Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Jody Boyman, Co-Founder & Chief Purpose Officer at Hungry Planet

Jody Boyman is the Co-Founder & Chief Purpose Officer at Hungry Planet, a company on a mission to bend the curve on personal and planetary health with the only full range of delicious, nourishing, plant-based meats.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

After ~20 years as a wildlife photographer working in some of the most remote corners of the world (Antarctica, Alaska, Africa, Myanmar, Bhutan), followed by a stint as a Clinical Psychologist, I tapped my entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Hungry Planet, a chef-crafted plant-based meat company where I serve as Chief Purpose Officer. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

No two days – or five minutes – are the same. Most days are filled with strategic meetings within the five hubs of Hungry Planet including sales, operations, marketing, design, and culinary.

Working with a team of experts, I’m involved in all aspects of our business, bridging the gap between intention, purpose, and execution. I help guide our vision and mission of bending the curve on personal and planetary health, weaving it through each task. 

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

For about a decade, I’ve spent nearly every waking hour growing Hungry Planet and furthering our mission. I’m fortunate that my passion is also my vocation. As such, I tend to have my foot on the gas much of the time. And when I’m not working, often the mental gears are still going.

There is so much to accomplish, and I feel a tremendous sense of urgency. As entrepreneurs, we work crazy long hours, although it has become more fun as we’ve onboarded accomplished team members to drive and manage facets that aren’t completely in my wheelhouse.

As Chief Purpose Officer, I’m proud that we’re able to offer team members flexible hours and unlimited PTO. I believe we’re at our best when we can work hard while also fully attending to our personal lives.

For me, any quality downtime tends to involve immersing in nature, whether trail running, hiking in the mountains, strolling the beach at low tide with my rescue pups or simply meditating by a stream.

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

I have practised yoga off and on over the years. As we age, it’s increasingly important to stay flexible and strong both mentally and physically. My yoga mat and hand weights are in the living room, reminding me to prioritize stretching and strength every day.

I also try to eat nourishing plant-based meals and usually have a large protein shake with various organic fruits, dark leafy greens, fresh ginger and seeds every day. At night, I try to sleep about 7 hours – but don’t always succeed!

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I tend to enjoy podcasts and books that are category focused, or that address emotional and physical health. While relaxing in nature or walking my dogs, I frequently listen to podcasts like Rich Roll, Hidden Brain, A Bit of Optimism, We Can Do Hard Things, Eat For the Planet, On Purpose, and How I Built This. I’m an avid reader and highly recommend books like Eating Animals, Sapiens, 72 Reasons To Be Vegan, Beyond Beliefs, and How Not To Die

Instead of newsletters, I tend to follow and engage with a vibrant LinkedIn community who tackle topics including plant-based meats, climate change, social justice, animal welfare, food policy, food system transformation, food as medicine, and much more. Please find me there and join the conversation!

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I’m always keen to know more about the most passionate activists of our time. Jane Goodall, primatologist and conservationist, is a personal hero. I have known and admired PETA’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk, for several decades. I’m a great admirer of Gloria Steinem. I endeavor to follow the lead of those who are mission driven and who are deeply committed to making the world a better place for all sentient beings. 

7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Work-life balance is highly individualized. I’m grateful that every day I get to live and work in alignment with my most deeply held values, including working closely with our accomplished team.

I’m not sure true work-life balance is attainable for me – at least right now. I’m so keenly focused on growing our brand that balance often feels elusive. When 80 billion terrestrial animals are raised just to be slaughtered every year, and at the same time there’s widespread food insecurity and starvation among our growing human family of 8 billion, there’s much work to do, enormous awareness to raise, and a huge shift required in our food system.

Fortunately food is humankind’s biggest common denominator, and thus our biggest opportunity for positive change. I am optimistic that humankind will become more humane, more kind – and we will pull together to solve some of the most pressing issues of our time.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.