Gabrielle Reece – Reflections on Lifestyle, Self-care – Health, Work, Purpose, and Relationships

GRS Reece | Self-care

Hi, everyone and welcome to my solo podcast. It’s almost the New Year and I thought it was a good time to take some questions and have a conversation around lifestyle; self-care, relationships, work, parenting, finding purpose and some of the points that touch us on a daily basis.

I did take a few questions, but in an attempt to never tell anyone what to do (don’t tell my children) I do my best to share how it’s going for me but feel strongly that we all have our own best answer within ourselves. Who knows, maybe there is a takeaway that sparks your own investigation into what will be the best strategy for wherever you are at.

Sending you wishes of health and love now, and in the New Year. Seems like a good time (regardless of our differences) to COME TOGETHER. Enjoy.


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Gabrielle Reece – Reflections on Lifestyle, Self-care – Health, Work, Purpose, and Relationships

I’m going to do a solo podcast reevaluating what 2021 is going to look like and maybe my hopes for 2022. As I know, we’re all going to be looking to turn a page. It’s interesting. It’s one of these things where it’s like, “Be where you are and be grateful for where you are.” I can honestly say that I’m feeling optimistic and hopeful about this new year.

I grabbed a bunch of comments and questions from you all and we’ll go down on them. My podcasts are a little deeper and they run more complex so I’ll try to keep this shorter on each of these topics. I’ll start with creating community. One of the things that I have done is wherever we are, we create a community. Around that community, a lot of times, people will gather, which is important, too. You’re gathering around food and celebration.

One of the things that have helped us is that we’ve created community around movement and time that we are trying to dedicate to that. Because most of us are busy with work, families, and trying to figure out how to squeeze in this other part of our life that most of us are looking for time for, which is exercise. I find it a double win, where for example, a lot of my girlfriends, this is where I see them, which is in my training. I know it’s trickier with COVID, but could you take the initiative to either do it at your place or create the plan at a park or somewhere that you can all meet 2 or 3 times a week or whatever works with people’s schedules, and make that the time that you connect with people?

Funnily enough, there’s even a lot of people that I train with that I don’t hang out with in regular life. On some of the deeper relationships, this is what connects us. It’s that consistency every day. I know a lot of us have been feeling isolated during COVID and this feels like an even more important time to create that community, to make the effort, to make the plan to be the one. It takes a little more work on whoever’s part is coordinating, but the return is so worth it.

The minute we start getting into that narrative like, “Why am I the one? Why do I always have to wrangle everybody?” Think that you’re doing it for yourself. If these are people that are important to you, it’s an opportunity because, at the end of the day, I feel like we never get to spend enough time with the people that we love. If they live in close enough proximity and you can pull that off, it’s a great one. Meaning, to eat and things like that are nice, but they’re time-consuming and they’re elaborate. You’re coordinating yourself or your families, where if you’re training, we’re in, we’re out. If someone’s having a bumpy day, you can spend 5 to 10 minutes going, “What’s going on?” Connect there and be there for each other.

That is how we have creative community. It does take that extra organizing, but there’s nothing like it. Someone asked about finding your purpose. We do this many times throughout our life. When we’re younger, let’s say you go to university or you get out of college or you graduate high school, that time in life, that’s difficult in a certain way because it’s like taking on the world and taking on being an adult.

For me, personally, I followed the things that I was good at and created value. A lot of times, people want to get into something and they want to get something right away back from it. That’s good, too. It’s good to go in and go, “I’m worth this. My time is worth that.” A lot of times at the beginning of things, especially if you are taking on something that is a passion or dream or quest, you almost have to create value and work under somebody or be mentored by many people. Show up and get that information because that’s the investment into yourself.

If I was a lot younger, in my 20s, I would say, “If you can do it,” that means either you have another job or you’re living at home, “Get mentored. See the things that turn you on. Look inside yourself. Be honest with yourself. What are you naturally good at and what do you like that maybe you’re not good at? Because that’s a real thing.”

There can be purpose where we serve other people. Maybe it’s not in our job. Maybe we volunteer or we find ways to add purpose that way. If we’re trying to also create purpose in our work and do something that’s purposeful for us that’s connected to our talents and gifts, you have to do a lot of groundwork. You got to lay down groundwork. You got to be willing to schlep, start at the bottom, and look at it as an investment into yourself thinking it’s going to land at your front door and it’s all going to make itself known.

I don’t see typically how that happens. There will be people who have a calling. Maybe they’re artistic or they have something inside of them, and talent and skill that they’ve always had. Typically, most of us, if we know who we are and we go, “This interests me,” find the mentors in that space and start creating value. Especially now, I hate to say it, if you’re a person who can work hard and show up, you’re going to kick ass because a lot of younger generations are distracted and it hasn’t been beaten into them yet that you just have to show up and suffer through it. I do still think that’s part of it. Grinding it out and being willing to start at the bottom when you don’t get that return yet is a part of finding our real purpose. Check in with yourself.

