Vegetable and Butcher is a DMV meal delivery service based around local growers, sustainability and healthy food. Co-founder and CEO Turner Hoff talked with us about mindsets for success and the foundations of self-care. Note: This interview is a part of our 20 Masters of Mindfulness, Movement + Connection roundup, which ran in our Winter 2021 issue.
Tell me about your journey and how it brought you to your current role.
I wouldn’t know where to begin. My path has been too circuitous to be helpful, or even relevant. What I’ve found to be more relevant is mindset. There are certain characteristics – some inherent, but most developed or learned – that are responsible for bringing me to my current role. The path from here to better is rarely linear, and getting to better is an endless pursuit with no clear destination. Along the way, we are occasionally presented with opportunities disguised as problems, so an insatiable curiosity and willingness to show up every day are prerequisites to better. Without a desire to understand and willingness to work, problems are likely to remain problems. Or maybe I just have a problem with authority, don’t like rules or being told what to do, and I am naïve enough to think I can make things better. Who’s to say?
How are you practicing and prioritizing self-care, especially mid-pandemic?
A checklist. The truth is that my memory is shit. If I don’t intentionally create the environment that makes caring for myself easy, I will forget. Over time, I have discovered there are certain non-negotiables for me. These evolve with my priorities, but a few are foundational and will likely never change.
- Sleep: A minimum of seven, ideally eight, hours per night. I wish I had genetics that allowed me to consistently be my best after five hours of sleep, but I guess we can’t all be like Jocko Willink.
- Exercise: A thoughtful and structured program designed with my goals and lifestyle in mind. I am fortunate to work with a good friend and incredibly smart coach, Chris Garay at Physicality DC.
- Nutrition: A ton of healthy food to support my active lifestyle (along with the occasional pizza, cookies and ice cream).
- Play: In his book “Essentialism,” Greg McKeown defines play as “anything we do simply for the joy of doing rather than as a means to an end – whether it’s flying a kite or listening to music or throwing around a baseball…” For me, play has historically been adrenaline-filled physical activities or sports – surfing, rock climbing, snowboarding, basketball – but these days, it’s handstands and chess (at least until I can get back to the beach).
What does self-compassion mean to you?
Recognition that we’re only human, and a dash of deterministic perspective. A better answer: In today’s digital world, everyone’s “best self” is on full display 24/7, which makes it easy to assume that everyone is living with conviction and clarity of purpose – as confident, focused and generous as you are on your best day. But that’s not likely. Once we realize there are many others all over the world experiencing similar challenges and facing similar struggles, self-compassion is easier to find.
How do you incorporate it into your practice?
[Through] meditation and community by choice, not by default – intentionally surrounding myself with people I admire and care about, who aren’t afraid to challenge me.
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