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    ICON Meals Blog — todd talks

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    Growing up poor to becoming a U.S. Army veteran, celebrity white house chef and motivational speaker.

    Watch the video above or listen to the podcast below. You can also listen to the podcast on your favorite podcast app.



    Chef Rush is one of the top chefs in the country, embodying the word “excellence.” His accomplishments include serving in the military for 23 years, working as a chef in the White House across four administrations, and becoming a celebrity in his own right.

    In this special ICONiCast Chef speaks at length with our CEO Todd Abrams about developing his work ethic, his passion for cooking, how he trains, and what it took to get where he is. 

    Chef is larger than life and this entire interview is well worth your attention — but if you don’t have the time right now to listen to the whole thing, we’ve timestamped the top moments below.

    💥  Listen to this podcast on your favorite podcast app! 💥 


    0:00 - Introduction

    2:10 - Why Chef does 2,222 pushups a day. 
    22 military veterans die to suicide every day.

    3:30 - Bullying
    Chef was bullied as a kid. Since he’s always been big he wasn’t scared, but he didn’t want to fight. 

    4:30 - How many pushups has Chef done?
    Millions.

    5:15 - Chef’s work ethic
    His father put him to work at a very young age, and has always committed to being the hardest worker.

    7:40 - Chef’s first culinary teacher
    Chef learned cooking from his mother, at a time and place where men didn’t do such things.

    10:30 - Chef’s daily routine
    Four hours of sleep.

    12:30 - Chef’s favorite meal
    Simple — organic chicken.

    14:40 - How Chef trains
    Hard and heavy with more than 15 reps.

    16:30 - Todd on training with others
    Avoiding mediocre mindsets.

    17:15 - “Destroy it.”
    Chef’s mantra.

    18:30 - Becoming a celebrity chef
    The current result of a mountain of work, and based on helping others.

    20:30 - The hard job of cooking
    Why Chef strived to earn that title.

    21:00 - What Presidents eat
    High-quality service to heads of state and homeless alike.

    22:10 - What drives Chef
    Helping people and experiencing more of life.

    24:00 - What Chef’s doing today
    Traveling most of the time and speaking to groups.

    26:40 - Cooking to Cope program
    Helping people understand how important food is to physical and mental health.

    28:15 - Chef’s favorite cheat meal
    There’s a lot of them.

    29:40 - Entrepreneurial drive
    The most intense drive in the world isn’t enough — you need an amazing team.

    31:00 - Being his own biggest critic
    Chef knows perfection is impossible but tries to get there every single time.

    33:15 - Chef’s mentors
    Not the typical heroes — people who had to earn their way from the bottom.

    36:00 - Chef’s book, Call Me Chef, Dammit!
    The story of Chef’s life, from childhood racism to working in the White House. Available March 1st, 2022.

    38:00 - What’s next for Chef


    Follow Chef Rush: https://www.instagram.com/realchefrush/

    Follow Todd Abrams: https://www.instagram.com/toddabrams/

    Todd Talks: Play The Cards That Are Dealt And Win ♠️

    Todd Talks: Play The Cards That Are Dealt And Win ♠️

    A wise player can play a weak hand and win the game...

    For those of you that have kids, they're home from school and for extended periods of time now. I wanted to look at "how are you guys reacting to the situation?" Are you taking it as time for yourself to get better? How are you carrying yourself around the house with your kids or your friends? Are you engaging in the media blitz and full of negativity? Or are you harboring this time to really pull together with your loved ones and set an example for your kids?
     
    I want you to show them how you react to challenging situations and how you make greatness come from dark times. How your kids see you react is going to be a direct reflection of how they react.  If they see you harboring the victim mentality and "negative, negative, negative", what do you think is going to come out of them?
     
    While you are home educating your children and educating yourself, do they see you engaging in books? Do they see you engaging in activities with them?  Are you going online to Amazon or to school resources to get them the experiences, workbooks and things they need? Or are you just putting the iPad in front of them or giving them the iPhone then going about your day, just looking at them as a nuisance? Or are you really engaging in their lives and taking his time to bond together and come out on the other side stronger?

    Maybe you had some challenging times where you've had a job that you didn't really like. Maybe this is that defining moment in time when you do have time off? Or possibly where you're forced to have time off and really allow yourself to get rid of all your excuses. You know, those things that were road blocking you from having success and from stepping out and taking risks because risk was not imposed by yourself. This quarantine was not a choice. It was something that's been put into place and you're going to have to deal with it. 
     
    Maybe this is that kick to the teeth or that chance for you to really level up your life. Take this situation during turbulent times and turn it into tremendous times. Make these times full of prosperity and abundance coming out the other side, feeling fulfilled, feeling like you have a purpose. If you do have a family, make sure that you've really bonded and pulled together. Allow your children to see that sun really shine. Let them see all the opportunities that they have in their life and in your life, making it better.
     
    Fully engage with your children, give them that big hug in the morning. Tell them how grateful you are to have this opportunity to really spend time together. Appreciate the time with them and just soak it all in.  Be that example you want to see shine in your children. Like I've said in previous talks, for some of you, this is the first time you've ever seen this type of a situation, and probably the last time you'll ever see this situation. But it's going to pop up many more times in your children's lives.
     
    How are you preparing them for this? Set them up to really have this course in uncharted waters. I truly want you all to be present in the moment. You have this opportunity to play such an influential role in determining your own future. This is a pivot point for your future, for your kids future and for your legacy! This is not a choice that was made by you, so take that as an opportunity to better yourself.

    Step up. Put on a great smile and go crush today.