Rich Roll is someone that we're proud to call our friend. He's a man that has reinvented himself several times over the course of his life - he will be the last person to declare himself "done". Like all of us, he's a work in progress. But Rich, he pushes himself far beyond his comfort zone just to see where he may go. It's a process, and he does it every day. He's not a man of routine, but when he is, you can find him putting his talents and artistry to work as a premiere health advocate in public speaking, writing, and his very successful podcast, the Rich Roll Podcast. Rich has an outlook on life that's relatable and meaningful. We listen closely to every word, where we quickly find laughter and honest self-deprecating passion for his truly authentic self. We caught up with Rich for a few moments to get to know him just a little bit better.
1. You travel so often; during travel time, what are some of the foods or beverages you find for snacks or a quick meal when on the go?
It’s getting easier. Airports are improving all the time. The American Airlines terminal has a Real Food Daily so if I fly out of that terminal I don’t have to plan ahead for a long flight. Otherwise, I pack food for the plane. Typical snacks include a veggie burrito, bananas, almonds, and plenty of water. I keep it pretty simple. I also spend a little time plotting where the vegan-friendly restaurants are in new cities. The Happy Cow mobile app is handy for this. In addition, I always know where the healthy food markets are where I travel. Often I will go right to the market from the airport before even checking into my hotel to make sure I have healthy options always on hand. Hotels with kitchenettes are always preferred. That said, I don’t overthink things or get stressed out. I have traveled all over the world and, invariably, I can find something that works no matter where I am. Every place has nuts, grains, seeds, and fruit.
2. What is an ideal day for you?
A restful night of sleep followed by some tea and 20 minutes of meditation. After that I will do some journaling and then head out for a trail run, swim, or long bike ride. Ideally, it’s warm and sunny out! A green smoothie and healthy meal will follow (preferably prepared by Julie, who is an insane cook). The afternoon might include doing a podcast, working on a video, and spending time with my kids. A family tea ceremony and meeting in the evening where we congregate to share our dreams and challenges would preface a dinner prepared and enjoyed by our whole clan of 10 (we call it the “Jai Tribe”) will follow. Bed by 10!
3. What’s something you do that helps you and your wife Julie stay so connected?
Making our relationship a priority. We both have a lot going on, and with four kids, two dogs, plus our nephew and oldest son Tyler’s girlfriend living with us (plus our artist friend Andrew and his young daughter who live on our property in an airstream), things are hectic and it’s easy to allow our relationship to slide. We have been together almost 18 years, and one thing I have learned is that nothing is static — especially my marriage. It requires a great deal of focus, attention, and work. We always carve out at least one date night per week and monthly overnight mini-vacations together. In fact, we just returned from a brief stay up in Santa Barbara for this very purpose. We poke fun at our differences, trying to celebrate them. And it’s important to never let resentments simmer. Fighting is a healthy part of being in an honest relationship, but we try to make our fights awesome. And if we are in conflict, we don’t walk away until it is resolved. Never go to bed angry.
4. What’s your first thought when you wake up in the morning?
My head spins a million miles an hour with all the things I have to get done the moment I gain consciousness. That’s why meditation is so crucial to my routine — otherwise, I am reactive all day. Setting myself up to go on offense rather than play defense is important.
5. What’s your favorite music album of all time?
REM changed my life. Murmur is a perfect album. Jeff Buckley’s Grace is a close second.
6. Who is an influencer that you admire and why?
I take different forms of inspiration from many different people for different reasons and areas of my life. I can’t say any one person checks every box for me, perhaps because I do many things — I am a writer and an athlete and a podcaster, a family man, a filmmaker, a public speaker and an advocate. I approach everything I do from a creative perspective. So in this sense, at the great risk of sounding ridiculously pretentious, I consider myself to be an artist. And to create well, it’s important to not be overly influenced by any one person other than yourself and your inner voice.
7. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Potato chips. There - I said it.
8. Finding Ultra was a success. The Plantpower Way was a success - is another book planned?
Yes. I am in the early stages of putting together my next book. I don’t want to say much beyond that it will be a primer on life transformation and living your authentic life.