Category Archives: Original Articles

Interview with Team USA Volleyball Player Kelsey Robinson

This is an exclusive FMG interview with USA Volleyball’s Libero Kelsey Robinson.

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Q: What motivates you deep down to get up in the morning?

In the past it was about pursuing my goals and pursuing this idea of what I had in mind that would make me happy, and now as I continue to learn more about myself, it’s this idea of how I can be a better person. I’m constantly pursuing the best version of myself. It’s no longer about titles, championships, or medals and more about how I impact the world around me and what I bring to the table today. How can I be the best version of myself today.

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Q: Through your years being an accomplished athlete playing both collegiate + professional volleyball, what’s been the greatest lesson you’ve taken from the sport that applies to everyday life?

Patience and learning. I’m competitive, passionate, and driven and often that comes with the mindset that I want to be perfect or I want everything now. After four years of being pro, I’m changing more and developing skills that I haven’t had. I’ve changed my mindset to being open to learning and being aware of the process. Being great doesn’t happen overnight and it’s a journey that doesn’t stop once you’ve accomplished something. There’s always something to be learned.

Volleyball World Grand Prix 2014

Q: Volleyball by nature is a sport where a jersey and spandex is what you live in everyday. How do you feel that this plays into the overall conversation of women and body confidence?

For me, it’s my life. I’ve been wearing that since I was 10 years old. In college, I definitely felt the pressure to look a certain way. Even with the national team, being in the public eye a little more, you feel that you need to be perfect. As I’ve continued to grow, I’ve just become thankful and appreciative of my body. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and my body is my full time job. I’m grateful for my muscles and that I can play this sport at 25 at a high level and will be able to continue to play. If we change our mindsets of how our bodies don’t look, to how amazing our bodies truly are and what they can do for us, the confidence just comes right along with it.

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Q: What are your thoughts on the topic of women’s sports + wellness practices being sexualized in the age of social media? Has this ever been a challenge for you to combat?

It hasn’t been too much of a problem for me, but I think now more than ever we are in a position to show strength as women. We have the opportunities to say no and to stand up for what we believe in. I know what I am comfortable putting out on social media and I know what I will not allow and I’m not afraid to say that or speak up. I’m also lucky to be surrounded by teammates, friends, and a fiance who support and love me and I think the more we surround ourselves in a community of positivity, the more these topics dissolve.

Kelsey Robinson of USA

Q: You’re always posting about plants + superfoods (love!). What’s your overall approach to eating to fuel you for your sport?

I love plants. I could honestly eat them for every meal and be satisfied. I want to give my body what it needs to perform at the best of my ability. The idea that my body is my job makes it crucial that I’m feeding it enough energy. I never want to feel like I’m tired, or not strong enough to get through a practice or a match. I’ve found that eating a plant based diet with eggs/fish a couple times a week has been the best combination for me. I think it’s important for people to discover what works for them. I know that meat hasn’t always sat well in my body and dairy has caused major acne problems and digestive problems for me. But again, this has been trial and error for a long time so it’s important for people to understand their own bodies. I don’t feel great when I eat sugar or gluten and that’s just me. However, I travel a lot and I think food is a huge way to connect or see a culture. I don’t restrict myself from trying things or experiencing new foods when I’m in these situations.

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Q: Mindset: How do you avoid getting into a negative head space when you find yourself becoming doubtful or not believing in yourself?

I write a lot. If this is happening I like to go home and write what I’m feeling and take some moments to ask myself why I’m feeling this and if it holds space in my life. Once I put that away, I leave it there and I move on. When we dwell on things it becomes all encompassing and it’s hard to move forward. The game of volleyball is played on mistakes and if don’t think about the next moment or play given, we are carrying that doubt or belief with us.

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Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Prioritize you. It sounds selfish, but I spent so many years of my life trying to make everyone else around me happy or satisfied. Whether it was coaches, teammates, friends, or family, everything I did was for someone or something else. I never really thought about me or what makes me happy or what sustains my life. Fast forward years later and I’m doing the work for the past four years on how to put myself first. At some point you just feel drained and I didn’t really know what were my own beliefs or what were beliefs I thought people wanted from me. I put a lot of emphasis on expectations of what people have of me and I’m working to let those expectations go. This has allowed me to be more present for the things in my life that really matter and as an athlete.

