Without our health, we have nothing. If we don’t nourish ourselves, exercise our minds and bodies, and prioritize holistic wellness, does anything else really matter?
Simply stated, health is wealth - just ask Raquel Horn.
Raquel believed so strongly in this concept that she manifested it into a television series called Health Is Wealth, and the series just premiered its third season on Dame Dash Studios.
Raquel, who is engaged to hip hop mogul Damon Dash, was inspired to start the show to find creative ways to take care of Damon, who has type 1 diabetes.
“He needs to eat better in order for his sugars not to get high so we need to limit the carbs and have higher protein and more vegetables.
So that is why Health is Wealth was started - to showcase a type 1 diabetic foods style,” Raquel explains exclusively to GLAMOUR South Africa.
“From there it evolved into my own show where I showcased my own recipes - vegan recipes - because Damon and I had become vegan after shooting the first season, and I did vegan recipes and yoga exercises.”
Health Is Wealth showcases various ways to improve your life through healthy eating, mindful workouts, and self-fulfillment through love and family.
Raquel shares a wide range of advice and values she lives by to inspire her viewers to implement positive changes in their lives to truly experience health at its finest.
Raquel opens up about her favorite 2021 healthy recipes, the importance of balancing mental and physical exercise, how she and Damon implement health conscious choices in their lifestyle, and how her IVF journey to have her son, Dusko, with Damon changed her outlook on health and wellness.
Tell us a little bit about ‘Health is Wealth.’
Health is Wealth was a program that I had originally started with Damon Dash Diabetic Network and Damon had really pushed me to do a cooking show based on how I took care of him with his diabetes and kind of making/showing my cooking and how I turned it into a family activity and how I made cooking a part of everyday life.
For me, I had IBS growing up and so cooking is important to me so that I can know every ingredient going into my food and for Damon, he is a type 1 diabetic so he needs to eat better in order for his sugars not to get high so we need to limit the carbs and have higher protein and more vegetables.
So that is why Health is Wealth was started - to showcase a type 1 diabetic foods style. From there it evolved into my own show where I showcased my own recipes - vegan recipes - because Damon and I had become vegan after shooting the first season.
I did vegan recipes and yoga exercises and then I had a special guest who showed teas to help with illnesses and colds and stuff to heal yourself.
So that is how Health is Wealth was started. So this last season was inspired by our healing trip to Hawaii.
What is the inspiration behind the show?
The inspiration behind the show is health and because health is the best form of wealth. You can’t be happy, truly happy, if you are not truly healthy, physically and mentally.
You can have all the money in the world but if you are unhealthy you are not happy, so Health is Wealth is that and showing how we have a healthy lifestyle meatally and physically and just how to eat better, how to cook whole foods, and how to eat.
In this new season, we are plant based and showing people new meals that they might not think of. So, this season Health is Wealth, we have Hawaiian inspired dishes.
What has been your biggest challenge thus far regarding ‘Health is Wealth?’
My biggest challenge, we highlight in this third season, and that is when I lost my baby.
Mentally, I had to heal but I was fortunate enough to go to Hawaii and do meditation and yoga and eat some amazing food and really get grounded and come back and I was so inspired that I came back and shot four more episodes for this season and I am sharing those with you.
So, I am literally sharing with you how I got from my dark to my light and how I worked through it all.
I really exposed myself and showed my vulnerability on camera.
What is Damon’s role in the program?
Well Damon is my biggest muse and he is my inspiration and he is what keeps me going.
He is who inspires me and keeps pushing me to do more and I wouldn’t have this show if it wasn’t for Damon to push me everyday and I just love our life together.
Our life is a vacation and I dedicate my complete and full recovery to him and him helping me not go to that dark place and pushing me to keep my mind occupied.
If he hadn't pushed me to do this third season so fast, like I had just lost the baby a month prior and I was already shooting other TV shows and still dealing with it and grieving at the time, but it helped, really keep my mind focused and not go to dark places. You know, Damon lost someone very special to
him when he was young - he lost his mother and Aaliyah so this is something he was able to help me through and walk me through.
