Mariel Hemingway's Secrets to Healthy Living

Mariel maps out a 30-day plan to help you listen a little less to what everyone else says is good for you — and a lot more to yourself. She says that by really listening to your own body and intuition with respect and kindness, you can “get more out of the life you have: more health, more peace, more pleasure.

Just before her Feb. 5 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote her new book Healthy Living from the Inside Out, Mariel Hemingway talked with Gaiam about what she hopes you’ll learn from the book — and from her own life experiences that inspired her to write it.

Gaiam: Why do you think women need this book?

Mariel: It has been a powerful realization in my life that we all (not just women) can be our own healthcare givers. We are so programmed to believe that everyone except us knows what is good for us. It took me until my late thirties before I truly mellowed out and learned to trust my own instincts rather than rely on a squadron of experts. I realized with a shock that I could be the expert on me.

Because I have journeyed through cancer with my husband twice, we realized the power of making changes in his way of living. Based on his new choices, which he still has to make regularly, he is healthy and in remission for nearly three years now.

What do you most want women to take away from this book?

A feeling that they can change their lives in a doable and sustainable way, by being conscious of their choices. You can get rid of the defeatist voice of doom in the back of your mind and the negative programming we keep feeding ourselves. This becomes freedom — you know that you are not a prisoner of the voice that guides you because you have the ability, in a split second, to say "no more of this, that voice is not kind ... I want a friend now, and that old voice is not a friend to me. So I am not buying into it anymore."

Once I do your 30-day program, what changes will I notice?

You will feel differently about how to make choices in your life. For example, you may never give up coffee or sugar altogether, but you’ll have pulled back and seen how “noisy” foods affect your body and mind — then voila, a new choice is made. It makes you aware of how you are living life. Slowing down makes you conscious — and when we are conscious we are kinder to ourselves.

This book is not a diet book or an exercise or yoga book. This is about getting present so you can make different choices every day in all areas of your life: home, food, silence and exercise — whatever those things look like for you personally.

How is this book different than your first?

With the 30-day program, you can pick up this book again after a few months and say, "Hey, I feel like making some changes in my life. Maybe I'll ask the same or different questions this time during this 30-day stint." It’s a book you can turn to when you feel life getting on top of you and you want to pull back.

What separates this book from other books of this kind is that you change your life in small, doable ways by asking yourself questions and being brave enough to say, “I choose to do things differently.”

A "Deliciously Grounded Program": A Quick Tour of Healthy Living From the Inside Out

A book Mariel Hemingway asks you to think of as your “whole-person handbook,” Healthy Living from the Inside Out won the praises of Deepak Chopra, who says it “has the power to transform lives”; and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., who calls it “A deliciously grounded program for reintroducing the mind to the body.”

In her four-week plan, Mariel aims to help you find the health, peace, energy and mind-body wherewithal for your demanding life and the people you love — including yourself.

She first helps you “Cut the Crap,” i.e., unload your diet of refined sugar, caffeine and other “noisy” foods she says interfere with the body’s messages about what, when and how much to eat.

Mariel then outlines an exercise program that emphasizes yoga, walking, self-acceptance and internal change — with outer, physical change as a side effect. She rounds out her four-corners-of-your-life plan with guides to beginning a meditation practice and creating surroundings at home that add to your calm, happiness and stability.

What Mariel asks of you seems entirely achievable with the Quickstart section of checklists, reminders and “daily missions.” More important, she says, it’s not a “bossy” plan — at every turn she helps you listen to yourself and choose what works best for your chemistry and your hectic life.

Buy Healthy Living from the Inside Out now at

Read more about Mariel’s personal story and how she has created health and peace in her life in Mariel Hemingway: Front and Centered, based on our interview with Mariel about her first book, Finding My Balance.


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