I first met Alexandra when we were both at a promotional book launch in New York City. Since then, I have gotten to know her even better and I am a great admirer of hers. This past summer, I met up with Alexandra again in Alaska. I was there on a fishing trip and she had just sold her home there and was leaving on a year-long journey across the country with her adorable family. We had lunch, chatted, and immediately she felt like an old, treasured friend.
Alexandra works intensively with members of the military and veteran community. She published her first book, "Healing the Military Soul" in 2014. Now, she extends her passion for complete well-being to our environment and teams up with a conservation-biologist for this project. Alexandra improved her own family's lifestyle many years ago. What seemed overwhelming at first became easy to master in the end. That is the message she wants to spread. Change can be small, simple & fun, and nevertheless lead to tremendous, long-lasting, positive effects on ourselves, our community, and our planet Earth. You can meet her at www.alexandraroach.com.
Q: What first sparked your interest in health and nutrition?
A: When I was in my late 20's - early 30's, I took a step back and looked at my family. We were sick. I woke up with headaches every morning and suffered from sinus infections. My husband had GERD, my children were stuffed up all the time and had regular ear infections or nose-throat issues. I realized that this was not normal. After all, weren't we supposed to be in the prime of our lives? However, looking at families around me, maybe it was the new normal?
Anyway, I decided to take my family's health in my own hands and attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It was a health journey and still is, with lots of lifestyle changes and adjustments. I am happy to report though, that all the symptoms my family and I suffered from are completely vanished. We are healthy as can be and I enjoy that tremendously!
Q. What is your personal health philosophy?
A: I live by the motto, "Listen to your body and it will tell you right from wrong." Many of us have lost the awareness toward messages that our body is sending us. Think headaches, joint pain, or cravings...when we learn how to translate these symptoms, we will know what our body, mind, and soul needs and wants. This is when we can truly nourish ourselves and create a life full of energy, zest, and joy.
Q: If you could only give one piece of health advice, what would it be?
A: Dig deep -- become the archaeologist of your body to explore your true needs.
Q: Do you meditate?
A: Yes, in fact, I am certified as a meditation teacher and just recently wrote an article on meditation. For me, meditation can happen in many forms and I want to encourage people to find their own way of stilling their minds. This does not have to happen in form of 'easy-seated pose' on a zafu, with the hands in prayer position. There are many forms of meditation, moving meditation, loving-kindness meditation, mantra-meditation, to only name a few.
Q: What are your top 3 health tips?
A: Get enough sleep (I love my cozy bed and cuddling in it).
Enjoy a nutritious breakfast (it's the most important meal of the day).
Hydrate (I am often guilty of not drinking enough water, but it really makes a difference if I do).
Can I add a 4th one? Greens, greens, greens -- eat your greens! :)
Q: What's your favorite no-fuss meal?
A: Black beans and rice. Soaking and cooking the beans does not take much effort on my end (if you want it even quicker, buy some canned organic black beans). Add some organic apple cider vinegar, green bell-peppers, onions,and garlic. The rice cooks by itself and the end result is a nourishing and filling meal for cold days.
Q: When it's time to relax, what do you enjoy?
A: Reading books, enjoy the quiet, go hiking and be in nature.