"Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, 10 days, and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink." (Daniel 1:12).
From this scripture, Don Tolman built a business.The scripture appears on every package of Pulse, one of several products manufactured or distributed in Utah County by Tolman's 4-month-old company, Brain Garden.
A nutritional foods and "accelerated education" company, Brain Garden has experienced explosive growth since opening its doors on Jan. 13, Tolman said. In February it grew 300 percent over the first month and in March it grew another 200 percent, according to company literature. It now fills orders ranging from $200,000 to $300,000 a month.
"The story of Daniel and how he ate pulse and drank water and became smarter - that always intrigued me ever since I was a little child," Tolman said. "Memory has always fascinated me. It's always been my passion."
Tolman said good nutrition and how it may affect learning has also fascinated him. That led to his search to learn what pulse was.
His search led him to several ancient cultures, all of which had their own recipes for pulse. But he found the Hebrew version after becoming a Mason. Tolman said he learned that an ancient scroll was held by the International Shrine of Free Masons in Washington, D.C. There, he said, he found the recipe for the ancient Hebrew pulse.
"Pulse is a specific balance of seeds to nuts, nuts to grains, grains to fruit and fruit to tubers," he said.
The product he manufactures in Salem from food organically grown in California reads like of shopping list for a health food store: dates, oats, raisins, prunes, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, figs, amaranth, filberts, almonds, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, einkorn, barley, brown rice, flax seeds, grapeseed oil and walnut oil.
It is flavored with dried carob, raspberries, cherries or blueberries. Pulse is sold packaged, raw and ready to eat. Like Daniel, Tolman offers a challenge to go on a diet of Pulse and water for 10 days. "Pulse may increase brain function and weight loss," the package claims.
Brain Garden is spread between Salem and Payson. While Tolman's Salem plant manufactures and distributes Pulse and other products, his Payson facility, historically an opera house, is also singing the praises of "accelerated education." In the works, he says, are animated cartoons that help children and adults learn faster and retain information better.
One, for example, will help people from age 4 and up learn all 12 times tables in just a few minutes. Another will teach the names of 177 countries, their capital cities and 10 facts about each country in one viewing. Learning and retaining that information also takes just minutes, Tolman said.
"I've spent 30 years investigating memory and the role imagination plays in memory," he said. Along the way he learned memory skills that he once used as Memory Man in Las Vegas and as a keynote speaker for the defunct Financial Freedom company.
As part of his newest venture he teaches seminars to potential distributors on learning and how nutrition plays a role. He opens with a demonstration of his memory skills - the audience supplies a list of 100 words, which he memorizes in six to eight seconds before repeating them back.
Raised in Utah, Tolman returned here recently after selling out his interest in another multilevel business based in Dallas, 2Xtreme International.