Natalie visits MRM Headquarters – Day 3 & 4
5:30am – work up early again and went for another early morning run/walk. I finished my run at Starbucks and ordered my favorite drink: Venti Americano (hot) with two inches of steamed whole milk. Got back to my room around 7 and started getting ready for the day. I cooked eggs and bacon again, and whatchya know?? I made the fire alarm go off again. Oops! We were going to meet Mark at the Lagoon and get some pictures on the MRM paddleboards, so I was dressed pretty casually for those shots. Mike picked me up around 9am and said we were actually going to change plans a bit and head to headquarters instead. I was a little worried that maybe I was underdressed (I was just in workout pants and tennis shoes), but I got there and quickly remembered how laid back everyone in the office is, which I love!
9:30am – We arrived at HQ in Oceanside, CA. I love the feel of MRM headquarters! It is so casual and friendly. I got to meet Lisa, MRM’s new marketing director in person and I got to pick her brain on all the fun upcoming projects MRM is focusing on.
I walked to the neighboring office and gave big hugs to Josh and Joe, two of our Research and Development guys who usually come every year to the Arnold Sports Festival with me. Both are super smart, and I love visiting with them because I always learn so much about our product lines and the ingredients in them, the processes used to make them, etc.
MRM is coming out with a new Kids supplement line in March and I grilled Joe with all the questions I had on it. It was really cool to learn about some of the products, why they are all in liquid form, how they formulated the taste, etc. I learned that the kids line has no artificial sweeteners or artificial colors. They are coming out with an immune booster, a multivitamin, probiotics, DHA, calcium, and vitamin D3. I am really excited for this new line and told Joe he needs to send some samples to me in Idaho so I can start giving them to my kids.
11:00am – we started getting ready for the live Q&A I was going to host on Facebook with Mark Olson. Once we had the backdrop set up, we decided to film a few more quick-response videos that we can use on social media. So, Mark and I answered questions like, “What supplements do you take and why?”, “Do you need to use protein powder to lose weight”, “When should I take protein powder”, etc.
Noon – We started the live chat on Facebook. I’ve never done one of these before, so we had a few technical glitches at first (people couldn’t hear me). I couldn’t figure out if it was the wifi connection, or if it was just my phone, but finally we switched to Mike’s phone and it seemed to work ok. The live chat was a lot of fun! I am so glad we did it! I actually enjoyed it so much I am going to continue to do these a lot more often with everyone. We were able to answer so many great questions in real-time and by the time we ended the live chat around 12:40 we had over 9,000 people who had hopped on the chat. It was pretty fun to see people from all over the world chime in! If you missed the live chat, you can watch it on my Facebook page here: Natalie Q+A
1:30pm – We all headed to lunch together and Mark’s favorite Mexican restaurant around the corner. I ordered a burrito and it was monstrous! I probably could have eaten just half and been perfectly full, but I ate the whole thing and left way too stuffed. At the lunch were Lisa (Marketing Manager), Sid (Videographer), Mark (Owner), Mike (Marketing) and me. It was fun to get to know Lisa better and to fill her in on how I got started in the industry, learned how to speak in front of the camera, etc.
2:30pm – headed back to the office and we were going to get some lifestyle shots on the MRM bicycle and MRM paddleboards, but the skies were so grey outside we decided to change plans. I still had a little fun on the bicycle though, even though we didn’t take pictures.
We decided to go to “Algae” instead. Mark Olson is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met. He is a scientist and chemist and super smart. He is partner in a company that has developed technology that will turn algae into bio-diesel. It is a sustainable energy source that doesn’t use fossil fuels or damage the algae. So, we drove down to their laboratory and we got to meet the scientists he has hired to help develop this, explore the lab, and learn more about what they are doing. It is so cool! They are working with power plants in California to help reduce the amount of emissions the plants release into the atmosphere. I learned so much, and truthfully felt like a lot was way over my head, but was so impressed with the cutting edge technology.
5pm – After we finished up at algae, we called it a day. I said goodbye to Mark, and Mike drove me back to my hotel. I was still so full from our late lunch, so I walked over to a local coffee shop and got a cold brew coffee and then just relaxed in my room for a bit. I facetimed the kids, sent them more funny snapchat videos, and spent some time writing workouts for Dollar Workout Club.
