Off The Record Podcast – Eps 15: Jules McQueen Goes Off The Record

Jules McQueen is an entrepreneur (many times over) and mentor to many in the outdoor industry. We are proud to have her on the Off The Record podcast! Her go-get-it-ness is inspiring, and we had to have her on the podcast to talk about her latest invention (she built an App!! Carbon Unwind), how she handles stress (a bit of meditation, a bit of wine), and she goes “Off the Record” with us to share her biggest secret to date. (Ssshh!) We get a bit “woo-woo” in this episode, but that just means you needed to hear it.

Jules McQueen for Carbon Unwind

Wayne’s Christmas present is this: 

Jules was drinking Lewis & Clark Wine 

Michelle was drinking Bacon Red Blend:

Scott was hungover. 

Get Carbon Unwind App in the Apple Store:

Get the “Dead Meat TV” Cookbook: 

Follow Jules

Follow Carbon Unwind:  

Follow Scott http://Instagram.Com/SportingChef

Follow Michelle

Off The Record Podcast – Episode 15 – Transcript

Michelle: Do you have your drink?

Julie: Do I have my drink?


Julie: Michelle, you know I do. Cheers.

Michelle: Cheers. Scott, do you have your drink? Yay.

Scott: Mine’s non-alcoholic today. I’ve got a little bit of a hangover.

Julie: Oh, it happens.


Julie: I like to be up when the sun comes up, and then I take my vitamins. And I have found if you take gummy vitamins, you’ll actually take your vitamins.

Michelle: Yeah.



Intro: Good day and welcome to Off the Record. You’ll find us at the intersection of interesting ideas and great pairings. It all tastes good when these two cook it up, so let’s listen in to The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath, and outdoor industry insider Michelle Scheuermann as they talk wild game, wine, and anything else that comes to mind. Time to sample and sip our way through the best part of the day as we go off the record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

Michelle: Okay. Well, here we go. Welcome to Off the Record podcast with The Sporting Chef and Michelle, and today we have a very special guest, our good friend, Jules McQueen. Welcome.

Julie: Thank you for having me. I am so excited to be here with you guys. I feel like I’ve known both of you for 50 years. Seems like it.

Scott: It does.

Michelle: Yeah. We don’t like to talk about years or ages or anything like that.

Julie: I know. Right.


Michelle: But thank you for being here.

Julie: Yeah, I love this. You guys are amazing.

Michelle: Yeah. We wanted to do this for a long time.

Julie: I’ll admit, when I was supposed to be working earlier, I was just listening to your podcast catching up.

Michelle: Oh, were you?

Julie: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Michelle: Oh, I love that. And what did you listen to?

Julie: Well, I listened to the one with Nick Pinizzotto, because who doesn’t love Nick. And I felt like if I only get to catch up with him… I haven’t talked to him in forever, so this is my way of somehow catching up with people I haven’t talked to.

Michelle: Yeah. I tried to get the name of the new QDMA/NDA, the newly formed organization. I tried to get that out of him, but…

Julie: And he wouldn’t even say it off the record?

Michelle: No.


Michelle: This is Off the Record.

Julie: Ba dum dum, right?

Michelle: No. No, Nick is very good. He’s very straight-laced. Very, very good. But yeah, so thanks for listening. I hope we get more than five listeners, and I think we will eventually. [chuckle]

Julie: Yeah. Should I say some weird stuff so people are sure to listen, get some nice sound bites? Yeah.

Michelle: Yeah, I was just gonna say we’ll make another sound bite. [chuckle]

Julie: You never know. I’ll just come up with some really weird things, and then, we’ll be like, “Oh, listen to the podcast, hear the rest of this.”

Michelle: Did you know this about Jules? Oh. Dun dun dun dun. I love it. Well, I know you’re on podcasts a lot, and Scott is too. I was telling Scott the other day, he comes up with the same answers to questions. And I told him he needs to come up with new stuff. But you know what…

Scott: I’m just gonna start making stuff up.

Julie: Yeah. Are we at that point, Scott, where we can just start making things up?

Michelle: Yeah. Say whatever you want.

Julie: I think that’s okay, right? Yeah.

Scott: Yeah, well. Because when you’re on so many podcasts, other people’s podcasts, you get the same questions and you end up with pretty much the same answers, so I gotta mix it up.

Julie: [chuckle] That’s so true.

Michelle: But you know what? Honestly, I blame the podcaster for most of it, Scott. I don’t blame you for all of it. I blame the podcaster for most of it, because they should already know a lot about you since they’re interviewing you. They should have done their research, and they should have known that these questions have already been asked. And so what new questions… What else could they come up with?

Scott: Sure. We’ll blame them.

Julie: Yeah, it’s their fault, for sure.

Michelle: It’s not you.


Michelle: That’s why we have people like Nick and Jules, and we’ll get Melissa on here as well, because we know them so well, that we don’t come up with lame ass questions for you. [chuckle]

Julie: Right? And you know we’ll just answer anything.

Scott: And Jules, I don’t know about you, but I had people say they want me to send them a list of questions that they’re gonna ask me, and I say, “No, I don’t wanna do that.”

Julie: No.

Scott: That’s even worse.

Julie: I love surprises. Right?

Scott: Right. Surprise me. Whatever you throw at me, we’ll make something up.

Julie: Right. And so far, all these years doing this, no one’s really thrown me for a loop too bad. There might be a couple where I’m a little stumped for a second, but then it’s like… I pretty much have an answer for everything. Yeah. It makes it so much more fun.

Michelle: And like I said, if you don’t, you make it up.

Julie: Totally make everything up. 80% of everything I say is made up.

Michelle: Well, I love having you on here because, A, you’re such a successful entrepreneur and you really just go after it and go get it, and you’re such a role model, and I know you mentor a lot of women out there, not only in the outdoor industry, but just women in general, and I know a lot of ladies look up to you. You do have such a positive vibe on your social media that it’s fun to follow you. And it’s been a tough few months this year, and you did something completely different during COVID while some people were sheltering in place and doing Netflix all day long and just hiding in a hole, and woe is me, you decided to flip that on its head and you created an app. You just developed an app.


Julie: Surprise. Yeah.

Michelle: Yeah, “Here it is.” And it’s called Carbon Unwind. And it’s available now on iTunes, correct?

