WANTcast 033: On Cool Girls, Wellness Experiments, and Finding Answers (Without Blowing Your Budget) w/ Phoebe Lapine

WANTcast 033: On Cool Girls, Wellness Experiments, and Finding Answers (Without Blowing Your Budget) w/ Phoebe Lapine

the WANTcast

Today’s guest is Phoebe Lapine, food and health writer, gluten-free chef, wellness personality, culinary instructor, and speaker here in NYC. On her award-winning blog, Feed Me Phoebe, she shares recipes for healthy comfort food and insights about balanced lifestyle choices beyond what’s on your plate. Her newly released book, The Wellness Project, chronicles her journey with Hashimotos Thyroiditis and how she finally found the middle ground between health and hedonism by making one lifestyle change, one month at a time.

You have to be ready to look at your life + lay the bricks for a new way of living -@phoebelapine Click To Tweet

I have got to say that I was on a little reading freeze for a few months – I know – not ideal – and when I received Phoebe’s book I literally read about 150 pages in one sitting. Not only is she such a personal, down-to-earth writer, but she truly makes each chapter, or wellness experiment, so accessible for anyone no matter where they are on their health and happiness journey.

In this episode we talk about why getting a diagnosis by a doctor is only a small part of the equation, fighting for answers without blowing your entire paycheck, the “cool girl” trope in society, living up to other people’s expectations of you and SO MUCH more. Phoebe and I met through a mutual friend (shout out to Leslie!) a couple months ago, and I am so happy to be introducing you to her today.

phoebe lapine

WANT Phoebe:

Listen on iTunes | Play in new window | Download | Support the pod by shopping on Amazon via this link

Show Notes:
Feed Me Phoebe
The Wellness Project
The Wellness Project Tour
The National Gourmet Institute Dinner (scroll down – get tickets!)
All of Phoebe’s Stews

This week’s WANTcast is sponsored by GOOD: A Wellness Festival. GOOD is an all-day event created to ignite your passion for wellness and inspire you to achieve your GOOD life. I’ll be speaking at and MCing GOOD in Los Angeles on February 3rd, 2017 – use code WANT10 to snag $10 off your ticket. I can’t wait to see you there!

 Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more people can hear these stories and lessons), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!


Aspiration, Inspiration: GOOD + My Relationship With Wellness.

Aspiration, Inspiration: GOOD + My Relationship With Wellness.

Body Community Motivation + Inspiration WANT Women

I don’t often post about the events I do or the places I speak. I feel like, for me, it borders on self-indulgent and sets a precedent that I’ll write something about every event I do or place I speak. But I do like sharing with you the ones that spark something new inside me…the ones where I can sense a shift happening. The ones that offer up more than just a recap and some fun photos. The ones that blow my mind.

This weekend, I had the immense honor of speaking at The GOOD Festival, an all-day wellness festival in Philly for anyone wanting to live well and “make choices that are in alignment with their body, their career, and their lives.” Basically, the GOODfest focused on all of the things I love about the wellness industry: the community, the curiosity, and the small choices that end up making a big difference in the long run.

But I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t love everything. A couple years ago, I felt my relationship with the “wellness” community starting to shift. Because wellness was shifting as well. And I didn’t really like much of what I was seeing: elitism, ego, judgement, and a focus on the external WHATs instead of the internal WHYs. Leaders and “gurus” encouraginig spiritual bypass, the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with hard things, was becoming just as if not more common than encouraging spiritual growth.

I felt torn. The wellness world had introduced me to some of my very dearest friends, launched my career, and helped me realize my through line. Heck, if it hadn’t been for the wellness world, I would have never started sharing my writing publicly or be even close to the person I am today (fun fact: my first blogs and first freelance jobs circa 2008 were all in what’s now considered the wellness realm). I owed so much of who I was to the wellness community – and yet I felt like I was watching a genuine and loving best friend get lured in by a Mean Girls-esque squad of crystal-carrying, sage-burning, side-eyeing Regina Georges. All aspiration on the outside and very little inspiration on the inside.

It broke my heart.


I’ve been very vocal about ways I feel the wellness world can shift, and every single WANT Woman that’s been featured on the site or the podcast is a shining example of what wellness can be if we lean into the parts of us that make us unique and let them lead the way. Literally, every single one of them. 

But still. It’s so easy to get caught up in the parade and charade of the opposite end of the spectrum when you’re scrolling through Instagram or reading an article and then all of the sudden it’s 12:42am and you’re paralyzed by fear that you’re not only doing everything wrong, but that your idea of what leadership means in the wellness world is no longer relevant.

