Shane McCassy: “More isn’t always more”

Joy! It’s so important you find joy in your healthy lifestyle. Being healthy and happy is not one size fits all, we’re all on our own journey at different junctures. So find joy in YOUR healthy lifestyle. Whether you enjoy a relaxing yoga session or a high intensity workout, find what works for you and […]

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Joy! It’s so important you find joy in your healthy lifestyle. Being healthy and happy is not one size fits all, we’re all on our own journey at different junctures. So find joy in YOUR healthy lifestyle. Whether you enjoy a relaxing yoga session or a high intensity workout, find what works for you and make it part of your routine. You’ll never regret a workout or eating a nutritious meal!

As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shane McCassy. Shane is a wellness entrepreneur and founder of Hab, a sustainable water enhancement line. Shane is Los Angeles, CA based and has previously worked with brands such as Muscle Milk and Tone It Up.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Shane! 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?

I always loved being active, I played multiple sports through high school and made fitness an integral part of my adult life whether it was triathlons or lifting weights. In early 2008 I took a phone call that would change my life. I was fresh out of a tech startup that filed for bankruptcy and hopped on with the Pickett family who were the founders of CytoSport, the makers of Muscle Milk. They talked about bringing protein to the masses and making it more of lifestyle product that would be sold in convenience stores, gas stations and grocery stores. The next day I flew from my home in Los Angeles to the Bay Area, started working for them immediately and spent seven amazing years seeing out that mission.

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

During my time at Muscle Milk, I got invited to a lunch meeting with Vicente Fox, the former President of Mexico and CEO of Coca Cola Mexico. He was interested in bringing better for you products like Muscle Milk to Mexico. I attended the lunch with my good friend and co-worker Brittany, we were both not quite 30 years old and heading to a lunch meeting with the former President of Mexico. He had such a presence and was so gracious to us, we had a lovely time. This experience taught me that I should never hold myself to my job description as your job and life are what you make out of it; though my job title was Director of Marketing, I was at the table with one of the worlds most influential people.

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?

When we were launching a regional marketing program in 17 markets across the country at Muscle Milk and we had a national kick off at our headquarters in Northern California. We were showcasing our sampling vehicle which was a tricked out Jeep Wrangler. It was coming from So Cal so I volunteered to drive it up for the meeting. I picked up the Jeep from a dealership in LA and realized something was wrong when the steering wheel was on the left hand side. Whoops! I called my boss Nikki and told her I was driving the Jeep but the steering wheel was on the wrong side, She laughed and thought I was joking, I wasn’t. Long story short I had to return the car and the dealership had to find us a new one. I ended up driving through the night to get to the meeting on time before it started. My key learning was that you can never be too detail oriented as a simple mistake could have a ripple effect to all parts of a business.

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?

Though I wouldn’t normally use the word “authority” to describe myself, Looking at the definition of what “authority” means; the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. The power or right to give orders and make decisions comes from experience in your specific area. I’ve had the privilege to work alongside true trailblazers in two key areas. From my time at Muscle Milk I learned what it takes to become a category pioneer in the protein beverage space and do so with integrity. At Tone It Up we were a new kind of business that built community first then products second. Taking these experiences into my new venture with Hab, I hope to pull from both. At Hab, our goal is to be a category pioneer in great tasting, sustainable, plastic free beverages. We want to build community around the ideas that each and every one of us can make positive change, which I feel is now more important than ever.

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?

I couldn’t agree more that individual success often time comes from one or a few people giving you an opportunity along the way, and I’ve definitely had a few. I was lucky to have two older brothers that helped show me the way through their success. I chose to take the route of skipping college as I was very interested in business and felt getting out into the real world was the right path for me. My brother Malcolm got me my first job where he was working at the time and I didn’t waste the opportunity. I worked my butt off and that opportunity paired with hard work led to others. One of my goals with Hab is to give people that same type of opportunity I had to kickstart their career.

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?

