Laura Alburquerque is Costa Rican and Dutch and works as an Executive Personal Assistant at Nike European Headquarters in Hilversum for the VP of Category Merchandising. Laura is also a core team member of the Women’s of EMEA network at Nike which focuses on breaking down the barriers that prevent so many women from reaching their full potential. They believe in the power of diversity to unlock personal growth, innovation and a better world. Laura is also the founder of Eat Whole with Lau which she founded in 2018 and focuses on personal health and fitness coaching. Laura also works as a nutrition coach in her free time.
What path has your career taken?
Fitness and nutrition changed my life. I had to recover after going through two surgeries: heart surgery when I was 15 and and scoliosis back surgery when I was 17. I was overweight and not happy with my body image and struggled with it until I decided to pay attention to my health when I was 21. I started to learn more about nutrition and started to workout as well. I noticed the physical and emotional changes and I started loving everything related to fitness. Three years ago I got certified as a nutrition coach. I started spreading my passion and story through social media on how fitness changed my life with the intention to inspire others. Eat Whole with Lau was then born in 2018. I’m passionate about maximising health through how we live our lives. My mission is to educate my clients and a wider community on the benefits that fundamental nutrition practices and movement can have on all areas of our life and how much happier you can be if you have a healthy lifestyle. I am constantly learning and will start my Precision Nutrition Level 2 Master certification next year and am thrilled to learn more about human behavior and habits. This is the most exciting moment of my career and I know great things are ahead. I believe I can dream big, work hard and make it happen because I can do anything I set my heart and mind to.
What brought you/brings you to Amsterdam?
In 2011, I finished my bachelor degree in Psychology and had my own business in Tamarindo called Tamarindo Babysitting. I decided to move from Tamarindo, a beach town in Costa Rica to Hilversum to participate in an Au Pair cultural exchange program alongside the opportunity to travel, explore the experience of living abroad, learn a new language and open my mind to new opportunities. During that year, I met my ex Dutch boyfriend and in 2013 I relocated to Amsterdam for love. The craziest decision of my life: to leave my family, my job and even the pura vida beach lifestyle that I loved so much. My relationship ended and I decided to stay in Amsterdam. A decision I do not regret because it opened my mind and eyes to so much more.
What is your relationship with Zoku Amsterdam, and what are your thoughts?
Zoku Amsterdam is a place I truly love. I’ve attended 2 fantastic Feel Good events (Zoku’s booker appreciation event) with great speakers, one where we learned about work life balance and this year where we learned how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I’ve also organized Nike meetings for my leadership team colleagues at Zoku Amsterdam and they love it to. The staff is wonderful, always makes us feel at home, they have delicious food and a super cool atmosphere that inspires me to work and meet new interesting people.
What’s a life-changing song, film, event or book you’d like to recommend to others?
The best books I’ve read this year are called: Attached by Amnir Levine and Rachel S.F Heller and This is a Good Guide by Marieke Eyskoot. I’m trying to be more mindful on this topic, it’s a goal I have for 2020. I also went to the Women Ted Talk Conference this year in Amsterdam and I definitely recommend these types of events, to learn about different topics.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
I would tell my 20 year old self that health is the most important thing we have in life. Prioritizing our health is a form of self love and probably the most important thing we can do. Putting yourself first matters, taking care of yourself is so important and it’s not needed to compare yourself to others, we are all unique with different qualities and we should learn to accept who we are and make changes where needed. I would tell her that the reason we should eat, train and sleep is to keep our body healthy and strong, and that a healthy body leads to a happy mind and that having a spiritual life is very important as well.
What’s your current/newly discovered go-to product, service or app you would recommend to others and why?
My go to product is the Nike Training Club App. Its an app I use every time I travel to do my workouts and have a balanced time off, while I enjoy food, I can stay active with no need to plan my workouts.
What is one piece of advice or tip in your field of work that you want to give to people?
I believe in the importance of eating whole food to feel and perform better. Reason why I named my business Eat Whole with Lau. It’s not just about food, its not about following a certain restrictive diet to reach goals. It goes deeper than that, its about food behavior, the attitude towards ourselves first when we learn to love who we are, not comparing ourselves to others. It is also about focusing on our personal goals, and our attitude to food, stress management, rest, recovery, sleep, work-life balance and our outlook on life. I hope Eat Whole with Lau can help show people that eating should be fun and enjoyable and not a source of stress in your life. As a coach I guide and support others to reach their personal goals and help them through their challenges in their fitness journey. You can reach out to me via email or through social media, I would love to meet all of you!