Kendall and Aaron Russell

Today on the podcast - The Russell's! Kendall (@k.adair.r and @KayyyP3) and Aaron (@a_a_ronrussell and @FatRonRussell) are Penn State Volleyball’s all-time great power couple and have become one of Italy’s royal volleyball couples since moving their lives to Perugia, and for good reason. Aaron has been motoring through his third year on Sir Safety Perugia, which happens to be my current team as well, and Kendall has been alongside every step of the way, putting in all the real work to make them both go, behind the scenes. Kendall is a former libero and multiple-time NCAA champion at Penn State University, where she and Aaron met. Aaron is a former All-American and 2016 Rio Bronze Medalist and Best Outside Spiker, who is playing in his third season overseas.  They were absolute champs and allowed me to invade their home, right above mine here in Perugia, to get into the details of their lives, where they’ve been and who they see themselves becoming. We sat around their kitchen table and snacked on veggies and drank local wine because that's what fuels long nights of conversation. All raw and uncut fun.

Listen in and enjoy!!

Sound Bite 3: Food Tech, Chopsticks, Veggie Boiling, and More!

Sound Bite for the Week of April 9th, 2018

Quote to Ponder:

- “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” - Henry David Thoreau

Main Topic of the Week: 

- Blood Testing and Food Tech, their roles in the future of food as fuel.

Actionable Tip of The Week: 

- Eat with chopsticks!

Crazy-Awesome Health Nugget of the Week:


Listener emails or questions of the week.

- Shout out Vien and Sara. Thank you for such thoughtful emails/messages.

Bowl of the Week:

Chai Spiced Porridge


- 1 cup oat bran (or grain of choice)

- 1 cup water (adjust water amount to the specific grain you use)

- 1 cup plant based milk

- pinch of fine sea salt

- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom

- 1/8 teaspoon ginger

- 2 Tablespoons almond butter

- 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 1-2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup


- 1/2 cup chai spiced pecans

- 1 cup pomegranate seeds

- 1 ripe banana, chopped

- 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

- milk for topping (plant or dairy works fine)


- Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add the oat bran, cover and simmer on low until cooked. About 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the spices, almond butter, vanilla and maple syrup.

- Divide the porridge between bowls and top with pecans, pomegranate seeds, banana, hemp seeds and a drizzle of milk. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Taylor Averill, Part Two

Today on the podcast - Part Two of special guest Taylor Averill! Taylor (@taverill13 and @taylor_constantine on Instagram) is a Middle Blocker for the USA National Team, currently playing professionally overseas in Millan, Italy. 

Part Two of our conversation ranges in topics, including:

  • How he thinks through what diet or system of nutrition to follow and how you should find out for yourself, what factors in, and how he’ll choose the way he eats going forward. 
  • Continuing the conversation about what changes nutritionally for him while he lives overseas in Italy, living for his goals but enjoying food, too.
  • His daily life and nutritional practices: including taking Green Vibrance and eating eggs, journaling, mindfulness practice. 
  • His philosophy on failure.
  • Coming into his own as an artistic person with Taylor Constantine Photography, along with what’s inspiring this path for him.
  • What’s next for Taylor and what we should be on the lookout for, coming from his corner of the universe!

Taylor Averill, Part One

Today on the podcast - Part one of special guest Taylor Averill! Taylor (@taverill13 and @taylor_constantine on Instagram) is a Middle Blocker for the USA National Team, currently playing professionally overseas in Millan, Italy. Taylor is fully switched on. He is a consummate learner and is always dedicating himself to new ways of finding personal greatness. He and I really became well-acquainted in our year together, last season in Padova, Italy, and from day one as his neighbor I knew he was someone to hang around as much as possible. H’es one of the most entertaining individuals I’ve ever come to know and I’m always excited for what’s next when we spend some time chatting together. 

Part One of our conversation ranges in topics, including:

  • How his movement practices are adapting in Italy and with travel.
  • His experimentations in breathing methods including Wim Hof Breathing and what he calls “breathing while moving”. 
  • Why he writes on his shoes and how he goes about a daily journaling practice.  
  • His humbling beginnings as a freshman at UC Irvine, through his career at the University of Hawaii and the personal battles he fought before graduating.
  • His connection with sports performance coach, Daniel Mar Chong of MAR Training in Hawaii, changing the trajectory of his volleyball career.   
  • His thoughts and beliefs on full body awareness and trust in pain. 
  • His changed ideas in healthy eating from middle-high school days to now.

