Ep. 152: Listener Q&A – Part 3: Business + Mindset

Fed & Fit
Fed & Fit

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On today's episode, I'm answering your questions about mindset, cooking, Gus, and business.

Fed and Fit podcast graphic, episode 152 listener q and a part 3 business and mindset with Cassy Joy

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Episode 152 Sponsors

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Episode 152 Transcription

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Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia. And I am thrilled to be back again this week. If you are new here, welcome. Every once in a while; gosh, once in a blue moon. I cannot say once in a while, because I think this may be the second time I’ve done this in the history of this podcast. 152 episodes in. So once in a blue moon, we will do a listener Q&A.

And this last round, being the second time I’ve done it in the history of this podcast, y’all submitted so many wonderful questions. And I am apparently very long winded that we had to break it up into several parts. So we’re back with part three of this listener Q&A. And I’m thrilled to get into it. So I’ll just go ahead and jump right in.

If you missed the first two parts, just to rewind really quickly. We talked about pregnancy, pregnancy fitness, postpartum, and baby. And todays we’re going to dive into some of your business questions. Some cooking questions. Fitness. Just overall fitness. Gus, and mindset. And then next week; not next week. Several weeks from now we’ll round it all out. We’ll chat about nutrition and safer skin care.

Alrighty, let’s jump in. This first question is a business question from Janie Taylor. And she said, “I just started listening to your podcast, and was surprised to learn you actually started with a cohost! When did you make the switch to host it solo, and why?” Charissa! Yeah, she was my cohost. This podcast would not have existed if it hadn’t been for Charissa. She; let’s see. If you rewind, I think we recorded a good; I think we made it into the 50s. I don’t know how many episodes we recorded together.

But she is a friend of mine, and came up to me one day. We were at PaleoFx and she said; Cassy, why don’t you have a podcast? And I think my response was; what? Me? I didn’t even know I could do one. She’s like, I think you should! And I was so nervous about doing a podcast at first because it felt like I needed someone to give me permission to do it. But she saw some potential in it. She is one of those people that is so gifted at really just identifying; seeing what other folks don’t see and seeing really cool opportunities. So she put that on me, told me to think about.

She said; if it would make you more comfortable, I’d love to host it with you. And of course I did not want to go into it alone at first. So that’s what we did. We started off hosting together, and got our feet wet. Dipped our toe into the pool little by little. And it was really wonderful. I had a great time hosting with her. And as time went on, it became more apparent that the podcast was less of a news outlet and more of really focused on the content of Fed and Fit. And as she was growing her separate career path, it just started to form a very natural Y in the road, so to speak.

So we did; we parted ways. And we’re still wonderful. I still wish her the best. We keep in touch whenever possible. But it just got to that point where it made sense. So anyways, that’s kind of why, without going into all the details. Because to be honest, I really can’t remember all the details. It was a while ago. But it was just one of those things, it just made sense to part ways at that time.

And I found; I was really nervous about hosting it solo, actually to be honest. Because I’m an extrovert, and I really like talking with people. And it intimidated me. But for some reason, if I give myself just about 30 minutes, I can knock it out. But I still weave in as many interviews as possible. So it just kind of worked. The show evolved and took on a life of its own.

OK, Chelsea’s Clean Kitchen asks, “How did you increase followers on your blog? How long did it take? Any first steps to ease into it? I’m in the shouting into the abyss stage that everyone always talks about.”

Oh, gosh girl. I’ve been there. You know, this may not be the most helpful answer in the world. I’m going to give you a not helpful answer, and then I’m going to try to give you a helpful answer {laughs}.