One of the reasons GOOD was such a reaffirming experience for me was that it reminded me why I fell in love with wellness in the first place. Wellness, after all, isn’t just about the “well.” It’s not just about the adjective – or rather, the noun we’ve created from the adjective.

It’s about the verb – the “LIVING” part of living well.

“Well” is subjective. We cannot possibly know if what works for one person will work for someone else.


But living? Living is action. Living is experience-oriented.
And living well is…well, it’s moving forward fearlessly into the you you know you’re meant to be.


The GOODfest team blew me (and everyone else there, ps) away with their thoughtfulness and attention to detail. They’d carefully curated the day to reflect their mission and their values, and it showed in not just every single speaker and sponsor, but in all 300+ people who chose to spend their day with us. Deep conversations happened within a matter of seconds – real, no-bs, walls-down conversations – and each time a speaker walked onstage it was like they were being greeted by a room full of old pals.

Speaking of the speakers – the SPEAKERS! Oh my god the speakers. Being a part of this group was a dream come true. Some people were old friends (Jessica Murnane, Katie Dalebout, Jordan Younger), some were new friends (Gianne Doherty, Kristin McGee, Cassandra Bodzak, Sara DiVello, Kimmie Smith), and some I met specifically because we were both speaking at the GOODfest and then one month later we were the best of travel buddies (hi, Talia Pollock). In an industry that can sometimes seem so cliquey and elite, the GOODfest was anything but. It revived my love for wellness; for how *I* view living well. Which is all about being proactive, not reactive, when it comes to how you want to feel. All-around. Mind, body, soul.

Living well is about being proactive, not reactive, when it comes to how you want to feel. - @katiehorwitch Click To Tweet

This post is obviously about the wellness world, but I think this disconnect between aspiration and inspiration applies across industries and even life stages. Maybe your thing is fashion. Maybe it’s academica. Maybe it’s music. Maybe you’re just starting a family, or have been single for a while, or are just about to graduate college or enter empty-nestville. There are so many opportunities for us to doubt that what we’re doing is right or where we are is where we’re supposed to be (yes, social media is a big way we can get triggered into self-doubt).

But what the GOODfest reminded me is that those people who seem to have everything perfectly manicured and are “too cool to care” are in the minority. WE are in the majority. Side by side. No one has it all figured out, but if we join forces in our curiosity, we can explore the options together.

And that’s what I love about wellness: I love the CONNECTION. The community. The willingness to open up and move forward fearlessly…on the same team. We might not know anywhere near everything, but each of us knows something – and when we all work together to both hear and be heard, we’ve got a whole damn lot of options on the table.

Thank you Kate, Jess, Jen, Sienna, Brea, and the rest of the GOOD team for creating a space for women to unlock themselves and fully exhale. To my fellow speakers, I adore every single one of you and am honored to have been in your presence.

When we all work together to both hear + be heard, we've got a whole lot of options on the table. - @katiehorwitch Click To Tweet

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WANTcast 029: On Being Healthy-ish + Building A Brand (And Life) With Lasting, Long-Term Value with Derek Flanzraich of Greatist

WANTcast 029: On Being Healthy-ish + Building A Brand (And Life) With Lasting, Long-Term Value with Derek Flanzraich of Greatist

Body Community the WANTcast Work

Do you ever feel like everyone else is running circles around you while you’re walking through quicksand toward success?

If you’re like me, you’re probably nodding your head vigorously, right? I thought so. Whether it’s business success, achieving that ever-elusive “healthy lifestyle,” or making an impact in the world, the pressure to perform is real.

A lot of times I find myself all tied up in mixed messages: one day someone’s telling me to do what works for me, the next day they’re telling me a $500 supplement is the answer to all my problems. One day I’m encouraged to go slow and steady, the next I’m being sold a recipe for overnight success. My life naturally ebbs and flows – sometimes I’m in periods of fast growth and rapid success, but most of the time it’s about those small shifts or baby steps.

So when  websites, blogs, celebrities, influencers, etc etc etc etc tell me one thing but show me another, it can begin to feel like there’s this pressure to keep up. Especially in the “health and wellness” space.

The one site I have always turned to for no-bs advice that actually works for me and respects who I am is Greatist. It’s a website and media company that truly talks the walk and walks the talk of living a healthy, happy life in a realistic, authentic, true-to-you way. Have a little too much to drink this weekend? That’s cool, we’ll help you feel better. No time for a workout today – like, really, no time? Don’t stress about it. Having trouble at work or making friends as an adult? We feel you. Greatist never judges, has always “been there too,” and never pretends like we need to overhaul our life to make it what we want it to be.

