Self Defense & Nutrition Expert Jennifer Cassetta on How to Defend Your Mind, Body, and Heart

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Greetings everyone! In our previous episode with Adi Rotem, we talked a lot about martial arts and the fighter’s spirit. A number of you guys reached out and expressed some desire to hear some more concrete self-defense tips. Well, first of all, thanks so much for those of you who reached out! Second of all, I think you’re going to love today’s episode. My guest is Ms. Jennifer Cassetta, a clinical nutritionist, personal trainer, and 3rd-degree black belt in Hapkido with a passion to empower women to be strong, safe, and sexy. But gentlemen, don’t tune out just yet!

Jennifer created the popular Stilettos and Self Defense DVD series, has recently published a book, and has been featured on The Today Show, The Doctors, E!, and many more. She teaches empowerment, safety and self-defense workshops around the country while she continues her nutrition and corporate wellness practice in Los Angeles.

As you will quickly notice, Jennifer and I really had fun chatting, and we go on a lot of interesting but kind of unrelated tangents. Whether you’re a male or a female, this episode will offer you a lot of value and maybe remind you of some important mindset adjustments you should be keeping in mind. We talk about all kinds of different ways to defend your mind, your heart, and your body from would-be attackers, ranging from being conscious of what types of things and people you expose yourself to all the way to grass-fed beef. Furthermore, for the men in the audience, Jennifer’s wisdom will definitely offer you some great insights and ideas that you can share with the women in your life to help them stay happy, healthy, and safe. I think you’ll have a lot of fun listening to it, and I hope you take a lot away from it, as well.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Jennifer became interested in self-defense, and September 11th caused her to make it her life's work
  • The unexpected and powerful benefits of martial arts training
  • What it means to protect your mind from potentially harmful outside forces
  • The idea of selective consumption, and being careful what kinds of vibes you're exposed to
  • Some of the warning signs that alert women AND men that a relationship might be unhealthy
  • Finding balance, and what is the right level of self-confidence
  • Where to begin if you want to train in martial arts
  • Jennifer Cassetta's top tips for avoiding dangerous and compromising situations
  • Which martial arts are more practical for defending yourself?
  • Jennifer's thoughts on nutrition and treating your body right
  • A really disturbing story that will make you more careful about the meat you're eating!
  • Synthetic meat – go or no go?
  • What are the differences between the ideal diets for men and women?
  • The importance of fat in our diets
  • Thoughts on gluten, grass-fed meat, and the paleo diet
  • Jennifer's sources of inspiration
  • What about cheating on your diet once in a while?
  • What Jennifer is working on now!
  • Some notes on self-publishing, for those of you who are writing books
“Nobody needs gluten in their diet.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:


Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: Greetings everyone. And welcome to the show. In our previous episode with Adi Rottem, we talked a lot about martial arts and the fighter spirit. A number of you guys reached out and expressed some desire to hear some more concrete self-defense tips. First of all, thank you guys for reaching out. And second of all, I think you're going to love today's episode.

My guest is Ms. Jennifer Cassetta, a clinical nutritionist, personal trainer, and third-degree black belt with a passion to empower women, to be strong, safe, and sexy. But gentlemen, Don't tune out just yet. Jennifer has created the popular stilettos and self-defense DVD series. She's recently published a book and she's been featured on tons of different media outlets from today's show to eat.

She teaches empowerment, safety, and self-defense workshops around the country. And as a nutrition and corporate wellness specialist in Los Angeles. As you'll quickly notice Jennifer and I really had a lot of fun chatting and we go on a lot of interesting, but kind of unrelated tangents, whether you're a male or a female, this episode will offer you a lot of value.

And maybe remind you of some important mindset adjustments you should be keeping at the forefront of your mind. We talk about all kinds of different ways to defend your heart, your mind, and your body from would-be attackers ranging from being conscious of what types of things and people you expose yourself to all the way to grass-fed beef.

Furthermore, for the men in the audience. Jennifer's wisdom will definitely offer you some great insights and ideas that you can share with the women in your life to help them stay happy, healthy, and safe. And I know we all want that. I think you'll have a lot of fun listening to the episode, and I hope you take a lot away from it as well.