So the not helpful answer is to tell you about my personal experience. And my personal experience was I started my blog without the intention of increasing followers. It really, truly never occurred to me that people would want to know more about what I was saying. I really thought I was putting it out there so my parents could follow along, and so the relatives and friends who were asking me what I was doing. Because I just seemed like I came into myself. I got really healthy, and I became a much more vibrant version of myself. And they wanted to know what I was eating and what I was doing. So I thought; well this is a good outlet for it. I’ll start one of those website things! {laughs}

And a friend of mine, Jenna Bow. She is the blogger over at Eat, Live, Run. I knew her many moons ago. I was in California when she lived up in Northern California, and I was there for Thanksgiving. I remember I made this kale and pomegranate salad. The recipe is on the blog. And I was kind of in that same transition. But she originally planted the seed. I had taken her some of that salad, and I remember her saying; this is so good. You should share this recipe online. I thought; really, you think? Is it that good? She said yeah! She gave me some of her cranberry bread. I don’t know why I remember that. It was really good cranberry bread. Anyway, you guys should look up EatLiveRun.com. She’s a wonderful, now mom, of two little boys. And she’s pregnant with her third. She’s just lovely.

Anyway, she planted that seed. And that’s kind of what I did. She planted the seed to share this recipe. And then people were asking me what I was doing, so I just started it as an outlet. Almost as a diary online. And it evolved over time. How did I increase followers? I think it really happened organically, and very, very slowly. So that’s the not helpful piece, because I didn’t mean to grow followers, it just happened. And then all of a sudden I had a demand online, and I needed to give it more attention. So I gave it my fulltime attention.

And then so to speak I, not actually, but in a sense I went hungry a little bit. I was like; I have to jump in, and I have to take this job. I have to take the job of doing Fed and Fit full time. And I jumped in. And I told Austin, my husband now. And I was like; I just need to eat beans and rice for a little bit to see if I can make something out of this thing. And when I gave it my fulltime attention, and I started really pouring into building content and providing answers, it started to respond. But it wasn’t that I was trying to get followers; I was trying to provide more solutions. If that makes any sense.

Now, the more actionable advice that I have, if you're trying to grow a blog and you're really trying to make a business out of it. It feels like you're making it out of nothing, right? You just create a space online and you start feeding it with information. Shouting into the abyss, so to speak, like you just said.

A couple of tips I have are; number one, hold yourself accountable to a schedule. And I’ve said this before on the podcast for folks who were asking for blog advice. But hold yourself and honor a schedule. And I have, admittedly, not been very good about that. I was not great about that until I went full time with Fed and Fit. But you can be better than me. {laughs}

Russ Crandall does a great job. And I don’t remember what days the; what is it? The Domestic Man? Oh, no. I got his website wrong. I have to Google it. Russ Crandall; look him up that way. But I remember he always posts a brand new recipe on Tuesday, for example, and I think another day of the week. But you know that you can go to his website every Tuesday and find a brand new recipe.

Like you guys know; you can come to my podcast and find a new episode every Monday. That inspires people to stop by and check out what you’ve got going on. Because it’s not going to be a waste of time, right? It’s not going to be wasted if they dial into your website or pull up your podcast to see if you have a new episode. Sure, they’re only losing 0.7 seconds, but it means something to be able to provide something to folks that they can learn to depend on expect. So set a schedule.

I currently post; I post a lot. But like I said, it’s my fulltime job. And it’s other people’s fulltime job. A couple of folks working with Fed and Fit now. So we post on Monday, we post a new recipe every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. And then every once in a while, we’ll do a lifestyle piece on either a Friday or a Saturday. And we send out a newsletter every Friday. And consistency is key with that. You don’t have to be as nuts as we are with posting so often. But consistently posting on a schedule really, really helps.

So I would say pick a day on the calendar that you always post. You know that you can hold yourself to one blog post a week. Pick a day and honor that. And then get people expecting; every Thursday, my new post goes up. And then you can start to get creative if you want to add more to your calendar. Every Thursday, I post a recipe and every Monday, I post an inspirational letter, open letter kind of deal. So set yourself up on a schedule.

Next; ask if you can guest post on people’s websites. Especially folks who are kind of right around where you are in your business, or maybe a little bit further along. Those are the best ones to reach out to. But ask if you can do a guest post. Really work in your photography. Work on your writing skills. Work on your recipe development so that you're adding real, great value to your website. But offer to guest post; that widens your audience. I would say those are two really good places to start.