The other important thing is to tune out everything that you’ve been conditioned to not what your parents have expected of you or your teachers or your church or whoever, and ask yourself, “Who am I?” I don’t know anyone who arrives at their greater purpose than if they’re connected with themselves. We can love our friends and family, but how do we not let them dictate to us what we’re doing, how we’re spending our time, what job we’re taking, or how we define success?

Defining what success means to you personally and not what your environment has taught you are connected. That’s hard to do sometimes. It’s uncomfortable and it is scary. It’s like being an entrepreneur. When people follow their own hearts and look for their purpose, it’s a tougher route for different reasons but it’s so rewarding and rich. Certainly, I go through it now. I’ve been doing this a long time. Many days, maybe more days than not, I always wonder if it’s going to work out.

Part of what keeps driving me is feeling unsure, open-minded, and learning. Be sure enough to keep trying. That confidence to be like, “I got my ass kicked and I’m going to stand up,” or, “I can do this,” is a powerful resource. Also, give yourself a break. Finding purpose in this transition of COVID, pre-COVID, after COVID, during COVID is a little harder. If you’re at that age and you’re transitioning, exercise a little bit of grace for yourself because it’s especially unusual to even know what to do right now.

Life is short. If we don’t find the way to follow our own path and contribute our uniqueness to this world that we live in, that’s part of what we’re doing here. Someone asked me about trade-off. We all trade-off something if we decide to have a family or pursue a career. There are always trade-offs in life. I always love the conversation of like, “Can you have it all?” I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what all means. We can have whatever things that we want to pursue, but I don’t think we can have it all at the same time. That’s an important thing.

We tell little kids that. We never say, “You can have all the desserts. You can have every flavor of ice cream.” We always say, “Pick one.” There are times in life where I’ve understood it. When my children were young, I was choosing that. I was choosing to be there for them when they were babies, taking care of them, and nursing them. That was my choice. The trade-off was my career. Even certain elements in the marriage are impacted when you have young children. I have chosen to be a wife to Laird and support him at times when things were happening well for him because it also made sense. When things were going more successfully for him, that was a good time to go, “I can hold down the fort.” It’s all these trade-offs.

It’s important that you understand your choices. Click To Tweet

It’s always been important to me that I have understood that these were my choices. When I was feeling scared or shuffled around or lost in the mix, I understood what my choices were. I understood that I wanted to be there for my kids or that I understood I was committed to this relationship and this was the way that I wanted to show up.

Quite frankly, now that my kids are older, I have more opportunities to spend on my work and on myself, but I wouldn’t trade the other. It doesn’t mean it’s not hard. Of course, it’s hard and it’s insane. The amount that we ask of ourselves in this world that we live in, I don’t know that we were set up to do this. We were meant to wake up with the sun, work, and figure out how to eat and be sheltered. When the sun went down, we were probably meant to get to bed. We probably weren’t flying around on airplanes and doing a million things.

Within this is also this understanding of, “We’re always bucking the way we live.” It’s not that it’s unreasonable. It’s just a lot to ask of ourselves. If you throw kids into that and be like, “They’re all going to be in 2 and 3 activities, and then I’m going to be on my phone and I’m going to be in this relationship,” life is more complicated than it’s supposed to be.

In the trade-off part, as I add things into that dynamic where I’m trading them off, I’m also trying to figure out how to simplify because I have found that the thing that makes me feel good is when things are simple. I don’t like it when there’s too much crashing down on me if I can help it. The times that it’s happening because that’s what’s happening, you put your big girl pants on or big boy pants on and you go, “I’m lucky. There’s so much going on and I’m going to figure out how to navigate it.” That comes back to taking care of myself. That comes back to being able to exercise enough and eat well enough so that I can make good decisions.

I was talking to Dr. Perlmutter about the prefrontal cortex. The adult is making the decisions and that’s a big one, and not the amygdala. The 6-year-old isn’t making the decisions. I work on that a lot, too. It’s seeing that these are my choices, what is my strategy in the trade-off, and understanding that it’s not forever. Your kids are not babies forever. You’re not starting out in a job where you have to do long hours in the beginning forever. It’s being present and then looking at the big picture so you get that perspective. That is helpful.

Everything is a trade-off in life. Even if it’s to be like, “I don’t want to be in a relationship and I don’t want to have a family,” there’s a trade-off with that. Most importantly, you’re trading-off the things that you believe in that reflect who you are and that you want. Then try not to complain about it too much. Maybe just to that one friend, like, “I’m having a tough day.” That does help for sure.

