Interview with Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

Podcast Episode #250: Interview with Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit

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TopicsInterview with Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

1. Introducing our guest, Cassy Joy of Fed and Fit [3:10]
2. Getting over that dieting mindset [12:05]
3. Cassy on carbs [14:39]
4. The Fed and Fit online project [19:29]
5. The Fed and Fit Book [28:11]
6. The Fed and Fit podcast [38:11]
7. A Fed and Fit wedding [40:38]
8. Beautycounter with Cassy [44:53]
9. Final words about Cassy’s projects [47:12]


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Interview with Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Interview with Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Interview with Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Interview with Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit - Diane Sanfilippo, Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 250.

Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Diane is a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and co-author of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Liz is a nutritional therapy practitioner, and the best-selling author of Eat the Yolks and The Purely Primal Skincare Guide. Together, Diane and Liz answer your questions, interview leading health and wellness experts, and share their take on modern paleo living with their friendly and balanced approach. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone, Liz here with a special guest this week. Cassy Joy Garcia of Cassy is one of my favorite people in the real food world; probably actually my favorite person in the real food world, along, of course, with her Great Pyrenees Gus. And I’m thrilled to have her here to talk about her upcoming book, her recent wedding, her upcoming YouTube series, and beyond. You’ve got a lot going on, Cassy. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I do. I feel like an octopus. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: What?! {laughs}

Cassy Joy: That’s the visual I have, like an octopus holding up plates, I’m just keeping them all spinning. There’s like 8 of them.

Liz Wolfe: Uh, I really like that.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Do you?

Liz Wolfe: I have never; that has never popped in my head before, and I am definitely one of the royal family of really random analogies.

Cassy Joy: {gasps} Oh, this is going to be great.

Liz Wolfe: But that’s not one I’ve thought of before. Yeah, that’s really good.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Well, ok. So Cassy is a certified nutrition consultant; author, lifestyle blogger, and clean living expert. And what makes her approach so appealing to me is not just how accessible she makes the real food lifestyle, but also the attitude she brings to it. So this is going to be a really fun interview today. But first, let’s get a word from one of our sponsors.

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1. Introducing our guest, Cassy Joy of Fed and Fit [3:10]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. So I’ve interviewed Cassy before, but since it’s been a while we’re going to start from the beginning. Cassy;

Cassy Joy: Yes ma’am.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Can you tell us a bit about how you got into real food, and from there how you ended up inspired to write a book.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, for sure. It really started; when I graduated from college, which now was almost 8 years ago. It feels nuts to say that.

Liz Wolfe: I know. Why, why, why does it. The time.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Just keeps stretching out; it’s terrible.

Cassy Joy: It does. I remember when I graduated from college, there was a guy who had just celebrated his 10 year college reunion; and he told me, he was like, oh man, I feel like I was just there. That feels like yesterday. I was like, whatever dude you're old! {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} And he’s like; yeah, you just wait because you’re going to blink and you're going to be old too.

Cassy Joy: Exactly. Now I’m in my 30s; who knew.

Liz Wolfe: Ugh.

Cassy Joy: But yeah; I graduated from college, and this is really, I think, where it started. Of course there were things that led up to that point, but that was when I was kind of at the lowest low before I decided to really make efforts to solve whatever the heck was going on. And the first thing was; I didn’t know what was wrong. My hips, my knees were in constant pain. I couldn’t really walk around without wincing in pain. And I was just growing; my waistline kept growing. I just had this foggy head, no energy, I couldn’t stay focused in class.

I grew up about 3 hours away from where I went to college, and I couldn’t make the drive all the way home without kind of getting drowsy and having to pull over and either get a coffee or take a nap; it was awful. And I thought; well, maybe this is 22. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I mean, maybe this is it. So the only thing that I really thought could be solved was my size; getting bigger. You know, because that was the industry I was submerged in, was what I was told on television and commercials what that I just needed to diet, and I could slim down, and at least I could solve that part of the problem. So I did; I serial dieted. I went through; I felt like all of them, but I think there were 5 or 6 that I worked through, and they worked mostly because I was just calorie restricting, and I would bounce right back. But it never solved the underlying problems of pain and mental fog.

So I finally just; I got so fed up with nothing working that I decided I was going to have to do something totally different. And what that looked like for me was trying to uncover the answers of why I was in such pain. So I dug into the research; I have a science background, and decided to really do my own research and stop listening to that dietary dogma that I was really swimming and living in for so long. And that’s when I stumbled across the real food/paleo/lifestyle-diet direction. And I jumped in. I thought it made a lot of sense, so I went for it.