And then, as far as what to write about. Talking about gaining follows organically; what I mean by that is I wasn’t putting bait out. I don’t put bait in the water. I don’t put clickbait, for example. That’s what they call it! {laughing} I’m sitting here thinking I’m making up a new analogy, and it actually exists. Clickbait! That’s what they call it! I’m not dropping bait into the water wanting people to latch on and then subscribe to my website.

For example, there’s an opt-in on my website. You can get the Cook Once, Eat All Week entire eBook. There’s five weeks’ worth of meal prep series. In order to get that download, you sign up for my newsletter. You submit your email address. And that helps us stay in touch. But it’s not like I created the eBook because I wanted your email address. We created the eBook and that resource because we saw a need, and we wanted to provide a service, and we wanted to provide a solution. Right?

So you kind of have to change the way you're thinking. It’s not about gaining followers. It’s not about gaining emails or about getting more traffic. It’s about “How can I best serve the folks who are here. How can I reach them the best? So I need your email address so I can reach you and provide you with more content that I’m working on that I believe will continue to serve you well.

How do I serve these people as best as I can? And it will grow. It’s cheesy to say it, but if you build it, they will come. It is so true. If you keep spoiling the folks. Even if you have 12 visitors a day. Gosh darn it, spoil the heck out of those 12 visitors. Really provide them with wonderful content. And it will happen. It will just continue to grow.

And then lastly, I apparently have a lot to say about this. {laughs} Lastly, when it comes to writing things on the internet. Whether it’s a recipe that you're putting up, you're developing. Whether it’s a podcast that you're drafting. Or a mindset topic, or a science article, or whatever it is. Whatever you choose to write, write what you would want to read on the internet. Don’t write what you think other folks want to read.

What I mean by that is; if you would sit down and Google this. Or if you would look it up and find something, like a mindset topic. If you would find that compelling and inspiring, write that. Write what you find compelling. Don’t write what you think the rest of the world wants to read. And write it so that you do find it compelling.

I tend to write very creatively. When I was working on my book, Fed and Fit, my first book, the editors {laughs} were wonderful people. We have great relationships. But I tend to write very conversationally. I put a lot of “you know?” and question marks, and I answer questions that I just asked. And that works for me, because I find that compelling. That’s what I would want to read. Anyway, I encourage you to do that. I hope that was not too confusing of an answer.

Next question; J. Daugherty 2 asks, “Was it hard transitioning to a paleo/gluten free lifestyle. I’m curious to try new recipes, but not sure if the taste would be hard to get used to.”

Whoo. That’s a good question. I have to rewind the clock. You know what was hard; the hard part of transitioning to a paleo/gluten-free lifestyle is breaking addictions to sugar. That was probably the hardest part. And I mean sugar addiction; all refined foods are kind of there. But breaking addictions; I would say the hard part was breaking addictions, period. Of those addictions, there was an addiction to sugar. There was an addiction to comfort food. Food that I thought I was eating; like, you know what, I had a bad day and I’m going to go ahead and order a giant pizza and I’m going to eat it all. Right? It was comforting. It was a no-brakes food for me.

So breaking some of those addictive behaviors that I had; that was the hard part. The food itself was actually my savior in that process. Because I’m a foodie, and I love delicious things. The fact that I could make something that was so delicious that was actually good for me was so helpful.

So the flavors I was all about. For example, ranch dressing is always in my refrigerator. Because if I happen to; let’s say I make a steak and I accidentally make it; I grill it too long and it’s really dry and not that great, I’ll get out a little healthy fat homemade ranch dressing, and that really helps it. Homemade sauces. Those kinds of things really helped me a lot. So I would stock up your refrigerator with a chimichurri or ranch dressing, some buffalo sauce, or barbecue sauce. A sauce or two that you find you really like, and use it liberally.