I get asked a lot about aging. I always don’t know how I feel about aging. It seems like it’s a natural thing and to fight it seems futile. Maybe let’s start there. I try not to fight it. I try to understand that it’s going to happen to everybody. Can I feel as good as possible? Can I have a curious mind? When I want to torture myself and look in the mirror and start criticizing myself physically, can I step away from that? Can I be reminded of all the things that I’m grateful for? Because it’s easy. It’s almost like a luxury.

If I can sit here and go through all those fine lines and on my neck, I probably don’t have some bad stuff happening. With aging, it is a wonder. You hear stories about people looking in the mirror and thinking, “I don’t identify as that person.” I experienced that a little bit. I feel perpetually 30, 25. Most importantly, I’m trying to enjoy it. I’m trying to take care of myself. I’m trying to accept things. There are changes, but also not be defined by that. That’s the other side of it. Because I’m my age, I just don’t go, “That’s because I’m that age.” I don’t lay down to it either.

It’s not about fighting it, but it’s also not being defined by what you can or can’t do because of chronological age, how long you’ve been here. A lot of people will say, “I’m 40 now so I don’t do this 150 now.” When it comes to running, that makes sense because of the amount of miles you put on your body, but there’s so much you can do forever that I don’t want to hear that excuse and don’t want to be around people that talk like that. With aging, that’s a big one. How do we surround ourselves with people that are like, “What is possible?” “What’s fun?” “What do you want to try?” Versus, “That’s going to be hard.” “Why would you want to do that?” “I feel like this.” I don’t think you want to do that at any time in your life.

When it comes to aging, I don’t have any particular secrets. I have a lot of momentum on my side from years and years of trying to have good habits. Having said that, if someone’s new to that, you absolutely can make changes and be renewed. It’s not ever giving up, but it’s also some acceptance. I had a neighbor named Joe. He was in his 80s. His wife had Alzheimer’s and he was taking care of her. One day, I drove by Joe. I was with my kids. He’s a lovely man. I said to him, “How’s it going today?” He was like, “I’m good.” This guy had his plate full. He was taking care of his wife and sometimes she didn’t remember him. It was a lot. He was old himself.

He looked at me and he said, “Acceptance is a big part of life.” How do we, within it, fight for not being defined by our physical selves or not allowing the world to define who we are, and us defining that for ourselves every day? No matter who you are, no matter what age you are, what gender that you define for yourself, who you are, and how you’re showing up. Simultaneously, having a realistic connection with, “This too is probably natural.”

I’m a big believer in, if there are things you can’t fight like time, I don’t want to spend a ton of energy doing that. That seems counterproductive. It’s like places that you could put that energy somewhere else, like taking care of yourself or enjoying yourself or learning or connecting with someone you love or seeing something you haven’t seen. Aging is a trippy adventure. I don’t think you think about it when you’re younger and you think you’ll be the one person who can avoid it, and then you find yourself like, “I’m one of those getting older people.” It’s great.

GRS Reece | Self-care

Self-care: Our kids have their own journey and they’re not going to do it the way I would do it. What seems to be working is reacting less, listening a ton.

This is where I go, if I could be honest, to the male side of my personality. It is what it is. Hopefully, I use my experience and anything I’ve learned to be additional value beyond my appearance because we all know that’s highly limiting. I abandoned that currency on some level. If you’re healthy and you feel good, I don’t care what age you are. Just say thank you.

Someone asked me about some of my best habits. I go to bed early, not as early as Laird. I do get up early. It’s such a part of my life. It’s the way my clock is set up. If you don’t have that luxury, maybe you have to work late or you’re having fun, if you can more often than not get to bed early, that’s probably good. I generally try not to start my day at least coming from a level perspective. What I mean by that is I don’t wake up in the morning like, “I’m so excited to take on the day.” I’m not that person. I’m serious and I fight that.

One of the things I’m fighting about myself is the tendency to be serious and isolated. I grew up as an only child and it’s a comfortable place for me. In fact, I could hide in my work and be “productive”. That also would be the death of me so that’s something I fight. When I wake up, I do have a habit of before I put my feet on the floor, I try to get myself into the headspace of who I’m trying to be.

Even if I force it, I’m totally admitting, I won’t start my day that way because I feel like it’s a train that you set on a track and if I do that, that’s where I’m going. I’ve tried to take the train and set it where I would like to go, which is relatively peaceful or more skewed towards feeling happy trying to be someone that if you saw me, you wouldn’t be like, “Ugh.” Somebody that you feel like, “She enhances my life or my day in some way.” That is a habit that’s good.