Jennifer, welcome to the show today. We're so happy to have you.

Jennifer Cassetta: Thanks, Jonathan. Thanks for having me.

Jonathan Levi: Our pleasure. Actually, one of our, uh, audience members recommended that we'd reach out to you. So I'm super excited to hear what you have to say today. yeah.

Jennifer Cassetta: Well, that's very cool to whoever you are. Thank you.

Jonathan Levi: Indeed. I think it was Jeff from Texas. I think his wife is a fan of yours.

Jennifer Cassetta: That's amazing.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Right?

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: So Jennifer, tell us a bit about yourself for those who don't know, what do you do and how did you get into what you're doing today?

Jennifer Cassetta:  Ooh, that's a loaded question. Jonathan, I'll start with, I guess, how I got into the health and wellness career path.

And that kind of started back in 2000 with my first Hapkido class. I wanted to just try martial arts as a form of getting fit. I was just a couple of years out of college and my dad had started martial arts, maybe a decade before then. And he was always like, Hmm. Jenny, you know, you'd be really good at this.

You should try this. And I was like, no, thanks. But then somehow it appealed to me. I was on a subway, like, Hey, what if this guy like grabbed me? What would I do, blah, blah, blah. So one thing led to another, I. Immediately became obsessed with it. I was going to a school called World Martial Arts Center in Manhattan and just the teacher and the other black belt instructors.

Like it was such an empowering place to be that I wound up wanting to spend all my free time. Wow. Yeah. So about a year later, 9/11 happened, and I was working down by the World Trade Center. Needless to say that morning I was covered in dust and where I worked didn't crumble, but I lost my job. We couldn't get back in there.

So that was sort of the impetus to get me thinking, like, what do I really want to do with my life? What if life really is short? You never know, you know, when your last day is, so why not really choose a career that makes you happy and is serving other people. So I really, before that I was managing a nightclub and then marketing for the event space.

So. I didn't feel like I was really contributing to society. So I wanted people to experience the same benefits that I was getting from martial arts, which was the physical strength, the mental and emotional strength, and even a new, spiritual growth as well.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I actually also did martial arts for a period.

Right. And that's really more than anything when I was really, really young, I did. And more than anything, that's what I took away. I mean, the self-defense skills were really amazing, but it's more about knowing how to carry yourself and having confidence in your ability to defend yourself and kind of taking out some of that rambunctiousness as well.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah. I mean, that's the thing. I think a lot of people that aren't familiar with martial arts don't know about are those benefits too, because it's really incredible. So that kind of started the journey. And then I said, how can I make this a full-time career? So I became a certified personal trainer.

Started getting clients and Manhattan, private clients. And did that taught at the martial arts school then went back to nutrition. So I did two courses over a six-year period. Basically, I did the Institute For Integrative Nutrition, which is like a holistic study program, and then went back to school for my master's degree in nutrition. And that pretty much was a 12-year journey of all of that together.

Jonathan Levi: Amazing. Your story kind of reminds me of a James Altucher is kind of choose yourself, a motto that he likes so much because it really, you can see throughout your story that you really, at one point you decided, you know what, I'm going to choose myself.

I'm going to invest in myself. I think if this were an entrepreneurial podcast that would love to dig more into that process of tenacity.

Jennifer Cassetta: Definitely. I have stories it wasn't easy. I spent more money than I was making, usually on the training and like, so yeah. But it all pays off in the end if you're really dedicated.

Jonathan Levi: It does. Doesn't it? I love the title of your book. And for those who don't know it is Hear Me Roar: How to defend your mind, body, and heart against people who suck.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah.

Jonathan Levi: I thought maybe we can dissect that into three sections because I have a lot of questions actually about each one. I think it's really important to note that you start.

With the mind. And recently we did a podcast with neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Hill on how to get the best performance out of your mind, but I'm really interested in hearing what it looks like to defend your mind.

Jennifer Cassetta: Interesting. Okay, great. Yeah. Well, there's so many different ways, but on a very basic level, it's like, Protecting your mind against two things.