Julie: Uh-huh. In the iOS, in the App store, yep. We are available, yes.

Michelle: Tell me about that. Tell me about during COVID… Here you are, you’re in Michigan, you can’t go anywhere. Take me back to March and April, how did this come about?

Julie: Yeah. So it all started because I am surrounded by geniuses. My team here at Carbon is amazing, and when COVID happened… And I love how we say that COVID happened or the whole COVID thing… We have these phrases now for COVID, “When COVID happened… And so when it happened, and obviously as a media company, we kind of went dark for a quarter or two, everything shut down, and it was like, “What are we doing?” We have all of these amazing people, smart people working here, and it kind of started going to a standstill. And back in December or January of last year, I had had this concept of creating a sleep story and meditation app. So because Carbon was so busy and there’s all these other things and distractions going on, we just never really put a lot of force into it. But we had had some pre-meetings. We developed the framework for it. My creative team was developing color boards for it. So it was in the baby stages, but then when all of this happened and everything shut down.

Julie: We literally took our entire Carbon team and transitioned them over into a new company, essentially, even though it’s the same company. So my creative team went to work creating the graphics and colors and all of the, everything you see visually. My developer went from the Carbon TV side to literally building this app from the ground up. My producer went from producing stuff for Carbon TV over to producing sleep stories and guided meditations, and we hired guided meditation experts, we hired writers, we hired people to read sleep stories, who I call people with nice voices telling boring stories. [chuckle] And it just all felt so right because this is the time in the world where people need something like this more than ever, this isn’t a time where it’s like, oh, just rest under your laurels, everything’s gonna be great, whatever. Why not provide a service to the world during a time where people are stressed out?

Michelle: Yes, exactly.

Julie: So we… Yeah, so we really went to work, we… All of us swam outside of our lanes, we started researching…

Michelle: I love that.

Julie: How to do things we didn’t even know how to do and understand…

Michelle: Yeah, ’cause have you ever developed an app before Jules?

Julie: No. [chuckle] No, I haven’t. And that’s the beauty in it, sometimes people who don’t know what they’re doing see things differently, and so the way we did it might not have been the traditional way of developing something like this, but we certainly put our heart and soul into it, and every person on my team believes in this and really decided, okay, this isn’t technically what I was going to be doing for work, but look at this thing that we can create. And it turned into this snowball effect of like, then we realized, oh, this can actually really help people who are struggling, so I have a degree in psychology and the people, and so I have a…

Scott: Hey, me too. [chuckle]

Julie: Oh, hey! So you know exactly what I’m…

Scott: I thought we all did.

Julie: I think we all do. I’m pretty sure everyone gets one officially when they turn 27 or something. [chuckle]

Scott: Sure. [chuckle]

Julie: But it’s like, so think about people who are going to support groups once a week and they weren’t able to do that this just suddenly, and they’re alone. What about people who were going to see their psychologists and they suddenly can’t have that face-to-face one-on-one, understanding coping mechanisms, understanding how to really deal with things that are happening in their life. So my motivation on this was, yeah, it’s fun and new and different and interesting, but it’s providing a service to people who might not be able to have that otherwise. So it’s bringing health and wellness into the home for people who can’t get out of the home sometimes.

Michelle: Yeah, and what you said about people struggling during that sheltering in place and in that quarantine time, my sister runs… Helps to run a non-profit in Everett, Washington, just north of Seattle, and it’s a home for women who battered, abused, you name it, and trying to get away, trying to start their life, addictions, and they would meet with their counselors a few times a week, well, so this just repeated across the country, how many times, then when the sheltering in place happened across the country, what happened to these women? What happened to these people who were meeting with their counselors? It didn’t happen, and she said it was a huge percentage of them went back to their addiction because they didn’t have the coping mechanisms there, they didn’t have their counselors and then COVID, it was just too much. It’s just so sad.

Julie: Yeah, yeah, it’s so sad, and this is… I feel like we’ve really created a product that can appeal to so many different people. So I have to ask, Scott, have you ever used any type of an app like this? Like not ours specifically, but anything that would help you fall asleep at night, white noise, sound machine ’cause I’m interested in the demographic that we’re going after, so men, women, I just, I’m trying to figure it out.

Scott: So my wife just recently got an app, let me see if I can find out what the name of it is, that she listens to at night, and I’m not that guy, not yet.

Julie: Not yet, we still have time.

Scott: But maybe, maybe we still have time. I’ll find the name of it and what I hear, Headspace?

Julie: Oh yeah, Headspace, yeah, they’re one of our major, major competitors.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: So whatever that name is…

Julie: I know them very well.

Scott: We’ll forget, I’m falling asleep at night and I hear the crashing of the waves, seagulls…


Scott: And I’m going, yeah, whatever. So I’m…

Julie: I think you’re hired. Do you wanna do some sleep stories for us?


Scott: Yeah, I’ll just do the sound effects, but…

Julie: Could you just do that?

Michelle: Sleep stories by Scott Scott Leysath. Go to fucking sleep. [chuckle]

Scott: Yeah.

Julie: You know what else would be good? You know what else would be good, Scott? Can we get some like, they call it ASMR, it’s because we get you sizzling some stakes on a grill…

Scott: Oh yeah!

Julie: And like this sizzling noise, that’s a big thing. People really listen to those, people eating food, it’s this sound.

Michelle: No way.

Julie: It’s a sound thing, yeah, it’s a big deal. You should Google it, and you’ll be stuck in that Google chain for four days listening to things. It’s a thing.

Scott: Gently, gently place the sea bass into the skillet of butter and wine.

Michelle: With that sexy voice too, Scott. [laughter]

Scott: Yeah.

Julie: You’re hired, that’s it. I’m sold, yeah, you should just come on and…

Scott: And now a squeeze of lemon.


Julie: So you could actually read recipes, and you’re gonna think I’m nuts, but one of my favorite things on one of our competitors’ apps, they read the shipping forecast, it’s literally a guy with a nice voice reading the forecast, and I fall asleep to it all the time. It’s amazing. [chuckle] I know that it sounds really silly, but it puts me to sleep. It’s this great voice just talking about nothing.

Michelle: Recipe for a venison roast. Place one venison roast on… [laughter]

Julie: I think we’re on to something, guys, I think…

Michelle: And the key would be to be something that isn’t… You don’t want it to be too engaging, right? You wanna… It wants to put your mind somewhere else, because if you’re watching Jeopardy, you wanna know what the answer is, but if you’re just hearing the sizzling of the sea bass, then you can just drift off into sleep, the concept…

Julie: Exactly.

