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Category Archives: How I Live

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I’m Victoria Arnstein, and This Is How I Live

By | How I Live, Inspiration & Purpose, Parenting | 2 Comments
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Victoria Arnstein is vivacious, funny, fit, and inspires others to join her in the pursuit of well being and good health! She can be found on Instagram at @fruits4life or on Facebook or on YouTube.

Location: Oahu, Hawaii
Current Craft/Gig/Work: Full-time Mother, Writer, Comedian
Number of Children: 3
One word that best describes how you live: Liberated
Current Mobile Device: Galaxy S4
Current Computer: Google Chrome Laptop

What is the first thing you do or think of when you wake up in the morning?

Drink water.

Walk us through your first hour of the day…

If it is a school day, I drink water, hopefully almost always eliminate some toxins from the day before, check emails and texts, scan through social media for updates from loved ones. Get workout clothes on, grab a fruit, bike ride or drive kid to school, choose what workout I am in the mood for and go at it..run, swim, stand up paddling, bike,  free weights, hike or all of the above gets me going! If there is no school, same thing, just no dropping kid off at school. My kids know I need to workout to be happy, so they don’t get in my way before then…lol, I need a sweat fest daily or else.

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Victoria and her three beautiful children, at the Woodstock Fruit Festival.

What’s your ‘place of work’ set up look like?

The outdoors is my place of work, and where I live, I clean and prepare meals.

What’s your favorite way to stay organized?

I am not sure, since I am not that organized 🙂

If you were low energy before, what was the biggest change you made to have more energy?

Changed my diet from meat and dairy to fruit based and added more workouts in the sun.

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Victoria at a fruit luck in Hawaii.

What’s your best energy-saving shortcut or life hack?

A half hour more of sleep from the night before.

What is your favorite go-to meal?

Fruit that is in season and ripe.

How do you stay fit?

I don’t think exercise is a chore, as I love and can’t wait to play outdoors. Whether it’s swimming, running, stand up paddling, hiking, biking and just going for a walk listening to a good book or great music!

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Both Victoria and her husband, Michael, are phenomenal long distance runners and athletes.

What is your night time/sleep routine?

About 10:30 I make sure to get really tired and then I am able to fall asleep deeply and quickly. I get up to pee about 2 times per night. Hopefully get back to sleep right away, if not, I get onto the computer or talk to a loved one who is on a different time zone for a big and then fall back asleep for a deep sleep and wake up in time for school.

What are you currently reading? Or watching?

I just finished listening to the book Unbroken by Laura Hillerbrand about a man Olympic runner named Louie Zamperini and his trials and tribulations when he was stationed in Hawaii for the airforce and his plane went down. He was lost at sea for 48 days only to get rescued by the Japanese enemy and was tortured as a POW for 2.5 years during wwII. Riveting book!

What apps or software can you not live without?

Audible and Spotify, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

What is something that you happen to excel at, when it comes to parenting?

The ability to run long distances and swim long distances without stopping and still be a kick ass mom!

What is the best life advice you have ever received about being a parent?

Do one thing and do it well, it’s not a race.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see __________ answer these same questions.

Kate Pallardy, Michael Arnstein

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting for readers and fans?

If you can give yourself a gift, let it be the gift of ultra running training, it was the greatest way to endure pain in every other aspect of my life. I was able to tolerate pain and deal with problems that came my way better than I ever did before training for an ultra marathon. Also to eat a diet that does not tax your body so you have way more energy than you could imagine. Like fruits and veggies and keeping fat low.

The How I Live series asks athletes, heroes, experts, and flat-out high energy parents to share their diets, shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every week we’ll feature a new parent and the recipes, habits, tips, and insights that keep them thriving.  Know someone that you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Let us know.

 

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I’m Matt Frazier “No Meat Athlete” and This Is How I Live

By | How I Live, Inspiration & Purpose | No Comments

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Meet Matt Frazier, the high energy parent behind NoMeatAthlete.com. Founded back in 2009, at about the same time that Matt went vegetarian. Six months later, Matt qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:09:59 at the Wineglass Marathon, over 100 minutes faster than his first marathon time seven years prior. In 2010, Matt ran his first 50-mile ultramarathon, and has run several more ultras and marathons each year since.

