MGU 73 | Indulging In Vices

 

With National Wine Day just around the corner, it’s time to discuss a timeworn yet ever-timely subject –  indulging in vices. Where does one draw the line between enjoyment and addiction, and how do you avoid getting to that point in the first place? Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen dive into the different aspects of indulging in vices, whether it’s alcohol or junk food. Are you still finding a way to toe the fine line between “just right” and “too much” when it comes to your vices? Jason and Whitney have a lot of stories and helpful advice to share with you.

Listen to the podcast here:

How Indulging Affects Your Mental Health

Jason, I have some news that may surprise you.

A good surprise? A bad surprise? What kind of surprise?

A neutral surprise.

I’m game. What have you got?

Something I feel worth admitting, something new about me. Something that will make you say, “Well, I’ll be.” I’m hoping that you say that because I love it when you say that.

No pressure now for a reaction.

It’s another national day. It’s National Wine Day and I thought I should admit that I’ve been drinking wine more often.

You don’t say. You’ve been drinking. This is interesting because in the years that I’ve known you, we’ve been known to maybe try a little wine at a gathering or a party or a lot of the things that we do professionally. I’ve never known you to be someone who has privately in their home or not in an event, indulge or explore wine. This is interesting to talk about this with you. Tell me more. What have you been drinking? What have you been tasting? Give me the down-low.

It was an interesting day. I don’t remember what provoked it. It’s been COVID quarantine, staying at home, physical distancing, and all of that. One day, something inspired me to go scrounging around to see if I had any alcohol. I’m not somebody that drinks very much. I do enjoy cocktails, but I cut back on cocktails when I started doing the keto diet. I will say though there are a number of cocktails that can be made keto. I have talked about this on Instagram at least because I worked with that cool company Seedlip who makes those non-alcoholic spirits, which are great. If you can’t relate to anything I’m talking about when it comes to alcohol, if you are alcohol-free or you’re like me who sometimes drinks alcohol and sometimes doesn’t and sometimes drinks because of the taste, Seedlip is amazing. They’re not a sponsor of this episode, but they have sponsored me before on Instagram. Their stuff is amazing. It’s incredible.

One of the things I liked about them was the fact that you could still enjoy a great tasting beverage, but you could do it without the help of alcohol. You could feel like you weren’t missing out. For me, I like trying different drinks. Beverages are my favorite thing. A lot of times, I would find myself drinking to try something. I rarely ever drink to feel a buzz, but it shifted a little bit. I remember going in and finding a bottle of sake that hadn’t been opened. I was like, “I’ll open this up.” It was the unfiltered sake. That’s the best kind, the pink bottle, which is delicious and often something that I partake in when I eat Japanese food. I had some of that and then I remembered I had a couple of cans of this great beer from New Belgium in my refrigerator. I had some of those. I had a reaction to them. I had my classic gluten reaction, so I had to nix the beer, although there are some gluten-free beers out there.

I found a can of wine that you have as well, Jason, unless you drank it since we were gifted it. Remember when we went to that store, the Super Mart in Hollywood and they gave us that beautiful canned wine. I had some of that and I’ll be honest, I did not double-check that it was vegan. It was good. I’m not a huge wine person, but I have become more curious. After that, when I was at the grocery store, there was a section of chilled wine and beautiful cans. When it comes to drinks, especially bottled drinks, and Jason knows this. I went through a phase where I was into hard cider, especially whenever I would visit my family on the East Coast where cider is a little bit more prevalent. I would love going into to stores and trying different types of craft local hard cider. You would partake in that too sometimes, Jason.

From a perspective of wanting to try things from a flavor perspective and developing my palette. I am curious about trying most things for that reason.

Especially when it comes to beverages. For the reader, if you didn’t know this, not alcoholic beverages are vegan, so you can check and see. Sometimes they put it on the label. Sometimes the company has their policy that they don’t use any fish products or whatever. It’s a filtration thing, but sometimes you have to go digging. What’s that website?

Barnivore, that’s the best resource.

We should double-check the wine that we were gifted was vegan. It makes a little tricky, but you can download the app for your phone and there are times where I’ll end up drinking something and realize I forgot to check beforehand, like in the case of that wine we received. It’s not perfectly vegan, as a reminder to everybody out there. How about you, Jason? When you drink alcohol, do you check that it’s vegan before you consume it in that rare occasion?

Pretty consistently but not 100% of the time.

This is where I fall into trouble. If you go to a restaurant with friends and somebody gives me wine or something to try, it feels awkward to say, “Let me take out my phone and double-check.” I’m not trying to mock anybody.

Before I imbibe in this incredible libation you’ve offered me, I do need to check the application called Barnivore to ensure that no animals were used in the making of this wine. We’ve been at parties where you pull up the website or pull up the app, but I’m not present to doing that 100% of the time. Although the last time that I drank wine was over the holidays when my mom was in town and we went to Pura Vita, the vegan Italian restaurant here in LA, where all of their wines there are vegan. The wines on that list are incredible. If anyone happens to be in Los Angeles or coming through LA, first of all, if you want an incredible meal, this Italian restaurant is absolutely phenomenal.

They opened the pizza shop.

It’s unbelievable food. It’s so inventive and creative. I’ll vouch for their wine list. All of the wines that I’ve tried there have been outstanding.

That was my confession, that I’ve become more interested in wine and I get very excited when I go to the store. There’s a grocery store I’ve been frequenting and they have an incredible alcohol section. They have chilled wine, chilled beers, ciders, and rows of wines to choose from. It’s probably out of boredom, but I had this funny experience one night when I was drinking the said canned wine. It was a high alcohol percentage and the can had 2.5 glasses in it. You look at a can and I associate it with soda or something. I often think of a can as being one serving, but one serving is 2.5 glasses of wine for some people.

Some people only partake in alcohol or drugs because they’re feeling rebellious. Click To Tweet

For me, because I don’t drink very much wine, that’s a lot. Even halfway through the can, I felt very tipsy and I texted my good friend who’s into wine and said, “I’m drinking wine right now. I totally get why you love it so much because I feel so good.” It’s interesting. I think this is worth exploring because I’ve never been somebody that gets that into alcohol or drugs. There are things that I’m curious about and we’ve dabbled in this a little bit. Probably around the Ayahuasca plant medicine conversation. We talked a little bit about drugs and there’s only so much that we can share on this show because some things are not socially or politically acceptable. Even when I was young, I wasn’t that excited about alcohol or drugs. I was just curious.

