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Sunday, June 28, 2015

30 Days Sugar and Alcohol Free

Every year I challenge myself to abstain from alcohol and processed sugar, the stuff you find in sweets, candies, cookies, etc for 30 days.

I recently completed this challenge.

One quick update before I get to that:

I'll be hosting a 28 Day Fat Blaster challenge beginning in mid July.  I'll be posting more info about it on July 1st to the 1 Year 1000 Challenge page. I will also be sending out an email to let you know.  Make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter so you don't miss out.  Click here to subscribe

30 Days No Sugar No Alcohol

I am a pretty healthy guy, meaning I usually eat fairly clean (not a lot of sugary or fried foods) and I also enjoy treating myself every now and then to a few beers with friends or a sweet goodie ( cookies, doughnuts, cakes, etc...)

I also know that sugar is one of the most addictive substances out there.  Recent research has shown that sugar, on a chemical level, affects the limbic system in the brain (the part of the brain responsible for emotional control) in similar ways as some of the notoriously more addictive drugs out there like heroin.

When you hear words like heroin and sugar in the same sentence you might think: "C'mon Jesse, you are pulling my leg."

Think about this:

According to the CDC 38,329 people in the USA died from drug overdose in 2013.

Compare that to Sugar

Each year in the USA over 610,000 people, (according to the CDC) die from heart disease - Nearly 20 times more than drug overdose!!!

Leading causes: High Blood Pressure, High LDL Cholesterol, Overweight/Obesity, Poor Diet, Excessive Alcohol use, and physical inactivity

I once read a study that reported 96% of heart disease is preventable with healthy eating and exercise... 96%!!!!  That means that every year over 570,000 people die who would not have died had they taken better care of their health.


And what can be found in very likely 99% of unhealthy diets - SUGAR! 

What does sugar do to the body: Can lead to weight gain, cholesterol increases, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, diabetes, headaches, etc...

It is no longer a mystery that sugar is bad for us and the reason so many people continue to over indulge in it is largely due to its addictive properties.  People just want to "feel a little better."

The first few days without sugar and alcohol were fine

Around day 5-8 I would get random headaches. 

Day 8 - 12 were the cravings... I really just wanted a bite or a sip and I would often here "THE voice" trying to rationalize it in my head:

"Just one bite won't kill you,"  "You have done this before, you know you can do it again... you have nothing to prove."

After day 12 it was pretty smooth sailing and by the time I took my first sip of alcohol I had gone almost a full 6 weeks without booze and, as of this writing, still have not had a sugary treat (although I am in Las Vegas and might treat myself here).

Some of the things that helped me be successful were:

  • cleaning out my kitchen and removing any temptations (here's a video I did on nutrition success)
  • I told everyone I talked to about my goal, this gave me massive accountability 
  • I adjusted my schedule to protect myself during the "vulnerable" times (times where I had most cravings/temptation)
  • I made sure to readjust my focus, daily, on why I was doing this
  • I had a clear goal

Over the 30 days these are some of the benefits I noticed from abstaining from sugar and alcohol:

  • More Energy
  • Thinking much clearer
  • More focused
  • Less distracted
  • Stronger in workouts
  • After Day 12, better overall mode
  • Food tasted better
  • Surplus in monthly budget from not spending money on drinks with friends
    • Note: think about the average markup for alcohol in any bar/restaurant
  • Reduced body fat
  • Muscles looked harder and more vascular 
  • More motivated to pursue other hobbies/activities
  • Improved creativity with cooking
When the time finally came where I was ready to have my first sip of alcohol again... I wasn't really even looking forward to it.  I had it, I enjoyed it, and I did so because I still want to continue to enjoy the occasional beers with friends.  I love the good times and silliness that comes with it.

With that being said, I believe life is all about balance, and one thing I have taken away from this most recent 30 day challenge is balance is something that can be re-calibrated at different times in your life. Going forward, I am excited to establish my new balance, and enjoying the experience along the way.

What about you?  Have you ever done a personal challenge for yourself?  What did you learn while doing it?