I’ve been die-hard obsessed with Greatist since they launched in 2011 – you’ll hear more about why in today’s episode. I know a lot of brands say they’re all about balance and staying true to yourself…but Greatist is one of the only ones that actually means what they say. It’s not about being the healthiest all the time, it’s about being healthy-ish. And as today’s WANTcast guest told me, it’s not about being the greatest all the time. It’s about working on greatness like an artist works on art. It’s about being a great-ist.

Just like an artist works on art, a greatist can work on being great. -@derekflanz, @greatist Click To Tweet

Derek Flanzraich is an entrepreneur on a mission to give everyone a healthyish attitude. He is the CEO & Founder of Greatist, a next-generation media startup working to make healthy living cool and build the first truly trusted healthy living brand for this generation. Derek’s been building brands and organizations that last since his dog-walking business at 10 years old, so he knows a thing or two about what it takes to create something with long-term value and meaning.

I love our conversation so much. In this episode, Derek and I talk about building a brand that lasts, taking hits and making compromises, and the gaping hole in the health and wellness industry that led Derek to found Greatist. We also talk about the state of masculinity, the future of gender neutrality, the three things anyone can do to live a “healthy-ish” life, and why health and wellness can’t just begin and end with food or exercise.

We had a blast together – he is truly a WANT Man through and through. So down to earth, so genuine, and so the embodiment of this brand he’s created. I mean, anyone that can play Drake-related games with me and not think I’m a crazy person is an A+ human being in my book. Don’t ask. Just take a listen.


Listen in iTunes | Play in new window | Download | Support the WANTcast by shopping on Amazon via this link

Show Notes:
Derek on Twitter
Derek on IG
Greatist Messenger
I Tried to Quit Diet Soda 4 Times. Here’s What Finally Changed My Ways

Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more Derek’s message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!

This Too Shall (Not) Pass: An Open Letter To The Wellness Industry

This Too Shall (Not) Pass: An Open Letter To The Wellness Industry

Community Motivation + Inspiration

When I was twenty one, I made one of the best decisions of my life – a decision I can trace almost everything good in my life back to, from my friendships to my career to my fiancé to my self image. I got certified to teach indoor cycling.

My decision wasn’t so much about my love of fitness as it was my love of how fitness fit into my life at the time. I decided to get my indoor cycling instructor certification for three reasons: One, as a musical theatre actor, I knew I could have a side job wherever my “real” job took me. Two, I wanted to curate a stellar experience I felt was lacking. The classes at my gym played EDM remixes of Broadway musicals, and that was just not okay on so many levels.

And three? I was struggling. I was struggling to learn to love myself, to make peace with a world that seemed to tell me that investing in self-love was selfish and crude. It wasn’t cool yet to become a fitness instructor, and spouting off terms like “athleisure” and “reishi” might as well have been speaking Klingon. The fact that I stuffed spinach into my smoothies was weird enough as is. Now I was venturing into the even weirder world of self-improvement.

But I was fiercely determined to love myself and sort my mess out – and slowly started to notice that I wasn’t the only one. I would side-glance at the people around me, both in and out of the gym, and could tell they were struggling too. How was it that we were so devoted to this idea of “health and wellness,” yet none of us looked like we were healthy or well in any respect?

The dance club remixes kept thumping, the aggressive cueing kept coming, and I knew in my heart the conversation needed to change.


The world has changed a lot since 2007, and so has the wellness industry. No longer is it “weird” to stuff your smoothies with mushrooms and herbs; no longer is it taboo to wear workout clothes to a brunch date. Being a yoga teacher has been named one of the top 100 job opportunities in America. Flower crowns – do I need to say more? It’s now officially hip to be green.

One thing stays the same, though: when asked, almost anyone who is anyone in the wellness industry will say their goal is to inspire others and help change lives for the better.

So here we are. A time in which so many are feeling legitimately terrified for their lives or the lives of their loved ones. For them, it’s not just about job security or economics. It’s not just about the environment (although I do suggest watching Before The Flood, like, ASAP.). This is about the actual safety – and go figure, health and wellness – of human beings. As a woman, as a religious minority, as a citizen of this country, made up of such a diverse quilt of cultures and races and religions and gender identities and backgrounds – I am horribly, borderline-irrevocably, afraid.

Sometimes my fear makes me want to stay inside all day and ignore anything going on outside the walls of my tiny, inviting apartment complex. And yet I, along with so many of my incredible and inspirational colleagues, still get up every morning and do the work we have done every single day we’ve been in this profession. We show up. We witness struggle. We show people how to love – not just others, but themselves.

