Well-known for her TV profession and optimistic outlook, Katie Couric has a brand new gig as a social media influencer. She talks with Parade about being her personal boss, residing a contented, wholesome life in her 60s and the outcomes of our Parade/Cleveland Clinic Wholesome Now survey.
Couric, 62, may have taken a a lot totally different path. As a substitute of her 40-year profession in tv information, she may have chosen a job with a a lot decrease profile. “I did the Myers-Briggs personality test, and it mentioned I needs to be a social employee,” says Couric. “I’ve all the time had that tendency to attempt to assist individuals.” The reality is, she’s been serving to individuals for many years—reaching an viewers of tens of millions by way of Right now, CBS Night Information and 60 Minutes.
Her function as a champion of wholesome residing started after her first husband of eight and a half years, Jay Monahan, died of colon most cancers in 1998; three years later, she misplaced her sister Emily to pancreatic most cancers. Her advocacy grew over time, from broadcasting her personal colonoscopy reside on Right now and co-founding the group Stand Up to Cancer to producing documentaries like 2014’s Fed Up, in regards to the harmful results of sugar. Now, with the launch of Katie Couric Media, she’s utilizing her affect as a media star to take her well being messages on to her followers through private social media (follow her on Instagram), podcasts and specials. Her function as a well being influencer was one purpose Couric was wanting to see the outcomes of our Parade/Cleveland Clinic survey. It studies on Individuals’ well being, health and meals habits, and appears at how social media has helped transfer some fairly excessive well being practices into the mainstream. In terms of the overuse of expertise, “I used to be not shocked by the findings,” Couric says. “I hope the survey will make individuals notice that, Houston, we’ve got an issue.”
Couric herself has a robust presence on-line, the place she shares information, interviews and loads of down-to-earth glimpses of her private life in New York Metropolis and East Hampton together with her husband of 5 years, John Molner, a former companion at a monetary agency who now runs the enterprise aspect of Katie Couric Media. Molner has two grown kids (son Henry and daughter Allie) whereas Couric has two daughters with Monahan: Ellie, 28, a Los Angeles–based mostly author on Amazon’s The Boys who’s getting married subsequent July four; and Carrie, 23, a newly minted journalist in her first job at Reuters in New York Metropolis. Dropping their father 20 years in the past made Couric “way more aware of not solely residing every day to the fullest, but in addition the necessity to actually be proactive about my well being,” she says. A holistic strategy to wellness she says was overseas to her rising up in Arlington, Virginia, the youngest of 4 youngsters.
Again then, Couric’s two sisters have been all the time on a weight-reduction plan, ingesting no-calorie Tab and Fresca. “I keep in mind being younger and considering that yogurt was a very unique meals and one thing my bizarre neighbors ate. Isn’t that humorous?” However Couric thrived bodily—“an actual jock,” she says. She was a gymnast when she was younger, and was each a cheerleader and on the monitor group in highschool, a competitor to the core. After they’d take the Presidential Bodily Health Take a look at in school, as an illustration? “I might put Bengay on my legs the night time earlier than considering it could preserve my muscle mass heat, and I might reduce my hair so I might be lighter.” She additionally remembers clipping out an article as a toddler titled “Feminine Athletes are Sexier” that she nonetheless has immediately.
Couric graduated from the College of Virginia, the place she majored in American Research and labored on the day by day newspaper—and, by the way, struggled together with her well being. “I had an consuming dysfunction after I was youthful,” says Couric, who battled bulimia as a school pupil. That’s why, even immediately, she says, “I strive to not be tremendous inflexible about what I eat.” Decided to make it as a journalist, Couric labored as a desk assistant at ABC, a producer for CNN and as an area on-air information reporter earlier than getting her first large break because the deputy Pentagon correspondent for NBC Information. By 1991, she was anchoring Right now, which she did for 15 years. And in 2006, she made a record-making transfer to CBS to grow to be the primary lady to solo anchor the CBS Night Information, and he or she additionally grew to become a contributor to 60 Minutes. She adopted that with a stint at ABC Information and a pair seasons internet hosting a daytime speak present, Katie, earlier than taking a brand new leap in 2018, founding her personal media firm.
“I’ve grow to be an entrepreneur in my 60s, which I feel is cool,” she says of being her personal boss now, with 19 workers. She produces a day by day electronic mail e-newsletter, Wake-Up Name, and is relaunching her podcast, Subsequent Query With Katie Couric, on iHeartRadio this month. Couric can be writing her memoir, Surprising, due out in 2021. “It’s my entire life story,” she explains, a candid account of staying optimistic and resilient by way of the ups and downs of her high-profile life. To steadiness all of it? “I delegate,” she says, whereas staying as bodily and mentally sturdy as she will.
Well being Fixes or Fads?
