Interviews of Inspirational People

Its time for my second Inspirational Women interview this year, posts showcasing fabulous, beautiful, passionate women who are inspirations in the world of healthy living.

Jessica wasnt always so healthy. After a friend sat her down and made her realize she was going to have to quit her hard-partying ways and get healthy, Jessica started to think twice about her food choices and began running. She started blogging in an effort to document her journey getting healthy and in shape, during the planning of her wedding back in 2008. Her blog quickly grew, and after she got married she switched her blog to a new one, documenting the switches she made to a healthier lifestyle, including becoming a vegetarian and running longer races. On one bad day in 2009, Jessica got the idea to stick post-it notes on bathroom mirrors to remind other women that they were beautiful. This simple feel-good act turned into an internet revolution, sparking a second blog and two books, with a third on the way. Jessicas selfless act made thousands of women across the country, and even world- to realize you are beautiful, just the way you are. I cant think of anything more inspirational.

1. After the success of your popular healthy living blog, you came up with the idea to stick post-it notes on public bathrooms to spread the word to all women about beauty and self-love. This sparked an incredible response, which resulted in a second blog and a book deal. How did you come up with the idea?

It is truly an organic and genuine idea. I never posted the first note, thinking that it would become something I just wanted to do something nice for someone else. I was having a really bad, stressed out day, and I was standing in a public bathroom feeling horrible about myself. I spontaneously wrote You are beautiful on a sheet of paper and stuck it up on the mirror. It made me feel so much better, and I blogged about my experience, which jump started the movement.

2. The last couple of years must have been a whirlwind for you. You have two popular blogs as well as two books already published (one on its way to being published) and one in the works. How do you manage it all? The key for me is focusing my energy on a task when Im doing it. Im trying to get better about NOT multitasking (which just results in crappy work) and focusing on one thing at a time. I also work a lot of nights and every Saturday and Sunday.

3. You seem so incredibly balanced in your healthy lifestyle. How do you manage this with your growing business? Ive found the key is to think ahead. I have to decide in advance how Im going to fit in a workout and what Im going to cook for lunch and dinner. Once I decide my meals, in particular, I can prep ingredients beforehand. For example, Ill cook brown rice while I prep breakfast, so Ill be able to quickly toss together a rice, veggie, and bean mix for dinner.

4. You became a vegetarian not too long ago. How has this changed the way you look at food, and the way you eat? Being a vegetarian has definitely changed the way I look at food. I think people forget that meat is an animal. Weve become so sanitized in our eating that most people myself included before I went veg think of chicken breasts as a food product, not as an animal that was born, lived, and died. Unfortunately, most of our factory-farmed meat is not raised or slaughtered in a very humane way. Being a vegetarian has given me a purpose above my own taste buds. By choosing not to eat meat (or to reduce your meat consumption), youre sending a signal to food manufacturers that factory farming is not acceptable.

5. Aside from not eating meat, How is your lifestyle different now than it used to be? What was the turning point that made you commit to a healthier lifestyle? My best friend sat me down several years ago and told me that my coping mechanisms for stress were really, really unhealthy. Mostly, I binge drank to deal with my emotions and to have a good time. Now, I try to turn to healthier outlets, like exercise or writing, to deal with my feelings.

6. How do you stay positive in an increasingly unhealthy world? Does the large amount of new health research that comes up seemingly everyday have an affect on you, or do you like to form your own opinions? I think the basics Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants will always be true. You really cannot screw up by focusing on eating a real food diet and skipping most packaged, lab-created foods.

7. What made you first start blogging? Do you have any advice for budding healthy living bloggers? I had been reading blogs for a year or so and really wanted to join the community in a larger way. My advice to new bloggers would be to just do you. Dont think you have to blog in a certain way or do a certain thing. By staying true to yourself, youll gain fans.

8. How does it feel to be considered an inspirational woman? Who, or what inspires you? Its a little strange because to me, Im just me. I understand that I represent something larger with, which is incredibly humbling. Im inspired by all the amazing stories that I get to hear every day through the site. There are so many inspiring women out there and I am always amazed at what other people have overcome.

9. What is the best piece of healthy living advice you can give readers? Small healthy choices really add up. Dont think you have to be perfect, just make one good decision at a time.

10. Can you share a little about your new book with my readers? Any other future plans? the book will feature healthy living advice, success stories, and recipes. It comes out in Spring . My future plans include starting a family and taking a little time off from book writing!

11. What is your favorite thing to eat? To cook? My favorite thing to eat is dark chocolate, and my favorite thing to cook is probably eggs. I love them ALL ways.

12. And, the million dollar question: Whats in your fridge? Here are some thing currently in my fridge: Greek yogurt, peanut butter, corn, apples, sweet potatoes, tofu, dates, soy milk, several cans of opened beans, green chiles, and more!