A Quick Bite with Holly Rilinger
Practice makes perfect. For fitness expert Holly Rilinger, this idiom holds weight. As a former pro basketball player, she knows that hours on the court make a difference come game day. And now, as a Nike Master Trainer and creator of LIFTED, she’s on a mission to not only instill this same mindset toward how we approach a healthy lifestyle, but also make wellness accessible for all.
“Wellness is becoming a way of life rather than a compartmentalized part of our lives — it’s the foundation from which everything else grows,” Rilinger says.
Bowery Farming sat down with Rilinger to kick off our Q&A series, A Quick Bite, which features inspiring individuals in food, tech, and wellness who are rethinking the future of their respective industries.
You’ve been at the forefront of the “wellness” field’s evolution into a multi-faceted industry. What excites you about the progressions that have been made in the wellness world over the past decade?
I think people are finally starting to look at wellness through a holistic lens. You can’t just exercise and forget nutrition. You can’t eat well, but fail to take care of your body and your mental health. Nowadays, more and more people understand the importance of meditation, sleep, movement, nutrition and recovery, and all of their combined benefits.
Wellness is becoming a way of life rather than a compartmentalized part of our lives — it’s the foundation from which everything else grows.
I’m one of those people that can’t live without my healthy lifestyle — my mission is to help others discover a healthy life that they, too can’t live without.
What hurdles have you faced personally when building a fitness brand?
It’s hard work! It’s far easier to jump on someone else’s brand and ride their coattails. I’ve learned along the way that it requires a team of people supporting me so that I can do what I do best — create.
What, if anything, do you think could use improvement for the next decade?
We are in the midst of a food epidemic. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate the food industry. Not enough people have access to clean and nutritious produce, our meats are contaminated and the information provided is hard to decipher. Education and access to quality food is critical. It’s great that Bowery Farming is thinking about these difficult problems and providing access to fresh, local produce, year-round.
When we first reached out to you and shared our mission to grow food for a better future by revolutionizing agriculture, you mentioned that you were on a mission to democratize access to wellness, which we loved! What is your dream project that intersects with that mission and what are you doing today to equalize the market?
I did some majorly inspiring work with WW this past summer at the WWGOOD Festivals. We hosted festivals in 6 key cities across the country, and for every person in attendance, WW provided one local family in need with one month of fresh produce. At each (FREE) festival there was information on gratitude, sleep, exercise and nutrition. I taught my LIFTED class at each event, giving people a chance to experience movement mixed with meditation.
I’m so proud to help provide information on holistic wellness and access to quality food to all. I plan to continue to do GOOD with WW and help democratize wellness with the world in 2019.
Okay, we’re done with the heavy-hitting questions (promise)! Now for some fun stuff:
When you have a day off, what are you up to?
My days off are legit DAYS OFF! First of all, no alarms allowed. I love to sleep in and can sleep until 9 or 10am, easily. I like slow mornings with coffee and spending time with my incredible partner, Jennifer Ford. When in the city, we get outside explore together — from shopping to museums and restaurants. If we are in The Hamptons, you can find me on my surfboard!
It’s Sunday dinner, what are you making?
I’m a creature of habit! I love baked salmon, sautéed shaved brussels sprouts in olive oil with garlic with turkey bacon and, of course, Bowery Farming greens for a side salad.
Who’s your current clean eats IGer or chef crush?
Can you share some simple actions that you take at home or work that helps support being eco-conscious and environmentally sustainable?
No plastic water bottles in our house — we use our own water bottles religiously. We boycotted plastic straws, try to re-use our to-go coffee cups when possible, and rarely use shopping bags. We are also big on left-overs. We rarely waste food at our home! My partner is a huge inspiration when it comes to being eco-conscious.
Bowery greens of choice?
Sweet and Spicy Mix because it’s different, but we love all the greens to be honest. They are all so fresh and delicious!
Holly Rilinger contributed to this article in her own personal capacity. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bowery Farming, Inc.