How This CEO Is Using Science and Biology to Invigorate Her Life

And why fat is her secret life hack.

Mireya Acierto / Contributor/Getty Images
Mireya Acierto / Contributor/Getty Images

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Naomi Whittel: Meditate…first thing in the morning, and before I physically get out of bed. Because our cortisol (major stress hormone) levels are the highest in the morning, meditating, even if only for a few minutes, decreases cortisol while increasing feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin, GABA, and endorphins which makes all the difference in my day.

TG: What gives you energy?
NW: Activating autophagy (From the Greek for self (auto) and eat (phagy), an innate biological process that re­moves toxins from our cells and repairs the damage left behind by the natural wear and tear that our bodies experience. We can activate this powerful cellular clean-up crew through diet, exercise, sleep, and beauty components to unleash the trapped energy within our cells.

TG: What’s your secret life hack? 
NW: I always start my day with FAT! In fact, I am obsessed with it. Eating good fat (unprocessed fats are found in real foods like avocado, butter, nuts, salmon, Alaskan cod oil, coconut oil, and tea seed oil) not only gives you sustained energy, it regulates your metabolism, fights the signs of aging, and it can increase mental clarity and focus. It’s a nutritional hero with incredible powers to help you achieve optimum health. My mantra is fat first, fat most, every day in every way.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? NW: Sometimes I feel like my phone is an extra appendage. I am definitely guilty of being too connected during the day. But, there are two times every day I power down: 1. when I have dinner with my family and 2. when I go to sleep. I don’t even bring the phone into my bedroom (or use any technology that emits a blue light). I believe this improves the quality of my sleep. And as soon as I am out of bed and ready to start my day, I reconnect!

TG: How do you deal with email? 
NW: Improperly! In theory, I try to address email only certain hours of the day however, when the alert tones go off it’s just like Pavlov’s dog, I immediately pick up my phone and look at my email.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it? 
NW: Move around! I get out of the space I am in, and walk around. I am curious and an explorer by nature. So whether I’m at home, or at the office or traveling, I will go an explore and see what’s happening around me and find something to learn.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why? 
NW: About three weeks ago. I’ve been traveling extensively preparing for the launch of my book and preparing for a wonderful TV opportunity in New York and I hit a wall physically. I am a huge proponent of sleep and getting the right sleep and rest for your body, and the number of items on my plate that week got the best of my rest! I needed to stop and recharge.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace. 
NW: I have a favorite quote from German poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that reads: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Naomi Whittel is the author of the New York Times best selling book, Glow15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life. She is widely recognized as the one to watch in the “wellness from within” space. Named by Prevention the nation’s leading female innovator in the natural products industry, Naomi is hailed as a trailblazer and an advocate of purity and potency in nutraceuticals

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