8:30pm – I didn’t think I was going to go out for dinner, but then around 8:30 made a last minute decision to walk to the sushi restaurant across the street from my hotel. I didn’t regret that decision! The sushi was so fresh and delish! Came back to my hotel, put on some self tanner, and headed to bed fairly early. I knew we had a long day ahead of us tomorrow.
5am – Woke up at 5am so that I could get ready for the LA Fit expo. I walked over to Starbucks and came back and did a quick 12-minute Dollar Workout Club workout in my hotel room. I packed my suitcase, checked out of my room, and got ready for a long day at the expo.
7:30am – Mike picked me up and I wasn’t quite ready yet, so I brought my makeup with me and applied everything in the car while we drove the LA from Carlsbad. I’ve actually never been to LA before!
9:30am – We arrived at the Staples Center and Mike knew of a sweet parking spot that was just $10. We walked a couple blocks over to the expo, and luckily didn’t have to stand in the long line because we were exhibitors. We got to the MRM booth where Chad was waiting for us and getting everything set up. Our booth was #555 and right next to La Croix, one of my favorite sparkling waters! They were super nice and kept giving me cans all day long. The new blackberry cucumber flavor is my favorite.
10am – The doors opened at the Expo and it got crazy. Expos are so crazy to me. People go nuts for the free samples, and you see a lot of pretty eccentric people at these events! My favorite part of expos is getting to meet everyone who I know through social media. It’s so fun to meet people face-to-face who follow my blog, I love hearing their stories and more about them. Honestly, getting to spend time with all of you guys, take pictures, and getting to know everyone on a more personal level is one of my favorite parts of the expos. We spent all day in the booth, only sitting down one or two times, chatting with everyone, explaining more about Superfoods and our Vegan line, and meeting a lot of people. Sid stopped by for a bit and got some video coverage.
6:30pm – The expo was over! This is a long expo, and all of our feet were definitely tired from standing on that concrete all day. It took us a bit to get everything put away in the booth, wash out the sample machine, etc. After we cleaned up, we headed out and drove over to the Hilton where we were staying and got checked in. I Facetimed my kids for a little bit, changed clothes really quick, and then headed out to dinner.
7:45pm – Mike, Chad and I walked down to this awesome Italian restaurant called Bottega Louie but there was a 70-90 minute wait, so we put our names on the list and headed across the street to a place that had a huge craft beer selection. We hung out there for a bit until we were further up on the list at Bottega Louie.
9pm – Finally our names were at the top of the list, and we were all starved! Nobody had eaten much all day. We all shared a pizza as an appetizer, and we laughed as we went to order our entrée – we all had ordered the same thing! Hanger steaks cooked medium rare with veggies. We split some beignets with Nutella for dessert and walked back to the hotel stuffed.
11pm – Got back into our rooms and I almost instantly fell asleep. Working at the expos all day is pretty draining when you are talking all day long and putting a lot of energy into meeting so many new people and making everyone feel comfortable. I think I watched about 2 minutes of a youtube video before I was out.
3:50am – I woke up from a text from Mike saying he was up and that we could meet in the lobby at 4:10am. Yes, that is a FOUR. It was early! My flight left LAX at 6:15, so I threw a hat on, made some coffee real quick, packed my suitcase, and got to the lobby. I made it to my flight in time, and I am writing this blog post while I am on the airplane! I always have such a great time when I come and visit headquarters and I am really excited to come back at the end of March when I am speaking at the Birth Without Fear conference (click here for more details). January Harshe has recently teamed up with MRM and so we are both going to speak at the conference and then visit HQ together in about two months. We aren’t going to be at the Olympia or the Arnold this year, but MRM is sponsoring the St George marathon and I am going to train for it on October 1 and go down there with everyone! I love spending time with everyone at MRM, every time I visit with the team it reminds why I am so loyal to this brand and company and everything they stand for and are doing.
I hope you guys enjoyed this behind the scenes blog! If you want to try any of the products I talked about, you can use the code: NATALIE at checkout on MRM’s site (www.mrm-usa.com) and they will give you a 40% off coupon on your entire order! If you want to follow along on any of my other social media channels you can do so here:
Natalie Hodson is an MRM ambassador who has a very popular health and fitness blog where she helps show others how to balance family, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle.