MGU 143 | Taking Charge

 

People talk a lot about opportunity, vision, passion, or staying motivated, and that the lack of these things get in the way of achieving their aims and goals. We say things like, “If I was more motivated,” or, “If I had more clarity or passion.” However, the biggest obstacles seem to be self-created when we’re inconsistent or we feel defeated. These are the moments where you can look at a possible shift and take charge of your life. But what exactly does it mean to take charge? On today’s podcast, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen talk about taking charge and how you can go about doing it to go after your dreams and live a long, healthy, and vibrant life.

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Take Charge Of Your Health And Live A Long, Healthy, Vibrant Life

This episode has a little bit more of a structure than our average episode. If you’ve read the show before, we tend to not necessarily know what we’re going to talk about. We know what we want to talk about and intend to talk about, but who knows what the show. We go on a lot of tangents and we’re going to start with something completely unrelated to this episode. We promised it in our previous episode. If you are a loyal reader and you read every, if not most episodes of the show. First of all, thank you. We appreciate you. We’re grateful for your commitment. We know we have three episodes a week and they all are on the longer side. It’s awesome when we hear from people like you who read regularly.

If you are reading for the first time, welcome, we hope that you enjoy this episode. Remember that because we have much variety in our show, you never know what you’re going to get. It’s a fun surprise here. What we do promise is to be authentic, to have fun, and to be exploring life from all different angles. The angle I want to start with that has nothing to do with the rest of this episode is something you promised at the end of our previous episode, Jason, which was to share how a particular dish went with your mother. You are visiting her in Detroit. I believe you said that you’re going to experiment with an interesting dish. Was it with banana blossoms?

A little bit of backstory, when I get together with my mom, there’s some level of culinary experimentation because she’s an amazing cook. My grandmother was an amazing cook. We’ve had a deep love for food. My entire life and generations in my family, food has always been a deep component of togetherness and connection. I get into my mom’s like, “I want to do an experiment.” I said, “Okay.” She said, “I was reading online that there was this restaurant in London, a couple of years back that started to make a vegan fish.” If anybody knows about traditional British cuisine, fish and chips are a major part of traditional British food where you have fried fish filets and then you have French fries and it’s served with peas. In the Americanized version, you have a site of coleslaw.

My mom was like, “I read that the component of this is banana blossoms from the banana tree.” There’s an Asian market near my mom’s house in Detroit. We went there and got a couple of cans of Thai banana blossoms. Two cans are equals to four servings, maybe five if you stretched it. Both of those cans were $299 or $399. It’s inexpensive. What we did was we took the banana blossoms, you rinse off the brine, and then you marinate it in some oil. You can do old bay seasoning, nori or kelp, a little bit of salt, pepper, whatever spices you want. We marinated it for close to 48 hours. You take it out of the marinade. You dunk it in a batter. We did a spelt flour. We did again some seasonings like cayenne pepper, paprika, and things like that.

It was a little bit under-salted, but what you do is you create this batter for it and you fry it in a pan like you would a fish filet. It was incredibly delicious. It was light. It was flaky. It was buttery. It had the mouthfeel that I remember from eating fish. It was like, “Flaky, soft, rich and beautiful.” My mind went to like, “Why aren’t people doing this?” First of all, it’s inexpensive. There’s going to be a whole ton of restaurants after this episode like, “We’re doing vegan fish.” I grew up eating fish and chips here in Detroit. There’s Hope’s Fish and Chips. There were actual fish and chip places in Detroit we would go to as a family. We get the tartar sauce, fish, chips, and the whole deal. I have not had fish and chips since the ‘90s. It’s been years since I’ve had fish and chips. I’m going to go crazy with this when I get back to LA. The secret ingredient is IPA beer. We put IPA into the batter mixture, which lightens it, oxygenates, and it makes it fluffy. I need to make this for you when you go back to LA. You’re going to lose your damn mind. That’s how good it was. It’s shocking how good it is.

I might as well update you on the dinner I had too because when you were talking about beer, I realized that I have been drinking beer a little bit more frequently during this trip. I rarely drink beer and I don’t usually drink that much alcohol. As a little side note, one thing I posted on my Eco-Vegan Gal Instagram account was promoting this brand called Curious, who makes these incredible Elixirs. Curious Elixir is an adaptogen infused booze-free cocktail. If you don’t drink alcohol at all, or rarely, I highly recommend them. If you do drink alcohol, I will say that I’ve been having wine more frequently during COVID. I liked Bonterra wine who sent me some of their amazing organic canned wine for my road trip. I have a few bottles left for the trip back to Los Angeles. I don’t know if I’ll have them because I rarely drink alone to unwind and de-stress in some evenings to help myself go to bed. I started drinking a little bit more beer because my mom likes IPA. When you’re talking about IPA, Jason, that reminded me of that.

MGU 143 | Taking Charge

Take Charge!: Tips from Health and Wellness Thought Leaders

There’s an incredible place in Massachusetts in that town of Hudson that I mentioned in our last episode, which is also where we went for dinner, it’s called Medusa Brewing Company. One thing that’s neat about them is they have a low gluten count. They don’t have a lot of gluten in their beers. If you’re not allergic to gluten, but you’re sensitive like I am and you are Jason, you can have their beers without having much of a reaction. I also find that beer and other alcohols that contain gluten don’t trigger my sensitivity as would a glutenous baked good or something like that. I decided to start having a little beer here and there with my family.

We went to a pub that’s celebrating October Fest and they have an incredible selection of beers on tap. This amazing one is called Roadsmary’s Baby Two Roads Brewing or something. I went on Barnivore.com, which for those of you who didn’t know this, not all beer or wine is vegan. It can be helpful to go look up whether or not a type of beer, wine, or other alcohol has been confirmed as being vegan and having no animal products in it. I was excited that this one was a vegan company. I read briefly in Barnivore that one of the owners of this company is vegetarian himself. I’m not 100% sure about it, but that was according to Barnivore. It was delicious. They put cinnamon and sugar on the rim of the beer glass. It was like a pumpkin spice beer.

