Substitute for coffee

5 tips to avoid catching a cold

When the weather gets cold, a lot of people catch a cold. These are my 5 tips to avoid catching a cold, which help me to protect myself against a cold or flu, or to get over it quicker! No one wants to fall ill, so a good regimen is key to good health especially in cold days. And if you catch a cold, a  healthy lifestyle will help you recover quicker!

1. Live a healthy lifestyle

This is especially important in the cold season. This means eating healthy, warming foods like soups and stews, with lots of energy that your body needs to stay warm. Also you have to move your body enough during the day, even if the weather makes you feel you want to curl up on the couch with a warm cup of tea and a blanket. Go walk your dog a few times, or go work out. Make sure you get a good night sleep. It is dark more hours of the day, and that means you need to get more sleep.

READ MORE: 5 tips for Smart ( and Healthy) Healthy Grocery Shopping

2. Wash your hands all the time, and go everywhere with a hand sanitizer

This doesn't need much explanation really. During the day you touch a lot of surfaces that other people have touched as well. Bacteria and viruses are easily spread that way. And if you don't you are more likely to catch a cold.

READ MORE: How to properly wash your hands to avoid a cold

3. Hydrate yourself

When it is cold people or less likely to drink enough water because it is cold, but when you are inside with the heater on, you are dehydrating rapidly. This means drinking enough water and/or tea, but also making sure your skin from the outside stays hydrated. Especially dry skin on your lips, inside your nose, and dry eyes are excellent places for viruses and bacteria to enter your body. When these are hydrated, you create a barrier between you and the potential viruses and bacteria. I use homeopathic eyedrops, aloe vera for my nose, coconut oil for my skin, and coconut butter or shea butter for my lips. Also hydrate the air you breathe. Humidify the air using a humidifier inside your apartment, and let it run day and night. Also, when you go outside, wrap a scarf around your mouth and breathe through it. When you preheat the air, and moisten the air with your saliva, it will again protect against a dry mouth and bacteria and viruses from easily entering through your mouth and nose.

READ MORE: Water!

4. Take some extra vitamins

Especially Vitamin C which is known to be helping boost your immune system. I also take oregano oil which supposedly has anti-viral properties and garlic because it is supposed to cleanse your blood. Also a complete wellness mix of herbs to boost your immune system is a good option. Go to your local vitamin store for advice and ask your doctor what vitamins work for you.

READ MORE: Vitamins and minerals

5. Drink tea with healing herbs

I like Mu tea which is a combination of 16 herbs including licorice, and the good old herbal teas including chamomile and jasmin tea and ginger tea. Add some honey. Honey is known for the antibacterial qualities so it is said that taking honey will soothe your throat. More hard-core is adding raw ginger to your tea. This really helps me to avoid catching a cold!

READ MORE: Ginger Lemon Tea

Stay warm & healthy!

Love, Lonneke


How to make organic coffee at home

It is hard to not like coffee! And while you can get really nice (and expensive) coffee to go in fancy coffeeshops, nothing beats a delicious cup of organic coffee at home.

How we make my favorite cup of coffee

This Organice Your Life clip shows you how we make the best organic coffee at home in New York City! This time it was a Latte macchiato, made with my favorite organic coffee by Antica Tostatura Triestina, an Italian coffee company of my friend Alessandro Hausbrandt. Antica has many kinds and flavors of coffee. My husband likes the regular beans, and I like the decaf beans.

READ MORE: Antica Tostatura Triestina

Organic coffee

Why we prefer organic coffee? Because this way the beans are produced and grown without harmful chemicals and pesticides. Also, especially for decaf coffee it is important to know how the caffeine is extracted from the beans, as many companies do it with lots of bad chemicals.

Homemade coffee

For your homemade coffee, all you need next to the delicious organic ground coffee is a little stovetop espresso maker, a milk frother and organic (vegan) milk. if you have whole beans you also need a grinder.

Just an FYI when you watch the clip: the milk that gets frothed is heated in a skillet until warm.

Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke

Antica Tostatura Triestina coffee

Att cafe organic

 

 


Helping the homeless on cold days

The days have become shorter, the leaves are starting to fall. In all colors they cover the ground. The wind is picking up, you are starting to get cold and you have to wear a warm sweater.

I love cold days

What I like when it gets colder (but not too cold) Is a long walk, breathing in the fresh air. The feeling you get when you get back to your warm house, priceless. The hot shower afterwards is even better! A real treat after a workout, because a long walk is good for you.

READ MORE: 5 tips to Stay warm

Homeless on the streets of NYC

I know I am lucky. When I see the homeless, I feel bad. In NYC there are a lot of them. These are people that just can't function well in society. And for those there is no place, except outside, on the streets. I used to give them money. But you never know what they spend it on. I have been disappointed one time when this man came out of a supermarket with a beer in his hand, bought with my money.

READ MORE: 5 tips for a Good Heart

What is the best way to start helping the homeless on cold days

We have to be smarter: We have to donate money to different places, places where homeless can get a good meal and a place to sleep. Like the Bowery Mission, very close to where I live. Every donation really does a lot. You can also give them clothing or food directly of course!

Homeless in NYC copyright Fairest Photo

My tips for helping the homeless on cold days

Every season I clean out my closet. After my friends and cleaning lady dig in and look for things they like, I take the leftover clothes to Union Square, where they collect used, but good clothes. Or we bring them to a consignment store, drop them off at Salvation Army or at The bowery Mission.

READ MORE: 10 charities to give to this year

You can also drop off groceries and essential toiletries at a soup kitchen or specialized organization. One time I helped out an afternoon at Lunch Break in New Jersey, USA. I packed bags for people with low income or who did not have a home. They need simple things like deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Canned food is always good (Luckily a lot of organic food options were donated) and the soup kitchen cooks with it so the homeless can come have lunch, or they can come pick up essentials and food items. It really felt great helping out!