Scott: Makes complete sense to me. I’m gonna have to try it again. [chuckle]

Julie: I would love for you to try it. I’ll send you, I’ll send you a free membership for the app, you’ll love it.

Scott: Do that.

Julie: I’m telling you, yes.

Scott: I will. That’d be great.

Julie: ‘Cause the stories, they’re just boring enough, it’s just boring enough where you’re like, I don’t really need to hear the end of this, I know how it ends, but the voices are so nice, and then when you fall asleep, it’s actually medically proven. So they’ve done all these studies on this where when you fall asleep in a more mindful way instead of social media or the news, it’s just better sleep, it’s a better quality of REM sleep during the night.

Michelle: I love it.

Scott: I’d be disappointed if people said, “Man, I watch The Sporting Chef every night before I go to sleep…

Julie: I fall asleep to it. [laughter]

Scott: So we can fall asleep easier because you’re just not all that engaging.” Sure.

Julie: It’s that sizzling, it’s that sizzling, it puts them right out, knocks them out.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: But Scott, you were telling me that you are watching something that goes back to a simpler time, I guess, right?

Scott: I’m escaping the news and I’m going back and forth between CNN and Fox and going, how can these people think one way and are we in two different universes and… What the hell’s going on here? And my wife says, Turn the TV off. Stop doing that. So I’ve been watching MeTV. I’ve been watching Hogan’s Heroes. What could be funnier than a Nazi concentration camp. Mannix, Dragnet. If you watch those things, it’s a much simpler time and nobody’s upset about anything else, nobody’s offended by anything, some of the more offended people watching any of those shows now, would find a reason to be offended.

Michelle: Oh, for sure, for sure.

Scott: And it takes an awful lot to offend me. So, MeTV, I’m a big fan.

Julie: I love it. Yeah, yeah, that’s interesting. I love that I’m doing a study, a focus group with you right now.


Julie: I feel like I should be taking notes like, “Oh, okay, men like this… ” But it’s interesting because the more people I talk to in this whole space and this… Even the meditation part of it. ‘Cause the word meditation has this kind of stigma and some circles where they’re like, “Oh, do I have to chant, do I have to light some candles? How does this work?”

Michelle: I have to sit a certain way, I have to be a certain way.

Julie: Right, yeah. So we’re trying to break that down for people and say, We’re even including walking meditations for people who just wanna go for a walk and just clear their head, breathing techniques, ways to trigger your brain, so it’s like, Oh, get in that mindset of, I don’t really have to not think about anything, what if there’s something I need to be thinking about and focusing on certain things. And I’m a person who meditates twice a day usually, and if I have a problem at work, like a situation and I’m really trying to solve it, I just go sit in my meditation room for five minutes and I focus on just that one thing.

Michelle: Wait, wait. You have a meditation room at work?

Julie: I do, I converted a room into a meditation room. [laughter]

Michelle: That’s awesome.

Julie: It’s so great. It has comfy pillows. For me, it works because when I walk in that room, I don’t take my phone with me, unless if I’m gonna do a guided meditation then I just do not disturb and I put it on, but I walk in… And this is so funny, so when I go in my room, I take off my shoes, and it’s not for any reason other than it triggers my brain as like, “Oh, now it’s time… “

Michelle: This is what we’re doing.

Julie: This is what we’re going to do. And it’s this trigger, and even if I’m only in there for five minutes, I can just focus on one thing without any distraction and go, “Got it.” Okay, now I’ve got this clear mind and I know exactly what I’m doing. Yeah, so for me, it’s worked wonders and I’m a super busy, stressed-out person. So, it could work for you. [laughter]

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: For the people like myself who are going to not jump into this with both feet, it has… I’m thinking about the application, sitting in a deer stand, waiting for turkeys where you’re just… It’s just you and you and if you could put your mind in a better place, that makes complete sense, because that’s why we go to deer stands, so that we can put our mind in a different place and get away from all the crap, and if you could do that and meditate and maybe nod off by the time you wake up, you might have a big buck in front of you.

Julie: Right, it’s true. Yeah, so the way that we’ve been marketing Unwind is that we are the first sleep story guided meditation app that’s based on nature and the outdoors. So we’re based on the study of ecopsychology and the way we are connected more to nature and that we can become more mindful and more centered by focusing on our connection to nature, being rooted in the earth. And so we’re doing things like Arbor Therapy, water therapy, guided imagery therapy. And I know it might sound really intimidating to people who haven’t tried it. But it’s literally just a really nice calming voice, walking you through some breathing techniques and different ways to feel more mindful. I think is a good way to put that, but they can all be done… Actually, some of them are written specifically to be done outside to meditate outside, so go sit outside by a body of water, or go outside and take a walk, or go outside and sit next to a tree.

Michelle: I need to find those. Yeah.

Julie: Yeah, so.

Julie: Yeah, so even just sitting up next to a tree, we walk through the method of feeling rooted through that tree and feeling more connected to nature through it…

Michelle: You know, ’cause everything is energy, everything is energy.

Julie: It’s all energy.

Michelle: Which sounds a little woo-woo. I know it sounds a little woo-woo.

Julie: Right.

Michelle: But I’m actually reading a book about that and quantum physics and stuff. I know it’s weird, who would think I would read about quantum physics. But I am actually doing that right now, so I’m trying to learn… Because everything that you think and feel turns into actions, and so I’m trying to learn… I mean, truly, if you can change your thoughts, you can change your life, which you’ve heard a million times before, but truly putting that into action is a whole another thing. And I think COVID has brought that for me, that I need to change my thoughts because how I’m feeling is resulting in these actions that I don’t want, but, yeah.

Julie: Right, yeah so the power…

Michelle: We’re going deep. We’re going deep on this podcast, you guys.


Julie: That’s what I like. Yes, I’m all for it. So I’m all about the power of manifestation, the power of intention, and I said this for the first time on a… So it’s not technically the first time I’ve mentioned this publicly, but I said it the other day on a podcast. When I walk into my office in the mornings, I have a notebook. I can see it from where I’m sitting, and I write down exactly what I’m going to do, and it’s a very solid plan; there’s an actual, very strategic… I know exactly what it looks like. And some people would look at that and be like, you’re a crazy person. But I write down every single day my intentions, and I manifest it, and it all happens, and I’m telling you there’s something to it.

