There are many ways to live a healthy life. The Health Diaries is a weekly series about the habits that keep notable people living well.

Robin Berzin, MD, is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health, a digital health care membership company focused on utilizing technology to provide primary care and nutritional health coaching for about $150 per month. With locations in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the company is growing fast. (In 2018, it received $10 million in funding.) Learn more about Berzin’s personal health philosophies and why she’s always looking for hacks to drink more water.


I usually wake up at 6:45 a.m. I take our two dogs for a walk down to the dog park. Both are rescue dogs; one is a 50-pound shepherd mix, and the other is a 20-pound mini black lab. Walking the dogs is morning meditation. On the way, I pick up a double espresso at a local café — they always give the dogs treats. The dog park is on the water, on the East River. When we get there, I do my meditation looking out at the river. I kill two birds with one stone, and I don’t allow myself to check any email during our trip. When I get home, I spend time with my two-year-old son.

I live a Parsley lifestyle — I eat gluten-free, dairy-free, and really avoid processed sugar. I’m not a dessert person, but I’m definitely a salt person. My guilty pleasure is popcorn. For lunch and dinner, I eat a lot of similar things. A lot of seafood, roasted vegetables, dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

I feel really good when I take vitamins. I take B vitamins, vitamin D3, and vitamin K/K2. Around bedtime, I take magnesium glycinate. I go through periods of time when I take some adaptogenic herbs or probiotics if I need more digestive support.

I leave home at 8:30 a.m., and I’m in the office until 6 p.m. My days vary, but right now I’ve been in back-to-back meetings with investors and interviewing potential candidates. I also still see patients once a week (on Thursdays) in Parsley’s New York City location.

I am a total yoga geek. I’ve been practicing since I was 21. I try to get to a couple classes a week, but between baby and work, it’s tough. But I’ll complement it with some at-home weight or resistance training. Tom Brady has these exercise bands that he sells — they’re similar to TRX, but you don’t have to attach it to a wall.

I’m trying to drink more water. I am really bad at drinking water — and yet I know I feel so much better when I’m hydrated. I like hot water with lemon, or Dirty Lemon water. I’m always looking for hacks to drink more water.

I work hard to stay mentally healthy as well. I just did Tony Robbins’ “Unleash the Power” course. It’s centered around the idea of state change — how you can change your mood, outlook, and energy like that. I’m working on practicing that. We all get busy and stuck in a predominant state of stress — so I want to work on calm, enthusiasm, and focus. It’s a skill set.

I used to say work-life balance wasn’t real that if you loved what you did, your work was your life. I understand now, though, that once you have children, the reality is work can’t be your whole life. Your family needs a different set of energy and time than your work does. There’s so much balancing, and the two ebb and flow all the time. I want to make sure I give the space and time to my family that they deserve and need.

My evening routine involves no screen time. I get home and spend time with my son before bath time. After we put him to bed, I make dinner with my husband. After dinner, I will read a book, meditate, or take an Epsom salt bath. I’m not a TV person at all, I couldn’t tell you what anyone is watching. But I believe having true downtime doesn’t involve screens or watching something.

In 2019, I think we will see two big trends in health care. The first is direct-to-consumer services, which are highly tech enabled and eliminate the pain points of insurance-based care. This, of course, includes Parsley Health, which is redesigning primary care as a holistic, data-driven experience. Others include women’s health services like KindBody, Simple Health, and Tia, as well as men’s health services like medication-delivery startup Roman (Ro) and at-home testing options like Modern Fertility, Baze, and Phosphorous.

The second big trend will be health optimization. People have woken up to the fact that another prescription pill is not the answer. In a health care system that is as fragmented and difficult to navigate as ours, taking care of our health ourselves is an imperative. I think you will see a growing mass obsession with how healthy food, supplements, positive mental health practices like meditation, wearables like the new iWatch, and even psychedelics can transform our health long before or at least in tandem with interactions with the medical system.