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From filmmaker to company founder

In the summer of 2020 Leeway founder Matthijs Diederiks played around with a variety of mushroom blends and came to a recipe that both boosted his mood and gave him clarity and focus.

Matthijs' interest in nutrition stems from a documentary project '12 Liquid Months'. For a whole year he switched his entire diet to complete food shakes, experimented with smart drugs to increase his focus and started microdosing psychedelics to expand his creativity.

During the production of '12 Liquid Months' he ran the media / consultancy platform were he worked closely with companies and organisations in the field of nutrition and personal optimisation.

Leeway can be seen as the accumulation of Matthijs' 5+ years experiences and knowledge on how nutrition and habit building can help us become better versions of ourselves.

Ceremonial Cacao

Mushrooms and cacao go way back. For centuries, dating back to ancient civilisation, their sacred synergy has supported our wellbeing. Nurturing our past can help guide us in the present.

Cacao has been consumed, traded, and ritualized across Mesoamerica for thousands of years. Ancient societies such as the Mayans and Aztecs called it the food of the gods and were no stranger to combining cacao with medicinal mushrooms.

If we look at ceremonial cacao from a scientific perspective it should be seen as cacao which is the least processed:

Cacao beans are harvested from fruit > fermented > roasted > peeled

The remains are then pressed together in bricks to maintain all its fat contents. This is a very important detail as the fats are where the cacao stores most of its health-promoting good stuff like flavanols which promotes cognitive performance and tryptophan which triggers serotonin production.

Sustainable sourcing

For our products we use cacao from a woman led community farm in the Suchitepequez region in Guatemala. This direct trade sourcing of cacao goes further than fair trade sourcing where there is always a middle man in the trading process.

We purchase directly from the source leading to better prices for the local producers which enables them to create a sustainable business and livelihood.

The power of Lions Mane

The Lions Mane mushroom is a cognitive powerhouse that has been shown to improve cognitive performance, reduce symptoms of depression, and can repair damaged nerve cels.

Currently Lions Mane mushroom is getting more and more attention as this wonderful fungi shows a lot of potential in the treatment of Alzheimers and Parkinson's disease. Studies are still fresh and more research has to be done, but Lions Mane has only showed the tip of the brain health boosting iceberg.

The importance of extraction

When you extract you’re opening doors to compounds or nutrients which are then digestible by the human body. We’ve seen that Lions Mane packs a ton of cognition-boosting properties. To unlock these properties we have to break down the mushroom on a molecular level to get to the good stuff.

Let’s get a bit technical.

The fleshy body of the mushroom is made of Chitin, Glucans, and Proteins. Chitin is an insoluble fiber which means that our digestive tract doesn’t break it down easily. This is a good thing for your gut health so keep eating those mushies!

But to get the cognition boosting compounds out of Lions Mane and into our bodies we’ll have to extract them. We can use water or alcohol  to extract the desired compounds, which then leads to liquid or powdered extracts.

Different products

Whenever you’re purchasing a mushroom product for its medicinal purposes make sure it is an extracted product. Simply check the ingredients of the product. If it doesn’t mention extraction it is mushroom powder.

And while mushroom powder can be great for adding flavor or color to any recipe it will not give you the full medicinal properties of the mushroom. For that, you’ll need an extracted mushroom product.

To some extent, this also explains the price differences between various mushroom products. It is much cheaper to grind mushrooms into a powder than going through all the necessary steps to come to an extracted product.

At Leeway, we work with mushroom extracts from Oriveda a company based in the Netherlands that does 3rd party lab analyses on their products.

A solid foundation

Similar to building a house the underlying support structure is needed to carry all its floors.

Support structure > Ceremonial Cacao

1st floor > Lions Mane mushroom extract

2nd floor > [ c o m i n g   s o o n ] 👀

To conclude

Ceremonial Cacao is responsible for making you  feel  better by triggering serotonin production. Combine that with the miraculous brain health properties of Lions Mane we can start to see the potential of this ancient brew.

Leeway sources the 🔑 for our self-discovery. For reflection and redefining ourselves. Making room for fuller expression to rediscover our skillset and expand our horizons. The ultimate goal is to help you enhance that stream.

See it as an opportunity, to tune into you.

Leeway is guided by nature and rooted in rituals.

I want more

If you feel like you want to dive a bit deeper into the how and what regarding Ceremonial Cacao and Lions Mane check out our growing knowledge base here

If you have any questions don’t hesitate and reach out.

We’re here—talk soon.