Social Media… ISO. Genuine Connection.

Our social media detox!!! Instagram + Facebook are two things I love but hate in business. They ARE totally necessary, take a good amount energy and YET I kind of die inside when I  catch myself dropping everything to keep our response rate high or silence out an entire room to capture the perfect shot and muse about a witty caption… Sometimes I wonder… Is any of this even real? And of course the answer is yes (well kind of). It’s real in the sense that it’s how we market and make connections. We LOVE new connections and thus – we post and play the algorithm game to stay relevant… and with any luck, in the feeds of those who enjoy our content.

As a human (and business owner) I am allowed to change my mind. And I have changed my mind when it comes to how I conduct myself on social media. When Carr Eats was in its infancy, I created both an Instagram + Facebook page. I wanted “everyone” to see us… So I followed “everyone” – My goal was to drive numbers (#followforfollow) I have since done a total 180!!! I don’t want “everyone” I want OUR PEOPLE!!! And apparently – this even hurts us, in the form of low engagement. I want to create a like-minded community; we’ve got A LOT of work to do. Over the past few years, we’ve accumulated over 7k followed-accounts. I say “accounts” because using the follow-for-follow method means you follow A LOT of shit – bots, ghost followers, naked people, bogus pages, etc. We did not discriminate – just followed everything. I thought I was growing our reach. Turns out – I grew nothing.

Whenever I log into Instagram, admittedly I get that dopamine rush when I see new likes and comments. That goes away when you read “Nice photo, there is no need for more words, I just wanted to say hi (heart eye emoji)” from fpr.Records… a hip-hop producer based out of Ontario. Mind you, the post this account was referring to was an ordering deadline (no photo at all). Or we might get some bot telling us how sexy we look after posting a picture of roasted root vegetables. Confusing and I can only assume, auto-generated, unless you really think root veggies can be erotic.

So where do we go from here? What’s the goal? Well – We’re basically starting over!!! We’re on a schedule to un-follow and un-follow and un-follow (Instagram actually only allows this in batches of 200) and then when we have a clean slate… We will build our account back up. Following, only those who are relevant to our Carr Eats Community. This may seem like an odd way to spend our time but one of our goals for 2019 is to really tap into and grow our Carr Eats Community. We want engagement and we want to make an impact!!! Social media is an excellent way to do this and overtime we hope we will have made some genuine connections. Not numbers – People. When I post something I want to feel like I’m telling a story at a dinner party… Not pouring content into a formula. I’m happy with less but more valuable vs. more but meaningless.

We’ll be more diligent and intentional with our Social Media from here on in… and we’re kind of pumped to see what happens!!! Maybe its a flop, maybe it turns out to be a mistake… Or maybe my gut reaction is correct and this turns out to be great!! #carreats #forreallife

What’s Your Plan?

When people ask “what’s the plan for Carr Eats?” I respond with… When?! Because I LOVE plans and I have many. I have a plan for right now. A plan for the week. A plan for the month. A one-year, five-year and ten-year plan. A short-game plan. A backup-plan. A worst-case-scenario plan. I have plans for my personal life. I have plans for my businesses. I even have a plan for eating and sleeping. Why? Because, in general, I don’t like to be surprised. I’m a scheduler. A type-A controller. A plan gives me purpose and order. A plan is organized and broken-down into steps and waypoints. A plan gets me to my Long-Game. My long-game doesn’t include leaving anything on the table and thus I hammer into my thoughts and do.

I started Carr Eats out of camping-coolers in my house almost three years ago; I couldn’t see into the future then and I can’t know what’s around the corner now. Carr Eats will move into its own commercial production space, The Kitchen Company, this Spring; my newest entrepreneurial adventure. I don’t have a looking glass… I only know there’s more.

Whenever anything seems out of reach, hard or impossible; I sketch my thoughts and intensions out on paper. I daydream the playbook. I think in increments. I get obsessed. The great thing about a plan is that no matter how hard you try, they WILL be unpredictable. A plan will get messy. A plan will flip-flop and wriggle as detours, roadblocks, obstacles and life pileup in your way. Quitting is not a plan. Quitting is a default you lean into when the plan gets hard. Plans might need to be lean and agile while you test them out, but a plan is nothing without the doing so you’ve gotta move. Maybe you spend years living-out a plan only to discover a dead-end. Perhaps the plan was wrong? Maybe after some reflection the plan sucked. Pain-point? Yes. But maybe through all the struggle, wrong-turns and misfortune you found a better way. Be honest. Don’t condemn your future by denying what’s happened in the past but don’t be so self-deprecating that you’re paralyzed by fear.

My relationship with food is at a place today that at one-time seemed impossible. I couldn’t pave the road that that led me here because I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going. You hear stories of people who were born knowing their path. Mine is not that journey. I have been a lot of things. I have made a lot of plans. I’ve quit, failed, succeed, started over and reset more times than you could possibly track or calculate. However. The one constant through everything? Me. Either you are living life or life is happening to you. Today is an arbitrary day, unmarked by purpose. It will be the same as tomorrow and as unmemorable as yesterday until you press-play and turn that plan into action. Don’t choke out a dream with lies and self-appointed logistics. Get busy. Don’t leave anything on the table. The work will feel good and the reward is all the things, people and awareness you’ll accumulate along the way.

My plan for Carr Eats is community. My plan is to grow our customer base into a powerhouse of Eaters who leave nothing on the table. Who use our meals as a catalyst for excellence. I want our meals to fuel-fires and free-talent. I want our meals to remove-doubt and grow-confidence. Lofty?! Yes. But not impossible. We aren’t ready to put a limit on what our meals can achieve so until then we will keep cooking and planning. Think we’re just food? There’s more and we’re excited to show you. That’s us. What’s your plan?