Use fresh herbs a lot. Roast your vegetables. That helps deepen the flavor, instead of sitting there feeling like a bunny rabbit chewing on a raw carrot all the time. You can really make complex, wonderful, delicious foods that happen to accidentally be good for you. And that’s always been my goal in recipe developing. Because that’s what helped me when I did this transition that you're asking about. Was I needed food not to feel like punishment. I needed it to feel like just a delicious meal. I didn’t need to be reminded that I was changing my diet. Right? I just wanted to sit down and have delicious food. So that’s always been my goal in creating recipes.

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Cassy Joy: Ok next. A. Morris 920 asks; “What are your top three paleo-friendly cookbooks?”

Well, I’m going to play favorites, because they’re my friends! {laughs} They’re the ones that I use a lot. Let’s see; Vanessa Barajas wrote Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, and it’s absolutely one of my favorites. And I use it often. You guys; she put in the work for that book. I am not a baker because it’s hard. Maybe it’s because I’m just too lazy. But really, for the very few pastry type recipes that you’ll find on Fed and Fit, I had to work so hard for those. I had to work really hard, and tested them a lot.

Vanessa worked really hard on her recipes. She just really stuck with it, and filled an entire book. The cupcakes are fabulous, the cakes are fabulous. If you're looking for a grain free but decadent type recipe for desserts, and some savories, I highly recommend you check it out. That’s one of my favorites.

Juli Bauer; PaleOMG. Her last book; all of her books are lovely. But she and I have very similar, I think, recipe styles. And we really like food to be good. Give me a bowl with a protein, a veggie, maybe a little starch, and some sauce and I’m happy. And she just does that. She makes a lot of casseroles. I love that. Her flavors are always on point.

Let’s see; who else do I really love. The Urban Poser is another one of my favorites. She wrote, Jenni Hulet, she wrote My Paleo Patisserie. And similar to Vanessa’s book, it’s a pastry book, obviously. But Jenni is another one of those people who just put so much attention and love and detail into perfecting her recipes. It’s awe inspiring. She came up with a choux dough; I think I’m saying that right. {laughs} But she made an éclair. A grain free éclair. It’s incredible. And baguettes, and all these wonderful things. So that’s another book that I find myself using a lot.

Ok, Real Food Y’all says, “Do you let your skillet heat up and then add oil/butter, or do you let the skillet heat up with the oil/butter already in it? I’ve seen causes made for both sides, and I’m at a loss as to what is right. Or even if there is a right with this!”

I like this question. My answer is I’m a little bit of a hippie in the kitchen. Sometimes I let it heat up, and sometimes I don’t. Honestly, it all depends on what I grab first. If I grab the skillet first, it goes on, and I turn the heat on, and then I go get the butter out of the fridge. Or if I have the butter first, I’ll put it in the pan and turn the skillet on. I would say more times than not, I heat up the skillet first then add the butter. Mostly because I feel like it’s a faster process, even though it’s not.

I don’t think; I really don’t believe that there’s a right answer. Thinking about the cooking process; you could probably really get into the details and argue nitty gritty points, but I really don’t think it matters that much. I say do what makes your heart happy.

Ok, Real Food Y’all also asked, “I’m pregnant and due in May. I plan on making a bunch of freezer meals. What are your top three freezer meal recipes?”

I would say those burritos. Those freezer breakfast burritos on my blog. Those were a huge lifesaver for me, because we could just pull out a burrito, defrost it, and have breakfast. That was a big on. Casseroles freeze so well. The buffalo chicken casserole, barbecue chicken casserole. Those kinds of ones. There’s a Cuban pork casserole more recent on my blog. Those do really well frozen meals. And then I would say some sort of a soup or stew. Pick your favorite. The most recent, what was it; paleo minestrone soup. That was wonderful. We ate that a lot. And of course, soups and stews always freeze really well. So does chili.