 

Matt is the author of the book No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self. When he’s not running, cooking, or blogging, Matt enjoys reading, gambling, music, and brewing beer. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, son and two rescued dogs.
Location: Asheville, NC
Current Craft/Gig/Work: Founder of No Meat Athlete, a blog, book and podcast about plant-based running and fitness.
Number of Children and Ages: 2 kids — an (almost) 5-year old boy and 2-year old girl
One word that best describes how you live: At the intersection of simplicity and all the craziness that comes with being a parent and running a business from home 
Current Mobile Device: LG slide-keyboard phone that doesn’t do anything except be a phone 
Current Computer: I’ve got two: a Macbook Air and a Gateway All-in-One deskton on its last legs

Walk us through your first hour of the day…

First I hang out with my kids for a few minutes, then make a single cup of pour-over coffee, which takes 10-15 minutes or so because I boil water on the stove and hand-grind the beans. Then I either read for half an hour or do an exercise like Morning Pages from the Artists’s Way (three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, basically a form of meditation on the page)matt-frazier-with-smiling-kid-and-smoothie

What’s your ‘place of work’ set up look like?

The three main pieces are a Varidesk standing desk, a long wooden table for recording podcasts and brainstorming, and a chalkboard-painted wall with quotes I like and a list of books on my list to read. I also have a framed essay from Seth Godin called “Pick Yourself” on the wall next to my desk. I try to keep it as uncluttered as possible otherwise.

What’s your favorite way to stay organized?

I still haven’t mastered this, but right now, I’ve settled on good old pen and paper lists. I have one sheet with any working projects on it, and each week I work off another sheet with the next to-do items for each of those projects, plus any other urgent things that week. Basically it’s the system from Getting Things Done, and I try to follow the rest of the principles from that program in one form or another.

If you were low energy before, what was the biggest change you made to have more energy?

Really, changing my diet — first to vegetarian and then later to vegan — made energy almost a non-issue for me. I’m never tired until the very end of the day, and that’s very different from how I used to be, even when I thought I ate pretty healthily.

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Matt with his wife, Erin, and Robert Cheeke

What’s your best energy-saving shortcut or life hack?

It’s not really a hack, but I do so little “consumption” (of TV, news, social media, blogs) that I don’t spend any energy at all on worrying or thinking about current events. Which I realize also means that I’m out of touch with current events, but I kind of like it that way.

What is your favorite go-to meal?

It’s a smoothie. Mostly fruit, but also some raw nuts and seeds and greens. It works for breakfast or as a pre- or post-workout meal or an afternoon snack. Along with a big salad, it’s one food I try to eat every single day.

How do you stay fit?

Just running, and at a pretty low intensity, usually. I try to always have a marathon or ultra in mind that I’m training for, and as needed I will do some harder workouts for that. But I tend not to keep my weight on very well with all this running and my diet, so once or twice a year I hit the gym for a few weeks and add some muscle.
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What is your night time/sleep routine?

My kids wake us up around 7am every morning, so I try to get in bed around 11pm. Nothing really special here; I usually read for 30 minutes or listen to an audiobook before I go to sleep.

What are you currently reading? Or watching?

Right now I’m reading a book called Mindset, by Carol Dweck, and rereading Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within.

What apps or software can you not live without?

I don’t really use any apps, since I don’t have a smartphone. Not really into any particular software, either. WordPress?

What is something that you happen to excel at, when it comes to parenting?

Being present — I had a smartphone for a few months but got rid of when I realized I was always checking stuff when I was, say, at the playground with my kids. Or maybe that means I was really bad at being self-disciplined and present, but at least I had the awareness to do something about it!

What is the best life advice you have ever received about being a parent?

Praise growth and hard work, not innate ability. So don’t say, “Nice job, you’re so smart!” Instead say, “Nice job, you did a great job of learning (or practicing) that!”

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Fill In The Blank: I’d love to see __________ answer these same questions.

Rich Roll.

The How I Live series asks athletes, heroes, experts, and flat-out high energy parents to share their diets, shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every week we’ll feature a new parent and the recipes, habits, tips, and insights that keep them thriving.  Know someone that you want to see featured, or questions you think I should ask? Let me know.

Ellen Fisher and her son, Elvis.

I’m Ellen Fisher “Mango Island Mamma” and This Is How I Live

By | How I Live, Inspiration & Purpose | No Comments

Ellen Fisher is the incredible photographer behind the fantastic Instagram feed @ellenfisher, and the creative mind behind MangoIslandMamma.com, where she shares her Epic Raw Food eBook.
Ellen lives on the island of Maui with her two boys, Andrew and Elvis, and a baby-to-be. They thrive following a high carbohydrate raw vegan lifestyle. Eating a diet consisting of whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic fruits and vegetables has healed Ellen of her ailments which used to hold her back in life, and it is now her passion to share the joy in eating our species-specific diet of raw fruits and vegetables.
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Current Craft/Gig/Work: Stay-At-Home Mum and Raw Food eBook Seller
Number of Children and Ages: Elvis, 3 years old and one babe on the way
One word that best describes how you live: Tropical
Current Mobile Device: iPhone
Current Computer: iMac Desktop

What is the first thing you do or think of when you wake up in the morning?

