raquelle

about me

Hello, friends! I’m Raquelle… and I’m dedicating this blog to you. Yes, YOU. To help you deepen your connection with your mind, body and spirit for inner strength, self-love, peace and happiness. I’m not professing myself as a guru that has all the answers… in fact, I’m still a student — and I will always be a student — who dedicates every day to understanding herself and others as a “whole” — through the power of our MIND, BODY & SPIRIT.

About me(-ish):

  • Vegan
  • Yogi
  • Recieved Bachelors from University of Southern California
  • Ceritfied Plant-Based Nutritionist via Cornell University
  • Certified 200-hour yoga instructor in Bali 
  • Guided meditation instructor: here are some of my free guided meditations 
  • Holistic Lifestyle Coach
  • Holistic Lifestyle blogger & vlogger: find out more on this site & my YouTube

But those are only my credentials & bullet points. They don’t define me. They’re not my identity. So, who am I? What am I? What’s my purpose?

I’m trying to figure that out on this holistic journey — as I dedicate my life to nourishing my mind, body & spirit in a healthy and balanced way every single day.

So what sparked this journey? In a nutshell, some major-weight-swings…

…like gaining over 50 pounds in college as a self-loathing, stressed out, sedentary, latte and french fries fueled student…  

…then dropping those 50 pounds as a dappling meditator, happy, active, sugar- & dairy-free coffee and sweet-potato-loving graduate…

…somehow took the wrong turn as a weight-obsessed, confused, overly-active, too much coffee & not enough sweet-potatoes, “figuring-out-what-to-do-with-her-life” post-graduate — dropping 20 pounds more to an unhealthy underweight weight.  

…finally took a turn toward a mindful path that lead me back to a healthy weight as a self-loving, active meditator, daily yogi, nut milk-infused coffee sipper, a balanced plate of sweet potatoes indulger who found her place as a holistic lifestyle coach & blogger.

…and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m thankful to have experienced both ends of the weight spectrum in order to help others find connection with their mind, body and spirit. 

Today, I love being a holistic health coach. I’m passionate about helping others develop self-love and awareness with proper nourishment, yoga and meditation. 

PLANT-BASED EATING:

I embrace the vegan-way-of-life. Becoming vegan first started for personal health reasons, which developed into a deep compassion for animals, the environment and all beings. I fervently believe that when we practice non-harm, (the yogis refer to this practice as ahimsa in sanskrit), with every action we take, and this includes every meal we make, then finding peace, connection and harmony within ourselves becomes inevitable. 

NAMASTE-ING:

That girl that pinches her fat and sucks in her tummy whenever she sees a mirror …that girl was me.

That girl that puts down her mat and tries to be better than her neighbor in yoga class… that girl was me.

That girl that tells herself, “you can’t, you can’t, maybe you can, but no you really can’t…” that girl was me. 

That girl that over fuels her body with more food than it can take to suppress her self-loath and grief… that girl was me. 

That girl that starves her body because she’s afraid to meet that girl with the self-loath and grief… that girl was me. 

That girl who picked up yoga and meditation without really knowing the implication… that girl was me.

And somehow that girl become in tune with her mind, body and spirit as she would namaste day-by-day… that girl was me.

And day-by-day that girl commits to these practices to feel a strong sense of inner peace & happiness… that girl stays with me.  

—-

All-in-all I’ve this holistic lifestyle makes me… well… HAPPY. 

Holistic means: of or relating to holism; characterized by the treatment of the whole person: their mind, body and spirit. 

So to me, living a holistic lifestyle means: nourishing my mind and body with the healthiest and most holistic approaches to life. 

Holistic nourishment: focuses on nourishing our bodies with healthy, wholesome, plant-based foods.

Food is fuel! And I get my energy eating healthy plant-based meals. Forks Over Knives defines plant-based eating as, “centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes,” aka eating foods from mother nature, herself. Food from the ground. 

Holistic fitness: focusing on the body as a whole and following a well-balanced fitness plan. Making sure you incorporate cardio, resistance training, balance training, flexibility and stretching.

If anything, do yoga. 

    • Yoga is a practice that may cover cardio, resistance training and stretching, depending on the style you choose to do — (ashtanga, bikram and vinyasa are styles that incorporate all three).
    • All styles of yoga will make your holistic journey to find interconnection with your body, mind and soul easier. This experience can be overwhelmingly strong and empowering during practice or lying in savasana.