Ok, Jennifer K. Moran asks. “Do you exercise every day? How much and how long?” You know, I don’t right now because I’m just coming back from postpartum. But I did. I’ll rewind back before baby, because if you want to listen about my fitness routine with and since baby, listen to the last two episodes. Or part one and part two of this Q&A series.

Before baby, my fitness routine was; I liked to go to CrossFit three to four times a week. And then I really liked going to a Saturday morning ashtanga yoga class. That’s my favorite type of yoga. So I would get in between four and five workouts a week. I really like classes. I really don’t know what I’m doing in a gym, and I really like having an instructor. Especially for accountability purposes. It just works best for my type of personality. So that’s what I would do, and it worked really well for me. I hope I answered that question.

Amber Fladeger asks; I hope I said your name right. “Does Gus bark at all the things all the time? My Great Pyrenees sure does. Any tips on that?”

Gus is kind of a more quiet Pyr. His sister, June, who was adopted from the same litter and lives with my sister, Kimberly. June is much more vocal. And I don’t know if that’s a girl/boy thing. Because clearly, we only have two data points in our family; one boy and one girl. But that’s the only variable I can really draw to it.

June barks at everything all the time. And that’s just kind of the way she’s made. Maybe the girls are just a little bit more protective. That’s not fair; I don’t want to hurt Gus’s feelings! {laughing} Like he’s going to listen to this. But he’s very protective, and he will bark if somebody creepy is at the door. Or if it’s in the middle of the night and he needs to go bark at the moon real quick. Because Pyr’s are nocturnal.

But if you're looking for tips on it; oh man, again. I might sound a bit like a hippie, but we just roll with it. I just let Gus bark. It doesn’t really bother us. We’re around miniature schnauzer’s a lot. Which, if you're familiar with the breed, are very vocal, and I just think it’s cute. I just like it when they talk so I may not be the best to ask.

Mad Black Mon asks, “Was there any specific thing that sparked your health journey? Any specific lightbulb moment where you were like; I need to make some changes, now.”

Yes! So, I guess it’s been a while since I’ve really shared my health journey. But one of the biggest ones was; well, this is hard. This is hard to really pinpoint because there were several things. It’s never really just one thing to make you want to do something different.

I was gaining weight in college, and that made me want to diet. Right? I wanted to lose weight, and I didn’t really understand what real health was or what a role nutrition played. But I was all in on the diet. I was just ready to slim down, right? This was really before I had a good grasp on a healthy mindset. And I struggled with body image back then.

So I wanted to lose weight in college, because I kept gaining it. But I started to also have pretty severe knee and hip pain. And I thought that that was pretty normal. I just thought; well, I’m just going to have joint pain. This is just me! Welcome to my young to early 20s. I’m just always going to be this way. So I kind of wrote it off. And I started dieting.

And to be honest, I first turned to paleo… At the very beginning, I did kind of a Zone deal, because it was another diet to try. But this one started to make me feel better. And that’s when I really wanted to dive into more of the research. And I built myself what essentially turned into a true paleo-type protocol.

My “that’s it! “moment was I was tired of dieting. I was tired of throwing myself into these restrictive protocols. I think I did; gosh, I did so many diets I’ve lost track now. I think I’ve got it written down somewhere. But I did all the diets. They all worked momentarily, and then I bounced right back. And I got really fed up with it.

So when I really was ready to put my thinking cap on, so to speak, and figure out a plan that worked for me, what I call now the Perfect You Plan, as a part of the Fed and Fit Project. When I started to pursue that is when I felt like really peace washed over me and I was ready to just do it.

Ok, Alyssa two-bite says, “I have enjoyed your existing mindset content from the book and podcast, but is there anything new or different now that you're a mama and life has changed?”

