Dr. Mark Hyman is one of the most well-known names in the nutrition and wellness industry. A respected physician and educator, he is the founder and director of The UltraWellness Center and the Head of Strategy and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.
Dr. Hyman has also quite literally written the book on functional medicine—many times over, in fact. He’s a fourteen-time New York Times bestselling author of books like “Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?”, “Food Fix”, and most recently, “The Pegan Diet”, a guide to eating to beat disease.
We recently sat down with Dr. Hyman on Instagram Live to absorb his invaluable knowledge about feeling better: from establishing a daily routine to fitting it into your life in a way that works for you. In case you missed it, here are Dr. Hyman’s top tips for putting your health first in your daily routine.
Make it automatic.
Dr. Hyman compares planning your health routine in the same way that you’d plan a trip—prioritizing the things that are most important to you, then making sure to fit them into your schedule. “I structure my life in a way where it’s easy to do the right things,” he says. “It’s automatic.” He says every morning, he has a cup of coffee, journals, completes a resistance band workout, and has a protein shake. By laying out his exercise clothes, placing his adaptogen powders and other smoothie ingredients on the counter, and creating a space for uninterrupted journaling, this morning routine is easy and nearly effortless.
Make nutrient-dense meals a priority.
When he’s planning his day, Dr. Hyman prioritizes healthy meals rather than leaving his nutrition to chance. “I always think ahead and ask myself what I’m going to be eating,” he says. Even if he’s traveling, he stocks up on healthy, easy-to-pack meals and snacks. “I always keep a day’s worth of food in my bag,” he says. Things like nuts, grass-fed jerky, canned fish, and nut butters are his go-to snacks for eating well on the go.
For more nutrition inspiration, shop Dr. Hyman’s Shopping Lists:
Make time for mindfulness.
No matter how busy he gets, Dr. Hyman tries not to overprogram his days. “I make sure to give myself windows in the day, sometimes in the morning or sometimes the afternoon, where I can drop in and do a meditation,” he says. He encourages everyone to find those moments of solitude to help manage stress and keep it all in perspective.
Make it a group effort.
Though many elements of wellness can feel fairly isolating, Dr. Hyman encourages folks to find opportunities for companionship and support. “Getting healthy is kind of a team sport,” Dr. Hyman says. “It’s helpful to find a buddy who can exercise with you, who you want to cook with. If you’re like Oh, I don’t really want to go to that yoga class, but my friend Jim is going, it’s going to be way more fun.”
Make it work for your lifestyle—and your family’s.
Dr. Hyman is frequently asked about sticking to a routine with kids. Thinking back to the years when he was a single father with a full time job (and not much help around the house), he remembers that overwhelming feeling all too well. “[Kids aren’t] adults, but you are doing life together,” Dr. Hyman says. With this in mind, he encourages people to set a healthy example by including your kids in exercise, cooking, or other habits. “Including your kids in the process is so important,” he says. “For example, I started getting my kids in the kitchen cooking with me before they could even talk.” He also remembers gardening with his kids when they showed an interest, not only to get them outdoors, but also to foster enjoyment in healthy living—a win for everyone involved.
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