ACE NYC Charity

Many people from abroad sometimes think that the USA is not taking great care of its people. There are a lot of homeless, that is true. Some have come from other countries and are illegal, some just can't keep up with the hustle and bustle of life these days, and others are simply addicted and need help. But the USA is also the country that is placed very high on the lists of countries that donate the most per citizen to charity., the World Giving Index (one is Myanmar apparently!) And there are indeed many people and charities that help homeless get back on their feet, like ACE New York.  ACE New York helps homeless by guiding them in the process of getting back to work. In the meantime they become part of Soho's cleaning team and they keep the streets clean. in return many buildings in Soho donate to this organization because they help keep the streets clean. it is a win-win situation! I used to work a lot with this charity by helping their secondhand store Use Your Head by giving advice, raising donations and organizing events. 

Small things can make a big difference. I hope to do my thing for the homeless, especially now the cold days are coming our way.  And when I walk in the street on one of my walks? I say hello at least. These people are being ignored by most people, and they are just like us! Life is sometimes unfair, but everyone can do something to make it a bit better for others. Think about that the coming months.

Below are some local initiatives in NYC and beyond, that can inspire you to start helping others on cold days.

www.bowery.org

Salvation Army

ACE New York

First published on September 30rd 2009, updated in 2019


How to survive the Holidays

Hi everyone! Wishing you happy holidays and a wonderful New Year. Hopefully this year will bring you joy if you want to find happiness, and some relief when the past year was tough on you. Here are my tips on how to survive the holidays!

Holidays & Traditions Youtube video

I made a video called " Holidays & Traditions" to give you tips on how to survive the holidays. I give you an insight how I spend my Christmas. I even give tips on Christmas gifts: It is the thought that counts!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnUfsYgzbo4

Start your own Holiday traditions

I have made one thing my yearly tradition: Sending people I care about homemade Christmas cards! This way I spread the Holiday Cheer, on my terms. I really like making them myself. Check out our Christmas card of 2019 below featuring my lovely dog Bane.

Thoughtful Gifts

It is not about the price of the gifts, it is the thought that counts! Give something special. Something handmade, or picked out with a lot of thought. You can also give someone a donation to a charity (below are 10 great options to donate to in someone else's name!) And if you shop on Amazon for gifts, please make sure to use Amazon Smile, as you can then pick a charity of your choice to donate too!

How to deal with family and friends

A Dutch research found that 50% of dutch people think the Christmas Dinner is mandatory. They are not really enjoying themselves as much. 25% prefers to continue working ( a big chunk!) and 17% of people seem to argue during the Christmas dinner or Holiday party.

Isn't it time you spend your Christmas exactly the way you want to? It will save you a lot of stress and... money! Just think of the gifts you don't have to buy and the conversations you don't have to avoid. If things are unsaid between family members or friends, maybe avoid Christmas dinners with them to avoid escalation. Because it is not a time to speak about the issues, but when one thing goes wrong, people might burst out! Apparently this happens quite a lot! When people put so much pressure on other people to dress up, bring gifts, cook amazing food, be in the party-mood, and have a great time all together, there is so much risk of failure.

My tip to avoid arguments during the Holidays

Avoid these people altogether, and celebrate the way you want to, only with the people you love and who make you feel good. This means less stress, and more happiness! Bring on the true Holiday Cheer!

Don't overeat

Everyone will probably overindulge during Christmas, and that is ok, but know that the first bite is always the most satisfying! The bites after that are less and less satisfying. So really enjoy the first bites, eat slowly, so your brain has time to notice that your stomach is getting full. Also, if you don't overeat, you also don't have to go on a diet beginning of the year!

Help Others during the Holidays

I ask you to help others who find themselves in an unfortunate position during the cold winter days. I wrote an article with My 10 Charities to give to this year. 

READ MORE: Helping the homeless during the cold days

READ MORE: Five tips for a Good Heart

Let me know on Twitter what you thought of the video, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and let me know how you are/were celebrating the Holidays.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Lonneke


Black Bean Brownies by Lonneke for Vogue Nederland

One Christmas, Vogue Nederland gathered 5 women who are food experts to share a recipe that would together make up that year's "Vogue NL Christmas Dinner" (or in Dutch: Vogue Kerst Diner.  For some reason they have removed the page on their website, but we still have this delicious treat for you!

I was asked to submit the dessert.

Here you can find the recipe in English for the vegan Black Bean Brownies by Lonneke for Vogue Nederland:

Vogue NL Christmas Dinner
A simple and delicious chocolate dessert that is a bit healthier due to the use of black beans. Also great as an in between snack if you need some extra energy.

Author:
Cuisine: vegan
Recipe type: black bean brownies Christmas edition
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • a can of black beans, rinsed and cooked for 1 hour. (about 240 gr of black beans after draining them)
  • 2 teaspoons broken flaxseeds
  • 4 tsp water
  • 10 gr raw cocoa powder
  • 40 gr oatmeal flakes
  • ⅙ tsp salt
  • 75 gr sweetness (I used a mix of 40 gr of maple syrup and 35 gr of agave syrup)
  • 20 gr coconut oil
  • 20 gr cacao butter
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 130 gr chocolate chips or small pieces of chocolate of your choice
  • 4 table spoons of shredded coconut
  • decoration:
  • mint leaves
  • frozen blue berries
  • half a cup of beet juice

