This wonderful August month I am featuring another powerful, professional woman that I consider walks the talk, and exemplifies strength for all women, making positive changes through her exciting position at Paleo Treats and has formed a life of excitement, love, respect and full of enjoyment and fun! Let’s learn how she does “it all” and maybe learn a thing or two. Let’s dive right into the interview with my Primal Woman of the Month: Marielle Salden!
- You are working with an amazing and very popular company, Paleo Treats. How did you get into the position of working there?
A couple of years ago I lived in the same neighborhood in San Diego as Nik and Lee. I usually would run into them walking their dogs. Nik and Lee are great neighborhood community builders and chat with many people, and I am a person that enjoys being outside. Many encounters, some dinners and an introduction to the paleo diet later they knocked on my door to see if I was interested in joining the PT crew. I hadn’t worked for a company like Paleo Treats before. It was (and is) very creative and it had a startup feel, a couple things I wanted to experience in a new job. So, I happily accepted their offer and have grown with the company ever since.
- We hear you are from the Netherlands. How cool is that! Is there an awareness of Paleo over there and did you get into Paleo there or in the USA?
When I moved to the States in 2010 the Paleo diet wasn’t as well-known as it is now. I can’t say I heard of the Paleo diet when living in The Netherlands, even though I am a person that always has had an interest in food and the food scene. When Nik and Lee introduced me to the Paleo diet and lifestyle it all felt very familiar. It made sense. I have grown up in the Netherlands consuming many real foods and relatively clean food. These habits haven’t changed that much after moving to the States.
- OK, now let’s get into this amazing position you have in the company, Paleo Treats. What are your responsibilities there?
When I started at the company I was mostly responsible for taking care of the whole shipping process. Pretty quickly my organizational skills were discovered and more projects of this nature came my way. Currently tasks are operational with a touch of customer service, social media and community outreach. This is a company that has many projects going on at the same time and I have been lucky to get involved with many of them in one way or another. I have been a model for photoshoots, been part of video production and execution, help design marketing campaigns or help improve processes wherever in the company. In a small company like this you can get a taste of many sides of the business.
- As a woman in business in the USA, would you say it is easy or a bit of a challenge? Can you share a bit about this please?
Every situation brings easy aspects and challenges. I try to be grateful for both and see challenges as a part of my life that need my compassion and a place to invite growth. Step by step learning. As a woman in business (in California) in the USA I am surrounded with people who are real doers, executors of their own ideas. That was new for me, coming from The Netherlands, the mentality is generally speaking more conservative and focused on stability instead of growth. Which is fine too, you need both in life, it’s just a different focus. I’ve come to love this new mentality, and enjoy the thought of having a future with tons of possibilities; it’s up to me to choose a direction and plant the seeds. Aside from this, being a woman in business anywhere in the world in this day and age brings a very interesting perspective. For example, I am part of the first generation of women in my family that is doing it all: taking care of my health, finances, a home, work and social life. Sometimes this feels like a lot, but it’s also empowering. I’ve noticed that as long as you meet yourself where you are at and go from there, life will unfold automatically.
- If you could share with other women some good tips to being successful in a job, what would you share?
Take self-care according to the natural needs of your body. Humans have a tendency to create routines wherever they go. We work 9 to 5 jobs, work Mondays through Fridays. We exercise the same four days a week, we eat the same things. Our routines make us believe that we are stable people as well. But we’re not. Just speaking from a female perspective, I’ve gotten more successful in my job when I started living my life more according to the fact that I am a woman. Some weeks I need more rest after work, other weeks I could stay up all night. Some weeks I have a small appetite, other weeks I need more fuel. Some weeks I am super social, other weeks I need more down time. Living this way brought me a more balanced way of living. I feel more rested and I am more productive when I need to be.
- What are some of the best points to you about working with this awesome team at Paleo Treats?
At Paleo Treats we tap into all the talents that the individuals of our team have. Together we have such a beautiful energy and we get so much done. We have visionaries, artists, organizers, doers, jokers. We have roots from all over the world but are united in one big Paleo Treats engine that is always running. To me this is very unique and inspiring.
- We all hear the founders, Nik and Lee are a pretty incredible and fun couples of “bosses” and very special to work with. What sets their leadership apart from others?
Nik and Lee are encouraging employers, they want you to develop, grow and contribute. They want to help you get the best out of yourself. This environment is very unique and turned out to be an ideal place for me to grow. I can’t tell you how many times Lee tells me: “Do whatever your intuition tells you to do”. I’ve learned to trust my own instincts and develop strong decision making skills. Nik is a big advocate having a critical eye to processes and always trying to find points of improvement. There’s a lot of room at this company to become what you want to become; there will be support from the company to get you there if it also benefits the company. For many of us it takes a new mindset to handle a freedom like this, to become a creator and visionary, but when you get the gist of it, then it’s an amazing way to develop your career and grow as a person.
