We would love to introduce our friend Joe to the blog! We were lucky to meet Joe through mutual friend Liv Perez at an early System of Service mental health panel we did with them in one of our early NY pop ups. Joe is best defined by being hard to define. Just a few of the things he is known for: a wellness consultant (and recently head of wellness for Smartwater), performance specialist, and Nike master trainer. He has started a movement with #plantbasedgang to get people eating more plants and promoting that lifestyle (we were lucky to work with him on that first ever drop of PBG hoodies. We love Joe’s approach to life and wanted to bring his wisdoms to the Madhappy community)
What is Plant Based Gang and how did it come to be?
Basically in college I started to shift towards a more plant based style of eating. Nobody was really using the term “plant based” yet, it hadn’t quite caught on. Everything was either vegan or vegetarian and I never want to approach things from an angle of exclusion, only inclusion. So “Plant Based Gang” was a way to make that happen. I tried to have a relevant yet not kitschy feel when it comes to dietary habits and just be a fun + tongue in cheek little movement. Everyone is part of the gang. You can still consume limited animal products and be part of the PBG, just different tiers. We are all just working towards a healthier version of ourselves.
Can you give us a day in the life of Joe Holder?
Everyday is different to be honest. I kind of live my life in cycles. I travel more than I realize now, probably 1-2x a month on average. This past month I was away more than I was home. When I’m home though I typically see 2-3 training clients in a day. I’ve cut down my training sessions a lot as I just don’t have as much time as I used to but still enjoy doing it in limited amounts so I think it’s more important. Outside of that I work on various other endeavors I have, whether that is Nike work or System of Service, my partnerships, or just general ideation. Then there’s a likelihood of me having an event to go to in the evening. I need to free up more time I think I’ve realized, thats the only way I can be successful long term, so I have to make room in my day for that. The ‘day in the life’ question is always hard for me because no day is really the same but the easiest way to answer is “a lot of work.”
How do you see the Ocho System and OBG evolving over the next few years? What are your goals with both of these movements?
I just want to make wellness more equitable. We don’t have enough curators in the space I believe that are taking a long term vision to make wellness accessible for everyone. I just have to find a way to formalize them in a way that makes it easy for people to get involved. PBG still will be clothing but also have an educational component to it that allows people to understand how to engage in this lifestyle. Ocho System will eventually hopefully be a master brand that encompasses multiple facets of wellness that is still groudned in physicality and people taking control of their physical health.
What does Madhappy mean to you?
Straddling the thin line between madness and happiness and realization that they aren’t that much different.
What was your first encounter with mental health? Either personal or with family / friends?
Just looking back on my childhood and realizing the heightened anxious state I was in + coming to terms with that in college as I sought to better understand my mental mindset and landscape.
How do you prioritize your mental health?
I make sure I take off days, I meditate and journal. I’m also becoming more aware of being vulnerable and sharing how I’m truly feeling with my friends.
Favorite Madhappy piece?
The Plant Based Gang Hoodie, ha. But I’m a fan of the optimist collection, the black short sleeve is my favorite.
Best relaxation tool?
Reading and meditation before bed or sitting in a warm bath.
What does your most recharging day look like?
No phone. No emails. Little human contact and if any it’s spent with people I love. Being in the sun, journaling, getting a light workout in and eating delicious food.
The better version of me that exists in my head. Also my friends who are out here doing amazing things.
I don’t listen to many podcasts, I want to get better at this, but I really enjoy “The Missions.”
What are you reading right now?
“Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight.
“Living Beautifully with Uncertainty” by Pema Chodron
“Atomatic Habits” by James Clear
If you had a billboard that everyone in the world could read, what would it say?
Create your culture don’t let culture create you.