Mindset wise, not really. Man. I mean, so far. Graysen is only 2.5 months old. So it’s really hard to say. I’m sure things will continue to evolve and change. But things are different because I am not as rigorous with what shoes up on my plate and how often I exercise as I was before. Because at this stage, while we’re thinking about; I’m trying to support a really healthy, gradual, slow postpartum process and I’m also trying to make sure that my body stays really as fertile as possible. I don’t want to throw off my hormones. I’m being very careful of not overextending myself with diet and exercise. So that piece of it, I’m just much more cautious, maybe, than I was before we wanted to start a family. But overall, things have been very consistent.

She also asked, “What are your favorite mindset resources, books, framework strategies, that have changed your thinking and impacted your life?”

Oh, another good question. And this isn’t going to be a very helpful answer, but I’ll make good on it. My mentors, actually. I cannot credit my mindset and my outlook to any program, any book, or anything. It’s just something I’ve collected over time. And my mentors; my personal mentors have poured into me. And those are the ones that have really impacted my outlook.

A couple of those, of course, are my mom and my dad. They’re phenomenal people, and they have been my coaches all along. And I’ve actually recently talked about them coming on the podcast. We can play a little mini-mentorship session with them.

Ok, Erin Emily 86 asked, “What is the biggest thing that Gray has taught you this far?” Oh, gosh. The biggest one that she’s taught me, and it really freaks me out to be completely honest, is that life is so short. And I don’t think I’m going to cry, but I could, talking about this.

Looking at her; this is a really honest moment. Looking at her eyes, and holding my daughter in my arms, it just makes me realize that it’s so fleeting. Until I had a baby, I really didn’t realize how short life is. And how quickly it can go by. And I don’t mean; babies grow up so fast! That’s not the part that has me a little rattled. It’s the fact that now I realize; I was a baby. I don’t know how to put this into words. I feel like it wasn’t that long ago that I had my childhood. Right? And the things that she’s going to experience, and grow into, and mature, god willing. They’re going to be really soon for her. And it feels like yesterday for me that I was there, and I had my childhood. And I look at my parents; and they must feel like it was yesterday that they were in my shoes. Oh, I am going to cry! {laughs}

But I think about where my parents are. They’re grandparents. Goodness, gracious, they’re where my grandparents were when I was a baby! It’s just so interesting to see these generations grow up into the different stages. It’s not permanent. And it reminds me to really appreciate every stage and not take it for granted. It’s beautiful. But gosh, it’s just too good. I wouldn’t be this emotional about it if life weren’t so sweet.

I’ve got to change the topic so I don’t bubble all over you guys. Kathy EE asked; “Are you truly that happy all the time?” {laughs} I just cried, what a funny question to ask right after that. “Are you truly that happy all the time? Do you ever get depressed?” Oh my gosh, of course I get. I have bad days, I have grumpy days. I have days when I have to apologize to my husband a lot. I have days when I don’t want to apologize to my husband, but I probably should! {laughs}

I do. I have bad days. But you know how I make good on it, and how I get myself to turn around really quickly? Is that I own it. I own it as fast as possible. As soon as I realize I am being a stick in the mud. I’m being grumpy. Or whatever it is. I have been unfair to anybody; I own it as fast as possible, and I want to tell you that is the thing that helps me snap back into being a version of myself that feels more like me, is when I own it and I’m able to ask someone for their forgiveness. If I ever snap at my husband; which totally happens. I look at him and I say; I’m so sorry. You did not deserve that. Do you forgive me?

And it’s not that rehearsed. It’s a more genuine conversation. But I have to do that in order to honor him. In order to honor myself. And that helps me stay more consistently happy. So it’s not that I wake up and I never have a bad day. It’s just that when I have bad moments, I’m really intentional on working through and healing those, if that makes sense.

Ok, M. Bribra; did I say that right? Says, “What is your favorite wine right now that you’ve had Gray? Cheers!” I’m loving. I know they’re a podcast sponsor, and I’m not saying this because they’re a podcast sponsor, you guys. I am semi-obsessed with Wine Fellas. I’m not kidding. I was curious; I was fascinated by the natural wine industry and the movement that Galen Schock is leading. And if you don’t know about this, there’s an article on my website called conventional versus natural wine where we get into geeky science. And then Galen joined me on the podcast, episode 151, last week to talk about it. He’s just such a wealth of knowledge.