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Q: Having a companion to share the joys of your life with can elevate every experience you have. What relationship advice would you give to other women?

Be 100% yourself. I think as women we want to look a certain way, dress a certain way, or act in a way that will attract men. From the the start, with my fiance I have been myself and completely transparent and that has only made our relationship stronger. I also think it’s important to be open to learning. Both my fiance and I, continue to want to be better versions of ourselves. We do a lot of long distance which means discussing new ideas or topics or new interests we might be curious about. I’m so excited to share these things with him and make myself better and vise versa. I know that he has chosen me for 100% who I am and I have chosen him for the same reason. There’s total honesty, openness, and when things get really hard we are able to have strong communication.

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Q: When you seek inspiration, where do you go, what do you look at, who do you talk to?

I tend to feel my best when I’m outside. I love being in the water or surrounded by nature. When I need to clear my head or get perspective, I head immediately to the water or on a hike or just sit in the sun on my balcony. I also talk to my dad or my fiance a lot and I have a great relationship with our head coach of the USA team Karch Kiraly, so if I’m needing sport advice or even life advice these are people I turn to. I think being open to the messengers is such a great way to finding answers.

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Q: Your career and journey have been so inspiring to watch. What do you wish to be known for (your legacy)?

I don’t really think too much about legacy or inspiring people. I just want to live as authentically as possible and to connect with people all over the world. This is what sustains me and keeps me going. When people reach out, I find so much joy in it. I want to share with people that if we all can find ways of making ourselves better, than we can show up more positively for the people and the world around us. We can live fully with passion and our experiences whether positive or negative will be more powerful.

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Along with playing professional volleyball in Turkey these days, Kelsey runs a beautiful and motivating blog, Nom and Play. The girl is super human!

I’m currently reading one of her latest posts about self care; I absolutely relate to and love her perspective! Go check out her site as well as her social channels: Instagram & Twitter.

How Blue Light Blocking Glasses Can Help You Sleep Better

This post contains my experience with blue light blocking glasses for better sleep, reduces eye strain, improved circadian rhythms and balanced adrenal function.

In the modern age of biohacking and the integration of all little things that can make us healthier, you’ll find blue light blocking glasses. If this is the first time you’re hearing about them, let me give you the high notes and why you should buy a pair (cost me a whopping $7 for the pair I got).

Benefits of Blue Light Blocking Glasses:

-Improved + syncronized circadium rhythms (aka better sleep!)

-Noticably reduced eye strain (especially when viewing electronic screens and driving at night)

-Increased energy (as a result of better sleep)

-Reduced bodily inflammation + cortisol levels (stress response hormone)

-Enhanced mental clarity and focus

-Protection from prolonged exposure to the harmful wavelengths in most artificial light sources

For me, it’s a no brainer. My daily habit is to put these guys on when I’m on my phone or at my computer at night. If I’m sitting around on my phone for a while during the day, I’ll have them on then as well. Some people wear them all the time (maximum benefit), but my focus is to limit my exposure during computer and phone screen time. Pick what works for you! The best routine is the one you actually do every day.

When I wear them consistently, I can tell the biggest difference in regards to eye strain; especially when I’m staring at a screen at night or when I’m driving at dark. It’s a huge help and it prevents me having to blink my eyes and squint to keep my vision clear.

Depending on your preference in glasses, there are two styles that I really like, I’ve got the brown tortoise ovalish frames with amber lens. There’s also the classic black rectangularish frames with the yellow lens.

I would love to see your photos in your blue blockers! Tag me on instagram @feelmoregooder

Want more sciencey intel about blue light blocker’s? Check out Dave Asprey’ dropping of knowledge here.

xoxo

Make Good Use of Your Pulse,

Jes

 

Mushroom + Cacao Coffee Recipe (+Ketogenic Friendly)

Freaked out by the idea of eating/drinking mushrooms? I’m here to help you get over that! This Mushroom + Cacao Coffee Recipe is just as delicious as it is restorative.

Why ‘Shrooms?

(no psychadelic effects in this drank, folks)

Various mushroom varieties (chaga, reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane) can offer you all kinds of brain boosting + mental focus perks. Besides, it adds a wonderful rich + earthy full spectrum flavor to the back side your big gulps of coffee.

