Why Purition started: Our founder's story
Ever wondered how (and why) Purition started? Now’s your chance! Edward Taylor shares his journey from bathroom salesman to Purition founder; and how he transformed his health – and lost weight – in the process.
Aged 37 and three-quarters, after 20 years of travelling the world selling plumbing products, I had put on a fair bit of weight.
My job involved schmoozing customers over breakfast. The plumbing industry starts early! At around 11, I’d share some doughnuts with the team (who doesn't like doughnuts?), and then I’d have another meeting over lunch. My last meeting of the day, in the afternoon, often lead to dinner. Food, food, food.
When I wasn't travelling, my diet was great – or so I thought. We shopped at Waitrose and made most of our meals from scratch. For breakfast, I’d have porridge, Weetabix or Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and honey, a slice of wholemeal toast with spread and a glass of orange juice.
Lunch was a sandwich, low-fat yoghurt, a packet of ‘baked’ crisps and Kit-Kat or Twix if I needed a boost. Dinner was usually something healthy like a bowl of wholewheat pasta, chicken and tomato sauce, chilli with brown rice or fish, oven chips and peas.
We’d occasionally have a lasagna ‘ready-meal’ with a bag of salad and low-calorie garlic bread. And on Fridays, because we’d been ‘good’ all week, we’d treat ourselves to a takeaway – usually a curry.
I was so unfit, I couldn't even run for the bus
I distinctly remember the moment I realised something had to change.
I’d just parked my car in another long-stay airport car park when I saw the shuttle bus arriving. It was at a bus stop about 150 metres away. I only had a small case, so I decided to run. I lasted about 100 metres before I had to stop out of sheer exhaustion.
Aged 37 and three-quarters, I couldn't even run to catch a bus.
Luckily, the driver took pity on me and waited for the sweaty, lumbering mess to arrive. Heart pounding and panting for breath, I took my seat on the bus at the start of a very long and introspective journey to the United States.
This was my personal eureka moment. I realised I had to lose some weight and start doing regular exercise. But unlike most of my ideas on long-haul flights – like quitting my job and starting my own business – I actually did something about this one.
I tried calorie counting & Slim Fast shakes
When I got back. I joined a gym and started a calorie-controlled diet.
Going to the gym didn’t last very long, but I doggedly stuck to the diet and lost ¾ of a stone (10 lbs) in no time at all. It wasn’t easy, but I was ecstatic. People in the office had started to notice my weight loss and talk about it.
But I was ravenously hungry all of the time. I had no energy or motivation for anything. I'd become irritable and couldn't think straight. I blamed my age at the time, but I’d also started to notice more hair loss than usual. I had digestive issues, cracked heels and constant headaches, which I thought was down to deteriorating eyesight.
It wasn't long before my willpower collapsed and I went back to square one. I’d started my diet with a 38” waist, but even those were starting to feel tight now.
Still determined to try something else, I tried Slim Fast diet shakes. Everyone in the office knew I was drinking lunch. It was kind of embarrassing, but I wasn't the only one at the time, so we’d go do ‘our thing’ at lunch together. Well, that lasted about 2 weeks. I’d lost weight, but I felt worse than awful.
I was tall and could hide my 2.5 stone weight gain on my 6’4” body pretty well. In fact, most people politely said I didn't need to lose any weight, but my body was unrecognisable to me from when I was in my 20s. Overweight, unfit, stressed, balding, failing eyesight and now, approaching 40 years old, I thought this was just all part of getting older.
I tried every diet going, some worked longer than others but I just couldn’t stick to any of them with increasing work commitments, a busy social life, two children and another on the way. Life was stressful.
My eldest son loved playing football. We’d spend hours in the garden, but running around was hard work, and it would only be a few minutes of running around until I had to resort to being the goalie. This led to my second eureka moment.
I had to get fit. What kind of example was I setting for my children?
Once I focused on real food, things turned around
Instead of joining a gym this time, I hired a personal trainer. It was 6 months until my 40th birthday. I had to get fitter and lose some weight. My trainer said he could help me get fitter and stronger, but if I wanted to lose weight, I had to change my ‘healthy’ diet completely.
He explained to me what processed foods were and how they had increased my weight over time. He also explained to me that my calorie-controlled dieting had actually caused me to gain more weight over time.
The revelations were extraordinary, even conspiratory. All this time, the government’s ‘healthy eating’ advice was incorrect, foods that were labelled healthy were actually unhealthy and exercise was never going to lead to weight loss.
I was sceptical at first but decided to trust his advice. Gone were the low-fat, low-calorie, free-from, wholegrain cereals, pasta and supermarket bread.
He had me eating more whole foods and less ‘processed’ food. More protein, more omega 3 and saturated fats (yes, more saturated fats) and more fibre – especially at breakfast and lunch.
I was eating more food (unlimited amounts) than I had done in years and was loving it. The hair loss, headaches and cracked heels were all gone. It turned out I didn't need glasses after all. I had consistent energy throughout the day. Plus, I had no desire to snack every day, so the weight was literally falling off me.
We trained together for no more than 35 minutes twice a week (after a 10 min gentle warm-up). I went from nearly 17 stone to 14 stone in less than 6 months and then proceeded to add a stone of muscle over the next 6 months, all without dieting.
His approach worked. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of what it really takes to eat healthily, lose weight and gain muscle and actually be a healthy human being long-term.
And then Purition was born
I always dreamed about starting my own business.
With more energy and focus than I ever had before – plus a newfound passion for truly healthy food – we decided to turn the whole food protein breakfast smoothies we’d been making at home, into a business.
Cooking 3 ‘truly’ healthy meals every day was challenging. Our smoothies helped us to save time in the kitchen and ticked all the truly healthy boxes that needed ticking. With help from a local agricultural and food tech college, we hired a commercial kitchen space, borrowed their equipment, purchased the ingredients in bulk and built a website.
We hadn’t got a clue what we were doing, but I knew I wanted to stick it to the processed food manufacturers and diet shake industry that had helped me get fatter and sicker.
With a lot of help from – well, too many people to mention – we built the business by word of mouth and personal referrals. 10 years later and 10 million nutritious meals later, we’re helping 1000s of people improve their nutrition and health without dieting, using good, old-fashioned, whole food ingredients!
New to Purition? Tips for newbies
How to use Purition for weight loss
Healthy eating: Form the foundation
What you should do next...
1. Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news, recipes and advice about healthy eating.
2. Try Purition for 14 days
Unlock all the benefits of a whole foods diet with none of the effort. Get 2 weeks of easy nutritious meals & pick your own flavours!