As a former Olympic Trials swimmer, health and active living are a huge part of who I am... it’s no wonder I left my 10 year tech career to build a clean food startup. However, being a busy entrepreneur, work oftens takes precedence over meal prep and long workouts. As I grow my brand, the demands of the business become even greater (from traveling to meeting with clients to packing boxes, which yes, I still do myself!), and the vision of being healthy and balanced feels much harder to attain. While you should never compromise your non-negotiables (for me that’s good sleep and working out consistently) and none of the below are silver bullets when it comes to wellness, I do have a few health tips that I’ve been able to integrate into my busy lifestyle that any entrepreneur, side hustler, or person can do, too!
1. Squeeze In Your Greens:
When I’m traveling, or just not in the mood to buy or prep greens and salads, I know I have to get them elsewhere. My first “back up” is always a green juice (fresh is best), but I also supplement by greens in powder form. Every day, I start my morning with what I call my “Swamp Water” (lol): 1 scoop Amazing Grass Energy Lemon Lime, chlorella, spirulina, apple cider vinegar, half lemon or lime, cayenne pepper and water. I’ve grown to love the taste, plus it gives me an energy boost and makes me feel health(ier).
Tip: Save your old kombucha or water bottles to mix your green powder drink. For store-bought green juices, I love Trader’s Joe’s newest organic green juice which is the exact same blend as Suja’s Uber Greens, but half the price. If you make smoothies, always have frozen kale, spinach and/or zucchini on hand and throw them into your blend!
2. Sneaking In Superfoods:
Matcha, cacao and turmeric are my favorite superfood powders, and I have a few rituals to get them in on a daily basis (aside from eating them in gr8nola form with a bowl of almond milk). I keep matcha simple by combining with water and using a frother to make instant tea. For cacao, I’m obsessed with Mudwtr, and I add some extra turmeric powder to get more anti-inflammatory benefits. I also like to sneak in turmeric by adding it as seasoning to popcorn.
Tip: Anytime you’re eating turmeric, make sure to add a dash of freshly ground pepper since it helps maximize the benefits of curcumin, the key disease fighting, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric. One suggested ratio of how much of each to take is ¼ tsp black pepper to 1 tsp turmeric, but it depends on how potent your ingredients are.
3. Intermittent Fasting:
I used to be the type who would eat every 2-3 hours because I thought I “had to” from previously adopting more of a bodybuilder mentality. Years ago, I switched to intermittent fasting, not to lose weight but for the health benefits. What I found was that this switch made life SO much simpler: food becomes less of a “thing” to constantly think about and make time for (especially in the mornings or when I’m traveling), and I also feel comfort in knowing that I’m not going to suddenly lose muscle mass if I go 16+ hours without eating. To me fasting isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change that’s enabled me to save time and stress, to know when I’m truly hungry vs. not and to eat more intuitively.
Tip: Since I’ve become more plant-based, combined with less frequent eating from fasting, I supplement my diet with amino acids, which basically act as pre-digested protein that has much more bioavailability of amino acids than protein containing foods. I take this brand in pill form typically in the morning on an empty stomach or around fasted workouts, just to ensure I’m never deficient.
4. Walking & Talking:
I’m constantly connecting with people, not just for new business but often to network and meet other founders who I can mutually support and learn from. When I have calls where I don’t have to take notes or be super “on point,” I like to talk while walking around the block to also get steps in (and sun if the weather’s nice). Even if the calls are only 20-30 minutes, it still counts and those steps add up over the week!
Tip: For tracking steps, I use the native Health app that comes on my iPhone. There are other apps like Sweatcoin that actually reward you for steps. Don’t forget to protect your skin by wearing a hat or visor and sunblock, even if it’s not sunny. My personal favorite block is Coola.
5. Reading During Cardio:
One thing I feel I never have time for -- but always say I need to do more of -- is reading, especially food industry and business news. The other is cardio (it’s my demise and so boring!), so combining the two is the ultimate win-win for me. What I do: I have all my industry email newsletters pre-filtered into a separate gmail folder, hop on the stairmill and for 30 minutes I plow through the hot topics while getting my sweat in. The time passes so much faster, and I feel extra productive for doing both :).
Tip: Make sure to pick mindless and safe-to-do cardio you can perform without much coordination or focus. Stairmill is awesome because it’s challenging yet stable, but other options that are conducive for reading are the spin, recumbent bike and elliptical.
Some of these tips you may already do or some might be new, but these tips have become rituals in my daily or weekly routine which I find I’m able to sustain no matter how hectic my schedule is. What hacks or health tips do you have to share? I’d love to hear them!