Rachel has the most energy of any person I’ve ever met, and if you’re able to keep up with her for the day or weekend, you’ll quickly understand how she gets so much done—and is talented at so many different things (running, skateboarding, photography, getting people together, painting, etc.). It amazes me how she can live such a full life, be so caring and loving toward others, travel nonstop, and still find time to prioritize her health and wellness. I am so thankful that she agreed to tell us about her experience and balanced approach to living healthy as a freshman (going on sophomore) in college at the University of Arizona.
DEFINING HEALTH: What does being healthy mean to you?
Clean eating. Eating super clean—how cave men ate. Not eating anything that is processed; basically something I could farm or find in the wilderness—vegetables, fruits, nuts and meats (not over-seasoned).
CHALLENGES: What challenges do you face at this stage in your life in prioritizing your health and wellness?
Living environment: It can be difficult to be able to cook in the dorms and find healthy alternatives to processed foods. Most college students don’t know how to cook and frequently order takeout. Since moving to an apartment, I am able to cook much more and try to make two fresh meals a day (and will get delivery or go out to eat for the other one).
Budget and transportation: Finding fresh ingredients to cook with is important, but they can be more expensive. I also don’t drive so I have to find ways to get to the grocery store.
SUCCESSES: What have you found to work or be successful in living healthy or achieving your wellness goals?
Meal prep: I meal prep rice, chicken and vegetables so I have them available when I’m on my laptop all day. The sorority I’m in also has chefs who cook pretty clean so I can go and pick up meals when I don’t have time to prep.
Balance: Trying to eat healthy overall, while giving into cravings sometimes. Working out helps me stay fit and feel healthy when I don’t eat as well as I should.
Motivation: Find ways to motivate yourself to be healthy. I know if I go to the gym then I can get a protein shake there. And I’ll go with my friend to rugby practice for accountability.
PRIORITIZING: How do you find time to make health a priority?
Plan ahead. I meal prep so when I’m short on time, I have healthy options to eat. I also have some ‘go-to’ recipes (like pancakes) that I can quickly make instead of heating up something unhealthy in the microwave.
Setting goals. I want to be the most fit player on the rugby team so I workout as much as I can to improve my fitness. Having commitments on my schedule also ensures that I’ll make the time to be healthy.
RECOMMENDATIONS: What advice do you have for someone in your life stage to live a healthier, fuller, more abundant life?
Lifestyle: Make what you’re doing healthy. Also, find a group that can support you and people that you can talk to. It can be a church group (or small group if you’re not religious), a sports or club team, therapist, or frater
nity or sorority.
Mindfulness: Journaling has changed my life. Writing things down makes me feel better—I write about my days, to-do lists and whatever I feel like. It can provide you with a safe space.
Fitness: Try out different things until you find something you enjoy. Boxing, yoga, running, group sports, weightlifting—there has to be something for you. Find what makes you happy and what works for you. You might not always feel like going to the gym, but you can exercise outdoors. Do what is fun and good cardio.
Nutrition: Drink a lot of water. I always try to put fruit—like cucumber, lime and cucumbers—in my water for flavor.
Clean living: Keep everything natural and organic. Always try to pick the healthiest option with the least amount of ingredients.
Rest: Try to get the 8 hours of sleep that you need. I’m not the person to talk to about this.