Tips for surviving Thanksgiving well

Happy Thanksgiving!

tips for surviving Thanksgiving wellI have a love/hate relationship with Thanksgiving. I love spending time with beautiful amazing people amid the gluttony of rich decadent food. I hate the way my body feels (and often looks) for the next several days, up to weeks, after being hit by the tryptophan truck.

Over the years, I have compiled a few tips to help myself, as well as clients, to not only survive Thanksgiving but to also enjoy the holiday to its fullest without some of the negative physical hangover. Some holidays have been more successful than others 🙂

Tips for surviving Thanksgiving well

Prioritize Movement

I like to strategize about how I will move my body through the holidays the same way I would run through a mud pit. Get a running head start, knowing that halfway through my legs would feel like they’re churning through thick molasses, with the hope that all that momentum will carry me through to the end. Every little bit counts.


  • Make time for some solid movement sessions prior to all the feasts and festivities.
  • Start today.
  • Start right now.
  • On Thanksgiving Day
  • Get 30-90 second movement restoration snacks between each food serving.
  • Practice Chair Yoga wherever you sit down (it’s a great conversation starter – Seriously!)
  • Take a short walk/hike outdoors before and/or after each meal.
  • Play games
  • Post-Thanksgiving
  • Wake up early Friday morning for a coffee/tea movement flow.
  • Keep moving throughout the weekend.
  • Just. Keep. Moving.

As for the Eats

As a lover of food, I am not a good self-regulator when fat and sugary foods are in abundance. I find that the best way to prevent too much overeating is through the physiological state of being satiated with a full belly.

My strategy for satiation is:

For starters

  • make a large first plate of salad and raw veggies.
  • Use a small plate for all other servings.
  • Take my time between servings.
  • Drink water
  • Don’t beat myself up for having small servings of all of the desserts.

Share an Extra Meal – including dessert

If you have a ton of leftovers, please consider making a meal/s for someone in need. There are fewer gifts greater than that of filling an empty belly.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Do you have any tips that help you survive Thanksgiving that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them on the TAOFit Tribe.

Thank you for living such an inspiring life. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Jesse James

The Art of Embodiment: listening through your feet

What Do We Mean By Embodiment?

Embodiment is the experience you are having… right now! Our modern lives require us to experience life from our minds, which can create the feeling of disconnection from the very embodied experience that is taking place within us at all times.

The art of embodiment is an opportunity to consciously reconnect deeply with ourselves and to share, as well as receive, this rich experience with a partner.

EmbodimentListening through your feet

This workshop will discuss the basic anatomy of the foot – its fascial, meridian, and core awakening relationships to the whole body.

We will guide you and your partner through:

  • Primal postures – the gateway to lifelong mobility
  • Foot massage, reflexology, and joint mobility (how to give a damn good foot massage!)
  • The ancient practice of Thai Yoga Bodywork
  • And much, much more.

Time & Location:

Sol Healing and Wellness Center

13805 Ann Pl, Austin, TX 78728

February 14, 2019 6-9pm


$250 per couple

A gift for partners, lovers, family, or friends.

Movement to Change Your Life

A movement to change your life. It has been a fun, exciting, and full summer! After getting an A in Physics during the first summer term, I decided to take a break from school over the second summer term. The first extended break from school I’ve had since I started back almost two years ago. Also, over the past month, my son was in Kentucky, so I’ve had a ton of extra time on my hands. I chose to spend that time wisely… I decided to play. I had no agenda, no itinerary, and just engaged in playfulness. Playful with my time, my attitude, my schedule, my body, and my work. It has been some of the most productive time of my life. 

Movement to Change Your LifeOut of this playfulness, I began exploring and sharing my movement work on social media; and accidentally created a whole new branch of my business — teaching short-form content via Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, with the goal of helping you develop a life-changing movement practice. This is my attempt to change the world, one person at a time, by teaching and inspiring you to move more, move better, and thrive in your life. Through these online outlets, I am offering my teachings, learnings, methodologies, everything movement/health/lifestyle related that I have learned in the more than 20 years in the fitness industry.

My Commitment to you

Over the coming months and years, I am committed to sharing everything I know with you. Which is why I hired a new team member! JT Street will be working with me to help level up our video content and social reach. This week we begin shooting a month of primary video.

