About Me

DSC_6044I’m Andrew LaTour and author of this small blog. I’m 27 years old and a native of Connecticut. I attended the University of Connecticut where I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering in 2010. From there I have been steadily working in industry at several companies including UTC Power, Chemtura, and Rogers Corporation. See my linkedin profile for more details on my job descriptions. While at those companies I have been trained on the fundamentals of Lean, Six Sigma, and Shanin. These are essentially methodologies, tools, and best practices to apply in the areas of problem solving, efficiency, and optimization. See why the goofy blog name Sustenance Kaizen was made by reading my first blog entry here.

Where health comes in is that in January of 2015 from the 3rd to the 10th I attended the Raw Food Institute in Simsbury Connecticut. This is a 7 day program where you are on a raw vegan detox diet all 7 days, and each day you are in lectures with food experts. So I forget the exact number but that equates to essentially 46 hours of classroom training. So that alone doesn’t make me an expert, but I have been implementing the learnings from that event ever since. I think my experiences can be relate-able and relevant to others. In March 29th through April 4th of the same year I attended again as a volunteer staff. There I was able to work hands-on in the kitchen with the chef, help prepare green juices and wheatgrass shots, and help the new attendees with their experience. It also offered me the chance to refresh on the topics again. I’m proud to say I’m down over 65lbs and counting! But that’s not the only benefit to switching my diet and lifestyle!

Now I have this wealth of knowledge on the power of raw foods, detoxification, ketogenic diets, biohacking, and healthy living it would seem almost overwhelming for me to go home and try to implement it all. That is why I took the approach to do one kaizen (meaning “good change”) at a time. And when that happened it started to make it easy for me to make progress on all the material I have learned. Whenever I feel I have made a change, I check in, make sure it feels like the right thing to do, make sure it is sustainable in my life, then continue on. And in all honesty, some things may not pass that check so I may abandon it and move on anyways. Or I think about why it may have failed and try again. That is the beauty of the kaizen approach, making small incremental changes and not being afraid to fail.

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2 thoughts on “About Me

    • Hi Aunt Jeannie! Good question. For lean certification I had to read Lean Thinking, Gemba Kaizen, and Lean Production Simplified. I’d say Lean Production Simplified is the most practical resource for the lean tools and methodologies to apply. The other two books have a lot more history and background which is quite interesting. For a quick overview you can read The Toyota Way Executive Summary.
      For Six Sigma I haven’t found any super helpful quick reference guides that aren’t proprietary information. I am currently studying the Quality Council of Indiana’s Six Sigma Black Belt primer, and they reference Juran’s Quality Handbook and Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World’s Top Corporations. But I have not read either of those yet.
      For Shainin I was also trained internally and is not as easy to find reading materials. You can find some information on http://www.shainin.com/index.php/who-we-are/founder.

      -Andrew

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