Mushrooms are classified as adaptogens, which essentially means that they help boost your immunity and make your body more resilient to stress. If you think about it, mushrooms grow in harsh and precarious environments. In my mind, it’s like we are taking on those robust + tough characteristics when we consume them.

Why Cacao Powder?

It’s the base of our beloved chocolate! Unlike the processed chocolate bars you’ll find in most store, raw cacao powder is an antioxidant powerhouse. Cacao will provide you with energy (without all the sugar), mood stabilization and even help you curb your cravings + satisfy that sweet tooth.

Why Cacao Butter?

When combined with a fat, the caffeine in coffee becomes more steadily absorbed and provides you with a sustained, gradual increase in focus, versus experiencing a jittery feeling from coffee consumption.

I like that Cacao Butter utilizes the fatty part of the cacao pod + that it’s vegan! You could also opt for a coconut-derived oil.

I don’t need to ask Why Coffee…

Coffee is the universe. Okay, but seriously, I probably don’t need to talk anyone into drinking coffee.

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Recipe:

-Your favorite mug. A mug that makes you happy.

-1 flat Tbsp mushroom powder of your choice (I make a blend of Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Chaga and keep it in a jar on the counter)

-2 flat Tbsp cacao powder

-1 heaping Tbsp of cacao butter pieces (it comes in solid chunks at room temperature!)

-Fill up your cup the rest of the way with freshly brewed coffee.

*Looking for a caffeine free alternative? Add hot water instead of coffee.

Optional: 2 drops of liquid stevia or 1 teaspoon of powdered stevia

Tips:

You could blend it all together in a Nutribullet, but I normally have no problem just using a spoon. It’s normal for the fat to rise to the top.

ENJOY THIS CUP OF DECADENCE!

How to Detox Heavy Metals + Parasites + Mold & Boost Liver Health

Curious about how to detox heavy metals, mold, parasites and how it can effect every facet of your health? In this post I share my experience with supplements and the protocol I followed.

Before Photo (11/30/17)

-Taken before starting this protocol (feeling moderately healthy + but painful menstrual cycles + not feeling 100%)

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Heads up–this post will talk frankly about periods and woman stuff! (you’re welcome)

Backstory on my Health + Acne

For as long as I can remember (approximately age 12), I have had debilitating menstrual cramps. Along with the cramps was hormonal (cystic) acne. I was able to balance + heal my skin through use of an awesome supplement called Estroblock. (you can read that full post here).

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I only took the product for about 8 months and it did it’s job in that time. It works by helping your body get rid of “bad” estrogens in your body. These can disrupt your endocrine system, which is the system responsible for dispersing those little chemical messengers telling your body how to operate.

While my acne cleared up and I felt encouraged by that, my periods were still heavy and painful. I tried every natural pain remedy and solution I could think of:

-Drinking only green juice the days leading up to my period

-Experimenting with eliminating certain foods (coffee, dairy, gluten, etc.)

-Changing up my exercise routine

Nothing took the pain away.

Seeing a Naturopath (Integrative Natural Medicine Doctor)

Since I failed so many times at trying to help myself, I felt like it was time to seek the help of a natural medicine doctor. I went to Cura Integrative in Overland Park, Kansas (HIGHLY recommend them).

To start, they performed a biofeedback test on me which revealed:

-Very high levels of blood toxicity (heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, mold, environmental toxins)

-Parasitic infection (people with high levels of heavy metals are more susceptible to this)

-Food sensitivities (often linked to and caused by heavy metal toxicity)

-Egg, Nuts (including coconut + peanut), Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy, Rice

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Healing Protocol

First Phase: Detox Heavy Metals + Heal Parasitic infection

Heavy Metal Detox Products Used (pictured below):

Dr. Recommends Homeopathic Metals Detox

New Health Super Chelation Support

Bio Ray NDF Heavy Metal Formula

Liver Detoxifier + Regenerator (renamed to Liver Refresh)

Calcium D-Glucarate

Glutathione

Activated Charcoal

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Parasitic Infection Products Used (pictured below):

Myrrh Forte

-Artemisinin Complex

Viranon

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Second Phase: Mold + Environmental Pollutant Detox

Products Used (pictured below):

Ortho Molecular Products SAMe

-Greens First pH PM Alkalizer 

-Dr. Recommends Homeopathic Toxinex

Activated Charcoal

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Progress Photo (12/10/17):

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Third Phase: Emotional Healing + Liver Support

-I had a check up biofeedback test at this point which revealed that I was making a TON of progress. My food sensitivities to gluten, dairy, almonds and rice went away. Because of the intense detoxing I had been doing, though, my liver was overwhelmed (stagnation) and it needed some help + support.