So what I did was I dieted on paleo, because it’s all I knew how to do.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: At the time, was diet. And I dieted on paleo for about 3 months, and I did lose some size in those first 3 months, but what shocked me more than anything else was that my pain started to dissipate, and I started to have more energy, a clear head, I could sleep better, more soundly through the night. It really just amazed me. So that encouraged me to continue with it. Because I got so tired of just weighing and measuring my chicken breast and my cup of raspberries and all those things at every meal, I decided to start experimenting with recipes, and that’s really where Fed and Fit as a food blog was born. Because in the span of about a full year was really my transition period; because I’m a slow learner.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} And it took me a while to really gather the important lessons and put them into practice. And I’m still honing it to this day, but I think I learned the most in that first year. My friends and family had asked me what I’d done, because when all was said and done, I think I lost about 10 dress sizes. So I went from a size 12/14 to about a 2/4. And I’m a tall girl, so nothing looked amiss, and I just looked healthy. My body just fell into a form that felt very natural and felt very much like me. I gained a lot of muscle at the time because I integrated a mixed fitness program.

I used to be, in college, the elliptical gym bunny. You know;

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: I’d hop into the rec center, and wander over to the elliptical and spend about an hour on it. And I couldn’t make eye contact with the guys lifting the free weights {laughs} because they just intimidated me. So I swallowed that fear and decided to join a Crossfit program, where I learned just about more functional fitness movements. Started yoga to kind of help combat some of the damage of Crossfit, and I kept that programming up for the last 5 years, just combining those two sports.

And it’s been great, but friends and family wanted to know what I had done, and what I was eating, so I started to share recipes online as an easy way to get the information across, and it just grew organically from there. Readers from all over the place started asking me questions, and I wanted to be able to provide them with more detailed scientific answers, because that is kind of my background that I like to fall back on. So I went back to school, became certified as a nutrition consultant so I could work with folks one on one.

And then from there; I promise this is the shorter version {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: Hey, we got time.

Cassy Joy: Oh man. I’m unapologetically longwinded.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} From that point, I started working with so many folks and it was just one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, was kind of helping folks to really find their ideal fit. Because I’m a believer that there’s no one size fits all. And that was even more apparent when I worked with people one and one. So after some time working with a bunch of people, I boiled down the biggest hitting lessons learned, that were consistent across the crowd, and decided to put that into a program, a 28-day program, kind of to help speed up that year of lessons that I spent learning trying to really consolidate it.

What I think I’m; I like to think I’m offering folks 80% solution, you know, and the rest of the 20% fine tuning and finding what’s really, really right for them is something that’s self reflective, and that has to be on whosever working through the material. But that’s where the Fed and Fit Project was born, and it got a lot of success, and I took it offline at the end of last year so that we could rebuild and then folded into the book. And then the book, Fed and Fit is coming out. It started off as a cookbook, and then the publisher called and said they wanted to put the program in there, so {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: Amazing.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, it was a lot of fun and it’s got it all. I feel like if I quit tomorrow, I said a lot of what I wanted to say. So I’m really proud of it. It’s a big work; it’s not something that you take backpacking. But it should be a really fun reference for people.

Liz Wolfe: “It’s not something you would take backpacking.”

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Maybe that should be your tagline under the title of the book. “Not something you should take backpacking.” So I’m really excited for the book; I preordered it the second I was able to do so, and I encourage everyone that listens to this podcast to go ahead and preorder the Fed and Fit book because I’m confident that the first run will absolutely sell out. I think this is such a fresh and such a needed approach to what we’re both trying to do in kind of spreading the real food word and being supportive of people who just feel a little bit overwhelmed and like they have so much to learn.

Because I completely understand that learning curve thing, where it’s like; wow, this started 10 years ago, and I slowly pieced together all this information and finally I feel like I’m someone who maybe has a decent idea of what the bigger picture can look like for people, maybe what people should start with and then move on to and focus on. But that is; it’s such a tall order when you’re just coming in, having no knowledge of real food, or functional movement, or just overall health and maybe are looking at things the way you and I both used to do, which is basically health equals dieting; dieting equals restriction, so health equals restriction.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

2. Getting over that dieting mindset [12:05]

Liz Wolfe: So I want to bring it back to something that you said at the beginning; which was that you dieted on paleo. And I think that’s super-duper common when first starting out. Because you’re like; oh, this is healthier. But you’re still kind of compartmentalizing things in a way that kind of crams that diet mentality together with this real food lifestyle, and you find yourself eating, I would say, chicken breast, broccoli and coconut oil. Maybe you were doing chicken breast, raspberries, and coconut oil.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: But how did you pull yourself out of that. What was the big; what was the tidbit or the light shining through the window where you were like; wow, I’m actually bringing that old diet mindset to this new real food concept.

Cassy Joy: You know I learn lessons really; I learn hard lessons.

