Whatcha doing Monday Night?

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you likely know that last year when Lila started daycare and I went back to work fulltime, she got sick. And then sicker. Holy germs, batman.

She had five ear infections in four months, plus RSV, Roseola and too many colds to count. Oh, and the boogers…

I was exhausted, and kind of looking around wondering, is this really going to be my new normal? I was taking care of my own health with Beachbody products and Shakeology, but I didn’t know how to help my family. I was in a low place and couldn’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Fortunately I have this friend, this caring thoughtful and generous friend Jennelle. She gets me, and loves me even when I’m a mess. She saw me hurting and lost with my sick kiddo and drove 40 minutes across town to quietly drop off a care package of essential oils, specially blended for each person in my family, plus some other Young Living products and a diffuser to help my family get back on track.

I was touched, of course. But also hugely skeptical. Hugely. You all know I’m a health freak, but I thought oils were for hippies. So, I ignored them.

But a few weeks later, randomly I just decided what the heck, I’m desperate, so I picked them up and started using the oils slowly. I got comfortable and started loving them. And HOLY COW, Lila was HEALTHY.

Flash forward another six months and I now use oils daily for all kinds of things for our entire family. For Lila’s health, for my anxiety, for Jim’s congestion, to clear odors from home projects and to soothe sore muscles. I’m amazed at how much oils help me in my fitness and health. I mix oils into my sacred Shakeology and even use them to help muscle soreness.

Jennelle and I are both passionate about the health products we use, and have teamed up to put together a kickass event for this Monday night to share our passions for these products.

It’s online. You can join us from your living room, your treadmill, your dinner table – wherever you want to be. You can wear sweatpants, yoga pants, work pants, NO PANTS!…completely up to you!

What will this event be? Basically a low pressure way to learn about neat products that mioght help you achieve your resolutions (because I kind of assume most of us resolve every year to be healthier, and last about 8 days…). 

I love fitness. Jennelle loves oils. And there are some amazing ways to use these products together. Come hang with us online and find out how Beachbody, Shakeology and Young Living Essential Oils can help support your health, wellness and fitness in 2016 (and the rest of your life). You will not regret this choice. It is 90 minutes and it will change you. No purchases required, obligation or homework, just shoot me an email if you’d like to join us (jesstaylorfitness@gmail.com).

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Let that be your motivation.

  
This wording really hit close to home tonight. All my whining about trivial stuff lately, when I could look at the same “problems” and be grateful. 

Health is an amazing gift and it’s really a privilege to help others find ways to improve theirs, while finding a bit more happiness and confidence, too. If part of you thinks, “I can’t do it,” “I have injuries,” or “I’m too far gone,” it’s never, ever too late. 

Everyday, people make decisions that are uncomfortable and that require hard work, but those people are never disappointed they decided to try. 

I’d love to help you find your way. 

Shoot me an email jesstaylorfitness@gmail.com.

#momlife

Being a mom is hard. 

Allow me to repeat myself: being a mom is HARD! 

And I think it’s hardest when we don’t feel our best; when we’re tired or moody or feeling like we are our own lowest priority.

I know because this was me as a new mom: working full time and exhausted and sort of awkward in my new identity. It wasn’t until I started taking small steps to focus on my health that I finally felt like “me” again. Nothing drastic or rash, just short workouts at home everyday, and smarter food choices. 

I did this surrounded by a community of supportive women and was so moved by the experience I now lead my own groups – and because I know how much this lifestyle can help mommas, I decided to make my next group a very small private one, just for moms. The group is free and I’ll provide support, meal plans, guidance for working out and overall motivation. 

If you’re reading this and any of it hits close to home, or if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get into better health, I’d be honored if you’re willing to trust me and jump into this journey with me. Send me a message or email (jesstaylor55@gmail.com). 

  

Shakeology: a perpetual over-sharer makes no exception.

Stick with me on this one.

Juuuust give it a read.

If it still sounds nutso at the end, then ok.

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So I talk about Shakeology a lot. Pretty much all the time. I’m a perpetual over-sharer and this is no exception.

YOU ROLLED YOUR EYES, DIDN’T YOU?!

It’s ok.

