We’ve all suffered through it: Sitting on another cramped flight, recycled air blasting overhead and only salty chips and greasy cookies available. Perhaps your face feels itchy and tight from the dry air and your head hurts from dehydration and lack of vitamins.
Corey Angelo experienced just that all too often while working in advertising. The Grand Island native wondered: Why does it have to be this way when so many organic, holistic options have become available in both the food and product industries?
She decided: It doesn’t. So, she created Wanderfuel, a service that will soon provide boxes filled with healthy, healing options in everything from snacks and supplements to skincare. Read on to hear how she made her traveler dream a reality.
SBS: How did wellness play into your childhood and how does it factor into Wanderfuel?
Corey Angelo: I was always the weird seven-year-old who never ate French fries. I was always active. I was a pole-vaulter and springboard diver in high school.
As an athlete, you’re really aware of food and its effects. I started studying nutrition in college, and then later, I started investigating Ayurveda. A close friend of mine is holistic nutritionist and practitioner, and she brought me into it. I’ve also studied yoga for 15 years, and I’m especially grateful for that practice now as a founder with a million things to do. The practice brings you back to your body. All of that plays into my work now.
SBS: What was your ‘aha’ moment when you decided to leave your corporate job and found Wanderfuel?
CA: I worked at Glamour and in advertising. I was on accounts including Dunkin’ Donuts and Folgers coffee. As I went along, I started realizing the work wasn’t in keeping with my own personal practices. I was traveling a ton, and I was on the 100th flight. I was without appropriate food and water. I had that moment where I decided to leave the world of advertising. I wanted to found a company to fix that problem. I thought it was crazy nobody had brought together a holistic solution for travelers like me that included food, supplements and an educational piece.
So, I slowly started reaching out to partner brands that I personally use and felt were great representations of my vision. They are always organic, natural and plant-based. They’re also free of soy, dairy and gluten. It’s all meant to counteract inflammation, which is one of the biggest negative effects of air cabin pressure.
Down the line, along with the boxes we’ll provide, Wanderfuel will also be a platform people can trust for information, including a conscious city guide, what goes into the products we choose and why we choose them specifically.
SBS: What are some of the unique aspects of being part of the holistic products industry?
CA: It’s a really exciting time to be a manufacturer of plant-based foods and other products. We’re all being introduced to new brands constantly. I was just on the phone with a nutritionist about microbiome health, and I also just learned about colloidal silver clothing, like an eye mask. Colloidal silver is antimicrobial, so it’s great at protecting the body from harmful organisms. It works to shut down radiation, so when you think about a plane environment, it’s so helpful.
I also became inspired to learn more about different environmental processes, like the effect healthy-top soil has on reversing climate change. Not chemically spraying crops helps create a rich biodynamic atmosphere for crops to grow. The soil is pulling carbon out of the atmosphere, leading to a lower temperature of the earth.
SBS: What are some of the challenging parts of starting a business based on organic products?
CA: Everything we include is shelf stable, and that’s challenging to find. We have to look for ingredients that are as clean as they can be and in a form that’s dehydrated, vacuum-sealed or freeze-dried. But, they still must be really clean. We have a nutritionist on board to carefully vet the products and make sure everything is aligned. .
SBS: How does Ayurveda play into Wanderfuel?
CA: We pull form Ayurveda, but we’re not limited in the sense of only representing that approach. I think the biggest thing we offer from that tradition is the concept that like increases like. That means if you’re in a cold environment and it’s dry, you don’t want to ingest other cold and dry items. But on a plane, they offer you basically dry bread, cold salad and nothing warming to the body. So our rethinking of this situation shows up in providing things like golden milk with ginger and coconut oil. That’s grounding to the body and just one example of using food in that way to counteract the effects of travel.
We based the consumer facing names of categories on the Ayurvedic six tastes: Sweet is strengthening; Detox is bitter greens like our Aloha daily powder; Digestive is spicy cayenne. We’re thinking mostly of ailments that happen in travel space. Dryness is a big one. That’s why we decided to include hydrating sprays and nourishment. Then, we’re intent on offering the educational piece, too. There are so many chemical products on the market. We want to make it easier to discover better options.
SBS: When will Wanderfuel be available to the public?
CA: We’ll soon be announcing where we’ll start shipping to, and in the meantime, we invite people to sign up on the waiting list. We’ve partnered with design hotels and properties for this summer, and soon we’ll be launching with Blade in NYC.
SBS: What are your pro tips for traveling and still maintaining your wellness routine?
CA: We know to stay hydrated, but also personally carrying tea, hot water and lemon in a travel bottle is even better. Lion’s Mane and Reishi are wonderful, and meditating on the plane is the best thing. Just sit there! Nobody is bothering you. I always travel with an eye mask and tune out. Whether it’s 11 or 22 minutes, it’s worthwhile. A probiotic is also helpful. I take a The Beauty Chef brand probiotic with water. A mix of adaptogenic herbs by I Travel Well helps with jet lag and the immune system.
Corey’s International Faves:
Splurge Restaurant: Ibiza: El Chiringuito Ibiza, NY: Locanda Vini & Olii, London: Lyle's
Healthy Restaurant: NY: Dimes or The Fat Radish, London: Rawduck
Nightlife Spot: Ibiza: DC-10, NY/London: House of Yes, Village Underground or warehouse parties
Fun Activity: Ibiza: Rave caves, NY: a nighttime canoe tour down the Hudson River, London: Colombia market on a Sunday
Calming Activity: Ibiza: Beach time, NY: Running along the water at night, London: Wet Sounds or a sound meditation by Sonic Enchantment
Yoga Studio: NY & London: Jivamukti Yoga Center
Fitness Studio: NY: Barry’s Bootcamp, London: Barry’s Bootcamp, Barrecore and Ten Health & Fitness for Pilates
Athleticwear: Michi, Hey Jo, and ADAY
Athletic Shoes: Nike Pegasus (for running!) and Adidas All Star (for running in airports!)
Skincare: Kopari Coconut Melt facewash (night only) followed by Gundry MD Serum and a little Neem oil on any red spots.
Book: The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven R. Gundry and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari for an interesting contrast
Corey’s Sticky Be Mantra: I’m working on all of the mantras SBS offers. I went to a very 'Silver Lake Shaman' acupuncture and guided meditation in LA the other week, and we spent a lot of time not just visualizing, but also actually feeling, the goals we want to achieve. So I've started to incorporate this into my morning meditation.