Habit Changes for a Successful Life – Kristen Rainey | MHFi 019

Doug and Carl interview Kristen Rainey. Kristen is an amazing human who graduated from Princeton, taught in Indonesia, hiked the Appalachian Trail, worked at Google, and so much more. In this episode, Kristen discusses:

  • Spending a week cut off from technology in Katmai National Park
  • Grizzly bears!
  • Holding individual stocks
  • Moving to Bozeman Montana
  • Implementing effective behavioral change while working at Google and beyond
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Enhancing your life through travel
  • Happiness

→ Check for Northstar Sleep School spots in Sept 2021.

Meet Kristen Rainey 

We’d have to write a novel to even scratch the surface of Kristen Rainey’s life. She is accomplished, well-read, well-studied, well-traveled, and so much more. She attended Princeton University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in art and archeology, and later Cornell, where she obtained an MBA in Management, and finally Tufts University, where she studied International Business and the Global Food Sector. She has held a high-powered corporate position at Google in the food sector, where she put her skills to work helping Google employees make smarter food choices, among many other responsibilities. On top of all that, she’s an entrepreneur. She’s started her own business related to food sustainability and is currently the founder and CEO of Northstar Sleep School, which helps people live better and healthier lives by improving the qualify of their sleep. She hosts the podcast Northstar Unplugged, and blogs about all things sleep-related, as well.

Impressed yet? We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface! Kristen is also quite the world-traveler, and has lived in more than a dozen places, including Indonesia, Paris, Milan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Morocco, Santa Fe, New York, Lake Tahoe, Bozeman, Portland, White Salmon, and Mexico. She speaks multiple languages and is also an avid skate skier, paddle-boarder, hiker, and swimmer, to name just a few of her athletic pursuits. And did we mention that she’s thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail? No big deal. Just an epic backpacking trip of roughly 2,200 continuous miles.

If there’s something Kristen hasn’t done or can’t do, we’ve yet to discover it.

Our Discussion with Kristen

Having someone with this many interests, passions, and accomplishments on the show is a challenge because there are so many things to cover in so little time! But here are a few topics we managed to squeeze in.

Kristen’s Recent Backpacking Trip in Alaska and the Power of Unplugging 

We began by discussing her recent 8-day backpacking trip in Alaska. (Be sure to check out the grizzly bear cam of the bears in Brooks Falls, where Kristen went.) Kristen told us about the awesome experience of seeing 47 grizzly bears (47!) chowing down on salmon. We also explored the power of unplugging completely for 8 days straight and discussed generally the importance of unplugging regularly, even when you’re not out in the wilderness.

Financial Independence,  Stock Picking (gasp!), and AirBnB Hosting 

We then moved on to financial independence and Kristen’s choice to be (mostly) a stock picker rather than an index-fund disciple. She told us about how she has tried to balance accomplishment with happiness in her life. As you can tell from her resumé, she has erred on the side of accomplishment and has trouble making time to truly relax. She talks about her experience hosting AirBnBs and how it can be downright frantic sometimes. She also discusses what life is like in Bozeman, Montana and how she ended up choosing to live there (out of the many places she’s visited and considered living).

Habit Changes and Intermittent Fasting

Kristen offered us some insight into what she learned at Google about how to help people change their food habits. Even just making the “bad stuff” a little harder to get to can have a huge effect. We also discussed intermittent fasting and the health benefits it can have beyond just burning fat. And we explored tips for those interested in intermittent fasting who have yet to give it a try.

Traveling and the Struggle to Choose from the Buffet of Life

Kristen examines how her travels have shaped her. She tells us how, through travel, she has become more open-minded and appreciative of other cultures and experiences, how thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail taught her the value of traveling light, and how she got to know herself better through travel and learn that she truly values down time to recharge on her own. We also delved into the difficulty of saying no and how to choose from the many options life has to offer. Kristen recommends the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.

We loved chatting with Kristen and hope you enjoy listening, as well. And when you head over to check out Kristen’s website, make sure to give a listen to Kristen’s interview of Carl on her podcast!


★ Let’s hang out at the EconoMe Conference! ★

Carl is speaking at EconoMe and Doug is attending. You can save 10% by using this coupon code: 1500

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