How I Get Thru The Holidays - Jess Mullen

family xmas.jpg

How I’ve tackled the holiday season has evolved over the years. It’s been a nice, positive evolution – I feel like I have more peace of mind each year and less wreckage (physically and emotionally). 

I’ve learned a few things about myself, which I’ll mention because I think it’s part of my recipe for success during the holiday season. Success for me is not gaining unneeded weight, not hating myself, not feeling disgusted with self or think I need a reset come January 1st.

One thing – I eat better when I’m training for a running event and/or when my running volume is normal. Because of that, I don’t take an “off season” during the end of the year; my lower volume period is usually either in October or early in the new year. The more I exercise, the better I want to eat and nourish myself. 

Another thing - I’ve realized I don’t miss most of the treats that are more readily available this time of year, foods that are not part of my normal daily routine, such as themed seasonal drinks, desserts, appetizers and snacks. The tantalizing effects of these foods have decreased in power as increased my practice of paying attention. I used to let taste and desire for taste (often driven by smell!) be the only factors I paid attention to. It’s as if they were an absolute driver and there was no room for discussion. I started forcing myself to really look at the truth – and for me the truth was although a food tasted good, I felt yucky afterward - physically and emotionally. And when I really paid attention the level of satisfaction actually decreased after a few bites. It’s like I was chasing the initial burst of flavor and sugar only to be left with an upset full tummy and a head of remorse. Pausing and choosing to skip what’s in front of me has led to feeling good about myself and not waking up regretful the next morning and through the weeks of the holiday season.

I’ve also learned I have to live with balance in my life – all or nothing doesn’t work for me. It is unrealistic and has never worked for more than a very short period of time (and makes me crazy quite quickly). How do I find balance? Well, it shifts and changes. I need different levels of balance at different times. Some years I need more indulgences than others. On the flip side, I’ve had a holiday season where I didn’t touch anything out of the norm except one pumpkin latte and a boatload of cookies on Christmas. 

Most years though it’s more along the line of about twice a month I have something out of the norm. I typically have more starch at Thanksgiving (I love stuffing) and maybe one other random occasion or food gift that I really want to indulge in. That’s another thing – I do not touch anything that I am not super excited about. So not worth it! BUT then there are a few items I absolutely love and savor every bite. 

In December there may be another time I have a treat and then my big day is always Christmas. Every year I call it my “disgusting day”. I need one of them a year. I have a sugar addict deep down inside that I keep tame but allowing it to come out full force once a year is healthy for me. 

On Christmas I allow every urge and craving to be fulfilled. I have cookies in the morning, as an appetizer, for dessert and many in between. I eat until I’m sick and have to lay on the couch and then as soon as I don’t feel ill anymore, I eat more cookies until I feel sick again. I know some people may not relate to this. I let the craving for sugar take control and get out of my system. I feel so horrible but also feel so free in being able to do that all day (versus always denying that demon). It actually squashes the desire to do it again because I am reminded of how horrible overindulging makes me feel. 

What has been key to my success or improvement over the years is my desire to be good to myself and really be able to get honest with myself. I recognize the fleeting satisfaction of taste and the truth of regret. I can see the long game and know that skipping the tempting foods that are not good for me will result in peace of mind and self-esteem. I am proud of myself and feel in control versus letting the impulse control me. I used to think food controlled me but it was really that I wasn’t willing to do the work to pause and think it through.

That is how I get through the holidays. I just don’t go there (with the indulgences). I participate in all the events and love seeing friends and family - and I can do all of that without needing to eat or drink a bunch of unhealthy calorie dense foods. And when people give me treats, baked goods – I pawn them off on my husband or give them away. I love and appreciate the gesture but I don’t need to be co-dependent and eat of it just because it was given to me. My health is more important. 

Happy Holidays,

Love Jess



Posted on November 16, 2018 .

Introducing Sokol Strong: Foundations

We’re just so so excited for our brother Sokol and the release of hopefully his first of many online KB training programs.

This foundations series is built from so much heart, dedication and drive with the simple mission of improving the lives of all swing at a time. 