I would say one is your own little enemies, that little voice inside your head that tells you you're not good enough. You're not smart enough. You're not skinny enough. You're not pretty enough, blah, blah, blah, all that garbage. Right. And of course, That's a muscle that just like, you know, a bicep that you have to train over and over and over again, basically to tell it, to shut the hell up, tell it who's boss and create a mantra.

That is the exact opposite of what that negative voice is saying. So if it's even as simple as you're always late, or you never have enough time, then your mantra might be. I always have enough time. Everything always gets done well, something like that, something that's powerful and makes you feel good.

And then against other people who suck could be like energy vampires, you know, people that weren't weren't right. Like the Debbie downers in your life,

Jonathan Levi: Naysayers, cynics.

Jennifer Cassetta: Definitely. Yeah, because obviously some Debbie Downers, maybe they just need help and need your help being lifted up. But the ones that really should just realize that they're blessed in life and they just want to complain.

Anyway, you may want to distance yourself from them. You may want to just create like an energetic shield. I don't have that in the book, but something I kind of do myself. Like, it's almost like, like this. Like shield where like their energy is not going to come into my field and bring me down as hokey as that sounds.

Jonathan Levi: This doesn't sound hokey at all.

Actually, I'm a huge believer in that I'm a huge believer in very selective consumption. So I'm not just selective about. What kind of food I consume, I'm selective about what kind of media I consume, what kind of conversations I consume. I mean, we just had an election here yesterday and you can choose to expose yourself to a lot of negative media and a lot of kind of muckraking and stuff like that.

Or you can choose to expose yourself to a lot of positive media and a lot of exciting things. And I'm a big believer in selective consumption in that regard. So.

Jennifer Cassetta: This is such a beautiful way to say it. At the college workshops that I've been giving around the country recently, it's one of the biggest tips I tell the girls, like if you look at a magazine and you're all of a sudden comparing yourself to these fake photo-shopped models and you now feel bad because you don't look like that.

Stop buying them. I gave up over a decade ago. I stopped buying magazines like that. For that reason, I just don't need it in my life. I'd rather buy entrepreneur magazine or I always carry books around with me that are self-development or helped me train myself basically.

Jonathan Levi: Right. And I guess the natural progression of that coming back to the people who suck is the idea that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

And being extremely ruthless almost about who those five people

Jennifer Cassetta: are.

Yeah. That's a really good point too so yeah, defending, well, we, I do get into dating and dating obviously in partners and all of that stuff in the book and not. You know, again, we talk about domestic violence and abuse and sexual assault, but even before you get there, physically, you do have to protect yourself emotionally from those people that are closest to you.

So basically there's warning signs you can look for in people that you will date. And this goes for guys and women too. If they're just negative or putting you down or teasing you excessively all these different signs, like that might not be the relationship for you. And I don't know how I just got on the relationship tangent, but sorry.

Jonathan Levi: It's an interesting tangent. I actually read a study, uh, when I was getting my bachelor's and there was a specialist who, of course, his name. Uh, this was long before I was the memory and speed reading expert who forgot his name, but within two minutes, He basically sat down with a hundred couples for two minutes, a piece, and observed them telling the story of how they met.

And 10 years later, he was able to predict with 98% accuracy, whether or not they'd be together. And it came down to one thing. And one thing only when your partner tells a, I don't know how we got on this, but when your partner tells a story, do you add to it? Is it yes. And or no? And right. So they say, well, we were both at the grocery store.

No, no, no. We were at the farmer's market, right? Or is it yes, we were. Are you contributing or are you taking away value? I think that's really total tangent, but.

Jennifer Cassetta: That's okay.

Jonathan Levi:  So when I was younger, I always really struggled with this kind of a self-esteem balance issue. And I went from a place of really, really low self-esteem as an adolescent, and I kind of completely overshot and overcompensated.

So I think for a long period of time, I was kind of an arrogant little. Before I learned how to find just the right amount of confidence. Is that something you see a lot with people you work with or how does someone prevent overshooting it when they're creating this mantra that says I'm good enough and I'm great and I'm smart and I'm so on and so forth.

Jennifer Cassetta: You know, I work a lot in this field with the self-confidence and health. I work a lot with women. So women don't tend to in general, be. Super arrogant, especially if they're coming from a low self-esteem point. I see it more with men and sorry. 

