Culinistas's Kitchen,  Health

Back By Poplar Demand

An interview with Poplar Co-Founders

by The Culinistas

Whether it’s through our weekly meal service or curated campaigns like Go With Your Gut, we’re all about helping you live your best life without compromising. That’s why we’re big fans of Poplar, the modern drugstore bringing you all-natural, clean wellness products at accessible price points. 

We sat down with co-founders Beryl and Blair to discuss why gut health is about so much more than what you eat, Tracee Ellis Ross’s secret to a joyful life, and why you should always save room for dessert.

The Culinistas: So little is known about the gut. What’s a misconception people might have about gut health? 

Poplar: Many assume the gut is just about digestion and food consumption. The gut is actually a group of organs. The system regulates nutrient intake and energy absorption. It also communicates with your brain about overall well-being via hormones and nerves.

TC: What’s one easy thing anyone can do to take care of the gut?

P: Listen! If your gut seems to act up as a response to a certain kind of food pay attention. This is a sign of food intolerance. Meaning that digestion is challenged by something you have consumed and your whole system is going to be sluggish and it will affect everything from your sleep to your physique. It may just be one ingredient in a whole meal — so if the meal challenged you, try eliminating a few ingredients for a week (or more if you can) and if you feel better, you can slowly integrate one at a time over an extended window and gauge how you feel. The idea is to eliminate one or two ingredients that might be presenting a challenge.

TC: What’s the biggest impact of plant products on the gut?

P: One of the most significant impacts of plant products on the gut can be a reduction in inflammation which is largely recognized as the root cause of disease. Ultimately, the positive effects of plant-based products are diverse. From an overarching perspective, they support health by promoting an ecosystem of beneficial bacteria in the gut, supporting critical function through the digestive process, thus helping improve immunity. 

TC: If your gut was a celebrity, who would it be and why?

P: Tracee Ellis Ross has been recognized for her health pursuits, including her desire to eat for joy. Eating what makes her feel good inside and out. There is no better philosophy. Every single body is different, so leading with what works for you is the best solution to health. And ultimately, a joyful gut is one that makes every other part of your body feel good. So, yes, Tracee, nothing but joy, please!

TC: Tell us about a time when you followed your gut and it paid off in spades.

P: So, we (Beryl and Blair) became partners during COVID. We have known each other for a few years (Blair is the founder of Verte, one of the very first brands to lean on CBD as an ingredient and one of the first brands Poplar picked up). Neither of us had a co-founder — nor were we looking for one. It happened naturally — and we are just going with it. And so far, so good!!!! We will need to do a Part II to share exactly how good — but watch out world!

TC: What’s one thing you’ve never had the guts to do, but always wanted to try?

P: Skydiving. Maybe cliche but true.  

We asked Poplar to select six items from our Go With Your Gut menu and tell us why.

Winter Vegetable Antipasti (delicata squash, celery root, red bell pepper, radicchio, walnut, red wine vinegar, urfa, allspice, cumin, cayenne, onion powder)

“Antipasti is our Achilles heel. Love that this one leaves out the cheese — a gut killer — and is cooked just a bit al dente to reserve the freshness of the veg. Yum.”

Brussels & Apple Salad (brussels sprout, apple, gouda, champagne vinegar, allspice, cumin, cayenne, onion powder)

“Light and hearty — the perfect salad course. We are into adding a touch of lemon for the fresh and tangy flavor (and to help break down the brussels so we can more easily digest).”

Shrimp with Tomatoes & Spinach (wild shrimp, tomato, spinach, sage, garlic, lemon, cayenne, onion powder)

“Love a shrimp main dish — save the meat for special occasions. Delicious flavors — light on the tomatoes to keep the acid down — and finished with some healthy fat (like EVOO) for digestion.”

Mushroom Grains Bowl (buckwheat, mushroom, apple, gouda, parsley, lemon, cumin, cayenne, onion powder)

“WE LOVE ALL THE SHROOMS!!!! All the kinds 🙂 We will take two servings please.” 

Roasted Sunchokes (sunchoke, sesame, mint, serrano chile, lemon, za’atar, cumin)

“Nothing cozier than a root veggie in winter and it’s a testament to eating for the season, which is the best thing to do for our bodies and the planet in so many ways.”

Honey Apple Cake (apple, cinnamon, orange, honey, cream, all-purpose flour, egg, sugar, butter, baking soda, solstice blend, allspice, sumac)

“Cake? Did we mention everything in moderation including moderation? The mind and body are connected so if I think it’s yummy some part of that is good for me, right?”

Make sure to download our fun gut health bracket for your chance to win a set of our 10 Grove kitchen linens.