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Meet our CEO: Bill Ciprick

By Bill Ciprick

I always played competitive sports growing up in Kamloops, BC. and through university at UBC in Vancouver. My main sport was hockey when I was younger, then rugby through University and into the start of my working career in the BC Senior Men’s Rugby Union. On top of playing rugby, I studied Uechi-Ryu karate and competed in full contact tournaments many times a year.   

As a kid and through to present day, being physically active has been my greatest stress reliever, and has helped define who I am as a person. I eagerly wake up at 4:45 AM each weekday to start my day with a workout. Without it, I don’t feel nearly as prepared to tackle my busy days.

I am simply a different person when I work out, watch what I eat and take my supplements versus when or if I miss them. My entire mood and persona changes when I feel like living a healthy day isn’t available to me.

Even as I travelled extensively through my career (domestically and internationally), I found ways to work out and make good food choices regardless of location. I would often get funny looks from colleagues and clients on business trips when I chose the salad instead of fries and a glass of milk with my meal instead of a beer. 

It was my choice to watch what I ate and drank on the road and to get up early to go to the gym and work out or move furniture in my hotel room to make room for exercise if a gym was not available. I have been doing this for the past 25 years and love it. 

I was always pretty aware of the role good nutrition and supplements can play in supporting high performance. I learned the science behind good nutrition and supplements through articles in books on sports and nutrition, and I worked in the health care field at the start of my career.   

I was fortunate to work with many like minded, health-conscious people at Procter & Gamble and learned a lot from them to supplement my own knowledge base. Even when I was not making much money, I had roommates that showed me how maximize nutrition on a budget, such as buying bulk chicken, tuna, pasta, and greens from Costco and bulk supplements from mail order catalogs. (Yes, I’m dating myself.)

As a younger adult, I had learned that I couldn’t get all the benefits I wanted for my health from food alone, and I started learning about nutritional supplements. At first, I tried just pure protein powder because I wanted to build muscle mass and stamina. I then progressed to taking a daily green drink to help with my body chemistry pH level, and added glucosamine to help with knee joints and pain I was suffering from old sports injuries.

I did a lot of experimenting to find the right mix and balance of good food and supplements to feel my best and to perform my best in life: as a husband, father, sibling, son and in all of the roles I have challenged in corporate work. It was difficult to find good quality supplements to take daily when I started using them. As I moved into my 40s and now 50s, more options became available.

Functional mushrooms have been well understood and used in Asian and First Nation cultures for centuries for their health benefits, and long been used as superfoods. Prior to joining Optimi I had never tried mushroom supplements and didn’t know much about them.

My introduction to Optimi a year ago opened my eyes to what’s possible with functional mushrooms to help personal health and wellness. This made me curious and excited to try our products as they became available.  

Since starting work at Optimi, I have 100% replaced an assortment of protein mixes I have been buying with the Optimi Plant Protein + Mushrooms. I’ve noticed that I feel more energized each day, and I love the taste and texture of our protein powder in any of the four different smoothies I make each week.

I’ve started taking Mindful on a daily basis. I wanted to try it because I consume limited amounts of caffeine and felt like I could use a bit of a mental boost. Since I started taking Mindful daily, I feel sharper and able to focus better, especially when reviewing contracts.     

Even after nights where I get less sleep due to the demands of being CEO of Optimi, I feel refreshed when I consume my daily smoothie with our protein blend and take Mindful. On the weekends, I opt for pancakes or waffles instead.

Bill’s weekly waffle/pancake recipe: 

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Multigrain pancake/waffle mix
  • 1 full scoop of Optimi Plant & Protein + Mushroom mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp crushed chia/flax mix
  • drop or two of real vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk (or non-dairy beverage)

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add beaten egg, milk and vanilla, and stir to combine. Add batter to griddle or waffle iron to cook to perfection.

My kids like to pour pure maple syrup on top. I tend to choose a nut butter, like peanut or almond as a topping.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!