Mess Magazine x Rich Roll Shyvanne Delva July 2, 2015 MESSFeature, MESSHealth Domi Perek: In your eyes, who is Rich Roll and how did you change over past few years? Rich Roll: I am an athlete, a writer, a father a husband, a podcast host, public speaker and a wellness advocate. But mostly I am just like everyone else trying to grow, making mistakes a long the way but always trying to do something positive and leave the world better than I found it. When I embarked on my wellness journey my reasons were primarily selfish. That has changed. Now what gets me up in the morning is trying to find new ways to help people experience their version of what I have experienced Perek: When I look at what you are doing, you seem to do things in the best way possible and still have time to write great books and share with your passion. Have you ever wanted to be the best? Have you ever dreamt of being ultra healthy? Roll: Not sure I entirely understand the question, but I do have a competitive drive. I am always trying to be the best version of myself. This applies to athletics but also spills into the content I create. How can I offer the highest quality information and do it in a way that is different, modern, appealing and accessible? How can I differentiate what I do from others that write and podcast and speak? By bringing more of myself into it. From content to design to aesthetics to inspiration, I work incredibly hard to offer something that will stand out, be truly helpful, honest, authentic and timeless. Perek: What was your main motivation that pushed you to be who you are today? Was there an inner need or some impulse that made you live this way? Roll: I have always been driven. I think this comes from a sense that I am not innately talented. I learned very early on that hard work works. I want to hit the pillow each night knowing I gave my best effort in whatever I did that day — whether it’s a podcast, a blog post, a simple Instagram photo or a speech. I am never content and always striving to improve. Perek: Imagine you are back in your 20’s, what would you change in your life from your perspective? Roll: First, I would have gotten sober — so much time lost to drugs and alcohol. I would have lived as lean as possible and invested not in a secure career path but rather in adventure, self-knowledge and travel. Perek: Why did veganism become your way to live? Roll: It started out as a way to repair my health. It morphed into a means to excel athletically. Now its a vehicle for being the best, most authentic version of myself — a lifestyle that is compassionate, treads lightly on the planet, keeps me fit and disease free and provides the energy to be the most authentic and honest advocate for healthy living that I can possibly be. Perek: Why do you think people are scared of veganism and vegans? Roll: Many reasons. It sounds like an extreme way to live to the uninitiated. I also think the word “vegan” comes with a lot of baggage and pre-conceived ideas. Heavily associated with a specific political point of view and certain people that are outspoken, many are repelled by what might improve their lives. So I always try to provide an accessible, modern and non-judgmental approach. Attraction not promotion. Perek: Tell all our readers about your newest book “Plantpower Way”. What is the message behind the book and why did you decide to write it with your wife, Julie Piatt? Roll: First and foremost, its a cookbook boasting over 120 super healthy, delicious and easy to prepare plant-based recipes oriented around the family. But unlike any other cookbook, its also a very comprehensive lifestyle guide. The story of our family journey, the idea was to make you feel like a guest in our home with a seat at our table. All the recipes and principles are authentic to our family — its what we eat, it’s how we live, without placing any demands upon people about how they should approach the book. Also, we wanted to invert the vegan stereotype by showing that this lifestyle is modern, fun and accessible. To inspire and empower people to embark on their own journey into wellness. Perek: If you could describe your “Plantpower Way” book in 3 words… Roll: Modern, accessible and aspirational Perek: Who are you trying to help through your book? Meat eaters or hungry vegans? Roll: Both. You don’t have to ascribe to a particular “diet” to bring more healthy plant-based options into your routine. This book will please everyone from the life long vegan to the completely uninitiated carnivore. Most of all, we wanted to speak to the needs of the typical modern family and provide support for raising healthy kids and creating new healthier habits around food that everyone can benefit from by meeting people where they sit, irrespective of dietary preferences. Perek: You’ve released your own plant based protein powder (that I absolutely love) why did you decide to create ultimate vegan product for all active people? Roll: Mainly because I couldn’t find what I wanted on the market. I had to combine different products to get what I needed, so it was logical to just formulate my version of what works best for me. Perek: If you could change something in the way people in eat, think and live, what would be that? Roll: To be more mindful about where our food comes from, how it is harvested, manufactured, packaged, delivered and marketed. Education about processes traditionally not transparent is the key to forging a new and better approach and trajectory when it comes to aligning our consumer choices around food and products to better align with our inherent values. Perek: What are your top rules in living healthy? Do you have any rituals? Roll: Establish a set morning routine before reflexively checking your email. Morning tea, meditation and maybe even some journaling will reap rewards you cannot imagine. Start your day by drinking a salad – a nutrient dense blend of dark leafy greens and juice is the best way to energize yourself in the morning hours. Move your body daily in whatever shape and form brings you joy. Be grateful. And find a way to be of service to others every day. Perek: What are your future plans, goals and dreams for your life? What would you like to achieve? I am living my dream now. My goals are merely to grow what I have already built to positively impact as many people as possible through any number of means, including video, the written and spoken word. Perek: Reveal to us your secret on how to maintain balance life? How do you keep yourself organized? Roll: I wouldn’t hold myself out as an example of balance, which is tricky for me. In a global sense my life is balanced but in the day to day the pendulum swings wide. But I am organized. I achieve this by removing non-essential time wasting endeavors and people from my life. I’m on a mission, and things in my life that do not serve the mission have to go. Perek: In conclusion, If you could give one advice to a person who wants to become a vegan, but have no idea where to start. Roll: Let go of the idea of trying to be perfect. Change one habit at a time. Its a lifestyle you’re building, not a short term diet. Be easy on yourself. And most importantly, understand that mood follows action. Stay in the moment and just focus on making the next, best choice right in front of you.