Kimberly Snyder, a holistic wellness expert, nutritionist, certified yoga instructor, speaker, and author, is also the founder of Solluna, a lifestyle brand featuring products, such as supplements and skincare, and including the Solluna Juice Bar juice bar located within Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. She is a three-time New York Times best-selling author of five books, including The Beauty Detox series and Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself From the Inside Out, co-written with Deepak Chopra. Here, the mother of two shares her personal insights on living a holistic life while building her popular wellness brand.
What does wellness mean to you?
To me, wellness is all about connecting back to our wholeness, which is our true nature. This is one of the reasons that we established the Four Cornerstones of True Beauty and Wellness as the foundation for our lifestyle brand, Solluna. These cornerstones are Food, Body, Emotional Well-being, and Spiritual Growth.
I find that a lot of us, including myself when I began my wellness journey, tend to focus on just one area of wellness. For me, it was food and then my body. When we focus on just one part of ourselves, instead of treating ourselves as whole beings, we are not really well, despite the fact that we may reach our so-called “ideal weight,” or if we might eat a so-called “perfect diet.”
Wellness comes from this wholeness, in honoring our whole selves. In essence, we are whole beings: we are physical, and we also have a mental, spiritual, and emotional part of ourselves. So, to me, wellness happens when we nourish all these parts of ourselves, and we create true connection with ourselves. It is in this connection that everything in our life starts to elevate: our energy, our intuition, our health, our friendships and relationships, our sleep, and pretty much everything else.
What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?
Maintaining my wellbeing revolves around the Four Cornerstones that I just mentioned: Food, Body, Emotional Well-Being, and Spiritual Growth. And for me, it’s all about making sure that I’m taking steps and doing practices in each of those four areas.
If I had to identify my most important practice for wellbeing, it is my meditation practice, which I consider foundational for everything else. I meditate twice a day in the morning, even when my kids are in my bed (as they almost always are). I also meditate in the evening. This is my time for Spiritual Growth—to get centered, to connect back to source, and to connect to our true self, which is inside of us. And if I don’t meditate, I feel really thrown off, and stress tends to affect me more. As a result, I just start to get a lot more confused and depleted.
Food-wise, I maintain a very simple, organic, plant-based diet. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit, of course. For vitality, I make my own raw almond milk every day for myself and the family, and I also I eat a lot of energizing sprouts. Overall, I eat simply but also very high quality.
When it comes to the Body cornerstone, I like to go for a walk every day to get fresh air. I usually walk with my baby, Moses. I also always take three key supplements, which are our Feel Good SBO Probiotics+, Detoxy and Digestive Enzymes.
Emotional wellbeing-wise, I am a daily journaler. I also like to process my feelings each day with my husband and close friends. I definitely feel that community is really important to our emotional health, so I always make time for connection with others as part of maintaining my wellbeing.
Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?
My favorite fitness activity is walking. I am fortunate to live in a very hilly place, in the mountains outside of LA. Besides just moving my body, I feel that my walks are a form of daily therapy, because of their many other benefits. I’m also getting fresh air and sunlight on my limbs, clearing my mind, and building a positive mental attitude. I usually wear a hat during my walks for protection but also allow my limbs to soak up the sunlight for vitamin D, which is essential.
My walks also allow me to be in nature. I feel that this helps to balance my nervous system, by just looking at the mountains and being surrounded by trees. There’s a part of my daily walk that involves a hiking trail on dirt roads. This stretch just feels so quiet and still, and I love it. Walks in nature lend a very different atmosphere than inside workouts or being in a gym, which never felt nourishing to me personally. I also get to just breathe and be with my baby and be away from technology. For me, I am drawn to natural movement, and I love being outside. I think especially right now, it is important that we have as much time in nature as possible, which is a very, very powerful form of therapy.
What is your idea of balanced healthy happiness?
Healthy happiness lies in finding humor and lightness in all different situations! This comes from the joy of connecting back into ourselves. And when we have more and more of that joy, we become less dependent on outside things, whether it’s foods that shift our mood, or addictions and dependency on relationships, alcohol, or a million other things. For me, the more we can connect back to our true self, the happier and healthier we become. That is how I define balanced healthy happiness, because it’s something that balances other elements in our life, like our diet and our energy, without really needing anything outside of ourselves.
What do you think is the most overused word or words in wellness?
I think the most overused word in wellness is balance. Balance is a very hard thing to define for a lot of us. To me, balance reminds me of walking on a tightrope—like it’s very easy to fall off and to become imbalanced.
