Carly Pollack is a holistic nutritionist, author, and business owner. She is the author of the book Feed Your Soul and the owner of Nutritional Wisdom, a company whose mission is to help clients re-establish mind-body connection to food in order to promote ultimate wellness and vitality.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Staten Island, NY, and had a pretty awesome childhood. Despite having loving and supportive parents, I was an incredibly anxious kid with severe asthma and I was super hard on myself. I would have given anything to feel carefree like my sister, but I now know I needed to go through that experience in order to become who I am today. I feel like we all have challenges and if we are willing to see the gift in it, can help us realize our true potential in how we show up and serve other people.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
That life is going to unfold largely despite what you have to say about it, and it isn’t the events of your life that create your health and happiness but instead the meaning you give to the things that happen. Also, that taking care of your health (mind, body, and spirit) is the biggest gift you can give to yourself, far bigger than any success can bring you.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
People think health is about looking good, counting calories, and working out like crazy. People recommend going on ridiculous diets that will never last. We need to realize that people need realistic goals and the tools required to create an authentic desire to create consistently positive behaviors. It’s not that I don’t put people on diets, of course, I do, but dieting without doing the mind work is utter chaos.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I struggled with perfectionism when I was a young student and I had massive school anxiety. Realizing that our imperfection is how we grow, now I welcome my mistakes and think of them as opportunities for growth and deeper self-compassion and understanding.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
I follow my own advice. I do the work. I believe in myself and I love people deeply. I realize it isn’t a goal people really want, what they want are tools to create permanent change.
What is your morning routine?
6 am wake up
6:30-6:40 breathwork, gratitude, visualization, and set daily intentions
6:40- 7:10 Infrared sauna and cold shower
7:10 Get my daughter ready for the day and dance to music
I do this 95% of the time. Then there are the days where I sleep until my daughter is screaming, “Mommy!” and then we go from there. We are all a work in progress!
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Daily self-development work whether it be meditation, reading, learning, journaling, counseling, etc… Cooking my own meals is pretty high up there as well.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
When you have a toddler this becomes an art. I make goals, I track my habits. I take inventory when I’m not achieving these things to see where my time is going. I follow the guidelines for Deep Work by Cal Newport and I plan my week ahead of time.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer taught me to surrender more deeply to the flow of life and see the gifts in all the unexpected plot twists. Eckhart Tolle’s books helped me to bring mindfulness into each moment and recognize that I am not the voice in my head. There are so many life-changing books but those are a required re-read for me every year. It can feel silly to re-read a book when there are so many great ones out there, but when you read a book and it profoundly changes you in some way, know there are hidden gifts that can only be seen when you pick it up again.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“True growth occurs when you realize that you are not the voice in your head but that you are the one that hears it”. – Michael Singer
“Eating pasta will not make you fat. Eating too much pasta makes you fat.” – Giada DeLaurentis
“Oftentimes we look for a treatment outside of us instead of looking within to the power of our own human frame and how we can nurture it, instead of seeing it as something that’s broken and needs to be fixed.” – Dr. Devin Vrana