I would sometimes partake in things because I felt they were rebellious or sneaky. My friends and I would sneak some of our parent’s alcohol or I would drink it with my friends when I was younger because it was cool. That was the only reason. It wasn’t about the buzz. It wasn’t about the escape. I had this realization when I had that wine of how good it feels. It’s might sound obvious if you’re somebody who drinks wine regularly. For me, I honestly forget about what that’s like. There was this moment I thought, “Why not? I’m going to go and have wine more regularly.” When I go to the store, I’ll buy. I’m curious about these canned wine options now and they’re beautiful. I didn’t even know it was a thing. There are certain stores you go into and they have all these different options. Some of them say vegan right on the can.

It’s an interesting topic that you bring up about indulging in this maybe for the first time in your life and exploring this.

Let me be clear. It’s not the first time in my life.

No, I don’t mean ever drinking, but it sounds like you’re exploring it in a more intentional way is what I mean. Whereas there’s, “I’m out for dinner and I’ll have a glass.” It sounds to me like you’re having a more intentional approach. That’s what I meant. Not the first time ever, but the first time that maybe you are intentionally imbibing and investigating this because people are into wine much as they’re into food or different culinary trends. I remember for me, one of the biggest educations I received was one a few years ago. I was invited to the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival and got to chef there.

That was a huge experience for me. That was a dream come true because that’s probably one of the pre-eminent food festivals in the world. Granted, I still know very little about wine. I know more than I did then. Being able to immerse myself in that almost week-long festival going to wine workshops. I remember going to workshops about how to discern different flavors and train your palette in how to taste wine. It blew my mind the nuance and the level of subtlety that people who were sommeliers and professional wine tasters, the notes they were talking about. “There’s a little bit of grass from the Scottish Highlands mixed with juniper berries and the droppings of a dung beetle.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” The level of sophistication for people that are into wines, it is admirable. It’s interesting to me and shows me how very little I know about that whole world.

I would agree. It’s almost a whole other language. I have felt that similar curiosity and awe in people that know wine well because it does feel it’s this unknown territory and there’s so much to learn. It reminds me a lot about coffee because I’ve become increasingly passionate about coffee over the years. The more I learn about it, the more exciting it is. There’s so much to learn because coffee, there are all these different levels. It’s not just how you drink it or where you get it from if you go to a cafe, but where the beans are from, how they’re roasted, all the different subtleties, the way it tastes and how it’s grown. Is it organic or fair trade? All of these different elements of coffee. Every day I explore coffee a little bit, but I’m just scratching the surface. I’m not at a point where I can tell the difference between types of beans.

I couldn’t try something and go into depth about how it tastes. I’m like, “This tastes good or this doesn’t taste good.” I’m finding myself wanting to dive into it more. In fact, I went to the coffee festival. Do you recall, Jason? It might have been 2019 and there was the Los Angeles Coffee Festival. I found out about it and thought, “I have to go to this.” I was so excited about it. It was pretty cool. It wasn’t the best organized event that I’ve been to, but all things considered, it was neat and it’s one of those things I look back on. Especially given that events like that aren’t happening, I have even more desire to go to something like that because they had all these different stations. You can go and learn how to do coffee with the steamed milk, which is something I would love to learn how to do.

After that demo, they showed how to make coffee art and I felt it satisfied me enough. I realized it feels a little too involved to make coffee art at home. I’ve tried and there’s a whole technique to it, which is cool, but it’s also a lot of work. They had all these different coffee brands and all these coffee accessories and it’s such a neat thing. Similar to what you’re describing with wine, you can go to a wine tour, for example, and learn about it. It’s a big commitment trying to study all of these different things. If I had to choose, I’d probably choose coffee over wine. If I could only master one in my lifetime, coffee appeals to me a little bit more.

That’s the other thing too. I’m reading a book about assertiveness. It’s interesting, there’s a section about stress. I realized I’m reading three books at once right now and that section I’m about to reference was not assertiveness. I literally read parts of three different books and now I’m getting them all confused. The book that I’m about to mention is about perfection. That book is good. I started it and it was talking about stress. There was this little section about how addicting caffeine is. I found myself feeling a little defensive. I’m like, “Don’t take my caffeine away from me, please.” I was thinking about how much I love my daily routine of drinking coffee. I cherish it. I look forward to it. In fact, every single day around 4:00 PM, that’s my cutoff time. I won’t allow myself to have caffeine after 4:00 because I want to let it get out of my system so I can sleep well. I feel sad. I feel like I’m trained now to feel sad at 4:00 every single day.

That’s the thing I need to be aware of, but perhaps wine is filling the gap in between 4:00 PM and the next day that I can have wine. I certainly don’t want to fall into an addiction or dependency on anything. Wine and coffee are so interesting because coffee is that stimulant and you drink it in the morning and it wakes you up and then wine is something that you have to wind down. They play similar roles in your life. Caffeine may cause you more stress and wine may cause you less stress. Both of them can get a little out of hand, but then there’s also the side of each of them where there’s such an art and a passion behind them and there’s a craft to it, but you have to check yourself on why you’re indulging in either of them. I know you’re not that into either, Jason. Do you have any vice you would say when it comes to something that could be addictive for you, that you have to be mindful of?

The first thing that comes to my mind is chocolate. It’s because much we’re describing the art and craftsmanship, the tasting of things, developing one’s palette, and being so into it. Chocolate is the first thing for me. I’ve always loved chocolate, even since I was a little boy. I remember the first time I was in Costa Rica in early 2005, I was going to a mutual friend’s property. He had bought a bunch of farmland in the center of the country. It was the first time I ever got the chance to try raw cacao. We went up to a cacao tree. He took his machete, split it open, and opened the pod. I had a raw cacao bean for the first time and I remember it was such a mind-blowing experience for me.

Chocolate is definitely the thing for me. I know I’ve touched on a previous episode about my dependency sometimes on sweet foods when I’m feeling stressed, lonely, anxious or depressed. The correlation that I’ve made in terms of the psychology of eating. We talked about it in the Psychology Of Eating episode. I noticed that when I feel lonely, depressed, anxious and scared, I reach for chocolate or sweets. I also need to be very mindful. I don’t want to use the word careful. I like mindful better of am I indulging in chocolate as a joyful pleasure or am I indulging in it as a means of escape or a way to emotionally bypass feeling what I need to feel.

For me, chocolate is a very complicated relationship status because I love it. It’s a great pleasure of life and I love tasting new chocolates. We had our good friend Justin Polgar, the Founder of YES Cacao. His palette is so wonderful. I remember after that interview, we all went to Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco and got a few chocolate bars. Remember we were doing that tasting in the car and he was describing all the notes, the textures, the flavors and the highlights. It’s a pleasure for me to be in his company or anyone who’s a master chocolatier because their palate and their sensitivity is so developed and I learn so much from them.

You’re right, that chocolate is like that for you. I almost thought you might say marijuana as well.

