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“Re-framing our beliefs allows for healthier habits.” With Dr. William Seeds & Jim Curtis

Essentially, we all hold beliefs, many of which we don’t even know we hold. Our behavior — whether we grab a donut or a green juice — is informed by our beliefs, and our unconscious. These unconscious behaviors ultimately lead us towards the avoidance of pain (yuck, green juice) and the obtainment of pleasure (yum, […]

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Essentially, we all hold beliefs, many of which we don’t even know we hold. Our behavior — whether we grab a donut or a green juice — is informed by our beliefs, and our unconscious. These unconscious behaviors ultimately lead us towards the avoidance of pain (yuck, green juice) and the obtainment of pleasure (yum, donut). We need to first understand why we hold certain beliefs, then we must learn how to re-frame those beliefs by learning the tools to do so. Re-framing our beliefs allows for healthier habits to emerge and create healthier emotional responses, as opposed to engaging in risky lifestyle and diet behavior.


As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Curtis.

Jim Curtis is the Chief Revenue Officer, Head of Brand and Head Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN).

He joined IIN in August 2019 and is a graduate of the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire. He has been a wellness pioneer for the last 20 years, helping to develop WebMD, Everyday Health, Remedy Health, HempVet and Modrn Sanctuary as well as publishing his own coaching guide The Stimulati Experience (Random House). As a coach Jim focuses on behavior and success mindset understanding that health first starts with what you; think, feel and believe and by optimizing mindset you optimize all the other facets of life: fitness, nutrition, relationships, spirituality and career.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

Twenty-one years ago I was a trader on the American Stock Exchange, at that time I was working to treat what became a chronic illness. I really had to look at what I needed in a career both physically and mentally. I started to investigate wellness tools, many of them non-traditional, to help me feel better in any way that I could. While I was seeking out these tools, I also began to explore working for some of wellness companies that I was trading. Eventually, I went to help develop the company that we now know as WebMD! I’ve travelled all over the world being treated by different wellness practitioners to learn as much as I can to manage my illness while also living as vibrant and fulfilled a life as possible.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I’ve had so many different wellness experiences that I chronicle in my book, The Stimulati Experience, ranging from grand masters of kung-fu and chi-gong to Ecuadorian shamans. Perhaps the most interesting story is in regard to the research I did with the Head of Psychology at Johns Hopkins Medical around purpose in life.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Earlier in my wellness journey, I would go to just about any wellness practitioner that someone recommended without researching them. One of the recommendations was a shaman who claimed he could completely heal my physical disability. He was located in a very old, run-down, five-story walk up in the East Village of NYC. As I walked in and tried to make my way up the stairs, I pulled on the railing and it came off, and I went tumbling down. By the time I got back up and walked up to the shaman I was in a very poor mood. They had requested I bring two things: cash to pay him, and a pack of Marlboro Lights. He worked with an interpreter, through wich he told me to take off all my clothes and lay in front of him on a dirty old rug. I wondered if the translation was correct and as I looked at him quizzically — he just waved his hand toward the floor and I complied. He lit some sage branches and hit my back and legs with the burning sage sticks and blew the smoke from the cigarettes he requested into my face. The scene was so surreal all I could do is accept it and when I did I began to laugh without control — this the translator told me was the cure. I later realized they were right — there isn’t much that laughter can’t fix.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I have helped develop some of the largest and most expansive wellness resources in the world, all while gaining experience with health and wellness by being a patient myself. I have seen over 200 wellness practitioners, all over the world, and chronicled their practices through actual research, and written a book called The Stimulati Experience. I have taken advanced education in neurolinguistic programming and hypnosis from HMI and the NLP Center in NYC to better understand the unconscious mind. I have taken advanced training in transformative education to better understand behavior. I am an IIN certified Health Coach, and have coached hundreds of people in business and in life on how to become successful in regard to their health, career, and relationship outcomes. I guide people on how to get shit done despite the obstacles in their mind and body.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