Couric eats as a lot pure and unprocessed meals as doable, selecting salads and protein when she will, whereas attempting to cut back her meat consumption. For breakfast immediately, she had sliced tomatoes from her backyard, a complete wheat English muffin and an iced espresso—“all the time iced espresso.” She tries to stretch and do one thing energetic each day (like yoga, Spinning or strolling with buddies), and he or she works out with a coach at the least two instances per week; however she’s additionally identical to many people: “I type of get on these train kicks after which I do it an excessive amount of,” she says, laughing, “and I fall off the wagon.” Since she’s “classically mesomorphic” with a muscular construct, “I’m tremendous aware of doing weight-bearing workout routines [like lunges and brisk walking],” which she stresses are vital for all ladies as they age and lose bone and muscle mass. Particularly as a result of “once you become older, you get such a fats abdomen,” she says, sighing. “It’s hormones. What can we do?” Fortunately, in response to the outcomes of the Cleveland Clinic Wholesome Now survey, individuals are doing quite a bit.
Couric isn’t shocked by how few individuals (37 p.c) mentioned they observe a weight-reduction plan or management their consuming—as a result of “individuals don’t use the phrase weight-reduction plan anymore,” she says, “I feel they attempt to use way of life.” But in case you really drilled down, she thinks Individuals immediately are extra aware of what they’re consuming—and, on the similar time, having fun with meals—greater than ever earlier than. And he or she’s inspired by how many individuals (73 p.c) say slicing sugar is their high dietary precedence. She’s additionally not shocked by how open individuals are to strive new meals and health traits. In any case, Couric has tried many fads over time herself, just like the Scarsdale weight-reduction plan in her 20s, “which labored within the quick time period due to ketosis [burning fat stores], nevertheless it’s fairly depressing,” she laughs. After which there was the purple liquid protein quick—“that stuff that Oprah tried”—she remembers. “It was so nasty.” Extra lately, she’s experimented with the low-carb keto weight-reduction plan, which is widespread with Wholesome Now respondents (although it doesn’t enable sufficient fruit and greens for her style), and he or she’s intrigued by intermittent fasting (proscribing consuming instances to between midday and eight p.m., for instance), which has “proven to extend your telomeres on the finish of your DNA, which is anti-aging,” she says. “I’d like to really see how that feels.”
Essentially the most attention-grabbing well being development she sees is how a lot expertise impacts our well being and well being selections—with 66 p.c of 18–34-year-olds taking motion based mostly on recommendation from social media, in response to our survey. The upside has been the lessening of stigma round psychological well being struggles. “I feel social media’s helped with this enormously,” says Couric, as a result of as younger individuals “share the whole lot on this sharing economic system, they’re being way more open about mental health points.” However with all this entry to info, Couric additionally notes how vital it’s to query what’s in our feeds. “I’m fairly discerning myself, however typically even I don’t know what to consider,” she admits. She encourages asking the questions she does when she reads a few new repair or fad: What’s the background of the particular person? What sort of analysis has been carried out? What are they promoting? And is it simply too good to be true? “There are a whole lot of fast fixes on the market that aren’t essentially official,” she says, so in relation to greater than a innocent suggestion, use your judgment and proceed with warning.
Essentially the most worrisome well being development she observed? “How individuals are struggling the identical manner I’m with expertise,” she says. She wasn’t shocked to see how many individuals spend extra time on social media than they do socializing in particular person (33 p.c) and would slightly textual content than speak on the cellphone (76 p.c of ladies ages 25–49). Telephones “have grow to be such an appendage for individuals,” she says. “I fear in regards to the lack of fundamental human interplay on the road when individuals are glued to their telephones, and simply the way it’s altering us as social animals.” Right here we’re, says Couric, ostensibly extra linked than ever earlier than, but individuals are additionally experiencing profound loneliness. Which is why she’s presently growing a documentary on social isolation and loneliness—a difficulty specialists say is “as harmful as smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.”
What’s she doing to battle her personal expertise habit? “I’ve tried and failed, actually, to do some issues,” she says, together with a digital detox each Sunday—“that lasted one Sunday.” However her finest trick for placing down her cellphone is spending time together with her husband, her youngsters and her buddies, with no scarcity on her listing of what she enjoys. She loves going to the seaside, going out to dinner and hitting films, Broadway exhibits and museums. At house, she performs Scrabble and has group recreation nights the place her aggressive nature comes out once more. She decompresses by taking bubble baths and organizing (“I discover cleansing tremendous stress-free,” she insists.)
The Way forward for Well being
When she appears to be like towards the long run—for herself and the well being of Individuals—she sees a shiny one, stuffed with extra accessible info for the general public, and a wealth of well being analysis forward. “I feel this entire space of wellness is exploding and, because of this, there’s much more analysis going into this stuff,” says Couric. “I hope medical breakthroughs will assist individuals perceive be more healthy, reside longer lives, detect most cancers earlier and stop illness.”