Liz Wolfe: Mmm; me too.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Yeah. And I have to kind of experience them first, and I think that the turning point for me was when I was really tired in workouts, and kind of that fatigue, that fog settled back in and I stopped seeing as much progress. And I just asked a coach; you know, it’s always from the outside looking in it’s always so much easier. But I remember asking a coach if they had any advice for me. And they said, well what are you eating? And we talked about it, and I was accidentally; well, not accidentally, it was purposeful, but I was really low carb.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: And they just gently suggested that I up my carbohydrate intake, and I did that and I immediately felt better. And I realized at that point that I needed to listen to what my body was telling me I needed more than what I thought was right, you know, by health equals restrictions standards, just like you said.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: So that was a huge turning point for me. I learned then to listen to my body; there are certain times and different hormonal cycles where I require different kinds of nutrients, and it’s just really interesting. Once you tune in to what your body is asking for, you start to provide it with the nutrients to help it thrive, and then really healthy living and a healthy mindset follow. It’s pretty miraculous once you get to that point, but you do have to tune in to what your body is telling you it needs.

3. Cassy on carbs [14:39]

Liz Wolfe: I love that. Carbs are still such a contentious topic, even in the real food community. I think actually our carbohydrate focused podcasts are by far the ones that get the most downloads and the most traffic. So, in a nutshell, what is your take on carbohydrates?

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Ha-ha!

Cassy Joy: Oh, I’m laughing because I’m thinking about writing the book, when I would try to put something in a nutshell and then it would turn into 40 pages. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Cassy Joy: In a nutshell, I am definitely not carbo-phobic by any means. I like to have vegetable based starches at every meal; all 3 meals throughout the day. I think it’s an easy food because; you know, it’s a happy food. It chemically makes us really happy when we eat carbohydrates, so it’s an easy one to indulge in and it can become a no-brakes kind of food, and that’s where I think some of the fear of carbohydrates comes from.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: But, at the same time, our body really needs them. And I think when you're enjoying healthy carbohydrates from healthy sources in a balanced format; you know, next to a protein and some crunchy vegetables is what I like to call them; all the leafy greens and peppers and things like that, and some sort of a healthy fat and maybe some sort of a berry or other fruit, that you’re going to feel great and it’s going to be fine. Just kind of getting over that fear, and again, letting your body tell you how it feels is going to be an important step.

I’m definitely very pro-carbohydrate. I have about; I feel like 200 potatoes {laughs} sitting in my pantry right now that I have to go home and cook up and freeze. Because if I don’t have regular carbohydrates at every meal, it has a big effect on my mood, my energy, and my overall health. I’m pro-carb.

That being said; I think there are some dietary pathways that work for folks short term when they’re trying to go low-carb, trying to achieve very specific goals.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: But for just general wellness, I don’t restrict carbohydrates.

Liz Wolfe: I think what always stands out as interesting to me is the fact that when I kind of loosened my grip on those very specific goals that I thought I had to have; for example, I thought I had to be at a certain level of leanness, I thought I had to have a certain level of performance built up. When I kind of loosened my grip on that with regards to how carbohydrates were used as a tool to achieve; or I thought to achieve those goals, when I loosened that grip things kind of started to fall into place by themselves. So actually adding carbs for me was what enabled me, not just to get to a more balanced mental state so that I could stop seeing myself as just a collection of parts that were lean enough or not lean enough.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: So there was definitely that mental balance that came in; but it also actually has enabled me to keep my body in a place that I’m comfortable with.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: And that’s been pretty cool to me. And it’s one of the things that made me start thinking about carbs as, I don’t know, maybe almost as falsely demonized in the paleo community for a time as mainstream medical science demonized fat.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: That might be; is that a big statement? I don’t know.

Cassy Joy: No, I think you nailed it. I think that’s definitely it. You know, thinking about my own mindset, going from just a conventional standard diet to a paleo lifestyle, I didn’t know where to redirect. I think some of my; how do we fine tune and how do we restrict energy, and the low-hanging fruit was carbohydrates.

Liz Wolfe: Absolutely.

Cassy Joy: You know? Because there is a lot of data out there that says it is something that can be picked apart and teased out. So I think not letting yourself fall into that trap, or if you do approach it, then approach it very mindfully, and kind of know what you’re getting into. I agree; I do think it has become a hot topic in the way that low-fat was for mainstream.

Liz Wolfe: In a way, it’s super awesome that we’ve so fully embraced fat, and now maybe we’re slowly realizing that we can have fat AND carbs and protein. We can have all three of those things.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It’s just a matter of maybe getting rid of the industrial processed foods; starting there, reducing your intake of processed oils and polyunsaturated fats; and enabling your body to get to a place of balance ,and then tweaking from there.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: And I think that’s kind of what you’re about; just achieving balance and then adjusting. And it seems to me that’s kind of what the 28-day project is about.

