Raven Zaal is the founder and CEO of Healthy Life and Oils in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where she educates, coaches, and empowers women to help them get and stay healthy in a natural way, with natural solutions and essential oils. She has a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Management, and an ongoing, post-graduate level education in Behavior Modification and Special Education.
She is also a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach. “In a nutshell,” she says, “I am a supportive mentor and wellness authority who works with [clients] on a one-to-one basis, or through group coaching programs I have.” She emphasizes food and lifestyle changes to help her clients feel their best.
What she loves most, she says, is empowering women, and uses her own life experience to illustrate the benefits of what she calls clean eating. “I’ve been through quite the journey,” she said. “I was an emotional eater. If I got pissed off, I ate. If I was sad, I ate. If I was frustrated or stressed out in some way shape or form, I ate. It’s just what I did. So I love, love, love working with women who deal with that, because I’ve been there.”
After the birth of her son in 2000 Raven Zaal went through post-partum depression. “My weight blew up,” she recalls. “I was heavier after I had him than when I was nine months pregnant. My weight skyrocketed a couple of years later to a whopping 267 pounds!” She remembers having a lot of anxiety. She began smoking, drinking a lot of soda, and eating fast food. “I was tired and sluggish all the time, and I felt downright disgusting.” The final straw came when she and her husband split up. “At that time, I completely let myself go.”
A lot of people think weight issues are the result of wanting to eat all the time. “In fact,” Raven Zaal says, “I was stuffing the feelings, emotions, and everything else that I hated about me, which at the time was a lot.” She tried every diet out there but nothing really worked. In 2008 she had lap band surgery, a laparoscopic surgical procedure in which an adjustable silicone band is fitted around the top part of the stomach. The idea is the limit the amount of food take, but for her, at least, it didn’t work. “It did not change what I ate or teach me about health, nutrition, reading labels or how this was a lifestyle change.”
What she needed, she finally realized, was to work on her inner self. She sought counseling and began to improve. “I healed, the weight came off, but it took time to learn and to deal with the root of the issues versus masking the issues.” She still struggles but has never felt better.
“Essential oils have been around for decades, and it’s so important to learn about them, and the therapeutic value of them,” Raven Zaal says. Essential oils are the highly concentrated essences of plants, and when absorbed into the skin promote cleansing, nourishing and rejuvenation.After numerous doctor appointments, medications and surgeries, Zaal brought both natural solutions and essential oils into her life, and her body was then able to heal.
Now she wants to bring clean eating and essential oils to as many women as possible. “Did you know the happiest people in this world are people that help others?” she says. As a Health and Life Coach she wants to empower women, and through Healthy Life and Oils she is doing just that.