It is worth your time to share this with a friend who needs a place to start. Help us help others better their health and well being.

Kettlebell Foundations is a series of training sessions designed for consistent use by beginners and experienced kettlebell athletes alike. Simply by varying kettlebell weight and reps, you can follow this program week after week and continue to gain strength, mobility, and physical preparedness. 

Foundations is perfect for you if you’ve caught the kettlebell bug but don't have a clear direction on how to program your training sessions. In Foundations you'll level-up your kettlebell technique while getting a well-rounded workout. With such a highly-qualified instructor guiding you, you can be confident that the technique you see and learn in Foundations is absolutely safe, and the programs are seriously effective. 

The kettlebell, used properly, can and will restore your everyday athletic ability—and often to a surprising degree. You will be able to go out and play football, tennis, play 18 strong holes of golf, crush a softball, keep up with your energetic kids, hike a mountain, and whatever else life throws your way. This program makes a rich physical life possible without spending every day at the gym or stuck doing boring routines. 

Kettlebell Foundations is a sustainable way to get strong, stay fit, and enjoy your active life.

2019 Mindset + Nutrition Challenge


You've lit the match, you've ignited your fire, now it's time to take your fitness and wellness goals to the next level!

RESET is a great way to start your 2019 right and feel amazing by Valentines Day!

This 28 Day challenge is designed to encourage you to commit to consistency in your workouts and healthy nutrition while prioritizing self-care both in and outside of the gym and a BIG BIG focus will be on mindset and finding YOUR daily ritual that gets you started on the right foot the minute your feet hit floor.

Your RESET Coaches will be sharing all the ways that they set up their day for success. You will receive detailed, step by step, ideas on how to really truly make these 28 days be different than anything you've done before. You will find the top 3 practices that work best for your personality/lifestyle. This is actually the missing component in almost every "nutrition challenge" in our opinion. Yeah, it's about the food but it sure doesn't start with food... it starts with the right mindset. This is not a one size fits all type of challenge. You're going to learn what is going to be the right daily practice for you. Yes, we know this sounds woo woo but its really what you choose to make it.

We level things up by adding fun "extras" to challenge you to do hard things and nudge you juuuust outside of your comfort zone. The secret sauce? Accountability to your coaches and community, the fun of BINGO (you know you love it), AND the incentive of some sweet prizes!

Begins January 14, 2019
Coached by Jess Mullen, MS, RD* and your FH Coaches

  • Optional: Initial Biometric Testing: Weight, BMI, Body Fat, Measurements and Your “Before” picture.

  • “Kickoff” Seminar on Saturday, January 5th at 11am.

  • Nutrition Handbook

  • Sample Meal Plan with Grocery List/Meal Prep Ideas and Tons of Awesome Recipes!

  • FREE 3-Compartment Container

  • Weekly Challenges and Prizes

  • Weekly Email Check-ins

  • Weekly in-person accountability group meetings on Tuesdays at 6:30pm

  • Optional: Final Weigh-in and Measurements with Picture

  • Your own personal RESET bingo-style game cards! Your challenges will include consistency practices like attending FUELhouse classes, mobility work outside of the gym, mindset practices and healthy nutritional habits - as well as additional fun stuff to take your fitness, nutrition, and self-care to the next level.

    Ready to RESET? Register for our challenge today!

Posted on November 5, 2018 .




1. Be ON TIME, otherwise, EARLY to class – Show up early to your class and take that extra time to hop on the rower, assault bike, or foam roller and get your body warm and moving. We are here to have fun, work our asses off, and walk away happier than when we first walked in. We are here to honor our bodies and minds. We ask you to leave your work behind, put your phones away or we will ask you nicely;). Give yourself an hour of peace from all electronics, open your mind to BE PRESENT WITH YOUR TRAINING and enjoy the lovely humans you’re sweating with - this hour is yours! Don't take it for granted. Cheer, clap and encourage others. Anything less is to cheat you of the experience and to rob others of the gift of your presence and support as part of the community. 

