Healthy Food, Dog Food and Transgender – What a Day!

What an interesting day!  This was last week, but just getting around to post it.

First, a drive with Maigread Eichten.  She’s CEO and co-founder of The Well and Company (  Her start up has developed a line of healthy foods and supplements that seem quite interesting, though I really need to research them more.  Soon to be released is a chocolate snack, made from pure ingredients, that she says will be very tasty and nutritious.  This will make my wife happy – she’s a chocoholic!  More on this as I learn more about the company and product.

Then, what else, but dog food!  Yes, a product manager for the company that makes all sorts of dog and cat food, including the kind we use for Tootsie (our Malti-Poo).  I learned that pet food trends follows people food trends.  First it was anti-oxidants, etc.  Now, many (like me) feed their pets like they feed themselves.  In my case, no grains, no sugars, etc.  And I opt for the premium brands.  Have you ever noticed the variety of pet foods in a pet store?  My passenger pointed out that the big stores – WalMart, Target, etc., have driven out many of the specialty-type stores – hardware, shoes, etc.  But not pet food.  Small stores and giant chain stores like PetSmart and PetCo thrive – and they do so by offering a tremendous variety of food and other pet items.  I also learned that there a some very big players – Ralston Purina is the biggest.  Each of them have many varieties and labels – and you can’t really tell who owns what.  Personally I buy Natural Balance.  It was started by the late Dick Van Patten, and now part of the company that my passenger works for.  We talked about treats – they also own Milk Bone among countless other treat brands.

Capping off a wonder filled morning was a young “man” – really a transgendered teen.  Born a girl, he has been experiencing many psychological problems – depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and a few others.  However, as a senior in high school, he finally “came out” and revealed that she is really a man.  We had a fascinating discussion in our 30 minute ride.  He says he definitely identifies as a man.  However, in terms of sexual preference, he chooses gay men. He doesn’t care to use his vagina for sexual purposes.  For probably many reasons, he has some learning difficulties.  He seemed extremely bright, and I think that his psychological problems have affected the way he perceives things and thus learns.  He’s attending a course of “treatment” that provides new tools of using our brains to learn and to be more effective.  I hope that I can find out how he’s doing over time.  My heart goes out to him and others who just don’t fit in with our society and causes them pain.

Plus a brief ride with a software engineer (most of my rides), digital marketing rep, and Venture Capital Lending officer.