Instructions
  1. Heat oven at 180C (about 350F)
  2. Mix the broken flaxseeds with the water until it becomes a jelly
  3. Mix all other products in a mixer except the chocolate chips.
  4. Afterwards mix in the chocolate chips in the dough with a spoon
  5. Pour the dough into a non stick or buttered up baking pan and preferably make a ½ inch thick layer of dough.
  6. Bake it in 15-18 minutes.
  7. Let it cool a bit and cut the brownie into squares.
  8. Pour a bit of coconut flakes on top, which will make it look a bit like Winter.
  9. For the sauce in the picture I mixed a bit of beet juice and frozen blueberries and warmed it for a second so it mixes. I poured it on the plate with a spoon in a pattern.
  10. For decoration you can use a small mint leaf.
  11. Serve with a scoop of organic ice cream, like vanilla ice cream.
  12. Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke

 


Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

My top 10 charities to give to this year

If you don't know to which charities you should give money, here is my top 10 charities to give to this year. Charities that, some big and some small, give focused help. Therefore you get more "use" out of the money you spend on these charities. While there are many organizations that do good, I have listed charities I have experience with/donated to in the past/or have been to their charity events.  Either I have seen it with my own eyes or I just really trust these organizations, these are my favorite 10 charities of 2013/2014:

My top 10 charities to give to this year

1. Animal Haven

Category dogs and cats in NYC, USA. This is a boutique no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. They don't have a big budget, but seem to really be efficient with their funds, and they help a lot of dogs! Many come from the NYCACC kill shelter, but they also take dogs in need from all over the World. My dog BANE came from Animal Haven and we adopted him from there a few years ago! They took care of him for 10 months before he came into our lives. The dogs are extremely happy and well-behaved who come from this shelter. Volunteers and employees really do everything to make their short-term stay (hopefully) as comfortable as possible. Their new location even has airconditioning in the rooms that are spacious for the dogs and cats! My dog Bane loves to visit them. I think that says a lot if a dog likes to return to a shelter!

Dirk, Lonneke and Bane
Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

 

2. Stichting Dimarte

Category: horses, the Netherlands.

Stichting Dimarte is a dutch charity that gives a home to abused and injured horses. Dimarte, led by Hester and her team, rehabilitate the horses both emotionally and physically. Most horses have so much trauma that they can't be ridden ever again, so they stay there until their last breath. Volunteers help with the daily care. This charity is also doing a lot on the social level, helping young kids and teenager who are having troubles rehabilitate too. There is a lot of emphasis on education of care for horses. I had been looking for a nice place for my 2 horses for years (as many of you know my horses were unfortunately abused by the people I paid to care for them, and I am still in a court case about it after almost 6 years!). I was happy when Dimarte helped me find that place. Regularly I receive pictures and videos of U2 and Cooper having a good time. All the other horses seem to be doing well too. If you want to support this cause too, you can go to their website or Facebook page to get more info on how to donate. I know each Euro or dollar will really do a lot of good here at this small charity! www.stichtingdimarte.nl 

horses U2 and Cooper with Hester

U2 (dark bay color) on the left, and Cooper (chestnut color) on the right, with Hester.

3. ASPCA (USA)

Category: dogs, cats, horses USA - The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I have been supporting, donating and going to their charity events for years now. Why? I think the way you treat your animals says a lot about you. In most cases when people find animal abuse, there are other problems in place. Finding animal abuse ism besides helping animals, sometimes also the first step to help the people who own them. I have seen with my own eyes how they take in dogs & cats that are abused, neglected or malnourished, or are on the list to be euthanized in other shelters. They will bring them back to health, and find new forever homes for them. People who can't afford it, can get free veterinary care for their pets. Also, the ASPCA has been doing the same for horses all across the United States. In 1866, this charity was founded by Henry Bergh to primarily help sick, injured or abused horses. in 1902 they were the first to have an ambulance in NYC to take carriage horses of the streets that were injured. (Read more ASPCA history HERE)

lonneke aspcaAttending an ASPCA charity event in NYC, photo by Sonia Moskowitz (?) for ASPCA

3. NYCLASS (USA)

nyclass logoCategory: workhorses NYC - New Yorkers for Clean, Livable And Safe Streets. Although some people think the horse drawn carriages in NYC are so very romantic, the fact is that this is true case of horse abuse. There are many reasons why the 220 carriage horses of NYC should be taken of the streets. First of all: horses don't belong in heavy and loud traffic of one of the busiest metropoles of the World. Horses get into accidents, and every year it seems to be more and more. The horses work too long hours, in extreme cold and extreme heat, 7 days a week. Sometimes doing double shifts if the owner wants to make an extra buck (that's over 16 hour days then) They are never turned out or walked without a carriage so they can just stretch and be a horse. Their living conditions? Appalling. Some horses are stabled even on the second floor of buildings that were obviously not meant to have horses reside there. Ever seen a horse walk up the stairs? Well, some do it every day. Not to mention the small spaces they stay in. Some horses can't even turn around. During Sandy in November 2012, These horses were not allowed to be on the streets. Where were they? Suddenly, after working every day, they stayed INSIDE their stables for the full week! If that is not bad for a horse, I don't know what is! To make a long story short: NYCLASS already has a loving and forever place for each of the 220 NY Carriage horses once the bill is in place to take the horses of the streets of NYC.  There is even a great alternative I wrote about earlier:  the horseless electric carriage. How Smart! These days they focus also on more animal-related issues. Attending a NYCLASS charity event in NYC

4. Pencils of Promise. (USA)

Pencils of Promise logoCategory: children/education/worldwide - Founded by the manager of Justin Bieber, Adam Braun, this charity builds schools worldwide in places where kids otherwise would not go to school. It is that simple. Every penny goes to the schools. They have projects in countries like Laos, Guatamala & Ghana They have a goal of 100 schools by the end of 2012. They already finished about 75 of them. This year I attended the PoP gala where Usher was being honored, and also bid 12000 dollars on a cute labradoodle puppy he called "Poppy". This way more and more is raised for education for kids! So join the movement!

lonneke Pencils of PromiseAttending a Pencils of Promise event in NYC in 2012

5. Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Fund.