2. Clean Up – Wipe down and put away all your equipment after each workout. You don’t want to pick up the last class’ crap so don’t make them pick up yours.

3. Work Hard – Effort is more important than any other attribute. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed if you can’t lift as much or perform as well as other members. It doesn’t matter so long as you give your best each and every workout.

4. Be Patient – Accidents and injuries usually come as a result of impatience. Don’t be greedy. Slow down. Ask questions. Ask for help.

5. Have Fun – Yes; you’re going to work harder than you thought possible. Yes, it’ll hurt (in a good way). So what? Have fun with it. This is a playground and while we’re constantly increasing work capacity, we’re having a blast at the same time. 

6. Listen – We are the coaches and don’t want to see anyone get hurt or develop bad habits. When we tell you to reduce weight, stop, or do something during class, LISTEN and DO IT. We are here to provide a safe and motivating environment designed for your success.

7. Check Ego at the Door – This is a level playing field. We are one team. Clear your mind and work hard. When you’re done and you leave, you will be refreshed and your issues will be easier to deal with. We promise.

8. Know Where Your Children Are – We love kids here at FUELhouse and we think it’s important for them to see their parents leading active, healthy lives. However, we also want to keep kids and everyone else in our gym safe. Please make sure your kids stay in specified area during class. If you know your child will have trouble staying in one spot, please bring something that will help them stay put throughout class.

9. Eat Right – Nutrition is a HUGE part of your journey towards optimal performance, health, and body composition. Not sure where to start? Begin by centering your diet around a variety of high quality proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and dense carbs as needed based on your activity levels. Try a variety of food and, to the best of your ability, cook most of what you eat. Focus on local, organic options if it's in your budget. Make sure you stay hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day. Eat meals slowly and minimize mindless snacking, refined/added sugar, and booze. Remember that what you eat should enhance your life. Need more help? Get in touch with Coach Jess to talk about how you can individualize your approach. 

10. Get Some Sleep – Seriously. This is where you will make your gains. Sleep is like an express train for recovery. Get as much as possible. Otherwise you’re only hurting yourself.

11. Be Loud – We are respectful but we are not politically correct. We joke, yell, swear, grunt, scream, sweat, spit, etc. You will too. Sure, there’s such a thing as gentle, quiet strength, but most of us haven’t mastered that yet.

12. Brag – Tell your family and friends. Tell them how you’re getting in the best shape of your life. You’re having fun.  You’re doing things you never thought possible. Be proud of this. Shout your bad-assery from the mountaintops.

13. Get Involved – Introduce yourself.  FUELhouse is more than just a gym, it’s a community. We are a family and you can get as involved as you like. Here we hold social events, contests, workshops, and charitable events. There are many opportunities for you to get involved and if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear them.

14. Attend Class – Get in here on a weekly basis! A workout may suck before and during, but you always feel better afterward. You won’t believe the kind of results you’ll see by coming at least 4 times a week. All you have to do is get your butt through the door. We’ll take care of the rest.

Posted on November 5, 2018 .

Create space for new habits + delish recipe

November is right in the heart of Fall season. The leaves have changed colors and are starting to fall. The leaves always remind how beautiful change can be. I often resist change but Fall reminds me every year that it’s an ongoing part of life and there is good that comes from it.

Seeing all the leaves on the ground also brings up the theme of letting go. This time of year it is impossible to ignore the changes in nature. The trees are letting go of the old leaves in order for new growth to occur. How can this apply in our lives? Now is a great time to look inward and find those leaves that may have served you well in the past but are ready to be dropped now. Doing this allows us to have new growth. It creates the space needed for new ideas, relationships, habits to thrive. 

This month think about your food habits...what might be good to let go of? See how it could create time and space for you to add something new - something that feels more energizing or nourishing. Maybe less time on the computer on the weekend to allow for food prep? Let go of the afternoon caffeine and sugar fix for a more healthy snack? Commit to having a nourishing protein-rich breakfast everyday versus skipping breakfast? You don’t need to do a complete overhaul and try to change everything but I bet there’s at least one habit you can let fall away like the leaves to create space for a new habit that will serve you better now. 