You would have liked it too Jason, especially with your Polish roots. Since it was October Fest, they were serving German food. There’s a lot of crossover between German, Polish, and Ukrainian food, which I have a family from those parts of the world as well. They had pickled cabbage and sauerkraut. The one vegan dish they had on their limited menu that didn’t have meat and cheese was a lovely mixed green salad with pickled cucumber and pickled onion. We got truffle fries, which were on their non-Oktoberfest menu. Luckily, they were just fries with truffle oil on them. They didn’t have any cheese. It was a satisfying meal along with that beer. We’ve probably made a lot of people hungry at the start of this episode that has nothing to do with food for the most part.

They’re in addition to our explicit rating on Apple Podcasts, there should also be a disclaimer of, “If you’re hungry, make sure you eat before tuning in.” Potatoes and truffle, is there a greater combination ever? I know everyone’s like, “Chocolate and cinnamon. Chocolate or chili peppers.” Out of savory food, truffle and potato are the most magical combination. You said truffle fries and I was like, “Damn.”

It’s especially great when you can get truffle fries that don’t have parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, which for some reason that’s common when you’re ordering truffle potatoes. Even potato chips aren’t always that vegan-friendly depending on what else is mixed in them. Let’s get on the topic. We are starting off a series of episodes from the beginning of November through early December, about our eBook Take Charge. We want to remind you if you have not yet to download this or sign up for our newsletter, you can get lots of free eBooks from us. We have three, one is called You Are Enough. Our second eBook is called Take Charge. Our third was from this year, From Chaos to Calm. We’ve released one a year. Take Charge is timely. We wrote this about a year ago. It’s full of tips on getting more consistent, staying committed, and following through on your health and wellness goals.

We invited a bunch of health and wellness thought leaders that we know to help us answer some of these common challenges that people like you, struggle with. This is going to be interesting for us because we’re going to be reading this eBook from front to back as we’re recording this episode. Not only do we want to share it with you in case you’ve never read it and also because you’ve downloaded this book does not mean that you’ve read it. That’s what a lot of people do. They sign up for things and never implement them. Please download it. That’s for free.

If you go to the Free Resources section of our website, you will find this, our other eBooks, and other resources for you. Not only do we want you to download this, but please read it through and create an implementation plan. We’re here to help you along the way with these upcoming episodes and those because things can feel complicated when it comes to trying to accomplish your goals. That’s especially true in 2020. We wrote this at the end of 2019 and things were different. We’re going to be updating this book and we’ll make sure to send you the new version of it if you downloaded the old version. We want to discuss as we’re going along through this and share with you what we think you might want to tweak a little, as we go into 2021 with many unknowns and uncertainty.

There’s no magic pill that will help you change your life with a snap of a finger. Click To Tweet

People talk a lot about opportunity, vision, passion, staying motivated, and the lack of those things that get in the way of achieving your aims and your goals. I’ve wrestled with this myself like, “If I was more motivated or if I had more clarity or passion.” I still struggle with that sometimes. One of the things that we have noticed through a lot of our research, especially, and I are big on researching the nuts and bolts psychologically of what gets people up and moving. The biggest obstacles seem to be self-created when we’re inconsistent or we feel defeated. These are the moments where you can look at a possible shift and take charge of your life.

That’s why we decided to name this eBook Take Charge because we wanted it to be powerful. We wanted it to be a rallying call to people to actualize their life in a different way, especially if you dear readers feel stuck or on a strange treadmill like a lot of us do. What exactly does it mean to take charge? To us, it’s like doing everything in your power to find the inner spark inside your heart. In the recent episodes, we’ve been talking about sometimes you fall out of love with things in your life where you don’t feel like you can keep going, but there’s something about getting back up when you’ve gotten knocked down for the 100, 200, 300 times, who knows? You keep going in the face of what you might perceive as defeat or failure and do experiment with new ways of eating, living, moving, and loving. You eventually find your own road or your own path. We talk a lot about Joseph Campbell on how he talks about being on your own path and not someone else’s. It’s about this idea of getting back on track and carving out a path for yourself in life.

We feel like it helps to get guidance from people who are either proven or perceived to be further along on the path to what you want to accomplish. That doesn’t mean that they’re doing things any better than you, or that you have a long way to go. It can mean that you might need some inspiration or a different way of looking at something. We hope that we present that to you in every episode. This book is a nice compliment to it, and that’s why we created this. We found that the people that contributed to this book had a lot of great things to say about wellness. We got to know them due to collaborating with them on this project we do most years for the past. Jason and I have contributed one of the courses that we offer.

We have a few, one of them is called Wellness Warrior Training. The other is called The Consistency Code, and we’ve also dabbled in a few other things over time. We’ve contributed that to this wonderful bundle of products and services that other health and wellness thought leaders have contributed to. A lot of people share their eBooks, which we’ve done as well. They’re super inspiring people. We wanted to make sure that you got to know them and hear their best advice. We’re going to share with you more about who each of these people is as we go along here. We should begin with our perspective on taking charge. I’m curious to read this because we wrote this a year ago. I’m interested to see like, “What has changed for each of us on the subject matter?” When we wrote this, we hadn’t even launched our show yet. We are already recording episodes for it, but it feels like an eternity based on everything that we’ve done and how much has changed in the world. Let’s take a look at our perspective from back then and see what’s changed.

A year goes by quickly. The last year has felt like many years within a year. First of all, the expensive time is strange. The thing that still resonates is a guide like this or a course that we do, it’s not a magic wand. It’s not a magic pill that helps you change your life with a snap of a finger. A lot of things in the wellness world or personal development were positioned like that. The upcoming lessons in this book that we’re going to detail in the upcoming episodes, they’re potent but they’re one part of the puzzle. One thing we’ve noticed for ourselves is you have to be consistent and clear with your choices and your actions every day. It is every single day. It’s the small little things, as an example of this compounding effect is, I’ve been teaching guitar lessons. That’s a new thing since we launched this a year ago.