But since I tend to get a ton of questions from people trying to figure out what all the fuss is about, I wanted to try to answer a lot of those questions together in one place. I know it’s hard (and unnatural) to trust a product you’ve never used or heard much about. There are tons of places to get info and the best place to start is here, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ve combined information from lots of resources to create the FAQ below:

What’s your deal; why are you so obsessed with it?
When I first heard about Shakeology, I thought it was an overpriced scam. I already ate healthy and didn’t want to add anything that came in a shiny bag from a company called Beachbody to my regimen. But after reading testimonial after testimonial, and with an urge to boost my immune system and energy as a brand new mom, I decided to try it. After one week though – of one shake a day – I had lost weight and had a huge increase in energy. I felt like a fog had lifted; like I finally got the right prescription for my vision, only it was for my body and brain.

After three weeks of one shake a day, I felt happier than I had in a long, long time. I had gained muscle, had lower anxiety and was sleeping better. I had fewer sugar cravings and was less bloated. The benefits only continued as time went by. I noticed how the shakes boosted my workouts and that my nails and hair and skin were healthier. I stopped taking my other vitamins and the iron supplements my doctor had prescribed, as well as other medications, and when I had a full blood panel a month later, all my results were better OFF my meds and on Shakeology.

Will it help me lose weight and feel better?
It absolutely can, as part of a healthy lifestyle. When used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise program, it works wonders and can dramatically improve how you look and feel. BUT…it works as part of an overall commitment to health. Meaning, if you drink a shake every morning, but then have pizza or a cheeseburger for lunch, beers every night and find excuses not to work out, you’ll certainly still get the nutritional goodness packed into the shake, but I don’t imagine you’ll see dramatic changes to your energy or appearance.

Does it taste good?
It’s delicious; not grainy or artificially sweetened. My favorite flavor is vegan chocolate. I blend mine with water, ice and unsweeteend almond milk. Sometimes I add greens, or berries, or peanut butter, or peppermint extract…

Why is it so expensive? Because it’s part of a giant corporation?
It’s expensive because – as in most areas of life – you get what you pay for in terms of quality and results. Shakeology doesn’t claim to be the cheapest, it claims to be the best. And for everything you get in one shake (nutritionally) for about $4, you’d pay $41 in groceries, vitamins and supplements. And that ‘giant corporation’ sources fair-trade ingredients, creates jobs in underprivileged nations and prioritizes philanthropy in incredible ways.

From the Shakeology blog: Sure, Shakeology is a bit more expensive than other protein shakes on the market. But there’s one very important thing you’ve got to remember, and that is Shakeology is far beyond a protein shake. It’s a nutrition shake. Designed for people who know they need more than just protein. The truth is, protein alone isn’t enough to make you, and keep you, healthy. Your body desperately needs other stuff like fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, superfoods, adaptogen herbs, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes (just to name a few) to run at optimum capacity. You could spend more than $700 on supplements, just to re-create all the healthy ingredients in one bag of Shakeology.

I already eat super healthy and make green smoothies, why would I want to use this?
One big reason is soil depletion. Because of soil depletion, crops grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. So while you may be making solid efforts to consume a nutrient-rich, balanced diet, your food alone can’t give you everything you need. This article gives a scary but interesting summary. Other perks:

  • Shakeology has been tested and certified by an independent lab to have a Low Glycemic Index (GI) of between 14 and 29 (depending on the flavor). This is lower than most fruits (an apple has a GI of 39, and a ripe banana has a GI of 62).
  • Shakeology’s ingredients are derived from whole-food sources. All too often, the “magical ingredients” in other shakes have been isolated from their enzymes and phytonutrients. And when that isolation occurs, those magical ingredients are no longer effective when consumed.
  • Shakeology is specially formulated so all of its ingredients work together like a symphony. While each and every ingredient has a strength of its own, when partnered with the right supporting ingredient, they form a bond that’s undeniably stronger than when they stand on their own. This is why some brands of vitamins are way more effective than others, it’s their ‘delivery system.’
  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)—the protein source used in Shakeology—is a very pure form of protein that contains 87% to 95% protein and almost no fat or lactose. On the other hand, Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC – found in many protein powders) is only 34% to 80% protein. So even though a WPC label can legally say “100% Whey Protein Concentrate,” technically that means there might be only 34% protein content in that shake.

Is Shakeology Organic?​​​​​​​​​​
Beachbody has put every effort into making sure that the ingredients in Shakeology do not contain pesticides, are not destroyed in processing, are produced using the best of the fair trade practices and have many of the benefits of what is considered “organic.” You might ask why it is not “certified organic?” The experience of the Beachbody development team has shown that sometimes certified organic does not necessarily translate to higher quality. Certifying something can simply drive up the price, especially with ingredients of this quality and quantity. Beachbody decided to focus on making sure the quality and integrity of the product lives up to the promise, without asking you to pay the premium.