Feel free to contact me for further help and support. Check out our nutrition program options here: 

Recipe of the month - Roasted Kabocha Soup - check out this easy to make, warm and cozy soup! It's a perfect pairing for most proteins and then just add a simple side salad for a balanced meal.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

Recipe by Danielle Premo

Kabocha is one of my favorite squashes. Sweeter than butternut with a texture and flavor similar to pumpkin that makes a delicious creamy soup. Tasty to garnish with crispy bacon!

Serves 4 to 6 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour

4 lbs Kabocha squash, halved and seeded 1T coconut oil (or other oil) 1 sweet yellow onion, diced 1⁄2 t salt 2 garlic cloves, minced 1” ginger, grated 1⁄2 t cumin 1⁄2 t coriander 2 t fresh oregano 4 c vegetable stock 1 can lite coconut milk 2 t tamari (or soy sauce) 1 t mirin 2 t fresh lime juice 1⁄2 t pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash, skin side up on the baking sheet and cook until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool.

While the squash roasts, place a stock pot on medium heat; add oil, onions and salt. Sautee for 5 minutes then add garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander (add a splash of stock to prevent sticking). Mix in well and let cook additional 3 minutes. Next add oregano and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and let simmer on low heat until the squash is cool.

Once squash is cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin into the stock pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer then add the coconut milk, tamari, mirin, lime juice and pepper. Use an immersion blender to make creamy, then serve!


A Letter to our HOUSE


StrongFirst Lifter Certification @ FH, Nov 9-11- limited class hours. Please plan ahead!

MO-LYMPICS Charity Workout, Nov 17th- find a partner and sign up!

Looking back…

I wanted to take some reflection time before posting an event recap for the StrongFirst Tactical Strength Challenge.  There were many things that stood out to me as I watched all of you perform this past weekend. I know it was for some of you, your first competition. I know that some of you wanted to do this event but could not. I hope you can next year (April 2019;).  Regardless of your status, you represent what FUELhouse prides itself on – class, sportsmanship, kinship, motivation, drive, family, fun, community, humility, hunger, excellence, smarts, character, and more fun.

As your coach and as a leader of FUELhouse, I cannot tell you how much happiness it brings me when other owners and visitors compliment our FH family.  You may not know it, but our guests take note. They observe your actions, your athleticism, your demeanor, your interactions with others, including the support from your own fellow athletes and family.

They tell me, “The members at FUELhouse are top notch.” “High class humans at FUELhouse.” “Such friendly and welcoming people from your gym.” “What an amazing community you have at FUELhouse.”

I assure you, if these compliments were not shared with you directly, they were with me. And to be honest, this is what I hear all of the time.  Thank you for being a FH Ambassador. What we have, what you are doing as a community at FUELhouse is noticed by others because it is special. It is special because of you.  Daily, I am grateful for our family.

So, let’s talk about our Epic Humans who participated at the TSC on Oct 27th...

Yes we did very well as athletes at the TSC. Your training and dedication paid off.  We are beyond ecstatic with your results in the Deadlift, Pull-Up, and KB Snatch Test events. You guys worked hard to strategize your lifts, to work with teammates, some of whom you met for the first time because of this competition. And you all performed beyond measure.  We PR’d the TSC. You set the standard of what a community should be and to me, that is greater than any weightlifting PR because in life, setting an example of what character should be leaves a much greater impression than the weight on a bar. People who had never Deadlifted before 12 weeks ago, saw incredible gains.  INCREDIBLE! Some got their first dead hang pull-ups, and others did their first Snatch Test unbroken. Sometimes you felt good about your score and sometimes you may have wanted to punch the one of the unicorns prancing around the room (and thank you, everyone, for not punching anything or anyone). Regardless, most of you pleasantly surprised yourself with what you could accomplish when you had to dig deep.

I would like to take the time to thank each and every one of you for hiking up your pants, putting your game faces on, and signing up for this Fall’s TSC.

And now, it’s over!  