Carpe Diem,


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers Day

Whether your Dad is/was the world's greatest Dad or was never in the running for Father of the year, your Dad is still your Dad and what he represents to you and your life going forward is up to you.

My Dad did not do everything right, he made a lot of mistakes, he wasn't good with money, he often thought of himself first, he didn't always want to play basketball or catch with me, and he loved me.

The most profound conversation, and the most open heart to heart one I ever had with my Dad came in 2007 after my girlfriend had broken up with me.

I was so devastated, so sad, so lost, and in so much pain that I was willing to drop all my silly walls I had put up to try and get help from anywhere I could, even my parents.

During one conversation with my Dad, my Dad told me, "Jess, you are the best person I know."

I will always remember that and I often keep it close to my heart when  making decisions in regards to how I want to live my life and what I want to contribute to the lives of others and world at large.

Whether your Dad is/was the world's greatest Dad or he was never in the running for Father of the Year, he likely taught you an important lesson or two about life.

What is one life lesson your Dad taught you?

How do you apply it to your life today?

Carpe Diem,



I recorded this video a couple months ago about my Dad, maybe you can relate with it.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

To Take a Step Forward You May Have tor Comfort Zone

Hi Everyone!

Recently one of the team members in the Zero Limits Mastermind shared a great article on words of wisdom passed on from Business leaders to college graduates at commencement.  (You can read the entire article here)

As I read through, I noticed there seemed to be a common theme that these titans of their respected industries were trying to impart on the next generation: Take risks and pursue your passions.

The concept is not a new one - heck I would guess in a slow week I hear the above phrase no less than 10 times.

Yet for some reason while reading this article, I started thinking of my own journey and where I am at professionally at this moment.

I love helping people - it has been what I have wanted to do since I was a little kid, (aside from being a professional basketball player) and I want to be able to grow my ability to help people.

For that to happen, for me to move forward towards doing more of what I want, I have to be willing to put myself out there in a way I have not done before. Some might call this "taking a risk."

You see the old adage, "nothing changes if nothing changes," is so true. Change is constant in our world yet so often there is so much fear around change.

Earlier this year I took a massive step forward professionally by announcing I would be hosting my first live event called Unlock Your Greatness.  This was a huge step out of my comfort zone as it took me from an area I was totally comfortable in, working one on one with folks, and put me in a new realm of event planning, coordinating, and teaching to audiences of many.

I'll be honest, I was scared.  My biggest fear was "What if no one signs up... what if it is just me in the room and all I could hear is crickets chirping in the background (Do crickets even chirp?)."

I hemed, I hawed, I dilly dallied, I weighed the pros and cons, I tried to make every excuse under the sun of why now is not the right time; and it all almost worked except for I kept coming back to the one thing that was my trump card for all the excuses: my passion.

I kept asking myself if my life will ever be fulfilled at the level I want it to be if I spent my whole life not sharing my gifts on the level I know I am capable of.  The answer kept coming up no; and you know what?  That no was way way wayyyyyy more terrifying than the fear of the crickets that might be chirping.

I kept worrying that to move forward I had to risk giving up my comfort zone.  Then I stopped myself and reminded myself that the real risk was if I stayed put... how much of my passion, my purpose, my joy and happiness in life would I be giving up?  OUCH!

It is true, to move forward you may have to leave your current comfort zone behind.  What I might argue is the whole concept of "risk taking."

I believe the greatest risk in life is risk-less living.  I believe that far more pain awaits us if we never try than even if we do and fall flat on our faces.

We are meant to grow, to change, to evolve, and to move forward.  Ahead lies the fruits of our labor, the joy, the happiness, and the love we seek.

Where we are might be ok, but will it ever be great?

Hmmmm... Something to think about.

What are your thoughts?  I look forward to reading your comments.

Carpe Diem,



My fear about Unlock Your Greatness was quickly put at bay.  To date there are people from 8 countries and 15 different States coming.

There are still spots left and I would love for you to be a part of what will be a very special event.

After all, how often in life can you say, "I was there at the beginning?" :)

Click the ticket below to grab your spot.