More than powerfood
I’m sure it won’t surprise you guys to hear that food and nutrition are a big deal in my life. I started blogging about my love of (healthy!) food and drinks when I still worked at an obesity clinic. My blogs took off – a stroke of luck, as public interest in healthy lifestyles really started to grow around that time. It is so great that I’ve been able to help people on their way to a healthy lifestyle by sharing my tips, tricks, advice and my own experiences.
The year after, my first book, Powerfood, came out. The feedback I received was amazing: ‘The advice you offered in your book helped me to start eating better’ and ‘I’ve finally stopped feeling bloated’ to ‘Now that I’ve started spending more time in the kitchen, I’m enjoying food so much more’. I’ve had to wipe away more than a tear or two while reading all of your lovely words. I’m so proud that I’ve been able to make a difference.
I then began my own nutrition practice and spent three years coaching lots and lots of sweet and satisfied foodies. Doing so meant a lot to me – it meant I was giving back something positive and good. Healthy and balanced eating and the right advice made people happy and I won’t ever forget it.
Three books (available soon in English!) and one beautiful website later, I still had the feeling that I could do more for the world at large. So, when I received a message from the World Food Program (WFP) a while back, asking me if I’d like to work with them, I jumped at the chance and replied with a wholehearted YES!
The WFP is an organisation within the United Nations (UN) that works tirelessly to combat hunger all over the world with partners like the European Union who provide generous funding to make sure people like the Syrian refugees in Turkey have access to the food they need. They have a number of amazing projects running at any given time and I’m so happy and grateful to be able to contribute, as I’m very aware that there’s more to life than just powerfood. For me, food is healing; it’s medicine. That I’m disappointed when the coconut yogurt is sold out at the supermarket and that I can whip up a vitamin-rich green juice with my slow juicer when I’m feeling under the weather or make a big, healthy green salad for myself whenever I want are luxuries. I realize that my healthy lifestyle is dependent upon having everything I need available to me in a store that’s only a quick bike ride away. It’s just not achievable for everyone. What’s more, I know that food is experienced differently in different places, by different people the world over.
So, what exactly am I going to do with the WFP? It’s really exciting… This week, I’ll be heading to Gaziantep with a team of aid workers. It’s a border area in Turkey… Just a stone’s throw from Syria. While there, it’s my job to draw attention to the refugee situation. I’ll have the amazing opportunity to speak with the people there, cook with them and visit the supermarket with them in an effort to find out what they think about food. What does their diet consist of and what do eating and drinking mean to them? Undoubtedly the contrast between our privileged lives here in the Netherlands and the situation there is stark, so I’m positive that there will be plenty for me to learn during my visit. Are you as curious as I am? Follow the story via my Instagram (Stories), Facebook and Twitter!