He really helped me deal with it and I really could not have done this without him and so I really dedicate all of this to him and I am so thankful to have someone so amazing in my life.
What do you hope your viewers take away from the show?
I hope that everybody can just gain something from this. Everybody has a struggle in their life and I felt like showing mine.
It was just my way of reaching out and I am hoping that by sharing mine, I could help someone else with their struggle.
And I know that with what I went through, I am not alone, and there are many women out there that have gone through what I had gone through, if not worse.
I was just exposing myself to show what I am, this is me and this is what I have gone through and this is how I am going to deal with it and move forward and recover and this is how I am going to take the next day and come out - this is how I am going to go from dark to light, essentially.
What is your favourite dish that you’ve shared with us?
I think my favourite dish is the first episode of this season - mushroom long rice. It's funny because I really wanted this dish and I had it on the airplane coming back.
We didn't really go out too much when we were in Hawaii because we rented a house and we kind of stayed in and cooked and a few nights we had a couple of chefs come but this was a really authentic dish and it was funny that I had it on the way back to the mainland.
I loved it and I think I ate Damon’s and Nicolette’s full dish and so when Kat [Field] came to the mainland, I was adamant on making a dish like this.
What is your biggest secret to balancing health and wellness?
I guess it is just something that I love doing. I like eating, but I like eating well.
I don’t try to restrict myself. If I want a cookie, I’m gonna eat a cookie, but I do like to use really good ingredients to make sure that I am getting the best quality. I like to exercise.
I like to incorporate exercise into daily life - Dame and I are very active people so we are constantly moving, going on dog walks.
We love having breakfast together, with the baby, and we just love enjoying our meals together. We always sit down and eat as a family.
I think that’s something that is really important, something that my parents always did and I think that is something that is very important for a family - to come together, to talk, to eat at the table together.
That’s really what I love. Essentially, exercising, staying mentally and physically fit is the best. It makes you feel the best.
Walk us through your day and your diet restrictions.
My day is - morning time, I wake up and I play with the baby. I have coffee and some fruit then I’ll have oatmeal because I am breastfeeding right now and oatmeal helps create more milk.
Then, we’ll have breakfast/lunch later on in the day and then dinner time is usually followed with salads. It’s funny because I didn't want salads at all during my pregnancy but now, once I had the baby, it's all I crave for dinner.
It all started because I ate salads when I couldn’t workout for the first 6 weeks and I needed something to
make me feel like I was taking care of my body so salads for dinner it was and we just carried on with that.
How did IVF change your approach to health and wellness?
When I first started with IVF, the egg retrievals and all the injections, I was actually gluten free for about 6-8 months, I can’t remember exactly how long.
That was just because the doctor said she didn't want any kind of irritants and gluten can cause irritants, whether you have allergies to it or not, you just want to avoid it.
So trying to avoid anything that can irritate your body because you want your body to create the most perfect eggs possible, therefore you want to feed your body the best food to nourish it, to nourish the eggs without creating anything that is harder to digest.
That was all an interesting experience for me.. I was gluten free and vegan for quite some time and what was interesting was learning how to cook for that type of diet and changing my diet.
It’s kind of fun when you have such a limited diet because that's when you get more inventive in recipes and you just start experimenting with new flavours.
What is the best tip that you can give women and people in general for at home wellness?
Stay happy. That is the best tip. If you are in love, stay in love. Keeping your mind active is so positive.
If you are doing something that you love everyday, doing something towards your ultimate goal/dream, keep doing it. Something Dame talks about everyday is “do you have a dream” and “are you working towards that everyday.”
He says that it has to be a selfish dream - not something that you are doing for other people, but something that you are doing completely for yourself.
As long as you do something for yourself everyday, I feel like that is the key to happiness.