Is Shakeology safe for pregnant and nursing mothers?
I get this question a lot, and am not super comfortable giving medical advice since I went to med school online at google.com. From the website: Shakeology should only be taken by pregnant women and nursing mothers under the direction of their physicians. From dozens of people I’ve spoken to and know personally: I had a shake everyday pregnant and nursing and felt amazing. Bottom line: do what’s best for you and your family, and talk to your doc first.

What if I can’t have gluten/dairy/soy?
The Tropical Strawberry and Chocolate Vegan Shakeology are dairy free, lactose free and soy free. Shakeology is not certified gluten free but is made with gluten-free ingredients.

What is the Beachbody “Bottom of the Bag” money-back guarantee?
Shakeology is sold with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Customers can return Shakeology packages that have been opened and used, even if the bag is completely empty.

Is Shakeology FDA approved?
The FDA does not approve any dietary supplements. Chew on that for a second, will you? Because that is straight TERRIFYING.

A multi-billion-dollar industry of things we consume, for health, isn’t regulated by the FDA. However, the FDA does set regulations and guidelines for the manufacturing of supplements, which the creator’s of Shakeology follow. Shakeology is manufactured in a facility that is registered with the FDA, adheres to current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and is GMP-Certified by the NSF (National Science Foundation) and the NPA (Natural Products Association).

Are there any chemicals or artificial sweeteners added to Shakeology?
No, there are no chemicals or artificial ingredients in Shakeology.

Should I try it? How do I get my paws on this magic?
A thousand times yesssss. You can comment on this post, email me {jesstaylor55@gmail.com} or visit my site to order.

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Don’t you already have a job?

A lot of people have questioned my decision to become a Beachbody coach over the past few months. I get everything from sarcastic comments to well-intended questions, and everything in between. And it’s ok, because I admit, it’s a little weird.

Don’t you already have a job? 

Isn’t that just an expensive protein shake?

You seriously only work out at home?

It’s a marketing scam, right?

Players, please.

While I’m usually the type that gets defensive about these kinds of comments, for some reason it just makes me laugh when it comes to coaching. I think it’s because the whole thing was as much of a surprise to me as it was to everyone else, so there’s a hilarious irony to it all.

But here’s the thing: if anyone is a freak about health and fitness, it’s me. I have binders of workouts organized in my house. I’ve belonged to every gym there is, and have easily spent a year’s worth of mortgage payments on personal training. I’ve practiced Bikram yoga, hatha yoga, Sumit’s yoga and Pilates. I’ve trained in functional fitness, Crossfit, long-distance running and aerobics. I’ve worked out in warehouses without air conditioning and pristine multi-million-dollar health clubs. I could do 100 push ups at five months pregnant. It’s just in my DNA. That being said, I ate half a container of chocolate frosting on Saturday night, and way too many tacos yesterday. I recognize that health is an ongoing balance and journey, and that it should never take away from living your life.

But coaching? That’s where the story gets really interesting. Those judgy comments up top are exactly what I said before I joined on. I disliked the shiny packaging, the company name, the endless selfies coaches posted in sports bras. It didn’t feel like anything I could get on board with.

And yet, here I am. I started to see the “why” behind the work and I was sold.

Helping others? Check. Encouraging heathy living? Check. Having a ton of fun and learning new stuff everyday? Check. No coach is perfectly trained or magically qualified, but every coach’s unique story gives her something unique to offer others. You don’t have to be an “after picture” to coach. You just need a drive to inspire.

So if you’re wondering what it’s all about…I don’t have fancy certifications. I didn’t get my degree in kinesiology. I don’t pretend to know everything (or even close to everything) about the human body. But…coaching lets me take what I know and love and use it to inspire others. I’m able to connect people to programs and tools that help them improve their confidence and their health, and I get to create communities of accountability and support. I unite people looking for an outlet — something just for them — and help them do things they didn’t believe they could do.

We all just want to be a tiny bit better today than we were yesterday. That’s all.

I know not everyone gets it, nor will they. And I’ll continue to laugh at myself right along with you! But in just five months, I’m amazed at the ways this opportunity has changed my life.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I might even get a little giddy.

