Category: Gut Health, Health Magazine

Title:Alumni in the Field: Daina Trout (NHS’03)

daina trout

When Daina Trout arrived at Georgetown in 1999, she jumped into the new health sciences track offered at the nursing school. While she had planned to transition directly into medical school after graduating, she crossed paths with someone who would change her perspective on not only medicine, but also nutrition.

She was placed in a 16-week senior internship with Artemis Simopoulos, MD, a physician and nutritionist not affiliated with Georgetown. Simopoulos authored The Omega Diet, which spotlighted the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine—full of fish, vegetables, legumes, and low in
saturated fats.

“Working as her research assistant, I saw that she was really ahead of her time,” Trout says, describing Simopoulos’ unconventional take on eating “good fats.” Trout’s work alongside the popular author and nutrition guru opened her eyes to a different approach to health and medicine: “I was just really intrigued by how food can heal, and I wondered how I could continue down the path that Dr. Simopoulos led me to.”

In addition, Trout’s own campus experiences as a medical technician for the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Systems (GERMS) team allowed her a sneak peek into what can be an exhausting routine for physicians.

“I had this idealistic vision about doctors being able to problem-solve really complicated health issues and think out- side of the box as a trailblazer, but in my GERMS experience, I learned that there were a lot of protocols and rules and paper- work to adhere to,” Trout says. “I’m not good with rules.”

After completing her degree at Georgetown, she started a dual graduate program at Tufts University, where she received master’s degrees in nutrition and public health in 2007. The launch of her business, Health-Ade Kombucha, would take another five years, and it all began with setting up shop at a farmers’ market.

“I’m passionate about nutrition and food, and how it can heal people. But I’m also passionate about feeling good and finding
ways to make the world feel better.”

—Daina Trout

“We started with very little money and experience,” Trout shares. “But we had a lot of passion and a sincere instinct that we wanted to build something that was our own and do it on our own terms.”

Proponents of kombucha say that the bubbly beverage is filled with probiotics and antibiotics, and may have a positive effect on the gut if the end product is not too sugary. The process of fermenting tea with specific strains of bacteria, yeast, and sugar produces acetic acid and other compounds that may facilitate probiotic function.

“I’m passionate about nutrition and food, and how it can heal people. But I’m also passionate about feeling good and finding ways to make the world feel better,” she says.

Trout adds that while Health-Ade has blossomed into a 200+ team with a retail presence in 36,000 stores worldwide, their mission is deeply rooted in wellness. The company aims to provide a realistic and sustainable beverage option for consumers to enjoy as they dedicate more attention to their health.

When Trout is not tending to her growing brand and life as CEO of Health-Ade, she’s putting her energy into being the mom of two boys.

“I definitely have a full plate, but it’s important to me to have balance and set boundaries so I don’t compromise the values that keep me happy,” she says. “For me, it’s simple: what you feed grows and what you don’t dies. So it’s more than just the business that’s important to me.”

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