Accomplished athlete, ultra-endurance runner, wellness advocate, bestselling author, and podcaster extraordinaire Rich Roll knows how to unlock potential. And he wants you to believe in your own power to become the most authentic and outstanding version of yourself. Rich dishes on his journey, sweat sessions, and green smoothies.
How did you discover plant- based eating?
I found myself 40 years old, 50 pounds overweight, depressed, and utterly lethargic. A health scare precipitated a realization that I needed to change my lifestyle, and that process began with overhauling my relationship with food. I relented to trying the one thing I was frankly subconsciously trying to avoid—going vegan. I had also reconnected with Rip Esselstyn. He was on the precipice of releasing The Engine 2 Diet. He served as inspiration. Within two weeks of going plant-based, it was undeniable how much better I felt.
Take us through a day in the life of Rich Roll.
There is no typical day—that is part of the beauty of being self-employed. That said, there are some consistent practices I adhere to. I sleep in a tent in my yard, a practice that has enhanced the quality of my sleep dramatically. I generally wake around 6–6:30 (I never set an alarm) and begin the day with a liter of water with apple cider vinegar and sea salt followed by a cup of tea or coffee. I meditate and journal. After that I help get my kids up and off to school, trading off driving duties with my wife.
I train—a trail run, bike ride, or swim with strength training peppered in. After training, I enjoy a big green smoothie. I work for most of the remainder of the day. Then it’s kids time and family dinner before some evening writing. I’m generally in bed around 9.
How do you recover after an intense workout?
I take in reparative anti-inflammatory foods high in antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. A typical smoothie is high in dark leafy greens, seeds with omega-3s, vegetables, and fruits.
I also do sauna and cold-water baths and occasional cryotherapy. But the best recovery tool for athletes—by far—is sleep. Prioritizing the amount and quality is paramount.
Who is the most intriguing guest you’ve had on the podcast?
You are asking me to choose amongst my babies, who I love equally! My favorite guests are people with incredible stories unbeknownst to a mainstream audience. It’s a gift to introduce such people to a brand-new audience—people like Josh LaJaunie, John McAvoy, and Tom Hardin. David Goggins and John Joseph rank high. And the plant-based doctors always resonate with the audience.
What do you hope listeners take away from your podcast?
We’re all capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to believe. Learning and expanding your awareness can be entertaining. Greater health and well-being is not an elitist ideal but available to all. We can all live more self-actualized. And the world needs more of who we really are.