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The struggle is part of the story

I used to be the girl who got anxious in meetings when my peers were all furiously taking notes. I would sit there silently wondering what they could possibly be writing down, and what was I missing?? But, since I was in the thick of my must-rapidly-ascend-corporate-ladder days, I caved to what I thought the right thing was, and began the habit of taking mindless notes in meetings. You know, to appear more engaged while being less engaged. This then became a platform for advanced doodling. And I wasted a lot of paper.

But then a few years ago, I listened to an executive coach whose guidance was less traditional. She kind of rocked my world when she suggested bringing a notebook and a pen to all meetings, and keeping the notebook open to a blank page, but to never actually take notes.

This woman, who is wildly successful (and has coached many, many successful leaders), argued that taking notes while someone else is speaking can actually make you look insecure or disengaged.

Find the happy medium in all of this and send me a postcard, k?

My point is, you’ve gotta do what works for you, but after filtering what works for me through the advice of others, I lean toward having meaningful direct interactions with minimal note taking.

I do ALWAYS have a notebook with me though. Shoot – I probably have 10 or 12 half-filled ones right now, between my house, car and office. I’m constantly writing things down that I want to remember: quotes, book recommendations, cards to mail, things to do.

When I do on rare occasion take formal(ish) notes, it’s because something really resonates with me.

This happened a few weeks ago at a regional event for Beachbody, the company my health and fitness coaching is affiliated with. I not only took notes, I then TOOK A PHOTO of my handwritten notes so I’d have constant access to them on my phone.

In typical motivational event fashion, speaker after speaker got up that morning to share a personal story, describe her path to success and how she overcome various obstacles. It wasn’t a new format, but something about this particular event was unique.

Because…None of the presenters gave out magic advice. There was no secret sauce, rules to live by, or list of “three simple habits” to find success. No one told me to lean in.

It was quite the opposite, actually. The presenters were forthright about NOT having any answers for us. They candidly shared that there wasn’t one thing different about any of them that allowed them to be successful. That looking back, none of them was cut out for this business if you looked at experience and skills.

Each presenter stated in her own way that the only differentiator contributing to her success was that she kept going. That was it.

She kept going.

When people told her no, scoffed at her ideas or closed doors on opportunities.

When there were really bad, discouraging days, and huge setbacks.

When it would’ve been way easier to quit and walk away.

She just kept going. And sharing her story.

This simple piece of advice was mind-blowing. I guess because I’ve never really considered success to be an equal playing field. There’s always someone who knows someone, or went to a better college, or was so-and-so’s sorority sister. Someone who was willing to sacrifice more or play unfairly. And to a certain degree, success is never a truly even game. But to consider that maybe all you need to do to succeed is just keep going – to throw away ALL your doubts and just do the next right thing at any given moment – is so freeing.

I am someone who always plays it safe. I take the expected path and make the “right” choices. My venture into coaching is the only area where I’ve ever been independently accountable for my own success without a smidge of a guarantee. It’s scary and humbling every single day, and a lot of hard work, but it’s the most rewarding thing to be a part of. My work matters for the first time. And right now, I’m starting to see that the struggle is part of the story, and I’m thankful that this is part of mine.

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Some favorite things:

1. Reusable straws. I got a 6-pack for $5 on Amazon after realizing how many disposable ones we were going through. I always prefer to drink from a straw and these are durable and dishwasher safe. And pretty.


2. Everyday Shea Vanilla Mint body wash. On sale for $8 at Sprouts and has the most refreshing scent for summer.


3. Essential Oils diffuser. I pretty much always have candles burning, but this allows me to get a great scent into our home with different healing properties, depending on which oils you choose to use. Peppermint is my favorite so far.  
4. The human equivalent of a dog crate seems to be a play yard. We needed a place where Lila could safely play while we get ready for work, and this seems to suit her just fine in small doses.   5. Chocolate Vegan shakeology. I used to be loyal to vanilla, but wanted to try a formulation without dairy (whey), and this flavor and consistency amazes me. It’s the healthiest form of dessert around. I am a Beachbody coach and sell Shakeology, so let me know if you’d like more information. 

6. Hoola. Not a new find, I’ve used it for a decade, but an unwavering favorite product. Works as all-over powder or bronzer and a box lasts forever.  
7. Resistance bands. These are cheap at any athletic store, or Target, and a great way to change up workouts. I used to use these all the time and recently started again. Using a band creates constant resistance in all directions, activating more muscles and in new ways.