EP #132

Adaptogenic Drinks Instead of Alcohol: Moment with Aisha Chottani

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In this episode of the Alcohol Minimalist podcast, host Molly Watts introduces listeners to Moment, a groundbreaking beverage designed to support mental and physical well-being. Molly engages in a conversation with Ayesha Chottani, the founder of Moment, discussing the product’s origins rooted in natural ingredients and adaptogens. Ayesha emphasizes the importance of holistic health and the positive impact Moment has had on users, helping them reduce alcohol consumption and make healthier choices. The conversation explores Moment’s unique flavors inspired by diverse cultures and botanicals, highlighting its role in providing a healthier, non-alcoholic alternative without compromising taste. Ayesha generously offers listeners a discount code (CLAUDEMOLLYMOMENT) to encourage them to explore Moment and experience its benefits, emphasizing its commitment to supporting mental health. The episode concludes with Molly expressing her excitement about Moment’s mission and its potential to transform individuals’ relationships with alcohol, promoting a peaceful and mindful lifestyle.

Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October. You can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got prizes, I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners. And it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I’m your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I use to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully, being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast with me your host Molly Watts coming to you from it’s a very warm, pleasant, sunny, summery Oregon right now. Then really just what very, very hot earlier in the week. But now we’re just riding into the mid 80s. And it’s going to looking like it’s going to be a perfect weekend. So I’m excited about that. Hey, I am excited to have you here. I hope if you are joining me right now during July, maybe youth took me up and you’re participating in a more dry July. More dry July simply means that you’re being more intentional, you’re adding more alcohol free days than you would typically have. And that’s awesome. Whether that’s 120 25 like I’m doing or a full 31 Doesn’t matter. The idea is just to in honor of that I wanted to share a conversation that I had with Ayesha chottani, the founder of moment moment is an adaptogen drink company. And I Yeesha started this company about three years ago, which you’ll hear her talk about. And it’s just grown and really a product that I’m very intrigued by don’t know a lot haven’t done a lot of testing with adaptogen type drinks. But she’s getting a ton of feedback from people who are using her product moment to supplement and drink them in lieu of a an alcoholic beverage, which is not where she started, not what she planned for her company. I think you’re really gonna enjoy hearing from her. She’s got you know, science backed information from these adaptogens from growing up, and I just enjoyed hearing her story. She’s also giving us prizes for our more dry July events. So that’s pretty cool. If you are participating, you might win a case of moment. So here is my conversation with Ayesha chottani Hey, I Isha, thank you so much for being here and being on the alcohol minimalists podcast. I just can’t wait to learn more about moment. Hi, Molly. It is so nice to be here and chatting with you really excited to discuss more and share our story. Yeah. So this is I really was enamored with your with the product, not only from just a marketing perspective, because Let’s call a spade a spade. It looks really It looks great. And the vibe is really awesome. And but I love some of the stuff you’re doing in terms of giving back to mental health organizations and really, so I just I’m excited to hear more about it. So let’s start at the very beginning. I used to Tell me where this idea came from, and kind of what led you down this path? Yeah, um, so let me give you a little bit of an overview, I actually grew up in a bunch of different parts of the world. One of my, my parents and my grandparents originally come from South Asia. And a big belief on health, or big belief in life is thinking about how right holistically, which is mind body, so you gotta balance that at all times, to be in balance yourself, and be essentially be your best self. And so that is the thinking that I grew up with. And as part of that, there’s about there’s a whole bunch of different techniques and tools in the toolbox that you apply to all your life to ensure this balance in holistic health. But one of the things that I grew up with is also using a lot of natural ingredients and products and herbs, to, to live life. When I was when I was young, my parents would both have their different types of herbs that they would take, it would be a lot of debate on the efficacy of these herbs and super plants on those. And sometimes these debates would get pretty heated. And they would have their own mixed potions of like ginger and turmeric and ashwagandha. And then my mom would say