Beginning in September, I will post a weekly beginner movement series called the Monday Movement Flow of the Week (click this link to see the trial run of this series). It will have better instructions, cleaner editing, and easier accessibility. I am incredibly excited to share this new work with you!

This coming semester will be heavy with my regular client workload, single parenting, and a full-time school schedule with twice a weeknight classes. For now, because I believe in this, I am funding this position out of my own pocket. I currently only have enough to invest to keep JT on board for three months. For this to be successful, I will need your help! If you find value in what I am sharing and want to see it continue, we will need JT as a permanent member of the team. Once my fall semester starts, I won’t have time, or money, to keep this level of content creation going all by myself.

Gift Economy

I’m passionate about changing the world through movement and developing the concepts of creating community through giving of ourselves to each other.

My teaching is a gift to you, for free, with no expectation of money or value in return. It is a practice called gift economy. I’m doing this because, as I have embraced giving, it has opened up my heart and my life in extraordinary ways. Not only has giving touched me personally, I have witnessed how it inspires and changes others. To give and receive from the heart is revolutionary and life-changing.

My hope is that you too will join me in Gift Economy; to become inspired to contribute your own gifts, and by doing so, inspire those around you whose lives you touch. The world needs more of this, more giving and less taking, and you get to lead the way.

A Movement to Change Your Life

Follow my lead and start moving every day. Watch my videos and read the blogs; follow me socially (Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, and share it with others; and start moving your amazing body. If you have questions along the way… please ask. Your questions are the same questions most people have when they are getting started. The more you ask, the more helpful content I will be able to create and share.

How You Can Give Back

Check out my Patreon page

Patreon provides a way for you to support me. Together, we can help create an incredible movement community. To give back, you can donate to Patreon; purchase something awesome from one of my affiliate links on the recommended products page of my website; or share my videos, blogs, and other content.

Join the movement tribe

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Tactical Medicine and Firearms Training Courses

I have a good friend who is a former SEAL and private military contractor who is done deploying and wants to teach people some of the lifesaving skills he has gained and used over two decades of service. I’ve known Trevor for nearly 20 years. When I think of men I aspire to, he is in my top five… and not because he’s a Navy SEAL badass, but because he’s also a top-notch human with an amazing heart. I would love to get him to Austin to teach a couple of courses because I want to learn this stuff! I believe this knowledge is practical and useful. The kind of stuff you never want to use, but when it’s needed… you just save a life! I am putting out feelers to see if there is any interest in these classes.
Please send me a PM if you are interested in any of these courses.
Tactical Medicine Training
How to properly use an IFAK medical kit focusing on immediate care/combat trauma type injuries for when first responders can’t get to you quickly. This course aims to create stronger and more resilient communities.
IFAK Course- Blended
– 3-4 hour course
– 20 people per class
Firearms Training
Courses designed to train the proper foundations for becoming seriously competent shooters.
Beginning Pistol- Woman
– a two day, 3-4 hours per day.
– 6 people per class
Beginning Pistol- Men
– a two day, 3-4 hours per day
– 6 people per class
Intermediate and advanced pistol and carbine courses also available.
*All shooting participants must pass a background check
*For folks interested in the shooting courses, combat trauma will be included in the course.

Happy New Year from Tao-Fit

Happy New Year! It was an incredibly challenging, but an overall excellent year. 2017 brought loss and grief; a lot of hard work; some amazing connection with people and friends; and many success stories. I finished my first year back as a full-time student with straight A’s for the first time ever! Feeling proud. Being a fulltime student; dad to a very energetic ten-year-old; and maintaining a private practice has been the most challenging endeavor of my life. I’m incredibly thankful for it. I’m grateful to have another year moving forward on this planet. 

One of the biggest challenges I had last year was with my body, maintaining my personal movement practice, recovering from a sixth knee operation, while maintaining a parenting-school-work-life balance. Taking a full load of classes required sitting and studying for long periods of time. I had to be very intentional about movement and I wasn’t always successful. These are the realities and hardships of real life. Incorporating movement throughout the day is vitally important so that it doesn’t fall out of the schedule entirely. 