When I start the day, I don’t leave unorganized, and this isn’t for everyone. My hair is brushed. I’m dressed. I’m in a uniform to take the day on. I’m ready to go in that way. I won’t come in with baggy pajamas and all over the place. If I live alone, I might do that but I don’t. I put on my uniform. If I have any makeup on and it’s on my teeth or brush, I moisturize my skin. My outfit is organized because sometimes if I’m not feeling that way inside, at least I’m putting on this uniform that’s helping me get there.

I don’t fly to bed every day like, “I’m ready to kick ass,” or be fully cheer. I’m not so I do the things that support that spirit or that attitude that don’t come to me as naturally and that’s a good habit. I take my vitamins. That’s a good habit. I take a lot of iron because weirdly, I’m anemic. I take quercetin, vitamin C, and zinc. I take Tru Niagen for the NAD. I’ll take a multivitamin and some others. I cycle them in and out.

This is stating the obvious. Training is one of the good habits that I try to get done in the morning because otherwise, my day will eat up my training window. You know how that is. You get the list and it stacks up, and all of a sudden, before you know it, your day is shot. I do my training early in the morning. I get that done. That’s a good habit.

I have a tendency to move through my day as succinctly as possible without wasting too much time. I do an okay job of that. I used to do an even better job of that. Quite frankly, the telephone and the amount of stuff coming at me, there are moments where I’m like, “One more email I can answer, be distracted by, and not feeling stress. Maybe I should go on Instagram and look at a picture.” I’m trying to stay on my time leaks because that can start to seep into your ability to be productive. I don’t think it’s something that obvious. It’s not dangerous, but you realize it can get you. I call it circling the bowl where you’re going round and round.

I’m good about not having too many time leaks. One of the things I do, I don’t know if it’s a good habit or not but it helps me, is beyond my phone calendar, I write every single thing down in a book. I have that in front of me. Even if something pops up, I write ideas down or things so that I don’t feel like I have all these open-ended things circling around me all the time because that can make you feel overwhelming.

I go to bed early. I do my best to be hydrated and I fail miserably all the time. I generally eat well. If I’m stressed or tense, I will see that my impulse will be to grab some kind of food to self-medicate. I try not to do that or I try to have something healthy for those moments because it’s natural that you do that. I try to set myself on course where I can’t naturally get there. I also try to have peaceful relationships. I know that sounds so trivial, but I try to be nice to the people in my life and have peace. I don’t let things pile up.

If something needs to get worked out or if there’s a conflict that needs to happen, I try to do that. With people, as silly as it sounds, I try to tend to my relationship on a regular basis. People can think that’s a habit, and it probably is. Finally, one of the other good habits I have is to try to be responsive. If people reach out to me or send me communication, I try my best to be responsive. Even if it’s like, “I can’t talk to you for a week,” or the answer’s no, I try to at least be responsive. It’s something I value in people and it seems to be helpful. It almost feels like doing what you say you’re going to do. I know that’s unfair because sometimes the communications are unsolicited, but I do try to do that.

A lot of times people go, “Now that I’m not competing or playing in sports, how do I feel satisfied?” Something I’ve learned is not to identify with any of it. I’ve talked about age. People are in business and they have job titles. I was a volleyball player. When I play volleyball, I try my best not to identify with any of these things because they’re so temporary.

Training is one of the good habits that I try to get done in the morning. Click To Tweet

The question was, how do I feed my soul? I don’t know that I talked like that. Let’s say for purposes of communication. Am I feeling still and satisfied within myself? I know that is sitting on top of a mountain meditating, but it’s not the case. That’s not what I mean. What I mean is that, can I be okay with just me and who I am as a person? Not with the title, not with being someone’s mom or I’m a CEO or I’m an athlete. I’m just a person who’s going through life and experiencing life.

What does excite me is this idea of continuing to learn, change, and grow as this person, and maybe even get it better. If I think about myself now versus how I was in my 20s, there are certain ways I respond. I probably do it a little better because I’ve learned a few lessons. Certainly, as a parent, I have learned some lessons that I can experiment with.

I always joke that my youngest daughter gets the benefit of some of the valuable lessons I learned with my middle that I couldn’t know before the experiences. Now that I have a sense of understanding of believing that maybe certain things like not reacting as much, listening more, and weirdly not trying to control the situation as much will have a better outcome.

What feeds me is this idea of, “Could I do it better today? Could I be could I show up as a better person? Could I be smarter in my business? Could I be efficient and systematic about my training? Could I be at times more playful?” That’s a hard one for me. It’s using those experiences to react a lot less and make moves that always are oriented towards solutions, not reactions.