I love cannabis in terms of two purposes. Cannabis in terms of sleep has been a godsend for me. I’m not sure if we’ve discussed my insomnia here yet. If we haven’t, for the past few years, I have had bouts of raging and debilitating insomnia. I remember you checking in on me being like, “Are you okay?” I would not sleep well for days and days on end and I started to get scared about it. Cannabis has been a way for me to overcome insomnia by smoking it before bed. For me, the intentional usage of it is, do I feel good on it? Absolutely. It’s a much more pointed intentional thing that I use, whereas cacao or chocolate is simply for the pleasure of it. The intention of how I use cannabis is very different than how I utilize and use cacao in my life.

Any of these, whether it’s wine, coffee, cannabis or chocolate, they can go to all different extremes. They can be used for pleasure and for something to escape your life. I don’t think that there’s generally anything wrong with that. It all depends on the extremes that you’re going to and how it’s disrupting your life. We can put a lot of judgments. Some people abstain from anything that gives them that experience. We talked about this too in that episode about taking a cleanse or avoiding. Remember we were talking about eye contact? What was that called?

Oh, was it dopamine fasting?

That’s it, thank you. That’s what a lot of these is giving you. It’s this high and we have this draw. I bet you, it’s a very timely thing and admittedly why I got a little bit more into wine. I literally got a taste of what it felt like to have that elation and this ability to spend a few dollars on something on the lower end. To buy a nice can of wine cost me $5 or $6, and you could buy a nice bottle of wine for maybe even less per serving. Maybe not. I don’t know that much about wine to tell you all the different price ranges. All I know is that when I see nice packaging, I’m spending money.

MGU 73 | Indulging In Vices

Indulging In Vices: People that know how to taste wine properly might sound like they’re speaking in a completely different language.

 

You’re a sucker for good design.

I did find one that was low calorie, low carb, and vegan, gluten-free. It checked off every box and I’m sold. It had nice packaging. My point being that the buzz I felt when I decided that I would start drinking wine a little bit more frequently, it was that feeling of, “This is nice.” Anytime I need it, I can grab this and feel good. I was doing a game night with a group of people and they called it Cocktails and Code Names. It was this fun game, but it was a group of people I had never met before. I knew two people in this group, but I was feeling very introverted and nervous about socializing with people even over Zoom. I thought, “I’m going to partake in the drinking.” I scrounged around the refrigerator and I was able to put together a cocktail from this bottle of gin that was open in the back of the fridge and some sugar-free soda that I had.

I made myself this little drink and I’m enjoying it. I’m a lightweight because I don’t drink that often. I was thinking to myself, “This is fun and this is pleasurable.” Now I can be a little bit more relaxed and less in my head about socializing. That’s a huge reason why people drink. One of the first things that you get when you go into most parties is there’s a bar somewhere. Depending on the type of party you go to, somebody is serving you a drink, carrying around a plate of wine and you can instantly get a little buzz on. It’s a social lubricant. Even when you and I went to that famous cannabis party, we walk in and we are instantly served cannabis products. You take them and you wait for the effects to sink in.

The next thing you know, you’re feeling on top of the world and able to talk to anybody. It completely takes down your fears and discomfort. It helps you be more relaxed. It’s fascinating though when you go into a party and you’re sober and to observe the difference between taking some stimulant. The same thing could be said with going into a coffee shop. Everybody in there is hyped up on caffeine. Even if you’re just drinking tea or sugar. The same thing is true if we’re talking about chocolate as well. You go into a Starbucks and it has everything. It has chocolate, sugar, and caffeine of all different types. I imagine they might have alcohol. They don’t have cannabis in there yet, but maybe they have CBD. I don’t know if there’s CBD in Starbucks, but there are CBD drinks and a number of cafes now.

It’s becoming a ubiquitous thing. What comes up for me too is the judgment in my head, not necessarily my voice, but the generalized voice of like, “I thought you guys were health and wellness experts or influencers or hosts. Here you are talking about wine, cannabis, chocolate and sugar.”

All those things fall into health and wellness these days.

I know but the voice I’m hearing in my head is when I have posted certain things in the past, and it’s not often, but things about psychedelics, cannabis, chocolate or things like that. There’s this tier of purists and perfectionists that are involved in the health and wellness industry. I won’t name who they are. They’re specific people that are quick to be like, “That’s not healthy and here’s what it does to your body, your liver and your endocrine system.” My whole thing is this goes back to what we have talked about that there are conflicting studies and research and science that one can find opposing viewpoints with valid stances on both sides of the coin.

In terms of wine, for instance. You look at a lot of the longevity research and the stuff that Dan Buettner has written about in The Blue Zones or the stuff that I’ve talked about in my TV series, How To Live to 100. You look at people in the Blue Zones that are living healthfully to the age of 100 and beyond. They’re vital at 100. You look at a place like Sardinia or some places in Europe where people are living to 100 and admittedly many of them drink a glass of wine daily. In fact, the current world record holders, Jeanne Calment, a French woman who lived well into her 120s was said that even toward the end of her life, she was drinking a glass of wine a day. How can you argue with someone who lived into their 120s and was still vibrant in their 100s?

It was like, “I drink a glass of wine a day.” I’m saying there’s that flip side where there are the purists that are like, “It’s only because of the resveratrol. It’s the antioxidant and you can get that from grape juice and you don’t need to drink wine.” My point is this, we can spend our lives trying to be purists and perfectionists. I have found that when I have fallen into that pattern of eating and living, it sucks the joy out of life a little bit. There’s a tendency for it to be like, “I’m being a little bit pure here and I’m maybe being a little too perfectionistic with my life.” To me, if we carry it to too much of an extreme, I have found that it sucks the joy out of life a little bit or a lot.

This is the thing that we come up against in a lot of our episodes, which is there are many different perspectives on health. That’s why a big aim of ours is to have conversations instead of debates. We’re not here to argue about what’s healthy and what’s not, what’s good for your well-being and what’s not. If I were to give you one definitive answer or perspective on what I think is that it all comes down to balance and there is that cliché of everything in moderation. It’s a cliché for a reason. I go through many different phases when it comes to my lifestyle and my food choices. I was thinking about this on TikTok. I’ve been posting a lot of videos about vegan junk food and I started to feel self-conscious about it.

It’s all these processed food items that I was showing on my feed because I was enjoying them and I find them interesting. I love talking about products. It’s been a bunch of processed foods in a row that I’ve been posting and I thought similar to what you said, Jason. I’m like, “People are going to judge me and they’re going to come on here and comment about how all this food is bad for my health.” I’m fine right now. First of all, we’re still in quarantine and a lot of us have been indulging in processed foods more frequently, but that brings me joy. I enjoy trying processed foods. I will be the first to admit. I had the Beyond Meat breakfast sausage and I was excited to try it. It’s gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and low carb. A lot of their products checks off a lot of boxes for me.

