Sage Dammers is the co-founder, CEO, product formulator, and chocolatier of Addictive Wellness. Fueled by a passionate desire to help people live the ultimate life and create a better world, Sage began as a teenager seeking out information that no mainstream school could offer in the areas of nutrition and traditional herbal systems of indigenous cultures.

He built his knowledge of superfood nutrition and traditional herbal systems, especially Taoist tonic herbalism. He has worked with and trained under the world’s leading master herbalists and nutrition and longevity experts in Costa Rica, Australia, Bali, China, and America.

AnnaBlanca is the co-founder of Addictive Wellness. She was raised in the countryside of Hungary with the purest nutrition and lifestyle which set her on the path for wellness for the rest of her life. She shared her knowledge and passion for health and wellness throughout her decades of world travels and work.

Prior to launching Addictive Wellness with Sage, she worked with ESE Funds, a boutique financial services company based in London and L.A., which focused on building startups in the alternative healthcare space.

She takes great pleasure in dancing, revitalizing her nervous system swimming in the cold ocean waves with Sage, looking out for the well-being of her family and bringing together the entrepreneurial wellness community of Los Angeles.

Sage: I grew up in Southern California and had the great fortune to live in a home that transformed into a Siddha Yoga meditation center every Thursday night. My parents were devotees of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the Indian guru in the true story behind Eat, Pray, Love. And once a week, 30–40 people would fill our house for spiritual teachings, chanting of sanskrit mantras, and meditation. So from the very beginning, I was exposed to ways of living, being, and thinking that most people don’t encounter until later in life, if at all. I grew up as a vegetarian, but not a super healthy one by any means. My parents did the best they knew how. Most of what we ate was organic, and our staples were basmati rice and tofu five nights a week. In the categories of love, family support, and overall great childhood environment, my cup was overflowing. But it may have been a little less full in the nutrition department.

When I started to realize the importance of nutrition in my late teens and, more importantly, to feel how much better I could feel when I put some serious nutrition in my body, it really got me thinking. If I had been missing out on these new superfoods for the past 18 years, what else is out there? This really shot me down the rabbit hole of researching and educating myself in the fields of nutrition, superfoods, traditional herbal systems of indigenous cultures, and everything else it might take to make the body and mind thrive. The more I learned, the more new things I would try. The more new things I tried, the better I would feel. The better I felt, the more excited I would get to continue learning. So it turned into this wonderful cycle that continues to this day.

AnnaBlanca: I grew up in the Hungarian countryside in a way that I didn’t fully appreciate till decades later when I was living in California. Health foods that now fill natural food market isles were staples in our lives. Kombucha, fermented vegetables, bee pollen, royal jelly, medicinal mushrooms, homemade apple cider vinegar and fruit preserves, raw milk and cheese, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, and ample fresh organic vegetables and fruit.

My mother was making all of our meals from scratch and also collected a library for us that lined every wall in every room. We were able to read fluently years before we started school. It was a good thing too since we had one tiny television with one black and white channel that did not offer ready entertainment for children, so we either read a lot or created our own fun. My two sisters and brother and I roamed the countryside barefoot making up games and only started back for a bath once we saw the cows ambling their way home. They were our clock.

My father was a veterinarian, and oftentimes if one of us needed treatment he just did it himself citing that we’re all related in this world anyways. For our earaches and headaches he used far-infrared light bulbs; he taught us meditation, chants, logic games, and the benefits of hanging upside down. I believe now it’s called inversion therapy. We called it “the rope on the cherry tree.” But nothing can explain the philosophy of my childhood better than the day my mother yelled for my father saying “The kids are picking up and eating the chicken poo!” to which he calmly replied, “It is good for them, it’s phosphorus.” (The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth so he was obviously onto something.)

Living in communism was hard on both of my parents since they were incredibly outspoken. My mother was marching against the Russian tanks during the revolution in 1956. She was just 13 years old. My father barely avoided prison for his beliefs, but my grandmother was a supreme court judge who knew how to play the system and kept him safe for as long as she could. But there came the day when my parents decided that leaving the country was in the best interest of their four children.

This decision brought long years of painful, scarring separation, heartache, hard work, and loss before we could reunite in Vancouver to start an entirely new life. Now my family lives all over the world, but we couldn’t be closer if we lived down the street from one another. Interestingly our childhood roots run deeper than we anticipated, and health, wellness, and natural living became the center of the lives of the families we’ve built. The organic apples have not rolled as far from those Hungarian backyards as we thought.