Be Well Living with Holli Thompson

As a certified holistic health coach and certified natural health professional, Holli Thompson helps people find their personal nutritional style. She believes food is medicine—your lifeline—and is the secret to living a long, beautiful, healthy, energetic life. We talk to the health guru about her own nutritional style and overall wellness priorities.

Wellness Inspiration: Well, seriously, Dr. Frank Lipman has always been my inspiration. I’ve sent so many clients to him over the years. And he’s such a very nice man. And super smart.

Health Passion: I see a great disparity in our country in terms of our food related to household economic means, and I hope to continue to get more involved in this issue. There are children in the U.S. who appear to be obese and yet are nutritionally starving. Our school lunch program is abysmal, and so many low-income kids depend on their schools for two meals a day. I’m working with an impoverished school in Virginia right now to help educate parents and supplement their program with inexpensive but healthier choices, and this is something I’d like to see happen on a broader scale, nationwide.

Wellness is ______:  A balanced approach to health that incorporates movement, fitness, sleep, happiness, love, foods, and friends.

Guilty Pleasure: A dry vodka martini. Is that bad to say? I appreciate that a dry cocktail will not kick me into a sugar reaction, like a glass of wine does. Just proceed with caution and definitely not every day.

Relax & Chill Out: I love to read and am obsessed with politics. I also love certain TV series, and I’m a huge movie fan. My favorite thing to do, though, to truly escape, is to attend classical concerts or the opera. Nothing is more transporting. I serve on a committee for Washington Performing Arts that sponsors young emerging artists at various country homes. They are the absolute best. (And I saw Madame Butterfly at the Kennedy Center last night. Amazing.)

Morning Start: I have two dogs and two cats, so everyone gets fed before I can think about me. Then I have a cup of coffee with organic nondairy creamer, and sometimes half of a grapefruit for vitamin C, to fuel my run. I run rain or shine and usually go about 2–3.5 miles. After I run I have a green juice or smoothie.

Exercise of Choice: I started running 16 months ago, and I’m addicted. I’ve never felt so strong and capable. It’s also made significant changes in my body with allover toning, not to mention that it’s my favorite form of meditation. I run with my playlist, and I often sing as I run. I also really love barre classes for core work and focus.

Must-Have Beauty Products: First things first, what goes inside makes all the difference. Beyond that, I wash my face twice a day, always moisturize and use sunscreen, and never go to bed with makeup on. I get to try a lot of beauty products in my work, and my favorite companies are Juice Beauty (I love their antiaging collection and don’t go a day without their CC cream), Tata Harper (Tata’s masks are the best), and doTERRA essential oils.

Sleep Routine: I can really become a night owl if I let myself, so I try very hard to have lights out by 11 p.m. I’m a good sleeper and try to get eight or even nine hours a night. I love to take a bath at night; it calms me down and feels so indulgent to soak the day away. I use lavender essential oil in my bath, and I also diffuse lavender in my bedroom to help me sleep. I even spray some on my dogs’ beds!

Travel Carry-ons: I’m devoted to good skin care, so I bring smaller versions of my current products. I love Juice Beauty’s Stem Cellular eye lift for tired eyes when I travel, and a small dry shampoo helps if I don’t have time to get a blow out. A little bronzer helps, too, if I’m feeling kind of pale getting off a plane. I also always carry flat shoes, usually sneakers, when I’m in any city or traveling. I like to be able to move quickly.

Favorite Healthy Destination: I like any kind of active vacation and love to line things up prior to arrival. Last summer I learned to paddleboard in Nantucket—it was the best. I love to hike out west, and of course fitness spas have been a choice for many years. I’ve gone back to Rancho La Puerta in Baja many times, and Canyon Ranch is always fun for my clients and me. I also think Italy or France are healthy places to visit. The food is so fresh, no need to worry about GMOs or too many pesticides.

Current Reading List: I just started a previously unpublished collection of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald called I’d Die for You: And Other Lost Stories. For years I only read health and food books. Now I’ve returned to fiction—I find it frees my mind and allows for creativity in all areas of my life.

Always in Fridge: Organic, nondairy creamer, nut milks, and fermented vegetables. Always! I try to eat fermented veggies every day to help maintain a healthy gut. Always tons of greens to whip up a green smoothie, plus lemons and ginger. Good sources of protein for me are my friend’s farm-fresh eggs—she feeds only organic feed to her chickens, and you’ve never tasted anything like these eggs. Bone broth is another staple. I crave grapefruits, so my fridge has lots of those these days. I also love olives and have an assortment of organic olive oils. Proteins come and go quickly. I love seafood but don’t keep it on hand; it must be fresh.

Pantry Staples: Well, for my son I keep gluten-free pastas, organic tomato sauces, and of course Annie’s Mac and Cheese. Generally an assortment of gluten-free crackers in case I have guests pop by, along with many kinds of nuts and/or seeds. I like to have organic boxed soups on hand, dried sea vegetables, and lots of teas. I also keep several kinds of protein powders for smoothies, along with my “superfoods,” chia, hemp, maca, raw cacao nibs, and natural sweeteners like raw local honey, fresh Vermont maple syrup, and nut butters.

Favorite Way to Reset: A good run and tons of water help, and it might take a day or two to get me back to normal. Also an Epsom salt bath to detox.

Daily Supplements: I take a probiotic every day and try to vary them to ensure that I’m getting what I need. I really like Be Well’s Probiotic Powder in my smoothies. I often take B12 for energy, or a B complex if I’m under stress. I take vitamin D almost every day, and powdered collagen for skin, hair, and nails. I take magnesium at night to help me relax.

Favorite Healthy Foods On the Go: Always water and healthy nutrition bars. My handbag, glove compartment, and carry-ons always have them. Current favorites are Health Warrior’s chia seed bars—I love the smaller size. I also love apples!

Ingredients I Always Avoid: I avoid dairy and gluten as a rule. I can feel the difference if I eat dairy—bloating, or puffy eyes the next day, and an overall sluggish feeling. Gluten gives me stomach pains and bloating as well. Of course, I love ice cream and cheese, but honestly, they are a rare treat.

Can’t Live Without: I can’t live without my amazing friends. I have the greatest group of friends in the world, and I’d literally do anything for them. And I love their kids, too.

Current Mantra: Carpe diem remains true. I try to seize the day, not postpone joy, and live to the fullest. I love deeply and believe in showing people how much I care. I don’t want to have any regrets, ever.

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