Category breast cancer/cancer /research/women's health - A charitable organization originated by Ralph Lauren, which supports breast cancer research and prevention all around the World. You can donate directly, or buy one of their Pink Pony products to show your support and that way donate to this good cause. I also posed for Ralph Lauren Pink Pony once.

Lonneke Pink Pony

6. Washington Square Park Conservancy

Category: parks & recreation

This is my favorite park in NYC, and a favorite of many New Yorkers and tourists alike.  Creative and musical people find this place inspiring. Every day I walk here I feel like I am on vacation. A Mix of all kinds of people are enjoying themselves. My father figure George Vellonakis redesigned the park a few years ago and is now working for the Washington Square Park Conservancy to upkeep the park and it's beautiful plants, trees, history, famous arch and famous fountain. The Conservancy hires many homeless people to do the landscaping of the park. That way they help them get work experience and get them back on their feet.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

7. WSPA International.

Category factory animal welfare/food safety

Helping factory farm animals around the World who are raised for consumption. The WSPA protects and helps all animals around the World where help is needed. They bought agree that animals should not be raised in a factory as this is a situation of prolonged suffering for the animals. The practices used to raise these animals are upsetting and make you not want to eat meat again if you see it. Unfortunately a lot of people are closing their eyes for these practices, and keep buying these products, to which the industry continues to use these practices. As the consumer is King, if they would refuse to buy these animal products, the industry would have to change their practice. it is that simple. So you can help these organizations by buying animal friendly products consciously to show your support. Only consumers can truly change the system by asking for better living quality for the food they eat, and not let a few cents make the decision of what animal products you eat or not. The money you save this way short-term will get back to you in health problems the long way, as these animals are treated with hormones, cruel feeding methods, lots of medication, and are just unhappy. You eat that energy and bad energy is never good for you. Think about helping these organizations and think when you buy your food next time in the grocery store. You are what you eat.

wspa logo

8. The Non-GMO project.

non gmoCategory food safety. While most people are becoming more aware of the reasons to choose and eat organic food, just buying products that say "Organic" on it, is not good enough anymore to assure what you eat is truly as nature intended. Big corporations are making "organic" a business and are trying to sit on the fine lines of what is organic and not. A product can get an "organic" seal even if the product is not 100% organic. You can't be totally sure anymore unless you investigate yourself some more of what you and your family eat. It is important to investigate even further what you eat, on a molecular level. Since a few decades some big corporations have invented "GMO" , and they are selling it and you are buying it. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and means that the food that you consume, is genetically altered. (You should read my article on GMO to understand what it is.) There are many reasons why one should not consume GMO, and this non profit organization is showing you all the facts. But it is a personal choice if you want to know or not. Now the Non-GMO project is labeling food that is without GMO, it has become much easier to know what is in the food products you buy. I appreciate their work so much! Now I know what to buy or not in the store. As food, together with clean water and clean air are the essentials to live, I think this is something that is important for all people. Your support will help them bring more awareness and better food to you. Keep an eye out for this label!

9. Food & Water Watch, Category air/water/food safety

This organization covers many issues we have these days. Issues that come from water pollution to fracking, from factory fish farming to bottled water and many more that affect everyone. this website is a great resource already to get your info on what's going on in the World these days, so you can make the right decisions on what to support when it comes to the knowning what food you eat and protecting the water you drink.

food water watch

10. Justgiving

Category charity website.  And to conclude my 10 favorite charities to give to this year, I added a website to which you can browse yourself to find your preferred charity to give to. You can search on Just Giving for or a charity you like and donate online. Over 10.000 charities, big and small, are waiting for your donation!

just giving logo

I hope these 10 great organizations have helped you to find out whom you are going to support this year!

Other charities that were brought to my attention on Twitter when I asked my followers which charities should add, but did not make my top 10 are: Net4KidsLendahandGive Directly, Reporters without Borders,  Stichting Vluchteling Artsen zonder grenzen; Warchild; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International; Greenpeace; Bits of Freedom; Wikileaks; Tess Unlimited, Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij KNMR,  World Wildlife Fund WWF. Plan Nederland, Terre des HommesStichting Hulphond Nederland, ,Inloophuis de Eik ,De Snoezelbus in Rotterdam ,Even a charity to make cannabis legal named VOC  .Thank you followers for sharing these with us!

Forbes also made a list of the top 50 largest USA charities, which can help you make a decision on what charity to support this year too!

What is your top 10 of favorite charities to give to?

Love, Lonneke

all photos courtesy of myself or the charities mentioned.

(if you are a photographer featured please let me know so I can credit you accordingly :) )


Lonneke Talks I'M Back Youtube video

Lonneke Talks: I'm Back!

I have decided to start making videos again! I will post them on my Youtube channel. Hopefully people will enjoy them and if my information can help a few people, that would be great!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqrnGrVrIqI&t=119s

Why I stopped filming for a while

I took a break for a while due to things that happened in my life the past years. I was forced to spend my time focusing on other things. I will address these one by one in the future. I think if I share my story of what happened to me it can help others in the process. I will do the videos in English or Dutch depending on the subject. I do a lot of research for each video, so you can call them "journalistic" pieces if you want to.