When somebody says, “What feeds your soul?” First, it’s me connecting with myself and wherever I am, whatever age I am, whatever title I have or don’t have, my value is just being me, and then it branches out from there. It’s being connected to my friends, to my husband, and to my children as much as they’ll let me at this time. Being connected to nature on some level and being connected to myself, hearing my own voice, and trying to honor that because it gets hard. Everyone else has a voice and their needs. There’s a lot of it, so how do I stay strong in that? That has helped me a ton.

One of the questions someone put was being a high performer. I don’t know what that means exactly. I have a sense, especially when you talk about training. Being a high performer is being an eternal student. You have to have fundamentals in everything. We tell our kids they have to tell the truth and know they don’t have to work hard.

There are some fundamentals to being a high performer, but feeling like you know very little because that’s probably true, I know it’s true for me, and having this open mind feels like the best chance of showing up and being able to continue to perform at a higher a new level. I heard an important quote that I’ve been thinking a lot about for a few weeks. Mark Cuban’s father said, “You don’t live in the world that you’re born into.” I’m contending with that because when you’re younger, you are still living in the world that you’re born into and when you get older, you really are not.

Being a high performer, what worked for me 10 years, 20 years ago, I have to forget all that and be in the world that I am in now. That’s important. A great example of that, maybe you’ve heard me talk about Laird had a friend, Don Wildman, who passed away. Up until his 80s, he was a high performer. I attribute that to him keeping his mind open to what’s out there now. Without bouncing all over the place and abandoning ideas, I know our important fundamentals. This feels important because you can get into trouble when you are a high performer or you’ve had a level of success. You think you know and then the world moves and you’re still in the delusion that you know, but you don’t know.

The other thing I would say is staying connected to some people younger than me, learning from them, being curious, asking questions, and not resisting against things. That is a helpful way to stay connected to whatever is new and happening in any facet, in training, in food, what jobs are out there, what technology is doing. I have a thing about technology but at the end of the day, it is a powerful tool. I’m interested in trying to figure out ways to learn how to use it as a tool and not just a distraction. That’s a constant.

People asked me about being consistent in a commitment and creating those habits. COVID made a lot of this hard. We’ve been locked away. Who wouldn’t want to drink more or eat more comforting foods? Then it’s like, “You can’t go to your gym,” or, “You can’t go outside,” whatever the barriers have been just today. If we’re talking about building consistency and commitment, what do you want to commit to today? Write it down.

Let’s say it’s drinking. Let’s say you’re using that to feel good, have fun, or whatever the reasons are. Maybe you want to transition out of that. It isn’t about all at once changing our lives. It’s about writing it down, and then writing our why and all of the reasons that this is important to us. I feel like most consistency, most good habits, and most commitments come from us to us. If I had this commitment to something, maybe our children, but ultimately, I still think it’s the most powerful when it’s a contract with us between us for us.

Everyone outside of us is living their lives. Even though we’re connected, we still have this relationship with ourselves. Can we write our why down? Can we get through today? Having said that, this whole idea of, and Jim Kwik said it, knowledge is power. No, knowledge and action. Everything has to have a plan and a strategy. I don’t care who you are. Whether it’s building consistency and commitment around exercise, around eating better, about staying out of relationships that we know are not serving us regardless of how sexy that person is, or drugs and alcohol, what do we need to be successful?

It’s not enough to say, “I’m not going to eat that anymore,” or, “I’m not going to see him anymore.” It’s about saying, “What’s my strategy? What is my plan? What are my steps for that?” Getting to your why and then creating a plan. For example, let’s say, “I might not want to drink.” Great. One of the plans would be, “I’m not going to have it in the house.” You’d have to go out and get it. The other plan might be like, “I feel wobbly, so I’m going to go to a meeting,” or, “I’m going to have somebody that I’m accountable to.”

If it’s exercise, it’s like, “I’m going to schedule it.” “I’m going to take a class or learn something in the physical activity space so that I know what to do.” Sometimes people don’t even know what to do. I could say, “You can start with a walk.” That’s great. If you want to build out a plan, you have to know what to do. The food is the same thing. If you don’t want to eat it, it’s so fundamental, do not have it in the house because that one phone call or that one email or bored or you’re feeling sad or lonely, it’s right to it.

GRS Reece | Self-care

Self-care: You have to be clear about your why. You have to be specific about what you want, and then you have to be thoughtful enough to create that plan.

It’s not about everything all at once. It’s baby steps. The drugs and alcohol are a little tricky. If this is something you want to stay out of, then it’s got to be out. With the exercise, is it twice a week? If you haven’t been doing anything, that’s a great start. It doesn’t have to be 6, 7 days. If it’s the food, it doesn’t have to be nothing that you enjoy ever. It could be Monday through Friday written down. Pre-write the meals that you think you’d like to eat that you would eat. Get some diversity in there. Then maybe you could have fun on the weekend.