Jonathan Levi: No, it's it's fair. The research supports it.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's just from personal experience.

So I'm more in the business of trying to like lift women up, especially. Those that have been through like sexual assault or that kind of stuff. So, yeah, I haven't experienced that much. And then when I was training in martial arts, mostly I would say my clientele was more men than women, and these were like wall street guys.

But when I was in New York, And super successful and something about when you step in that Dojang training studio and you put on your uniform and you're meant to bow to each other and do all of, you know, that respect thing, all of the other stuff kind of melts away. So I also didn't find any arrogance in the male clients that I trained either.

So maybe I was lucky. Maybe I attracted great clients, great people, and maybe I don't tolerate arrogance.

Jonathan Levi: Maybe that might be what it is, but that's actually a really good transition into defending our bodies. So as I mentioned, I also have actually a second-degree black belt than not as useful martial art of Taekwondo.

So I really learned that he had martial arts are created equally in terms of their street value though. So what are some of your more valuable tips that you give to people who might find themselves in a threatening situation?

Jennifer Cassetta: Sure. Well, I mean, again, that's super broad question, but let me, can I start with just like, if you do want to, I get this question a lot.

If I wanted to start. Training in martial arts, where do I begin? How do I pick a school? How do I pick a style? Even since you kind of brought that up? And the one thing that I've observed after all these years is the most important thing is actually it starts from the top down. So the teacher or the master, the head of the school, whoever's running the school.

Is more important than the actual style that you choose. That's my personal opinion because I've seen these masters that are so arrogant or don't really care about their students, or really just care about money and selling belts kind of, and all that stuff. Versus the type of training that I came from, where the master trains, the head students to all these like compassionate and true leaders.

So again, I went on a tangent, but that's where I would start if you were to want to train in martial arts. But as far as when I'm teaching myself defense workshops, the first thing, and most important thing that we always start with is awareness. So before you even can defend your body, you need to know where you are in space and time, and what's around you, who's around you, all of that kind of stuff.

So, yeah, making sure that your senses are unblocked, so you're not. Talking or texting on the phone while you're walking. Cause I know so many people do that. Right? No headphones on the street or in the subway. I have seen girls on the subways with their headphones on I'm like, are you crazy? All kinds of stuff like that.

So awareness. Start there.

Jonathan Levi: Definitely. I also had a very kind of brief opportunity for a short while to train with, uh, one of the Gracie brothers. And what really was interesting to me is basically their approach. And the way that they came in was in the context of this TaeKwonDo environment, not TaeKwonDo for those who don't know is all about kicks and punches and essentially in a perfect world, you stay on your feet, but it's never a perfect world.

And what I loved about jujitsu specifically, which the Gracies teach was, you know what, there's a pretty good chance you're going to end up on your back. And that's where a lot of really, really ugly stuff can happen is if you get knocked down or your attacker pulls you down you're in, pretty big trouble, if you don't know how to handle yourself and get back up and, and you know, run away.

Jennifer Cassetta: Oh yeah. Big time. And that's what I loved about, you know, again, I don't know if it's a hop Quito thing or a, my teacher thing, but we learned all different kinds of fighting styles. So yes, I'm trained in Hapkido specifically, but his training also included Japanese jujitsu, different ones as well. But those two main Hapkido and Japanese jujitsu.

So we were doing knocks and throws on floor stuff and. Boxing and everything combined. So it was a true, really mixed martial arts.

Jonathan Levi: But so defending your body from attackers is really only one aspect of what you teach. If I'm not mistaken, what are the other components?

Jennifer Cassetta: Oh, defending your heart attackers.

Right? Which I just touched on, I don't know, over there right now, but here in the States. Right. And if you're reading the news here, which I'm sure you are domestic violence, sexual assault on college campuses, I mean, it's huge. And those are not just random attacks on the street. Most sexual assault on college campuses with someone that, you know, so it's like date rape or someone at a party that you've met before.

So if you can defend your heart first and really love yourself, give yourself lots of self-worth. Hopefully. Maybe you can leave those violent relationships or even before they get violent. So again, that's why in the book I have 20 signs. You might be dating a creep and not to say that if your boyfriend checks off a couple of those boxes or girlfriend, I should say that they're going to wind up beating you one day.

