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What Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Can’t Live Without

Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty Images

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman — who partnered with Aerie on its #AerieREAL Role Models campaign — about the reusable bags, essential-oil diffuser, and inspirational books she can’t live without.

I love gardening. It’s something I’m very passionate about and it’s very fun and relaxing for me. I enjoy watching these seeds grow — it teaches patience and it’s cool to feel connected to nature. I have a small indoor garden that’s more herbs and lettuce, and then in the summer I have a bigger garden outside, and my mom does as well. My mom and I both have had a lot of success with the cucumbers. Those are really fun to grow and it’s amazing how many cucumbers can come from one seed. I like to have friends over and if I have a lot of extra cucumbers, I’ll make some sort of salad or appetizer, or give them to my friends to take home. They’re a nice thing to be able to share with people, and a lot of my friends are super into it — they love coming over to see how much my garden has grown since the last time they were here. Anytime I can really unplug from technology and appreciate the smaller things in life is really special.

I’m trying to learn more about different ways that I can be sustainable. These bags are an easy way for people to start. One of my friends actually shared them with me, and now I use the bigger ones for leftovers. If I’m traveling, I’ll use another one for snacks instead of a plastic bag, and I’ll put my makeup in the medium-size one, or some vitamins in the smaller one. I use all the sizes.

I love this book and I’ve given it to my friends. It’s about how being kind to other people and doing things for other people are really healing and make you a happier person. Everyone knows what it feels like to go through something, so it’s nice to do something kind for someone else. I definitely try to be mindful about doing nice things for other people, and I try to remind myself to, as much as I can. It can even be little things, like giving somebody more of a tip than you normally would at a restaurant, complimenting somebody at the airport, or letting somebody go in front of you in line. It’s fun to get creative with it. It also helps me appreciate when people do kind things for me.

I actually met Cleo through Aerie, and I read this book almost a year ago, but I really love it. You don’t have to read it in order, you can just open it on any page and it’s really inspiring. There are so many things in there for everyone, and I feel like different pages will resonate with different people. She helps you realize that whatever you’re going through is normal and you’re not alone. That’s a really awesome thing that a lot of other people would like reading, too. There are a lot of little helpful tips that help you to relax and realize that whatever you’re going through is okay.

Whenever I’m home, I use it — I want it on constantly. I like having essential oils for relaxing and calming in there. That’s something I do a lot. It’s very calming and just another way to stay present. I focus on the different smells in the room and it’s really relaxing. My favorite type of oil depends on how I’m feeling, but I love lavender, lime, pine, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

I wear it if I’m going out to run an errand, if I’m at the airport, or anytime I feel like I want to wear a hat. I like baseball hats, and this one is fun and cute. It’d make a nice little gift.

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What Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Can’t Live Without