Would I call it healthy? No, but I enjoyed the experience of it. It brought me joy and that is important. I go through all sorts of different phases and I don’t want to get into that orthorexic standpoint when it comes to eating anything. Joy is the ultimate thing. When I look at my longest living grandparent who passed away a few years ago, it was my grandfather. He was 97.5 and his diet was not very good, at least in the time that I knew him. Now granted we’ve talked about this too, how we can’t use anecdotes to back up health. People can be in all different extremes and live a long life somehow despite the odds. When it comes to our grandparents, they grew up in a completely different environment than we’re growing up in right now. If you were to look at the last 30-plus years of his life, he ate a lot of processed foods, junky foods, non-organic foods, sugary foods, or whatever. He ate lots of meat and dairy and all these things that Jason and I have come to learn or believe are not very good for your long-term health. Yet my grandfather lived to 97.5.

Wine, like many substances, can take you to different extremes. Click To Tweet

The reason I bring him up is not about his diet. It’s about his joy. He was such a beautiful example for me because my grandfather always put on a happy face. I saw him less than 48 hours before he passed away. He was in such good spirits even though he was living in a hospice room alone. His wife of many years had passed away a few years before that. His family is coming together around him. He knew he was dying, but to the last moment that I was with him, he was full of joy and that’s what I want to be. It’s another cliché point or piece of life advice, but we’re not going to be sitting here thinking like, “I probably shouldn’t have had all that chocolate.”

Who’s going to think of this stuff? I received an email from one of my friends who is one of the “healthiest” person that I know. She is into whole foods plant-based living. She eats organic. She is mindful about ingredients. She’s mindful about holistic living. She has a whole career built on this. She’s an incredibly knowledgeable, passionate person who walks the talk. She sent an email completely out of the blue to a few of her friends and it was saying, “I missed all of the things that are going on in the world. There are a lot of things about our lives that are up in the air. I’m sending this email in the case that something happens to me and my life ends, I want you to have this information. There are things that I want for my legacy and if I’m not able to follow through with them, if my health is at risk, I want you to have this so that you can finish out what I didn’t get to finish.”

It was a morbid thing and completely out of the blue. I haven’t had a chance to have an in-depth discussion about why she sent it, but for all I know, her health is not in danger at this moment. She wanted to ensure that some things got followed through with it. It was a realistic perspective of, “I don’t know how long I’m going to live. Anything could happen to any of us at any moment. This is important to me.” It’s true because we’re in this time where we could be incredibly healthy people and get COVID and our lives could be over.

We could be hit by a bus, the cliché example, or a number of things that could happen to us even if we feel we’re doing everything “right.” There’s a part of me that sometimes feels like, “Fuck it. I want to eat whatever I want to eat.” You and I, Jason, are ultimately about mental well-being and that’s been a huge shift in our careers. Certainly, we have gone through a lot of different phases with our separate individual careers where we’ve touted the benefits of all these different foods. We still say those and we still believe them, but why should I hide the fact that I like processed food? Why should I hide the fact that I drink wine sometimes or alcohol or love coffee just because of someone’s judgment? I get into a Jason Wrobel mode.

What does that mean?

The Jason Wrobel mode is like, “Fuck them.”

That is a mode I get into. People don’t see that publicly, but the people in my life, it’s like, “Fuck them, it’s your life.”

It’s bullshit because to me that seems incredibly stressful to constantly be worried about what other people think about me and get into that mode. Especially for me who has had a history of disordered eating. The last thing I want to do is go about my life and worry about every morsel of food or drink I put into my body. That’s ridiculous. If I find pleasure in trying processed foods and I also eat unprocessed foods, then let me be. First of all, it’s my body. Second of all, who is anybody to judge somebody on social media for what they eat? It’s ridiculous because if you didn’t know this about us already, Jason and I are constantly researching these things. We’re surrounded by health “experts,” researchers, scientists, doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, on and on.

We know all this information and yet we also enjoy indulging in certain foods. I don’t want to have to hide that. The reason I post about it on TikTok is joy. In my opinion, it’s also showing how diverse vegan foods can be. There’s already so much judgment about veganism being limiting or lacking joy or whatever. In my TikTok, it was showing how you could have breakfast sausage and eggs. They’re entirely vegan and gluten-free. You can check off all of these boxes and they literally came from a box. If this brings you joy, if this helps you eat less animals, make a later impact on the planet, and maybe your health for some tiny fraction of your long-term health is affected by it. I don’t know. It seems silly.

It goes back to also if one is being too structured and too strict with their eating and their lifestyle. The worry, the stress, and the anxiety that is generated from trying to protect yourself from GMOs, toxins, dioxins, all that stuff all the time. The cortisol, the stress hormones, the elevated blood pressure and all of the other things that one may experience from those emotions might be much more deleterious, bad and harmful than you being like, “I’m going to have this Beyond Meat breakfast sausage, enjoy it, and own my choice fully instead of eating it and then beating myself up for it afterward.” You have all of that emotional charge on it. It’s so wonderful, I want to loop back to you talking about your grandpa who I was thankful having the opportunity to meet him several times, his spirit and his attitude.

You talked about joyfulness. I had a similar experience with my neighbor growing up. Her name was Anne Curry and she also passed away at 96. We were exactly 60 years apart in terms of our age frame. She’s passed out of her body now. A few years before she passed, I went over to her house to help her with some stuff. I said, “Ann, can I ask you a question?” She said, “Of course.” I said this is cliché, “What’s your secret? How have you lived so long?” Mind you, not just live long, but in her 90s driving her car, taking trips to California and Vancouver, Canada to visit her family, going to bingo, shoveling her snow, doing her gardening. She was going completely against the stereotypical image of aging certainly in this society. She said, “Don’t stop doing things that you enjoy.” I said, “That’s it?” She said, “Yes. Keep doing things that make you joyful.”

When you said that about your grandpa, that totally reminded me of my conversation with Mrs. Curry in her 90s. She’s like, “Keep doing things that you enjoy.” I thought, “That’s it.” If you are joyfully engaged with life, you’re intentionally doing things that bring you joy and probably as a result, bring others joy, we can’t discount that in terms of longevity. We have anecdotal evidence of your grandpa and my neighbor, but that we’re onto something here. It’s not about strict micromanagement of everything you put in your body and, “I shouldn’t think any negative thoughts and I have to be high vibe and positive all the time because I want to live to 100.” It’s like, “No, relax a little bit. Relax your butthole. Show out and enjoy your life every once in a while, for God’s sake.”