Julie: I believe in the power of positive energy and I believe in manifestation. And it’s not like, “Oh, I’m gonna make a billion dollars tomorrow.” But the power is in understanding what those small steps are to get there, and to encourage yourself, and to create that positive energy every single day on a regular basis. And I believe that we can do whatever we want, we just have to continue the manifestation in small pieces, and so that’s my system. Every day I walk in and I know what’s written in that notebook, it’s really gonna happen. And that’s such a cool thing, it’s amazing.


Julie: ‘Cause I’m just like, I can’t wait for when it happens because I’ma be like, “Look at my notebook.”


Michelle: It says it right here.

Julie: And then everyone’s gonna be like, “Whoa, I should start… ” but for me that’s how it works ’cause I believe in the written word with my hand. I write down everything in pen and ink and paper. But for other people, it’s the spoken word, just manifesting it out loud works for them. And for other people, it’s just a positive thought process. I think that finding what works for you, and understanding that your energy and your thoughts actually transform into real-life situations. And how you react to other people, and the energy you bring into your world, and what you allow into it.

Michelle: ‘Cause you can manifest bad energy too.

Julie: Oh yeah, I don’t let any bad stuff in anymore, it’s not allowed. We don’t do any bad… No, I’m in a little bubble that I created.


Julie: My little manifestation bubble. No bad stuff comes in. But yeah I believe that, I do.

Scott: And now all of this sounds like my wife, if I may just throw that in there.

Julie: I love your wife. She sounds amazing.

Scott: Because I know, because I know…

Michelle: Then now needs the app, Jules.

Julie: Yeah, she needs it. Yeah.

Scott: There are guys like me who have resisted this kind of thing, even though I’ve got a degree in Psychology, I was a counselor, I did all of those things. Basically…

Michelle: You know exactly what we’re talking about.

Scott: I took the path of least resistance and got a liberal arts degree. ‘Cause I only took chemistry for five minutes and realized that’s not for me.

Michelle: Yeah, not for me.

Scott: But all of everything you’re saying makes complete sense, getting past the male-ness of it all. I know that this would have a positive impact on my life. And I have to assume that so far, is this skewing more female participating than male? Because it’s hard to break through to the hard heads like me who are going, “Meditation? Whoa. I don’t know about meditation.” You’ve heard it before and you’re hearing it again, and I know I should. Because I’ve gone from zero to 60 once airplanes started opening up, and I’m trying to cram a whole lot of work into two months, which is barely possible. And I think if I just stop every now and then and went, “Okay, let’s calm down and focus.” I would get a lot more done. And Michelle probably agrees with that because she’s been the victim of me being unfocused many, many times.


Julie: Right. Well, I’ve been saying this thing that I heard someone else say and I copy it, ’cause that’s the normal thing to do. But they say, whoever they are, they say that “If you’re a busy person, you should meditate for about 10 to 15 minutes a day. If you’re a really busy person, you should be meditating for 30-40 minutes a day.”

Michelle: Is that right?

Julie: The busier you are… It’s just kind of like… It’s more of like the meaning of it.

Michelle: Yeah.

Julie: It can be three minutes.

Michelle: Like you need it more.

Julie: You need it more the busier you are. So if I have a crammed schedule, and I’ve got calls, and meetings and stuff, and everything going on, I’ll look at my calendar in the morning, ’cause I meditate before I work out in the morning. I’ll look at my calendar and I’m like, “Well, this is gonna be a day. I think I need like 15 minutes.” Because then I can really get focused. And I do all my deep breathing and it’s not anything… I have sage and candles in there, but I don’t always use it. Sometimes I just go in there and I sit. And I just take deep breaths and really meditate into a thought. But I think the busier you are, the more useful it is. And then when you walk out, you feel like I’ve already accomplished one thing today, and I can do everything else. It’s not a problem.

Julie: But I agree with you Scott. I think that there’s definitely a lot of the male demographic that we are trying to go after to market this. Who, they might look at it and be like, “I don’t know about that.” But their wives, or their daughters, or their friends have all had some form of connection to this in some way. So, I feel like there’s a window there where, they’ve kind of peeked in the window and they’re like, “I’m curious about that, but I’m not entirely sure.” I think one of the cool things about ours is we bring that nature element into it. And a guy is sitting next to a tree, if he pulls up our Arbor Therapy guided meditation, it’s like a guided imagery therapy. It can be really cool, and it’s something different. And I think that even men who seem so tough and like, “Ah, look at me go. I’m so strong.”


Julie: But everyone is going through some form of anxiety or stress in their life.

Michelle: Yeah. Especially now.

Julie: Especially right now. And I’ve been really surprised too. I had my vehicle in the shop the other day and I’m just talking to some of the mechanics and whatever, and one of the guys is like, “Oh, I use this sleep app every single night. I use sleep stories.” And he’s not who I would have thought would have ever said that, but I think we’re surprised pretty often by the types of people who need this in their lives.

Michelle: Everyone needs it Jules. Everyone does.

Julie: I think so.

Michelle: Yeah. But you said something I wanna go back to. And Scott I’m gonna have you answer this question too, because I wanna compare and contrast. But you talked about your morning routine. Have you ever talked about your morning routine before? Do you take it step-by-step, your morning routine? And then Scott I wanna hear about your morning routine.


Julie: Okay. So My morning routine is I get up, and I usually scratch Banjo on the head ’cause Banjo sleeps in his little dog bed next to my bed. I take my…

Michelle: At what time?

Julie: I usually wake up early early. 5:30, 6 o’clock every morning. I like to be up when the sun comes up. And then I take my vitamins, and I have found if you take gummy vitamins you’ll actually take your vitamins.

Michelle: Yeah. [laughter]

Julie: Life hack.

Michelle: True story.

Julie: I take gummy vitamins for everything.

Michelle: True story.

Julie: I love, I look forward to taking my vitamins. Is that a weird thing to say?

Michelle: No. No.

Julie: At my age, I’m like super excited about…

Michelle: Completely agree. I’m with you a hundred percent.