She’ll proceed to attempt to evolve with the world and higher herself whereas utilizing her platform for good, to assist others as a lot as she will. To Couric, that begins with the small issues, like studying to talk Spanish and play the piano and taking dancing classes together with her husband—joking that “he’s like a kind of inflatable wind guys on the gasoline station that transfer round? That’s kind of him when he dances, ’trigger he doesn’t transfer his toes!” She additionally needs to meditate extra, eat higher and preserve her physique sturdy. Sure, she admits, it’s exhausting to “really feel creaky or to see wrinkles” as she will get older, she says, “however what makes me actually unhappy is that I don’t have as a lot time as I want I did to have enjoyable, you recognize? I like each day that I get a chance to be a participant in life, and I wish to try this so long as I presumably can.” Without end an optimist, Couric additionally lately purchased a pocket book to begin a gratitude journal. “I haven’t written in it but, however I purchased it!” She laughs. Actually, although, she doesn’t want to write down down what she’s most grateful for, as a result of it’s been the identical for many of her life: “My well being and the well being of individuals I like,” she says. “As a result of with out that, you don’t have anything.”
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The Artwork of Memoir by Mary Karr
“The Handmaid’s Story, Chernobyl. I haven’t seen Killing Eve but, that’s in my queue. And I’m tremendous jazzed about The Crown and the Downton Abbey film.”
Favourite factor to snack on
Frozen chocolate chips
Snack to maintain her power up at work
“Darkish chocolate, nuts, almonds, cashews—and peanut butter on something. I like peanut butter on bananas, peanut butter on apples, I like peanut butter simply on a spoon with chocolate chips in it. I simply [joined] a Peanut Butter of the Month membership.”
At present listening to
“I like the podcasts The Each day and Household Secrets and techniques, and Rebecca Minkoff’s podcast with feminine founders [Superwomen]—and Ella Fitzgerald to spherical it out.”
“I’ve a pleasant glass of wine. Or my new favourite drink is a paloma [a tequila-and-grapefruit-soda cocktail]. I like them!”
Favourite household meal
“I grill one thing, and serve sliced tomatoes from my backyard, and corn on the cob from the farm stand and throw some shishito peppers from my backyard on the grill. And I like to make herb butter: taking lemon thyme, oregano, rosemary or basil from my backyard; chopping all of it up; and mixing it with butter. It’s scrumptious.”
Go-to karaoke track
“‘Loopy,’ by Patsy Cline. I sang karaoke in Nashville final week—however I sang ‘Summer time Nights’ [from Grease] with a stranger in a bar.”
Finest solution to immediately calm down
“Take off my footwear.”
Favourite Sunday exercise
“I prefer to go to church after I can and be in a group of people who find themselves taking an hour out of their busy lives and considering of one thing larger than themselves. I prefer to stroll across the metropolis with my husband and meet buddies, and skim the Sunday New York Instances, which I feel is an incredible publication. And I prefer to cook dinner Sunday supper, cooking with my husband and simply making one thing cozy and scrumptious—and hopefully wholesome.”
Go Deeper: The High Well being Fads and Fixes of 2019
The 2019 Parade/Cleveland Clinic survey revealed that Individuals have tried a whole lot of traits within the identify of fine well being. However are they actually worthwhile? Listed here are just some we’ve investigated:
This low-impact health fad takes place on a mini-trampoline and entails leaping, dancing and even strikes with hand weights and resistance bands to tone your core and legs and enhance cardiovascular well being.
Even Dr. Ounceshas jumped onboard this development, which entails a plan to eat throughout particular hours of the day—and never eat for lengthy stretches of time.
As healthcare prices rise, digital physician’s visits are rising in reputation—although they shouldn’t fully exchange your physician, specialists say.
First there was Atkins. Now, the low-carb craze is Keto, and it exhibits no indicators of slowing down.
The traditional follow has gone mainstream because of the prevalence of meditation-related cellular apps.
A rising group of individuals (together with some celebs) have ditched strict weight-reduction plan regimens in favor for a extra intuitive, physique optimistic strategy.
New providers provide to ship to your door a hand-selected mixture of nutritional vitamins. Is that this essential or only a passing fad?
The superfood is touted for its antioxidant properties and excessive fiber content material. (Plus it appears to be like fairly in photos!)
We’re extra in contact with our intestine well being than ever, and we might have prebiotics and probiotics to thank for that.
Observe Parade and our companions, as we roll out extra #GetHealthyWithKatie tales, graphics and different content material within the coming weeks!
Dr. Mark Hyman
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