With my guitar students, some of them are like, “I’m super busy. I’m going to practice for 90 minutes on Wednesday.” I’m like, “No. I don’t want you to cram 90 minutes of practice once a week. I want you to practice fifteen minutes a day every single day.” They go, “I don’t know if I could.” I said, “You can. You’re going to find fifteen minutes every damn day.” Part of the accountability that we offer as coaches, Whitney and I, are reminders and helping people stay accountable. It’s not about cramming in, in my opinion, hours of work. It’s about making those clear choices and putting the work in every single day. Even if it’s fifteen minutes a day of focused and clear work, that has a greater compounding effect than cramming something in once a week, or a few hours a day.

MGU 143 | Taking Charge

Taking Charge: If you keep going in the face of defeat or failure and experiment with new ways of eating, living, moving, and loving, you will eventually find your own path.

 

A big inspiration for this eBook was hearing from people that struggle with consistency. That’s what led us to create The Consistency Code program. One part of this eBook that I liked is the second paragraph of this introduction. This is something we talk about frequently on the show, which is that even if things appear to be perfect or polished on social media, there are many times where we felt we, as in me and Jason defeated. We felt despair. We’ve lost faith in ourselves feeling like we’ve fallen short of our goals or our dreams. At times that has made it tempting to throw in the towel and give up. Reading that Jason, I’m like, “That’s true.” I’m glad that we put that in this eBook.

We talk openly and honestly about that because a lot of wellness advice talks about how people have overcome obstacles to get to a certain place with their well-being or their health and physical fitness. It seems as if, “If you follow these steps, you’ll get to this point and you’ll never go back.” It’s like, “I overcame my struggles permanently. I made this one little change and now I’m good.” We want to continuously remind you the reader that life is full of these ups and downs. Even if you perceive me, Jason or someone else’s having it all figured out altogether. We mastered consistency, for example, that’s not the case. I’m working intentionally on my social media to show that I’m not perfect. I don’t have it all figured out. There are times where I want to give up on things. There are times where I feel confused and overwhelmed, but as Jason was saying, “The key is to keep going and to look to other people for that inspiration and guidance,” especially people that you trust and you align with. We hope that you discover a few more people as we go through this amazing list that we’re coming up with these contributors.

I’ve been struggling at points on this trip with a lot of feelings like I failed a lot in my life. It’s an interesting thing being home and a lot of old memories coming back here, old musical venues I used to play with my bands, and reconnecting with old friends. I’ve been feeling a lot of feelings of failure. It’s been tough to deal with. The reality is that choosing to be healthy, love yourself, be vibrant, keep your heart open, and to forgive yourself in our cultural climate, it’s a rebellious choice. It takes a lot of energy to forgive yourself and love yourself in a climate, in our society and social media that’s divisive.

That encourages much shame and guilt. We see this with body shaming and a lot of the division of race, religion, and political parties. Loving who you are is one of the most important things. It’s not easy. It’s tough sometimes. The point is that you can choose to be accountable for loving yourself, for choosing a life of vibrance, energy, and contribution. Even if some days feel like a total shit show. There are some days that feel like a total shit show. I was having a conversation with my mom that there are some people I know in my life that their baseline is positive even on bad days. I tend to sometimes get a little dark or morose. That’s my personality. I’m a deeply sensitive and emotional person.

Some days are going to be a shit show. Some day you can come back to this show or this eBook. You can come back to a lot of the resources we like to share with you for inspiration, ideas, and new life experiments, knowing you’re not alone. You can shake things up and move some energy or try something different in your life. That’s something that Whitney and I need that. We need new touchstones for energy, inspiration and trying things differently. It’s okay to feel stagnant, negative, or downtrodden someday. I don’t believe we live in a malevolent universe. I believe what Einstein said, “Your biggest choice or the most important choices whether you live in a malevolent universe or a friendly universe.” Life has a tendency to kick your ass sometimes.

I don’t know anybody who glides through life with ease and grace all the time. The key is not to dwell there and wallow in it like a victim because you’re not a victim. Nobody is a victim. That’s a higher spiritual conversation, but you readers, are a powerful and beautiful person with a ton of gifts to share with this world as we are. We have to realize those gifts. That’s a constant unfolding. Sometimes we need to remind each other and get some new perspectives and tools to get back on the dragon. Get back on the snake. Get back on whatever proverbial spirit animal you want to ride and get back to the magic of who you are. If you’re trying to do that on your own, when it comes to getting back in feeling good, feeling our mojo, and feeling our magic in life, it takes a long time. I’m in a mood where I’m personally trying to find it again. In some ways going through this book might spark some new things in me that I need.

You have to be consistent and clear with your choices and actions every day. Click To Tweet

That’s something that I find over and over again especially with this show that we are learning much every time we have these discussions. Sometimes it’s like talk therapy. When you have these deep discussions with your friends. You say things out loud. You talk to people like the amazing guests that we have on the show, or even hearing feedback from you, the readers, are insightful and inspiring. We don’t have it all figured out. I don’t think anybody does. We did a whole episode about this. One of our most passionate episodes were about, how we don’t feel like there are gurus. I’m a little in defense of using the term thought leader. As I’m thinking through any changes that we’ll make to this eBook, I wonder if I still feel in alignment with that.

I prefer a thought leader to an expert. I prefer a thought leader to an influencer, which is a term that a lot of the people we’re about to talk about are associated with. Guru and whatever else wants to be thrown around out there. The reason in summary, if you have not read that episode yet, go back and read it. If you haven’t been to our website yet, it’s Wellevatr.com. We spell it out every time because it’s not a common word. We completely made it up. Some people are using the word Wellevate, but we left out the E at the end of the word. We never want you to feel confused. You can also lookup This Might Get Uncomfortable and find our website.

