welcome to the latest installment of girl crush. today’s crush is none other than my dear friend, raquel perry. i credit raquel with taking me into some of my most intense, scariest, and deepest yoga moments to date. 

she is orange county’s fitness guru. a master of yoga, spin, and weight training with hands-down one of the most envied physiques in town. she keeps us all both motivated and educated in nutrition and exercise with her very popular fitness stalker page.

let’s get to know this super-woman.

name your 5 bottom of the jar products:

1. kiehl’s imperial body balm. 2. kiehl’s creme de corp soy milk & honey whipped body butter. i alternate both! i absolutely love how they make my skin feel and smell!  3. kiehl’s superbly restorative argan dry oil, {i’ll rub it on my damp body just out of shower, on my way to yoga class or at nighttime. it smells heavenly without being obtrusive. it’s also great for your hair!}  4. smith’s rosebud salve, i use this on my lips constantly! 5. laura mercier lip glacé in “rose” it makes my face instantly brighter with just a dab of the wand.

who is your style icon and why?

gwen stefani-love her rocker/mommy chic style.

what is your summer must-have fashion item?

abejas leather flip flops! they are so comfy, and just dressy enough for this flat shoe lover. i have both black and tan, and i wear them constantly. {available at blend at the cove}.

finish the sentence….i can never leave the house without:

my lifefactory glass water bottle {now with a flip-top!} it keeps water cooler and better tasting than steel, and no BPAS from a plastic bottle.

what advice would you give your 25 year old self?

“chill!” i spent so many years so concerned about crap that ultimately didn’t matter. i finally feel like that at the ripe ol’ age of 47, i truly ‘get’ what’s important in life.

raquel with all your classes, clients, fitness stalker, you also have seem to have an incredible home life. 10 years of marriage to matt and mother to the cutest and most polite kids, quinn and kellen …., what is your secret to keeping all the balls in the air so seamlessly?

seamlessly? not so sure about that, but i do feel that balance is the key. i am fortunate to have married a great man who is an amazing husband and father. he is very hands-on with the kids, and knows that i am a much happier wife and mother when i get my daily endorphin release. we have a great division of labor as far as who tends to what, which makes for a less stressful daily routine.

ok, let’s get to that….BODY…give it up, what is your secret? what must you do to look like that?

it is a lot of good, old-fashioned, hard work, lots of sweat, clean eating and no drinking. but the biggest secret, {if there really is one} is to give yourself permission to eat. once i stepped off the “carousel of good and bad foods,” and stopped feeling guilty after eating this or that, i began to actually crave the healthier, less processed and more REAL foods.

i liken it to an all-nude strip club, once the allure of the pasties and thong are gone, it’s just a body. not as taboo as one had maybe thought. give yourself permission to eat WHATEVER you want, with no regrets, shockingly you may not care as much. stop giving food POWER! it’s empowering to not weigh, measure food, and {dare i say it,} eat carbs!!!

 so what do you eat on a normal day. we know you’re not eating my frosted, rainbow sprinkled, circus animal cookies. {every time i buy a bag of animal cookies i send raquel a photo because i know how much it horrifies her, here’s my most recent pic to her below}….

on a typical day i will make either a homemade green smoothie, or some raw oatmeal for breakfast. lunch might be an ezekiel tortilla with mozzarella, spinach and beans topped with avocado and cholula. dinner is often a huge “kitchen sink’ salad with lots of veggies, sprouts, seeds, beans, and avocado. lots and lots of alkaline water, about a gallon a day from costa mesa’s water brewery of course!

after reading eating animals by jonathan safran foer, i stopped eating any meat other than the occasional fish. also see the movies food, inc and forks over knives was incredibly eye opening.

so do you have ANY guilty foods?

heck ya! i adore coconut milk ice cream bars, avanti cafe’s vegan brownies, and mother’s market’s raw avocado chocolate pudding. i eat something sweet everyday. {again, without guilt, so i don’t go crazy, since i know i can have it, anytime.}

you can get me into yoga places and poses i’ve never been {just don’t friggin ask me for crow pose,} what is your favorite pose and why?

right now i am loving titibasana, firefly pose. it’s a fun arm balance that makes one truly feel as though you are flying!

what are your favorite things about living in southern california?

weather, weather, weather. i am born and raised here, so this self-admitted candy-ass californian doesn’t know the meaning of inclement weather.

what are your least favorite things about southern california?

“the keeping up with the joneses” aspect.  although i try my best not to subscribe.

 well, i think we all agree, the jones’ will be doing their best to keep up with you lovely raquel. you are truly crushable.

thank you so much for stopping by gni.