-Though I didn’t hold it in my conscious mind, I was dealing with a lot of emotional trauma + sadness, which was manifesting itself throughout my body. I had forgotten how your emotional and mental state can impact your physical health! Amazing. Great reminder. I downloaded several meditation apps and have made it a daily ritual to calm my mind.

Products Used (pictured below):

Livaplex

Immuplex

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-Quicksilver Scientific:

Liposomal Methyl B-Complex

Dr. Shade’s Bitters No. 9

Nanoemulsified DIM

Liposomal Glutathione 

Micellized Pure PC

Activated Charcoal

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Here are the meditation apps I use! I rotate them just to change it up + hear a different guiding voice on the track.

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Progress Photo (1.19.18):

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Progress Photo (2.9.18):

(taken during my period, so feeling a little more inflamed as usual)

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I still have a few weeks left of this last wave of this detox protocol and you can expect me to come back to this post and update it with where I’m at + how I’m feeling.

Thank you for journeying with me and listening to my experience. I sincerely hope it helps guide you if you feel less than your best and gives you hope to keep exploring what tools your body needs to thrive. This trek has been paramount in the big scheme of my life. If you have any specific questions, I’d love to chat! Just comment below.

Make Good Use of Your Pulse,

xoxo

Jes

Now Foods Immersion Event Recap

This post is sponsored by Fitfluential on behalf of NOW Foods.

NOW Foods Immersion Event​

NOW Foods was generous enough to fly out + accommodate a handful of bloggers and writers this year in order to allow us to get a deeper look into how their products are sourced + manufactured + tested + brought to shelves of health food stores all over.

I am at a loss for words on how to best summarize this trip, but I thought it would be the realest + clearest to share notes that I took as the trip transpired. They are essentially bullet point style quotes and factoids. This is how my brain works, so,  this is how I write!

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What stood out the most to me about my experience at NOW Foods was the quality of the people and the mindfulness + attention to detail with production. The neatest thing that blogging has brought me is a priceless set of experiences. I’ve met some incredible people on this trip, and that experience has enriched my life. There’s something about being thrown together with a bunch of people you’ve never met that awakens the human spirit. We gravitate to conversations where we find our commonplace. We feel profoundly connected thru this experience.

The coolest part of that is the staff at NOW Foods was a part of that. It wasn’t just the bloggers that I connected to. It was the people that make up the NOW Foods Team as well.

I think you’ll be able to tell how good of a time we had by these photos….

 

In regards to the quality of NOW Products as a whole (which I’m sure a bunch of you consumers are wondering about!), I felt assured and confident after seeing the rigorous testing that is done on the batches of supplements + food + beauty products that are produced. It’s impressive how much work is put into maintaining clean + pure products when they have such a large number of SKUs.

Perhaps the most profound thought I had in regards to product quality that I wanted to make sure I mentioned in this post was that: having an organic certification stamped on your label is not everything. It’s about: where are these ingredients sourced from + how are they grown + how are they processed? That ultimately dictates what the product ends up being. Not a label. It’s about the care that’s put into the whole sourcing to manufacturing process, from start to finish.

I say this because I know many people may overlook NOW initially because they don’t see the USDA Organic label on the packaging. Well, I’m here to tell you that I have witnessed many brands that throw the word “organic” around, but what they are doing is using that word, but then not practicing it. Whereas there are plenty of products that are not labeled as organic but are tested for pesticide content. Every brand is different, but it’s something to consider.

I am SO excited for the generous boatload of goodies that NOW provided to me (they even shipped it from the event to my home). It’s about $350 in value and loaded with supplements ranging from a Women’s probiotic to a Plant Protein powder to a Blender. The even-better news? They want to give one away to you!

To Enter:

-Just leave me a comment! (That. Is. It!)

Feel free to be funny and creative. You can leave a comment on here or Instagram or Facebook. All are awesomely acceptable!

I will notify the winner on 5/16 (one week from today!)