When you go to Wellevatr.com, you’ll find this free eBook or all of our resources. You also find a section that has show notes for every single episode. In there you’ll find links to other episodes we reference, any resources we share, any of these brands that we’ve been talking about. We always shout out brands at the end of our episodes. We will put that all there for you to easily find everything that we’re referencing. In this eBook, you can click and learn more about each of these different contributors that we’ve had. We have individual blog posts for each of them because they’re amazing. We should dive into these wellness warriors, which is a term I feel 100% alignment with a little bit more than a thought leader.

With no further ado, number one is Chef AJ. She is an author that you may have heard of. She’s got a wonderful book that I read, it’s called Unprocessed. She’s passionate about salt, oil, and sugar-free cooking, as well as gluten-free cooking. Jason has spoken on stage with her before. He spent a lot of time with her, and she’s renowned. She’s done work on camera. She’s created a program. She’s an executive vegan pastry chef. She has some great tips in this book. We also have Derek Tresize.

I’ve met Derek at the LA Fit Expo several times. He’s quite a tall, broad-shouldered, and muscular individual.

We have Dreena Burton who is truly a pioneering cookbook author. She does wonderful whole foods and recipes. She’s written many cookbooks. She has co-authored cookbooks. I love her books about raising children that are vegan and creating great recipes for your family. She’s one of those people I feel happy seeing her name. She’s got this way about her that fills my heart with joy. We have somebody else whose name I’m pretty confident about pronouncing because I’ve known him for many years. I met him through another person in this book we’re going to mention, but now I’m getting nervous and I’m going to mispronounce his name. If you saw his name spelled for you, the readers, you probably would have no idea how to pronounce it. Do you know how to pronounce his name, Jason?

MGU 143 | Taking Charge

Taking Charge: There are times when you feel confused and overwhelmed, but keep going and look to other people for that inspiration and guidance, especially people that you trust and align with.

Giacomo Marchese. I met him at the same time I met Derek.

He has a podcast and I’m sorry if he’s reading this because in my head I know how to pronounce it, but I’m terrified of saying it out loud.

I met him with Derek and his partner, Dani Taylor, they have a great website called VeganProteins.com. If you’re looking for vegan protein powder or any performance-enhancing vegan supplement, they have an incredible website. I like him because he’s more like my body size. He’s not a massive gigantic bodybuilder. He’s cut which for me like body type, I’m always looking like avatars I can follow like, “I can get in that shape.” I saw him in Robert present at the last LA Fit Expo. They did 90 minutes on vegan nutrition. It was detailed. They taught a ton of information. They had a huge crowd, which I thought was cool.

I feel fully confident about this next person, Luke Jones, the name could not get any easier to pronounce for me. He is a movement coach. In the book, Take Charge, you’ll see when you download it for free, we put their specialties in bold. I liked that because it makes it easy to scan. Seeing the movement coach in bold is cool. After that, the person that brought this whole eBook together is Matt Frazier, who you may know from his incredible work over at No Meat Athlete. He is quite the entrepreneur, which is one of the words we put in bold for him. He’s also an ultra-marathoner. In terms of his entrepreneurship, it is incredibly impressive. We’re not going to cover it in this episode but one of the upcoming episodes of the show is about business tips that each of these people gives. You want to stick around because this is part of a series. We’re going to be covering different elements of this, Take Charge eBook. We have this special reveal for you at the end of this, even more reason to stick around to read and make sure that you’re subscribed to the show so that you are notified when we have new episodes.

Melissa Glazewski. We both have Polish in our lineage. Melissa worked with both Whitney and me for many years. She’s an extremely talented plant-based chef, a Ruby graduate. She does online classes. If anybody’s looking to do some incredible online classes, which is Forkin’ Plants. She’s a great teacher. We adore her. The next person is somebody we both go way back with. He’s connected us to many people, that is Robert Cheeke who has one of our deepest and most emotional episodes. If you want a tear-jerker, one of the episodes that cut deep, Roberts is probably the first one that comes to mind. Wouldn’t you agree, Whitney? He went there with us.

Robert is responsible for this as well even though we credit much to Matt Frazier because he runs the No Meat Athlete Bundle, we’ve been part of for many years that brought all these people together that we’re sharing. Robert is the reason that I was introduced to Matt Frazier. I also think that Matt Frazier and I were on a podcast back in 2010 together. I know I looked this up fairly and I wasn’t sure I was able to find the episode. It was taken down. I already knew Robert at that point because he and I met in 2009 through Twitter. He’s got such a great heart. I stopped by his home in Colorado when I was traveling to Los Angeles. It was amazing to see him and his wife. He’s a great guy. I agree with Jason, that episode with him is awesome.

The next person is Robby Barbaro. Who’s another impressive person. He’s a diabetes coach. He does great speaking. He has done amazing work around helping people learn how eating plants can help with diabetes. He’s continuously impressive. I know I met him through Robert because Robert introduced me to the person that started Forks Over Knives. That is how I met Robby because Robby was working with Forks Over Knives, which is a phenomenal documentary. Many people know about it but if you, the readers, have never watched it, it’s a great one.

It takes a lot of energy to forgive yourself and love yourself in a climate and society that’s divisive. Click To Tweet

The next person is Samantha Shorkey. She has a great website and blog called Jacked on the Beanstalk. I remember through the larger vegan fitness community being introduced to her years ago through Instagram and Facebook. She has been a bikini pro, author, blogger, podcast host for many years, and a new mom. She was also the coach to the winner of BodyBuilding.com‘s $200,000 twelve-week transformation challenge. Sam is super sweet. we’ve communicated through email and DM. We’ve never met in person, but she is an inspiration because of all the things that she’s accomplished in the fitness industry and done it fully plant-based.