Julie: They’re delicious. So there’s a plug for Gummy vitamins. I take all my vitamins, and then I, usually take Banjo out, and then I go back in, and I make breakfast. So I usually make vegetables with some scrambled eggs, just like a veggie and egg breakfast. And then, I meditate immediately after I go in my meditation room. I’ll sometimes do guided meditation, or I’ll just sit in there and meditate on my own unguided. So usually 10 to 15 minutes of meditation. And then, I’m really lucky at my work. I have a full gym, so, I go to my gym, my private gym at work, and I work out for 40 minutes usually. And then I shower, and I’m already in the office. So I go to work right after. So I like to have all of my things accomplished by eight o’clock in the morning, and then I can start working.

Michelle: Yeah, I’m the same way. Scott?

Scott: I’m usually up between 4:30 and 5:30. Basically, get a cup of coffee, go straight to the office until I realize it’s noon. And it’s…

Michelle: No breakfast, no meditation.

Julie: You take your vitamins, Scott?

Scott: No.

Julie: Come on.

Michelle: No vitamin.

Julie: No vitamin?

Scott: I’ll let Mac and Floyd out of their kennel, give them some duck jerky. And I don’t have a routine. How’s that?

Julie: At least you let them out of their kennel. I think that’s a win.


Scott: Yeah. They like their kennel. So with Mac and Floyd, these two English setters that I have at about nine o’clock at night, they come and get us, and they go, “Hey, it’s time to go to bed. Can we have our duck jerky in the kennel now?” So we run them out there. They’ve got a big kind of a couch set up. It’s a really cool kennel. It’s not just a dog house. It’s like a little apartment.

Julie: Oh my God.

Scott: And, we started them that way because it was… In the past we haven’t ever kenneled dogs. They always slept in the house, but these were Pups. I was gone all the time. This worked better with me being gone with just one person being here. So they love it. If we don’t put them in the kennel at night, they’re like, “Hey, what’s the deal?” So that’s…

Julie: Right? They like their routine.

Scott: They have their routine much more so than I do.

Julie: They’re very much like me.

Scott: And I’m in different timezones, I’m gone all the time. You know, I’m gone, in a normal year, I’m gone more than I’m home. So you know the deal, it’s kind of hard to get a routine when you’re not really sure where you’re gonna be the next day.

Julie: Right. It’s so true. I think that’s why I like what I’m doing so much right now. Cause, you both knew me before I transitioned into the corporate stuff, I was on the road like you Scott, 200 days a year, 250 days a year, easy. That was nothing. And I never had a routine. I didn’t know what state I was in. I was always out in the field, and there’s a part of me that misses that because I am kind of a gypsy at heart, but man, I like having a routine too. I know exactly where my vitamins are in the morning and exactly where my… What meditation I’m gonna do. And I love going to the gym in my office and just having that structure. And I feel like there’s a part of me that really was craving that. It’s kind of cool. Cause I never had that.

Scott: Well, and this year would be a good time for people to do that. You know, all the things I was thinking…

Michelle: Well, everyone’s routine just got thrown up in the air, you know?

Scott: Right. Well, back in April, I’m going boy, I’m gonna clean my office. I’m gonna do all these things.

Julie: It doesn’t look that clean, Scott. I can see you right now. It does not look clean.

Scott: It’s a mess. No, I know.

Julie: It’s a disaster.

Michelle: I think it’s better than it was.

Scott: It’s actually better than it was. Yeah.

Michelle: It’s a little bit better.

Scott: But there’s no excuse for not having a routine this year. It was just a little disconcerting, mentally. It was hard to stay focused for me. And I normally can put most shit aside and go where I’m going, but this year was a little bit more challenging.

Julie: Yeah. I think we all went through stages of the quarantine situation. It’s really funny, so my team, we all talk on a Slack channel. I don’t know if anyone… If you guys use Slack, but we love it. And when we all realized that they were gonna have to work remote, when all, everything went on lockdown, we named the Slack channel “coronavirus quarantine week.” And that was like…

Michelle: Week?

Julie: Eight months ago. Week. And we’re still using that channel cause they’re still working from home. They’re like, “People have started coming back to the office a little. Part of my team was in today.” Most of them come in on a couple days a week now, but we thought it would be a week. And so we were kind of like, “Okay, see you next week.” You know? And then it was four months, and I hadn’t seen any of them. But during that time…

Michelle: Look at what you did.

Julie: They were so efficient. I’m so proud of them. I have the coolest people around me.

Michelle: I felt I was busier during shelter in place and quarantine time than I was before. And I made Scott be busier too, because I made Scott do a cookbook that you can actually get on

Julie: No way.

Michelle: Right now, you can go and get this Dead Meat cookbook. I made him get me the recipes for season one and two.

Julie: Really? Oh, that’s amazing.

Michelle: It was pulling teeth, but we did it.

Julie: I need this cookbook. Yeah.

Michelle: And it’s pretty awesome.

Julie: You know what would be really cool if we had Scott do a cookbook, and it was all the recipes, and then you could click a little button. It would do sound effects.


Scott: Well, now I’m picturing one of your deals. I’m picturing the marsh waking up in the morning, and you hear the birds flying over… And then “boom” And then you hear a big splash on the water. How’s that? What? That’s not…

Michelle: You’re awake.

Scott: That’s not…

Julie: I love it. Yeah, sold.

Scott: That’s not going to put me to sleep?

Julie: We’re definitely gonna do that for sure. A hundred percent. Yes. Yeah. That’s gonna be one of them, yeah. Well, when we were first starting to create the sleep… Also really fun fact, we have a kid section, so for…

Michelle: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Julie: We have a kid section of online, if you have kids and maybe you can’t read them a story at night or, people have other things going on. It’s totally understandable. Or if it’s nap time and you can’t read them a story, we have an entire section for kids. And we actually tested it on my nieces and nephew, and realized when the story ends, it needs to be really calm ’cause the ending could wake them up when the story ends. So we’ve been actually testing how do you softly, get them to go to sleep…

Michelle: How do you transition.

Julie: And have sweet dreams, and it’s like a nice outdoors theme and encourage that adventurous spirit, but also help them pass out. But yeah, it’s funny. So when you said that. Yeah, no. It’s basically like the first music we tried on a kids section where my niece woke up and she was like “Now, I’m wide awake.” So, we’ve perfected it now.

Michelle: Trial and error.

Julie: And when the story ends the app shuts up. It just goes dark.