  1. Clutter. The first for me would have to be “Clutter”. Clutter can mean a lot of things, however for me personally when I have a messy environment around me, it can throw me off my game so I like to keep things simple with less clutter. My day always starts with making your bed every morning which then transfers to making good and often healthy decisions through your day.
  2. Lack of Routine. I’m a creature of habit through and through. I have my list of non-negotiables within my day that help bring structure to life that can often times be chaotic. Those three non-negotiables are a morning workout 4–5 days per week before I do anything else, often times that start around 5:30–6am. The other two things are making time to have a good and healthy breakfast and lunch. We are all busy doing things in our own life no matter what stage or level you’re at, but making a little bit of time to make sure you’re properly nourished will make you much more productive and feel better as you go about your day!
  3. Joy! It’s so important you find joy in your healthy lifestyle. Being healthy and happy is not one size fits all, we’re all on our own journey at different junctures. So find joy in YOUR healthy lifestyle. Whether you enjoy a relaxing yoga session or a high intensity workout, find what works for you and make it part of your routine. You’ll never regret a workout or eating a nutritious meal!

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.)

Less isn’t always more — There are many different types of diets that tell you to eat less carbs, less fat, less sugar(which we all agree is good!) but I find for my self balance is key! Our bodies need carbs and fats and protein to fuel ourselves and live to our fullest potential!

More isn’t always more — We can all go a little overboard sometimes! But more, more, more isn’t always better for us. It goes back to the idea of balance. When I have taken the mindset that more is better I would find myself injured or burnt out. So find the right balance for you and your body to make your routine sustainable!

Control what you can — With all that we have going on in our lives the most valuable thing I have taken into practice is to not over worry about things I can’t control. It’s easier said than done and I struggle with this daily! With all that is going on in the world from a global pandemic, racial injustices and social unrest it’s hard not to let it get to you. So I say control what you can and choose the items that are your non negotiables to truly invest in and try and let the rest go to give your mind a break and allow yourself to decompress.

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?

Mental Health — The endorphins that are released during a workout can give you a high, like when you hear people say “runners high”. This helps you release pent up energy and gives your more calm and serenity.

Sustained Energy — When you workout in the morning it kick starts your metabolism and gets your body functioning on a higher level which will give you sustained energy and allow you to perform at your peak!

Community — This one may seem a little out there, however the community that is formed around working out and the accomplishment of that is a great way to connect to like minded people, whether it’s in person or virtually through social media.

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

If you can perform these three moves it gives you the basis for a great workout: Squats, Deadlifts and Pushups. If you can get thee three moves down it worked both the lower half, your core and upper body. And once your nail the basics there are many variations to keep challenging your body.

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?

The three most important things are your diet, stretching and sleep. I always follow my workout with protein shake to aid in my muscles recovery. I prefer plant based proteins because they’re easier on my stomach!

I try to carve out 10–15 minutes after my workout 3 days a week to keep my body loose and limber which will ultimately have you feeling better quicker!

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?

Balance is key in achieving long term success. I track my macros using My Fitness Pal to make sure I’m getting my key macro nutrients and avoiding consumer too much of things we shouldn’t like sugar! To me this doesn’t feel like a diet and helps gamify the process. Ang generally I put more natural based whole foods into my body because it makes me feel the best!

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

I love to read so there are so many! In the context of what we’ve talked about I think “Shoe Dog” is a great one. This is the story of how Phil Knight started Nike. People often think success is a straight line and everyone is an overnight success. That is typically never the case! Shoe Dog shows you how much entrepreneur’s go through and shows you that you really can never give up if you want to achieve something special.

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. 🙂

The reason why I started Hab was because I believe in a world where people and companies should do good and leave the world a better place. I know I’m not the first person with this idea but I’d love to continue that trend and make it the norm!

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

“You have to love yourself before you can be who you’re supposed to be”. Through the ups and downs of life I had to learn to love myself and believe I was good enough and that I was meant to be where I was. Once you believe in yourself and back it up with hard work and dedication you can achieve your goals with a smile on your face!

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 🙂

I’d love to talk with Yvon Chouinard the founder of Patagonia. He’s such a trailblazer in the belief that companies should do good and give back, I’d love to pick his brain on how we could be better and his vision for the future. Hab is also a member of 1% for the planet which he co-founded!

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

Follow @drinkhab as we live out our mission to make more sustainable beverages that taste amazing! And have some fun along the way.

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