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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Perspective: Life Lessons Learned in a Hospital Waiting Room

Hi Everyone,

I appologize for my absence from blogging, I have been spending a lot of time getting my business organized so I can deliver more and better content to you all.  I hope everyone has been enjoying Katie's awesome blogs she has been putting up.

Has anyone tried her Cauliflower dish yet?

I had an experience the other day that I really wanted to share with you all as I think it serves as a powerful reminder that we all have so much to be grateful for.

On Tuesday I was at the doctors office having a consultation for an ongoing problem I have been having.  I was feeling pretty bummed out.  I have been dealing with this issue since September of last year.  I have followed all recommendations, tried a variety of different treatments, changed my diet, visualized it healing, willed it away, and yet... it lingers.

This lingering problem leaves me in a fair amount of pain and discomfort throughout the day.  Furthermore the medication for it is horrible.  I take it and I instantly get a headache and feel like I am going to pass out.  The headaches last for several hours and often times reach a migraine level of intensity.

What is worse than the pain is the way it has been affecting my lifestyle.  Travel has been very hard as has been doing many of the outdoors and social things I really enjoy doing (hence the reason you all have not been seeing as many pictures from me as usual).  I have been avoiding surgery because I have read one to many horror stories on the internet of worst case scenarios that happen during the operation.  Usually I don't buy into this kind of stuff, but I still experience daily complications/pain from the hernia surgery I had almost two years ago.  Plus, the simple fact, that I just don't want to have surgery! Sooo needless to say I get a little to paranoid about these things.

That's my story.  Through this all I feel like I have kept a pretty great attitude about it.  My friends and I have had quite a few good laughs about it.  More importantly, while it has affected some of the things I enjoy doing, it has given me more time to focus on other things I really enjoy doing.

I think this is so crucial when we encounter obstacles in life.  Don't focus on what you are having to give up.  If you do, it will consume you.  Instead focus on what opportunities you will now have more time for.  Put your love, your energy, your passion into those things, they will help you get through the tough spots.

Anyways, back to my consultation on Tuesday.  So I am sitting there in the waiting room, trying to reassure myself that I really have tried everything, and that surgery is the best decision moving forward.  While I am sitting there I am also having a little pity party that was attended by such phrases as, "this sucks," "I am to young for this crap," "not another surgery," "I don't understand I am so healthy," blah blah blah, etc, etc, etc...

Right as I am at the apex of my feeling like a victim, a doctor walks out with a man who had been sitting quietly in the chair next to me 20 minutes earlier.  The doctor starts talking to the man's wife saying something about how one piece wouldn't fit inside of another or something like that.

Then I heard a noise.

Then another noise.

There was this beep, then a garbled computer sounding noise.

I looked up and immediately felt shammed by my little pity party.  Here was this man, probably in his early 50's who had a trachea box in his throat.  He could not talk, he could only communicate by pushing a button that would then make a noise that alerted people to let them know that he understood.

I can talk, I can sing (kind of), I can communicate, I can use my words to express myself.  More than that, after my operation, barring an internet horror story occurrence, I should be feeling better within a few weeks.  This guy, who knows how long, if ever?

I was reminded of the words my Dad had told me and that I have shared with all of you before: "We never have to look to far to see someone who has it worse than us."

It is true, we never do.  I, you, we all, have so much to be grateful for.  If we all would spend more time focusing on that instead of the not so wonderful stuff, I am convinced the world would be a happier, healthier place.

I went into my appointment with the doctor with an improved attitude.  Surgery is scheduled for this coming Tuesday in the early am.  It is the next step for me, more importantly, I believe it is the right step.  :)

Spend some time today reminding yourself of all the great things in your life.  Take a few moments to focus on all the wonderful opportunities in front of you.  :)

Carpe Diem,


Monday, March 25, 2013

Healthy Recipe

Healthy Recipe!!

Some of my absolute favorite things to read online are cooking blogs. There are a ridiculous amount, specializing in recipes for vegans, vegetarians, paleo and gluten- free dieters, and people not on ANY sort of diet. These blogs are awesome tools now that we are becoming more educated and concerned about what foods go into our bodies. Food blogs make it easier to find healthier alternatives for our favorite comfort foods: carbs, sugar, and cheesy goodness.

