Age-ish: 30 this weekend!
City: Los Angeles (Santa Monica Canyon, a canyon nestled between Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades) Day: I’m the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Needed. Needed is a thoughtful nutrition company empowering broader nourishment through better products, fundamentals-focused education, and a trusted community of consumers, health practitioners, and scientists. Our first product is an Omega-3 (DHA + EPA) liposomal powder, think fish oil, but vegan and delivered the way nature intended, so it's the easiest format for your body to absorb and put the nutrients to work.
Night: I interned in middle school with Heal the Bay, an environmental advocacy organization focused on ocean & watershed protection in Los Angeles County, and still volunteer there where I can. I am the President of Stanford University’s Alumni Club of West Los Angeles. It’s a blast. I love Stanford and I love LA. I've started hosting a community dinner series at my house for LA-based women who are food/wellness execs. And, from my venture capital days, I also love supporting a number of different companies and advise a couple informally.
Most mornings I wake up at 6:00 am, right before my alarm goes off (even on most weekends). Sequence generally goes like this: Scrape my tongue and pee, then head to the kitchen to drink a big glass of Berkey filtered water, take a spoonful of coconut oil for oil pulling, and start brewing a pot of coffee. (I subscribe to Canyon Coffee). Head back into the bathroom to dry brush, wash and moisturize my face, and stretch my calves on my stretch board (my calves are always tight and leaving a stretch board in my bathroom reminds me to stretch), all while still oil pulling. (Some days I put on body lotion, which I really need to do more regularly. Though, the significant increase in my intake of omega-3 from Needed has helped my historically extremely dry skin). I then brush, floss, and race back to my coffee. I like my coffee black, and am always very excited to drink it. I used to get started right away with work, but I have been trying to be more protective of my morning time to help manage stress and my energy. I now try to use the early morning for meditation (my husband and I just completed a Transcendental Meditation training) and a little journaling (I create as many 6 word sentences that flow out. They are like little mini Haiku’s) while sipping my coffee. We have an amazing little meditation nook in our house that has floor to ceiling windows and overlooks the garden.
I start every morning journal with the phrase, “Beautiful day, great to be alive”. Every day while driving me to school, my dad would say, “Ryan, look at the mountains.” And, I learned to follow with, “It’s a beautiful day, it’s great to be alive.” These mountains, the San Gabriels in Los Angeles, were a big deal for my dad because he could not see them growing-up, when thick smog constantly shrouded the LA skyline. For me, this quote is important for three main reasons: 1) It’s a reminder of how much a single saying can shift my mindset for the day; 2) My dad used to sing “Ain’t no mountain high enough” as we biked up those same hills almost every weekend. I am reminded that I can climb really big hills, sometimes it just takes training; 3) It’s a reminder of what I care about -- my family, my community, and the environment. Those are the things that will make tomorrow beautiful, too.
I then head out to surf, hike, take a yoga class, or walk or run in the neighborhood by 7 or 7:30am. Since my brother and I have both settled back in LA, we try to surf together at least twice a week; It’s a truly magical way to start the day. I hike with two girlfriends from business school every Friday morning - nice to have the consistency of good friends being totally up-to-date on your life; we all have referred to it as the “no bullshit hike” as it is an opportunity to be really real. Otherwise, I go to yoga or do something in the neighborhood almost every other day. I first tried yoga when I was 9, a Bikram class with my dad. But, I really fell in love with yoga in Santa Monica shortly thereafter while working for Heal the Bay in middle school - specifically, a Bhakti class led by Govinda and Radha where they sing while you flow. I still attend their classes regularly, but go to YogaWorks (Main Street and Montana) most often. I’m getting really into Iyengar right now. For running and walking, I am lucky to live right by the beach and a shockingly wooded area for LA with a number of hidden staircases (there is a 3 mile loop with over 1,000 steps).
I’m at the office between 9 or 9:30 most days, if I don’t have a meeting elsewhere. (We are lucky to have a shower). I usually bring breakfast to the office which varies between oatmeal, eggs and roasted veggies, nut-butter on sourdough toast, or a smoothie. I wait at least 12 hours from dinner to eat, but usually 14. Two days a week I will “bulletproof” in the AM with a decaf version, as I will have already had my black coffee kick. I take about ~20 supplements with breakfast.
I listen to 89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio. I love the station. And, it always brings back happy memories of working for Ilsa Setziol, their old environmental reporter, during a couple summers while I was in high school.