I wash my face with water, and drink a liter of water, breath deep.

Walk us through your first hour of the day…

Lately I have been waking up about 15 minutes before elvis wakes up. My husband sleeps in later because he works most evenings and doesn’t get to bed until late. So I freshen up for the morning, turn on some lighthearted music and drink a liter of water. When Elvis wakes up he calls “mommmmy. mommmmmy.” to signal me in to the bedroom and we play/lay in his bed and talk about what we are going to do for the day. Then we play quietly together in the living room for about 45 minutes until daddy wakes up!

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What’s your ‘place of work’ set up look like?

A computer desk by a window with our banana plants as the “view”. A picture frame of Elvis and his best friend Iyla in their halloween costumes on the computer desk.

What’s your favorite way to stay organized?

Lists, lists and more lists on my “notes” app in my iPhone titled “To do” and “Remember”.

If you were low energy before, what was the biggest change you made to have more energy?

Switching to a high carbohydrate WHOLE foods vegan and mostly raw diet.

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A gorgeous green smoothie.

What’s your best energy-saving shortcut or life hack?

Switch to a high carbohydrate WHOLE foods vegan and mostly raw diet.

What is your favorite go-to meal?

Organic red lady or Exotica papaya.

How do you stay fit?

Bodyweight exercises are my favorite way to exercise. During pregnancy I love to do uphill beach climbs at Baby Beach in Paia.

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Baby Beach, Paia, Hawaii

What is your night time/sleep routine?

We dim the lights and read books to Elvis in the evening until I put him to bed around 8pm. Then I go back to the couch and read a good informative book for myself. Sometimes I’ll answer emails or answer some questions on IG a bit before settling into my book, but generally I like to be off any electronics for at least 30 minutes before bed. I like to go to bed early and my head hits the pillow between 9pm and 10:30pm every night. On the weekends, when my husband has the evenings off, we watch a movie together after Elvis goes to bed. My husband’s “love language” is quality time, and for him, watching a movie with his wife is a way he enjoys quality time with me. If you haven’t read the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, I highly recommend it! It completely transformed our relationship in a positive way and has helped us to love each other in the way that makes our spouse feel the most loved. Ps- My love language is “Words of Affirmation”.

What are you currently reading? Or watching?

Right now I’m reading “Vaccination is not Immunization, 3rd Edition” by Tim O’Shea, and amazing book. I love informative books on topics I care about and am interested in.

What apps or software can you not live without?

Instagram, Gmail, and FaceTime. FaceTime so I can chat with my sister face to face who lives in California anytime we please. I’m simple and don’t use any cool softwares. I’m not very technologically savvy, haha.

What is something that you happen to excel at, when it comes to parenting?

I will say that I’m pretty good at putting myself in my son’s shoes. I’m pretty good at understanding WHY he is feeling the way he is feeling when he is upset, or sad, or frustrated. So this helps me be good at responding to his needs and helping him work through his emotions. I’m pretty good at staying calm and talking to him respectfully because of this ability. And this way of talking to him respectfully makes it easier for him to understand WHY he can’t do certain things he wants to do, and WHY he needs to do certain things he doesn’t want to do etc. My favorite books on this subject are “How Children Learn” and “How Children Fail” by John Holt.

What is the best life advice you have ever received about being a parent?

Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask your mom or best friend to help you with your children so you can go take a shower and eat a meal (this is especially for when your children are little babies). It really does “take a village to raise a child”. The key is to have a network of people you trust and love that you know have your child’s best interest at heart. There aren’t many people my husband and I trust to leave our child alone with (mainly our parents, my sister, and a few really close friends), but having this support is SO helpful not only for your child, but also your own sanity. Children need so much love, care and attention but we must first take care of ourselves so that we are able to give them this amount of love and care they need. If we don’t take care of ourselves, how will we take care of our children? Eating right, getting enough sleep, getting time for yourself to recuperate, and getting quality alone time with your partner to enrich your relationship are some of the key factors that will help you feel your best so that you can be the best parent you can be. When one is sick, feels exhausted, run down, agitated, or even has poor digestion, it becomes A LOT harder to be your best version of yourself. And when you don’t get quality time with your partner, your relationship suffers, which makes positive gentle parenting a lot harder. When Elvis was a really little baby, I remember times where I wasn’t properly fed, had lack of sleep and quite simply hadn’t taken a shower in a few days and just felt dirty. I was cranky and  wasn’t as patient with Elvis’ needs as I could have been if I were taking care of myself. But then, if my husband was at work, I would call my mom to come over to make me food and hold Elvis for me so I could take a shower and a nap. And oh my, It was like I was a new woman. I could breath again and felt rejuvenated after giving my body what it needed. Also, I am so grateful to have a partner that takes such amazing care of me and my child. The minute he gets home from work he is hugging and playing Elvis and giving him all the attention he needs, giving me a break if needed. And when Elvis was a brand new babe, I remember Andrew busting through the door ready to make me whatever food I wanted, change Elvis’ diaper and take him off my hands for a bit so I could relax. What a blessing!

Ellen and Loni in the jungle with their boys.

Fill In The Blank: I’d love to see __________ answer these same questions.

My best friend Cissy Lala.


The How I Live series asks athletes, heroes, experts, and flat-out high energy parents to share their diets, shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every week we’ll feature a new parent and the recipes, habits, tips, and insights that keep them thriving.  Know someone that you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Let us know.

Main photo taken by Loni Jane, credit to Ellen Fisher’s Instagram @ellenfisher

Kevin Cosmo, How I Live

I’m Kevin Cosmo, Creator of High Energy Parenting, and This Is How I Live

By | How I Live | One Comment

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Kicking off the ‘How I Live’ Series on HighEnergyParenting.com, is none other than the creator of High Energy Parenting himself, Kevin Cosmo.

Working from home as a video editor and health educator/coach, Kevin invests much of his ‘off-time’ hiking, playing, gardening, preparing meals, and spending time with family. Kevin and family live a high carbohydrate plant-based, primarily raw food lifestyle, and operate a small organic produce co-op in southern Oregon.

Kevin started his parenting journey low on energy and in poor health. He began investigating and eventually found lasting solutions. Now Kevin is consistently healthy, happy, and bursting with energy. Recently placing in a 50k ultramarathon. His transformation inspires an intense enthusiasm to share what is working so well for him, with the hopes that other parents and families will benefit. His latest work, High Energy Parenting Online Course, is a free video training series for parents looking to increase their energy, with multiple meal plans included.

Location: Eugene, Oregon
Current Craft/Gig/Work: Parent/Athlete/Writer/Editor/Speaker/Coach
Number of Children and Ages: Two; 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter.
One word that best describes how you live:  Exploring
Current Mobile Device: iPhone 4s. It has all the apps I need.
Current Computer: MacBook Pro

What is the first thing you do or think of when you wake up in the morning?

I aim to wake up with a smile. I then create or rather re-create a vision of what I want to create in the world.

Walk us through your first hour of the day…

As I mentioned before, ideally, when I get up before the children, which is the usual, I start with focusing in on my vision. Then after I leave the quiet bedroom behind and reach the living room, I will meditate for ~15 minutes. The meditation helps to foster a space between my mind and I, so that I may use my mind rather than being pulled and pushed by it. After meditation I will jot down 3 outcomes that I would very much like to finish that day, onto my white board. I then type any associated tasks needed to reach those outcomes in my iPhone app ‘CARROT’. After those are set, I turn to thinking about and/or jotting down at least 3 things I am grateful for. If I have the time, I may also slip in a run or walk at this point of the morning.  Then I get spruced up for the day, and that just about rounds off my first morning hour. (Download Kevin’s Morning Jumpstart PDF)

What’s your ‘place of work’ set up look like?

I work from home, and I use a small bedroom as an office/banana ripening bodega. On my desk you’ll see various stones and gems that Dakarai has collected and gifted to me. Each has a unique magical power to help Papa get work done.

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What’s your favorite way to stay organized?

Lots of lists. I am a very big proponent of the GTD (Getting Things Done) method as well as the Agile Results method. I use Omnifocus to organize and keep my important, long term goals and pursuits. I use a white board and the app ‘CARROT’ to keep track of the day to day tasks.

If you were low energy before, what was the biggest change you made to have more energy?