It can be super overwhelming if you are just starting out on the road to healthier eating. Sometimes, these alternative recipes and ingredients seem complicated, iffy or just plain gross (meatless meat? Um, no thank you). I’ve found that an excellent place to start is Pinterest, or the website Simply type an ingredient and a keyword like “healthy” or “vegetarian” into the search bar, and a plethora of pictures will come up. Click on a pic that looks good to you! We eat with our eyes first: :)

I recently made Cauliflower Fried Rice from the blog “Deliciously Organic” by Carrie Vitt. This recipe can be 100% vegetarian and is starchy carb free. That’s right, NO rice! By vigorously chopping cauliflower into rice sized bits (chop until your arms fall off), or going the easy route with a food processor, you can create a dish that is SERIOUSLY tasty. I left out a few ingredients like sherry and bay seasoning because I didn’t have them, and didn’t buy them because I know I won’t use them regularly. Here is my (really easy) adaptation:

What you need:

Cauliflower – 1 or 2 heads. Use fresh.
Peas and chopped carrots – About 2 cups. I used a frozen mix from Trader Joes.
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp for cooking the veggies. I recommend coconut for flavor, but olive or grape oils work just fine.
Eggs – 2 or 3. Can be left out, but makes the recipe more closely resemble fried rice.
Green Onion – 1 handful chopped. Also called scallion, use fresh.
Tamari Sauce – 4 tbsp, divided. Found with the soy sauces, says “Tamari” on the front. Low sodium soy works too.
Chicken – I left out. Use about 1 ½ cups chopped if you prefer it in your dish, or to add more protein than the egg.
Salt and pepper - For taste. You don’t need much salt because the Tamari is salty on its own.

Prep: I like to have everything ready before I begin to speed up the process.
Chop cauliflower into rice sized bits.
Cook Trader Joe’s frozen veggies according to package instructions, or steam your fresh veggies until soft, drain.
Chop green onion (scallion)
If using chicken, cook in a pan with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. Once cooked through, chop and set aside.

Cook: This is a one pan meal. Choose a big one.

1. Heat your pan over medium-high heat. Place oil in the pan and wait for it to melt (coconut) or heat up
2. Put chopped cauliflower in the pan, along with 2 tbsp of Tamari or soy
3. Stir until all cauliflower is coated with oil and Tamari, hot, slightly softened and lightly fried
4. Make a well in the middle of the cauliflower and crack all eggs in the well. Stir eggs until scrambled.
5. Mix scrambled egg into the cauliflower, then add your veggies and onions (and chicken). Stir.
6. Add additional 2 tbsp Tamari or soy, salt, and pepper, stir until all ingredients are hot and coated.
7. Enjoy!!



Friday, March 22, 2013

What makes you happy

An Idea and a Book

Jesse writes a lot about why finding what makes you happy is a cornerstone of building a good life. When you’re happy with yourself or certain aspects of your life, decision making becomes easier, you have more fun, you are more social, and more eager to take on new challenges (these ideas comes from observation and personal experience). But, are some things we THINK will lead to happiness, e.g., more money, having more fun, a body like hers... really the way to make it happen?

I recently met with a well traveled friend who told me about her experience trekking in Nepal. Nepal was awesome and eye-opening she said. Eye-opening because of how poor the country is, but also because the Nepalese people she met were all SO happy and kind, even though they have nothing. This stuck, and I did a quick inventory of my life in the present. I’m sitting in a sunny cafe, eating my $15 meal with friends, feeling great post-workout. What was I just complaining about an hour ago?

More to the point, I think some of us might be measuring our happiness against ideas, activities, and people that only offer a fleeting sense of the real thing. My Dad gave me great book by Dennis Prager called Happiness is a Serious Problem that explains just this. I’m not gung-ho on self-help books (I find most too repetitive and preachy), but this one is definitely worth a look. Prager talks about how happiness is a process we are obligated to work at. The “problem” is how we go about finding happiness in unhealthy and ineffective ways. He breaks down life into categories like work, fun, relationships, and family, and explains exactly what behaviors cause dissatisfaction in those areas and how we can change them. Being aware of and evaluating when these behaviors occur and why they do can help achieve happiness that will last.

If you’ve got the curiosity to pick up this book, I’ll make it easy for ya:

Has anyone read this, and what did you think?