MGU 73 | Indulging In Vices

Indulging In Vices: In some places in Europe, people live up to a hundred and admittedly, many of them drink at least a glass of wine daily.

 

This reminds me of one of the episodes we did. It was something like sleep longer or go to bed. It was something related to sleep and I said, “I would rather do this and shorten my life by a few years, than force myself to live in a way it was unpleasant for me.” It was in one of our sleep episodes. You had a surprised response when I said that. You were like, “Really, Whitney? I didn’t know this about you.” Sleep is another thing that I felt judged on. During quarantine, I’ve gone back to my “old ways.” For anybody reading that didn’t know this about me, I’ve gone through a lot of different periods of sleep, but in terms of timing, it’s felt like an embarrassing thing for me throughout my life because I’ve been judged by a lot of people for my sleep schedule. Let me tell you, Jason, as soon as I gave permission to relax and sleep whenever I felt it, meaning go to bed when I felt tired and wake up when I wanted to wake up.

I set an alarm because we needed to do this, but this is probably the first time I’ve set an alarm for myself in a while. With quarantine, I’ve had very few reasons to wake up at a specific time. Before quarantine, I was getting up three days a week at 5:15 in the morning because of my favorite fitness class. I miss the hell out of that fitness class, but I certainly don’t miss waking up that early. It was nice to wake up and have the whole day ahead of me, be up before other people, drive to class with zero traffic and see the sun come up and finish my workout at 7:00 in the morning. I loved all of those different elements of it, but my body was being forced to wake up five hours earlier than it normally likes to wake up. I was in constant sleep debt for months and months. I was doing that class regularly from October or November 2019 until March 2020. It was a long time of building sleep debt.

For people that are unaware of this, if your body is deprived of sleep, it goes into debt and you have to make up for it. You will be forced to make up. Your body cannot physically handle that much lack of sleep for too long. I was struggling to go to bed early, so I would generally go to bed between 10:00 PM and 12:00 AM and then wake up at 5:15. I’m somebody that thrives on 8 or 9 hours of sleep. Once quarantine happened and I no longer was going to that class, I slowly started to go back to my old ways. I’ll be frank, this is probably going to sound shocking, but the earliest I wake up these days is 10:30 AM and some days I don’t wake up until 12:00 PM.

If I let myself be, I will stay up until an average of 2:30 in the morning, and then I go to bed. I sometimes don’t fall asleep until 3:00 AM and naturally I’ll keep sleeping and I’ll wake up between 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM each day when I don’t turn on the alarm. For a while I was averaging 10:30 which felt comfortable. Once I started sleeping towards 12:00 PM, I started to feel self-conscious about it. It’s so tricky because I’ve been doing this almost my entire life. I’ve talked about this, but we don’t have to get into all the details because we already did a whole episode on this. That frustration I felt when it comes to food and sleep and all these different aspects of my lifestyle trying to force myself into some box because people said it was good for me or what I was doing was bad for me. People will shame me and I’m at a point in my life where shame is a huge enemy of mine.

I don’t want to feel shame. It has not benefited me at all. Many of us live our lives trying to fit ourselves into a box based on somebody else’s recommendation. Not only does the awareness of that grow as we get older, but culturally, more and more we are recognizing this, how much we put ourselves into boxes. With COVID, a lot is being revealed to us. We don’t need to do all of these things and I bet you there are a lot of people who are discovering different sleep routines as a result of COVID. One of the reasons that I felt so much joy when I quit working full-time jobs is I no longer had to wake up every day at 7:00 AM or whatever it was back then to get to work by 9:00 AM. I was miserable when I worked a full-time job and had to live on that schedule.

I was experiencing sleep debt all the time because I’ve always been somebody who goes to bed at 12:00 AM-ish or late. I’ve researched it and I’ve tried to shift and I’ve gone caffeine-free. I’ve done many different things over my life to try to figure out how to put myself into that box that a lot of other people are in. When I’ve given myself the freedom to sleep on my own terms and say fuck it to the rest of the world and let myself be, I’ve got into that schedule. It’s like, “Who is saying all of this?” People have been so concerned. “You should stop drinking caffeine and that’s what’s causing it.” I’ve tried. It hasn’t helped. People have said like, “Maybe that’s why you’ve struggled with your weight over your life.” I’m not sure that it has. I’ve experimented a lot with different ways to keep my weight in balance and I don’t know that sleep has impacted it that much as much as food choice.

If anything, shifting away from processed food has been the most beneficial thing for me, ironically, as I’ve talked about processed food. When I’ve had less processed food, that’s usually when my body looks and feels it’s best, but that doesn’t necessarily change my sleep schedule. I don’t know how we got here from wine. We certainly found the thread through with wine and connection to a lot of different elements of our lives where we feel shame or judgment or we feel we’re doing things right or wrong for our health. It’s a reminder that this show is not about us giving you health advice. This show is about sharing honest conversations from two people who have worked in the health and wellness industry for many years. We’re being fully honest here and transparent, and we’re exploring it. Nothing we’re saying is permanent either. That’s the other important thing. Who knows? Jason could take up wine drinking as well. Anything could happen.

The one thing is that we’re coming from what we have experienced in the moment. The collection of our experiences and what we’ve gone through and as Whitney mentioned, how she’s experimented with many different ways of eating, living, and sleeping. It’s such a complex issue. Being human is a complicated thing, which is at the core of why we’re doing this show. It’s exploring the ups and downs and the ins and outs and the often confusing, glorious, weird, bizarro thing of being a human on this planet and figuring out our bodies and our minds, and what we’re all doing here. For me, what it brings up is there’s an idea that there’s one right way to live. There’s one right way to eat, pray, meditate, drink, sleep, whatever it is.

It all comes down to finding a sense of balance and moderation. Click To Tweet

We talked about anecdotal evidence at the beginning of this episode, but the use of anecdotal evidence as a guise for direct causality and results. Here’s what I mean by that. You talked about, “Maybe you’ll sleep better or lose weight if you take caffeine away because I read this study on mindbodygreen or whatever, that said about people in the study.” I think about it in terms of entrepreneurship too. I remember a few years ago, there was some research that came out that said, “High achievers and billionaires do these five things. They make their beds every morning. They wake up at 5:30 AM before everyone else to get a jump on the day. They make sure that they think only about the positive results of their actions,” and on and on.

If all these successful billionaires are doing this, then I ought to make my bed every single day because I’ll “be more productive.” That’s anecdotal evidence. I should get up at 5:30 every day because the early bird gets the worm. That’s what we’ve always been told. What we’re talking about now is this idea that a formula or a way of doing it like other people do it is going to create direct causality and have certain results in our lives. It’s not true. It may be true, but to say that there’s a sweeping generalization that if you make your bed, get up early, think high vibe thoughts, take out caffeine, do enemas, get a dog, whatever it is. There are many articles like this. “Do these five things and you’ll have a happy life.” I call it bullshit.

