- Robin Berzin
Dr. Robin Berzin, Founder of Parsley Health: The Unfiltered Details of My Weekday Routine
As a doctor and wellness expert, people always want to know what I'm eating and what tricks I have for staying healthy with a busy schedule, so I thought I'd shed a little honest light onto my routine.
It’s not that this is the perfect way for you to start your day. It’s the perfect way for me to start mine. Remember, what works for one person (paleo or vegan! crossfit or yoga!) is not necessarily what’s best for you.We all have to be our own “N of 1”- which is the idea that our bodies are our own personal living experiment, and no matter what the studies show you have to discover your own optimal routine through trial and error, testing and investigating, victory and failure, and be your own guide to what makes your particular body happy.
The patterns you have right now – what you eat, how much down time you take, how much alcohol you drink – might be serving you well. They also might be leaving you tired, hungry, overweight and frustrated.
How do you know? Live the experiment.
Here’s how I live a typical weekday now, after much trial and error, to get the body I want, the energy I need and the clarity and focus I depend on to be a good doctor, wife, CEO and friend.
6.45 am: Wake up. Put on yoga gear. Walk Wallis our rescue mutt (the cutest ever btw) to get a double shot of espresso.
Question: Is coffee bad? Answer: In large quantities yes it’s bad – it’s a stimulant, a cortisol spiker, a blood sugar imbalancer and a dehydrator. It also tends to be a dirty crop if not bought organic and fair trade.
Question: Is it good? Answer: The antioxidants and a little caffeine have been shown to have some limited positive impact on brain health. Could you get good antioxidants elsewhere? Yes, but it’s a benefit.
Question: Is espresso better? Answer: Yes it is to me because it has less caffeine and a smoother buzz than drip coffee.
Question: Am I addicted to it? Answer: Yes. Part of my heart lives in Rome, and I’m sorry, not sorry.
7.45 am: 1 hour yoga class at Kula Tribeca (where Parsley members get $10 classes!) or Strala Yoga. I’m finding lately that if I don’t get my yoga or workout done in the morning it’s harder and harder to fit it in. Sweating first thing makes me feel happy, alive, and accomplished even though my old habit was to work out in the evening. I had to adapt and I did! On mornings when I’m not working out I’m heading straight into meetings, or diving into writing – my brain is on fire in the mornings and it’s when I’m most productive. In this case I’ll stretch, practice handstands, or do a short weight training session in the evening to wake up my body. If I’m short on time I’ll hula hoop for 5 minutes – not kidding.
9.15 am: Rebuild protein shake. With 26 grams of vegan protein optimized with branch-chain aminos to match the protein power of lean beef, and a complete multi vitamin built in, my shake keeps me full and focused until lunch. Our formula has also been boosted with antioxidants and Omega 3s, and it’s very low in sugar. I add ¼ cup of frozen organic blueberries, unsweetened coconut milk, and in the winter cinnamon because it warms it up. I’m addicted to my shake and when I travel I start missing it after a few days. I also add 5 drops of Vitamin D3/K2, or 2500 units, to my shake to support my immune system and my bones. My Vitamin D level was 35 on testing so I can improve a bit to get to my goal of 50.
9.30 am: Shower, get ready, and head to the office. I walk on nice days, or grab the subway a few stops if I’m running late. I am spoiled to live so close to my office.
10 am: Work. See patients, meet with our health coaches, or talk to our data team, and answer email.
1 pm: Lunch. Usually I’m grabbing to-go from the organic salad bar downstairs. My picks are roasted green beans, roasted garlic broccoli, butternut squash, black beans, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and sometimes a half portion of grilled wild alaskan salmon. I eat light on patient days because I’m sitting a lot and it keeps my focus up if I avoid large portions or a heavy meal. Beverage of choice is warm water with lemon. I’m terrible at drinking enough water. Working on it!
4 pm: Afternoon snack. I keep raw organic walnut pieces and almonds in my desk drawer along with 85% dark chocolate.
6.30 pm: Workout. If I didn’t get a workout in in the morning I’m heading to the gym for a quick interval training session – usually sprinting in 2 minute intervals on the treadmill, rowing for 2 minute intervals, and kettle bell swings. If I don’t have time for the gym I practice handstands in the hallway in my building or I will hula hoop for 10 minutes – not kidding. It’s meditative and a great core workout taught to me by one of my girlfriends.
7.30 pm: Dinner. I eat out a lot but my favorite meals are the ones I cook at home with my husband. Tonight we threw dried lentils in the vitamix to make gluten free lentil flour. We sliced fresh calamari in rings, dunked it in coconut milk and then tossed it in the lentil flour with salt pepper and chili flakes and pan-fried it. We also had raw kale salad with avocado, sea salt, and lime juice. Our side was sauteed sugar snap peas with tamari and red onions. It was an easy throw-together gluten-free, dairy-free, Plant Based Paleo dinner that took about 20 minutes of prep.
11 pm: Bedtime. I take two magnesium glycinate to have a deeper more relaxing sleep, and two Prescript Assist probiotics to support my microbiome. I usually do a short meditation before bed – maybe 5 or 10 minutes of a simple breathing practice. Lights out.
Dr. Robin Berzin (pictured left) is the Founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin went to medical school at Columbia University -where she co-founded the physician communication app Cureatr – and later trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. She is a certified yoga instructor and a meditation teacher, writes for a number of leading wellness sites, and speaks regularly for organizations including Stanford Medicine X, The Clinton Foundation, Health 2.0, Summit at Sea, and Further Future, on how we can reinvent health care. Read more of Robin Berzin's posts here.
Photos courtesy of Parsley Health.
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