Our next two are Shoshana and Adam Shame. They reached out to me years ago, when I released Eaternity, my book many years ago, to be on their plant trainers podcast. They’re the Cofounders of the Vegan Podcast Academy. One of the coolest things is they approached me with the idea of not wanting to talk about the typical questions I would usually get on a podcast. This is not a humble brag by any means, but I’ve done close to 60 interviews over the years. It’s been a lot and you start to get the same questions over and over again but they wanted to approach it. They were one of the first interviews whoever wanted to ask me about my mental health journey, which I thought was cool because Shoshana and Adam have a history with that. They wanted to get in deep about clinical depression, suicidal ideation, and neurotransmitter function. Shout out to Shoshana and Adam for getting uncomfortable on their podcast with me. They’re doing great work in the world.

Last but not least. We have Sid Garza Hillman, who Jason and I, had the pleasure of spending some time with at this incredible Stanford Inn Eco-Resort that we visited in Mendocino, California back in, was that 2012? It was or 2013 at the beginning. Jason, do you remember what month?

It was the end of 2012.

We never finished the video project. We went up there and stayed for several days. It felt like a long time, but it was unbelievable. It was such a treat. We made this incredible video that was overwhelming because we captured much footage that I never ended up finishing that project. I’ve hoped that I would. It’s been my intention to finish editing that one day. It’s funny because you and I both look a little different and we were dating back then. I still think that footage would stand the test of time. Sid was there, that’s how we met him. He’s an incredible Certified Nutritionist, a coach, and also a podcaster.

He runs their wellness program at the Stanford Inn. Last we checked, we haven’t touched base with a lot of these people and much has changed during COVID. I don’t even know what’s going on with Stanford Inn. I hope they’re doing okay. I imagine they’re one of those places that would make it through this challenging year because of much of the beauty and special elements of that spending time outside. Sid took us on an incredible tour of the woods. We went kayaking or canoeing around their property. We did so much outside. I feel like that place was much emphasis on wellness. I’m going to go look up the Stanford Inn and see what’s going on with them. I don’t know if Sid is still working with them but that is how we met him.

MGU 143 | Taking Charge

Do Nothing: How To Break Away From Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving

Do we want to dig into some nuggets of wisdom here to tease people with some of the deeper stuff that’s in the eBook? Do we want to transition to that or leave them there?

Here’s the thing. We’re going to devote the next few weeks to go through this eBook, not for our sake, but for you and to encourage readers to read it along with us if you would like. Hopefully, you’re not driving and reading at the same time. Perhaps as a complement to this, you can take some time to go through this. We also don’t want to give everything away. We’re going to skim the surface of the tips in this eBook, but give you some things to read to because I find it helpful to listen to audiobooks and read the written version of it. I started listening to the book, Do Nothing, for the third time and I’m reading it. I’ve read it “four times.” I’ve listened to it three times not all the way through yet, and then I’m reading it and I haven’t finished reading it.

I think about it, Jason. I feel disappointed because I had planned to spend part of the day in the hammock reading that book. My day got sidetracked and I completely forgot. It was one of the warmest days in Massachusetts and I feel a little bit sad, but hopefully sharing some tips from this eBook will remind me that it’s okay. Sometimes we miss out on things. My point is that I have technically read through, Do Nothing four times and every time I listened to it or read it, I take in the information differently. That’s why it’s important to find the medium of taking information that works best for you, to consider reading something multiple times, listening to something multiple times, and seeing how you relate to it differently.

That leads to the first little tip that we want to share with you in terms of taking charge of your health and living a long, healthy, and vibrant life. The first tip is to live and act on principle. One of my favorite quotes from this book is from Dreena Burton, who said that “Awareness starts the process.” I love that because we’re all about awareness on this show. One of the biggest tips that we can give to you is to become more aware of your life. As Robert says, “You can take the time to audit your habits, behaviors, thoughts, and the people that you spend time with and see if they align with your personal goals. If they don’t, then it’s time to make some changes.” We want to encourage you to examine your life over and over again like you might read a book over and over again. Things are going to be different every time you read it. Each time you do an audit of your life, you’re going to notice new things. You’re going to see why something may still resonate with you and why something may no longer feel in alignment with you.

The second tip is to eat a wholesome plant-based diet. Matt Frazier says, “Everything starts with eating a whole food plant-based diet.” I went vegetarian and then vegan for ethical reasons, but I’ve experienced many unexpected benefits to my energy levels, sleep, and moods. For me, it was the first piece of the puzzle. The gateway that led me down a path of fitness, mindfulness, and purpose. Derek echoes that by giving some specifics. He says, “To focus on staple foods like oats, rice, beans, potatoes, lots of fruits, and veggies. You’ll find that by mixing and matching sauces, seasonings, and sides. The options are endless.” I want to piggyback on that from personal experience doing for many years now. This idea of deprivation or feeling like you’re going to miss out on things. We have recipes to make a filet of fish out of banana blossoms. There’s little you can’t accomplish creatively or with a ton of nutrient density and flavor out of a plant-based diet. There are a few things, but it’s rare. There are few recipes that may be out there we haven’t found a way to veganize, but it’s few and far between you all.

I love that we were able to tie in that beginning part of this show into these tips because I didn’t think that was going to tie in, but it turns out that it did. The next tip in the book is to move every day. It’s funny because this was something I was discussing with my dad. One piece of advice that I’ve heard over and over again from health thought leaders and wellness warriors is by moving your body for ten minutes every day, you can receive a lot of physical as well as mental health benefits. Walking each day can have a wonderful impact on your health as Robby Barbaro talked about in the book. That’s what I did with my dad. We took an hour-long walk through the woods, which is gorgeous.

I love walking anywhere, but to me, it’s nice when I can have privacy, when I’m not around a ton of people, when I can immerse myself in nature, and that’s not always available. I encourage you to look for opportunities to move. This is one of the big challenges during COVID-19, especially during the strict quarantine time as people felt like they had to stay inside. For someone like me, it was challenging to not go to in-person yoga classes. I feel sad. Jason, I don’t know if you have still been feeling this way, but I miss going to in-person fitness classes a lot. I was going regularly, at least a few times a week. I would go through phases of going every single day because it made such a big difference for my mental health and my body. I felt stronger and more flexible. I loved being around other people. I loved connecting with my teachers. Fortunately, I had created some strong bonds with my teachers and I’ve kept in touch with them during COVID through Instagram, especially has been great.