We show up. We witness struggle. We show people how to love – not just others, but themselves. Click To Tweet

I’m really lucky in that most of the people I know are empathetic to their core and unafraid to dance around the details. But I’ve noticed something interesting: some of the people who are the most peace-promoting in profession are glossing over peace-threatening issues in practice. They focus on proclaiming that now more than ever is the time to be the “kindest people we know” and just wait it out. “This too shall pass,” people have told me.This too shall pass. The words hit me like a kettlebell in the stomach.

Of course I agree that now more than ever is the time to be the “kindest people we know.” But I’d like to suggest that times like these call for way more than just the standard human decency we should all be striving for day after day. Times like these call for us to make actual, tangible changes in our day-to-day lives – seemingly small changes that make a huge impact in the long run. Kind of like diet or fitness. Kind of like any wellness practice.

We can encourage people to meditate. We can educate them on the benefits of sleep and yoga, even methods like bullet journaling and affirmations to manage their feelings. But beyond emotional healing and stress mitigation and telling people to be the kindest people they know, what else is there?

Turns out, a whole freaking lot.


As leaders in the wellness industry, we have a rare and vital opportunity to reach people at their most vulnerable. In fitness, that opportunity comes during moments of hard exertion, or sometimes in the moments of standing firm and staying still. In nutrition, it comes while helping people with one of the most personal things they can do: eat. In holistic and functional medicine, the opportunity lies in exploring the literal aches and pains of the mind and body. And the list goes on: crystal healing, dosha balancing, sensory depravation, etc etc etc. Wellness is about so much more than images of flower crowns and  yoga poses (and don’t get me wrong, I love a good flower crown and yoga pose): people come to us to sort through their struggles, tame their anxieties, and just generally feel better in a consumerist and reactive world that would rather they feel worse. Our jobs are more important now, in this politically charged and divisive time, than they’ve ever been.

We’re lucky that the people who are seeking out wellness-related products, services, communities, or “influencers” are already halfway there when it comes to an inclusive, bold, and proactive mindset. They already know they can be the change they wish to see in the world, and they already know that it’s those tiny-but-mighty tweaks to routine that are the gateway to being that change. Whether it’s meditation or movement, a cardio class or crystals, wellness-minded folks come to us ready to strip themselves of their pretenses and shed what they don’t need anymore in order to start anew. That requires an immense level of vulnerability, which is something we cannot take lightly. Not ever, but particularly not now.

Here’s where I propose we start…

• We must be cognizant of the language we use right now more than ever. Our words can be triggering – shameful even. In fitness, for example, creating a “beginner vs. advanced” mentality between students instead of meeting them where they’re at can make someone feel ashamed of their abilities, or resentful of their body’s limitations. Our students, readers, clients, and followers come to us baring their most vulnerable selves in the heat of the moment. Things like sweating at a high intensity, lying still with closed eyes, being open to alternative ways of living…those are vulnerable things to do! The language we use during these vulnerable moments – which are made even more fragile by the current political climate – can close someone off, open someone up, or even change the course of someone’s life.

We have a responsibility to use language that not only uplifts – that should be a given – but softly urges people to be proactive way after they leave their class, complete their session, end their meal, or finish their daily reads. We must urge them to be proactive, not reactive in their choices. We must not only help them feel powerful, but help them realize that feeling power is only productive if you DO something meaningful with it. We must remind them that even though they might have come into the room alone, they are surrounded by a team that has got their back – and they have the opportunity to do the same for others in turn.

• We must show a wide range of images of what it physically looks like to live well. Wellness has been popularized by the image of a lithe, privileged, upper-class white woman. I remember speaking to an editorial team about this once and urging them to publish more diverse images on their channels. They argued that mostly white women ran their platforms, so it only made sense these would be the images they gravitated toward. It “wasn’t ideal,” but it was “just the way things were.”


We must, must, MUST NOT loop wellness into a bubble of white privilege for only the size-2-and-under set. We must, must, MUST show more diverse images in our publications and use more diverse models as the face of our products. And we must, must, MUST not bill these instances as special occasions or campaigns, because the second we do that is the second we reinforce the idea of “the other.” From body image to skin color, men and women now more than ever need to actually see that wellness is for everyone and know that they are part of the rule, not the exception.

