From Burned Out to Brain Food: Making An All Natural Energy Bar with Manny L.

If you fuel your body with good food, your brain will run well. This advice comes from Manny L., this week’s Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories guest and Heaven’s Pantry co-founder. After experiencing the all-too-familiar corporate burnout, Manny came to realize just how important it is to give your body the food and drinks that keep you going – in the right way. Inspired by his needs mid-burnout and advice his father gave him as a young boy, Manny (along with his co-founder Rob) created ExcaliBars. Manny shares with us the unlikely connections between our bodies and his full-time career in automation, what his goals are with Heaven’s Pantry, and his personal habits that keeps him healthy. 

Hitting Burnout

From a young age Manny L. was taught the importance of hard work and discipline. From school work to his eventual career in process automation and process improvement, Manny put in the hours necessary for success. In one consulting role he had early in his career, Manny recognized that he was starting to lose motivation. The combination of 14 hour days and endless coffee (that provided only a temporary boost) led him to feeling sluggish. He realized he needed to take a step back and re-evaluate his wellness and what his body was telling him. What he needed was a healthier and long-term solution for getting energy without the crash. When the perfect solution didn’t exist, he set out to make one. 

Crafting a Solution

For Manny, the store-bought energy bars he tried all fell flat on his expectations. They either had good ingredients that, together, tasted bad, or bad ingredients that he didn’t love putting in his body. But he knew there had to be a bar that could do both. Together he and his co-founder Rob played around in the kitchen, creating the ExcaliBar, an all-natural chocolate flavored energy bar with 6 key ingredients. Manny explains that each ingredient plays a very important role in the flavor and benefits of the bars- something that differentiates themselves from their competitors. Even though their natural ingredients make it more expensive to produce, the dignity of knowing he’s creating a product he stands behind is worth it to Manny. Today, he juggles being a Heaven’s Pantry co-founder with his full time consulting job, and loves every minute of it. He’s able to know first hand what corporate professionals desire and might look for in a bar. 

Power of Health and Wellness

Manny knows that just like the automation processes he develops at his day-job, the human body is only as strong as its weakest part. And with millions of interconnected parts, there’s a lot for us to take care of. He gives not one, but many of the health tips he practices to keep his body both fueled and rested. He practices disconnecting, is conscious of his diet while also practicing moderation, and he practices meditation often. Health to Manny means showing up as his best self. 

What else can you expect in this episode?

  • The lesson Manny learned from his father from his after-school snacks. 
  • A look into Manny’s corporate consulting role and the connection to his natural instinct to ask questions. 
  • Why health and wellness is a multi-billion dollar catastrophe.
  • The importance of listening to your body, and Tamika’s story from episode 1

Where to find Manny L. and Heaven’s Pantry: