The practice of making health a priority was instilled in Jay at a young age. Maybe it was his mother’s cooking or the way his dad showed the value of hard work. Whatever it was, our Health Raiser of the Week (and Vitacost CIO) never lost that edge. Whether he’s setting the bar at work or lifting the bar in the gym, Jay stays focused on a goal and takes all the necessary actions to reach it. Here’s more on his secret to success – in health and in life.
What does health mean to you?
It means listening to what my body is telling me and not letting my brain get in the way (it usually does anyway!). This includes both working out and eating right. I believe it’s important to just spend a little time listening to your body and thinking about what’s good for you – your body will tell you. If you’re tired, sleep. Need protein? Eat some. Lacking energy? Work out to build up some stamina – maybe even just take a walk.
What inspired you to start living a healthy life?
I’ve always had something healthy going on. Not everything is/was healthy, but there’s always been at least one healthy aspect. Luckily, exercising comes easy to me. For 20 years or so, I was involved in competitive sports, which carried on into my 40s and 50s. The older I get, the longer I want to be active and participate in everything I can. It’s like adding money to the life bank. As for food, healthy eating has always been in the back of my mind. Even as a kid, I remember my mom cooking according to the Scarsdale diet, which was a heart-healthy menu for my dad.
What are three things you do to stay healthy?
1) Well I work out five times per week – almost without fail. It has become a habit, a labor of love and part of who I am.
2) I do a lot of my own cooking and shopping, so I get to take full ownership for what goes in my body. My family helps (and I help them!). Just for the record, I do eat out a lot…too much, probably.
3) Lastly, I maintain an active spiritual life, which helps me keep my full life focus.
What is one motivational quote that you live by?
I try to live by a quote by Teddy Roosevelt: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Sometimes you just gotta do it – whatever “it” is. I like action.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what Vitacost product could you not live without?
Wow, I don’t know. If I can choose any brand, I’d choose Vita Coco’s Pure Coconut Water, because I know I’m going to get thirsty on an island! If I could only choose our house [Vitacost] brand products, I’ll go with our garbanzo beans. I’d need a compact food with lots of good stuff to keep me going! And beans are a forever staple. Can I please have both?!
What advice do you have for someone who is trying to live healthier?
That’s so hard to answer. At the end of the day, it just comes down to focus. The desire has to outweigh convenience. I don’t have it in all areas. The key is to try for continual improvement somewhere, and don’t ever get down on yourself if one area or another isn’t progressing the way you want it to. There’s always tomorrow.
Is there a role model you look up to?
So many! I was blessed with great parents, great bosses, mentors and spiritual leaders. If I had to pick one, it would be my dad (RIP). He lived a life of hard work, hard play and integrity–a good man, who I think about almost every day.