Living MindBodyGreen: 9 Questions for Jason Wachob
Jason Wachob is the founder & CEO of mindbodygreen, a website established to provide readers with information, inspiration, and motivation to live their healthiest and happiest lives. He has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Vogue, and his first book, Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Resume, is available now.
1. Wellth is a clever play on words — the notion that true wealth comes not from money but from well-being. What does your book teach us that we’ve not heard before?
This is the book that I wish I had read 20 years ago. It’s written in a relatable way so that you can hand it off to anyone, at any stage in their wellness journey, and they’ll find valuable takeaways. It touches on everything that’s vital to your well-being. Most books focus on just self-help or just business — I talk about my experience changing careers and grieving. True well-being is interconnected and multi-dimensional.
[Editor’s Note: After years of successfully trading equities on Wall Street, Wachob made a drastic career and lifestyle change. He left his job and decided to instead focus on building a wellness company that would help people live healthier, happier lives.]
2. You discuss the longevity benefits of green spaces and having a large network of friends. Can you expand?
Yes, I believe we are a combination of the five people we spend the most time with and, usually, some of those people drag us down while others boost us up. Because of the mbg community, I’m continually uplifted by friends who are living their passion and doing amazing mission-driven work. I can’t help but feel inspired.
I love green spaces. There’s lots of research that supports the mental health and clean air benefits, but to me this is an instance where it doesn’t matter as much what the science says, I just know I really love being around nature. We have over 100 plants in our office and it’s awesome!
3. You’ve marinated in wellness research for over a decade, what has worked in your own life?
Yoga and meditation have been huge for me. I had two extruded discs in my lower back, couldn’t walk, and my doctors were suggesting surgery. As a last-ditch effort, I tried yoga and completely healed after just a few months — and never had surgery! Meditation has definitely helped me manage the stress of running a startup. It’s also helped me tap into my intuition and creativity. Finally, eating a more plant-based diet has increased my energy levels. About 15 years ago, I ate so much steak that at the Palm steakhouse in Manhattan that they put my caricature up on the wall! Now, I don’t eat that much red meat, I’m less bloated, and I just feel better eating more veggies.
4. What is the genesis of mindbodygreen?
I think when we started we were running on pure passion, but without a clear idea of “who we wanted to be when we grew up.” We’re still running on a lot of passion, but we have a lot more headcount (33 full-time employees), and have a clear understanding of who we want to become. I see us as a true lifestyle media company that lives physically and digitally, that helps people become their best selves through “living mindbodygreen.” So … expect to see a lot more content, a lot more online classes, events, and even products down the road. And all done in a way that truly integrates and creates value for our community.
5. I understand the connecting between mind and body. But why green?
Whether we like it or not, everything is connected: our minds, our bodies, and our environment. So let’s say that we’ve nailed the mindbody part: we’re meditating, we’re doing yoga, we’re eating more plants … does this mean we’re healthy? Well, maybe … or maybe not. There’s another piece of the health puzzle: the green part. If we’re not paying attention to what we’re putting into our homes and our bodies, the chemicals and toxins in our home environment can easily negate all that good work we’re doing with our spiritual and physical development. And green is also about our connection to nature: No matter what your religion (if any at all), you can make the argument that we all come from the same “source” and that we’re all connected to each other. Our environment comes from this same place, or creator. So doesn’t that mean we should treat our environment with respect? Ultimately, it’s what unifies and supports us all. So there you have it, mindbodygreen. Not three words — one word. Mindbodygreen is all connected and it’s the true solution to health.
6. What are some of your favorite mbg blogs of all time?
The book was inspired from a blog post I wrote on my 39th birthday on Nov. 4, 2013, “39 Life Lessons I Learned In 39 Years” so I’ll have to go with that!
7. You have over a million followers — can you give some advice on how to build a social media following?
Be authentic, be consistent, be frequent, and know your audience! As Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”
8. What’s your favorite healthy recipe?
Every morning I have what I call my Almond Chocolate Thunder Smoothie! It’s almond milk, almond butter, chocolate protein powder, and blackberries. It’s delicious!
9. If you were to pick the three most important things people can do to live a longer, healthier life what would they be?
Find a stress-management technique that works for you. Stress never goes away, it just changes. We all have it. And it tends to manifest itself in our weakest part of our bodies. For me that technique is meditation and yoga. I also am a huge believer in the plant-based diet.