Michelle: Oh, that’s cool, I like that.

Scott: What are you guys drinking by the way? Because I’m not drinking today, I’m taking a day off.

Julie: You’re living vicariously?

Michelle: Yeah, what do you got Jules?

Julie: So I have a nice Lewis & Clark, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Michelle: Nice.

Julie: And it is delicious. It is from Washington State. Because, America.

Michelle: America. Hashtag America.

Julie: Seems right.

Michelle: I also have a Cab, it’s from a company called Bacon, they’re based in California. And they said there’s two types of people in the world: Those who like Bacon, and people who don’t exist. I don’t know.

Julie: Something like that.

Michelle: Something like that.

Julie: Sounds Right.

Michelle: Anyway, so Wayne actually picked out this bottle, we were at Total Wine and we were getting some Michael David bottles for our collection, Scott, true story. And this Bacon wine was… There was a Michael David display… And this Bacon wine was next to it. It’s about $25 and Wayne’s like “Bacon? Yeah, we’re going to get this wine.” So he actually “purchased it”, and so I told him, I said, I wanna drink that tonight with Jules and Scott, and he looked at me and he’s like, “No.” So I had to promise I will buy him another bottle of Bacon wine, it’s pretty good, it’s young. But it’s good.

Julie: Nice.

Scott: And so Jules, Michelle has a deal, she doesn’t think that there’s a wine under $25, that’s worth drinking.

Julie: Oh. That’s not true.

Scott: I know. Snobby, snobby, snobby.

Julie: Snobby, snobby Michelle.

Julie: I know so many…

Michelle: I’m gonna hold true to this.

Julie: This one that I am drinking is under $25, I think it was like 18 bucks maybe. Do you know what else is good? I drink: Pathak is good, 19 Crimes is good. There’s some less expensive ones. Oh, Michelle, we’re doing a taste test next time I see you, I’m gonna blindfold you, I’m going to tell them to do this.

Scott: Right, blind tasting for…

Julie: You have to spin her in circles first.

Scott: Absolutely.

Julie: Just to be fun, make it more interesting.

Scott: I wanna be there.

Julie: Yes. We’re gonna do a blind taste test and we’re gonna put one snobby wine and three not snobby wines and we’re gonna prove you wrong, Michelle.

Michelle: We’ll do it, let’s do it at SHOT Show. Are you going to SHOT Show?

Julie: Oh. For sure. If it’s there, I’m there, for sure.

Michelle: I haven’t purchased my plane ticket, but I do have my hotel room. And this is the beginning of October, is when we’re recording this. So I really, really hope we can see each other.

Julie: Yeah, it seems like it’s all gonna come together, I really think that all of this is gonna die down in the next month and a half or so, I think it possibly, maybe gonna suddenly-ish…

Michelle: November 6th, November 7th maybe.

Julie: Suddenly we’re like whoa, look at that. Everything was great. Okay, let’s get back to normal.

Michelle: Everything is back to normal. Who knew?

Julie: I really do think that, I think that people will feel more comfortable all of a sudden, which is great. But yeah, if SHOT Shows open I will be there. I just… For us, like when we first got on the line tonight, I feel like I haven’t seen your faces in so long, and I miss my friends, I miss the people that we love in this industry, and it’s the one time a year when you just get to connect with everybody so.

Scott: Well. And it’s also been especially challenging for people that are shooting shows for new content. I think you’re gonna see a lot of “best ofs” this year. A lot of people shot their shows last fall and winter for this season anyway. But across all channels, I think it’s been a real challenge for everyone. That’s why I’m trying to cram… We have a new show that’ll be on our door in March that I need to get done before the end of the year, in addition to Dead Meat and Sporting Chef. But all events were cancelled, so that helps. ‘Cause normally I would be working a lot of events, but I really feel for the guys that have to go shoot a deer, because just getting there, we’ve been driving more than ever this year because plane travel has been such a pain in the ass and just as long as you can get on a plane. It’s opened up somewhat now.

Julie: The thing I’ve noticed though is… A good thing about that is it’s forced people to be more creative, to think outside the box. Like: “What else can I do in our backyard? How can we create some content that’s actually compelling, interesting, educating, but maybe we can’t go do that hunt that we booked last year, or maybe we can’t leave the country?” So, it’s really kind of forcing people to flex those creative muscles in some interesting ways, and also to explore their own home states. A lot of people are realizing no matter where you live, you can drive X amount of hours and end up in a national park or a state park and really go explore and take your kids out and document that. ‘Cause a lot of people don’t have that opportunity and they want to live vicariously through the people who do. So, I think it’s really allowed a lot of people to understand that and maybe not take it for granted when things do come back to normal and you can go do those things, and then it’s not like “Oh, whatever… I get to do this all the time.” Now, it’s like, “Oh my gosh, I get to go to a restaurant, this is amazing.” So I think it’s…

Michelle: Practicing gratitude. [chuckle]

Julie: Yes, it gives us a new appreciation. And if you look at it the right way, it’s just this beautiful thing where it opened a lot of eyes.

Michelle: Yeah, so…

Scott: You know, one of the things that I wanna let people know about is for those people who would go to the backcountry or the DU or the, all of the banquets that supports these groups all year long, they’re all doing virtual things. So, you need to go check them out and support them, you can get some screaming deals on auctions, on online auctions. But a lot of these groups, these groups that are making it possible for us to hunt and fish when we want to, the ones that are fighting the fight for us, they need our support. So, anyone who’s listening, whether it’s a $35 annual DU membership or something, at least keep those up, check out their auctions, and we really need to support the people that make it okay…

Michelle: That’s true.

Scott: For us to hunt and fish.

Julie: That’s so true. Yeah, I know. I try to make it a point to click on those every time they come through, ’cause I’m telling you, you’re right Scott, some of the auction items right now, I mean…

Michelle: Oh my god.

Julie: I’m not saying… I’m not saying I’m trying to be a bargain hunter, but if you’re looking for some amazing stuff.

Michelle: I gotta tell you…

Julie: This is the year.

Michelle: I gotta tell you guys something.

Julie: Okay.

Michelle: I don’t want Wayne to hear it.

Scott: You’re gonna whisper?

