The WANT Women: Jessica Murnane On Determination, Dysmorphia, And The Power Of Drake
Online-friend offline hang-outs are kind of like blind dates. Except you actually know a pretty good deal about that person, and you’ve already developed a shorthand and tone. But just like blind dates, you have no clue if that tone will translate in real life. What if she doesn’t like me? What if I’m not what she expected? What if we have nothing to talk about without the internet as a buffer?
Simply put: Jessica Murnane is a COOL cool chick. So cool, in fact, I was a bit nervous to meet her.
As the brand genius behind the sassy, soulful wellness site JessicaMurnane.com (formerly One Part Plant), author of not one but two plant-based cookbooks (A Year Of Cookies and A Year Of Breakfast – read on to win the latter!), and host of the wildly popular One Part Podcast, which features entrepreneurs and creatives of all types dishing on the fun stuff, the tough stuff, and everything in between – she’s got that wellness-cool thing going on without a stitch of pretentiousness or elitism.
I mean, the girl loves rap music and the NBA just as much as she loves roasted veggies and Louise Hay. Her brand (based on the premise that change doesn’t have to be all or nothing, it’s about working through things one part at a time) has a cult following, her weekly podcast is binge-worthy, and she’s maybe one of the best I’ve seen at responding to her readers and followers with a personalized touch (I know it can be easy to fall into the trap of a generic “Thanks!’ response on the internet).
Jessica is one of those people I’d follow online and think, I bet we’d be friends in real life. So when she asked me to be on her podcast, I flipped. And when she was in town last month, I minorly freaked.
What if she doesn’t like me? What if I’m not what she expected? What if we have nothing to talk about without the internet as a buffer?
Fast forward and in-person Jessica is just as COOL-cool-chick as online Jessica, if not cooler. Like, you can both cry-snort-laugh with her and dig into the deep stuff kind of cool.
Jess’s generosity and her openness about topics like her struggle with endometriosis, how and why a plant-based way of eating can work wonders, her choice to adopt, etc are just a part of who she is at her core; the way she listens so intently and asks all the right questions in her interviews is just the way she’s wired.
Jessica Murnane is all-inclusive, down-to-earth, and proof that you can make a life (and career) out of living well on your own terms. I am so proud to introduce you to her.
Name: Jessica Murnane
What I love about myself (and why): I love that I’m a good connector of people. One of my most favorite things in the world is to bring new people together that I know will hit if off or getting to share another person’s story to inspire others.
What is your definition of “positivity?”: To be able to look ahead at the day and know that you’re going to try your best, no matter what happens.
When did you start to love yourself – did you have a self-love “turning point?”
Wow. I think it’s always a work in progress. There are certain days that I need to work harder on loving myself. But I’ve come so far that even my “off” days are pretty great compared to the way I used to feel.
I suffered pretty severely from body dysmorphic disorder – brushing my teeth in the dark, avoiding mirrors, but then the next day obsessing over my reflection, wearing crazy makeup and clothes to draw attention away from my face, and just straight up not wanting to leave the house. It’s crazy, because I’ve always been a really social person and was always surrounded by people – but no one ever knew my secret.
As I got older and found a therapist I loved, things began to get a lot better in my late 20s. But I truly feel that my “turning point” to loving and accepting myself more came when I changed to a plant-based diet. Everything changed. Feeding my belly with good things, made my brain feel better too. It’s weird how it’s all connected – but I truly believe it is. I am happiest I’ve ever been and even if I don’t have perfect-love-yourself days…I have come such a long way that I feel proud.
How/where negative talk shows up in my life: Negative talk seems to rear its ugly head when I’m not taking care of myself the way I need to – working out consistently, taking my Vitamin D, and skipping meals. The negative thoughts start creeping in and I know it’s time that I need to get back to my wellness routine. My routine works like a big honking bodyguard to my brain – protecting it from those trifling words getting anywhere near me. Oh, and the winters in Chicago. Sometimes my bodyguards aren’t strong enough to fight off a Chicago winter.
When I talk negatively about myself, it’s usually…when I’m running late. Always when I’m running late.
When others talk negatively about themselves…I try not to encourage them. I’ll always present something positive to counter what they’re saying or ask if I can help. If they don’t bite, don’t actually want to make changes, or are just complaining to complain – I try to shift the conversation. It’s not that don’t have compassion for them, I just know from my own experience, that most times there’s nothing you can say to help change someone else’s negative talk. They have and want to make the change in themselves.
It baffles me that women still…gossip about lame ass shit that doesn’t matter.