It's just a sign that you could be in a verbally or emotionally abusive relationship. And sometimes that's worse or just as bad.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, I think everyone's experienced that, unfortunately, to some extent when they're just with someone who doesn't give them the proper amount of respect.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah, absolutely. Or, you know, and it's hard to see it when you're in it, but, you know, I was in a very manipulative relationship and now once you leave it, you can totally see like, Oh my God, what was I thinking?

And now I know why my girlfriends and my sister were like, what are you doing with that guy? Right. But when you're in it, you almost kind of get. Used to it, or it's almost like you're addicted to it in certain situations. So those are the toughest to get out of sometimes.

Jonathan Levi: Well, and it reminds me of the saying that I've heard time and time again, which is you teach other people how to treat you.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yes. Absolutely.

Jonathan Levi: It actually comes back a lot to the defending the mind in the sense that if you're treating yourself with respect and compassion then other people feel compelled to do the same, it sounds like.

Jennifer Cassetta: Absolutely. And you're also drawing a line in the sand. Like you won't permit that from other people.

And that's what I had to do after that relationship line in the sand. Absolutely. Didn't you know, I will not date another guy that was like that. And at the same time, I was taking responsibility. I don't like the blame game. Well, his fault, his fault. No, it was partly my responsibility for staying in that relationship.

So I think that's a key component again, kind of controversial. I know a lot of women have. Kind of really got upset with me when I say things like that sometimes, but again, on a spiritual, energetic level, if you can't take responsibility for you. And your past actions or your actions in general, how could you ever move forward?

Jonathan Levi: Right. And if you're not commanding respect, then why should a third people feel compelled to give it to you? I mean, always we should treat people with respect, but if you're communicating that you feel you're of low self-worth, other people will subconsciously feel compelled to treat you as if you're low self-worth.

Jennifer Cassetta: Right. And by no means, is this blaming victims out there? I want to clarify that. Um, never, never, never.

Jonathan Levi: It's more of a matter of, kind of like you teach people how to treat you and inspiring people to treat themselves with love and compassion.

Jennifer Cassetta: Absolutely. Yes. And again, that's part of the book. First section is learning to love your body.

So many of us girls are like hating our bodies and can't even take a compliment anymore. But another woman gives you a compliment. It's like, Oh no, no, no. You know, you can't even accept it. So learning to accept compliments, giving yourself, or giving the universe or. Whatever higher power that you believe in.

Thanks and gratitude for the body that you have for the strength that you have for anything that you have, and is a really powerful step in self-healing and self-worth.

Jonathan Levi: So, Jennifer, I feel like I have to take advantage of the fact that you're also the first clinical nutritionist on the show. And, you know, you brought up loving your body and I guess a big component of that is treating your body also with respect.

Jennifer Cassetta: Right?

Jonathan Levi: What sort of nutritional regimen do you support?

Jennifer Cassetta: I'll tell you, but with just the sidebar that it's not necessarily. What I do. I don't necessarily think that everyone else has to do, but definitely, I eat a whole foods diet, which yes, I do believe everyone should cut back on processed foods and really turned to whole foods, diet. Personally, I don't eat animal meat except for a little bit of wild fish here and there for the omega-3 fatty acids. But as far as the meat. Produced in this country. Yeah. With all the antibiotics and growth hormones and stuff, I gave that up 14 years ago.

Jonathan Levi: So part ethical part, there's a disgusting hormones in meat decision.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah. And more than that, I mean, I have a gross story. If you want to hear it.

Jonathan Levi: How gross. I mean, I'm paleos if you take away my meats, I might starve.

Jennifer Cassetta: Well, I'll just tell you this one thing. Okay. And again, I don't know the animal, the factory farming in Israel, so it could be better over there. And I have a feeling it is, but here I gave up me maybe four years later, I'm in a nutrition workshop and the founder of the school is telling a story of a student of his.

Who was married to a butcher. And she went into the butcher shop one day and said, why is that cow hanging from there? You know, what's that green slimy stuff on the cow. And he was like, Oh, that's cancer. And we just cut it out. And we served the rest of the meat. And I was like, cause my dog died of cancer four years before.

