want functionality and that is where the teas come in. If you’re going to drink a certain amount of liquids a day, you want those liquids to do as much for the body as possible.
With teas, you’re getting the same hydration as water but on top of that you’re getting the nutrition from these superfoods and consuming ingredients that might help you with stress, energy, congestion, etc. That’s ideal hydration and that’s been our mission with our teas.
**Looking for something to make your water more functional? Check out Mimi’s Miracle Minerals that add over 70 trace minerals your water is lacking! Click here for Mimi’s Miracle Minerals**
Why You Should Avoid Soft Drinks & Sodas
There is sugar snuck into almost everything and if there isn’t sugar, then there’s most likely artificial sweeteners which can be bothersome for the digestive system – Aspartame is a common one in many diet drinks.
On top of sugar, there is a lot of preservatives and artificial coloring. Citric acid is a big preservative in a lot of drink companies and most don’t disclose the source of it which can sometimes be from mold. A lot of the added colorings are carcinogenic like caramel color that’s added to iced tea.
Anytime you see a coloring or some type of sweetener that you don’t understand – those are the things to be really careful with.
What are some ways people can flavor water to make it more palatable?
Some things I like to do is cut up fruit and things like mint leaves, and let these things soak in the water for a little bit, adding a nice essence and flavor to the water.
Another great option is to add a little bit of natural juice to your water whether it be lime or orange but make sure it’s in its natural form and not from concentrate. Chlorophyll drops are a good edition as a healthy supplement and maybe even add some lemon or lime to it for some added taste.
You can even buy natural sparkling water and add fruit juice, etc like we mentioned instead of seltzer to avoid the additives in most seltzers sold in stores.
Find ways you can get the most out of your water and see what superfoods you can throw in there so that you’re really giving your body what it needs to thrive. You want the foods and the beverages you have to perform for you and have as much functionality as possible.
If you’re struggling with wanting a sweetener to add to your beverages, monk fruit is a great option. Monk fruit is simply a fruit that has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.
Stevia on the other hand in its natural form is a leaf which most people don’t consume it in. Stevia is usually processed these days and is known to still spike glucose levels while monk fruit doesn’t. Monk fruit works with the body to balance sugar levels.
On its own, monk fruit is 300x sweeter than regular sugar yet, it contains zero sugar, zero net carbs, zero calories and has no glycemic index.
Even if you don’t go with monk fruit, making the change from traditional sugar to a better choice like a trusted stevia or dates, will have such a big effect on your overall health and wellness.
** Prefer To Watch? Check Out Our Livestream, Using Monk-fruit to Sweeten Your Healthy Diet with Jonathan and Laurena Patarkatsi Here!**
How do you personally balance sugar intake in your daily lifestyle?
I think at the end of the day, you have to do something that’s sustainable. Know your lifestyle and work with it. I find discipline to be really helpful for me the majority of the time though, balance is key.
On the days that you do have the ability to take the time to do your body good, do that. On the days where there’s dessert at a family birthday, enjoy it.
You want to be able to feel present and also feel good in your body.
A Pivotal Health Experience in John’s Life
When I was in middle school we ate very healthy. When I would go to a friend’s home I would see these foods and these drinks that I wasn’t exposed to and never had.
At times, I would go home and question why things were the way they were compared to other people around me. I remember one day in particular where my sister and I had gotten teased about how we ate and when we got home our mom told us, “Health is the greatest wealth. Today you might think about friends and might not feel great about how your day went but you’re going to thank me later.”
Health is the one thing you really can’t buy and you have to do everything in your power to take care of that.