When it comes to sharing the details of her life, Mariel Hemingway is an open book. Her new documentary, "Running from Crazy" (executive produced by Oprah Winfrey), tells the story of how she coped with her family's history of mental illness. Her new book, "The WillingWay: Stepping Into the Life You Were Meant to Live" (co-written by boyfriend Bobby Williams),shares tips and insights into their wellness lifestyle — a topic Hemingway approaches with great enthusiasm.
"It's about reorganizing how you think about your life," said Hemingway, who at 51 looks younger than most do at 31. "This isn't about meditating for hours a day. It's about taking time for yourself and realizing it's not the amount, it's about the quality."
Hemingway, who lives with Williams in the Los Angeles area, believes the best way to embrace a wellness plan is by going back to the basics.
"This country was built on farms and communities, and we've lost that," she said. "We distance ourselves. People say they're doing their own thing. And I think this creates illness. I say, take the 'i' out of illness, put in 'we' and create 'wellness.'"
Here are some of Hemingway's tips for embracing a healthy lifestyle:
Start the day with purpose.
"What you think at the start of the day is so important. Get up 15 minutes earlier so you can be silent for a few minutes. Fill your mind with grateful thoughts — the people you love and what's important to you. Then move your body slowly. So often we jump out of bed and that's very jarring to the system. Be gentle with yourself when you wake up."
Change one meal a day.
"If creating new eating habits seems too hard, start with one meal," she said. "I like to suggest breakfast because what we eat in the morning sets the tone for the whole day. So make an effort to really enjoy that first meal and make sure it's nothing processed or with chemicals. Use real, natural ingredients. You'll find you crave the good things after you start eating them more regularly."
"I'm not saying everyone has to have a farm or have chickens, but if you live in the city, grow herbs in your window. I guarantee if you take the time to grow that basil or that oregano that if you put it on your food, it will taste that much better. It's another connection to the process and it helps you appreciate what you eat so much more. We can start small with what we have."
"I always ask, 'What would nature do?' You're probably not going to start rock climbing as your adventure but what you might find is walking really inspires you…. and everybody has access to a sunrise or a sunset. If you're in your car, pull it over and look at it...the average American spends 20 minutes a day outside. We're breathing in bad air all day inside. The simplist thing we can all do — walk outside for 20 minutes a day. It will change your life."
Don't depend on others to fix you.
"When you're connected to nature and the environment that's around you, you can hear your inner guidance. You don't need gurus or therapists, or this and that, because you're the only person who knows what's right for you. So it's about getting quiet enough and still enough to actually be able to hear yourself."