If you’re talking about trying to jump ahead and get in front of it, the tighter this plan can be, the quicker you’ll get to places you want to be. Another thing that helps me with this is being a little snobby. “Does this serve me? Does this food I’m about to shove in my mouth serve me and my goals? Does this time I’m spending on the couch versus taking a walk serve me and my goals? Does this relationship with this person that I’m willing to give to and enhance and participate to, does it serve me? Am I growing? Am I learning? Am I inspired?” Whatever the thing is. It doesn’t have to be getting something. It can be like, “I laugh with them.” Perfect.

When people talk to me about this, it’s simple but it’s in-depth. You have to be clear about your why. You have to be specific about what you want, and then you have to be thoughtful enough to create that plan. This is how most things get done in life, action and plans, not words. If you find yourself talking about it over and over, tell your friends and make them tell you to stop talking about it. What do you want to do about it is important.

Diet on a small budget. This is a big one. This is what I’m passionate about because this is where most people are living and fighting. I have learned this. If you can afford a frozen organic vegetable, it’s better than not at all. This goes back to, first of all, the value that we place on this. If you’re female and you get your nails done and you say, “I’m buying food on a budget,” or, “I drive a BMW or an Audi,” it’s first putting our health and that food is important. Food is not an afterthought. Food is not something we just throw down our throats and we keep going.

When we shift our relationship with food and the value of where it is in our spend categories, this is helpful. Having said that, eating healthier is more expensive, certainly in the short run, probably not in the long run. If we’re healthier, we’re not going to be dealing with certain things, medical things hopefully, and such. We don’t need a ton. If you’re a vegetarian, you don’t need any animal protein. You just need to make sure you have your B 12 and enough of the supplements that you need that are important. Maybe some niacin and things like that, or iodine.

If you do eat animal protein, you’re trying to eat the good stuff, it costs a ton. One thing I would say is we don’t need to eat that much animal protein. If we’re only drinking water and if you have coffee or green tea, we’re not spending extra money on all of the other drinks. If we’re not snacking, that takes some cost out. When we eat the right types of food, we need a lot less because we’re getting our macro-micro nutrients, we need minerals, and things like that.

When people talk about eating on a budget, and I know it’s even harder for a family, it’s drilling down on the things that we want. Diverse vegetables, I would put at the top of the list. If you are eating animal protein, eat less of it. We overeat that far too much. That’s one way. Make sure we have enough fiber in our diets, fruits and vegetables. For the time being, if you’re serious about it, everything else goes. There are no snacks, there are no sugary drinks, there’s not a ton of desserts. I know it’s not fun, but it’s achievable.

I also honor the fact that it takes more effort. It would take more preparation at home, which is hard. It takes more time. It doesn’t taste as yummy because it’s real food. It’s not food science. Also, being strategic. When you go to the market, you have your list. It’s not open to like, “I have a little of this and I’ll buy some of that.” It’s like, “I’m here for these items. These are my meals for the week. I’m planning ahead.” You can be highly rewarded with that.

If you can’t buy organic in the fresh produce, I would buy organic frozen. It is my understanding that that is the better way to go. I want to do a podcast on this because this is super important. I’m trying to encourage people and help them figure out a way to do this on a smaller budget because I do not want to ignore the fact that it is harder. I totally honor that.

Somebody asked me that, they go, “What’s your luxury?” It’s not like, “I’m going to be in some hotel by a poolside.” It’s like, “I get to buy good food.” I’m clear with the gift that that is. Some other comments were if you’re a younger person, you’re looking for mentors, and you don’t have access to somebody, they’re there. It’s about finding them and asking, but being willing to work around them. It’s like asking for somebody to help and they might say, “I can help you from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM.” You might think, “That’s too early.” It’s also being willing to work around them, connecting with them, and things like that.

I do fasting occasionally. I’m at the age where apparently you shouldn’t fast too much more than 12 to 14 hours too often, at least not right now. My understanding though is autophagy doesn’t even kick in ‘till about 16 to 24 hours. When people talk about fasting, it’s a great thing to do certainly on a regular basis. If it’s one of the days of the week or a couple of during the month, it’s great.

If we’re eating well during our week, we’re getting to bed, our elimination is regular, and all these things, then you’re probably doing okay. I use fasting sometimes as a course correction if I weirdly let snacks slip into my regular day-to-day life or weird foods that I don’t normally eat. I will use a fast more times than not to do a reset, to pull in the reins, and be like, “We’re back to it.” For me personally, that’s how I use it.

For women especially, depending on their cycles and their ages, it’s important to get informed about the correct way to fast. For men, they have a different set of rules because we’re different. There’s a ton of information out there about fasting. As far as hacks, I’m not much of a hack person. I do certain things the good old-fashioned way as far as hard work and consistency. I do sauna, which is a great hack. I don’t do it as often as I probably would like to, but that’s because sometimes I put work in front of that. That’s something I’m going to be working on in 2022.

