James Swanwick is a world-renowned TV & podcast host, creator of the Swannies blue-light blocking glasses, 30-Day No Alcohol Challenge, and 47-Day Habit Hacker. Swanwick hosts the top-ranked podcast The James Swanwick Show, is a former SportsCenter anchor on ESPN, and an award-winning journalist. He is the author of three books and has interviewed A-list celebrities including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We were honored when James agreed to participate in a Joovv AMA. So without further ado, here are his answers to your questions…
If I opened up your fridge right now, what would I see?
A dozen Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs, a jar of Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo, 2 avocados, a Zero Water bottle filled with water, 3 individual bags of unroasted almonds, 1 can of Red Bull (that a guest left, which I don’t drink), 1 bottle of Stella beer (I don’t drink alcohol, but a guest left), a ½ bag of spinach, a ½ bag of kale, and frozen blueberries (in the freezer).
What is the one fitness activity you hate doing the most, but yields the best results?
Leg days. Especially heavy squats. I hate doing them. They’re so painful. I grunt. I moan. I complain. I hate them! But, I feel amazing in the hours and days afterward. They help me burn fat, keep me strong, and feel terrific.
My cousin is trying to reduce his alcohol intake. I know you talk about this a lot, but what are 2-3 key things I should pass along to him?
- Quit alcohol for 30 days to get a glimpse of what it feels like to live alcohol-free. You don’t have to quit forever. Just 30 days. You can learn more at 30daynoalcoholchallenge.com.
- Remove alcohol from your home. If it’s out of sight, it will likely be out of mind.
- Increase the amount of time you spend with people who don’t drink or only drink moderately. You will learn by osmosis. Change occurs amongst other people.
Have you ever used light therapy (photobiomodulation)? If so, what type of results did you experience?
I haven’t tried it yet, but I am excited to do so.
You recently went to a party at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s house and I'm dying to know a few things. What surprised you the most?
I was surprised at how much Arnold Schwarzenegger loves having his photo taken with fans, and how little Sylvester Stallone loves it. Arnie is the consummate showman. He’s always playing up to the camera. smiling, and introducing himself to everyone. He really does seem to love the attention. Sly was very different. He showed up for 45 minutes only and really didn’t seem to enjoy the attention. In fact, the actor Dolph Lundgren (who played Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” and stars in “The Expendables” movies) once told me that Sly dislikes big crowds and tries to avoid them if he can. So, I was surprised at how different Arnie and Sly seemed to be amongst a crowd of fans.
And what was your biggest lesson learned?
Learning success in any field has a lot to do with access to the right people. At Arnie’s party, I met some of the world’s best in their field. I met one of Hollywood’s most successful movie producers, Avi Lerner, who educated me on the film business for about 25 minutes. I met an unassuming guy who generated $47m in sales of his tea brand in 2016. He gave me 30 minutes of unbelievable multi-million dollar advice about how I can get my Swanwick Sleep blue-light blocking glasses into retail stores. Another guest there, who is an interior decorator, told me one of his friends and clients was a buyer for the retailer Saks on 5th Avenue. He offered to introduce me to him so I can sell my products in Saks. This type of advice and connections would take me months, or even years, to acquire. I got it all in one, four-hour party. So yes, it is about what you know. But who you know seems equal, if not, more powerful.
You've had the opportunity to interview a ton of cool people on your podcast. I know it's a tough ask, but do you have 2 or 3 favorites?
The former child actor, Macaulay Culkin, who starred in the Home Alone movies, was a particular favorite. Why? Because when I interviewed him in the mid-2000s, when he was a 23-year-old, he’d already led about 100 amazing lives and had dozens of incredible stories to tell me. At that stage, he’d already starred in blockbuster movies, had slept in Michael Jackson’s bed, became a multi-millionaire, been married and divorced, was dating Mila Kunis, and was making a movie comeback. Wow! What a fascinating interview. For pure pleasure and excitement, my favorite interview was with Jon Bon Jovi. I’ve been a massive Bon Jovi fan since 1987 when I first saw the group in concert in my hometown of Brisbane, Australia. I got to interview Jon Bon Jovi in New York on my 35th birthday in 2010. I asked him every question I’d always dreamed of asking him. And he was a pure gentleman – polite, fun, and genuine. It was one of the great days of my life to meet a childhood hero.
What is something you enjoy that most people would be surprised to learn?
Every single day, I Google the search terms “Bon Jovi” and “Tottenham”. I’m still obsessed with any news relating to Bon Jovi. And Tottenham is the English Premier League soccer club I support. So I like to keep up with the club’s latest news. I still get excited to see what comes up when I search those two subjects each day. Yes, I’m a little weird. :)
My husband is skeptical of your blue blocker glasses. Do you have an elevator pitch I can use to convince him otherwise?
Too much light at night is destroying your sleep. The artificial blue light from electronic displays hits your pituitary and pineal glands and prevents your body from creating the sleep hormone, melatonin. This means you have trouble falling asleep, you toss and turn in the night, or you wake up feeling tired. The color orange is the exact opposite of the color blue. So, wearing a pair of Swannies blue-light blocking glasses, with the orange lenses, blocks the blue light, enabling you to naturally create melatonin, and helping you to fall asleep quicker, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling refreshed. There are hundreds of studies from universities like Harvard that prove this. If your husband is still skeptical, I can’t help him. :)
What person(s) of influence are you closely following right now?
I like to follow everything Jon Bon Jovi does. He has a childhood sweetheart who he’s been married to for 25+ years, 4 children, gives to charity, follows his passion – what’s not to like about that. (I told you I was a fan.)
If you could put a billboard anywhere, what would it say and where would you put it?
I’d put it on a freeway, in a busy city like Los Angeles, where I know people who are driving to and from a 9-5 job, will see it. The billboard would say: “You know what to do. Just do it. Do it now.”
So many of us are unhappy with our jobs, finances, health, and relationships. Deep down, we know what to do. But, we let fear of the unknown keep us stuck. So, I’d hope my billboard would stir people’s emotions enough to finally take action. We only have one guaranteed life. I say just go for it. If you want to read a story where I was crippled with fear, but went for it anyway, you can check it out here.