Sneakz was created to help parents ensure their children consume a sufficient amount of vegetables. But now, Medicaid patients can officially have the organic drink prescribed by a doctor as a nutritional supplement, in no small part thanks to one 83-year-old fan who lobbied for the beverage.
When Jane T., of Montana, saw a “funny-looking” container featuring a cartoon fox, she had to know more about what was inside, beginning with its taste. She liked what she tried and decided to look into the ingredients. She loved those as well: organic, with 15 ingredients — five of them vegetables — and without antibiotics or synthetic hormones. Most importantly, Jane, who suffers from a rare brain condition that has wide-ranging effects on her body, liked how it made her feel.
“When I drink Sneakz, my digestive tract quiets down. It’s very soothing; it doesn’t upset my stomach and even eases the pangs and pains,” she said.
Her experience with Sneakz may be due to the absence of carrageenan, an additive often used as a thickening agent, even in organic or so-called natural foods (read: The Carrageenan Controversy). A recent article in Prevention magazine notes that carrageenan, derived from red seaweed, has since the 1960s been linked to “gastrointestinal disease in lab animals, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal lesions, and colon cancer.”
Isolating the specific reason for its beneficial effects doesn’t matter to Jane. It’s enough that, she said, her “whole system feels right and Sneakz seems to be helping me in many ways. I even sleep better.”
Jane told her physician about her experience with Sneakz, then took it a step further, delivering a supply of Sneakz to him and to her local home health care provider, which carried other nutritional supplements for seniors on Medicaid. She felt Sneakz should sit on the same shelf, thanks to its significant impact on her well-being.
She also contacted Sneakz headquarters to share her story and her efforts. Steve Krueger, operations, and sales manager took up the cause and managed the laborious registration process that allowed Sneakz to become a provider for Medicaid.
“We can be prescribed by any doctor in the country, as long as the patient has a Medicaid Waiver on file,” Krueger explains. “This includes children, too. We are also in the process of becoming approved through Medicare.”
Jane’s doctor issued her first prescription for Sneakz and her home health care provider now fills it. She hopes seniors in every state can take advantage of this opportunity to see if Sneakz makes them feel as good as it’s made her feel. But she isn’t stopping there. Jane has even been in contact with the National Institutes of Health to encourage research into the benefits of Sneakz for the chronically ill.
“We don’t make any medical claims,” Krueger said. “But Jane is drinking three servings of Sneakz a day. That means she’s getting a serving and a half of vegetables and three cups of organic milk, healthy items that are likely to have some positive effect on a person’s body.”