no, but I believe that, you know, it’s actually Tulsi that has this effect. And all of these were very anecdotal wisdom that carried on from generations. But there was very strong belief, and that’s how they lived their life, and they lived really good lives. And so fast forward to when I’m moving here, and I was in a pretty intense consulting job. I was living, I was living the American life. I was living in New York Life, I was working pretty long hours, deadlines, Zoom meetings, pretty hectic schedule. And so I started feeling the impact of it or the brunt of it, both physically and mentally. And I, there were certain, like it reached a point where I have to take a pause and reflect on what was happening and shift a lot of things. And as part of that, I got deeper and deeper into the science of mental health, the importance of it, and some of the ways you can address it and do that on an ongoing basis. So in that journey, I reconnected a little bit of my roots, and went back to some of some of the very natural ingredients that I had grown up with such as ashwagandha, and Tulsi and started speaking to experts and researching more on it and I and came to the realization that inserted dosages, and with certain combinations, they can have really, they can have a huge impact on your on your health. And so I started consuming more and more of it, myself and I started seeing a turn around and how I was feeling physically, mentally, how and when I talk about the balance of holistic health. It is interesting because if you feeling good, it starts affecting your relationships. And so the practices are affecting your work life. And there was this cycle, you appear positive, you come with good energy, and that flows to people around you and they send back positive energy. And so you’re just in this very, like positive cycle and everything starts like uplifting the effects basically multiplied. And I started seeing that so when COVID hit and then the world was going to so much chaos and uncertainty stress. I felt it was time to take it to the rest of the world. So I left my I love my job. And I decided to start momentum which really initially started as a movement to support others with their mental health and wellness during COVID. And then the idea started which is how do you make sure you can support people’s health in the best way right? Sure. I want them to have the adaptogens and botanicals but what is the best way for them to consume it Because just having it in powdered form which is what my parents Rockford and what I did grew up with, and it can be for the better and is not always the best idea to get somebody accustomed to it. And so in that process, I decided to do it in the form of a beverage that people can enjoy in the evenings or late afternoon when they need to take a break, and take some time to themselves. So this can help boost their mood, reduce their stress levels. And they can go back feeling refreshed while not having anything unhealthy. So that’s how the journey of moments started, it has now been almost two years, we are going to celebrate a three year anniversary soon, which is really exciting for us. And what has been the most impactful thing is the fact that we get emails from our customers, long emails, sharing her moment has changed her life, that’s literally the subject line of so many of the emails moment has changed my life, or my husband’s life or my wife’s life. And as we were talking about we didn’t, it’s treated more as if it started more as a product that’s going to support your holistic health. But over time, because it is in the form of a beverage and it enhances your mood and reducing your stress levels, you get up the next morning feeling great. It has actually supportive people in their journey towards reducing or giving up alcohol, whatever your goal is, people have started replacing that at what moment because one of the other good things is that it has no added sugar, no preservatives, and so you’re not just replacing alcohol with other junk, you’re actually replacing it with something that is actively good for you. And has functional benefits. Yeah, this is exactly. So that’s kind of what I was, I was hoping you’d get there at just organically. And that’s exactly what I first found you was this idea that moment because it’s an adaptogen drink, right? So we’re trying to impact people’s, especially what I hear all the time from people who are working on their relationship with alcohol, probably the number one thing I hear is that I drink to relax and unwind. That’s why they drink alcohol. And they do not understand. And this is something I talk about all the time here, they don’t understand the actual science that shows that it’s a losing proposition with alcohol, it’s only going to it the therapeutic level of alcohol is only in that first beverage and anything after that is actually just going to upset your neuro chemistry and get you out of balance so that you’re actually perpetuating and increasing your stress and anxiety. So it’s especially for daily drinkers, it’s a never it’s just a cycle that is very, very hard to break. It is it is yes, you’re so spot on 