A few months back we covered the Pre/Post workout nutrition of some sponsored athletes, friends, and even our store manager. Today, we’re excited to resurface this topic with a Cornucopia customer and colleague, Raquel Vamos.  As the founder of Dharma Yoga Wheel, creator of Free Spirits Apparel and owner of Lila Yoga Shala in Holbrook, NY this active lady places great importance on what we put in our bodies. Her approach is very different than our past featured athletes, though.  Raquel holds no specific end goal, rather an overarching testament to self-love is the force behind her nutrition and healthy living approach.

Raquel boasts an athletic resume full of variety: Beginning with Shaolin Kung Fu, then dancing for 10 years, tennis, rock climbing, tunnel flying and now steadily in her Yoga practice for over 10 years. Desiring to broaden her “body awareness” she also hits the gym 3-5 times a week to run, weight train or try a new class. “I try and move my body in as many different ways as possible and love taking on new challenges to deepen my understanding of movement.”

This constant activity guides her to treating her body with love through food; healthy eating correlates to a healthy soul and spirit in Raquel’s eyes.

“It’s not hard to be healthy. It’s actually hard to be unhealthy because you are in constant war with what your soul really wants.”

To her, feeding your body with proper nutrition is a way to maintain a state of joy and peace within yourself.

To uphold healthy eating Raquel seeks balance. This is embracing an unstructured, non-labeled diet that allows her to go with the flow of her internal needs and external responsibilities, such as traveling for work. She listens to her body, eats consciously, and no longer obsess over having the ‘perfect’ diet.  “Over thinking a diet puts too much stress on the system.”

She does have some general guidelines and restrictions for her nutrition. Raquel tries to stay away from processed foods and artificial ingredients and eats seasonally when possible. She hovers around a 70/30 raw food diet, and does not consume gluten or soy due to allergies. “I love coffee and chocolate and I do have cheat days!”, she admits. Her diet is not about perfection and she will not deprive herself of what she truly wants or needs in the moment.

Raquel has no regiment; her daily food varies and she does not have a specific pre/post-workout routine. On a typical day she usually includes some of these staples:

  • Hot water with lemon upon waking up
  • A fruit and/or veggie based smoothie in the morning
  • A mid-day cup of coffee
  • Snacks of bananas, berries, apples, or other in-season fruit
  • A simple cooked meal in the evening  (or following a workout when hunger strikes) of rice, veggies and fish; it depends what her body is craving on that individual day and moment, though.

While she doesn’t include much typical athletic supplementation, she “…was dabbling in VEGA protein smoothies Pre/Post workout the past two months to gain weight!  It helped actually.” Evidently, remaining consciously in tune with her body and listening to its needs is of utmost importance for her diet choices.


Raquel’s “Healthy”

As you’ve probably gauged by now, being healthy in Raquel’s eyes is not something of finite definition or structure – it’s actually the opposite. “Health isn’t defined by one specific diet or actions.  Your health is due to your inner consciousness. You can eat all the ‘RIGHT’ foods but if you are miserable inside, full of stress, anger, and resentment those foods become poison! Grow your awareness of yourself and it will all fall into place. You will have no choice but to be ‘healthy’.”

Her belief is many people “tend to over do it and over think it.” As a society we too often try to ‘be healthy’ for reasons of recognition or external factors. Discovering that healthy living, the true lifestyle factor behind it, holds no absolutes is what aids an individual to be more consistent in their lifestyle.

“You will see that being ‘OFF’ the path is apart of the path.  You will accept what is in each moment. You will sense what is good for you and what is not. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent. If we pay attention it will speak to you clear.”

To be successful in a health journey, Raquel urges you to go within. Connect with yourself, love yourself and from here you’ll discover the true reasoning for why you want to live a healthy lifestyle. “Focus on what brings you inner joy…there is no ONE way for everyone.” Once you make this connection and identify what will bring your body and soul happiness, your health journey will flourish. Keep up with Raquel’s inspirational words and outlook on her instagram !