• We must provide people with a wide variety of ways to live well that can work for any lifestyle – not just the wealthy and socially/culturally privileged. Most of us aren’t living the life of the “wellness high society,” as I like to call them: people who can afford multiple holistic treatments per week, buy thousands of dollars of special powders and supplements to live their best life, and have transformed their backyards into what are basically small farms (or even have backyards to begin with!). I’m not against any of these things, for the record – they’re just not realistic for the majority of people out there, whether in a big city in Los Angeles or a small town almost entirely off the grid. In our practices and preachings (although I’m using that term figuratively; hopefully no one’s “preaching at” anyone), we’ve got to take into account the entirety of the human experience and not just the bubbles that look like the ones in which we live. We must use not only the words and the images that are inclusive and encouraging, but the call-to-ACTIONS that not only take all kinds of high highs and low lows into account, but above all else promote being proactive, not reactive; inclusive, not exclusive. We must seek out, actively seek out, viewpoints other than our own, because we all know that living truly WELL in body, mind, and spirit means not assuming that one way is the right way for all times and for all people. Living well is about finding what works for you. And in order to help people find what works for them, we must show, time and time again, that there is more than one option.

• We must use our art as activism. If you’re in the wellness industry, chances are you’re using some sort of artistry to build your business. Writing. Cooking. Speaking. Healing. Teaching. So many ways in which wellness and creativity intersect – and so many ways you can get creative when it comes to promoting change. Behind the scenes, you can be writing letters and making calls to your government officials. Or better yet, why not host a letter writing evening and mix in whatever you do – yoga, bootcamp-style fitness class, meditation, natural beauty demos – to give the night a personal touch and fun flair, then donate proceeds to a cause you care about? Maybe you can publicly use/promote businesses led by women and minorities. If you’re a writer, you can be writing poetry or op-eds or interviews or essays and and share them on social media or your blog or even Medium if you’re a bit shy about posting personal things directly on your platform. You can listen to podcasts that talk about diverse issues, and use them as inspiration for your next project. Maybe it’s as simple as admitting you don’t know about certain issues or experiences, and then seeking out another artist or person in your field to help educate your community on those issues or experiences. Both art and activism are made even more powerful when there’s collaboration involved.


Contrary to popular belief, activism isn’t always loud and in-your-face. Activism isn’t always protests or rallies. And if your brand of activism doesn’t fall into one of those two categories – or makes its impact on the mat instead of in the street – I am here to reassure you: it is still activism.

Some environments will allow for more “activism” than others. Sometimes special events are the way to go (for fitness classes, perhaps), sometimes the topics at hand call for immediate and direct attention on the regular (meditation, maybe), sometimes it’s best to choose one issue and hone in (say, when you’re devising an editorial calendar or working with other companies). It’s all about the brand you’re choosing to build. Everyone and every avenue is different. The important thing to remember is that if we stand for everything, we stand for nothing. Seeing all sides of a situation is important and is one thing, but not standing up for the values you hold to be true is another – no matter who you are or what you value. I’m not suggesting we ridicule our readers or force our political opinions on our followers. None of that ever works – and probably isn’t the best idea when part of our job description is to help people (anyone) live well. We can, however, actively seek out ways to speak inclusively and build empathy. Most of us already do. Now it’s time to kick it into overdrive. When we help others tap into (and act upon) their very human, but oft ignored, innate empathetic sensors – we all win.

When we help others tap into (and act upon) their innate empathetic sensors, we all win. Click To Tweet

Whether you are a writer, an instructor, a teacher, a healer, a doula, a nutritionist, a designer, a marketing whiz, a CFO, a juice company, a minimalist guru, a wellness center staff member, a yoga studio owner, a chef, a sound bath master, a meditation guide, an actor, a “personality,” or simply just someone who preaches the wellness gospel to your own inner circle – this too shall not pass.

Right now is the time to take action.

Right now is the time to do things differently.

We say that our goal is to inspire others, to help change people’s lives for the better so they can truly live well. Right now, more than ever, is the time to make that happen.



WANT Yourself:

These are only a few thoughts on how we can be of service in the wellness industry. But what about you?

Whether you’re a teacher/professional or a devotee, what are some ways you’ve found your brand of activism under the umbrella of wellness? Share this post, or leave a comment below – I would LOVE to hear. You might inspire another reader to make change happen in their own way.

(p.s. – thank you for the difference you make!)

The WANT Women: Jessica Murnane On Determination, Dysmorphia, And The Power Of Drake

The WANT Women: Jessica Murnane On Determination, Dysmorphia, And The Power Of Drake

Body Community WANT Women Work

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.

My body is- important, but does not

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

How you’d know me (occupation or role): My website jessicamurnane.com or the One Part Podcast or that girl that is always talking about plant-based food.

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’)!

To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us one thing you love about yourself and why. Extra entries if you follow Jessica Murnane and WANT on Instagram – just leave a comment saying you did.

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