Work, Eat, Sleep. Rinse and Repeat.

January 4, 2015 8:12 PM

We're launching a Healthy Entrepreneur Challenge at HQ on January 12th. To kick things off, HQ member and CEO of Vital Plan, Braden Rawls, shared this guest post about the importance of managing stress and diet to keep not only you, but your startup, performing at 100%. Read below to find about more about the challenge!

Work, Eat, Sleep. Rinse and Repeat. 

It’s the start of a new year and, as an entrepreneur, you have probably spent some time this week thinking about your goals for 2015. You know that, if you work hard and play your cards right, this year could be unlike any other. The stakes are high, though, the clock is ticking, and your priority list is out of control.

There is a lot of work to be done over the next few weeks, but before you dive into 12-hour days at the computer and go back to existing on pizza, Pepsi, and ramen, you should think twice about the effects this might have on your focus, energy levels and the number of sick days that you will have to take this year.

I know, it doesn’t seem logical to spend any time or money on your health when you are in startup mode. After your startup takes off, you will have plenty of time and money to spend on quality food, health products and yoga classes.

But what if I told you that focusing on your health now will help you to work better and improve the odds of your startup taking off this year?

If you want to go into work feeling strong and vibrant each day, taking care of your health is essential.  Fueling your body with sugar and processed wheat is not a smart plan if you plan to work long, grueling hours this year. These foods can have a lot negative effects that will reduce your productivity as an entrepreneur.

What kind of negative effects? Eating inflammatory foods (wheat, sugar, corn) can cause you to feel sluggish, cloud your focus & concentration and can have a negative effect on your mood. These foods also suppress your immune system, which means you will likely get sick more frequently and stay sick for longer.

Pair an inflammatory diet with the high stress and long hours of working in a startup and you have created the perfect storm for health issues like anxiety, reflux, insomnia, weight gain, depression and fatigue to gain hold.

This is definitely not the year that you want to have to turn your focus to health issues, because your startup is going to need your focus 110%. The good news is, there are some simple health tips that can make a big difference for you this year and they don’t have to cost you and arm and a leg.

In my opinion, the most important thing you can do to protect your health as an entrepreneur is to actively monitor and manage your stress levels. As the CEO of a startup, stress motivates me and drives me to push harder. It makes my mind spin 24/7 and keeps me engaged with growing our business. I’ve learned the hard way, however, that managing stress as an entrepreneur is a fine line. It feels exciting when things start heating up and moving quickly, but if I don’t take time out to manage stress then I lose focus and realize that I’m not functioning at the top of my game.

At Vital Plan, we created a video + article with a list of 8 tips for better managing stress. As an entrepreneur, I try to do the things on this list and hope you will find them helpful also. The article also features our popular supplement to help with stress management, HPA Balance, and we are offering a 25% discount on this supplement for HQ Members through Jan 12th.

Another top tip for optimizing your health in 2015 is to eat as many vegetables as you can! Vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial chemicals that will help to keep you from getting sick. They contain lots of fiber that will help to remove toxins from the body and they encourage the growth of favorable types of bacteria in the intestines and colon. Low in calories but dense with nutrition, you can enjoy eating large portions of vegetables without the risk of weight gain.

If you plan ahead and don’t let them go to waste, organic vegetables are less expensive than packaged, processed foods. Plus, vegetables are actively working to improve your health, where processed wheat and sugar products work against you, causing inflammation, fatigue and digestive issues.

We have created a 10 day Gut Reset plan for our customers at Vital Plan and it is a diet that entrepreneurs can benefit from also. It offers the structure and recipes you need to start eating more vegetables and to reduce your intake of wheat, corn, and sugar. The Gut Reset will help you to to plan ahead to keep healthful foods on hand and eliminate snacking on the wrong kind of foods when hunger strikes.

You can sign up for the Vital Plan Gut Reset here.

I am thrilled to be a part of the Healthy Entrepreneur Challenge next week Jan 12-21 with all of the health innovators at HQ Raleigh.  I hope that you will sign up to be involved and encourage you to reach out with any questions!

--Braden Rawls, CEO and Co-Founder of Vital Plan

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