Rachel Nelson has a vibrant enthusiasm for life, loves physical intensity, and craves adventure. She also is a self-proclaimed homebody, enjoys her Earl Grey tea in classic British style, and has an unmistakably grounded presence. As someone who beautifully embodies such seemingly opposite traits, it makes perfect sense that her wellness lifestyle would be just as multi-faceted as she is. Here, she shares some of the practices that allow her to stay centered, empowered, and connected to things that she values most.
I am an early riser so I am up between 6-6:30am 5-6 days a week. I let the dogs out, feed them, and make some hot water and lemon and fresh loose-leaf earl grey tea—my favorite thing in the whole world! Then, I meditate for 15-20 minutes—it’s a must for me every morning. 1-2 days a week I go to interval training at 7:15am. The days I don’t go to training I usually read after I mediate. Then around 8am I turn my phone on and start rolling into my day of either working with my coaching clients or teaching yoga. At night the phones in our house get turned to airplane mode and put in the office by 8pm and they stay there till 8am the next day (NO PHONES IN THE BEDROOM). This has been a wonderful “agreement” that my husband and I made. We sleep better and are more present. Most of my evenings are spent at home. I love to cook, and I am in bed around 9pm. I use Doterra oils every night on my feet and neck and chest, then some reading and sometimes watching our favorite show, The Office.
I don’t follow any really strict rules. Moderation is a good thing and we mostly eat seasonally and fresh, organic, clean foods. I do avoid any soy and highly processed foods. I don’t like sweets very much and mostly crave salty things. In the summer we have a great veggie garden and lots of our meals come straight from there! Breakfast: I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t really like breakfast food, and am not hungry until about 9:30 or 10am. Again, I eat seasonally, so in the winter and fall I have one soft boiled egg and fruit. In the spring and summer I usually have greek yogurt and a smoothie with hemp or whey protein powder and lots of fruit and veggies. Lunch: I love a good sandwich if I am out for lunch. Since I work from home my usual lunch is left overs from dinner the night before or sometimes I will make a big batch of grilled chicken and ginger rice with veggies and that will be my lunch through out the week. Another go to lunch is also smoked salmon, humus, and rice crackers. Snacks: Popcorn or apples and cheddar cheese. Dinner: We cook almost every night of the week at home. We have some staple recipes and always try to do a new dish, too. Again I like eating with the seasons so in the fall and winter we make soups, stews, or chili with homemade savory muffins. In the spring and summer we grill out a lot and make tacos and salads. We always have tons of veggies with every dinner, too, and always make enough for lunch the next day! Drink: Earl Grey tea is my all time favorite. I have it the English way too, with some milk and honey. I like it really strong. And of course, water with lemon. Splurge: I LOVE a good chocolate chip cookie and Boulder Organic Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream. Supplements: I take a good probiotic every morning before any food, pre-natal (not preggers but working on it), omegas, folic acid, cranberry, and I am always on some herbs from my acupuncturist, too.
I do yoga, mostly Power and Vinyasa, 4-5 times a week and interval/strength training 2 times a week. I like going to interval/strength training in the early mornings, and I do yoga either at home or in the studio usually during the mid-day or evening. I prefer more rigorous exercise, and along with those things, I do a lot of outdoor activities as well. During the winter I snowboard 2-3 days a week (more if there is powder) and I like to hike in the winter, too. During the summer I hike, mountain bike, and SUP. I feel like all of those things keep me whole, and like my diet, everything in moderation. I have found that too much yoga is not good for me as I am hyper mobile so interval and strength training keep me focused on strength. And both yoga and training help me feel better doing all the things I love outside.
My favorite yoga teacher is Baron Baptiste; he is not only my mentor, he is a good friend and he knows how to get right to the heart of things.
For interval and strength training, I go to a place owned by two close friends of mine, John Mark & Laura Sellig. They are amazing! Their place is called GOAT: Get Outside Athletic Training, and their philosophy and attitude is so in line with mine: The gym is not a sport. Trust the process. The mind is primary. Nutrition—well, it’s a huge deal! Believe in yourself! Community happens when there is a common goal. Have a goal! There’s no such thing as over-training, just under-recovery. Strict is stronger. Don’t compete; inspire! Pick what you hate. Communicate. Sleep. Laugh at yourself!
I value a lot of things: communication, vulnerability, trust, respect, and boundaries are probably the top things. These are also the key elements to a healthy relationship. Communicating openly, honestly, and listening are also important not only to me; it’s important that I give all of those things to others as well. I truly believe that having healthy boundaries is supper key to have every single relationship be healthy and to be able to work. Knowing how to say “this is okay and this is not okay” with everyone in my life has created truly open, loving relationships. If I can’t say, “NO”, then my “YES” means nothing at all.
I LOVE being home and am a bit of a homebody, probably because I travel so much. The vibe I like is simple, comfortable, and cozy. I don’t like a lot of things cluttering the space, just simple things that bring my husband and me joy. I go for natural colors and then add pops of color in pillows, rugs, etc. I also love having fresh flowers in the house. In the summer, I live on our deck or in our back yard! I love spending time in our garden, and on our slack-line!
Stress-Release and Centering Tools
Exercise and being outside always help with stress and grounds me. Anything that gets me out of my head and into my body. Meditation or pranayama (breathing exercises). Getting off the devices, phone, computer, and turning off to plug into me! Reading always centers me. Playing with my dogs, taking them to the park or on a hike. If that’s not possible, then music, some handstands, and usually going outside does the trick for me.
NATURE, being outside always feeds my soul, replenishes me, and brings me joy. I feel like I am happiest when playing outside, snowboarding, camping, hiking, etc. My dogs, and really animals in general, bring me so much joy, and teach me so much about unconditional love. I also love to travel. I love exploring new places and meeting new people. My husband and I are going on a road trip down the Oregon coast to San Francisco then back to Colorado in May and I can’t wait! I love adventure! I also love change. Most people resist it and I love it. I love the unknown and am always curious about what will happen next because I really have no idea. I see so much possibility in the unknown and that lights me up! Also, spending time with my friends laughing is the best!
Maybe this is cliché, maybe not—I feel like the fact that I am alive and a human gives me purpose. Our entire world—all the good and bad things, the beautiful and the ugly, they all give me purpose. I see my life as a spiritual practice. Every part of it can be spiritual if I choose it to be, from doing the dishes to meditation and everything else. I do my best to do that every day, every moment. Every moment is an opportunity to bring my sprit forth, to be more authentically me, to know that I am not alone and am always surrounded by unconditional love. If I can share that in anyway with anyone then I am fulfilling my purpose. Life itself is a spiritual practice.
I always feel excited about life and a few things stick out: selling a property I own so that we can live debt free and a more simple, connected life! My new coaching and consulting business, Roots to Wings Coaching. And, I was just asked to be a Speaker Coach for TedX Vail 2017! I am honored and humbled at this opportunity to support others in leaving their mark and impact on the world!