I was fascinated by that. But I love wine. My parents; we have a bottle of wine with Sunday family dinner every week. It’s just a part of our family culture. And I’ve always loved it. And I was really curious to learn about the industry. Some of the truths behind what may show up in our bottles. And then since I had her, Galen had sent a shipment of Wine Fellas. And I was so excited to try some of the wines. I’m blown away by the flavor difference.

And he said that. He was like; you’ll taste a difference between a wine that has all these extra additives and a wine that doesn’t. And it just tastes more fresh, more pure. I don’t taste chemicals. And I can take a sip of a natural wine, and then I can take a sip of a conventional wine, and I can taste the chemicals now. It’s incredible. It’s not a specific bottle. But just any natural wine, so far I’ve been loving.

Ok. Fueling Function. I’m going to try to get through these next two, and then we’ll wrap it up. Fueling Function says, “This question is random, but what motivated you to study insects?” Oh, I love this question! This is our last question.

So, if you didn’t know, I got my bachelor degree at Texas A&M University; Whoop! I’m a fighting Texas Aggie, class of 2008. And I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Entomology, the study of insects. I was actually pre-med.

So I went to A&M, and I was studying biomedical science. That’s how I entered. Because I knew I wanted to do something in health. I went to a school called Health Careers High School in San Antonio, Texas. That was my high school. It was a Magnet school. So it was public, but it was focused. I always knew I wanted to do something in health. I thought; there’s no cooler way to touch a person’s life than to impact their health. It just seemed like a really natural career path for me. I was always the kid that would jump up and want to put a Band-Aid on my sisters. If they ever had a boo-boo.

So that’s where I started. I went to A&M and I enrolled in biomedical science. And to be really honest, that program; it just, it kind of robbed a little bit of my joy. That’s not fair to say, because it’s not the program’s fault. But it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I wanted to study all those things, but it wasn’t the learning environment that I really craved in college.

And then I took an elective. I took veterinary entomology. A&M has a really fantastic vet school there. And I took vet entomology as an elective, one of my science electives. And I remember that class, and the professor loved insects in the geekiest, best way. He loved talking about it. And the students there; the ones that were not taking it just for an elective. They were ento majors. The ento major students loved the subject as much as the professor. And it was just; to me, it felt like such a true learning environment. They were just genuinely interested and wanted to learn.

They weren’t out to beat out their neighbor and get a better grade than the person sitting next to them. They weren’t out to just prove themselves or to just trudge through the homework. They wanted to learn, and they wanted to celebrate the subject. And they were thrilled to help their neighbor learn more things, as well.

And I was like; that is the college experience I want. And I was fascinated by insects. I kind of always have been. Natural sciences in general. So I inquired about changing my major, jumped in, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was still pre-med. I still took all my pre-reqs. I adored biochem. I adored organic chemistry. I was one of those weirdos that loved those classes. But my home was entomology. And those students there. It’s a long shot, but if any of them are listening, I feel like they’re nodding their head. They’re just a special group of people that just genuinely loved their subject.

I always joked that it felt like entomology at Texas A&M felt like I went to Hogwarts. It felt like I found the secret platform on the train, and I got to go to this really cool school that was excited about this whole other world of creatures. And it was so fun.

And there are skills that I still cherish. Of course I still have friends. Any ento folks out there know this. But you will get text messages from people; I just found this random bug. What is it? {laughs} It’s really fun. It’s really cool to have that kind of thing to lean on.

Anyway. That’s why I studied entomology. And I still love it. I still am fascinated by insects. So there you go!

Well thank you guys! This episode, again, ran over a little long. But I hope you found it fun. Maybe a little informative. And as always, we’ll be back again next week. You can find the full transcript of today’s show over at www. FedandFit.com. Thanks so much for dialing in. Talk to you soon.


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