That's why I gave up meat because I was thinking of dogs can get cancer. So can all these other animals that we're eating. Wow, that was it for me. And it kind of solidified the fact that there's no unless I'm buying meat from a farm where I know the farmer and I know how he's treating the animals and all that kind of stuff that I'd just rather not. So.

Jonathan Levi: What's your take on synthetic meat? I know, uh, The founders of Google. I think it was financed this like $5 million hamburger made of strictly cloned stake cells.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah, no way, no way, no way. It doesn't even sound remotely advertising or, yeah.

Jonathan Levi: Not yet, but if you can clone a perfect steak and no animal has to lose its life, that might be kind of interesting.

Jennifer Cassetta: But isn't that technically genetically modified as well.

Jonathan Levi: Definitely.

Jennifer Cassetta: So, yeah. No. Thanks.

Jonathan Levi: A fair point. So I have to admit I've done a little, a lot of research on kind of male-specific nutrition. I've personally restructured my own diet to support all the good stuff, increased testosterone, a lot more natural fats, upping selenium, and magnesium, avoiding estrogenic foods, all that, but whenever

women ask me, well, what should I eat? I'm always completely stumped. So what are some of the variances between the dietary needs of men and women besides the obvious kind of caloric requirements?

Jennifer Cassetta: Good question again. I think there's just so much more that goes into it on a personal level. So I don't like to say, like, this is a diet for men.

This is a diet for women, because like I just explained for me, I mean, there's so many. Personal emotional cultural things that go into diet. And we're looking at it more these days. Like it's a science experiment than it's actual food. Like it's food, that's grown from the earth that comes from animals.

And I just feel like when we talk about it in terms of grams and this, it kind of loses what food at least means to me. And I know. A lot of other people, which is nourishment and social bonding and all that kind of stuff. So I don't like to get too strict, but for women, a lot of women over the years, we've been told that fat is bad.

So now there's still, a lot of women are still scared to eat fat and we need good fats. So that's one thing I would definitely recommend to all women and men too. So again, not too different, but nuts and avocados and healthy oils like olive oil. Coconut oil, throw that stuff in your smoothies, throw it on your salads.

Chia seeds. I put Brazil nuts every day in my smoothie for health, for this selenium. Exactly.

Jonathan Levi:  Right. The Brazil nuts are also great for the gentlemen. They really, really support a healthy endocrine system. So.

Jennifer Cassetta: Right. And that's the thing. I mean, I think a lot of the healthy foods for, you know, go across the board for men and women.

So did that sort of answer your question?

Jonathan Levi: Definitely. Now I'm curious if you're not getting a lot of animal protein. Do you have a take on the kind of gluten non-gluten? Are you trying to stick to paleo Esque foods or what's your take on all of that?

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah, I've read enough on gluten that I don't really, nobody needs it.

Put it that way. Nobody needs gluten in their diet. If you cut out all wheat, you're better off. Or at least if you cut back on wheat, you're definitely better off than if you have it. And that's not just if you have, you know, an intolerance or an allergy, but just, I think everyone in general, because it's so genetically modified at this point, I think about 56 years ago.

All across the board and what I was even more shocked to read was that it wasn't just the United States, but the wheat from all around the world has pretty much been genetically modified to this short strand and of wheat. And it's just much higher in gluten and there's just. So much disease and inflammation going around that I think is one of the culprits

Jonathan Levi: I'm reading, actually a brilliant book right now called Sapiens by Yuval Harari.

And he's talking about why did these huge mammals all over the world, like mammoths and other kinds of these huge Marsupial's they all went extinct because they didn't have. A hundred thousand years to adapt to predators, you know, like, you know, a smaller fish had a hundred, 200,000 years or more millions of years to adapt to the fact that sharks were becoming more clever and had better senses and became stronger.

And if you're talking about, you know, these animals went extinct because they couldn't adapt. To our brain development over 70,000 years, right. We became clever enough to hunt large animals. Then if you consider that we've only been eating gluten and wheat for 10,000 years, it really puts things into perspective.