Cassy Joy: That’s exactly it; you said it better than I could. {laughs}

4. The Fed and Fit online project [19:29]

Liz Wolfe: Yay! Alright. Well, tell me a little bit more about how the online program is going to integrate with the book.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh; I’m so excited about the online program. Mostly because I’m in it right now. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Fine-tuning it. So the online program; the book has a full copy of the project in it, so anybody who buys the book could absolutely do the project 100% on their own. The online program is kind of meant as a supplemental resource to back folks who are maybe looking for community, or they’re looking for more touch points of reassurance. Because that’s something personally that’s tripped me up and maybe caused myself to learn lessons more slowly; is I didn’t know if I was on the right track.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: And sometimes you just need somebody to say; hey, are you feeling really sleepy after day 7 of cutting out all of these foods? That’s normal! You’re fine. Just keep drinking water and sleep at night.

So what we’ve done as a way to provide that kind of reassurance is, Juli Bauer, who is my partner in this project, helped provide the fitness component. And she and I are also very like-minded when it comes to lifestyle design. So she jumped in to help me, and we filmed a bunch of videos that are going to be a part of the project online. So anybody who; it’s membership based, so if you become a member of the project online you can have access to these videos. And it’s kind of classroom style ,where at the beginning of each of the 4 weeks of the project that you first join, let’s say you join and you decide you want to launch your project in September, then September 1 you're going to start seeing these fun instructional videos that we’ve put together.

It also has a community forum, a bunch of FAQs and then bonus resources where Juli and I have pulled; for example, each of us looked at our websites and pulled 100 project compliant recipes and put those in a bonus eBook. Fun stuff like that! And then an integrated online project journal. Because a huge piece of this is really documenting your experience. So you’re leaning on, not just what Juli and I tell you maybe is a good direction to go, but you have documented what has worked or what hasn’t worked for you; and those are more powerful, the lessons learned at the end of the day that you’ve documented. So, it’s an extra supplemental resource for folks who are looking for that. And then all of those pieces, though; the journal template will be provided in the book, as well.

Liz Wolfe: So, you're providing accountability and you're providing community; kind of like a village.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: It’s so missing. I think part of the reason people gravitate towards Instagram, and Facebook, and social media, and Snapchat, which I do not understand, but you’re on Snapchat, right?

Cassy Joy: I do, and I love it. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh, I’ve Snapchatted maybe once, when I was in Washington D. C. with Beautycounter; which we’ll talk about that at the end, because you are also involved with Beautycounter. I Snapchatted a couple of times, like my trip to D.C., and I feel like; I mean, it’s not there anymore, right? Because it’s Snapchat, it goes away.

Cassy Joy: Right, it’s gone after 24 hours.

Liz Wolfe: So I don’t have those crumbs, like I don’t exist on Snapchat, basically.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Man. They really suck you in there.

Cassy Joy: They do. Oh man, I swallowed hard. That is one of my favorites now. If I’m quiet on Instagram, it’s probably because I’m snapchatting the day away.

Liz Wolfe: Oh no!

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I knew I was missing stuff from your world. That makes me so sad. Ok, so in doing; so with the project you're providing people with; I guess a support structure, because a lot of folks are going this alone.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: When you were first getting into real food, and paleo, and healing yourself, you said that your family and your friends were curious.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: About what you were doing and how you were doing it, and I’m sure that played into the development of the book and the project and everything like that. How do you want people to stay accountable to themselves; and I guess not necessarily rely solely on what you can provide for them, but how are you helping people to become accountable to themselves and make this theirs? Does my question make sense?

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: So obviously you're not trying to be an overlord of people, and have them basically like little project robots. You’re very much about; here’s this information, make it work for you, and go forth my friends; go forth and prosper.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So how are you adding that element to the project and to your book?

Cassy Joy: That’s exactly the intention. It really starts; I very carefully chose the name for this program because I wanted to set that intention from the get-go. I didn’t want it to be a challenge. Because I don’t want it to be one and done.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: I want folks to think of it as; and the first pass at my eBook and the folks who participated in the project last year have seen this, but I went into a very large analogy about how the project and providing them with tools, and a toolbox, and they’re building themselves a bookcase and it’s going to look different for everybody {laughing}.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: But that’s exactly what I want it to be. So I’m providing folks with tools in the toolbox; that really is it. I’m offering all of these recipes, I’m offering a boiled down, benign basic food and fitness program that they can follow for 4 weeks that will kind of help them get to that baseline of feeling great so that from there they can fine-tune. And how they fine tune and hold themselves accountable is through introspective journaling.

I think journaling is a great way to go, and I offer; I don’t want folks to just write down I ate X amount of grams of raspberries today. I would prefer that they write down kind of high level, maybe 10,000 foot views of what is or isn’t working for them. How much water they drank; how much they slept at night; did they have carbohydrates that day. You know, I had a sweet potato with dinner and the next morning I had the best workout of my life. Kind of writing down those big picture items, and just cultivating those.

