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Better Health for Better Creativity: An Interview with Jill Cruz
Episode 23518th February 2021 • WRITE NOW! Workshop Podcast: Write a Book, Change the World with Kitty Bucholtz • Kitty Bucholtz
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Today's guest is Jill Cruz, a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist and the founder of Work with Your Nature Weight Loss.

I asked Jill to help us understand how we can be more creative in our work and keep up our good health even though most of us sit in front of a computer all day. She explained what some call the five pillars of health -- nutrition, sleep, stress management, physical activity, and mindset -- and how we can make small changes that will make a big difference.

Jill cautions us, though, not to tackle everything at once. That can lead to overwhelm and cause us to give up without seeing much progress. This is a brilliant interview with so many tips to help us improve our creativity by improving our health! The night after I interviewed Jill, I slept better than I have in a year!

You can find Jill on her website,, where you can sign up for her amazing newsletter. Here's to a healthier, more productive year!


[00:00:07.630] - Kitty

Welcome to Write Now Workshop Podcast, where you can write a book and change the world. I'm your host, Kitty Bucholtz, and this is episode number 235, "Better Health for Better Creativity," an interview with Jill Cruz coming to you on Thursday, February 18th, 2021. This episode could change your writing life. I am absolutely not kidding you. It actually might just change your life, period.


In the time that it took Jill and I to do this interview, so, you know, an hour-ish, we talked for a few minutes afterwards so let's call it an hour and fifteen minutes tops, I slept better the night after we spoke than I have slept in months. And I am not kidding. I've been having some sleeping trouble. But she was explaining so many things in this podcast that helped me to understand - and I thought that I already understood, I thought I was bringing her on for you.

[00:01:04.300] - Kitty

Little did I know that she needed to tell me a lot of things that I just need to tweak this. I need to change how I look at this and that and this and that. Oh, my gosh. You guys, seriously, this is going to be a great episode for you. I think that if you've been having sleep trouble like me, possibly you might notice that your sleep is going to improve. I'll just tell you a little hint.


It had totally to do with my mindset before I went to sleep, and I thought I had been doing enough, but apparently I hadn't. I just really, really focused on the things that made me super happy that I was super grateful for. I thought I just needed to relax. But when I really focused on thinking very positive, happy, strong thoughts like that is the best sleep that I've had in months. I am totally not using hyperbole.


You know, I love hyperbole, not using it this time. I was like, holy cow, I got to do. This again. And, you know, I've gotten out of the habit a little bit, which again makes me go, wow, that obviously does make a difference because now I'm sleeping well, better, but like not like I had been those first couple of days after talking to her. So much information. And I really think that it's going to help both of us with with our general health and also the kind of health that leads to a clearer mind, clearer thinking and better creativity.


So enjoy this episode, take notes. And remember, we now have transcripts on all the episodes, starting with this year, 2021. So go to podcast.WriteNowWorkshop.Com and find this episode 235 and you can read the transcript and remind yourself of all the things that she said that you want to make sure that you do. It's already changed my life. I'm sure it's going to change your life. Also remember that you can pick up my free Self-Publish Your Book Checklist.


That is a downloadable PDF that you can also just leave on your computer and fill out on your computer so that you don't have to print it and then fill it out by hand and then wonder, what did I do with that piece of paper, which is what I tend to do. So you can sign up and also get a free copy of that. And remember, if you have any questions about the Finish Your Book membership program or the one on one coaching or the group coaching, you can find more information at WriteNowWorkshop.Com/writing coach. Or you can reach out to me at Kitty@KittyBucholtz dot com. Send me an email. The membership group is totally fun. We're getting a lot of writing done together. We're kind of using each other's energy and a lot of people are continuing to write after we hang up. So they're using that energy and having even more energy to get even more writing done, which is awesome.


Plus, we have awesome guest speakers like Jill. In fact, Jill was one of our speakers answering specific questions where people could ask her, what can I do in this particular situation to help me with this problem, which is awesome. I love it.


So much going on! 2021 is just going to be a very exciting year for us. There's lots of new things happening and I'm just excited for you to be a part of it. So reach out. Let me know if there's anything that you are loving about the changes, anything that you're hating about the changes, or if there's anything that you're like, hey, can you do this? Or maybe I won't be able to help you myself, but maybe I'll know somebody else who can help you with something else.


So reach out. I am happy to help. I really do believe that we can write books that change the world, whether it is to changed the world of my readers who are stressed out, and then I give them more joy and happiness, or I take them to a place where really scary evil things are going on, but then good wins out in the end, or books that like literally are going to make people go, oh, this is so interesting, I'm going to do this differently. Oh, look, my life is better and now I'm interacting with other people in better way, and it's making these ripple effects of the world becoming a better place. So I completely believe that we can all do that. So I want you to write and I want you to finish. And if there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. In the meantime, Jill is about ready to give us all sorts of helpful tips that will help us with both our regular health and the health that we need in order to be the most creative people we can be to do the things that we have in mind. All right. Here's Jill.