The biggest change came in mindset. I read books such as The 80/10/10 Diet. I finally understood that there are at least 33 elements of life affecting my health, and that my health could only be as strong as the weakest of these elements. Diet was my weakest link, and hence improving my diet gave me the biggest rewards for my initial efforts.
I changed my diet from the SAD (Standard American Diet) to a low-fat raw vegan diet (80/10/10). Dropping dead animals (beef, pork, chicken, fish, etc) and animal by-products (milk, cheese, eggs, etc) has transformed my health and life. Replacing these former ‘foods’ with whole, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables helped my body to heal and now affords me the freedom to run up to 70+ miles at a time. I was so unaware of how my diet was affecting my health, and I was simultaneously and equally unaware of the total harm caused by treating animals as food.
It’s remarkably simple. Eat the majority of your calories as carbohydrates from whole, fresh fruits. If you choose the non-raw route, then get your calories from starches (potatoes, rice, corn, etc). Supplement or compliment your daily carbohydrates with a delicious salad of veggies. Stay plant-based. This diet is my primary key to high energy.

What’s your best energy-saving shortcut or life hack?

Eat fruit for meals. Fruit is not a snack. Not for high performing athletes and not for parents who also need as much fuel to burn. Learn to eat simple fruit meals; Ex. 10 bananas in a smoothie or 6 mangoes or 1/2 of a watermelon

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What is your favorite go-to meal?

Bananas and…  Bananas make a delicious smoothie all on their own and pair well with so many other fruits and vegetables. I’ve enjoyably paired bananas with celery, lettuce, mango, strawberry, blueberry, date, carob, peach, raisin, and the list goes on and on.

How do you stay fit?

I thoroughly enjoy movement. Running has taken the forefront since having children, mostly because I can squeeze it into any schedule. There’s definitely a sweet spot in my heart for fútbol, I’ve recently taken soccer back up again, and definitely plan to stick with it. And for me, daily vigorous play with the children is a given. Both of our children enjoy being spun and spun to no end.

What is your night time/sleep routine?

Our night time routine essentially starts at dinner. After we eat, the kids migrate into the bathtub, occasionally joined by one of us parents. Afterward bathing, a bit of house picking up is the goal, yet dancing and spinning usually prevail. Then it is up to the bed to read books, massage on the soothing essential oils, and cuddle the kids to sleep. With me, whispering a story to Dakarai while caressing his golden locks, and Meagan softly serenading Tulani to sleep with a lullaby.After the kids are asleep in our bed (we co-sleep 4 in 1 bed), my wife and I may spend some time together or we may work on our respective projects. It doesn’t take much for me to fall asleep come nightfall, as I try to put in the effort during the day, and I am early to rise. Going to bed around 8-9pm works the best for me, allowing for my preferred 4-5am natural wake up time. Though I am no stranger to finding myself staring at the next day on the computer clock, as I try to finish a project, I do tend to keep myself in check often enough.

What are you currently reading? Or watching?

The Three Truths of Well-Being‘ – Sadhguru, ‘The Book Of Mirdad‘ – Mikhail Naimy, and most recently was deeply moved watching the documentary Cowspiracy.

What apps or software can you not live without?

Final Cut Pro – favorite video editing software | CARROT – snarky, wise-cracking to-do list | Strava – tracks my running/cycling activity | Omnifocus – keeps track of my long term goals and recurring responsibilities | Evernote – where I store all of my virtual notes & book reviews | Spotify – music player extraordinaire, Instapaper | my own personal e-magazine with articles I select
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What is something that you happen to excel at, when it comes to parenting?

Dropping my inhibitions and playing ‘like a child’ with the kids, even in public.

What is the best life advice you have ever received about being a parent?

Children learn from adults who are doing. Words only go so far. Our example, of how we live as parents, will be the most powerful message we have for our children.

The Continuum Concept, by Jean Liedloff radically shifted how I understood my role as a parent, in such a positive way! Teach Your Own and Dumbing Us Down, will provide key insights for allowing children to blossom unhindered. Simplicity Parenting is a practical and insightful book that will help remind you that simple is not only easier for the parent to maintain, but is also far healthier for the child. Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, gave me methods to communicate, and more importantly provided a proper foundation of respect to build a communication base upon with the children.

Fill In The Blank: I’d love to see __________ answer these same questions.

Loni Jane, Rich Roll, & Elon Musk


The How I Live series asks athletes, heroes, experts, and flat-out high energy parents to share their diets, shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every week we’ll feature a new parent and the recipes, habits, tips, and insights that keep them thriving.  Know someone that you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Let us know.

Photo by Kevin Cosmo