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I’m enrolled in a fitness program that my favorite yoga teacher put together. I’m helping one of my other favorite yoga teachers create a program. I’m consulting with her, which is exciting. I still yearn for those days of going into class, even though it took more time and even though it was more expensive. There’s something about it that probably can’t replicate doing yoga at home alone. It’s not the same. I do savor the moments where I get to go on a walk with somebody. Another thing that I’ve done is to use the opportunities of taking a walk to make phone calls and have an hour-long plus conversation with a friend that I haven’t caught up within a while. Long story short, this has been important for me. It’s important for each of us to find a way to move every day and something that brings us joy and feels easy or rewarding.

Another big thing too is if you haven’t tried this already as a morning routine and I haven’t shared this in a while, but I released an eBook a few years ago that isn’t available anywhere. It’s called The Ultimate Morning Routine. It’s a morning routine that I’ve been practicing different variations for about 5, 6 years now ever since my diagnosis with clinical depression. I had to become a lot more consistent with my meditation, my morning routine, taking care of myself before the cell phone comes on, and before emails get checked. I want to give it to you for free because it needs to be resurrected and it’s apropos of this part of the conversation.

For me, my morning routine is about self-care. I don’t want to give too many spoilers. You can go and get the eBook and read more about it. Sam Shorkey in our book talks about her routine which is a lot about self-care too. Massaging her face with coconut oil, drinking lemon water, helping to get oxygen and blood flow into the body, which helps with things like collagen production, staying hydrated, getting your digestion going, waking up slow before you jump into work and before you jump into the duties of the day. It’s crucial. Giacomo also says that he includes ten minutes of meditation into his morning routine.

That’s for me, been a non-negotiable part of what I do is I noticed that when I fall off the wagon. When I’m on tour or on the road, I have to try a little bit harder to meditate in the hotel room or whatnot. I noticed that if I go more than a couple of days without doing my meditation it affects me. It affects my ability to handle stress and anxiety during the day or any curveballs that life might throw at me. Self-care, whatever that means to you dear readers, experimenting with a morning routine, and seeing what works is crucial for our overall wellness. Have you adjusted your morning routine at all, Whitney since you’ve been at home or made any adjustments to it while you’ve been away from Los Angeles?

It’s funny because I was intentional and should start doing this again seeing as I’m planning on beginning my drive back to Los Angeles and about a week. When I drove out to Massachusetts, I wanted to wake up each day around 7:00 AM or maybe it was even earlier than that. It might’ve been between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM so that we, Leanne and I who did the road trip with me could hit the road by 7:00 AM each day to stay on track. Luckily, on the drive back to Los Angeles, I’m gaining time because the time change works in your favor. You have some extra hours every few days. Long story short, I was getting up early, doing fine. I tend to be good when it comes to traveling or if I have a specific reason to get up.

The last few weeks to a month, once I got settled in and relaxed to being on the East Coast, I started getting up at 10:00 AM, sometimes 10:30 AM. That seems to be my natural rhythm. I haven’t had a morning routine except waking up. I have a to-do list. I start to structure my day on getting things done around a certain time. I like to have a cup of coffee in the morning. That’s it. I go through phases like a stricter morning routine. Although I don’t feel like the word strict should be utilized when it comes to a morning routine because easing into your day is nice. I suppose, if you’re going to use the word strict, it can be helpful to have a structure that feels good to you and create some healthier habits. Doing things like meditation is not something that’s been easy for me.

MGU 143 | Taking Charge

Taking Charge: Moving your body for ten minutes every day will give you a lot of physical as well as mental health benefits.

 

This leads into the next tip about rest. It plays a vital role in our health. Melissa does point out how much sleep impacts our energy, our productivity, our decisions, and how creating a nighttime routine is equally as important as a morning routine. Getting into tune with your body is helpful. To answer your question, Jason and to tie into this next tip, I’ve noticed that I like to get up around 10:00 AM. I don’t know why that is, but that has been my tendency for a long time to go back to yoga. Besides travel, the only other time that I’ve pushed myself to get up much earlier was to do yoga. My favorite yoga classes are at 7:00 AM. When I go back to LA and I’m back on Pacific time, I’ll probably start getting up at 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM, so I can continue taking those classes. I’m not looking forward to it, but the combination of creating a regular routine for myself and starting my day off with yoga makes it worthwhile.

This is something that we’ve talked about a lot on the show is the idea of stress. The idea of what’s in our control and what’s not in our control. I’ve acknowledged through my own battle with mental health, stress, and anxiety that I have equated the idea of being in control with feeling safe in life. Life has been giving me a lot of opportunities to unlink or dismantle the connection between control and safety. Dreena Burton talks about you take care of what you can and have grace with yourself and let go of the things that you can’t. There are many variables, unknowns, chaos, and uncertainty that seems to be swirling in 2020 and continues.

I feel like one of the greatest spiritual lessons that are happening on earth is realizing how little control we have over outcomes. We have control to a large degree over how we respond or react to things over whether or not we can give love, understanding, and patience to a situation or freak out, get angry, and be violent. We do have a measure of control of our response or reaction. Managing stress for me has come down to realizing that I don’t have to control things to feel safe in life. I’m still working through it. There are still more layers to that, but even the realization that I had some association between controlling life and feeling safe has been leading me down an interesting road. It’s been awesome. I can’t say enough about the dismantling of that process for me and how many benefits I’m experiencing from it.