In the afternoon, we usually make an omega-3 beverage as an afternoon snack in the office made from our liposomal omega-3 DHA + EPA powder, Malibu Mylk’s flax mylk, and a spoonful of cacao blended together (and sometimes collagen and powdered bone broth). It’s a yummy snack that gives me a little energy pick me up and holds me over until dinner.
I usually bring lunch (dinner leftovers). If not, I pick up something from Trader Joe’s across the street or Doordash something (Kye’s is a favorite), as we sadly have limited walking options. I generally eat at my desk as I work.
I try to sit down and actually enjoy dinner. I love cooking and end up making something four or five nights a week. I struggle to follow recipes, but love looking at cookbooks for inspiration and end up buying whatever looks fresh at the farmers market, the Santa Monica Co-Op, or whatever of the many grocery stores I seem to end up at each week. I play podcasts or listen to an audiobook as I cook. (My husband is not a chef, but will sometimes come hang or chop and wash veggies.) We often have friends over for dinner too. Other nights, I’ll have a work event or meet friends out. And, at least one night, my husband and I walk to a beach club we belong to not far away or a restaurant in the neighborhood.
I try to be in bed around 10 reading a book. However, it is tough to turn in because 1) my husband is a bit of a night owl or 2) I get caught-up working after dinner. I do take magnesium glycinate every night.
I go to a 7:30 am yoga class most Saturdays and Sundays, if I am in town. On Saturdays late mornings and afternoons I usually work and/or get caught-up on house stuff (fix-its, laundry, gardening etc.). I will also usually go to the farmers market one of the days. Sundays I try to make off days from work and house work. The days end up being quite active usually a combination of: A long hike (This spring and summer, my husband and I are hiking the Backbone Trail (~70 miles) in segments. We met in college in geology class while I was writing a paper about the trail and the Santa Monica Mountains it traverses and have always wanted to do it.) Or, golfing with my husband (He is a big golfer. I’m starting to get into, but I play the first 9, drop-off my bag, and walk with him the second 9. I don’t have the attention span to play all 18, but love just walking with him and having that time without distractions.) Or, a paddle tennis round robin. And, now surfing a lot more regularly. Once a month, we are trying to meet my parents for dinner at a new restaurant for us in different parts of LA.
High Brow Ritual
Treatments. I see an acupuncturist and a body worker at least once a month (I wish it was once a week, but I have been reigned in), and a Biologique Recherche esthetician once a quarter (I love their holistic approach leveraging the best of botanical ingredients and modern science. It works, which is great, as I am scared of any more serious treatments...) I am a regular infrared sauna visitor.
Low Brow Ritual
I love hot dogs, but I especially love the toppings (mustard, relish, onions, and kraut). I generally have one least twice a month, if not more (golf course and home prepared).
I’m bad a cleaning-up after myself on a daily basis. I tend to just drop things as I walk in the door. It creates a bit of a “debris field” as my husband calls it. Also, I am hoping this will not be a total fail, but with the TM training under my belt, I am trying to meditate 2x a day for 20 minutes each, but find it really hard to get the second one in, especially as you are not supposed to do TM right before bed.
Food: Many staples from Thrive | Bonafide Provisions Bone Broth | Countertop Foods Golden Honey & Golden Butter | Patagonia Provisions Salmon | Beauty: Tongue Cleaner | EVOLVh Shampoo & Conditioner | Everyone 3 in 1 Soap | Dr. Bronner's toothpaste | Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant | Glo Mineral Oil Free Camouflage Concealer | Lily Lolo Bronzer | Beautycounter Dew Skin | Alba Botanica sensitive mineral sunscreen | Biologique Recherche Lait VIP O2, P50W, Amniotique serum, Colostrum serum, Creme Dermo RL | Supplements: Morning (first thing) - Environmental Detox | An hour or two later - many Barlowe's longevity herbs, L-theanine, Humic / Fulvic Minerals | With Breakfast - Multi-vitamin, Beef liver, D3 / K2-4, Pre and probiotic, MegaSporeBiotic (one bottle per quarter), Gaia Herbs Vitex Berry (around that time of the month), Curcumin (anti-inflammation), Glutathione (for all my pinot!) | Afternoon - Needed omega-3, Collagen, Bone broth powder | Evening - Magnesium glycinate