Topics of my Lonneke Talks Youtube videos will include:

  • Healthy Living
  • Animal Welfare
  • My life in NYC
  • Living in the USA under President Trump
  • Things happening in the country I was born and raised: the Netherlands

 

You can watch old videos and see what I have been working on selflessly the past years, because I felt strongly about these causes. After 20 years of working as model around the World, I took a sabbatical 7(!) years to focus on my health, and give back to my community and work on causes that I love. In my process of healing from a severe stress disorder (PTSD/Burnout/autoimmune disease) over these past years I decided together with my therapist that I would spend time on causes that made me happy and did not stress me out. I was not able to take on work, but little projects that I could do whenever I felt good enough, would be the best use of my precious time, and only if I had a good day. So I did :)

These projects included:

OrganiceYour Life.com

Giving people tips on healthy and organized living. I noticed a lot of healthy people sharing information online to stay healthy and live an organized life, but what happens if you fall ill like I did? Not many people who are living with a chronic illness or auto immune disease are open about it or share insights on how to get back to health and stay healthy. In the USA alone it is estimated that 50 million people suffer from one or more autoimmune diseases, so it is important that we help each other to feel our best! And it took me 7 (!) years to start feeling a bit normal again, still with some bad days now and then. It is all about managing my health every second of the day. And stress is definitely a big factor so I do everything to avoid it as much as possible as it is bad for my health! Unfortunately sometimes the stress comes from other people and you need to find ways to deal with it so it does not break you.

I share my tips and tricks on this website!

READ MORE: Organize Your Life: Make your House your Home

READ MORE: Managing your High Performance Life

Videos for Organiceyourlife.com

The past I did a few videos about healthy living in NYC for my website organiceyourlife.com. I liked to go to the farmers market, filmed a few recipes and interviewed a few inspiring people as I like having a good conversation with interesting individuals. You can watch all videos on my youtube channel GetOrganiced

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3VijUsmWW4&t=2s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLjPuj_MYUI&t=1s

 

Advising on laws regarding breed specific legislation in the Netherlands

Animal Welfare: We traveled to the Netherlands because we received an invitation of a dutch representative of the House, and met Dutch minister Schouten who was responsible for Laws regarding dogs in the Netherlands. There was a strong lobby to install a ban on certain breeds and having an American Staffordshire Terrier named Bane myself who is a trained service dog and who saved 2 lives so far, I wanted to introduce them to him so they know who they are targeting. I have experience with Pitbull type dogs and rehabilitating them, and have done extensive research on these bans Worldwide . Therefore I know they do not work, and in many cases they work the opposite way: more bite incidents. Because any dog can bite when in the wrong hands. You need to target the cause, not the result. Knowing the devastating deadly and costly effects of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), I urged her to not install a Law discriminating against certain breeds but install laws that are equal to all breeds and owners. I brought Bane to the Dutch House of Representatives and met different representatives and the minister herself. The best is when people see for themselves what they are dealing with. Of course the people who lobby for the ban ran away from us and did not want to get introduced. Scared little puppies they were!

Result of my efforts to stop BSL in the Netherlands

I am happy to say that despite the lobby for BSL and previous Secretary of State van Dam who wanted to instal BSL, this minister was so smart to request a research, and the report basically supported my findings as well. Instead, Minister Schouten installed laws that are equal to all breeds and she got rid of a list of 21 so called "High risk" breeds. Even though it cost me money, time and energy to be involved and I did not get paid for my advice I feel very accomplished and happy that Bane and I could do our bit to stop this madness in the Netherlands all the way from the USA. But people need to always be vigilant as at the next election another minister will enter the scene.

Below are 2 videos regarding this subject, in dutch. The first one is explaining what was happening, and the second explaining my visit to the house of representatives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMAQ_mZwsAw&t=12s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpE5P0qgsSI&t=34s

 

Dutch Politics

I also shared a few videos explaining the political system in the Netherlands. Because I am interested how the system works and how laws are made. I do a lot of research on it and on the judicial system over there and want to explain it to the Americans over here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN0nlrziN6c&t=3s

Life in America and the election of President Trump

I predicted Donald Trump to become president and made a few videos about his election and his first weeks. I did these videos in dutch to show the people in the Netherlands what is truly happening here as many Mainstream media outlets did not show the Truth. It seems that not much has changed and I might have to do more videos on this subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F232UIvJ4Ug&t=15s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkCU5TmbXJo&t=26s

And of course I like to talk about supporting good work by people and charitable organizations! This video is one that is special as I went to visit Animal Haven shelter in my neighborhood. They saved my dog Bane from death row and homed him for 10 months before I adopted him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyQtRSaiNOo

Court case of my abused dressage horse U2

This case has been going on for more than 6 years believe it or not! On May 20th, 2020 we will have to go to Court again in the Netherlands to have this case examined by 3 judges in the Appeal. The issue is that my horses were not treated with respect and care. They were abused. I do not condone any abuse, especially not when you have paid a lot of money for good care and training of your horses. I have found a great place for my horses to retire and spend the rest of their lives in harmony. You will hear more about it all of course!

READ MORE: 10 Charities to Give to this Year

End of my update

That is a little update on the things I have been doing the past years while trying to heal myself and deal with things from the past.

Youtube

I promise you my videos will be different than any other Youtube channel on Youtube, simply because I am not interested in any of the extreme entertainment, celebrity, and showing off mentality that most of them expose. I want to show real stories, and aim for fair and balanced videos to give you a balanced view so you can form your own opinion. I will also write more in-depth articles for organiceyourlife.com based on these videos.

Hope to see you soon on my Youtube Channel!

Love,

Lonneke

 


New York City Winter Movies tour

Whether you are visiting New York City during the Winter or Christmas, or are just at home and want to see some nice family movies during the Holidays, here are my 5 favorite movies to watch in the Winter time. And maybe you can go visit the film locations in New York City! Check my New York City Winter Movies Tour, starting with no. 1 on top:

1. Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

This is the all-time favorite, not-to-miss movie starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin, who by accident gets on the wrong plane and flies to New York City by himself, instead of Florida with his family. While the Plaza hotel does exist (it is now half a residential building and half a hotel) The toy store in the movie does not really exist -the movie's toystore "Duncan's Chest" was filmed in Chicago - this is the movie's version of FAO Swarz, a toy store a few blocks to the East of Plaza Hotel, on 5th Avenue. You can go there and enjoy the toys. Go see the movie, and go see the Plaza hotel from Central Park. You can also book a room here and order room service just like Kevin did in the movie. I also love the Home Alone 2 trivia, as there are more interesting facts to this movie and film locations.