[00:05:34.120] - Kitty

Today's guest is Jill Cruz. Jill helps women over 40 who hate dieting to lose weight and feel great without being deprived. Jill has a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition and is a board-certified nutrition specialist. She combines her strong, science-based background with tons of practical nutrition, fitness and lifestyle guidance, helping people strive to be the best versions of themselves. She's on a mission to guide women to achieve their wildest dreams for their health while loving the food they eat and the life they live.

[00:06:09.960] - Kitty

Welcome, Jill.

[00:06:11.310] - Jill

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[00:06:13.500] - Kitty

I just have to say, as a woman over 40, I'm like, I love your mission. I've been eating (pointing to something on her shelf) for like a month and a half now and it does feel good. But I'm wearing some jeans that are telling me it's time to back off.

[00:06:27.680] - Jill

Yeah, that can definitely happen. Listen, it happens to the best of us, everyone.

[00:06:33.330] - Kitty

Awesome. So listen, let's just kind of give the audience an idea of who you are and why we're talking. You and I met in a business coaching program called ACES that were both still in. We're talking in January, 2021. And we just hit it off. I liked you immediately the first time I talked to you. And then every time, you know, if you're talking during one of the group calls, I'm like, oh, that is so interesting. So I was thrilled when I reached out to you and said, could you talk about nutrition to writers who have this crazy sedentary activity and who I have to say most everyone I know eats while they write, which is terrible.But there's something about I think that has to do with the chewing and the crunching, does something in your head, I don't know. But anyway, I was very, very happy for you to come on the show and talk about how we can do our work better based on things that you specialize in.

[00:07:28.930] - Jill

Well, thank you for having me. I'm super excited to talk about it, too, because one of my big areas of interest is productivity and efficiency and really being your best. You know, how is it possible for we humans to kind of maximize our potential? It doesn't matter where you're starting. It's just how can you be a little bit better? A little bit better. A little bit better. So, yeah, I love talking about anything related to being a better writer or just being a better person.

[00:07:57.880] - Kitty

Yeah, yeah. Especially because, you know, it's been a tough year for a lot of people. Some people like you and I, we've been working at home the whole time and in some ways it feels like has my life really changed. But then all the people around you who used to be someplace else during the day, they're also at home. And so you realize your life has changed. And my life is.

[00:08:21.340] - Kitty

Yeah, my husband used to be an apprentice chef at a four-star resort when we got married. So instead of taking lunches with him and going away and then I would have peanut butter and jam or peanut butter on a banana or whatever came to my hand when I walked through the kitchen. Now I have these like big meals, delicious, lots of butter.And then I'm like, oh, well, since you're cooking, I feel like I should do something and my thing is baking. So I'm like, let me make some cookies and some cinnamon rolls and some homemade bread.And yeah, it's been fun, but I'm not sure how healthy it is. 

[00:09:00.010] - Jill

I mean one thing that I if anybody asked me at a party or if I'm working with a client, doesn't really matter if someone saying, you know, should I do this, is it OK if I do that, a lot of times I'll just say, well, what are your goals? Because for some people, it's really important to be to look a certain way or it's important to have their brain functioning really well during the day. Other people, it doesn't matter as much.So it really comes back down to what is it that you want to accomplish physically and also obviously career-wise, all of that comes into play. But I think that a lot of times people don't realize how much their lifestyle and nutrition practices affect their work. Yeah, yeah. So, you know, you may sit there saying, well, it doesn't really matter if I bake. You know, I'm not overweight. I'm having fun. I'm enjoying it. And that's great. But at the same time, if you want to be better and maybe be a better writer or whatever it is that you want to accomplish, you can use nutrition and lifestyle to do that. Right.

[00:10:07.480] - Kitty

OK, this is interesting because I'd never thought about me asking myself the question. I mean, I'm a product of the American marketing and media campaign that all women should look like, they weigh one hundred and ten pounds. And I'm like, I weighed one hundred and ten pounds and like the fifth grade, that's not good. So on the one hand I'm like, well, I want to be healthy. I don't want to die of a heart attack, you know, because I have sixteen pounds of fat surrounding my heart and my heart can't pump anymore. But I really like food and I would like to enjoy that too. But it's funny because even though I know nutrition affects my brain, like, I think that maybe it affects my brain long enough after I've eaten that I don't really make enough connections to know what thing helped and what they didn't like. I told you I had a little bit of caffeine about an hour and a half ago. And inside my brain, I'm like this squirrel on over the hedge.Have you seen that animated movie  his head,he's like, am going to go over here and climb the hedge and look over and, you know, do the look out thing that I said I do. But what all the other animals see is this girl going bing bing like, oh that's how I feel inside my head. I don't know if this will make me a better writer or a worse writer, but I suspect in two or three hours when it wears off I'll be like what. Writing. What's a writer.

[00:11:34.210] - Jill

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're the opposite of the squirrel outside, you look very calm but inside.

[00:11:42.580] - Kitty

So tell us.So first of all, that is a great question and I just want to say it again. What are your goals? Lose weight. Think better, sleep better. I know nutrition helps you to sleep better. Exercise helps you sleep better. Supposedly I'm fifty two, I haven't slept past four a.m. and I don't know a while. Apparently that's a hormonal thing. And then I started thinking, well what about, what about my, you know, hormones can I do to eat differently or exercise differently that will make that ease up and not be such a problem? So there's probably six or ten hours worth of information you can give us. Why don't you pick, so it's writers listening. Why don't you pick what do you think are some things that would be really helpful for us to be thinking about for our 2021 goals?

[00:12:28.670] - Jill

Well, just going back to those goals. Danny who is, we are in this ACES program together, and Danny Iny is the CEO and he always talks about what is the roadblock, what is standing in the way of getting to where you want to go. And I think that's the first place when really to set that goal of what's going to bring you to the next phase, the next level up. So definitely you want to start with a goal, because I could tell you, do this, do that. But if you don't have a reason to do it, you're not you're just not going to do it. So first the goal and then the commitment to the goal. And then after that, there are really five areas that you could consider. There is nutrition, sleep, stress management, physical activity and mind set, and those are all five. Some people may call them pillars of health, that you could tackle one of those and you could see a big difference in your life. If you try to tackle all of them at the same time, you're probably just going to give up in a week. You know, like they have these programs where it's like 30 days get up every day, 6:00 a.m. workout and eat perfect. And, you know, go to bed on time and meditate. And after 30 days, you're like, OK, well, really, that was fun. But now let me get back to my life.

[00:13:53.110] - Kitty

Yeah, yeah.

[00:13:54.130] - Jill

No, it's it's not sustainable.

[00:13:55.990] - Kitty

Right.I have to tell you, like, I've learned a lot of things in this business coaching program, a lot of things about mindset and other things. And and again, like how can I work better? How can I get the most out of my brain during the day and that sort of thing. And so there's this 15 minute meditation that I found. And then there's this exercise that really only takes me about a half an hour unless I add some cardio. Then we're talking 30 to 60 Minutes. And then, you know, I was like, OK, I need to be calm and stop being so stressed out. So then I'm reading my Bible, talking to God and kind of putting my goals down just two or three goals for the day so I can just be calm. And by the time I actually get to work, it's like 10 a.m. noon. I'm like, I can't get enough work done now. I don't know what to do. So I totally hear you. I'm trying to do too many things at once and feeling like you're not accomplishing anything.

[00:14:44.710] - Jill

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Each one of those things has to become an ingrained habit before, I believe before you really want to move on to the next. So it could be about asking someone else like me, like a professional saying, OK, what area do you think I should start with first? But I actually think most of us know and when you're choosing, you know, it's not the thing that I need to work on the most necessarily. Like, if you know that your diet is really poor, you might think, well, I got to get that diet fixed right before I do any of these other things. That may be true. But then again, that really difficult thing, may feel like a mountain in front of you and overwhelming. So you may want to pick something that's actually low, low-hanging fruit, that's easy for you to do. OK, so if you let's say your diet is really poor and you're sedentary, maybe the first thing you want to pick is, I'm just going to take a walk every day if you're not already doing that or I walk, but I don't exercise. Now, walking is exercise, but technically I kind of put it into the category of physical activity. So but either way, we're designed to move. Yeah, we're designed to move sitting down all day, writing and especially I don't think people write with pens anymore when you're a writer. Right.

[00:16:10.840] - Kitty

A few people but yeah, mostly on the computer, I think.

[00:16:15.580] - Jill

That may provide different postural issues than, you know. So if you are sedentary, it's probably highly, highly imperative that you start getting up and moving and it could be five minutes a day to start. So so we could go, you know, we could talk about any of those if you want, like a tidbit from each.Yeah, I can do that. Does it makes sense.

[00:16:44.180] - Kitty

Yeah, absolutely. That sounds good. So there are five pillars. Maybe you can give us an example of one thing that we could change that might make our writing life a little bit easier in areas.

[00:16:56.780] - Jill

So let's since we were talking about physical activity, I think that's a great place to start. Physical activity and exercise is, for the most part, pretty free. I mean, you could invest in gym equipment like you were telling me, but you can also just go outside and walk. You can clean your house. It doesn't have to be a financial investment. So that's one thing. And it also, there are enormous, enormous benefits from being more physically active. When I say that we're designed to move, I'm not just saying that, like we are literally designed to move. So when we sit all day, we're doing the opposite of what we're supposed to be doing, unfortunately, I hate to break the news. Now, I work all day, too. So the standing desk, which you mentioned you have, can be a life-changer right there. So if that's possible to get a situation where you're not sitting, you're actually standing and doing your work.

[00:17:56.810] - Jill

It's a totally different energetically when I write. I'm not a writer, but I do write a lot of blog posts and stuff. When I speak when I work with clients, I'm always standing up. It's a different creative energy. So that's one big tip. And if you're not doing anything, just five minutes a day. If you can commit to for the next seven days, don't even think about the future, just think about the next seven days-every day I'm going to do something for five minutes. I'm going to walk, I'm going to do a couple of squats. I'm going to dance to my favorite song, whatever it is that will make a difference and then you can always build on it. That's the beautiful thing about it. We put so much pressure on ourselves, like, oh, I'm not...




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