Twelve weeks of smart training, excitement, nerves, and probably a little bit of cursing Coach Kiel’s name on Wednesdays is no more;).  FUELhouse had 26 people register for the TSC this Fall. Let’s say that again: 26 of our FUELers took the plunge and signed themselves up for a rollercoaster ride of deadlifts, pull-ups/flexed arm hang, and KB Snatches.  We’re so ‘effing proud of you.

A very special THANK YOU…


To our FH Coaches- I love you guys like the brothers and sisters I never had, but the kind of siblings you actually want to hang out with;). You are my family. I am so very grateful for each of you. You continue to bring humility, hunger, and incredible wit to our Crew of humans. Thank you for your passion, willingness to help at anytime, and for being just a FUCKING magical unicorn. And, to our TSC Judges, assists and volunteers, thank you for taking your Saturday to give back to our community and to provide an excellent experience for all participants. We hope you can play with us in April 2019. Special shout out to Charlotte who spent hours making our TSC Halloween cookies and helped keep our HOUSE intact. Woman, we love you.

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Please share...

Are you happy you participated in this Fall’s TSC?  What did you learn over the course of 12 weeks about yourself and your experience?  What would you say to someone who was scared but curious about participating? Has this showed you how smart programming and consistency pays off?  Will you participate at a future TSC knowing what you know now? Email us your thoughts, recap on your experience, feedback, and any questions about TSC. We want to hear from you!

Feeling all the feels...

We’ve now hosted 7 Tactical Strength Challenges at FUELhouse.  At each event the feels get stronger and stronger. We witness more heart, dedication, and comradery at the gym than we see in any other moment (and that says a lot because we strongly feel all of our members are supportive all the time).  Watching you coach each other and cheer one another on fills us with so much pride. It shows that you not only care about yourself, but you care about your fellow athletes, you care about your gym, and you care about your community. That right there, is respect.  That right there, is the core of FUELhouse.

Looking ahead…


Take some time to think about what parts of the prep workouts gave you the most problems mentally and physically.  Those areas should be attacked with consistent work. Here’s a perfect opportunity to turn your goals into strengths, but it will ONLY happen with WORK on a REGULAR basis.  If you have questions about what appropriate goals are for you, or you want help creating a plan, please have a discussion with one of our Coaches.  

We want nothing more in the world than for each of you to reach the goals you set for yourself.

For everyone...  


FUELers, whether you completed the Tactical Strength Challenge this Fall or not, we consider you all to be EPIC HUMANS.  When the going gets tough, you get tougher (in mind and body), and it’s truly inspiring for us to watch. Scores and times aren’t everything in our HOUSE, but they sure provide a great measure for us to understand how we’re progressing.  Heart and dedication is all we ask from YOU, regardless if you’re prepping for TSC or not.

As your Coaches, we encourage everyone to think about their goals going into 2019.  Lets be prepared and ready to kick ass before the NYE ball drops. To everyone in our family, we thank you for working so hard and thank you for helping our community become stronger and closer.

We don’t know about you, but we sure are enjoying this crazy ride with you all.

Looking forward to helping EVERYONE step up their health and fitness GAME so we’re all ready to hit the ground running before Jan 1, 2019;). Get in the mindset now to crush some new goals for this next year.

Love your faces,

Strong Hugs- Molly

VIEW OUR entire TSC photo album HERE

WHAT I EAT IN A DAY – Jess Mullen

 Photo Cred: Takao Suzuki

Photo Cred: Takao Suzuki

I often get asked what I eat throughout the day. Here is a little snapshot of a typical day for me. I am a creature of habit when it comes to food and most of what I eat each day, except for dinner, is the same.  If I am running higher volume I will eat greater amounts of all the same stuff.

I start my day with 2 cups of black coffee after a glass of water. I don’t feel like eating right away so my breakfast is usually around 9am, about 3 hours after I get up. I am often able to cook breakfast at home. If I’m going to be out and about, I cook it at home and take it in a container with me. If I’m running in the morning, I usually run on an empty stomach and eat after or if it’s a long run this is what I have beforehand.