Like that is not enough time for our bodies to adapt to something as, and especially like you said, 50 or 60 years since it's really become processed, right? It's like, no wonder we're sick and no wonder metabolic diseases is a thing now.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah, absolutely. And just since you brought that up and I know you're paleo, you know, I totally understand, like, again, from a scientific standpoint, I understand the diet, what I think that people don't fully, and I'm not saying you, I know you do your research, but.

Jonathan Levi:  No let me have it. Let me have it,

Jennifer Cassetta: You know, my personal opinion on paleo diet is what people just take it for what it is like, okay, well, I'll eat meat and I won't eat grains and blah, blah, blah. But what's the quality of the meat that you're eating. If you're not eating grass-fed beef and you're not eating organic free-range chickens, you are consuming so many chemicals and those animals don't eat their natural diet. So for example, chicken is now, you know, chickens and cows they're fed soy and corn diets, mostly with some animal parts just thrown in and the makeup of their meat is not the same that it was when animals were free-range or, you know, were natural of course naturally raised.

So there's way more inflammatory fats than inflammatory fats. In that animal that you are eating. So, you know, you're on the paleo diet and all of a sudden you're, you know, looking trim and you think from the outside, wow, this is really working. You're not thinking 20, 30 years down the line. What about all that chemicals that I've just consumed the growth hormones, the antibiotics.

All of that stuff, cancer-causing chemicals, you know, that really needs to be thought about.

Jonathan Levi: Definitely. And I love it when the butcher, you know, you ask him, recommend something for me and you're kind of thinking, I hope he has grass-fed beef. And then he says, well, look at this beautiful marbleization it's like, I'm pretty sure that, you know, a hundred thousand years ago, like wild cows and so on and so forth did not have this marbleization right.

That's not supposed to be. Yeah.

Jennifer Cassetta: Just the fact that you're going to a butcher. I mean, people here not getting their beef from butchers anymore, you know, we're getting it from grocery stores and factory farms mostly. So that's what really, I just want to please be careful people if you're doing that high meat kind of diet.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah.

Jennifer Cassetta: Think long-term yes.

Jonathan Levi: Jennifer, who are some people whose work you really admire?

Jennifer Cassetta:  Over the years. I have. Kind of delved into the self-development realm, if you will. And I am huge, like, I love to, you know, I love doing admit that I'm a huge Tony Robbins fan.

Jonathan Levi: Like there's no shame in that.

Jennifer Cassetta: Oh, I love him so much.

I did all his live workshops, so I went to Fiji and I went to San Francisco and Palm Springs, and all these places I did all his, um, great, amazing. You know, training workshops. And I just think the guy's incredible physically his energy. He can be on that stage, like a rock star from 8:00 AM till 11 o'clock at night, and like never stopped.

So I'm just in awe of him. Who else? I love Wayne Dyer from a spiritual perspective. I think he really can just. Break things down on such a level where we're all just one, you know, we're all kind of connected energetically. And I just, I love learning about that through him. Who else? And then in the nutrition field, I love Dr. Mark Hyman. Have you heard of him?

Jonathan Levi: I haven't.

Jennifer Cassetta: He's awesome. And I've seen him speak a lot. Um, again, at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, he would come every year and. And give a talk, Andrew Watt, Dr. Andrew Weil, just people that really kind of know their stuff. And aren't afraid now, Dr. Mark Hyman is getting into the Cleveland Clinic.

So he's really trying to take this, you know, holistic nutrition or alternative medicine into the mainstream. And I think that's really, really awesome and commendable. So can't wait to see what he does with that.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. I have to check out his stuff.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah, he's vegan. Paleo.

Jonathan Levi: Oh, my gosh.

Jennifer Cassetta: Talk about scratch.

Jonathan Levi: So basically he's eating like lettuce and I mean, you can, yeah. Lettuce and nuts. You can't even eat legumes if you're strict. Yeah. Paleo.

Jennifer Cassetta: Oh boy.

Jonathan Levi:  Wow. That's tough.

Jennifer Cassetta: Look, I grew up in an Italian household. You better believe that I'm going to have a slice of pizza once in a while or a bowl of pasta. So I just, I like the 90 10 rule or the 80 20 rule. You can stick to like your rules and your discipline, 80 to 90% of the time.

10% of the time you can kind of indulge. And I like my wine. So what are you going to do?

