Doug Evans’s revolutionary solution for the consumption of daily nutrients is one that disrupts the $35.7 billion dollar vitamin & supplement manufacturing industry. A wellness practitioner and serial health food entrepreneur, Evans is the author of “The Sprout Book,” a low cost, accessible guide to how to obtain all necessary nutrients through sprouts. The book has been recognized by leading health and wellness experts such as Dr. Oz, Deepak Chopra, and Brian Wendel––president of Forks Over Knives.
Evans witnessed the misfortune of his mother passing away from cancer at just 66 years old and his father passing away from heart disease at the age of 77. His extended family also suffered from a variety of health conditions such as diabetes and obesity; these unfortunate events lead Evans to his nutritional awakening. Through an encounter with Denise Mari, a vegan in a New York City nightclub, he became enlightened with the importance of food and its impact on our health. Within a span of two weeks from this fortuitous encounter, Evans went from a diet of “eating anything” to exclusively consuming fruits and vegetables.
He was exposed to a whole new world of food knowledge, and never looked back, “It felt like a miracle,” he recalls. Together, Evans and Denise Mari started Organic Avenue, the first major organic cold-pressed juice and raw food retailer in the U.S. They successfully grew the business for 10 years before selling it to a private equity group.
As he entered a new season of life, Evans contemplated how he could best share the benefits of health and nutrition to the greatest number of people possible. He found the answer in something he had been obsessively eating for decades––sprouts! He was compelled to share how sprouting seeds can be a viable solution for nutrients at an extremely low cost to consumers. A bundle of seeds costs less than a dollar and are easy to maintain; they require no gardening experience or complex equipment. A few tablespoons would multiply ten times in volume, providing many servings of nutrient-dense food. In his book, Evans details the plethora of benefits that sprouts offer, including higher amounts of protein, fiber, micronutrients and antioxidants than what is found in fully matured vegetables. This plant-based way of eating was particularly powerful as it offers accessible nutrition to lower-income communities and neighborhoods within food deserts.
Today, Evans lives near Joshua Tree National Park where he founded Wonder Valley Hot Springs, a group of houses and cabins in the middle of the high-desert. His unique approach to hospitality synchronized with his outlook on holistic nutrition, providing an oasis for those looking to relax and restore. Each cabin and house is equipped with its own private granite soaking tub filled with mineral-rich thermal hot springs water. The combination of detailed decor and landscaping is reminiscent of Bali, Indonesia, with an added beauty of a draw-dropping backdrop featuring evenings full of unobscured views of the sun setting behind the mountains. Through his oasis, social platforms and his book, Evans continues to revolutionize the nutrition and wellness industry with his teachings on the benefits of sprouts.
TRANSFORMING THE AMERICAN DIET
Doug Evans: For the last 20 years, I’ve been searching for the perfect food. I started as a fast food and meat-eater raised on the standard American diet on the streets of New York City. I understood early on that vegetables were good for you. The less healthy the food was, the more I was attracted to it. After three different high schools, spray painting graffiti on hundreds of subway trains and causing all kinds of ruckus. I joined the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division as the lowest ranking enlisted soldier to jump out of planes and run through the woods. The army was a turning point in my life, because it taught me discipline and built my confidence in trades that would serve me well in taking control of my life and my health.
After the army I turned my passion for street art into one of the first digital printing and graphic design studios. I developed an obsession for technology and went on to work with Paul Rand and Apple, Microsoft and Adobe Systems.
Then my life changed forever when I watched my mother die of cancer at 66 and my father die at age 77 of heart disease in the same hospital. My mother’s sister had died from cancer and her husband died of heart disease. Her brother died of heart disease and his wife died of complications from diabetes. And my older brother became morbidly obese, developed type two diabetes, heart disease and atrial fibrillation and had the first of three strokes.
At age 33, I really thought my life was doomed. That I was dealt a bad hand of genes and I should get my affairs in order. Thank goodness a random event introduced me to my first vegan friend, Denise Mari at 2am in a New York City nightclub. I literally went from eating anything to exclusively eating raw fruits and vegetables within the space of two weeks. I began to see the world in a completely different way.
Doug Evans: I quickly fell in love with nature. My entire world opened up, losing weight literally and figuratively made me feel light and high on life. My chronic stuffy and bloody noses were gone. My crusty eyes were clear, and I could breathe clearly through both nostrils at the same time. My lower back pain was gone for good. It felt like a miracle. The challenge was, what to eat, in what quantity and where I was going to get it. Those were legitimate concerns. But I was focused, resourceful and determined every day, it became a little easier. I became familiar with how to adapt a menu in my local restaurant to accommodate me.
I found foods that tasted good, filled me up and digested well along the way. I experimented with some extreme forms of the diet. I ate mono fruitarian for a while. This meant eating exclusively fruit, one type at a time until I was no longer hungry and then I’d wait a few hours until I was hungry and then find another food. It was fun. satisfying and very effective. I loved it. And if I had lived in Bali or Hawaii, it would have been easy, but in my heart, I didn’t feel it was necessary. Adding salads, vegetables, seaweeds, seeds and nuts made it so much easier. And that became my inspiration behind the launch of my first plant-based business.
POWER OF SPROUTS
Doug Evans: Sprouting brings new life to food, adding flavors and textures while packing and vitamins micronutrients phytonutrients minerals, flavonoids, polyphenols, antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics and more. Sprouts are super low in calories, zero point on the WeightWatchers system, low glycemic and high in fiber and protein. Sprouting increases protein by as much as 20% and vitamins and other nutrients by up to 500%. Making sprouts a healthier, unprocessed alternative to chunky processed protein powders. Sprouting reduces phytic acids and lectin substances found in beans and grains that can make them hard to digest. Sprouts are low in calories and high and everything that’s good for us.
You can safely make sprouts at home in two to seven days without specialized equipment. If you’ve heard scary stories about contaminated sprouts, not to worry, sprouting is easy. You simply add water then wait for nature’s magical transformation from being grain or seed to sprout. Thanks to the increasing variety of sprouts available in natural food stores and supermarkets. It’s easy to start a sprouting habit without going DIY.
Doug Evans quotes are an excerpt of The Sprout Book by Doug Evans