Mariel Hemingway’s Simple Lessons for Being Fit, Happy & Balanced

Tips from the Holistic Health Luminary that Will Change Your Life TODAY

Mariel Hemingway (yep, her grandfather is THE Ernest Hemingway) first rose to fame as an actress, debuting in "Lipstick" at age 13. She earned an Oscar nomination for her work in "Manhattan," and has appeared in 30 films and a variety of television shows.

Dealing with the pressures of Hollywood as a teenager, the loss of her mother to cancer, and the suicide and mental illness suffered by multiple close family members took a toll on her physical and mental health, and made for a difficult journey during her youth and young adulthood. But Mariel turned those hardships, and the mistakes she speaks openly about making in her youth, into an incredible gift, as it sent her on an impassioned journey to find balanced health and well-being. And girl, did she find it. Sharing the lessons she learned from this journey, Mariel is now one of the most important, leading voices inspiring people to take a holistic approach to their health and helping people achieve massive positive changes in their bodies and minds. She is also a leading advocate for mental health and support programs to prevent suicide.

We could not be bigger fans of Mariel (who is now an expert on ChickRx!). Her lifestyle insights and tips are not only effective, but actually make us feel calmer and at peace on this journey to looking and feeling our best. She espouses simple, straightforward truths and practical, empowering tips that we feel blessed to come across now, and to enjoy the rest of our lives. You’ll see just what we mean as you read our interview with her below.

ChickRx: You've said you feel better in your 50s than you did in your 20s. What would you have done differently in your 20s? 

Mariel Hemingway: I would have taken care of my brain. I would have learned to meditate and taken time for silence everyday. It would have helped me with the negative speak that I constantly was tortured by. 

I also wish I had known that the extreme diets and ways of eating that I engaged in were putting my brain out of balance, not to mention my hormones. I was looking for happiness, as one does through out life, but the choices I was making—like eating no fat, limiting calories, and over exercising—were causing such adrenal exhaustion that I was always in crisis, tired but pretending that my "healthy" choices were good. But actually they were working against me. 

If I have any advice for women it would be to find balance in the way that you eat and exercise: eat organic, eat from all food groups and take time for stillness (or meditation). Also, you may want to try cutting gluten from your diet as it often causes bloating, aches and pains, and brain fog—at least that has been my experience.

ChickRx: In your book Healthy Living from the Inside Out, you talk about the importance of listening to your body with respect and kindness to become healthier, happier and more at peace. What are techniques for learning to listen to our bodies and interpreting that information? 

Mariel Hemingway: Listening to your body starts with doing an activity that promotes stillness in the brain, like yoga or walking with, what I call, a yogic attitude. This means walking in quiet and paying attention to your breath, your movement, and your surroundings. Try a practice of awareness that will help you tune into your body and be able to determine what it wants and needs.

ChickRx: You're a big proponent of yoga and meditation. What are some good techniques for beginners, and what can one hope to gain from practicing them? 

Mariel Hemingway:
The biggest thing someone can start with is doing a downward facing dog into an upward facing dog back and forth, or cat cow while paying close attention to your inhales and exhales. Even just taking a brisk walk can help you if afterwards you sit in silence and focus on your breath: inhales and exhales while counting four beats to yourself each way.

ChickRx: You advocate reducing "noisy foods." If you could suggest people eliminate 1 or 2 common foods, in a way that's doable, what would they be?

Mariel Hemingway: STOP DRINKING SODA—that is number one. Especially if it is diet, it is one of the most toxic drinks anyone ingests. It is not food and it causes such problems in the brain, along with anxiety and PMS, and it actually prevents weight loss.

ChickRx: What advice do you have for young people who are battling tough circumstances or low self esteem? 

Mariel Hemingway: Remember first off you are not alone. There are so many people feeling just like you...though that doesn't help get rid of it, remember that when you think you're isolated or separate. 

Now to help battle these thoughts, look at what you eat: lots of sugar, caffeine, soda, processed and/or junk food? These foods create depression. Start eating clean food and put greens into your diet for a quick mood changer. "Change Your Breakfast" to something healthy, and drink more water. You'd be surprised at how simple attention to your daily ingestion can help your mood and life.  

Also remember you are perfect the way you are, even if it is not the perfect picture of what you see in the media. Sit down and write a list of the things about you that make you unique and great. :)

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Mariel Hemingway is the author of three books: Finding My Balance (a bestselling memoir), Mariel Hemingway's Healthy Living from the Inside Out, and Mariel's Kitchen: Simple Ingredients for a Delicious and Satisfying Life. She has also started Mariel's Kitchen, a company producing real food products with a real life message.
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Anonymous commented
OMG I love Mariel so much. I came across her work first when my mom was reading one of her books. I feel like the advice she gives makes me feel so much more aware of myself and my surroundings and so much more calm and in control. Love her, and love that she's on ChickRx :)