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We’re all nominated #ASLicebucketchallenge

August 28th, 2014 No Comments

“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord….The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.”  — ALS.org

At the end of January, they had raised over $90million dollars.

I can’t imagine this happening to me or you.  We need to find a cure.

Once you post your video, donate here.




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Guess who wrote this one :)

June 16th, 2013 No Comments

Friday5 Action Against Hunger



Hehe. You know it’s true. I get such a kick out of writing these weekly emails for Friday5.

If you haven’t joined Friday5 yet, let me remind you. The organization deducts $5 from your bank account each week and donates it to a different charity, all of which have been vetted and applauded for how they allocate the funds.

So, $5 a week, that’s ONE latte, and you’ve done a good deed.

Plus, it’s all tax deductible. Friday5 will send you a form for the $260 dollars you donated over the year. Yes, that’s right, it only amounts to $260. I think we can swing it, don’t you?!

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Spare $5 bucks?

May 15th, 2013 No Comments

I’m working with Mike Berman (the guy in this really clever video) and his start up called Friday5 – an organization/website you join to give $5 a week to a worthy cause without lifting a finger.  So for the price of a latte a week  you get to help 52 different charities a year.

Yearly total: $260.  THAT’S IT!!!

Friday5 automatically deducts the $5 and sends it to a different accredited charity every week.  Super easy and affordable!  For more details on the company, click here.

They donate to all kinds of charities like Semper Fi Fund and Water.org to smaller ones, and they’ve all been vetted.  Last Friday, I wrote the copy for Citizens for Animal Protection, an animal shelter in Houston (one my mom really likes, which is why I chose it).

At the end of the year, they send you your tax deduction form with your total donations.

It’s the best way to donate without having to give a ton of money and research “good causes.”  Plus, I think we all have $5 a week to put towards the greater good!

Click here to check it out and join, it takes seconds.  Seriously.  And you seriously have $5 a week to be helpful.

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Support good people

April 10th, 2013 2 Comments

Leven’s boyfriend Geoff set out to produce a surfing movie with Ryan Phillipe in New Guinea.  The story they ended up with is so much more than just undiscovered waves; they found a truly untouched culture.

Since the crew was a group of surfers, NOT journalists, they were allowed entry into a press-free zone.  During their journey they observed and interacted with the locals who let them into their world.  What they experienced was extreme cannibalism, human rights issues (rape, torture, etc), and at one point appear to fear for their lives.  It’s all real and it’s all on film.

Geoff Clark on Piers Morgan

Now they need the money to finish ISOLATED, a project that has been in the works for 6 years.  Piers Morgan got wind of it and had both Geoff and Ryan on his show as guests. The Surfrider Foundation is another big supporter.

Let’s support the cause, help the people who brought this to life, and possibly change the lives of those isolated in a culture we would never survive in.


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Her story is frightening, her recovery is a miracle. Let’s help Lydia!

October 3rd, 2012 2 Comments

After being raped, beaten, and doused in bleach, Lydia Tillman was able to escape her burning apartment by jumping out of a second-story window.  She then crawled behind a bush and waited for the firemen to come rescue her. But her battle was not over.  On her way to the hospital, she suffered a stroke that resulted in nerve damage.  Her doctor says she really shouldn’t have survived.

The story sends chills down my spine.  Women are being attacked by the minute and even with all of the precautions we take, it never seems to be enough.  Lydia tucked herself into bed after a fireworks show on the 4th of July and was awoken by her attacker on top of her.  It’s a terrifying thought.

Her attacker, Travis Forbes, has been convicted and sentenced to life for the murder of his previous victim and received 48 more years for Lydia’s assault.  At his trial, he said, “I’m somewhere, deep down (messed) up, evil.”

Thankfully Lydia survived and has been able to heal. She’d made great progress thanks to procedures funded by victim’s recovery fund.

One procedure remains – the reconstruction of her jaw – that will cost $65,000.

Her brother, Jacob Tillman,  has taken to social stage to crowd source the money.  I was made aware of the story on twitter by @tgraydar, an editor @FastCompany, who told me he would take whatever workout class I wanted if I would help spread the word.  Of course I read the Fast Company article and was instantly activated, reaching out to everyone I know.

We need only to consider how difficult it would be to not chew food for the rest of our life to reach into our wallet and contribute ANY AMOUNT to her surgery. I know we can make a difference.

(Lydia’s story sourced from Fast Company, NY Daily News, and Denver Post)

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Some very important things we need to know about cancer

April 18th, 2012 No Comments

For the last two days I have had the pleasure and honor of meeting and listening to some of the most talented doctors talk about their research in developments in oncology at MD Anderson, the largest cancer center in the world.  Just to sum up what they said:  mind blowing!  I wish I could translate it here for you, but it’s unbelievably complex and lengthy.  Plus, I still don’t understand it all.

Dr. Ron DePinho, the new President of MD Anderson, offered us some very important insight I believe we all should carry with us daily:

The immune system doesn’t recognize cancer as foreign.