It’s feeding into a culture of perfectionism. I’m reading this book, which I don’t know when exactly it came out, but it’s called The Pursuit of Perfect. At the very beginning of the book, the author says that one of the major obstacles to becoming happier, arguably the number one obstacle, is the aspiration to a life that is not just happier but perfect. That’s what happens in the health world, this desire to be perfect. To eat perfectly, to sleep perfectly, to live perfectly. We want everything to be perfect. That’s a huge part of consumerism and marketing. If somebody can market us a perfect life and give us this checklist and tell us if we do all of these things, we will be perfect.

The problem is that list never ends and that list often conflicts with itself. We’re not promoting processed foods. Technically, maybe I do promote it when I post about it on social media. I’m not saying that eating the Beyond Sausage is going to help you be healthier or going to help you be happier. What I am saying is that in that moment, I felt joy because I liked the taste of it. I liked the experience of it. What I’m ultimately promoting is enjoying your life and experiencing things. I’m also promoting what works for me. What’s tricky is that a lot of marketing is saying, “If you do this, then you will be happy. I’m trying to guarantee you some result.” It becomes this ongoing thing.

To Jason’s point, for people, I would consider myself a recovering perfectionist because I’ve spent so much of my life trying to check off all the boxes that ultimately did not lead me to happiness. It led me to feeling stressed. It led me to feeling shame because I was afraid of being judged all the time for my choices. I would hide things. I was thinking this as I ate something and I’m like, “If only people knew what I ate outside of my Instagram post, what would they think of me?” It’s ridiculous to live that type of life, for me at least. If it brings you joy to try to be perfect, go for it. I’m not saying don’t do those things, but I’m saying you need to check-in and understand your motives for trying to do all these things.

Are you trying to be perfect all the time? We referenced Jordan’s book, Breaking Vegan and it’s about orthorexia. We talked about it in a previous episode. She would be a great guest. We should bring her on because she has a podcast as well. The judgment that she faced for no longer being vegan. When I read that book and saw her reasons for it, I applauded her because I too, as I’ve said many times, have struggled with disordered eating. A huge part of that is that desire to look perfect, to feel perfect, to present yourself as perfect, to show your lifestyle as being perfect. It’s so much about perfection. It can become obsessive that you only eat foods that you deem at the time as being perfect. That’s incredibly detrimental to your mental health.

It’s an offshoot of our success at all costs culture. We’ve created things that have nothing to do with competition and made them a pseudo competition. That’s my observation of it. There’s a phenomenal article I read. It’s a New York Times article by a guy named Adam Grant. The article is Stop Asking Kids What They Want to Be When They Grow Up. It goes into this idea of how from the youngest age, asking kids what they want to be when they’re 3, 4, 5 years old is setting up a construct of success metrics where we get these messages that you need to define yourself by your job and your success. Therefore, your self-worth is dependent on what you achieve.

That is a massive undercurrent and belief system in our society of yourself. I’m struggling with this right now because I’ve defined myself in a very narrow field for many years of my career. Now that I’m not “accomplishing” much with it or making money at it, there’s this idea of like “your self-worth.” I realize that that’s something that’s inculcated in us, that’s embedded in us from a very young age. You want to be an astronaut, a filmmaker, an athlete, a thing, and then you have a level of success at it. When that success isn’t there, your identity starts to crumble because you’re like, “What do I have? I have this thing.” As an offshoot of that too, because I’m on a roll here and I want to keep going with it.

The great documentary, which I finally started watching the docuseries, The Last Dance about Michael Jordan in the ‘90s Bulls. I know we’ve brought it up in several episodes, but it’s so good. There was an article also I read about Michael Jordan struggling in his life after basketball. There was a 2013 interview for Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. There was a profile in ESPN The Magazine where he talked about how even as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team and all the other business endeavors that he does with the Jordan clothing brand and Nike. Jordan is a billionaire. He’s an extremely successful businessman.

Yet he said he still struggles with his identity and sense of purpose and self-worth because he created it as the “greatest basketball player of all time.” Now that he hasn’t played professional basketball since he retired in 2003, he’s still struggling to find worth and identity in the world. For the greatest basketball player of all time and a billionaire, he still struggles. Why? We create this mentality that your value is based on how good you are at your profession. It’s sick and it’s no wonder we have so much depression, anxiety, and suicide when we’ve attached these external factors to someone’s idea of how much they’re worth in the world.

You would love a part of A Course In Miracles that I read. I’ve had it delivered to my inbox. You can sign up to get free emails on this book. If our readers have not heard of it, it’s a spiritual text and I learned about it originally from Marianne Williamson who has shaped her whole career around this book, at least up until she started running for president. I’m sure that’s even part of her new book about politics, which I have yet to read. I was encouraged by a friend to read the book and it’s very in depth. I signed up for daily emails and it’s nice because every day I get a little passage from the book. Sometimes I’ll look at in depth. One of the sections, it was number 128. Every day there’s a different number and I forget what it goes up to if it’s 300 something or 500. I don’t know, it takes a long time to go through this book day by day, but it’s 128, which was all about the ego.

MGU 73 | Indulging In Vices

Indulging In Vices: If your body is deprived of sleep, it goes into debt and you have to make up for it.

 

I wanted to read a few sections from it because it resonated with me so much and is exactly what Jason is talking about here and one of the big things that I’m working on here. I took a bunch of notes on it and they’re all out of order. I encourage our readers and you, Jason, I’ll send you a link to this too to read it. There’s also a great resource called A Course In Miracles For Dummies that breaks down all of the different parts of the book. Sometimes it feels old school and the writing style can be a little confusing. The passage I wanted to read is, “Most of us have been taught that there is something outside yourself that you need to make you happy.” Side note here, some of the text is from the interpreter’s notes, not directly from A Course In Miracles and I don’t know which is which because I copied and pasted them into my own notes.

Don’t take any of this verbatim being from the book. These are from my notes. “Grievances arise any time. Another fails to comply with someone’s predetermined performance standards that were supposedly required to make the world happy. Each party is in a constant battle for the rightness of their plan in their quest to manipulate the outside forces that they perceive are needed to make them safe and happy. This viewpoint binds us to the belief that something outside ourselves is responsible for our happiness. Happiness is something that happens to us rather than through us. This viewpoint disempowers us while supporting our ego’s belief in lack, limitation, and separation.