The Trailer of Home Alone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0kJieJ1k6k

2. Serendipity

Probably one of my favorite romantic movies ever made. A lot is filmed around New York City in the Winter. It is a very nice movie for the Winter nights, with lots of love, Winter season activities and snowflakes. The story is about how Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet at a kiosk at Bloomingdale's to buy gloves. Sara decides it should be faith if they should meet again,and she writes her phone number and name in a book. Jonathan writes his number on a dollar bill. The whole movie you see them trying to find each other's phone number and hoping destiny will bring them together.There is actually a restaurant in New York City named Serendipity 3 (225 E 60th street, between 2nd & 3rd avenue), and that's where a few scenes in the movie are filmed. Jonathan and Sara share a Frozen Hot Chocolate here, a famous drink from Serendipity they even trademarked. It is not so healthy but so fun to go and have one yourself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePU2Ux9JIMM

Other places you should visit are Bloomingdale's (1000 3rd avenue & E 59th street) where Sara and Jonathan meet, The Waldorf Astoria hotel (301 Park Avenue between 49th & 50th) where Jonathan's wedding takes place, Wollman Rink in Central park where Jonathan and Sara are going ice skating and where they reunite. More locations of this movie you can find HERE>, as they also were filming in my neighborhood, as well as some unknown trivia questions HERE>

3. A night at the Museum

A fun movie with Ben Stiller, who plays Larry who becomes a guard in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (Central Park West & 79th street)  He is supposed to " not let anything in, and not let anything out". He later finds out what that means when he is by himself at night at the museum. (This movie was also directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed Home Alone 1 and 2.).

The Trailer of A Night at the Museum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2G-8raHvOU

 

4. Elf

A true Christmas movie. Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) is an adult human who was raised by elves. He is going to New York City to meet his real father Walter Hobbs (James Caan) who is on Santa's naughty list. If you watch this movie you want to go visit the Empire State Building (350 5th Avenue at 34th street) and you want to go see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (5th Avenue between 49th & 50th street). A joyful funny movie for the whole family!

The trailer of Elf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW9wRNqQ_P8

5. Noel

They want us to believe it is all filmed in New York City, but most of it was in fact filmed in Canada. So it should not really be on this list. You do see Rockefeller center and other nice shots of New York City in Winter/Christmas time. But as Paul Walker has a lead roll in it next to Susan Sarandon and Penelope Cruz,  I thought it was a nice gesture to include this movie in my top 5 list in his memory.

The trailer of Noel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLjj5EwviQY

 

p.s. I found a great website with more New York City film locations of all your favorite New York City movies in one place: On the set of New York

 


The Power of Bone Broth

Everytime Fall arrives I can't wait to eat lots of stews, soups and broths! 

Warming up inside

One thing that I discovered is making me feel good and warm inside, is a warm broth especially a bone broth. Yes, you can also drink vegetable broths, and I do love them too. But decades ago bone broths were very normal to drink, they were all over the place and made people feel better. The past few years in NYC, I noticed that bone broth has definitely made a come back! While vegan food was the hype these past years, some vegan and organic businesses have gone out of business since. (think my favorites Organic Avenue, Gusto Organics and Souen) The new kid on the block is bone broth, and more bone broth places are opening up. (like Brodo.)

What is bone broth

Bone broth is made of leftover bones and tissue of animals, like chicken, cows and meat. Some broths are more thin because they are made of only the meat, others are called bone broths and they are thicker due to the gelatin of the bones. A good butcher will use everything "nose-to-tail " of an animal and the leftover bones will go into a big stock pot with water and maybe other ingredients like herbs and vegetables that help the bones release their powerful marrow, gelatine, amino acids and minerals.

Broth can also be made vegan with mushrooms, seaweed or vegetables.

When do I drink bone broth

I like to use bone broth in cooking stews and soups following the AIP diet (Autoimmune Protocol Diet) which I try to follow as many days of the week. But I also like to just drink bone broth on its own. Where other people order a $12 cocktail, I like to order a $12 bone broth like I did the other day at lunch at Cafe Clover in NYC.  Their bone broth has the following ingredients: grass fed beef broth chaga mycelium, wild kombu, daikon radish, ginseng. Delicious!

READ MORE: Make your own bone broth

Eating meat again

I started eating meat again recently because it made me feel better. It was a choice between my values and my health. It was a hard decision but I do not regret it. I still love vegan food and vegetables a lot. I actually am now more excited to eat local, with a small footprint using everything while honoring the animal. True food from a farm instead of from a factory.

100% grassfed

I learned that 100% grassfed beef and bone broth is the best as grass is the only food a cow should really eat! make sure the beef is pasture raised, 100% grassfed and grass finished. Luckily there are nice butchers in NYC that offer these options, whether they offer it at the local farmers market, or they have an actual store. I like to go to Hudson & Charles They also make great bone broths and organic chicken soup. If you eat meat, you need to find the best meat out there, of people who humanely raise their animals. You will also taste it.

Sustainability

Recently I have been thinking more and more that supporting small, local and sustainable businesses and families that care for the planet and who do not have a lot of waste are maybe the best way to tackle animal cruelty, erosion of lands, economic problems and social issues. if we all eat like our grandparents did, from local sources, we create less carbon emissions that come with the transport of avocados from Mexico or shrimp from Thailand. Also, while a lot of people who eat vegan rely on colorful vegetables from all over the World, and vegan products that are made in a factory, maybe just going to a local butcher and eating foods with only 1 or a few ingredients that are not processed is maybe the way to go? What about a circular economy of animals that replenish the earth with essential minerals?... what about using all parts of an animal, and not letting anything go to waste? Don't get me wrong: I LOVE vegan food, but I also learned that I feel better eating a diet like the one I grew up with (Will elaborate more in another article.)

