Interview – Claire Ragozzino // Vidya Cleanse

Claire is such a beautiful soul. I came across her blog several months ago reading it to the very end – falling in love with her prose, plant based recipes and self. She is the typeof being I wish I could spend a day (or week) with in my life, full of vitality, earth and movement. Claire’s journey to creating her Vidya cleanse + courses stemmed from healing her own health which is something I admire, and she’s done a pretty amazing job. I am so thankful she took the time to answer some questions. For more on Claire check out her blog | instagram | pinterest

Interivew – Claire Ragozzino // Vidya Cleanse
Who are you + what do you do
My name is Claire Ragozzino, I’m a holistic nutrition educator and yoga instructor.


How did you get involved with holistic/organic living?
In my early teens, I suffered from chronic digestive problems.  I wasn’t raised with the healthy eating lifestyle I’ve adopted now, in fact, hamburger helper and fast food was a pretty standard part of my childhood diet.  But by 15, I was tired of feeling terrible all the time, and somehow the universe delivered to me my very first raw food book. Completely intrigued, I spent an entire summer experimenting with raw cuisine and reading every alternative medicine book I could get my hands on. Then an older friend just back from India and Bali introduced me to cleansing. I got a juicer for my 16th birthday, and from there I guess you can say the rest is history! Over the years of learning, I built my lifestyle around this passion for sharing what I love and what has brought me healing along my journey. 
Tell us a bit about the e-courses you offer
I believe our health is not static, and that our bodies are closely connected to the natural cycles of the earth. With this in mind, I wanted to create an online program that used holistic cleansing as an intentional tool for reconnecting people with their personal health needs.  Cleansing with intention is a powerful medicine, and when you can do a purposeful, seasonal cleanse you can cultivate a deeper connection with your intuitive health knowledge.  Vidya actually means clarity, knowledge and inner wisdom. So the Vidya Seasonal Detox eCourse is a platform for knowledge sharing, providing you tools to inspire sustainable change in your diet and lifestyle, and find your own inner wisdom.  I guide you through the journey with step-by-step cleanse plans, seasonal recipes, shopping lists, meal planners, meditation and journaling exercises and intention crafting worksheets – so get you clear on where you’re at each season and how to find your health truth. The next global cleanse kicks off June 21st with the summer solstice!

What projects are you working on? + How will you celebrate Spring season?
I just launched the first video in my quarterly “Vidya Seasonal Kitchen” series. I’m working with my favorite local video production team, Choate House, to create short instructional cooking films based on recipes that inspire connection with the seasons and our health. Eating seasonally is a way to naturally cleanse your body and connect in with the fluid cycles of the earth and our evolving health needs. My intention is to show that seasonal cleansing can be simple, nourishing and satisfying to the mind, body and spirit. Keeping in line with the seasons, our next Kitchen Series video will be released summer solstice week.
But without getting too ahead of myself, I’m savoring the arrival of Spring by spending more time outdoors hiking and rock climbing, and enjoying all the amazing fresh salads and juices I’ve been missing over winter.  I’m also gearing up to do my own seasonal cleanse, and really looking forward to this time of reflection and renewal.
Do you have a morning routine?
I like to wake up slowly, spending my time in bed visualizing my day and reflecting on what I’m feeling with a short journaling practice before I get up.  Then, I get to my Ayurvedic morning rituals of self-care, Dinacharya, starting with oil pulling, tongue scraping and dry skin brushing before I shower.  After I’m clean and covered in a copious amount of coconut oil, I’ll head to the kitchen and make an alkalizing drink of warm water with lime and aloe vera juice.  I’ll usually sip this while I check emails (guilty!), then make some herbal tea and get over to my mat. I have a small yoga room in my home where I do my personal practice, which can vary daily from just 15 minutes of yoga therapy and pranayama (breath work), to a juicy 2-hour asana sessions with friends.  Since my schedule frequently fluctuates, keeping an open mind and fluidity to my morning yoga practice is important to me.
How do you spend your free time?
Rock climbing! I am completely hooked on climbing and take any free time I have to disconnect from technology and get outdoors.  Climbing is a total meditation, so when I’m not practicing yoga on the mat, I’m doing so on the wall. It’s so special because you get to experience this beautiful one-pointed concentration as you move with intention and balance.