I like to encourage people to write down two to three lessons at the end of the day. I learned that I was really sleepy today, but I also know that I didn’t drink as much water as I normally would have yesterday. So maybe a lesson learned there is; on days when I’m sleepier, and maybe more prone to over-eat, or emotionally eat, or do something else that isn’t necessarily conducive to some of their goals, or visions for themselves, then they can kind of really pick out what’s actually going on. Kind of demystify this big mystery that is decoding my own healthy lifestyle design. That’s really intimidating.

So through those lessons learned, and encouraging people to document those is really how we’re approaching it, and just encouraging them and providing them with that very basic toolset along the way is kind of where my road ends with folks.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: The rest is definitely up to them.

Liz Wolfe: One of the reasons I love your approach so much is because I feel like you keep that in mind with everything you do. Not just wanting people to be little soldiers and follow the rules such that they can learn about themselves; but that they’re going to be learning about themselves the whole entire time, from moment one that they engage with the program. And I think that’s really, really important. And it’s not something that I’ve been able to design or provide for people, which makes me super-duper sad.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But, I wasn’t the right one to do it. You absolutely are. And one of; it goes back to dieting on paleo, right? Where you bring an old mindset to a new concept and then rather than one being the victor, they just kind of get mangled together. And it just doesn’t work. And that’s why you see so many people fraught with anxiety about diet programs, lifestyle programs, because they just don’t have that introspection first value. So I’m so excited for this to be introduced to an even wider audience than it already is. I think it’s going to be amazing.

Cassy Joy: Oh, thank you! You are still one of a dozen people who’ve seen it. {laughing}

5. The Fed and Fit Book [28:11]

Liz Wolfe: And I absolutely love it. I can’t remember if I said it at the beginning, but I was so, so, so excited to be involved in it in some small way to write the forward. And I just; I can’t say enough about it. You’ve actually; would you be willing to share a little bit about how you organized it, or do you want to keep that under wraps for a little bit longer?

Cassy Joy: Yeah, no. I’ll share all! I’m an open book. {laughs} Oh, literally! {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Oh man! And I totally missed that, too. Man, I’m not on my game today; or ever for the last year and a half. Ok, so talk a little bit about you sectioned it up, and why you did it that way. Because we had some interesting discussions about this.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, we did. So, again that was really intentional. I tried to, not just with the content but how folks are approaching the content in the book. I want that to help further drive a point that I’m trying to make. So the book is broken up really into three sections; three major sections. It has over 190 recipes, so it definitely is a cookbook. But that’s at the back of the book. The front of the book is where I’ve offered up the four pillars of health; and those are just my best effort at boiling down kind of those key educational pieces. Because I really do believe that knowledge is power. And when folks are able to answer the why questions, then kind of the how questions become less scary and less intimidating. You know, if we know why my tummy swells after I have a big bowl of pasta, then how to feel better becomes less intimidating.

So what we did is; and then that middle section. So the four pillars are at the front, and the middle section is actually the project itself. The full outline; and we have a 28-day meal plan in there with recipes that are sourced from the book, and shopping lists; all that good stuff. And then Juli, with her being the fitness guru of the duo, offered up workouts, home workouts for folks for those 28 days if they don’t have a gym that they can or want to get to. You know, she’s really; and man. I’ve been doing some of those workouts and they are; they’re good.

Liz Wolfe: I can’t even. I follow her Instagram. We’re talking about Julie Bauer, of PaleOMG. I can’t. I can’t do it. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} I texted her this one; I went on a lake vacation; I’m getting off topic. But I went on a lake vacation with some girlfriends, and I said; “let’s try one of these workouts from the book.” And I sent her a note afterwards; all 3 of us were just drenched in sweat {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: Ugh!

Cassy Joy: But we earned that margarita, we felt like. Not that you have to earn it; you know. You do you.

Liz Wolfe: But it felt good.

Cassy Joy: It did; it felt great. Ok, so the first part of the book is probably the piece that I poured probably more of my heart into, and that’s all of the information, and I completely understand if people just want recipes. But the information is there if you want it. And the four pillars of health are intentionally organized. I’ve got pillar number one is mindset; and then I have rest and hydration; and then food, and then fitness. And those are the four pillars numbered because when it comes down to it, and I’m looking at a recipe for success, a recipe for success, at least I should say, I really think those are great priorities to tackle. If you’re looking for guidance.

So mindset; it’s kind of a “do not pass go” piece of the equation. Because if you’re going to approach like you said, this new lifestyle from a diet mindset, it can kind of sabotage some of your efforts down the line if you don’t know what to expect of yourself. So it’s definitely a very “know thyself” kind of chapter with tips on setting goals, advice on just understanding what it is like to learn something new, and learning a new approach, and that there is a different way if you're having trouble seeing it. Sometimes you just have to feel it and go through it to believe it. So just kind of set the expectation there.