- What makes Paleo Treats as a company overall so darn successful and their products so incredibly spot-on GOOD?
This company’s and the team’s pursuit of being the best we can out there. We’re always looking out for improvement, being a leader in what we do and staying true to our core values: 1) Add Quality, Beauty and Joy to the world, 2) Have fun, 3) Make money. We have high standards for everything we do; costumer service, being artistic, being productive, and being humans. We truly want to make this world a better place and an intention like that carries far.
- If you share some good pointers with any woman out there on how to manage life, working out, work, family and friends – you know “it all”, what can you share?
Get the basics in place that make your feel good and keep you healthy. If a certain way of eating is important for you, make sure you have time for cooking, going grocery shopping, etc. Don’t see it as a thing to be done in between other things. Have a schedule with workouts in place that generally works for you, but be open to adding in more relaxation when you need more rest. When I have my nutritional needs and workouts taken care of, I usually feel more free to do whatever I want to do with my down time and less overwhelmed with all the tasks that I have on my plate.
- What is a full day’s work like for you?
Every day varies, but my weeks usually have a rhythm. Mondays are always big shipping days. I am in charge of organizing the day and making sure every order gets packed and shipped. Luckily the whole team helps, because it gets busy! During the other days taking care of operational tasks is always on my schedule but I also focus on projects like community building, video and photo shoots, marketing and social media. Time flies every week!
- Do you have a stand up desk?
I don’t have a stand up desk, but I’m pretty active at the office. Mondays I rarely sit down, the other days a little bit more often, but I also walk around a lot to pack boxes and keep an eye on our stock. I love that I have the opportunity to move at work. I’ve worked full-on desk jobs before, and I can conclude that walking around in between very mentally focused computer tasks keep me very balanced and productive.
- How do you manage to fit in exercise with a full time job?
My early evenings are usually reserved for exercise, but if something else comes up, I am okay with adjusting. With that mentality I usually manage to get 4 to 5 days a week in at the yoga studio, which is still pretty good. Next to that I cycle and walk, not as exercise but as a means of transportation. It’s the Dutchie in me. I find this easy, enjoyable and of course it’s great that it comes with health benefits.
- Do you snack on Paleo Treats daily?
Yes! We usually split one Bandito in four pieces and share with everyone in the office. Another favorite is the Cacao Now, I just love the raisins in that one.
- Do you ever get to help on the testing?
Absolutely, the whole company does, and colleagues, family, everyone we know. The more feedback, the better. It’s a fun process. We look for nothing but quality and getting that epic experience when you take a bite of a Treat. It has to make you speechless for (at least) 1 second.
- How do you handle food and snacks for your work days?
I bring lunch and always have a fruity snack for around 4:00 pm. I’ve noticed that when summer temperatures are high, especially here in San Diego, that I need to have a 11:00 am snack as well, because my metabolism blows up! My go-to is oatmeal with seeds and raisins: I’ve discovered that grains do work for me on occasion, when I feel like I need it.
- What is Paleo to you?
Being aware about what you eat, where your food comes from, and learning how food affects your body and health. Food should be nutritious, supporting your lifestyle and body, and be enjoyed, with yourself and others. I love seeing more and more people become aware of how food affects their wellbeing, and learning about what works for them.
- If you could share anything at all right now, what would you like to share?
Growing up as the granddaughter of a butcher and a farmer and with pie- and bread-baking grandmas I see how much our modern lifestyles have impacted our food consumption and quality. In my grandparent’s household’s food was grown in the gardens or processed in the house: meats, breads, pies, sauerkraut, soups, preserves, etc. Seasonal eating was their thing. Food was real, nutritious, fresh and was a source of energy for a hard day of work in the butcher shop or on the farm. Sweet treats were relatively simple, made with a couple ingredients, but delicious. Not realizing it at the time, I’ve grown up eating bone broth weekly.
I have always felt best when I eat foods I ate when I was a child. I see now how lucky I have been growing up like this because it’s really easy for me to notice the effects of foods that don’t work for me. I am very proud of America for rediscovering real food, and incorporating this into daily lives. It’s beautiful to see the Paleo movement bring so much awareness to food and health in America. Nowadays Europe also has a more convenient way of eating, but there is still a lot of real food to be found. It’s part of a traditional eating style, almost like it’s implanted in everyone’s brains to eat this way. So keep on eating real foods and Paleo, and after a period of training yourself in this diet it will become second nature to you.
Thank you Marielle. It was a pleasure getting to interview you. I want to thank you for allowing us into your world, your thoughts and ideas. You are an inspiration. I am sure this resonated and made a positive impact on others.
If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at Tina (at) Paleomazing.com.