Movement Video Diary

Outdoor obstacle course - Happy New Year from Tao-Fit One way I created more space last year was building an outdoor obstacle course and setting up a slackline in my backyard. It added a really nice outdoor space to focus on movement and play. I feel that a huge step in cultivating a mindful movement practice is to create a dedicated space to move (see Establishing a Movement Practice: Where to Begin). As a way to challenge myself to move more, regardless of how bogged down I feel with school, work, and life commitments, I have started a new project. I have started a Movement Video Diary. This is a very intimate project for me. I will be documenting something that I have never really shared with anyone else,  my personal movement exploration practice. This is my self-care with descriptions of how I feel each day and my process for exploring my body through movement.

If this is something you’re interested, here are the places I will post regular updates:

Goals and Intentions for 2018

I have set my goals and intentions for the year to move my body as well as grow my homestead and movement space. In 2018, I’m committed to:

  • Two different kinds of persimmon trees and a loquat tree - Happy New Year from Tao-Fit
    Two different kinds of persimmon trees and a loquat tree

    Another year of straight A’s

  • Planting three fruit trees (already done)
  • Finish my chicken coop and get chickens
  • Build a backyard garden
  • Moving more, with less pain, and getting back to doing some of the fun things I could do easily before my knee surgery–running, climbing, roughhousing with my kid, etc. (see Movement Video Diary below)
  • Be inspired

I spent NYE in my gym getting back in touch with my body. For New Years Day, I did a 3-hour hike and followed it all up with a 30-minute movement restoration session. What a great way to start the new year!

I’d love to hear some of your goals for the new year! And if I can help you reach your movement goals in 2018, I’d love to connect about that, too! 

Happy New Year from Tao-Fit!

Jesse James Retherford

Back to School Announcement – Newsletter – Mar 2017

Back to School Announcement

I am excited to share some big news—I am going back to school! Actually, classes began a few weeks ago. I stopped going to school over 13 years ago, just short of reaching my degree, and I have regretted it ever since. I promised myself that I would return and get it done. So when the opportunity presented itself, I was did not hesitate.

I am now pursuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy at Texas State University. I am focused, dedicated, committed, and more than a little scared out of my mind. It will take about 5 ½ years. This will be a huge challenge, one I’m excited to tackle. I’m not interested in maintaining the status quo. Taking the easy route now equates to my future lack of personal growth. My best friend once asked me, “In five years, where will you be if you do nothing compared to taking the hard choice now?” Change is scary, but I am all in. I am excited. One thing I’ve learned at this stage in life is that these types of opportunities are fewer and farther between as we get older. It is a privilege to become a student again and to show my son that learning and growth are a life-long pursuit. 

As I once again step back into school, I look forward to deepening my knowledge and passion of the human body and movement. I absolutely love what I do. Helping people change their lives through movement and learning about their body IS my calling. I’ve known this from the very moment I decided to become a personal trainer in San Diego almost 20 years ago. As a physical therapist, I will have the opportunity to help change more lives through movement.

During this time, I’ll be a full-time student, full-time business owner, and full-time dad. Talk about a stretch. I can only imagine the person I will be in 5 ½ years. I suspect it will be transformational. I know I’ll have to learn so much and not just educationally. I will have to grow up emotionally and spiritually as well. To be successful, I will have to develop better organizational habits, time management skill, and take advantage of every spare moment to be present with my son.

What Does This Mean For My Clients?

Clients can continue to expect the same great results from working with me, whether they’re coming in for massage, personal training, or logging in from anywhere in the world for online movement therapy sessions!

With a full-time class schedule, my business hours are filling up fast.

Book Your Appointment Today:

Therapeutic Massage:

When you hire me for massage therapy, you’ll be an active participant, helping to discover how your body is currently moving and creating a program to restore mobility, regain function, and reduce pain. Massage therapy can be much more than a chance to zone out for an hour–it’s an opportunity to learn about how your body moves and leave with tools of how to move more effectively.

Schedule your massage now

In-Person Personal Training and Movement Therapy

My approach to personal training and coaching is to develop long-term, lasting results by focusing on creating a lifestyle and paradigm shift around how you feel in your body, how you move, how you engage in movement, and how you develop movement skills that will last a lifetime. Instead of unsustainable short-term gains, we will develop life-long habits of moving and being in the world.

Schedule a free in-person coaching consultation

Online Personal Training and Movement Therapy

After numerous requests for long-distance coaching options, I am now offering—and really enjoying!—Online Coaching. Using either Skype or Facetime, each live video coaching session have the same goals as with in-person sessions.

Schedule a free online coaching consultation


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