Jonathan Levi: I love Tim Ferriss in his kind of four-hour body. He talks about the cheat day. And I think that's brilliant for two reasons. One, because like you said, it keeps you sane and that's, what's kept me for the last two years. But two, and again, reading this book sapiens and talking about, you know, if, if you were wandering in the jungle.

It'd be pretty rare for you to find ripe fruit. You know, it's not as abundant when you don't have a greenhouse to ripen it. And if you found a, a bushel of ripe bananas, you are going to guard yourself and you know, like 700 grams of sugar because you can. And that's why our bodies have this amazing ability to pump out insulin when we need it.

So the cheat day is a good thing.

Jennifer Cassetta: Right. Yeah. I mean, Tim Ferris didn't make that up. Like that's been around for a while.

Jonathan Levi: Exactly. Just the idea that I love is like, you're going to cheat at least do it structured.

Jennifer Cassetta: Oh, hell yeah, absolutely.

Jonathan Levi: So Jennifer, what's next? What are you working on now?

Jennifer Cassetta: Okay. What am I working on now?

Lots of stuff, but I am taking this, Hear Me Roar presentation. And trying to visit as many schools as possible that are interested. So I've. Just got back from Cornell University where I talked Monday night. That was my first Ivy league school. So I was really excited.

Jonathan Levi: Congratulations.

Jennifer Cassetta: Thank you. Heading to UC Boulder and Arizona state, and I've had a few others, so that's one big part of what I love to do.

I love to be out there. I love to be meeting people. I'd love to be connecting with people online is great too. So I'd like to develop a few online training programs and. What else? I have another book idea in mind, but I want to really give this, Hear Me Roar, baby, some more attention and nurturing before I move on to that.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Did you self publish Hear Me Roar?

Jennifer Cassetta: Yes, we self-published. I co-authored it with my friend named Lindsay Smith and she had already self-published a few books. So she knew how to do that. And it was all good.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. I'm hoping to actually self-published my book in two to three weeks from now. So yeah, I finally convinced myself that like major, major authors, the Tim Ferriss, and the gyms, all teachers of the world are self-publishing.

So. Wow, really the way to go today. It seems like.

Jennifer Cassetta: Well, you know what it is, the best part is you don't have to

wait a year to publish something that you have written like it usually takes like about a year even, and you have to find a publisher and an agent and blah, blah, blah. I mean, and the publishing place has changed so much that.

Yeah. And you know, I think self-publishing is really cool.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah. And if you crush it, then, you know, the ideal situation is to have them come to you.

Jennifer Cassetta: Right? Exactly.

Jonathan Levi: So very cool, Jennifer, I don't want to take too much of your time, but if people want to reach out, if they want to learn more, check out your book or DVDs, where should we direct them in the show notes?

Jennifer Cassetta: Okay. You can go to There's a blog with lots of recipes that I post, videos that I post. And then on the shop button, you have everything. So you get the stilettos and self DVD, but then there's also a couple of other DVDs that I did that are pretty much unisex. If you want to go a little deeper into some self-defense training. So they're on there as well.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome.

 Yeah. And I'm all over social media at JenCassetta so pretty easy to find.

Cool. We will put that in the show notes and if someone doesn't check it, it's two S's and two T's.

Jennifer Cassetta:  Yes. Two N's two S's, two T's.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. Awesome. You keep it easy for us.

Jennifer Cassetta: Yeah. Thank you, Jonathan.

Jonathan Levi: It was such a pleasure having you.

Jennifer Cassetta: Awesome. I really appreciate being here and thank you all for listening

Jonathan Levi: Thanks so much, Jennifer. And we'll talk to you soon.

Jennifer Cassetta: Okay. Bye now.

Jonathan Levi: So that's it for this week's episode. I hope you guys thoroughly enjoyed it. If so, please, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes and to share it with your friends and family.

You know, another thing is that we're always looking for guest posts and guests on the blog and on the podcast. So if you know somebody or are somebody. Who has an interesting superhuman skill to share either on the blog or the podcast, please be in touch with us. Our email is

Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast for more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit See you next time.



  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



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The Basics of Total Personal Transformation W/ Stephan Spencer