Rest and hydration are next. I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve worked with one on one that had been following a dietary protocol to a T, and they’ve been working out regularly, and all of a sudden whatever progress they felt like they were achieving started to slow down. And when we sat down and teased apart what was going on, they had cut back on sleep significantly, and they had cut back on hydrating themselves. And as soon as those two components were reintroduced, they felt like progress was being made again, and they started to feel better. So I like to make sure that those are priorities. I would rather somebody sleep more at night, than wake up and cut their sleep by 3 hours because they wanted to get to the gym.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: It’s really how I’ve organized that stuff. And then food; kind of talking about, I don’t want people to think of food as good or bad. So instead how I approached it was, there are foods that heal and foods that sabotage. And there is some gray area between the two, but I try to, again, make the healing food list as benign as possible. So provided all kinds of insight on how to think about the different food categories, and make choices powerfully. How digestion works in the body; I got really nerdy and broke it up into three phases of digestion, so we can kind of demystify what the heck leaky gut is. And I’m sure the listeners of this podcast are very well informed; but for the masses.

And of course for the fitness piece of it; talk about, of course basic scientific fitness stuff; fast twitch, slow twitch muscle fibers, pre- and post-workout snacking strategies. But I also wanted to tackle the topic of how to build your ideal fitness program. Because just like a dietary direction is going to be unique for each person, I do believe that fitness is unique to the person as well. So cultivated; I call them the savvy 7; so there are 7 different components you can think about incorporating into your fitness routine, and those are things you enjoy; if it matches your budget; if it matches your schedule; and then from there we also have mobility, strength, endurance, and speed. I think that’s all of them; I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting.

But you kind of just stay mindful of that stuff and try to strike a balance. Not that you have to hit on all of them, but just be aware that it’s ok to have fun in your workout, and it’s ok to mix and match things. And then setting up a program that works for you. So all of that to be said; if you just stopped after reading through the four pillars, and you didn’t even go through the project, {laughs} and you didn’t make any of the recipes, I would consider it a win! Because like I said, knowledge is power, and I think the more we understand why things are happening to our body, and to our mind, and to our outlook, and how we’re responding to diets and how we’re responding to workouts, the more powerful we can make choices and decisions to put ourselves in a better position.

Liz Wolfe: I think people will always; to find true and lasting success, it will always come back to mindset. Which is part of the reason I’m so excited about your project; because {sigh} man this is going to sound mean.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: But if people want to skip the journaling and the introspection; a lot of people just want lists of rules so they can hit the ground running and kind of skip all of that stuff. But in my experience, what I see with myself primarily and with clients, is that until you realize that you have to come back and tackle the mindset and be introspective; which is a word that you use that I absolutely love. Until you get to that point where you're like; ok, I do. I have to do this. I feel like it just doesn’t become part of you until you get to that point.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: So I’m so excited for this and the perspective that you’re bringing to it.

Cassy Joy: Thank you so much. I’m so excited too. To be honest, it really still feels like an elephant that I don’t quite know how to wrap my hands around. But throwing everything out there, and I’m just excited to see where it goes. When I opened up the beta group late last year, or last summer, excuse me, to 25 people and I hosted the project in Facebook, of all things, to just get it started. Just even in that stage, the feedback that came through amazed me. And people got it. They got the transition from diet to lifestyle. And at the end of the day, what I really wanted them to understand was; everything’s fine.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: Everything’s fine. You’re fine; you're not doing anything wrong. The number of emails I got; “well I have a wedding I’m going to this week and I don’t know if I should eat the cake or not.” You know! {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: Eat the cake! There’s no bandwagon. There’s nothing you're on or off. Use it as a learning opportunity, and just forgive yourself and move on; everything’s fine. You’re going to be great. So at the end of the day if people get that, and they realize that things are ok and they don’t have to restrict themselves to feel perfect, and that there’s a middle ground, kind of an unknown answer there that they can provide for themselves, it’s a huge win.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, amazing.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants, including me, I’m an NTP, emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

6. The Fed and Fit podcast [38:11]

Liz Wolfe: So you have a couple of other channels that I want to highlight as well. I want you to tell us about the Fed and Fit podcast.

Cassy Joy: I love the podcast! {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I love your voice! It’s just like, you need to be, not just in print. You need to be in all the different media outlets. I love it.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} You’re so sweet. I think it was when I was on your podcast that I was like; you know, maybe I’m going to give this a shot.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} The podcast; the tagline for the podcast is “nurturing a healthy mindset for a healthy lifestyle.” And it really was just another excuse for me to be unapologetically long-winded!