Our ego’s plan fails to recognize that our mind is the source for our happiness. We’re told to seek for happiness, love, and peace where it cannot be found. We fail to realize our world is a mere reflection of the values of our own mind. The world was designed to provide false evidence to support your ego’s belief in your littleness. When you value the things of this world, you bind yourself to the belief that you are your body. You accept the limitations that come from the physical bodies and argue for your own littleness. The body is a neutral communication device that holds a place on the game board of time and space. It is not who you are.”

I love how we started talking about wine and we somehow ended up here. This is the magic of this show to me.

Before we started, I was like, “Jason, I have an idea. It’s not going to take very long, so you’re going to have to jump in with something else as a follow-up,” and here we are.

I’m in awe and joy watching how our conversations unfold here and it brings me so much delight. It goes back to the questions we ask ourselves of we’re focused so much on material success and fame and wealth and influence in our culture. Whereas if we look at some of the people, the heroes that I’ve held in high regard that have taken their own life, Robin Williams, Chris Cornell, Anthony Bourdain. There are many luminaries, artists, and wonderful people that have touched my life that have passed away. There was so much focus on their influence, their success, their talent, their fame and their money, but never asking the question, “Are they at peace? Are they joyful? Did they feel whole?” It’s, “How could they do that? They were rich and famous and did this album and this comedy.” We focus so much on the externalities that we never stopped and asked the question, “Did they cultivate peace, joy, contentment and wholeness in their life?”

If anything, this time, hopefully during this great pause of the COVID-19 crisis and pandemic and everything we’re going through, whatever you want to call it. I don’t care what title people assigned to it. We start to reassess our collective values of all of the external materialism and success at all costs. It made me go back to looking at some of these clips from Michael Jordan during this docuseries. He’s still alive, but my perception of Michael Jordan externally is he doesn’t seem that happy. I could be wrong. I don’t know Michael. I never met Michael, but his energy, there’s this weird message of like, “He’s the greatest of all time. Look what he did. All the championships, all the scoring titles, the Olympic gold medal, the NCAA title. He’s the greatest ever. Be like Mike. It was a whole campaign in the ‘90s. Be like Mike. Is he happy? Is he joyful? Is he at peace in his soul? No one’s asking those questions about these people. It’s, “Look at all the fame, success and attention.” I want to know what’s the state of their mind, what’s the state of their heart? What about those things? That’s where I get more curious about.

It is about shifting the cultural narrative. This is the reason why books like A Course In Miracles are important. We have to practice these things. We have to shift the way that we’re thinking. This encourages me to continue with the work that I’m doing on my own and the work that Jason is doing and the work that we’re doing together. There might be people that stopped reading this as soon as we mentioned the word wine. There might be people that got annoyed when we talked about processed food or cannabis or whatever else that we’ve discussed. I feel what Jason feels. Sometimes I get nervous. I’m afraid of offending people or turning them away from something. At the root of everything that we talk about is something that we’re passionate about. It’s also not something that everybody is prepared to listen to or wants to listen to or is in a space to listen to. That’s asking questions and having open dialogues and realizing that we’re fluid people and that we’re not perfect. It’s tough for some people because it also shows that we’re not always in control. That’s a big theme of ours. Perfectionism stems out of a big desire to be in control of your life and to do things right and fear, ultimately.

I’m reading this book about perfectionism and I have a feeling, a big conclusion of this book is that perfectionism is coming from a fearful place because we’re afraid to acknowledge that we can’t predict the future. We can’t control the future. As we said, we could try to do everything right and still have a short life. As I stated with my friend as an example, she seems to me as somebody who’s very prepared and in control, but she’s now acknowledging that she doesn’t know how much time she has. The truth is none of us do. Even if we did check off all of these perfect boxes, we could be left very humble at the end of our lives and realize it didn’t make a difference. That’s not to be morbid, that’s not saying that none of this is worth doing or trying.

We’re not even trying to judge anybody for wanting to be perfect because I get it. Jason gets it. We’ve gone through a lot of different phases with our health. Jason is a great testament to this as well. He’s consumed what he has thought to be a perfect diet and still struggled with his mental health. I’ll let you speak more about that, Jason. You’ve done a lot of great things. You’ve talked about this multiple times, but it’s never enough in terms of how often you speak about it. You had that TV show and you still felt depressed. You had the bestselling book, the book deal. You’ve had beautiful women in your life. Men often strive for having these gorgeous women, gorgeous girlfriends. You’ve had a lot of things that would be deemed as making it and succeeding.

You’ve also struggled with mental health more than most people that I know. My point is you’ve checked off all those boxes and still felt low in your life. I know I’m speaking for you right now. I’m trying to encourage you to share about this, but I’m using you as an example and I hope you don’t mind because checking off all the boxes doesn’t mean that you’re going to live a rich, happy life. That’s an example that is provided in one of the three books I’m reading right now, The Pursuit of Perfect. At the very beginning of the book, the author shares an anecdote of this man that was incredibly successful and ended his life. The moral of this story is that checking off all those boxes, getting all of the things that you want, having massive success does not equal a life worth living.

Achieving massive success does not equal a life worth living. Click To Tweet

It brings up the question, then what does make life worth living? That’s the question that comes to me and that’s the question that I still sit with. What is the source of joy, wholeness and peace? In whatever ways I’ve tasted that material or external success in terms of career success, sales, money, romance or the things that you brought up. There’s a deepening of our existential dread in life that can result from having this massive dream in your head. “I want to meet my perfect partner or I want to have the successful book or TV show, or win an NBA title or get an Oscar.” There are a billion dreams that humans dream. How many times do we see people? I’m whatever example I am, whatever I’ve achieved, but how many massive examples do we see of incredible, massive, crazy levels of success where people still have not found joy, wholeness, and peace in themselves. I remember an interview with Michael Hutchence, who was the lead singer of INXS who sold millions. Platinum records, Grammys, MTV music awards, the whole shot.

INXS in the ‘80s and ‘90s were a huge band, one of the biggest bands in the world. In one of his more final interviews before he took his own life, he was saying, “I don’t think people understand what it feels to have the craziest dreams you can possibly imagine and then achieve those and even beyond that, and then sit with that and feel like you don’t know where to go from there.” Here’s the singer, the material, commercial, critical success beyond. They were a huge band and yet he still hung himself. How many more examples do we need in our society of this illusion of the chasing of wealth, privilege, status, money, fame, influence? How many more examples of people do we need where that clearly is not the whole equation? It’s leading us down a road that ultimately is maybe the junk food we’re talking about. Maybe it’s a parallel analogy of, “I’m going to eat all this amazing stuff and feel good all the time. Give me all the fine wine, give me all the fine chocolate. Give me all the best food and I’m going to eat that all the time.” On the other side, people are like, “Why do I feel so empty?”