And to be honest, as a working mom, I’m not sure that I ever feel completely “balanced,” because there’s always so much going on. For instance, I just had a new baby, and I have a four-year-old who isn’t in preschool right now because of the pandemic. Also, I’m in the process of writing my sixth book. In addition to all that, we have many different product launches coming up with Solluna, including our new digital app and a charity t-shirt.
So, for me, rather than “balance” (which can be this indefinable concept for a lot of us), I prefer the term “flow.” Flow to me means that, when I feel really creative or really inspired, I sit down, and I write. From there, I flow into being fully with my children, playing with them, and being present. Then, I may flow into the kitchen and make myself an herbal tea. And then, when I’m tired, I flow into resting. So, I like the idea of flow more than balance, and it resonates with me on a deeper level. I think it’s a way to capitalize in a busy life on our creativity and use our energy to the highest purpose in that moment.
Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?
As I mentioned earlier, I used to be so hyper-focused on food, and I used to think that food was the cure-all. But as I’ve gone along my journey further and further, I’ve really taken a step back to look at the issues that keep coming up. Questions for me that keep arising from our community involve bloating, inflammation, aging, low energy, fertility issues, and issues with feeling anxiousness and insomnia. I began to realize that the key to resolving these issues went beyond just food.
I really feel that the foundation of our health and our wellness is to focus on developing a consistent meditation practice, even if it’s 5 to 10 minutes in the morning and 5 to 10 minutes in the evening. This stillness and coming back to the breath, checking in with your body, and consciously studying to relax your shoulders really does start to balance your nervous system. And when we balance our nervous system, we also nourish our endocrine system, our immune system, and many other systems in the body. Even though meditation is not something you can pick up and eat like food, and it’s not a physical activity like getting on a Peloton bike or doing a functional fitness workout, there is so much power in just sitting and being, even though it feels counterintuitive to our Western busy mind.
Meditation is the secret to balancing everything. When I began meditating, it was the turning point for really balancing my weight sustainably. It did go hand-in-hand with changing my diet, but I was able to balance my gut health and get my anxiety levels under control. It allowed me to step back and focus on my purpose and to feel fulfilled from that. It allowed me to just stop drinking and doing so many other activities that I used to rely on. I do feel that meditation is the biggest open secret out there for health and wellness.
What is your favorite self-care routine?
I am a big believer in getting into the flow of a morning practice, and it’s something that I hold very dear to my heart. My morning routine begins with meditation and journaling, then it’s drinking hot water with lemon and taking my Feel Good SBO Probiotics+. Then, I move on to drinking the Glowing Green Smoothie®. I feel that when I create these rhythms in my morning, they translate into feeling in sync throughout the day. As a result, I am more effective, more creative, more centered, more focused, more inspired, and more present for my children and my work and my team. And it makes all the difference!
What is your go-to for de-stressing?
Besides meditation, which I’ve already mentioned, I’m a huge fan of herbal tea. The benefit of hot drinks is an ancient Ayurvedic concept, because putting hot water into your body actually helps you to center and balance your Vata energy, which is wind and air. There’s something grounding about putting hot liquids into your belly and into your center. I sometimes enjoy herbal tea packets, but my go-to right now is simply slicing up ginger and steeping it in hot water. Sometimes I squeeze in lemon and sometimes I don’t, depending on my mood. I’m a huge believer in sipping on hot drinks and hot elixirs, and I find them very healing.
What aspect of your wellbeing do you struggle with the most, or would most like to improve?
I struggle the most with sleep. And this is because I have a lot of different things that I’m juggling right now, between a baby and a very young child, writing my book, and work. There really is a lot to pack into a day! So, I often find myself staying up a bit longer to work or writing during the times when I could be napping. Even when I have more time in the morning, I get up early to work and to write. I don’t have a problem falling asleep, but I think I could work on reprioritizing sleep and rest.
What brings you joy?
The thing that brings me joy the most is connection—true connection. It starts with connecting with and starting to know ourselves, spending time with ourselves, liking ourselves, and then loving ourselves. And I believe this all happens through meditation. It also comes from practices like self-reflection, journaling, or mirror gazing, which is another Ayurvedic concept of looking at yourself in the mirror, looking right into your eyes.
It comes from connecting to source. This true connection starts there with yourself and spirit inside of you. And then, it parlays out into connection with loved ones, with your children and your family, your spouse, your neighbors, and your greater community. This is the fuel for true friendships—by building true connection through authenticity and conversation. To me, connection by sharing our peace, our dreams and aspirations, and our pure love with others is what makes me feel the most joyful.