Commercial bone broths

I also like these bone broths from Kettle & Fire to add to stews or just to heat up when I need to warm up. (especially the chicken and mushroom one). Instead of a coffee or a tea, it is a great hot drink!

(click on picture below for more information or to purchase a variety pack to try out!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drinking bone broth warms my soul and grounds me for sure!

Love, Lonneke

p.s. I have not been paid for this article, actually I buy these products myself, and am just giving my honest opinion! :)


Organice Your Home

Organize Your Life: Make Your House Your Home

The first step in the Organice Your Life circle of 5 is : Organice Your Home. Let me give you a short introduction to how you make your house your home!

Organice Your Life - Circle of FiveTo start “organizing your life in an organic and nice way", also known as "Organice Your Life", you should start with your home base, and do a complete inventory and organization of it. You can’t see clearly what part of your life needs improvement, when the place you live or staying at, is not organized. A cluttered home equals a cluttered mind. Whether it is your home or a temporary stay, you need to know what your foundation is made of. See your life as a house. You can’t build a solid house from the ground up, if the foundation is weak. Your place of residence is your foundation. So, how does it look? Start first by cleaning up, organizing and fixing things. Maybe adding some TLC . After "organicing" your home, you know exactly what you have, what you don’t have, what you need or don’t need. Getting rid of things feels like eliminating toxic waste. Plus, next time you go shopping you only buy what you truly need. By making the place you live comfy and nice, will make everybody present feel good.

The Five steps to Organice your Home

1. Organice Your Living Spaces

Settling the different areas of your house. 

The layout of your home is very important to create a good "flow". Are all the rooms and spaces used the right way? Is all the furniture in the best place? Maybe reorganize and make it flow better!

READ MORE: Organize your Bathroom

2. Organice Your Household

Managing the cleaning & organizing of your house.

Hygiene is important. Find a routine in cleaning your home. The more of a routine you have, the more clean and organized your space will look most of the time, and you won't create a big mess that takes even longer to clean up! This way you will also know where everything is. When you need those items, they are easier to find.

READ MORE: Oven cleaning

3.  Organice Your Home Design

Making your house feel like home.

This is all about renovation and interior design of your home!  Paint and the right furniture, pictures, you name it. A little bit of updating here and there, painting and maybe a new piece of furniture? Add those special ornaments that mean so much to you, or those pictures that bring back memories.

READ MORE: Renovating my Bathroom

4. Organice Your Home Ambiance

Bringing some nice atmosphere to your home.

You can create a nice "vibe" by adding the right lights and candles, heat, scents and a good air flow. Anything that makes you "feel" great inside your home! I love salt lamps, essential oils, little candles and an air purifier to help the environment of my space.

READ MORE: salt lamps

5. Organice Your Home: Flora & Fauna

Taking care of your plants and pets, indoors and outdoors.

Plants can be beneficial for the air quality and bring joy to a home. They need care and attention just like your children, pets, relationships and of course, yourself.

READ MORE: Vertical Garden

Many households have pets. These loving animals also need their space in your home. When you have given them a spot that they love too, you will see the whole home is coming together just right.

READ MORE: A Dog is part of the family

Get a schedule together for the care of your plants. Get a schedule for the care of your pets. Make it a routine and they will do really well.

Start organizing your home by following these steps and think about how you can make your house your home!

Love, Lonneke

 


5 reasons to adopt a shelter dog

Many people want to have a dog in their lives. I understand, because they are the most amazing animals, full of love, and they love to be by your side! Many people are swayed by cute puppies, and don't really understand the reality of having a puppy in their home. That's why I am sharing with you my 5 reasons to adopt a shelter dog, and why I prefer a shelter dog over a puppy at a pet shop or breeder.

1. When you buy a puppy, one shelter dog dies

It sounds harsh, but that is the reality. The most amazing dogs are killed or left behind in cold shelters because people don't choose them but instead buy puppies from breeders, or even worse, from people who just want to make money and import the dogs from far away not caring about the health and wellbeing of the mother and puppies. If you buy a puppy (because he or she is "sooo cute"!) you are contributing to the problem and you keep unhealthy practices going. Dogs are being killed everywhere - even in my hometown of NYC - EVERY DAY. I believe that if breeders truly love their breed, they would rescue dogs of their breed, and re-home them (for a fee) until all of the dogs of their breed are out of the shelter, before they breed even more puppies that will add to the problem. 

2. You know exactly what you get when you adopt a shelter dog

A dog in a shelter shows you exactly who he or she is. You can meet them more than once, walk them, play with them to see if your characters match. The character of an older shelter dog has set, and he or she has been assessed by the shelter staff. Even though dogs until very old age can learn new tricks and rules, it is nice to know what your dog prefers or not. When you adopt a shelter dog, you know if the dog is a barker, will chew on your stuff, can be home alone, likes to run or has medical issues. A lot of inbred puppies these days are born with incredible complex medical issues, which most of them don't show up in the first year of the puppy. It's something many people forget. (If you can insure your dog for health costs, that is a good option) When you adopt from a shelter, you know if the dog is housebroken or not. (most of them are in fact!) All these things give you so much more information on how your life is going to be with your dog, than when you buy a puppy whose character and behavior is still a total mystery. It could go well (which all new puppy owners hope for, but is only possible with lots of correct and daily training) or totally wrong giving you a hard time and maybe even forcing you to re-home your dog, which will give you and your dog much heartbreak. It would also result in more dumped dogs in the shelters because they end up not matching the envisioned lifestyle of the owner. Be smart: Adopt a dog that matches your life! 