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Cassy Joy: About just encouraging folks to understand that everything is fine. Everything is ok; paleo on your own terms, how to paleo with grace for yourself and with others; keep your eyes on your own plate. Just kind of setting those parameters out there, and really cultivating this community that, now I feel like I’m just a part of. I feel like the Fed and Fit community is just; I’m a member of it at this point.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: We all just listen to each other, and we high five! But it’s an excuse to tackle some of the fun nerdy science topics, but also dial back and talk about some of the mindset pieces. You know, how to approach the holidays, and be able to indulge and not feel like you just threw the baby out with the bathwater. So that’s the podcast; we bring on a lot of really fun interviews, and I really enjoy those. I like to pick people’s brains on business on the podcast.

For example, I’ve got an interview with Siete foods, and if you haven’t tried their tortillas, they’re awesome; but, I liked asking them questions like how do you rebrand midstream? Because they picked a totally different name when they were already in stores. And I know that rebranding is something that intimidates a lot of people. So I like to kind of get those answers out there, because there’s a lot of people who are start up bloggers who listen to the show as well that are looking for, just encouragement. To understand; everything’s fine. Just jump in. go ugly early, whether it’s a business or your lifestyle; just go for it.

Liz Wolfe: Did you say go ugly early?

Cassy Joy: I did. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That’s awesome. Pardon everyone if you can hear the stomping upstairs; we have nana babysitting my kid upstairs and I think they are playing stompy giant or something up there.

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

7. A Fed and Fit wedding [40:38]

Liz Wolfe: There’s literally nothing I can do about that, sorry! Ok. So, speaking of wedding cake.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: How; you recently got married.

Cassy Joy: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: I highly encourage everyone to stalk because there is a picture or two up there from your gorgeous, gorgeous wedding.

Cassy Joy: Aww.

Liz Wolfe: How did you balance your healthy lifestyle with your desire to indulge and enjoy your wedding? I think I know the answer but I just want you to say it.

Cassy Joy: Man, I almost want you to give the answer {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: Because I don’t know what it is.

Liz Wolfe: You just ate the cake, right?

Cassy Joy: I just ate the cake, yeah!

Liz Wolfe: Sweet.

Cassy Joy: That’s exactly it. I just ate the cake. You know, I got a lot of questions leading up to the wedding; people asking me. “So are you doing a prewedding diet?”

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: Or, “what are you doing to get ready for the dress?” And I; I’m a very patient person, but I kind of had my fill of those questions, and when I got to the end of that fill, I posted a picture of a burger I was having a week before the wedding.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: This giant burger with French fries, and I was like, “This is my prewedding diet!” {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Love it!

Cassy Joy: You know, I just, I did me. I worked out, I did the things that made my body feel good. I definitely didn’t restrict carbohydrates or using every excuse to taste test champagne. And we had; we did have a gluten free wedding cake. There’s this amazing bakery; I’m in San Antonio, Texas, and they really, really kill it. They have this great buttercream frosting. So we had our wedding cake; I had two flavors because I couldn’t decide.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs} I had a spice cake, which is my favorite, with a cream cheese buttercream frosting.

Liz Wolfe: Oh man. I love cream cheese!

Cassy Joy: It was awesome! And then the second little cake off to the side was chocolate gluten free base; it was so yummy and luscious, with a salted caramel buttercream. I mean, we just ate the cake! We ate the cake, we drank the champagne. We had an awesome time. I like to think that each experience has something more to teach me than I can control it; and maybe that’s one of the big lessons learned that I personally gathered from finding a lifestyle that worked for me, was seeking every opportunity to learn something from my circumstances, and the wedding was no different.

You know, we had rain. It rained; it poured cats and dogs on our wedding day, Liz. And almost a third of our guests couldn’t make it because they were flooded, and our preacher couldn’t make it.

Liz Wolfe: Wow!

Cassy Joy: Yeah! And I remember the whole wedding day folks were kind of; they were walking on eggshells around me.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: Afraid that I was just going to burst into tears. And I was good with it; I said, this is the weather we’re supposed to have. It’s going to be really fine. We went ahead with the wedding in the rain anyways, with just close friends and family that we had under these trees; it was outdoors.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Cassy Joy: And our guests waited in the barn, and we went up and we had a great party in my sopping wet dress, and we ate lots of cake. So I say planning for a wedding can be stressful, but you don’t have to make it any more difficult on yourself than normal life. Just live your life, and enjoy the cake, and don’t worry about anything else that you feel like you should be doing to get ready for the day.

Liz Wolfe: That’s deep. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: That’s real deep.

Cassy Joy: Oh, I couldn’t help myself. It was so much fun.

Liz Wolfe: That’s amazing; I love it.