We don’t feel it and tumors continue to grow in our bodies.  Therefore, it’s important to be screened regularly for all types of cancer.

Melanoma is caused by childhood sun exposure. 

Seriously.  That’s it.  And that’s why we see it in 30 and 40 year olds.  UV rays are an environmental hazard we can control, and we should be vigilant with sunscreen.  Good parents will demand their kids wear sunscreen EVERYDAY all the time.  In Australia, kids aren’t allowed to go to school without a hat.  Screening for melanoma has proven to decrease the mortality rate by 50%.  Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer for women next to lung cancer.

Hopefully they will start a campaign so that the safety of sunscreen is engrained in our culture.  Think about seat belts.  Everyone hated them and refused to put them on.  Now they’re mandatory and second nature for most of us.

The risk factors for cancer:

  1. Age.  The longer we live, the more at risk we are to develop cancers.
  2. Environmental factors.  UV rays are the most harmful.  Pollution in the US is not as bad as you would think.
  3. Obesity. (More below)
  4. Smoking.  Kids are born now with receptors that breed their addiction.
  5. Chronic stress.

“It is an embarrassment we aren’t more aggressive with tobacco control,”

stated Dr. DePinho, who pledges to lobby for legislation in Texas.

It is unethical not to give your children the HPV vaccine,” 

said the father of 2 and doctor who has seen a rapid increase in head and throat cancers from the virus.  Thankfully pap smears allow doctors catch cervical cancer (caused by HPV) at an early stage so it can be treated.

Obesity will surpass smoking as a cause of cancer by 2020.

From what I gathered, the consumption of too many calories and processed sugars overloads your circuits, deactivating important mechanisms of your body.  MD Anderson will launch an online cookbook and has already made major efforts to educate the public on the importance of nutrition.

Ways you can prevent cancer:

  • “Do what your mother told you.” – Eat write, exercise, get enough rest.
  • Control the things you can, like UV exposure, smoking, etc.  Household chemicals and pollution are not as bad as you would think, but keep in mind what you need and don’t.
  • Get enough Vitamin D.  You need a 1000 units/day, which generally can be 10-20 minutes outside without sunscreen. (More here.)
  • Get screened regularly.  Don’t neglect going to see the doctor. Your visit is pennies on the dollar in relationship to what you will pay for treatment.

MD Anderson services adults and children in so many ways we don’t realize!

They have entire buildings dedicated to prevention.  You can get your regular checkups here so they will also include screening in your assessment.

MD Anderson is making major strides for kids in their Children’s Hospital.  THEY WILL SEE ANY CHILD DIAGNOSED OR SUSPECTED OF HAVING CANCER WITHIN 24 HOURS OF CALLING. (No matter where it was discovered or when it was diagnosed).  Their new “hospital within a hospital” will centralize all of the treatments needed to make care more efficient and provides a fully accredited school that can give high school diplomas.

The mission of MD Anderson is  “Making Cancer History,” meaning eliminating the disease so our children read about it in books and never know the pain of it.  Although they are the best in the world, they are working towards this goal everyday.  It’s inspiring and I’m so happy to be a part of their team to educate the public and support their efforts.


We might have it or our loved ones do.  There is never an effort – financial or otherwise – that is wasted in the fight against this disease. 




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The new @CharityWater campaign is brilliant!

November 16th, 2011 No Comments

Last week I learned about Charity Water’s new campaign WaterForward with an alert in my facebook inbox from Matt Oliver, one of my dear friends in NYC. He had paid for me to get involved and would like me to “pay it forward” and help end the world’s water crisis.

The social media campaign is really brilliant to raise $1 billion dollars. Basically, a friend pays for you to be in the WaterForward book and you are to pay it forward to as many friends as you can/want for the price of $10 each.  So if the 1 billion people involved in social media simply pay it forward to 1 person, you’ve got $1B to bring clean water to people who don’t have it.

I added my own strategy and paid it forward to friends with a large twitter following so they could expand the reach of the campaign.

Watch the video for more details and start your own Pay-It-Forward chain on the WaterForward site.  This is a great cause everyone can afford to support.  If you’re questioning it…consider how many glasses or bottles of clean water you drink and rinse with everyday.

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3 exercises to help you guys bulk up

June 6th, 2011 2 Comments

Whether you admit it to anyone other than your trainer, you know you want to build up noticeable muscle in your biceps, chest, and calves.  I made this video with the guidance of my trainer who guarantees these three variations on standard exercises will help you do that.

Remember, the more weight you use, the better for building bulk.  Go for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.


Please go to BlueCure.org.

Ladies, do it to save your man.  Guys, do it to save your balls.

Blue Cure is a very new non-profit organization to bring awareness to men under 40 that they are at risk for prostate cancer.  My friend Gabe accidentally found out he had it at 35, and now he’s looking to make men aware they need to be screened. Read his story on HuffPo here.

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