I wish that more women…would remember social media (Instagram, looking at you) isn’t always the full story. We do a great job at comparing our lives to people we don’t even know…their clothes, vacations, elaborate plates of food. When really we know nothing about them. They could have their own host of problems we don’t even know about. Gotta stop comparing so much.
The coolest thing about women is…our resilience.
My favorite way to shift a negative into a positive: I think “this will be a really great story in a few months!”
My top female role models: I know a lot of people usually choose celebrities and famous people for their role models – but I’m gonna have to go with my friends and sisters. My strong ass friends are my role models: Marina Birch, Liz Kores, Kristen Hayes. My sisters Alissa Ramsay, Kellie Murnane, and Abbey Grissom. These women are some of the strongest people I’ve ever met. I can’t believe what some of them have done and experienced in their lives. Oh! And every woman I have interviewed on my podcast has inspired me like no other.
Men can help women crush their negative talk patterns by…giving women compliments that have nothing to do with their looks. Tell a woman how much you love her sense of humor or how she’s the hardest worker you know. Something that feels a little more meaningful than, “you look hot”.
Favorite negativity-busting activity: Actually saying “STOP IT” out loud to myself. This generally works best when I am home alone and not on the train or in a public place!
Fave self-love ritual: Taking time to care for myself and feeling an ounce of guilt about it. Getting a haircut, taking a super long walk, playing hooky from work and hanging out in my pajamas all day.
Favorite feel-good food(s): My feel-good foods are so different than they were before. My feel-good foods used to be comfort foods that actually ended up making me feel bad (ice cream, pizza, gummy candies). Now, I treat myself to giant bowls of plants with awesome sauces or a giant scoop of almond butter on some celery can make my heart feel so happy. I can’t believe I just typed that. Celery is a feel-good food to me now?! Kind of awesome.
Favorite movie(s) to watch when I’m feeling down: If it has the word “romantic” and “comedy” together…I’m in. I really only watch movies that are happy. If I have to cover my eyes because it’s scary, violent, or sad – it’s just not worth watching it. By the way, if there are any filmmakers reading this – can you please make more happy movies?
Favorite empowering book(s): I love the book Daily Rituals. It’s not exactly a business or self-help book, but it’s really made me feel more comfortable and confident about the way that I work and go about my day. I also love Louise Hay – Heart Thoughts. A lot of mornings I’ll just open to a random page and read a mantra. And it’s usually the exact one I needed.
My feel-good playlist: It would involve some Drake, some dirty South hip-hop, some weird Euro DJ music that I won’t ever remember the name of…basically anything that has a good beat that gets makes me want to dance or put on my running shoes.
Advice I would give my…
- …4 year old self: Keep doing you.
- …14 year-old self: All that acne WILL go away. Boys WILL get cooler (you’ll actually marry the coolest one of them all). And eventually you WILL learn how to take care of that unibrow.
- …24 year old self: Don’t feel so defeated – this won’t be your only career (you’ve got three more ahead of you and that’s ok). And embrace those boobies…let them out more!
5 Things, personal or professional, on my bucket list:
- Make enough money that I’m able to share more with others that need it.
- Write a book.
- Have my One Part Plant restaurant program partner with an airline and sports stadium.
- Take a two week vacation with no email or phone. Ok, a month. If we’re talking Bucket List here – sky’s the limit!
- Figure out how to make my Grandma’s Scotharoos (her famous dessert) planty
My best tip on self love: Something my dad taught me. When you’re not feeling your best– write a list of ten things in your life that you are grateful for. Once, during a very low point in my life – my dad sent me a list about my life to me. It was a game changer. I still have it.
When I truly love all of myself…I talk a mile a minute and bounce around the house. I’m totally wired with energy from the love.
Right now, I am most excited about…my new son, Sid. He is the kindest most special boy I have ever met (besides his poppa). I love being a mom more than I ever imagined.
My body is: important, but does not define who I am.
Three words to describe me: determined, determined, determined
Current mantra: You got this.
WIN A COPY OF A YEAR OF BREAKFAST! Love breakfast at all times of the day just as much as Jessica and I do? One lucky WANT reader will win a digital copy of Jessica’s newest book, A Year Of Breakfast, to help you create all kinds of plant-based breakfast concoctions in your own kitchen (hello french toast, how you doin’)!
One winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway closes Friday, April 17th at 5pm P.S.T. and winner will be announced in the comments. Good luck, WANT women (and men)!
Photo credit: Eva Deitch