14 or more about the science because you’re right deep into it. But alcohol is essentially a toxin your body treats it as the reason you have this effect of alcohol that people need lawyers because your body goes into this mode where it’s trying to pick out this toxin out of your body, or it goes into this mold to survive against this toxin. And that’s why you feel all these like effects if you like, all right, I’m feeling good. But it is actually your body’s reacting to a toxin. And you talked about like daily drinkers, but which is the fact there, everyone knows about it. But even people or even like moderate drinkers will have it like three times a week. Studies have now shown that it starts affecting your decision making your memory or the ability to think logically because it affects the front of your brain, which is used in a lot of these functions and consistent use of this consistent presence of this toxin in your brain will over time and very quickly will start affecting will make you take decisions which are just purely based on survival and not logical thinking. And that’s again, the cycle that we talked about, which is you get into this vicious cycle because you’re having some alcohol, you’re taking what decisions and then you have more and it starts affecting all different parts of your life. Yeah, yeah. So I hear from you that you’re kind of like this. It didn’t start with this idea that this was is going to be a non alcoholic beverage, you know, or a non alcoholic alternative for people. But one of the things too is I mean, it’s, it’s we talk about it here all the time, because it’s the, it’s what people are trying to accomplish with the alcohol, right? That’s the important part. It’s what they think they’re getting out of the glass, the feeling that they’re going to evoke. And that’s what I think is so special about moment is that you really, you’ve really, you know, dug into this idea that by drinking this drink, you’re actually going to feel the same things that you might feel from, say something like a moment of meditation, and right, so tell me a little bit about that connection with with moment. Yeah, 100%. So when we were designing Lohmann, we’re building this proprietary formulation, what we wanted to do is we wanted to create a sense of calm alertness, which is not just not just like putting you into like a slow space where you can like think clearly, but it is, it’s allowing you to think, but it is also at the same time giving you a sense of relaxation. So how do we do that? It is because the combination that we use, it takes a read of different hormones in your body, including your cortisol, and depending on where it is, it will address so if you’re feeling too hyper, it will sort of bring you down a little so you can feel calmer. If you’re feeling slightly depressed, it will lift you up, so that you get like a mood boost. That’s the beautiful thing about adaptogens that they actually adapt to your body. Right the word so that’s right, that’s right. It’s it actually, they’re so powerful because they go in and they take like measurement, like first thing they’re doing is essentially taking a measurement, where are you add to that and then accordingly, boosting it or, you know, making you calmer and at the same time. What it also does is, you know, your brain has different types of brainwaves. Depending on the type of work you’re doing different brainwaves are activated. So if you are in like focus mode versus when you’re taking like a nice walk. There’s different way different brainwaves. And so what this one moment does is it activates your alpha brainwaves, which are the same brainwaves that are activated when you meditate. We all know the feeling that comes when you’re meditating. You’re feeling good, you’re feeling like but it’s similar. It’s literally like it’s literally similar to when you when people tell you hey, stop, take a few deep breaths. And that’s also again, like conventional wisdom that’s proven, proven to be beneficial. That’s like immediate, you take a few deep breaths and you feel it right. You feel the difference it makes in your brain. And so the feeling of moment, it once you have it for a few days, it’s similar it slowly starts like bringing that feeling it starts activating those Alpha brainwaves that will watch you in that state constantly. I love that. You all know I’m a science girl and that is why I am so proud of my partnership with Sunnyside. Sunnyside has great data based on their user experience and they also have great science techniques behind what drives the program in the first place. Users of Sunnyside in their first 30 days experience on average a 29% reduction in drinks. They avoid 1500 calories and they’ve saved over $50 each month. This is because there is science behind the program Sunnyside helps you reach your goals and stick with them long term by focusing on three scientifically proven superpowers. One is pre commitment. You intentionally make a plan ahead of time and we talk about making a plan all the time here on the podcast. Number two is conscious interference and you’ll learn that the habit of tracking each drink helps