Big Strength Gainz “Period”

What’s better than preparing for a meeting with your accountant? Talking about the female menstrual cycle!!!! I’m not just being cute… I’m actually taking a break from my taxes to engage in some good-old casual period talk.

Perhaps this is directed to the ladies… but guys seriously. If you have a girl, like a girl, know a girl, want a girl. Sit tight. 

We tend to think of the menstrual cycle as just the “period” but as it turns out (#science) there is a lot more going on than just cramps, moodiness and optimal baby making days. In addition to what seems like an unpredictable hormonal roller coster… there are actually a lot of things we can calculate and use to our advantage (in addition to ideal vacation/bathing-suit wearing dates and procreation) – Like… Wait for it… Targeting when the best time to start a diet might be and knowing when you’re at your strongest. 

I’m not a doctor so before you go nuclear because I’m over simplifying or missing a detail, cool your jets. This is an overview. Just something I’ve found to be useful and perhaps something that didn’t make it to your middle-school health class curriculum. 

This is exciting! Ladies. We are actually strongest in the Follicular Phase (approximately days 01-13) of our menstrual cycle; that is, the week of our period and the week after our period. The Follicular Phase is a prime time to lift heavy. We can also tolerate the most volume during these weeks!!! As it turns out, this may also be the best time for you to start a diet. Think about it… Who wants to over eat when they’re bloated and crampy?! So while these weeks may seem horrible, think of all the gainzzz!!! Throw on those stretchy yoga pants and go back-squat a truck!! 

The Luteal Phase (approximately days 16-28) of our menstrual cycle, are the two weeks following ovulation. This is when we experience the most lethargy; this is a great time to plan in some recovery. If you’re following a strength/lifting plan, this would be a GREAT time to schedule a deload week (because week four is generally when we will be at our weakest). This is probably not going to be a great time to start a diet because your cravings are high during this point of your cycle so adherence may be more difficult. 

Understanding our cycle is one of those things we don’t really think about but it’s an integral part of our overall health. It doesn’t usually get brought up at the dinner table (please pass the salt) but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be comfortable discussing it. Do you have a menstrual cycle? Figure out where your cycle falls and see if you can optimize these periods (pun intended). Put your knowledge into practice!!! 

Health + Happiness, 

CC 

Live It.

There are always… ALWAYS, going to be people that want to knock you down. Steal your thunder. Rain on your parade. People that aren’t open to change. What you believe in…

What goals and dreams you have set for yourself are NOT dependent on the opinions of others. If a simple insult or counterpoint is enough to rip you apart, then perhaps you are not ready to lean your own way. BUT if you listen, process and come to the conclusion your way is worth it. It has value. It would be painful to give up because you feel so deeply passionate about whatever IT is… move forward. Move forward with the people and things in your life that add value and support.

Yes. There will be challenges. You will learn often that you don’t know everything and you aren’t always right. Have the grace to admit you’re wrong. Have the guts to change your mind. BUT stop listening to all the noise. Stop believing all the distractions. Stop believing the headlines.

You are not the world police. It is not your job to convert the opinions and actions of others. If you believe in something – Live it. Live it and let others see you as an influence. Misery loves company but greatness fosters change. Be better. Talk less about people and more about ideas. Lead instead of being led. Stop chasing mediocrity. Be the person people want on their team.

For so many (many) years I wanted to blend in. I wanted to be part of the clique. It never happened and for good reason. It’s not who I was supposed to be. I like tattoos and business podcasts. I get pumped about renovations, FOOD and new work-gloves. ALL of this is OK. Not wrong – Just different.

So while you should bend with the wind – DON’T bend so far and so often you forget how to stand. Stand up.

In short – Believe in yourself. LIVE IT!

Health + Happiness,

CC

And On The 8th Day…

For three years I was on a fitness streak; never missing more than two days of fitness in a row but more likely to workout two times a day (with Sunday being a rest day). Whelp… I went on vacation last week and while it stared with some casual jogs + bodyweight workouts, my ambition petered out and resulted in pure rest. 

Upon returning from vacation I was primed to hit the gym but a long day at work knocked me down… so I justified this by digging into more work and poof! I missed two more days at the gym. Despite the fact I feel horrible I keep skipping workouts. Here’s what I’ve learnt during this process. 

It’s really easy to make excuses and it’s really hard to JUST START! And… This is coming from someone who LOVES exercise; who at times has been accused of being addicted to it. So really this post is directly pointed to anyone who can’t get motivated to lace up their shoes and MOVE – I feel you! 

Let’s commit to ending this cracked, crumbling, rut and reclaim our potential. I KNOW I’m less grumpy, more productive, kinder, less manic, less depressed and generally less shitty when I’m in a fitness/nutrition routine. I’m committing to YOU that I’ll roll myself out of this ditch. I believe you should do the same. We all have _________ (something) that locks our feet to the floor. Chains our mind to negative thoughts. SO… Right now. Stop what your doing; start a note on your phone or on a piece of paper. Outline your day tomorrow. Plan it around your fitness; meal prep. Write out when you will eat. What you will eat. When you will work. When you will workout. What will you need? Go get/do these things now. Pack a lunch. Put your gym bag in the car. Double check you list. Set your alarm. Drink some water. Program the coffee pot. Remove the excuses. 

I know if I sit in front of a computer for too long it sucks me in, so while it may seem obvious my plan includes time outside. Stepping away from the desk. Putting work away after a set time. Staying off my phone and out of email after 4:00pm; 10+ hours of straight screen time is enough to make anyone nuts. I don’t really do “balance” I operate in extremes and right now I’m flying at 100mph and need a fitness intervention!!! Do the same.  

Conclusion: Missing 8 days of exercise is about 6 too many. #math