It’s interesting, Jason because I too have challenges with safety, trust and it can feel stressful. I’ve been thinking a lot about that as I prepare for my cross-country trip and it seems that I will be doing the drive by myself. Funny enough, this episode is coming out a few days before I complete that drive. It’ll be interesting and also a good amount of time. A few episodes to go until we do another recap of that trip when we did from my trip out here. It will be interesting to share with you how this one goes, what’s been different, what I learn, and how the stress went. This ties right into our next tip about being present. One of the big reasons I’m doing this trip is I find that traveling helps me be more present, getting away from my day-to-day life, and what I’m used to. I’m comfortable with and putting myself into uncomfortable situations that help me be more present and traveling, especially a road trip, that helps me slow down and pay more attention.

You have to pay attention when you’re driving. You have to pay attention when you’re traveling because you need to make decisions. Traveling helps me be more creative and gives me all these great rewards, which is the big benefit of being more present. Even though I don’t know if I feel ready to leave my family and go back to Los Angeles. I’m a little nervous about it, which we can talk about another time. It’s because I’ve become comfortable out here and I’m used to being out here again. Taking myself out of that comfort and going back to, “My old life and my old ways.” That’s triggering my safety feelings or fear. At the same time, I’m looking forward to all the present related elements of a road trip.

That’s a big thing. As cliché as that might sound of the only place we can exist is in the present moment. The lessons of 2020 and all the whoop-ass that’s laying down on everyone is to me, showing that all we have is now we can’t cling to expectations or outcomes. Luke Jones talks a lot about that in the eBook of slowing down, paying attention to the process, being in the moment, connecting to the creativity at the moment, and all the rewards that come from that. That too loops into another point that he makes in the eBook that you and I have been beating the drum off, which is instead of cultivating these low-value relationships on social media and our digital acquaintanceships nourishing and feeding the deep personal relationships that we have in real-time.

Part of that is you being home with your family. It’s being here with my mom and my friends here in Detroit, my hometown. I’m realizing that this is something that I’m reckoning within my life a little bit is that I don’t think that I have spent enough time nourishing or being physically present with certain relationships. I don’t mean during the several months at the time of this recording of the lockdowns across the United States with the quarantine. In many regards, I’m realizing that over the years, I’ve made a lot of sacrifices for my career, for different projects, and the TV show, and touring. I made a lot of sacrifices where I wasn’t able to see the people that I loved as much as I wanted to. I’m starting to reevaluate how I can do that more in my life, how to be present with the people that I deeply love is a gift in and of itself.

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I don’t need to, “Earn it.” I don’t need to burn myself out trying to create the means to do it. I’m re-evaluating this idea of building and connecting a community in person. What that’s going to look like on the other side of this? What are live events? What are the gatherings? What are the holidays even going to look like? There are many questions when it comes to being present with people. That’s a whole another puzzle piece we can crack open at some point. My point is I’m realizing that it’s a lot more nourishing for me to be with people physically and not have these low-value relationships on social media run my life anymore.

I could not agree more, who wants anything low value. That’s a nice tie in to the final tip of the section of the eBook, which is to be grateful. In addition to becoming more aware, present, connecting with people, reducing stress, and thinking about all the different ways that you can nourish your body, we need to take the time to think about what we’re grateful for and enjoy the time with those we love. That’s exactly why Jason and I are visiting our family members. COVID has reminded me of how important that is and made me yearn for a time with my family and loved ones. I have seen friends out on this trip. I know you have too, Jason. It feels special and important because during these times you realize that we don’t know how long any of us have.

There could be a freak accident. There could be a sickness that impacts the people we know. I feel blessed that so far, the people that I know and love have made it through this time. There’s no guarantee that that will be the case. We don’t know how long this pandemic is going to go for, and that can feel overwhelming and scary. There’s a lot of that uncertainty. In the meantime, at this present moment, if we are grateful, it helps us pay more attention and enjoy what we do have. That wraps up this first section of Take Charge, which is all about taking care of your health and hopefully, helping you live a long healthy life. We are not guaranteed that, but the word vibrant, which is also included in the section is the key. We don’t know how long we have, but we can do our best to take charge of our life at this present moment. We can do our best to live vibrantly.

Coming back to that first tip about living, acting on principle, and having that awareness makes a profound difference. Reflecting on what you want, what you love, what you want more of, what you want less of, and how it’s impacting you in those around you is something that I encourage you to do at this moment. As you reflect on this episode, as you read the free eBook that we’re gifting to you, and as we discuss other sections of that eBook moving forward. We have much more to come on the subject matter. Please make sure that you subscribe or put a note on your calendar that new episodes are released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Fridays are our special guest episodes. We have amazing people. We’re working on getting some more people from this eBook. All of those incredible people we highlighted. We’ve had Robert as we mentioned. Is that all Jason? I don’t know if we’ve had any of these other people on the show yet.

It’s such a huge opportunity. One of the challenges of doing this show is not figuring out who we want to be guests, but there are many incredible people with much experience, wisdom, heart to share their story, and what they’re doing in life. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to pick and choose who we want to email and invite on here, but for as long as we’re doing this whoever’s meant to be on here, will be on here. It’s always such a learning experience for every single guest that we have out on here. If you, dear readers have not yet read to one of our guest episodes, they come on every Friday. We have people from a wide range of expertise, backgrounds, and industries all talking about wellness, love, relationships, self-care, conquering diseases, and spirituality.

We were trying to cover the gamut of the human experience as best as we can here on this show. With that being said, if you want to dig into any of our previous episodes to get a flavor of how we do what we do, we have all of our episodes and show notes linked through our main website, which is Wellevatr.com, where you can access all of the free resources we have for you and all of the previous show notes. You can connect with us directly being Whitney and myself. Our email is [email protected] that comes right to us. We do our best to stay on top of those things, even when we’re away from our current home base in LA. I don’t know how much longer that’s going to be for me but it is Los Angeles and we’re on all the big social media platforms. You can connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and the whole rigmarole. We do have our brand shout outs, don’t we? I wasn’t prepared for this Whitney.

MGU 143 | Taking Charge

Taking Charge: Instead of cultivating low-value relationships on social media and digital acquaintanceships, nourish and feed the deep personal relationships that you have in real-time.