you decide about it. Number three is positivity. We know this is not easy sometimes right and we all need a little boost. I tried to be a boost and Sunnyside is a great boost via text message or email to keep you motivated. So if you haven’t already checked it out, I invite you www.sunnyside.co/molly To get started on a free 15 day trial today. There’s difference flavors, and there’s different types of moment. They’re sparkling, there’s non sparkling. So tell me kind of where you are. And the flavors are really interesting, too. So how did you come about all with all of that? Did you just were you just testing mode and trying to decide and and then I know you also created and are in partnership with Lululemon for a flavor. So tell me about all that. Yeah, yeah, that’s actually my favorite part of it. I love formulating that’s, that’s been the most fun part of this job. The flavors were really the initial flavors, really inspired by some of the different places that I’ve lived in. Like I was mentioning, I grew up in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, South Africa, I live in Denmark before I moved, you know, to the US. And so I took inspiration from all these different places, and the ingredients that herbs that botanicals use there to bring them together. And so the initial like three flavors we had were juicy lemon, which is very much a it’s a very South Asian thing, even the name Tulsi is actually holy basil in the US, but we wanted to give a shout out to my background and so I’ll be called a tilted lemon. It has been difficult to translate it for a lot of people but we still call it tilted lemon. The other flavor initial flavor we had was robust blood orange, or red versus a it’s a test for red bush it’s like it’s a botanical that come from South Africa, I spent a really long time living there I love the country. And so 1000s part from there and then the last one was heavy skills dragonfruit and that is something I’ve I’ve traveled I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia outside of Saudi like Southeast Asia and so that was inspired a little bit from there and South Africa as well. And then as we have grown we love testing and trying out new ingredients testing and experimenting is how I define my life in general on all things and so we have also like thought about what are some of the other cultures and countries what are really good for you ingredients and botanicals in other parts of the world that we can use and bring in to also drive awareness because there are such powerful things and then also bringing some of the other some some other like powerful botanicals so for example one of the one of our most popular flavors is blueberry ginger. Ginger is something that is like across culture right and in us in a lot of Asian cultures everything that has ginger in it but it’s also like European us like it’s everywhere. It’s such a simple ingredient but it has so many benefits. So we have that as a flavor and then we also brought in like lemon turmeric to be careful. We experimented with a lot of different flavors because we love experimenting. And it has been a it’s been a lot of fun and there’s been a lot of learning this is gonna say so tell me a bit this this just amazes me so you did not have I’m guessing you didn’t have a background in beverage manufacturing before you started moment right so lots of learning I’m oh my god so much learning every day I’m learning something yeah yeah, yeah, right. Oh, it’s a lot so there’s a lot to take that in like I said, I love the I love the the look in the field the brand though it’s which is really great. And another thing that I think I just want to make sure you use I think you said it but I just wanted to really emphasize it because so much of what I hear from people that are looking for options in the non alcoholic space is so many are filled with sugar and added you know, lots of added stuff that they don’t want to be drinking and they just can’t find something that feels that gives them a little bit of a feeling you know some sort of that that that feeling that they are you’re used to getting from alcohol or that they believe they want in a healthier natural way. And I think that’s what I really love about this idea with moment. Yeah, that’s right. So what an overtime will we have done is when we realized That was such a popular use case people were seeing someone benefit they were replacing their alcohol with moment and doing it every single day. We did lean a little bit into what are some of the mocktail base fingers like let’s think about those. So we created flavors like nutriment, for example that is really inspired by a that’s really inspired by a cocktail he would have in Miami. I said like a mojito kind of. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. So it’s like a popular flavor there. We were speaking to the mayor of Miami, and he said that he loves that combination. We’re like, we’re going to we are going to do a mocktail, for that. So over time, we have also tried to lean in and forth. Our community that is actively looking for things that places were actively looking to replace alcohol or reduce their alcohol intake by giving them a little bit of the same feeling to mocktail bass flavors. So that and then there’s like cherry hibiscus. So there’s a couple of like new flavors that are more mocktail based, but without the preservatives without the sugar. So you can have all the all the benefits of the adaptogens. You asked about the the partnership with Lululemon, that’s really, really exciting for us. And we actually spent a year working on a flavor together before we launched it. The idea again, over there was to really create something that is right personal to both brands as an Lululemon. Which meant we were, if you wanted to bring in like diversity, they believe in diversity and inclusion as one of their values. And so we brought in a lot of different botanicals from a lot of different places like Jasmine, and honeysuckle, and yoozoom. Really, it’s a very global flavor. And it’s a beautiful flavor. And it also gives you the feeling of having a like a lemon cello but without the alcohol and would be wrapped regions. And yeah, it’s people have loved it. And it’s it’s a really lemon experiential studios. We call it lemon lemon as an ode to Lululemon. Yeah. And it’s brilliant. Yeah, brilliant. If you do say so yourself, right? Yeah. It’s actually one of my favorite flavors. I have every single that. Yeah. Nice. I love it. Okay, so tell me more about where people can find moment. Is it exclusively online? You just told me it was in some of the Lululemon experiential places, but is, is it the rest is it all online? Most of it is online. Right now we have a big presence online, we are in the London experiential studios, we are in national stores and bagels and coffee shops in New York. And we’re just trying to expand into other places. So stay tuned, stay tuned in in another six to 12 months, we’ll be in a lot more spaces around the country. But at this point, the best bet is to find us online. And we’ll link everything in the show notes folks. So there’s no worries there. I am super excited about the fact that I Isha was kind enough to contribute a couple of cases of moment to our more dry July challenge that’s happening right now. So it’s great. So everybody that is participating is into the randomizer drawing for some prizes, including potentially some moment to give it a try. So if they aren’t the big prize winners though, we’re gonna send them to give the give the URL or you should we’re going they’re going to drink moment.com Okay, and they can select their favorite flavor or they can do a variety pack different types of ready packs whether they like stills sparkling everyone has their own preference as the wherever they’re like they can choose a variety pack and they can use the Claude Molly moment for a 10% discount. Oh, nice Molly moment. Get that everyone nice. I love it. Perfect. This is just wonderful. I’m super excited to see people stepping into the non alcoholic space with options that like adaptogens that are really so so good for us. Just Just like you said, there’s so much science, so much long history, in the Asian cultures of supporting this kind of, you know, the, the holistic approach, and these, these adaptogens being so much a part of that, it’s, it’s good to do good work, right? I used to, and you get to see that it sounds like on a regular basis with the people that are that are your customers. Yeah, we see, we sometimes our customers will write us like two, three page long emails. And it is it is that makes that makes my day. Because to have such an impact in somebody’s life is really special. The reason one of the things, one of the reasons I started this business and also the absence or an impact on the world, you know, you know, in a significant way. And so that that really makes a big difference. We also share 1% of all our sales with with nonprofits focus on mental health. So that’s, again, something that really, really makes us excited about what we’re doing. Yeah, that’s a wonderful, a wonderful thing. I wanted to make sure to get that in there, too. So 1% of all of your proceeds go to benefit mental health organizations. That’s right. Yes. Right. Really nice. Really nice. All right. Well, I used to chug honey, I appreciate you so much. Taking time on a Friday afternoon, Friday, late afternoon, New York time and it’s it’s time to get your weekend started time to enjoy a moment I’m sure. Yeah, I’ve actually been doing it. Perfect night and I put in a wineglass because why not? Right. And that’s the whole beauty of it. You can pour it right in and people don’t even need to, you know, do to know what you’re drinking. But it’s, it has that look and feel of a nice adult thing. And I love the fact that you’re actually doing something healthy. Thank you, Molly. It’s been so wonderful chatting with you. I appreciate you having me here. And looking forward to driving this mission together, supporting people with less alcohol but more of that prisons. I love it. I love it. Thank you so much. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible. You have the power to change your relationship with alcohol now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com