Michelle: Yeah. Because I bought Wayne a Christmas gift at the SCI, just had an auction for their… It was like to help their outfitters ’cause outfitters aren’t getting anything, right? There’s no business happening. So, SCI had an auction and it’s the coolest shit. Okay, so I got this experience in Las Vegas where… I don’t know, it’s like four or five hours, I think we were gonna do it like an… ‘Cause I have to buy a ticket for me if I wanna do it with him, but for four or five hours, he’s this tactical military guy, they take him through all these experiences, it’s like the shit, [chuckle] like he’s gonna…

Julie: Oh my god, that’s amazing.

Michelle: Shoot all these awesome guns and they’re gonna pick him up at the airport and like…

Julie: No way.

Scott: Oh cool.

Michelle: I know. [chuckle]

Julie: Oh my god, this is amazing! Where did you get this? So, you bought it at one of the…

Michelle: I got it at SCI, but I’ll have to, I’ll have to… I can’t think of the company, but I’ll put it in the show notes, the company name, and I’ll send it to you guys ’cause…

Julie: That’s amazing.

Michelle: I know, it’s gonna be fucking awesome.

Julie: I think you’ll win Wife of the Year Award or something.

Scott: Yes.

Julie: You need a trophy.

Scott: Thank God, Wayne doesn’t listen to our podcast.

Julie: I know.

Michelle: No, he doesn’t. He doesn’t. [chuckle]

Scott: Do you think my wife listens to it? You think she watches my TV shows? No.

Michelle: No. She eats your food, that I know, because otherwise she wouldn’t be eating. [chuckle]

Scott: Otherwise she doesn’t eat. [laughter] As a matter of fact, I’m cooking a bunch of food, because I’m leaving for 10 days and I’m cooking a bunch of food for her.

Julie: So you meal prep for her?

Scott: I do all the meal prep.

Julie: God.

Scott: And leave it for her. I know I’m the perfect husband.

Julie: You are amazing. That’s so sweet.

Scott: I’m a renaissance man.

Julie: Look at you go. Do you put it in Tupperware? Do you just like do you dial it in, do you put it like here’s Monday, here’s Tuesday?

Scott: I’ll put some in the freezer for next week and then I’ll have other stuff for this week and…

Julie: Oh my gosh, that’s so nice.

Scott: Well, that’s…

Michelle: There is DoorDash now. I mean…

Scott: She’ll eat better this way. It’s better food.

Julie: That’s true. That is actually true. Yeah, I’m so excited that you have a cookbook, I had no idea. Where have I been? Under a rock?

Scott: Well, I’ve got a… I have a few cookbooks but this is the one that’s just…

Julie: Well, I know that, I didn’t know you had the new one.

Scott: That’s just… This is about Dead Meat and it’s just an online cookbook, and it’s…

Michelle: It’s just an e-book.

Scott: It’s just Michelle trying to get me to…

Julie: But still…

Scott: Trying to keep me busy when I wasn’t doing anything, but it is pretty cool.

Julie: That’s amazing.

Scott: It’s more about telling the stories about the behind-the-scenes dead meat stuff because you know when you’re python hunting in an airboat in the Everglades, it’s a little bit different, and you get to know a little bit more about what you don’t see on TV, the backstories, why these people are here, and what the python really tastes like. Because on the TV show, if I eat something that’s not great, I don’t wanna offend the people who are serving it to me, but I might offend them just a little bit in the Dead Meat cookbook.

Julie: Right. [chuckle] Okay, so do you guys wanna know something off the record, and I wasn’t gonna say anything, but it’s so great, and I have to tell you, and you guys are probably gonna judge me, but I’m used to that.

Michelle: I’m Catholic, I judge all the time. It’s cool.

Julie: I know.

Scott: We won’t judge you until you’re gone.

Julie: Okay, perfect. So I haven’t talked about this publicly, this is literally off the record, I haven’t told anyone this. I went for 10 months and didn’t eat any meat, I just had meat last week for the first time in 10 months.

Michelle: Was this an experiment?

Scott: Cool!

Michelle: Tell us about this.

Julie: Yeah, yeah, it’s amazing. So back in January, I decided that… So okay, let me back up. I did not harvest a big game animal last year for my first time ever in my career. I killed a turkey ’cause I mean okay, it’s great, but I, come January, was doing research and I’m really into health and fitness and my physical health, as I’m getting older. So, I’m watching documentaries and reading articles and whatever, and they’re talking about plant-based diet, plant-based diet, blah, blah, blah, so I’m like, I’m just gonna try this out for a couple of months and see how I feel. So, I justified that by saying, technically, I did not kill an animal this past year to sustain me, so it is a good time for me to go ahead and do this.

Julie: So, starting January 1st, I did not eat any meat. I went solely plant-based, I even took eggs out of my diet for a while, and I’m telling you, I felt better than ever, and I know you’re gonna probably hate me for saying that out loud, but honestly, it transformed my body.

Julie: I got off all the medications, my hormones balanced out, my skin cleared up, my hair got longer, all the things, but you know what I think it is? I became more mindful of what I was putting in my body, so it wasn’t like, oh meat’s bad for you, it’s just like, think about what you’re putting in. So, every day, I didn’t have the option of just grabbing a breakfast sandwich or whatever, but I think sometimes as hunters in the hunting community, we say, oh, I harvest my food and then that’s what I eat, but people really eat store-bought stuff too. So, it’s kind of hypocritical in some ways, and I’m not being judgy ’cause I’ve been in that crowd too, I’ve always been there, done that, but I took the opportunity to go plant-based for 10 months. And just last week when I was in Colorado on an elk hunt, I had meat for the first time.

Michelle: Wow!

Julie: Isn’t that crazy?

Michelle: Wow!

Julie: And it was easier than I thought it would be, and I’m not saying that I will stay that way. I’m not saying like, oh, I’m…

Michelle: Yeah, you’re not sure what the future is holding for you right now.

Julie: No, not at all, and it really gave me a new appreciation for that, for the pescatarian lifestyle, so I was still eating fish a little bit, not very much.

Julie: But it just gave me kind of a different appreciation and a new mindset and kind of opened my eyes a little bit to being more mindful. But then now I’m introducing meat back in. So there you go, there’s a little nugget I haven’t told…

Michelle: That is a nugget.

Julie: Yeah, and then my…

Scott: You can do some amazing things with plant-based, too. I mean it’s…

Julie: It’s amazing. Yeah.

