Photo: © Anna Verkhorubova

Anna Verkhorubova is the founder of AVOCAI (avocado + açai), a lifestyle cafe that combines healthy eating, wellness, body work-out and the whole plethora of other things that are good for the body and the soul. We had a unique opportunity to catch this remarkable and very busy woman for interview in between her work as a model (she just came from a shooting on the Canary Islands), as a manager of AVOCAI, and a well-respected pilates teacher in Berlin.

Q: From hospitality, to modeling, now you run your own cafe and pilates studio. How did you decide to embark on this challenging yet exciting journey of running your own business?

A: It was a very long way to get to the final concept of AVOCAI. Yet, I actually knew my whole life that I HAD to run my own business. Everything in between was a learning process and I had many experiences that helped me to find my way to start a business, which is completely authentic, healthy, joyful, and hopefully makes this world a bit better while still working within the European business world 🙂

Q: How did the idea for AVOCAI first came up?

A: The first idea of this holistic lifestyle concept and the meeting space for likeminded people who want to live healthier and happier lifestyle, came about as I started crafting my own lunch after a workout. I was listening to classic music and made this pumpkin – mango puree over lightly fried bio salmon 🙂 It was 4 years ago. But the final concept of AVOCAI came 2,5 years ago during my stay on Bali. Then I realized how to make it happen.

Q: You probably tried quite a few different diets and have changed your eating habits over the years. What have you learned about nutrition and dieting that you would like to share with others?

A: Oh yes, I tried a lot of things because I was normally a bit too curvy for modeling. Now I am sure that all diets are shit 🙂 Dieting is always stressful for our bodies and is not really necessary. If you live a healthy lifestyle, meaning, eat clean, well-matched, tasty food, move a lot, take care of your body, as well as your mind and your soul, then you are balanced, satisfied with your life, you don’t need diets.

But in general, to stay in shape, I don’t eat sugar, gluten, and carbs in the evening. I don’t eat meat and always try to keep my food very clean [and simple], using very little dressings and stuff. I want the real taste 🙂 That’s why I chose food in paleo style, but mostly vegan 🙂

Q: How long have you been doing pilates and why did you chose this body-workout to other options?

A: I’ve been doing pilates for 6 years now. For me, pilates is the best core working movement method, and it is very healthy for the whole body: it increases your inner strength, trains your core, activates the „right“ energy flow, brings connection to your body and mind, and makes your muscles long, tight and lean.

Q: What is the most difficult part about running your own business and what do you enjoy especially about being your own boss?

A: The most difficult part about running your own business alone is thinking and doing a 1000 different things at the same moment – You just have to take care of everything! And of course, the financial situation at the beginning is always hard.

The best thing about being my own boss is having the freedom to be creative and to follow my goals to make our world a bit more aware, positive and healthy, in my own way.

Q: As a health practitioner and an entrepreneur, what tips would you give to someone who: 

1. Wants to become healthier? 

The most important thing is to live in harmony with ourselves and others. If there are things which disturb you – work on it. If you can’t change them – accept them and love yourself. Be kind to others, smile, live in joy, eat healthy, good food, enjoy it, do sports, drink water, spend time with beloved, positive people, focus on good things, do something meaningful, meditate, do yoga, take time for yourself and dream 🙂 Health is a holistic lifestyle concept 🙂

2. Wants to run a business?

Work focused, … with love, joy and fun. Be creative. Take time to relax, to clear your mind and start every morning again and again to follow your main goals from the fresh point of view! 

Final Notes:

Wow, a lot of great ideas and tips here! It has been an absolutely pleasure to work on this interview with Anna Verkhorubova, and we from the Berlin Yoga Conference wish Anna much success. Indeed, if only the world had more people like Anna, it would definitely be a better place for everyone!