 

I have a couple of shout outs that I want to make. I always want to be intentional about shouting out Goddess Provisions. They’re my favorite subscription box. I’ve been receiving it for a couple of years. Did you see the virtual unboxing that I did on Instagram stories? You were supposed to do it, but you were traveling to Detroit to visit your mom. I was going to have you open up the box, but I was also a little nervous about you doing it because I was hoping that you wouldn’t want to keep anything. I’m grateful in hindsight because You would have wanted to keep the chocolate bar they sent. They sent some temporary tattoos, which I don’t know is my thing. I would give that to you, Jason. I could see you rocking those. They always put a crystal in there. I wasn’t home when the box arrived and I’m not going to be back for a few more weeks, I felt a little eager to get to see what was inside the monthly box. This was October 2020 box. Every month there’s a theme.

The one before that with color therapy and that one I had delivered to Massachusetts. All of the products are continued to be wonderful. The last time I could remember what it’s called. We did discuss this on the show. It’s the crystal you hang in the window that projects the rainbows on your wall. I find that something from that box every month, sticks with me and I use it. I’m excited about that chocolate bar because that’s the thing that I remembered. They sent a cool bag but it was neat to see somebody else opening the box and showcase every item to me. That’s what I posted on Instagram Story, Jason. I’ll have to show it to you. I don’t think I made it a highlight, but I’m looking forward to experiencing those once I get back, and then the next box will be there before we know it.

The second shout out I want to make is for VeganEssentials.com, which ties back into Robert Cheeke, who we’ve mentioned several times during this episode. I heard from Vegan Essentials that they want to partner up and do a collaboration together. This might benefit readers because we might do a giveaway of some sort or a special discount code. If all goes as planned, this is another good reason to make sure that you subscribe, read to the episodes, and sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out. One of our newsletters, we shared a special discount code that Gaia Herbs provided. We try to hook you up with good things. We don’t want to talk to you about things you can’t have or you don’t have. We want to give you things and special deals.

Maybe something will be coming your way from Vegan Essentials, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a grocery store that has all the essential vegan products you could want. I went through their entire website checking it out. They have an incredible selection of snacks, savory, and sweets. They have meals, some body care, some plant-based companion animal products. They have had it covered. They’ve been around for a long time. I have met the owners many times. They’re close to Robert Cheeke. I loved them. We’ll keep you posted on what comes of a partnership with them. Jason, have you done anything or anything coming to mind as I talk about some of these awesome brands that I love?

I only have local stuff to Detroit because I’m still here. I’m going to shout out some local Detroit stuff. I went to the Cass Corridor, which is a cool part of Midtown. That was experienced a pretty rad revitalization over the past few years. I went to a vegan ice cream shop called Cold Truth, with mom. They have coconut-based ice cream, super delicious. They had activated charcoal vanilla flavor. Mom got chocolate and it was damn good. That whole part of Detroit is becoming a hipster Mecca. There are a little bookstore and a cute dog park. The highlight of my day, shout out to Jack White, originally of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs doing his solo thing. A Detroit native like me. I went to Third Man Records for the first time, which is his record label since 2001. Not only has he put out a lot of the White Stripes, Raconteurs, and Dead Weather records of his bands, but he’s done a lot of reissues of old Motown records, country albums, and rock bands. It’s a full-fledged record label. I got to check out their record pressing plant where they’re making vinyl records in Detroit.

Their headquarters are in Nashville because Jack White moved there in 2005, but he still has a lot of his roots here in Detroit. I wish I would have had a whole afternoon because there are many records I wanted to get. They’ve got dope merchandise. They’re doing a wonderful job of preserving Detroit’s musical history. As a business person, Jack White is doing a great job of not only continuing the vinyl format and spreading it across the world but reissuing a lot of old albums and repressing them so the new generations can enjoy them. The coolest part of my day though, talk to in a corner of Third Man Records in Detroit. I noticed a stack of old amps and old touring gear that said the White Stripes with all these labels. They had some old guitar amps and old touring equipment from the White Stripes days. Third Man Records manufacturers guitar and effects pedals for fuzz, distortion, reverb, crazy, and wah-wah. They had a reissue of Jack White’s original Supro.

Back in The White Stripe days, it was red and white. His signature guitars were the Supro guitar. You could play this guitar through the amps at Third Man Records and trial with the guitar pedals. It was one of the coolest things because he’s engineered these guitar pedals. You can have a lot of sounds like Jack White sounds on his records. I’m obsessed. It’s been a long time since I’ve played electric guitar. I do acoustic now, but I got to say like, “I was stoked to play,” It may or may not have been Jack White’s actual guitar from the White Stripe days. It was fun. Shout out to Jack White. Shout out to Third Man Records. If you’re into vinyl or classic music, check out their catalog because it’s impressive.

You were able to think of some shout outs that you’re passionate about, Jason. I knew you had it in you. To go back to a shout-out we did, I wanted to update you and the readers on because I looked it up as we were talking Stanford Inn is up and running. They have not only had to deal with COVID, but there have been crazy fires in California. They have made some good safety practices and policies so that anyone who visits can stay healthy. It makes me want to go visit again. They are pet friendly, which was one of the highlights of visiting. It’s beautiful. I can manifest another visit to Stanford if I finally complete that first project that we did. That would be a good little project to put on Wellevatr’s YouTube channel, which could use some extra attention anyway. If you, the readers, would like to keep us accountable, you can email us, private message us, or shout us out on social media and say, “When are you going to post the Stanford-in project?” If you go to Stanford-in, please tell them that we sent you and please tell them that we will one day finish that video.

That’s it for this episode. We will be back again with another episode. We will be back with more of this Take Charge series for you which will continue for a few weeks through the end of November. We promise it will be worth your while. It’ll help you stay accountable. Be more consistent. We have something special to share with you at the end that you’re going to want to miss. Please make sure you download the eBook at Wellevatr.com. Give some love to the amazing brands and people that we’ve talked about. We’ve shared a lot. Thank you for reading.

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