Healthy Habits with Rachel Greiman

 
 

This is part of a series of interviews I'm doing with creative entrepreneurs who I find inspiring. I was curious to know how they incorporate healthy habits into their work + life blend. I figured you were probably curious too, so I'm taking one for the team and having great conversations with amazing bosses so I can share them here with you. (Hard work, right?!)

My intention with these interviews is to showcase bosses NOT in the health and wellness industry and shine a light on their habits and routines that help them stay healthy as busy bosses. So, tell us a little about yourself and what industry you're in?

I'm a documentary family photographer, as well as a food photographer and writer. They are super different specialties, but I love them equally. It keeps me on my toes for sure and helps my day to day stay varied an interesting. My days are either on my feet for hours and hours or planted in a chair at my desk. Both are exhausting, but for completely different reasons.

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You interact with delicious treats everyday as a food writer. Does that make it easier or harder to have a healthy relationship with food? How has your job influenced how you eat?

At first, it was unhealthy. I would wake up in the morning knowing that I had an event that night where I would be eating some unhealthy food. And that would dictate my habits. I would think, "Well, I'm having French fries tonight, so I might as well eat these cookies for breakfast." I would look at my diet as a completely all-or-nothing entity, not really a lifestyle at all. Now, I look at my calendar for the week, knowing that I will have events and photo shoots where I will eat food outside of my normal parameters. This helps me plan for it, eating healthy that day and treating myself when the event rolls around. It's a much less stressful, guilt-free way of working.

As you know, my tag line is health fuels hustle. Tell us how you prioritize your health so that you can be a total boss every day? 

Sleep is my number one priority. I function at an entirely different level depending on how much I sleep, so I try to get into bed every night at a ridiculously early hour (8:30ish) and then I read for an hour or so before falling asleep. And then I wake up early, usually before 6:00 and walk straight into my office (OK, so straight to the coffeepot first) and start working. I get a solid 4-5 hours in before heading to the gym mid-morning.

This daily routine has changed my productivity dramatically. [TWEET THIS!]

And it's just two things: sleep a lot and go to the gym. Everything else just falls into place around those priorities. 

Are you the type of person who thrives on habits and routines? If so, what are your top habits that make you feel like a total boss?

I'm not really a creature of habit outside of a few weird quirks. I eat eggs for breakfast almost every single day (except for the occasional cookie breakfast that I think everyone needs every once in a while!). I find that when I spend time making and thinking about food in the morning, I'm more likely to pay attention the rest of the day. It's simple, but it works for me.

The only other habit I have is what I call my hippie juices. I use essential oils and take supplements every day to help with my focus and digestion. They have created a certain rhythm to my day that I enjoy: oils to sleep and oils to wake up. 

I fully believe that indulging in less-than healthy-behaviors once in a while can be part of a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. What is your number one less-than-healthy indulgence?

Carbs. I love them. Sandwiches, cookies, alcohol. I couldn't live in a world where I didn't get to indulge in carbs on a semi-regular basis. 

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Are there any Rachel Greiman health tips that you want to spread the word about?

Oh goodness this is a hard one because I have a lot of feelings about it. When people use the word health, I think they mean food and exercise. But for me, I immediately thing of my mental health and self-criticism. So I guess I will answer this question from that lens.

The older I get the more I realize that no one else can dictate how I feel about myself. Sure, society has lots of things to say about how we should look and yes, fitness magazines are horrifying for normal women to page through and don't get me started on the fashion world. But it all boils down to what I'm willing to consume and how I let that consumption affect my feelings toward myself. Am I pretty? My husband thinks so, and that's all that matters. Do I have a flat stomach? No. Am I strong? Very. Is it me and me alone that decides what runs through my brain when I look at myself in the mirror? Yes, yes, yes.

My point is this: somewhere along the way, health got wrapped up in the way we look. But to me, health is all about how I feel. And I choose to feel good and to live my life in a way that keeps that feeling going. So my advice: figure out what makes you look in the mirror and say "Damn girl, keep doing what you're doing." Because I'm finally getting to that place and it feels really, really good.

Health is all about how I feel. And I choose to feel good. [TWEET THIS!]

Want to learn more about Rachel Greiman and her documentary photography? Check her out at Green Chair Stories!

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