It’s not about calling this out and this toxic culture and idea we have on our own success, fame and influence. What else is there? If we want to achieve peace, wholeness, contentment and joy, then where else can we look in our lives? That’s the question that gets brought up in all of this. Where else do we look? For me, it’s been a process of, can I fully surrender to what is and be okay with how things are? Not once I sell a million records, once I sell a million books. Once I get the TV deal, once I marry a beautiful wife, once I have this, once I have my hair a certain way, once I have the right car. I know what those are because I’ve wrestled with all those questions and experienced some of them. I finally got the thing, but how many times have we wanted something, a person, a thing, a car, the job promotion, the bestselling book, and then we get it and then on the other side of it, a week later, two weeks later, a few months later, we’re back to craving something again. We’re back to chasing something again. Everyone can relate to that on a certain level.

That’s why everything is neutral. We started talking about wine and it’s like it’s a neutral thing. If you drink it, fine. If you don’t drink it, fine. If it makes you feel good, great. If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t have it. If you find yourself drinking it every night for a while, maybe that’s a temporary thing. If it’s not a temporary thing and it seems to be disrupting your life, it’s time to re-examine that. Ultimately, it’s about taking away the judgments, the shame, the fear, and tuning into yourself. The key word that comes up at the end of many of our episodes is awareness. We have to raise our personal awareness about the actions that we’re taking and how they’re affecting us. Raising our personal awareness about how we judge other people for what they’re doing. We’re not in control of them. We’re not even in control of our own lives. The only control we have is over the present moment and the choices that we’re making at that point.

I also think our belief systems too is taking responsibility for the meaning that we assigned to things. It reminds me of Marcus Aurelius’ quote. Ryan Holiday and Tim Ferriss talks about him a lot in terms of the stoic wisdom of this neutrality and looking at our belief systems and meaning we assign, whether that brings us joy or brings us suffering in life. One of his favorite quotes around all this that might summarize this is, “If something does not make a person worse in himself, neither does it make his life worse, nor does it harm him without or within. Death and life, success and failure, pain and pleasure, wealth and poverty, all of these things happen to good and bad alike, and they are neither noble nor shameful, and hence neither good nor bad.”

When I hear that from him, I think when we deem something, “That’s a success. That’s a failure. That’s good, that’s bad. I’m wealthy. I’m impoverished.” These are all belief systems and meanings that we assigned to life. Ultimately, do we have control over the meaning we assign to things? Yes, we do. It might take hard work overcoming those deeply embedded belief systems, but the point of Marcus’ quote is everything’s neutral in life and the meaning we associate and assigned to it is what makes it good or bad.

Out of curiosity, I googled Marcus Aurelius and wine. The first thing that came up was a Reddit post and somebody asked, “What were the views of Marcus on wine? How did he and other Stoics justify the use of wine?” The top voted comment on here said, “This is an interesting question. I can’t speak to Marcus Aurelius, but Seneca did write two works. One is about leisure and one is about the shortness of life. Seneca in each book tackles the topic of a balanced life and how to balance work and leisure. Obviously being a Stoic, Seneca does emphasize spending a great deal of our time reading, reflection, meditation and rigorous conversation with our fellows. Leisure for the Stoics will be found in the love of cultivating wisdom and learning from those who have come before.”

Checking off the boxes. Ironically saying that as we talked about perfectionism. “Seneca in fact speaks a great deal of the benefits of making friends with the dead and benefiting from their collective knowledge in the form of engaging with their written works. However, he also has a brief section in each work that talks about drinking wine specifically. He allows for its casual consumption. What Seneca and other Stoics do not care much for is for leisure that is lazy and unproductive, that encourages lethargy and does not actively better us as individuals. Yet even Seneca does state in a brief section that we should on some occasions party and get drunk and act insane, as he puts it. He recognizes the need of simply having a good time, but of course in strict moderation.” It sounds like we have a lot of things in common with Seneca.

With the ancient great Stoic Seneca. That is a beautiful encapsulation of this episode. The moderation and intentional leisure, it reminds me of many conversations I’ve had over a glass of wine or a wonderful meal where you have those deep soulful conversations with friends. In fact, as we emerge slowly or who knows, maybe not slowly, out of this quarantine period, one of the things I’m looking forward to is dinner parties again of small groups of good friends getting together over a great meal, healthy or not, and a glass of wine perhaps. Digging into connection, soul, heart, and these kinds of deep conversations. To that point, that is one of the great pleasures of life, sharing those experiences with people we care about.

I couldn’t agree more and savoring of those beautiful in-person conversations and connection and whatever that means, whether it’s over chocolate, coffee, wine, cannabis or none of them. Maybe it’s enjoying somebody’s company. We want to remind you to have an open mind and open heart to focus on what makes you feel good and know that none of us are doing things perfectly because there might not even be an actual version of perfection. If drinking wine makes you feel good, then I’m all for it. Be aware of what that feel-good feeling is and what other things make you feel good. That’s the key. When we become so attached to something, that’s often because we lose sight of other things that make us feel good. We know that enjoying an apple can be incredibly pleasurable. It is for Jason’s dog, at least.

Anybody who wants to see my exploits with Bella can follow my Instagram account where yes, there are weird voices and she loves her apples. It’s true. She makes appearances on Instagram from time to time, so that’s where you can catch more of Bella. To catch more of us, you can also follow us on Instagram. It’s @Wellevatr. We are on all of the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok. We also have some amazing free resources. Speaking of feeling good, we have a free eBook you can download by signing up for our mailing list called You Are Enough. We also have some awesome online courses including Wellness Warrior Training and The Consistency Code. Stay tuned to our newsletter we send out once a week for all kinds of great new programs and teachings and a summary of our podcast episodes from the week. With that, my beautiful friend, thank you. We are going to dig in and get uncomfortable and wild and maybe even have a glass of wine here soon. That might be interesting. You and I crack open a bottle and do a podcast. That could get interesting and also uncomfortable.

What can I say, let’s Krakatoa? We once explained that inside joke. I know that we did because we referenced what Krakatoa was. It’s a volcano or something.

Krakatoa is a volcano, but it also is the sound that cats make when they see a bird outside of the window and try to imitate the bird call. That’s what’s happening. It’s like, “Let me lure you to the window with my bird call.” It never works. You think they learned by now, it never works.

Maybe the cats can’t help it. It’s not like they’re trying some old ancient twitch that they have. What a weird way to end this episode, but what’s new and what a little treat for anybody who continued to read until the end. We’ve got to keep it interesting here for you. We never want to see us entertaining you.

Informing you or making you absolutely confused, thrilled or disgusted. We have no control over how you perceive or digest this, but we’re going to keep doing it.

As long as you get uncomfortable with us, that’s all that matters.

Cheers to that.

Until next time.

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