In my book, I write about the person who had the biggest impact on me. He was my college professor Lawrence Rosenfield He took a very unorthodox approach to teaching awareness, mindfulness, with many Buddhist theories. He called it his course “Debate 101.” He was the person I spoke with when I was first diagnosed with my illness, and he was the first person who ever really critiqued how I was behaving as a person like little mindful awareness. He used to say, “You can be a drop of sunshine in the darkness of night,” and I’ve carried that with me my entire life and wrote those words as his eulogy in my book.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Essentially, we all hold beliefs, many of which we don’t even know we hold. Our behavior — whether we grab a donut or a green juice — is informed by our beliefs, and our unconscious. These unconscious behaviors ultimately lead us towards the avoidance of pain (yuck, green juice) and the obtainment of pleasure (yum, donut). We need to first understand why we hold certain beliefs, then we must learn how to re-frame those beliefs by learning the tools to do so. Re-framing our beliefs allows for healthier habits to emerge and create healthier emotional responses, as opposed to engaging in risky lifestyle and diet behavior.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

1. Put a rock in your shoe. We often take for granted the amazingly super-human ability to run, and it wasn’t until I became ill and developed a disability that prevented me from running or walking without pain, did I realize how wonderful my life is. You want to change your behavior and really create gratitude? Live in discomfort.

2. Sleep on the opposite side of your bed — the one you usually don’t sleep on — for a month. When you change your routine, you grow new neural pathways in the brain, called neurogenesis. This can actually reprogram your brain! Switching up our routines may seem simple, but the underlying work happening in your brain is profound. The new neural pathways formed can actually help you boost your creativity and problem-solving skills! Also, it keeps life exciting when you try to brush your teeth with the opposite hand! From personal experience, if you’re going through a breakup, heartache is significantly reduced when I change simple routines, such as sleeping on the opposite side of the bed.

3. Take 3 breaths before any statement you make, or anything you say, ever. Do this as often as possible. We often say things we don’t mean, but sometimes we say things out of jest, excitement, and anger. We may not even be mindful of the things we say, whether we regret them or not. If you want to have a significant lifestyle change as it relates to being mindful, aware, and purposeful, slow it down, and breathe before you talk.

4. Take hot showers in the morning, and end with a blast of cold water. I once met and spoke with Wimhof, otherwise known as “The Ice Man.” He convinced me that cold water was the “essence of life and circulation” in the body. Hot showers increase mood because of the negative ions, and the cold helped increase excitement and a bit of shock to wake me up!

5. Drink more green juice made from celery. This helps crowd out coffee, caffeine, sugar, and helped increase my energy by doing so. Once you start your day drinking green juice, and you feel great, you have that mental awareness of health and are less inclined to eat those donuts that do not go well with green juice.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

It is great for the mind, body and soul.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

I like to keep it basic: 1) pull-ups; 2) sit-ups; 3) walking! Cardio, core-strength, and upper body strength are key.

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

I exercise often but due to my physical disability, I get extremely sore and am often in pain. To reduce recovery time and give me more energy and muscle strength, I started taking the supplement NAD+. I also take Epsom salt baths that relieve muscle soreness in a big way. Cold showers are also helpful! I have an infrared biomat that I lay on for 25 minutes before I go to bed. Lastly, mid-day, I take curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. When I do get injured or am too sore, I go for acupuncture and PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections. Acupuncture has saved my life!

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

I go by the institute for integrative Nutrition’s theory of bio individuality and crowding out

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

1) Happier by Tal Bin Shar

2) A Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel

3) Writing my own book, The Stimulati Experience, was extremely transformative for me

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am currently part of a movement. It’s a revolution that creates a ripple effect that changes the health and happiness of the world through primary and second foods. It’s called The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Bradley Cooper.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

@jimcurtis1 on Instagram and @nutritionschool on instagram

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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