Holistic dedication: I want to spread the power of living a holistic lifestyle. Not only on my blog, but for a living.

 

ॐ if you have any questions or want to know more, feel free to ask in the comments below. I’m an open book. 

xo & namaste

 

about my overweight days

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

My weight gain: In 2008 I stepped on the scale and saw that I was over 30 lbs heavier than I was a year prior. And unfortunately, as an impressionable 18-year-old, the numbers on the scale really mattered. I knew something had to change. I tried many unhealthy approaches to lose weight, such as: weight loss injections, lasers, fasting, calorie counting, packaged food diets, liquid diets, soup diet, some sort of yucky “cookie” diet and more drastic measures. You name it, I probably tried it. Yes… I would “lose weight” temporarily, but I couldn’t commit to the lifestyles lead by these diet fads and would wind up gaining the weight back… plus a little more.

(Side note: I don’t believe that the numbers on the scale matter at a healthy weight, but it is important to pay attention to when you’re overweight (or underweight).

So there I was, 22-years-old and an additional 20 lbs. pounds heavier from yo-yo dieting. I was so unhappy, living a life of self-deprecation and over-indulgence. I would reach for food as a co-dependence mechanism for a moment of “happiness.” But I would only consume the worst possible/ most unnatural foods.

My relationship with food was far from normal. I would usually eat little to no food during the day so I could feel a little less guilty about chowing down 2000 calories or more at night. I just couldn’t wait to get home and binge watch the flix with a large pizza, a side of breadsticks and ranch, PLUS a pint of fro-yo with extra toppings for dessert. (Another favorite… a footlong sub with extra ranch, along with a different six-inch sub, three chocolate chip cookies and an extra large coke zero). And the many “I don’t feel like getting out of the car” drive-thru stops for three $1 chicken patties with a large fry and a shake for dipping sauce….

You may think I’m over-exaggerating… well, I wish. I should’ve been heavier than I was. After every binge I would feel so lethargic and deeply depressed. Everyday I told myself, “I’ll start a diet tomorrow.” I would wake up, have an apple (or not eat) then cave and binge when night time rolled around. 

Then… one day I woke up and decided to hit the ground runnin’… literally. Go take a hike, go jog and NO MORE PHASES… I just need to commit to a healthy lifestyle and AT MY OWN PACE. Be patient and mindful with myself.

life changing challenge

 

I found happiness nourishing my body properly. I would only bite into the most wholesome and natural foods possible. This led me to a new potential career as an “ingredient detective.” When I stopped worrying about the calories and the “diet,” reading beyond the nutrition label, I recognized what REALLY matters. IT’S ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS! Selecting meals with wholesome ingredients and eliminating processed “food” helped me shed the weight… and FAST!

The best part.. I enjoy it! That’s what matters. That’s the key to success. And how could one not enjoy eating the purest food? Food is fuel. Food is power. Food gives us energy. Food gives us life.

It’s that simple! I indulge in the purest ingredients, eliminating heavily processed meals. I feel light. I feel happy. I feel free. I’m free.

But I had to change my mindset and there are three key things I had to commit to: 

“stop making excuses and battling with yourself”

I can be queen of making excuses to not do something. I recognized telling myself that I will “start tomorrow” was just another lazy excuse for me to procrastinate and delay getting in shape… getting HEALTHY. I finally admitted to myself, “RAQUELLE! You KNOW that this game never works… and you’ll never start unless you JUST DO IT NOW!” So I did.. I just told that voice holding me back to shut the f*&% up and DO IT. 

“acceptance and patience” 

I had to accept the fact that I was not going to get to a healthy weight overnight, (or even in a few months). I told myself, it may take a year or more, but don’t stop… keep at it and IT WILL HAPPEN. And I was FAR from a patient girl. A virtue I lacked indeed. But I kept telling myself, “I want to look back at this time, next year, and be so happy that I just stuck with it.” HAVE PATIENCE!

“let go”

I was holding on to some of my past. I won’t get into in-depth detail, but I recognized that as I was trying to re-live my adolescence, I did not recognize how beautiful the present was. Once I was able to feel content in the present and look forward to the future, I was unstoppable.

When you live your life in the present and dream of what you want your future to look like, what you want to be, what you want to have, it feeds your hope and determination. You’ll be unstoppable too.

xo & namaste

the holistic blogger

iPhone Retina

 

huge thank you to my friend Chelsea Layne for being one of my vegan inspirations and doing the graphic design for my logo! I don’t know what I’d do without her!