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 130g of egg whites, 45g of chorizo sausage (I really like Wellshire, it’s not too greasy), 40g of onion, 1 cremini mushroom and one big leaf of kale. I top the scramble with hot sauce.

I eat throughout the day as I don’t like to eat too much at any one time or feel too full. I am listing the weight/volume of what I eat throughout the day to give a greater level of detail and accuracy, in case anyone is interested in knowing that. I certainly don’t think everyone needs to or should weigh all their food each day.

I have a snack before lunch, usually around 11am. It’s always 50g of steel cut oats mixed with 20g of Sun Butter and a ½ teaspoon (4g) of blackberry preserves. It tastes like a treat!


My lunch is typically around 1pm. This is the same every day and I enjoy taking my time eating it while I respond to emails.

Lunch: ¼ portion of the Chicken Enchilada Bake (see October FH News for recipe), 45g avocado, 10g tortilla chips, 100g jicama, 60g red pepper, a bunch of romaine and hot sauce.

Lunch never holds me over that long so I have an afternoon snack not too much later, usually around 3pm. This is usually about 50-100g of raw veggies (carrots, cherry tomatoes or red bell peppers), 2-3 pickle chips, a hardboiled egg, 3 ounces of chicken (or 2 ounces turkey loaf), and 1.5T of hummus. I enjoy the crunch of the veggies and having a good amount of protein to tide me over. I really like raw veggies more than cooked so lunch and snacks are always raw and then breakfast and dinner are usually cooked veggies.


Depending on my schedule and when dinner happens (sometimes closer to 6pm, sometimes after 7pm), I have a second snack before dinner (or after dinner if dinner is early). This is my “indulgent” snack. It is healthy but feels like a rich treat. I mix 26g of crunchy peanut butter with 2 ounces of unsweetened plain almond milk yogurt (omg, the yogurt is no good by itself!) and chill it in the fridge or freezer for a bit for a lovely dessert texture and consistency.


Our dinners vary but often include fish (Mike, my husband, doesn’t like beef or pork), veggies and fat. If we aren’t having fish or shellfish, it’s chicken or turkey for protein. The veggies vary each day and then Mike likes some starch, so I often have sweet potatoes, potatoes or bread for him too. This night we had a mixture of prawns and sausage for protein and fat with bean sprouts, cauli rice, broccoli and bell peppers. I also sprinkled in sesame seeds. My dinner protein is usually 4-5 ounces cooked, the veggies usually total about 200-250g. And then usually about 30g fat, depending on the protein source.


Sometimes I’m still hungry throughout the day or in the evening and so I’ll have either a spoonful of peanut butter (and yes, I use a measuring spoon because I can go a little crazy) or a big bite of a Live ProBar.

Finally, I always have my favorite chocolate every night. Theo’s dark chocolate with sea salt. 150 calories worth, broken up into little pieces.


My daily totals typically (in a low exercise day or rest day) are in the range of 2,200 calories and macro breakdown of 20% carbs, 30-33% protein and 47-50% fat.

Curious to learn more? I love to talk all things food. Please reach out to me!

Jess Mullen

Posted on October 18, 2018 .

Meal Prep for the Week of October 15th

 Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken, Tex Mex Sauteed Yams and Cauliflower with a side of Paleo Coleslaw

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken, Tex Mex Sauteed Yams and Cauliflower with a side of Paleo Coleslaw



This weeks #mealprep felt sooo good. Why? Because I made this a priority and when I meal prep the rest of my life falls into place. Tip- look at the week ahead and decide which day you’re going to grocery shop + prep so you don't run out of time to get set up for the week..

Planning Ahead + Prioritizing = Success.

What are you preppin' this week!?


Breakfast: Spinach + Sausage Frittata + Arugula

Lunch: Salsa Verde Slow Cooker Chicken + sautéed yams and cauliflower + paleo coleslaw For the slaw I saved time and bought 2 pre-chopped bags of a kale/cabbage mix!

Snack: 1 HB Egg + 1 TBS Almond Butter + 1 Apple or Veggies + Hummus

Dinner: Northwest Fit Meals