All my best,


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cross Fit vs. Bar Method

This is a great read from our guest blogger Katie Rudolph and explains two of the very popular exercise phenomena going on right now

CrossFit vs. Bar Method

After a workout I like to feel totally fatigued and sweaty….. like I just sweat out every ounce of my dinner from the night before. Maybe you prefer to feel loosened and refreshed? Whatever keeps you feeling fit and confident is the best route for you.

Lucky for us, exercise has crossed over into consumer culture territory and a multitude of “branded” workout regimens exist for our insatiable need for options. Some have their own aptly named facilities (how convenient!). CrossFit, Barre, Dailey Method, and P90X are all popular examples of such regimens. I’d like to explain a few for those who are curious.

I haven’t tried CrossFit, but have friends and family that are devotees and certified CrossFit trainers. My current exercise program is similar in that it’s high intensity, high repetition, and pushes you to anaerobic state (expelling EVERY ounce of energy possible). CrossFit was founded in 2000 and is actually a franchise, so the “CrossFit” name, certification program, and daily workouts can be purchased by trainers and gym owners. The workouts, or WOD’s (Workouts of the Day), can include a warm up, movement practice, the WOD, and a cool down. The WOD segment consists of intense movements with high repetition, meant to be performed as quickly as possible to completely exhaust the muscles being used. The movements are also meant to be functional, to help you move better in everyday life.

I have tried the Bar Method workout, and it’s a killer workout if you do it right. The Bar Method focuses on sculpting and reshaping muscles by alternating smaller, isolated movements with deep stretching. The original “Bar” workout was created by a ballet dancer who wished to combine her dance training with therapeutic movement meant to elongate and strengthen muscle with minimal impact on joints. Workouts are one hour long, and each muscle group in the body is worked during that time. The only weight used is your own body weight, and exercises are performed in the seated position or while standing at the ballet barre. You really have to pay attention to your body’s positioning and be aware of what each muscle is doing, even if you’re not using it directly.

One thing I’ve learned over years of working out at various intensities and with various trainers, is that there is no one-size-fits-all workout. Just because Johnny over there can run 3 miles once a week and still look awesome while eating Egg McMuffins daily doesn’t mean you can too. So naturally I’m curious, what sort of workout has gotten you the results you want?  Please share below.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Willpower and a Guest Blog

Hi everyone!

Today marks the start of what will hopefully be a new way that I can bring more value to all of your lives.

Today I am featuring our first ever guest blogger.  I hope that with bringing in new people from time to time it will greatly benefit you all.

Enough rambling from me, onto Katie our guest blogger

Hey All! My name is Katie, and starting today I’ll be doing some guest blogging for Jesse. I’m into all things healthy, am a total foodie and exercise fanatic, and stoked for the opportunity to share my thoughts with a like-minded community.

I can definitely relate to all of you who follow Jesse’s fitness and life coaching programs. In the past year I feel I’ve made (and seen!) multiple positive changes in my life. The daily routine was really getting to me, making me restless and distracted. Wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, work out, go home, eat dinner. Repeat, repeat, and REPEAT. Well THAT needed to change, and the beginning of 2013 served as a perfect wake up call/ clean slate for new resolutions. An attitude adjustment and refocused energy were the first orders of business. Like Jesse’s program promotes, I think the best and most lasting changes are made from the inside out. My nutrition and lifestyle were next. I’ve always been a social, active, and athletic person, but I was slowly losing steam. By being more conscious of what I put into my body and how it made me feel, and whose thoughts I let (and didn’t let) into my head, I began to feel happier and more motivated than ever.

I participate in a group boot camp program daily and sometimes twice a day (I’ll be the first to admit my exercise regimen isn’t typical). In this hour I’m surrounded with encouraging, healthy, and positive people. I’m lucky to call them friends now and lucky to have this daily positive reinforcement. It has helped keep my resolutions on track in a BIG way and helped me to create new goals for myself. Support systems, be it a friend, a Facebook group, or a Twitter follower, are ESSENTIAL to making real change. It’s all about accountability and knowing there are people who really care about your wellbeing. Exercise Accountability Group, people. Do it!

Fun side note: Did you know willpower is real? It’s not just an intangible idea we all talk about NOT having. Check out this article I found about willpower and accountability’s effect on making lasting changes in your life.....

Has joining the Exercise Accountability Group affected your progress in creating a healthier and happier lifestyle?