Interview with Lindsay Reinsmith, Founder & CEO of Kaeng Raeng

Lindsay is a writer, certified personal trainer and the founder and CEO of Kaeng Raeng, a vegan, gluten free meal replacement cleanse made in Palo Alto, CA.  Originally a “meat and potatoes” gal from Texas, Lindsay now attributes her healthy lifestyle to ‘Skinny Bitch’ and trail running with her dog in the SF bay area.  When she isn’t writing or helping others get healthy, you can find her volunteering for animal rescue, baking vegan cupcakes or cheering on the Stanford Cardinal football team.

Sarah Velasco: Tell us about Kaeng Raeng? How did it begin?
Lindsay Reinsmith: Prior to starting Kaeng Raeng, I was a meat and potatoes girl from Texas who had a tough time staying healthy.  After I attended Stanford and worked long hours as an investment advisor for food and beverage companies, I decided I needed to make some positive changes for my health.  I read "Skinny Bitch," and was inspired to embrace raw diets and a vegan lifestyle.  Frustrated with the lack of healthy and affordable cleanses on the market, I set out to make my own detox smoothies.  When others asked what I was using, and could they buy it from me, I decided to start making Kaeng Raeng for sale.  The financial crisis in 2009 left me with a unique opportunity to become an entrepreneur!  We launched our first product in 2010 after three rounds of product testing with the public.  Today, we're still a small, privately-owned business; but don't worry, KR's not made in my kitchen anymore!  It's made in a certified GMP facility in California.  I often get asked "why the name Kaeng Raeng?"  Kaeng Raeng means 'be healthy be strong' in the Thai language.  I am fascinated with Thai culture and cuisine, particularly the annual vegetarian festival held in Phuket every year. I wanted a name that embodied what KR was all about: helping others get healthy. Although we have a Thai name, KR is made with 100% California ingredients.  

Sarah Velasco: How is it different from other cleanses or detox programs?
Lindsay Reinsmith: The biggest difference between Kaeng Raeng and other cleanses is that KR is not a juice fast.  Your typical juice cleanse, whether you make it yourself or have it delivered to your door, is largely devoid of fiber and protein, the two key nutrients that give you sustained energy and make you feel full.  Fiber is important because it counteracts sugars found in fruit and vegetable based juices and smoothies.  Without that fiber to slow down absorption, you can have insulin spikes, and you're basically doing a sugar water fast.  Kaeng Raeng provides all of the nutrients and vitamins of juice, without removing the nutritionally complete elements of whole foods.  Plus, you can eat raw food while on KR, so it's not limiting both physically and socially.  And finally, just because you get maximum nutrition doesn't mean inconvenience.  We made KR freeze dried, with no preservatives, so you can take it with you on the go.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about yourself? How you became involved with Kaeng Raeng?
Lindsay Reinsmith: When I started Kaeng Raeng, I spent my days working in investment banking focused on food and beverage companies.  I got some pretty neat insight into what makes these companies fail, and what makes them succeed.  I saw a hole in the cleanse market and decided to do something about it. Today, I'm a Certified Personal Trainer and health advocate.  I'm a vegan and animal lover.  But mostly I'm still just a normal girl who used to have trouble staying healthy and found a kick ass way to always look and feel my best.

Sarah Velasco: What is your philosophy behind detox cleanses?
Lindsay Reinsmith: I believe in the premise of a raw diet: to abstain from traditional, harmful, toxic foods and beverages and give your body a rest by feeding it only pure, all natural plant-based ingredients.  Sometimes we just need to give our bodies a break!  I am always amazed at how mentally cleansed I feel after doing Kaeng Raeng, how aware I am of my food choices and habits, how good I feel after feeding myself the right ingredients.  That's what we're about: helping you return your body to a clean, organic state, so you can look and feel your absolute best.

Sarah Velasco: What does an average day meal plan look like for you ?
Lindsay Reinsmith: I am personally vegan, so I normally start my day with a green smoothie, often using a Kaeng Raeng packet as a meal replacement with raw veggies, frozen fruit, and LOTS of water.  I'm a sucker for green tea and almond milk, and usually have that as a mid-morning snack.  Lunch is typically a salad: any kind of salad, loaded with veggies and protein like beans, nuts, or tofu.  If that's not available, I try to have Mediterranean or Mexican food as those always have lots of veggie options.  I constantly seek out protein in my meals since I don't eat animal products.  In the evenings, I cook a healthy, well balanced meal for my husband, usually a mix of whole grains, protein, and vegetables.  Even though I've got a sweet tooth, I try to limit my sugar intake to whole fruits like oranges, apples, and berries.  But yes, even vegans eat unhealthy foods.  During football season in particular, I'm no stranger to french fries, tortilla chips, guacamole, and white wine.  But on a day to day basis, I try to stay on track as much as possible.  

Sarah Velasco: What is the longest you have cleansed for?
Lindsay Reinsmith: The longest I've ever done a cleanse is 9 days, but honestly I feel the best on day 4.

Sarah Velasco: What are common misconceptions about cleanses?
Lindsay Reinsmith: Probably the biggest misconception is that all cleanses are starvation diets (or use harsh stimulants and laxatives to eliminate toxins).  You can get a great cleansing experience using whole fruits and vegetables, loaded with fiber.  Our bodies have amazing detox systems already built in (our livers and kidneys).  But our bodies were also never meant to process the kinds of diets so prevalent in this day and age.  You don't need a magic pill: simply adhering to a 100% natural diet all the time will "cleanse" you as you go.  For those of us non-perfect souls, a 3-6 day detox cleanse is a great way to get you back on track and jumpstart healthier habits.

Sarah Velasco: How do you see customers utilizing the cleanses? Once in a blue moon or once a month?
Lindsay Reinsmith: The vast majority of our customers use Kaeng Raeng 3-4 times per year.  We actually hope they don't have to use it once a month!  Our goal is for someone to come away from a Kaeng Raeng cleanse inspired and empowered to continue on a healthier path, to say "no" to toxic, chemical additives and "yes" to vegetables.  We want that lifestyle to last months, not days, until a customer feels the need to cleanse again.

Sarah Velasco: Anything else you would like our readers to know ?
Lindsay Reinsmith: We use customer feedback to constantly improve our product, packaging, and marketing materials.  I personally read many customer emails and reviews.   If you've got a comment, let us know - we're always listening :)