The Thrive Questionnaire with Tanya Zuckerbrot

The bestselling author and dietician opens up about the upside of failure and how she fights burnout at the end of a long day.

Image Courtesy of Tanya Zuckerbrot

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?
Tanya Zuckerbrot: Coffee before anything.

TG: What gives you energy?
TZ: (See answer to question 1, that coffee ;))

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
TZ: Fiber – I follow a high-fiber diet. Fiber keeps my skin clear, and body clear too (detoxifies), and it keeps my cholesterol low and tummy flat.

TG: Name a book that changed your life. 
TZ: Joel Osteen’s Living Your Best Life – His books and general messaging help me to re-center myself in times of stress or worry and reconnect with G_D and what’s important. His spiritual wisdom helps me to find hope in my dark hours.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? 
TZ: No, no. I’m on the phone all day, in between clients and meetings, so I try not to look at when I get into bed at night.

TG: How do you deal with email?
TZ: I firmly believe that everyone deserves a response within 24 hours. If you’ve ever writing an email and not gotten a response you know how it feels and I’m not trying to put more of that out in the universe. I have my assistant double and triple checking daily to make ensure that emails are read and responded to.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
TZ: I’ve been aiming to meditate more in my day. I love the app, Headspace.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
TZ: To be honest, I go home many days feeling burnt out. I give a lot in my job—there’s clients, media, mentoring my staff, branding, business development, and list goes on. In between that I’m also a mother, a friend and a wife. Days can be long but coming home to my family (and a glass of wine) each night makes everything all the worthwhile.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
TZ: In the moment what seems like failure or rejection is actually protection; rejection is G_d’s protection. At one point in my career I tried to raise capital for my business and failed. While this felt like a set back at the time, in reality, it was a blessing. I would’ve ended up giving away a piece of my company and giving up control. By failing then, I not only mainlined control of my company, but ownership of it too.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
TZ: Rejection is G_d’s protection. This idea calms me and gives me faith when things don’t go as planned. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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