Sound Bite 2: Scaling Back Social Media, Grayscaling Your Phone, Human Beings Being Human, and More.

Sound Bite for the Week of March 23rd, 2018

  • Quote to Ponder: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu

- Main Topic of the Week: 

  • Social Media: its effects, how to detox, and more.

- Actionable Tip of The Week: 

  • Grayscale-ing your smartphone

- Crazy-Awesome Health Nugget of the Week:

  •  It turns out we’re not fully human! (spoiler alert: we’re actually only a tiny fraction). 

- Listener emails or questions of the week.

  • Continue to write in to !!!
  • Android users: you can use Podcast Connect to listen to anything on apple podcasts, including this show!

- Bowl of the Week:

  • James’s Staple Smoothie Bowl:
    • Smoothie base: 
      • 1/2 avocado
      • 1 frozen banana
      • 1 cup fruit (mango/pineapple/berries)
      • 2 cups nut milk
      • 3 leaves kale, 1.5 cups/handful baby greens
      • 1 tbsp maca powder
      • 1 tbsp nut butter
      • 1 scoop green supplement
    • Toppings:
      • granola
      • nut butter
      • goji berries
      • seeds (chia, pumpkin, hemp, flax, etc.)
      • coconut flakes
      • cacao nibs
      • 1/2 banana sliced
      • anything you find tasty and makes you feel good :)

Dustin Watten, Part Two

Today on the podcast - Part Two of special guest Dustin Watten! Dustin Watten (@DustinWatten and is a Libero for the USA National Team, currently playing professionally overseas in Radom, Poland. Dusty is commonly known amongst the volleyball community as one leading a movement towards veganism. He’s actively outspoken on Instagram and on his personal blog toward this end, but this is just a small scoop in the whole container of “Nice Cream” that is Dustin Watten. Dustin truly wants to make a difference for the next generation, sharing a lot of his daily practices on either of these channels including Stoic philosophies, tips and tactics for young Liberos looking to improve their own games, and a whole lot more. It seems like every time we get together, Dustin and I end up having these incredibly insightful conversations. I learn so much from Dustin on a regular basis about appreciation and the quest for better, and this time was certainly no different. As will be a theme throughout the show, he shows why he’s a great mentor of mine as not only a seasoned veteran presence on the national team, but someone who walks his talk in all aspects outside of volleyball life. 

Part Two of Dustin and I’s conversation ranges from a breadth of topics including:

  • The rise of sports nutrition to a field of greater importance in the college athletics community
  • The growth of men’s volleyball at the collegiate level, pointing out the exciting steps forward in spectatorship in recent weeks.
  • His favorite spots in the Southern California area to grab some vegan grub.
  • His “guilty pleasure” redefinition as a vegan, how he and his fellow vegans love their vegan junk food. Spoiler alert… it’s not exactly your Momma’s typical “junk food”…
  • The importance of moderation and variance in a strict diet such as he follows, in order to prep for situations where he doesn’t have a choice in what he’ll get to eat. 
  • Cravings: how his cravings have morphed since making his plant-based diet change. 
  • The important distinction between coming at healthy eating changes from a positive frame of mind versus coming at the same changes from an approach loaded against negative consequence. 
  • His favorite references (documentaries, podcasts, blogs) that got him kicked into the vegan lifestyle and kept him committed to the cause, including two upcoming films we can look forward to in the future. A few he mentioned- Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, What The Health, and Earthlings.
  • The two directions we seem to be heading food-agriculturally, albeit slowly as a culture: veganism and the “clean meat” movement. 
  • A paradigm shift he experienced while playing in Brazil, rooted in his insight from an older woman working minimum wage cleaning his club’s bathrooms every week.
  • The daily practices he can’t do without, nutritionally and otherwise. “Must”-urbation. ;)
  • His new favorite phrase, Best Day Ever.
  • His go-to Bowlful. Which turns into two bowlfuls. Rules already getting broken here on the podcast!
  • His last parting wisdom for you.
  • And a whole lot more.

Preach, Dustin, Preach!!!