At The Good Stuff, we believe that the foundation for a great life is freedom. We also know that finding freedom day-to-day can be tough – we wouldn’t exist if it was easy. We have chosen a few of our favourite smoothie drinkers to share with us how they keep their busy lives in check and learned that balance is the key to having more freedom in your life.
When Jeff Pelletier is doing a 100 to 300km Ultramarathon, he’s thinking about food - a lot. Everything he has to eat during a race is strapped to his back, measured in grams. When you need to consume 250-300 calories an hour, you better believe you want that food to be packed with jet fuel, ready to be pumped into your system.
When Jeff is not racing, he’s training and running his video production agency, which requires an equal amount of discipline and stamina. In order to do it all, he tracks his time down to the minute, constantly weighing his priorities against the tim eavailable to knock out a run, grocery shop (or get it delivered), or spend time with family/friends.
We caught up with Jeff, who just recovered from a 300 km run, to talk about how being strategic with your time, down to the second, can free you up to accomplish superhuman feats.
How do you define balance in your life?
I hesitate to use terms like work-life balance because I think that's a bit of a fallacy and it's more about what you prioritize. I really believe in planning my work and working my plan.
I hesitate to use terms like work-life balance because I think that's a bit of a fallacy.
I live and die by my calendar and I track all my time from sleep to watching TV, to training, to work so I can always reflect and be aware of where my time is going. I do plan for downtime, so I do prioritize sometimes sitting in front of the TV or being with friends and family.
I will literally block out time for those things because you have to you have to create it on purpose, because if you’re not controlling your schedule your schedule controls you.
Some people might say that's the opposite of having freedom.
The freedom that my work affords me is that I have a flexible schedule and can take time off when I want to. I have the choice of how much I want to work in a day or if I want to work on something else in my life. But that freedom requires discipline.
I think that freedom to choose is what being an entrepreneur is all about, it's not about working less. A lot of people think that it is about working less, but that's not the reality.
The running you do takes a lot of discipline. How do running and your work feed into each other?
I'm a pretty goal-oriented person so I approach my work and my running in the same way. They both require commitment, discipline and sacrifice. Essentially, I don't see work as being very different because I enjoy my work and running and they're both challenging and all about learning and overcoming obstacles.
Were you always this focused or was it a point of struggle and you had to learn to focus?
I think I've always been like this, but I wasn't always an active person. I didn't start running until I was 27 and then I was road running. The problem with road running is that you start to see diminishing returns and all you do is try to just go faster and faster in marathons. With Ultrarunning you can keep setting the bar higher and higher in terms of distance and there are different types of training and different destinations, so it really adds some interesting variables into the mix.
I think I took to an endurance sport in particular because it's mostly mental and you're not as limited by genetics and as you would be in some sports.
With my work, I'm bouncing so many priorities juggling so many things that sometimes it's hard to know what to focus on, which creates a sense of stress. Whereas with the running events, especially the multi-day events, I have a singular of focus which is first of all surviving and second of all getting to the finish line.
It’s the only thing that matters and you completely disconnect from the world - even if that's just for 24 hours. That's the only time I really get to have that singular of a focus and sometimes I'm sad when it comes to an end.
It’s the only thing that matters and you completely disconnect from the world - even if that's just for 24 hours.
What role does nutrition play in your training?
Sports teaches you to think about food as fuel and you're only as good as the food you put in your body. In the case of ultrarunning, you have to consume a lot of food, but it has to be good food, especially if I'm going to be carrying food for several days at a time.
That really makes you think about the quality of food. I think it gives you a different perspective on what you put in your body when you have to start measuring it in grams.
How do you use The Good Stuff?
I use the Good Stuff both for fuel before long runs and for after workouts. For me, it's the convenience factor. I'm balancing a lot of things and I don’t always have as much time as I would like to shop for fresh produce, and it’s time I can spend on something else, so convenience is a huge factor for me. It can be difficult to find a balance between convenient and health because fast food is not the answer.
I really enjoy the Endurance Collection because there's a nice balance for recovery and for fueling before a workout or run. I usually have it for mid-afternoon snack instead of reaching for cheese and crackers because it’s an awesome way of getting a serving of veggies.
Check out Jeff's go-to collection, the Endurance Collection.