Scott: There’s a restaurant called The Plot in Oceanside, California, that I went to a few weeks ago, all plant-based. They have chicken and waffles, meatloaf, they have a crab cake that’s… They take mushrooms and do something with them and it tastes exactly like crab, and it was just incredibly delicious.

Julie: Yeah, I’m telling you, there wasn’t really even one time in that 10 months that I was like, “Oh man, I wish I could have a taco.” I just never really had that moment where it just like it really… I missed it. And I think a part of it too was just kind of my social experiment with it. I can go to a restaurant, I can still find options, I can still find things that I can enjoy. Obviously, it was a good year to try this, because I locked myself in my office for 75 days, so I could get a lot of vegetables.

Julie: But it just was this interesting thing, and during the time that I was doing that I was really apprehensive about mentioning this publicly. So, this is the first time I’ve talked about it. Nobody other than my very close friends and family knows. Because in my role, in this… In the outdoor community, I think a lot of people could be really judgy on that, and they could say, “Oh, what are you, a vegan? The vegans attack us, they even send us death threats.” Okay, that’s great, but all I know is that I tried this thing, this shift in my diet and what I was putting into my body, and it just was really cool. I think there’s something to just being more mindful of what we’re putting in, and then introducing things back in and seeing how we react to it, but, yeah.

Scott: Well, and people are gonna be judgy even if you said, I woke up this morning.

S21: Right.


Scott: So, there is no neutral topic anymore. Back to my TV and Hogan’s Heroes. There’s no… Everybody’s so fricking sensitive these days, you know, and I don’t think… Anybody who hunts… I talk to people that say they only eat what they hunt. And I’m thinking, God, I need to not… I can’t do that. I really love oysters and fresh fish and that kind of thing, and I love home-grown tomatoes and fresh herbs and all of that, so just… If I just ate what I harvested, I’d get really tired of it. I have to cook so much of it and eat so much of it anyway… I’m all for it, I think it’s a great idea. I don’t… And if it worked for you, how could anybody possibly criticize? It’s you, it worked for you, the results were great, you feel better. It makes complete sense to me.

Julie: Yeah.

Scott: That’s cool.

Julie: Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for being supportive, ’cause I just never know… When I was just thinking like, “Oh, I should totally tell them about this,” and then I thought, Well…

Michelle: I’m glad you felt safe.

Julie: They’re my friends, so they’re not… It’s off the record, no one’s ever gonna hear this, right?


Scott: And other than well-done meat, I don’t really care what anybody else eats as long as they wanna eat it, right?

Julie: Also I’ll tell you how I first got… Had my first meat after 10 months. So, I went to Colorado on this elk hunt a week or so ago, and I’ve been hunting with my friend Justin goes out there. I’ve known him forever. He’s amazing, great elk hunting property, it was awesome. And so I get there to his camp and I’m like, “Hey, can we run to the grocery store?” ‘Cause in my mind, I’m like, “I need to go get some veggies.” And he’s like, “Oh yeah, let’s hit camp first, and then we’ll run to the grocery store.” So we go to camp, and he’s like, “I’ll just make you a quick lunch.” And I said, “Justin, let me just tell you, I haven’t had meat in 10 months, and I know you’re gonna think I’m psycho but that’s where I’m at right now. But I’m okay with it, but just so you know I haven’t had meat in 10 months, so I don’t know what’s gonna happen here.”

Julie: And he brings me what he made me for lunch, and he’s the sweetest person, he brought me some fresh backstrap. It was like rare. And I’m looking at it and he put his pocket knife on the plate, and I was just like, “I’m going for it, I might explode, but I’m totally going for it.” And it was delicious, and I didn’t explode. Happy ending. [chuckle]

Michelle: Wow.

Julie: I didn’t even explode. Yeah, it was great. And that’s how I started having… Putting meat back in my diet, was at elk camp with a backstrap that was just harvested like the day before.

Michelle: Perfect.

Julie: Yeah. Yeah, isn’t that great?

Michelle: It was meant to be.

Julie: Fun facts.

Michelle: Yeah. Well, I appreciate you spending the time with us and sharing all these wonderful stories. This is probably one of the best podcasts we’ve had to date, honestly. This is just such a beautiful time to be spending with you. And I miss you and I love you, and I hope that we will see you in January. I hope it comes to fruition. But thank you, thank you, thank you for being here.

Julie: I’m gonna put Scott on the spot here. Can we get permission to read recipes from your cookbook?


Scott: Any time. If you’d like for me to read recipes, I’d be happy to do that.

Julie: I would like for you to read. Oh my gosh, would you slowly read recipes from your cookbook? So people can pause and…

Michelle: The Dead Meat cookbook, Scott, like squirrel, and python and gator.

Julie: It’s gonna be amazing. I’m telling you, we’re gonna… I’m gonna call you tomorrow at some point, and we’re gonna talk about this ’cause it’s really gonna happen.

Scott: I’ll be on a plane tomorrow, call me the next day, I’ll be flying tomorrow.

Julie: I’ll call you the next day. Okay, I’m gonna do that.

Michelle: Scott, it’s in her book. She wrote this shit in her book. It’s manifested, it’s happening.

Julie: It’s already there, it’s already in my book. I’m manifesting that your recipes are gonna be on our mind, for sure.

Scott: Alright. We’ll do it. I mean it, I’d be honored. [laughter]

Julie: You guys are the best. I’ve missed both of you so much, I am so happy to do this podcast. And Scott, you’re such a good sport. Thanks for being my case study on all of my questions. It’s all of my mindfulness…

Scott: Anytime.

Michelle: Anytime. Exactly. We’ll have to have you back on, Jules, for sure.

Julie: Definitely, yeah.

Michelle: So, until next time.

Julie: Anytime. You guys are the best. Thanks for having me on.

Scott: See ya.

Outro: Well, time sure flies when you’re loading up on good food, good wine, and great conversation. Find more Scott Leysath at , where you can also nab a free wild game e-book and sign up for his two times a month newsletter, track him on social media, and see how to watch The Sporting Chef airing on Sportsman Channel and Dead Meat on Sportsman Channel and MyOutdoorTV. For more Michelle, check out She runs her own marketing communications firm, handling PR, social media, and more for some of the biggest names in the outdoors. That’s it for now. We’ll see you next time when, again, we go Off the Record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

Leave a Comment