Your blog is a compliation of delicious plant-based recipes and health tips because you are a nutritional health educator, how do you help your clients online/in person and heal others this way? 
I work with clients in three ways: one-on-one with private wellness consultations and food coaching sessions both in-person and online, in large group guided cleanses through my seasonal ecourses, and through workshops and retreats (I’ll be leading a fabulous retreat in Costa Rica in June, all beautiful souls should join me for a week of spirited detox in the jungle!). My teachings meld together my background in yoga, raw food nutrition and Ayurvedic principles. But my true goal is to empower people to think, feel and act intuitively when it comes to their health.
You are absolutely stunning and have a visually beautiful life, what are some beauty tips + favorite places to shop?
Thank you! I try to keep my beauty routine as natural as I can. Sticking to the mantra “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!”, I use mostly edible organic skincare products that I make or buy. In the warmer months, cooling coconut oil is my go-to lotion pre- and post-shower. In the cooler months, warming sesame oil nourishes and grounds me. I use magnesium oil for my hair, and let it air dry…but I think that part is mostly out of laziness to blow dry it! Epsom salt baths with essential oils are a pretty regular part of my weekly rituals. But above all of these habits, I’ve committed to practicing these rituals with self-love and appreciation for my body.


Favorite books/online reading material
My reading material consists of a mixture of yoga/Ayurveda/herbalism texts, cookbooks, food blogs, and quarterly journals, like Lucky Peach or Kinfolk. These are some of the books + blogs I’ve been loving lately:
·      “Woman’s Power to Heal” by Maya Tiwari
·      “Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy” by Mukunda Stiles
·      “Planetary Herbology” by Michael Tierra
·      “Vegetable Literacy” by Deborah Madison
·      Food + Lifestyle Blogs – The First Mess, Green Kitchen Stories, My New Roots, Earth Sprout, Free + Native, Justina Blakeny…are a few of my favs.
Top 5 Necessities (can be culinary,clothing, makeup, etc) for health
1. Banyan Botanicals Triphala Tablets (digestion is everything right?!)
2. Kuumba Made Sage Coconut Oil (on-the-go natural skincare)
3. Lulu’s Raw Chocolate Love Truffles (one of my favorite raw chocolate companies)
4. Rifle Paper Co. Journals (daily journaling is so essential in my life)
5. Heritage Store Rosewater Spray (for energy clearing + grounding)
For those who want live cleaner what are some tips?
Start by shopping one day a week at your local farmer’s market. Take your fresh new ingredients and research a few ways you can prepare them.  Making even just one home-cooked meal with a few fresh, local ingredients can make a big difference in your diet habits by establishing a meaningful connection with your food source and engaging in the process of preparing your nourishment with loving intention. 


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Barefoot on the beach with a babe on my hip, a few books under my belt, and surrounded by friends who inspire a healthier, happier world.
Who + What inspires you?
I’m so inspired by entrepreneurial women who live their dream proud and loud, and share it with others to inspire passion and positive change in others lives. I’m also really intrigued by people who live off the grid, who don’t live by social norms and spend their lives closely connected with their surroundings – both nature and the people in their lives.  It’s an interesting balance isn’t it? Finding a way to live authentically and share your truth is a true test I believe!
You live where + recommend these places for travel
I fancy myself a bit of a gypsy, but somehow I ended up in the Midwest – great old Oklahoma City! This place has some interesting creative energy and I’m grateful for my little home here now, but I need to travel frequently to stay alive and inspired. Here’s where I would pack a bag and hop a flight to any day:
·      Tulum, Mexico
·      Joshua Tree, California
·      Burlington, Vermont  
·      Mysore, India
·      Essaouira, Morocco

Dream Vision Board : what would your ideal day consist of?
In my perfect dream world, time would be infinite and unimportant.  Life would be centered around long meals with friends, soul-connecting conversations, and uncharted adventures.  My home in the jungle near the ocean (think Tulum), would play home to my gypsy traveling friends – their board paid in time spent caring for the garden.  Whatever we couldn’t grow ourselves, I could find by taking a trip to the farmer’s market and filling up my bike basket with fresh, local harvest. There would always be music, laughter and late-night conversation by the fire. We could sleep in hammocks under the stars, and awake to the sunrise by the ocean.  Barefoot, sun-kissed, and open-hearted, we’d greet each day.
One piece of advice

Above all else, practice self-love and compassion…the rest will follow!

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