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Feeling energized, healthy and focused in quarantine can often feel impossible. It’s so easy to mindlessly munch on chips or get distracted by everything we have happening around us—especially when we’re feeling stressed or anxious.  But, Rachel Hollis thinks we can come out of this challenging time stronger and even better than before. 

Entrepreneur and author of self-help books “Girl, Wash Your Face” and “Girl, Stop Apologizing,” Hollis inspires her nearly 2 million followers to reach for a better version of themselves every day though inspiring, easy-to-try tips. And, while she always strives to put her mental health first, the mother of four is no stranger to stress, criticism and overcoming obstacles.  

In her recent book, Didn’t See That Coming: Putting Life Back Together When Your World Falls Apart, Hollis writes how she’s turned difficult moments in her life into learning experiences (and how we can, too). She shares how we can grow from life’s disasters rather than allowing ourselves to be overcome by the negativity. She says, “You don’t need a catastrophic event to appreciate the good things in your life. What I want you to hear me say right here up front is, I get it. I’d like to look you in the eyes and tell you that you’re strong enough to survive this—even on days that feel impossible. You are strong enough, and it is possible to come out the other side as a better version of yourself.”

Hollis sits down with Nutritious Life to talk about how she is staying focused, calm and healthy in these challenging times

Right now, we are all overwhelmed with endless to-do lists and never enough time in the day. How are you prioritizing now?  There is a saying, “If everything is a priority, then nothing is.” It’s so true. Many people will attempt to be productive by making a ‘to-do’ list. Instead, I make a ‘results’ list. Before diving into my workday, I list the 2 to 3 results I need to achieve that day. It’s never a longer list than what ensures I can focus on what actually matters most. 

Speaking of focus, how can we stay more focused? What are some things that work for you?  In order to stay focused, I need to eliminate all distractions. Now that we’re working entirely virtual, I get pings and emails all day long alerting me to different projects. But, when I need to focus on one project like writing a manuscript or preparing for a keynote, everything else needs to fade into the background. I shut off my phone and remove all notifications from my computer. I also communicate with my team that I’m “heads down” on a project, and ask them not to disturb me unless the building is on fire. 

You recently launched an app, RISE. Can you share a little about how it can benefit people?  The RISE App is what I needed in a health app fifteen years ago when I first started my health journey. At the time, I couldn’t run a mile, and soda was my every-day beverage of choice. I felt intimidated by fit people and fitness, in general. So, I created what I needed back then for people who need it today. 

The app helps people discover that moving your body can be fun. I love that we created a space in the fitness industry which is one big party. We just don’t take ourselves that seriously. Dancing around your living room is a real cardio workout, y’all! If this were high school, The RISE App would be glee club. It’s where anybody is welcome, and everybody is quirky. If you have long felt out of place in traditional gyms, workout classes or other fitness apps, we know that you’ll feel welcome in our community.

How often do you exercise, and what’s your workout of choice? I move my body for thirty minutes every single day, no matter what. It doesn’t always look like “traditional” exercise. My favorite movement is a long-distance run around the lake here in Austin, or I spend a half  hour dancing to Beyonce, or just stretching because my body is begging for it. I’m very interested in intuitive health… listening and responding to what my body is asking for so my workouts are constantly changing.

How do you motivate yourself to work out? We live in an age of instant gratification where people think there’s a secret sauce to “motivation.” Here’s the truth…I’ve made a daily habit of working out so I don’t have to motivate myself. It’s like brushing my teeth. I never have to work myself up to brushing my teeth in the morning because the habit is so ingrained in my everyday life.  It would feel foreign not to do it.  My best advice for people looking for motivation is to make exercise a habit.

The way to establish a habit is by repetition. Set a goal to do something active every day for a week. Then, keep going. After 21 days, studies show that action becomes a habit. But, don’t stop there. After 90 days of the same behavior, it’s part of your lifestyle. It’s a practice that has been life-changing for me and thousands more in our community.

If you had to name your healthy diet, what would you call it? “Not exciting, but very effective.” I’ve gotten my diet down to a science of what gives me the most energy and mental clarity. That means I eat the same things on repeat almost every day, and then one meal a week, I live my best life. I love to eat and I love to cook, so I’m constantly looking for new, indulgent recipes to test out when it’s time to treat myself.

Has it been hard to stay on track with your nutrition while in quarantine? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to order takeout several nights a week in quarantine. We all have, right? On occasion, I’ve succumbed to it and ordered the dang chips and queso. But mostly, I’ve stayed on track with my typical meal plan because it works. I don’t eat clean to look a certain way; I do it to feel a certain way. Even in quarantine, I feel energized and focused, two things we need now more than ever to navigate such a crazy time.

What’s your go-to breakfast?  Most people who follow my work know that I drink a green smoothie every single day of my life. It’s not delicious but it’s packed with things I need, and I’ve found that it’s my favorite way to break my fast. Here’s what it is:

  • 1 serving unflavored protein powder–I prefer Vital Proteins Collagen Powder
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter–I buy the kind that’s literally just smashed almonds 
  • 1 tablespoon of flaxseed or hemp seed
  • 2 handfuls of spinach–I keep mine in the freezer so it lasts forever, and also makes the smoothie cold
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 

Your go-to workday lunch?  I usually have some variation of mixed greens, protein and veggies, dressed with olive oil. Cold LaCroix on the side, always. 

Your favorite food indulgence? I loooooove tortilla chips. I want them with anything and everything! 

How do you pamper yourself when you need it? A spa day is the most indulgent way I unwind. I love spending all day speaking in a hushed voice, sporting one of those lush white spa robes. I usually opt for a deep tissue massage but mostly, I’m there for the peace and quiet. Because my schedule is so intense, I typically try to plan ahead and book a day like this directly following a big launch or event. It doubles as a way to recover, and gives me something to look forward to when I’m in the middle of a busy season.

What is your evening routine to wind down at the end of the day?  Don’t you mean to say, “How do you survive the hours from six to nine o’clock with four kids ranging in age from thirteen to three?” My answer…with a lot of humor and patience. Once the kids are asleep, I have about thirty glorious minutes of solo time before I hit the hay. (I have an incredibly early bedtime in order to wake up at 5:00 am). That tiny sliver of “me time” is typically spent curled up in bed with chamomile tea, and my nose in a good book.

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