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Get Well

Did You Know the Healthiest Thing You Can Do for Yourself Is *Free*?

Talking with Nate Brown on being an extremist, bacon chocolate, and just breathing.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Alec Kugler

We could go on forever about how the people we feature seem to just do it all. And Nate Brown is most definitely one of those types. You may have caught his cache of Acne Studios and Kith when we raided his FiDi home and talked Kanye West and Beyoncé last week. But what we discovered when hanging things in his kitchen (as we do), is that his cupboards are stocked with a whole catalogue of supplements we’ve never heard of before. Turns out, Brown makes health and wellness a priority, even if he’s on the road planning a tropical island music festival.

 

Before we get started:

“I’m going to preface this conversation with the disclaimer that I am not an expert in the field. I am not a scientist or a medical doctor, so nothing I say should be taken for whatever the liability clause is [laughs]. A lot of the stuff I take is controversial and undocumented, and less scientifically proven.”

About *those* supplements:

“The general term for the whole process is called nootropics. Essentially what those are are natural and synthetic compounds that cross the blood stream barrier and deal specifically with cognitive ability. Ideally they expand the cognitive ability to some multitude of different level, like memory and focus, and rehabilitation. At the very, very base level there is a group of supplements that have shown evidence in improving cognitive capabilities in already healthy individuals. And an important thing to note is that it doesn’t fix problems, but it enhances some of the present abilities that you might have. They zone in on things you already have hidden inside your brain.”

 

When wellness became important to him:

“It started when I was a kid growing up and traveling a lot. If I could trace it back to anything, it would be sleep—I couldn’t sleep well as a kid. I tried everything from holistic to synthetic things, and discovering different ways to heal became very interesting to me from a very, very young age. Over the past 10 years, I have gotten more into the study of [nootropics]. I was always an extremist when it came to what we are capable of physically and mentally, but more so now.”

How being a skinny kid got him into fitness:

“I had skinny-kid syndrome growing up, so I was always trying to find ways to be more physically fit. For the record, it isn’t about losing or gaining weight—that is the wrong intention. It’s about being more mentally and physically in shape. I had been going through a series of things in my life, and fitness was a way to realign, or at least gain a sense of control.”

 

But his view on wellness changed over the years & why he experiments:

“As you educate yourself, you have a broader understanding [of] what you should and shouldn’t take so seriously. The one thing you learn through that process, and as you become a bit more confident in your capability of changing things about yourself, is that you can become a little bit less stressed out by the whole thing. My kind of learning has been more experimental. Sometimes that means some stomachaches, but then sometimes I’ll have breakthroughs!”

The one extreme thing he’ll never do again:

“There was a moment when I was doing really high-intensity workouts multiple times a day, and it had a lot of adverse effects on my body. There were also lots of weird supplements that I’ve tried that I would definitely not take again. But I look at all that bad stuff as a way to learn from my mistakes.”

What wellness means to him:

“My version is having an outlook on life that leaves you fulfilled in some way.”

 

First thing he does in the morning:

“I like the lighting to gradually turn on, so I’ll walk around in the dark for a second. Then I’ll make some sort of protein drink and take something called a Theragun that looks like a drill but is [a] trigger point activator and warms up your muscles. Then I drink copious amounts of caffeine. I go to the gym and I work out for 90 minutes, and once I’m done there, the day has officially started.”

How he stays healthy on the road:

“Two things. One: I try to travel near an Equinox [laughs]. That is a hotel requirement! The second thing is my girlfriend [Kirsty Godso] puts together workouts for me that I can do wherever. Staying healthy is about being open to discovering the awesome things in life. If that means going to a city where there is no gym and no healthy restaurants, then I think the unhealthiest thing you can do is stress yourself out trying to find that. So the healthiest thing you can do is embrace the local culture and lean into it—you are going to release way less cortisol (the stress hormones) that is ultimately one of the most unhealthy things you can do.”

 

His guilty pleasure:

“Chocolate. My mom is a chocolate connoisseur, so chocolate was a huge part of my life. I’d say, like, the 85%-86% dark chocolate is my favorite, and if it has sea salt in it or bacon in it, that is cool too.”

Go-to healthy spots in NYC:

“My favorite is called Chalk Point Kitchen, which is run by my friend Matt Levine. They always have a really unique menu that makes healthy food really interesting. They also have really dope drinks, like Kombucha margaritas.”

His advice for people trying to lead a healthier life:

“There is this theory that all we need to do is just breathe properly. Ninety-nine percent of humans don’t breathe properly, and that is simply because we live adventurous lives. If at any point in the day you just breathe in and out—four counts in and four counts out—you will feel completely different. I try to do it in the morning. If we breathe properly, then our blood flows properly, which then in turn allows the healing process to begin for anything that may be ailing us. It’s a clarifying outlook.”

Part of the series:

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