Liz Wolfe: Our podcast sponsorship today comes from Vital Choice, an online purveyor of the world’s best wild seafood delivered right to your door; because juggling a busy life shouldn’t mean you have to forgo healthy meals. At, you’ll find wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, tuna, sable fish, and cod, as well as prawns, crab, and scallops. You’ll also find grass-fed organic Wagyu beef, free range heritage chicken, fresh frozen organic berries, and dark organic chocolates. Make a vital choice by eating the highest quality food you can. Vital Choice; come home to real food. Use code BALANCEDBITES to save on your first order at

8. Beautycounter with Cassy [44:53]

Liz Wolfe: Ok, Cassy. Let’s go on a little tangent for a second, and just give a little bit of, I guess a shout out, a spill, to your; I guess we wouldn’t call it a program, but your mentorship opening for new Beautycounter consultants. Can you just give a little bit of a rundown of what you’re doing? Because I know you're involved with Beautycounter as well; I am too. We’re on the same team, and I know we’re both really passionate about safer skin care. But you were offering something really special to people that are interested, and I’d love it if you’d share here on the podcast.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, definitely. I’m really looking to nurture a focused team of people; {laughs} a band of beauty, if you will. I wonder if that name is taken? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I think it is {laughs}.

Cassy Joy: Oh, just kidding. It just rolls off the tongue.

Liz Wolfe: It does.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. I’m really looking to nurture a focused group of people, you know. The Fed and Fit; like that 8-legged octopus I feel like am, one of those is firmly wrapped around safer beauty and Beautycounter is a mainstay of that. And really developing a team to kind of go out and spread education first about safer beauty products, and then offer some options, and Beautycounter is one of those options. I’m really excited about growing that group of people. So if people are interested in working directly with me, we’d be email buddies; then I would love to chat about it. You can email me at [email protected] with your inquiry, and we can get chatted about maybe what are some of your goals, and see if you're a good fit.

Liz Wolfe: And if you are, if this has piqued your interest a little bit, obviously check out Snapchat. I really can’t speak to that, but I know you’ve posted about Beautycounter on your Instagram, and you can get kind of a feel for what Cassy is all about, if you don’t have that feel already. And you know, just get a feel for whether or not you think this is something that you’d be interested in, in her approach and her mentorship. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be, but.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: If you need a little more information, maybe start there. Check out the Fed and Fit Instagram and see what she’s up to.

Cassy Joy: Awesome.

9. Final words about Cassy’s projects [47:12]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, friends. Well we’ve got a shorter podcast today. Cassy, is there anything else that I missed that you want to share with folks before we sign off?

Cassy Joy: I do. I have one thing. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Please do.

Cassy Joy: I was thinking about it; I was like, I want to tell people about this. So, with the book that’s coming out. And Liz, I don’t even know if I’ve mentioned this to you; but we’re publishing an app that’s going to go with the book.

Liz Wolfe: I didn’t know if I could say anything about that or not!

Cassy Joy: This is the first place I’ve talked about it!

Liz Wolfe: {singing} Ahhh!

Cassy Joy: {laughs} Oh my gosh, this is so exciting. Well, hear ye, hear ye. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I’m really pumped about this. So we’re publishing an app, and it’s going to be a free download to people, and it will be on iPhone and android, just Fed and Fit is the name of the app, and it’s going to coincide with the book. And I’ll just tell you little quick things about it, because I’m really excited about it.

In the actual printed book of the Fed and Fit book, at the beginning of each recipe chapter section, we have a QR code listed for each recipe. And from within the Fed and Fit app, you can pull up a QR code scanner, scan that recipe; let’s say you want to make the buffalo chicken casserole and the eggplant lasagna. In the app, it will populate a grocery shopping list for those recipes. And then you can go through and you can cross off the things, and it will consolidate if both things call for cauliflower; let’s say two heads of cauliflower, you can cross off the salt and pepper that you’ve already got, and use that to walk around the grocery store with you. To just kind of help make meal planning that much easier!

And it’s also going to include a copy of the journal; so if folks want to do the project and they want to journal via their phone, they can do it that way. And for members of the project online, it will include a backend log-on, so you can watch the videos from the mobile phone, you can tap into the community, and all that good stuff. I’m just pumped about it!

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh, that’s going to be incredible. And that really enables people to use the book as just a one-stop-shop for all the food, all the recipes, all of the introspection; retrospection/introspection, all that good stuff. I’m just so excited that you’ve created that tool and that you announced it just now on the podcast!

Cassy Joy: {laughing} I’m so excited. Like I said; I threw everything; every idea I’ve ever had is in that book right now. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I love it. That’s the way to go. All the information, everything you know, you're putting it out there for other people to use and hopefully benefit from. I think it’s amazing.

Cassy Joy: Awesome. Thank you Liz.

Liz Wolfe: Thank you so much Cassy. So, folks listening; sign up for Cassy’s email list at You’ll get updates on the book, the project, the app, and I think you’ve even sweetened the deal for folks signing up, they’ll get a free guide, I believe right? For healthy eating while dining out, is that correct?

Cassy Joy: Yep. That’s it.

Liz Wolfe: Awesome. You always get something great with Cassy. Alright guys, that’s it for today. You can find Cassy at Preorder her book on Amazon ASAP. You can find me at and you can find Diane at Thanks for listening.

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