I will share with you the things I’m going to work on. I’m going to work on trying to have a little more fun. Laird asked me and this is one of the reasons I probably married Laird. He’s like, “What do you do for fun?” I was like, “I have fun.” Then I started thinking about that question. I don’t let myself have that much fun because my whole life, I enjoy it. I have set it up that I get to work at a job that I enjoy. I enjoy my partnership, my husband. It’s not like every day, we’re like, “This is perfect.” Believe me, I’m sure there are things that Lair’s like, “She’s a million miles away.” That is true. I live in my head quite a bit. Laird is passionate, present, and loud. There are days where I’m like, “Ugh.” I’m not suggesting but I am with the person I want to be with.

I’m so boring that I’m not looking for fun. I enjoy simple things. Having said that, that’s still an excuse. “I’m going to be working on having more fun doing things just because…” I’m not good at that and I need a little bit more of that. I’m always trying to be productive or whatever. It’s such a BS thing to hide behind. That was one of the things. I should talk about that for two days with him. I kept bringing it up. I was like, “Another thing about the fun…” Then I realize, it was like, “This bugs you because it’s probably so true.”

He knows how to have fun. By the way, he’s an expert level at certain things that I’m like, “I did go have fun, too, if I was good at that as you are.” I am reminded rather than getting defensive. That’s one of the things I need to work on. I’m going to change my training quite a bit in 2022. I’ve been doing a lot of the same things for many years and I don’t think it’s serving me as well. What does that mean? I will be incorporating a more rigorous stretching routine throughout my weeks. I hide in high intensity, banging iron, and all that not only because I’m good at it, but because I feel like I’m getting something done. That goes back to that whole productive thing. What would serve me better right now is something a little slower.

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Someone I love that you should check out, which is different, this isn’t stretching, is Jill Miller. She has a program called Yoga Tune Up. It has nothing to do with yoga. She’s smart and I like Knees Over Toes. There’s something to this program that I appreciate and like, so I’ll be doing more of that. There’s a curriculum, Jill Miller Knees Over Toes. I’ll be doing more of that. I’m going to slow it down because my go-to has been to hide behind going hard.

Something else for 2022, I know it sounds weird, but COVID has put a lot of weird herky-jerky, no flow into certain things. I’m at a place now where I’m willing to receive the yeses and the flows. I was talking to my friend Jen. It’d be like me complaining that my garden is dry, but it has not rained in four years. It’s like, “No kidding. Everyone’s garden is dry.” It’s perspective.

I look at some of the landscape of my work and I’m like, “This has been hard.” Even Laird Superfood. We have our businesses up year over year 65%, but we’re getting our ass kicked in Wall Street. I always feel the level of success that I want is fingertips away. I’m keeping perspective and understanding why things are the way they are but also simultaneously, I’m looking to allow more yes, more flow. I am a grindy, work-hard person that feels like I have to deserve it, which is ridiculous because what do I deserve? I don’t deserve anything. I would like to allow more of that. They call it grace.

That’s how I was raised. I was raised thinking I didn’t deserve it and I need to earn it and work for that. I believe that. However, it has limited some things. Something I’m going to focus on in 2022 is seeing if I will receive the grace and keep perspective, both. Being like, “It’s hard right now. That’s part of the process.” Besides that, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. If I can even do half of that, I would be thrilled with that because old habits die hard. Lord knows.

Finally, it’s like parenting. I’m always concerned about parenting. I don’t ever think I’m doing any of it right. I’m not going to lie. People ask me all the time, “How about raising girls?” I’m like, “I have no idea.” What I do know is this. I try to show up. I try to be an example of somebody who’s trying to tell the truth, somebody who’s trying to listen, somebody who is working hard, taking care of themselves, and not talking about the size of their butt, or all of that. I’m trying to be an example to them.

Simultaneously, what I’ve had to learn that is super uncomfortable is they have their own journey and they’re not going to do it the way I would do it. I see some of them and they have so many talents and skills. I’d be like, “I’d be doing this, this, and this.” They’re not going to do that. They’re going to do something else.

What seems to be working is reacting less, listening a ton. Another trick I’ve learned, especially when they’re sharing, one of my daughters tells me stories on the rare occasion, is I will say, “Can I ask a question?” I’ll get a clear yes or no. That seems good. If they have something going on, I don’t try to solve their problems for them. I’ll just be like, “I could see where that’s challenging.” “What would you like to do about that?” “Why do you think that happened?”

