Meet Dan Castillo, a New York City-based Elite Personal Trainer, Health + Life Coach, Wellness Enthusiast and Plant Person we love. We chatted with Dan about all things wellness, plant-powered and self-improving -- take a read!
What are you reading right now?
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.
What's your must-have Plant People product?
- Drops+ Sleep, Relief+ Cooling Body Cream, and Immune Power. The Drops really help to relax and prepare me to get a great night's sleep, the Cooling Body Cream allows my body to immediately recover and feel at ease after long workouts and training sessions with clients, and the Immune Power allows my body to remain healthy from the inside out especially given all of our concerns re: viruses, etc.
What's your relationship to the world of "wellness"/plant medicine?
- For years I have been naturally drawn to learning about the world of "wellness" , through podcasts, documentaries, books (the one I'm currently reading is in regards to mental and emotional wellness), medical studies, etc. I believe that the "closer" you and your life are to nature in general, the more healthy you will be from a holistic standpoint. For instance, have you truly thought about where you are purchasing your produce or supplements? I go the extra step further to make sure that what I predominantly consume is natural, organic and is plant-based. I became a Vegan over a year ago, so what I put in my body is usually plant-centric. The same applies to my daily rituals, such as breathwork and stretching eat day while lighting a natural candle, integrating products in my daily skincare routine that contain no harmful chemicals and are plant-based, and using cleaning products around the home that are naturally made, just to name a few.
What do you love about it?
- I feel more connected to nature, even though I live in one of the most populated (and somewhat polluted) cities in the world. Whenever I consciously make these decisions, I feel better mentally, emotionally and physically. I feel a bit closer to what our hunter gatherer ancestors were like. My goal is to live a long, but more importantly healthy, life with little complications as possible in my later years.
What needs to be changed?
- The industry itself should be more transparent about and regulated over ingredients used in products. Too many people purchase and consume products and medicines that are just terrible for their bodies in the long-run. Additionally, more investments and funding should be dedicated to more plant-based medicines and research since there are way too many benefits for these types of preventative remedies.
What's one thing everyone can do today to create a more equitable "wellness" world?
- Learning and sharing best practices that allow humans to feel, be and create their own wellness. Information is key. It still surprises me to this day that so many people don't know what "wellness" is or what the first step should be in creating this type of lifestyle. Allowing easy mediums to share this type of data without being too bogged down with information overload can be key. Additionally, offering "wellness" products and services at a more reasonable price point. So many of these products and ingredients are very expensive, and sometimes the industry takes advantage thinking that this is more of a trend versus seeing the long-term, sustainable benefits. If we can make "wellness" more accessible and affordable I believe things can be more globally equitable.
How did you discover Plant People?
- Stumbled on the brand via social media.
What do you think sets Plant People apart?
- The wide range of (and still growing) products within the line of offerings. The amazing branding. The awesome people and creators. The ACTUAL positive effects and benefits of the products (trust me, I've tried a lot haha).
Who should we follow right now?
- Brene Brown and Dax Shepard's podcast "Armchair Expert"
What's the future of "wellness"?
- It appears that in our day and age digital is the new wave. Telehealth medicine, FaceTime/Zoom Therapy, At-Home Fitness Hubs, etc. appear to be staking their claim in the industry. There will always be the need for community, but that caveat is how that community is being fostered and hosted. Additionally, the stigma of Eastern Medicine appears to be slowly dissipating in the Western World (e.g., yoga/meditation classes are booming, rise of plant-based eating, "alternative" medicines and treatments with CBD, THC, and other plants, etc.). It would appear that humans are slowly removing the "hocus pocus" stigma around creating a more healthy and balanced lifestyle.
What's your #1 must-do tip to feel whole, nourished, grounded?
- Creating and maintaining my daily practices. In the morning without fail, I brew and drink my morning coffee while spending ~20 minutes stretching, mobilizing and practicing breathwork. I say 3 things I'm grateful for and 3 personal affirmations. This sets me up for my day. During the day if I'm feeling stressed, I go back to my breathwork and go back to my gratitude practice. Additionally, NUTRITION is key - if I'm eating like crap, I will begin feeling horrible and as if things are constantly in a fog. Going back to the basics of natural ingredients and products helps to set the physical foundation for me