What's Her Secret: Liz Hernandez
The 'Access Hollywood' host shares her thoughts on fitness, gratitude and her secret to getting a great interview.
What does wellness mean to you? "It all goes back to mind, body and soul, it's all interconnected. You can think you're healthy just by going to the gym but if you're not mentally set on the things that are important, feeling good and having control over your thoughts...it's very vital to your success. That plays in to how you dominate your workout and how you approach your day––it's all intertwined."
How do you start your day? "Every morning I make sure I have a big glass of water to clean out my system, clean my organs, and then I sit down every morning and write in a gratitude journal. I sit down and I write five things that I'm grateful for, every morning. And it could be from the smallest thing to the biggest thing, whether it's a roof over my head, or food to eat…because the way I see it, if something goes wrong throughout my day, it's just a good reset, a reminder to think about those five things that I wrote down, like, 'Okay, maybe I got a flat tire today, but at least I have a car I got to work in.'"
That sounds really useful. How long have you been doing that? "Maybe three years now, and I will say it has been so instrumental in my life. It makes you a lot more appreciative, and they say with gratitude comes plenitude. The more grateful you are, the more things will flourish in your life, and I find that to be so true. It's kind of like, you speak things into existence and into the universe. And I'm definitely a big believer in that. It's just taking inventory of all the blessings you have in your life, so when you do have a really haywire day, it's a good reset button. But it all comes back to mind, body and soul. And with that, you have to make sure you take care of yourself, exercise, make sure mentally you are one hundred percent aware of your thoughts. Sometimes we can kind of get on a spiral of the way we think about things and start to get on this spiral of what may happen and get stressed out and play out a storyline––which 90 percent of the time never even happens."
With such a busy work schedule, how do you maintain balance? "I try to keep a positive attitude and stay healthy, which keeps my immune system good. I take all kinds of vitamins, I'm a bit of a health nut. I try to eat healthy, but there are times when I go to dinner with my friends, have a glass of wine and French fries, but at least I know that 80 percent of the time I'm doing my part to take care of myself, and I have a better chance of feeling good the next day."
What are some of the techniques you use to keep your thoughts under control? "I'm a humongous fan of Deepak Chopra, so it is just that reminder, especially before going to bed. We have a tendency of going over in our head all of the things we need to get done, and the way I avoid focusing on 'Oh my gosh' is, I have a dry erase board and every night, Monday through Friday, I write everything down, if I think I might forget. If I start to worry about something, I just write it down, which gives me a clear conscience. And I think about something different, something I actually enjoy! I remember reading somewhere that you have to remember your thoughts are like a movie trailer. They're just thoughts, you're projecting whatever's on that screen. You are like the director. To me, that's a great metaphor, so I try to just remember that and change what I'm watching. It's constantly being present and knowing those are just your thoughts."
Have you always had this passion for wellness and self-improvement? "I would say I was always kind of an amateur overthinker! When I was in college, psychology was my major so I was always very curious about human behavior, and I was a big self-help book reader, I love nutrition, I watch all kinds of documentaries. I'm very intrigued by all of that––how to constantly improve my well-being, whether it's through meditation or eating a certain food, or just behavioral. I see it as having to constantly improve. It's not always easy and you don't always get it right...it's total discipline. I do notice that when I take time to pray or do meditation, I'm a lot more focused. It really allows your brain to reset."
What do you like to eat? "I'm a big believer of having 20 to 30 grams of protein in the morning. Everyone has their different foods, I try to stay away from dairy products and meat. Monday through Friday, I'm pretty disciplined; I try to drink carrot juice in the morning and I have a protein bar. And two hours later, I have half a bran muffin with fruit. I keep my house stocked with fruit, and I try to eat three meals a day. I definitely stay away from processed food, I don't keep anything in my home in a box, I have no frozen food in my freezer. That's my eating mantra of staying healthy."
How about your workout routine? "I go to the gym three to four times a week. I do ten minutes on the treadmill, then I do ten minutes of upper and lower body training, which is free weights, and of course, every time I mix in squats and sit-ups to all my workouts, just so I feel strong. I used to worry so much about cardio, cardio, cardio, but now I realize the more muscle you have, the more fat you're going to burn and the stronger you're going to feel. And the more energy you're going to have. I do spin class every once in awhile, I mix it in there. I'm a high-energy person!"
How does your commitment to positivity, meditation and fascination with human behavior relate to your career? "There's definitely a link. Before I go into a major interview I pray, I always ask that it goes well and that the person sitting across from me is as open-minded as I will be to what they have to say. It's like a mutual respect that you ask for. And I feel that the more open-minded and the better I feel about myself, that's projected onto the person that I'm interviewing. It's the energy you bring every day––to set, to your producers, to your boss, to the people who do your hair and makeup, to the people you come across every day. The more grounded I feel in myself and the better understanding I have of myself, that's going to project onto everything I do."