This is something I had to learn. There are certain parents that do this naturally. I’m so impressed. That’s not me. I want to get in there and solve it or fix it like, “Let me tell you from past experience.” They’re going to have to figure it out for themselves. Also, how can you make yourself be a version of happiness so they know what it looks like? Nobody’s happy all the time.

If we’re sitting here talking about how we look, then we shouldn’t be surprised that our teenagers are going to do the same thing, so heads-up. They will be having outside influence. They will have TikTok and all this other psychoticness. When they come home, if they have somebody of love, working hard, and seems to appreciate themselves, that will impact them. A book I read was setting the bar. This would be if you have younger children. There’s a great book called Hold On to Your Kids.

Finally, I read a book by Will Smith, Will. It’s a beautiful book. If you have time and you want to get the audio, it’s fun. He’s listening to it. I would suggest it. It’s not because it’s him or he’s so highly successful and he’s clearly smart. It’s an honest story. A lot of people could relate to it. He’s funny and fun. He’s had an interesting life. He gets in there and I appreciated it. I covered some of the questions. I never know exactly what to do. I don’t think it’s magic. All the answers, we know what they are. It’s just what formula do we need to create for ourselves to move in the direction that we think we want to go into because it’s different for everybody. That’s so important. It’s like, “Who am I?”

For example, if I’m trying to be healthy and eat better, “What foods do I even like? What am I willing to do? Why does that feel important?” “I need to move my body more. Great. What does that look like for me? What would I show up for on a regular basis?” These are the questions that we need to ask ourselves because the information is all out there. There are a gazillion experts. It’s us drilling down on that first and then putting that plan into action.

GRS Reece | Self-care

Self-care: Everything is a trade-off in life. You’re trading off the things that you believe in that reflect who you are and what you want, then try not to complain too much.

Is life perfect? No. Our devices have us thinking that it is for these other people. Every house has crazy things and inconveniences going on. That is life. The older I get, I can honestly say that when stuff’s bumpy, I’m like, “This is part of the day. This is part of what’s happening,” or, “My kids are going through a hard time.”

The other thing I would also throw out there is if you have a teenager going through a hard time because it is a hard time, imagine trying to grow up in this time, it’s important for us to step up parenting. The nature because it’s so scary, and I talked to some friends of mine about this, is to farm that out to somebody more qualified than you.

There’s something to be said for working on it with them together because it’s us too that has our own trip that we need to keep working on. By the way, there’s something powerful for your kids when they see their parent going, “I’ll work at it, too.” Not like, “We’ll drop off and fix the kid, and then I’ll bring them home.” Don’t farm it out too much. I’m not saying don’t ask for help for tools, but be a part of that process that accelerates healing. It’s scary.

If you are in anything where your kids going through a hard time, it is scary. What are the tools we need? Don’t just believe every expert that you hear. Who are you, who’s your kid, and what’s going to be right for them seems important to me and worth it. There might even be times you feel completely upside down, especially as your kids get older. They go through bigger things. It’s okay to feel upside down. I have felt up upside down many times.

Slowly be looking for the answers because people will show up that you need. Don’t just go with the first person and believe everything they say. They’re going to bully you or think they’re the expert and be like, “If you’re not going to do that for your kid…” Be careful of that, too. You’re their parent. Whether you know or not, still be their parent. The help will definitely show up.

I’m definitely interested in diving deeper, at some point, into helping fortify our young people and their mental health because it definitely is a real thing that keeps showing up at all of our doorsteps about their anxiety levels and their stress. We all know what it is but it’s like, “What are we going to do about it?” That’s where I’m at. I’m hoping that we start to put systems in place to protect them because they need it. It’s confusing.

A lot of people ask me about COVID and people are fighting about the treatments, and this and that. I’m not going to get into any of that because that is a no-end conversation. All I can say is it is so important to do what makes each person feel comfortable and for each of us to respect that. There’s enough science and data out there to show that it’s all unknown. We’re all fighting versus being together, respecting each other, and loving each other. We have to do more of that. We’re so distracted by battling each other that we’ve lost sight that we’re all in this together and it’s so important for us to stay connected.

Anyway, I’m not sure what the podcast will be next episode and who it will be, but I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year. I know that there are challenges and I know that it’s hard to deal with it sometimes, but it’s important to keep trying. It seems essential not to do everything alone, but it also starts with us and doing it for ourselves.

If someone’s feeling down and out right now, it’s not permanent. Sometimes the hard part about feeling anxious or depressed is that you think it’s forever. I want to say that it doesn’t have to be forever, that there are answers. We have to keep moving forward so that we can find them. I love the expression of, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” When we feel ready, the right people show up.

Thanks so much for being here. If you’d like, rate, subscribe, and leave us a review. If you want to see some of the behind-the-scenes action, follow me, @GabbyReece. Remember, don’t miss new episodes every Monday.

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