3. A shelter dog is less expensive to purchase than a purebred puppy

Adopting a shelter dog is very cheap! While a puppy with a breeder will set you back anywhere between 500 and 10.000 dollars, a rescued dog will only cost you between 100 and 500 dollars (senior dogs are much cheaper, and sometimes even for free). You also know if the dog has expensive medical issues, or has had a fairly good life so far and not too expensive in upkeep. For your financial situation is good to know what you are getting yourself into!

4. A rescued shelter dog is so thankful

A shelter dog has been through a rough time, and feel so happy to be with you in a safe home! They show you their thankfulness in almost human like affection. And a rescued shelter dog is just as cute as a puppy... maybe even cuter! No wonder the hashtag #rescuedogsrock and #shelterdogsarethebest are my favorite tags!

5. You become a shelter dog rescue hero 

When you do the right thing for yourself, for your community, and especially for the shleter dog, the feeling you get from that, is much more rewarding than that cute puppy. Everybody can buy a puppy, but not everyone can rescue a dog. It's a much more special achievement.This of course counts for adopting any animal: Cats, rabbits, horses you name it! And when your rescue a shelter dog we will salute you!

So rescue your four-legged friend from a shelter near you. And if you don't want to make a longterm commitment or want to have a trial period, you can always become a Foster Parent. Fostering saves many dogs' lives.

We loved our shelter senior dog Vito so much, he was the best. He passed away after a short illness because of cancer, 3 years after we adopted him as a senior dog from a shelter. Those were the best 3 years! We saved him, but he definitely saved us too. That's what shelter dogs do, they have a certain magic to them. Our current dog Bane was also a shelter dog from Animal Haven in NYC.. he chose us! and he has been with us for more than 3 years already. We feel blessed that we could do something so easy, with such a big impact

 

 


10 good things about working out

I think a lot of people are like me: I don't really like working out. I did it a lot for a long time when I was actively modeling, but since I retired from fulltime modeling and discovered I have an autoimmune disease called Hypothyroidism aka Hashimoto's Disease,  I have no interest to test my limits anymore. But when you get older, you realize your body is telling you something: you need to move your body to stay healthy! So here are 10 good things about working out.

10 good things about working out

  1. The number 1 reason most people start working out: You get in better overall shape and can lose weight. Your fat gets used for fuel for your muscles. It is a really good reason to start working out, because people who are overweight have higher risk of a range of health problems like stroke, high blood pressure and (Type 2) Diabetes.
  2. You get better muscle tone, and a better body image. Your metabolism increases, and processes in your body can work quicker and better.
  3. You get rid of toxins stuck in your body. Each day you consume many toxins. Whether in the food and drinks you take in, the skincare and makeup you put on your body, to the air you breathe. Your liver has a hard time getting rid of it all. There are a few ways to do that. Through breathing, and going to the bathroom, but sweating is a very good one too. And when you work out, you sweat more!
  4. Your skin can get better. Due to what I named at nr. 3 you get rid of dirt and toxins through your skin when you work out, and unclog potential pimples.(Wash it off quickly after work out, so the dirt doesn't stay on your skin which can clog the pores again) Also, it supports good processes in your skin like skin rejuvenation and releasing stem cells which can make you look younger a study found. Sounds good to me!
  5. When you work out, your quality of sleep will get better too. Not only because you are tired from working out, but your body has de-stressed during a work out,  and therefore gives you a more peaceful sleep.
  6. Working out activates your thyroid, which can relieve hypothyroidism and other auto-immune symptoms in people suffering from hypothyroidism which influences your whole body. The problem is that when you have an under active thyroid, you have no energy to do anything at all. And sometimes working out heavily has a reverse effect on your well-being. That's why it is important you gradually increase workout, with the help of your doctor, and possibly medication.
  7.  Working out seems to work against high cholesterol. You activate everything and your body seems to eliminate the cholesterol. So this is something serious to consider when you want to lower your cholesterol, besides starting a healthier diet.
  8. The one thing that starts you up every day is your heart. Some daily cardio work out increases your heart rate and helps you getting your heart in better shape, and increasing blood circulation throughout your body. The heart is a muscle too that needs a workout once a while too to keep it strong and healthy. Even walking up and down the stairs until your heart rate goes up (which I do) is a good way to do cardio.
  9. A work out increases your stamina, which helps you get through a busy day at work or at home with your kids physically and emotionally. Also, when you work out, you are also better prepared for traumatic situations like a disaster or an accident. I hope you don't get into one, but if you are in good shape, your recovery time and chances to survive are much bigger.
  10. Working out starts off MANY feel-good chemical reactions in your body and brain. Working out regularly makes your brain release chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine which contribute to you feeling happy. It is very likely you will feel very proud and good about yourself after you have finished a good work out, and when you start to see results. You just have to start doing it!

My current exercise routine

I personally do not run as much anymore but I do still think about these 10 good things about working out all the time! I am more of the "long walks" kind, especially with my dog Bane. This because I noticed my autoimmune disease flared up after a work out. For me it is better to do a less strenuous exercise like walking, biking, swimming and Pilates and move around enough during the whole day. Every person has a preferred exercise and that is great as there are so many options to move your body!

Lonneke and Bane at the NYC Farmers Market in Union Square

Track your work out

My husband gave me a "smart watch" which counts my steps, measures my heart rate, and checks my sleep. I can see the difference before and after a work out. It can help you too living a healthier life with more healthy work outs. There are many different good ones available, but I like my Fitbit watch.

Organice Your Life choice: Fitbit Inspire HR Heart Rate & Fitness Tracker, One Size (S & L bands included), 1 Count

I also check my heart rate and blood pressure by my own blood pressure  monitor.

Organice Your Life choice: Omron 10 Series Wireless Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor; 2-User, 200-Reading Memory, Backlit Display, TruRead Technology, Bluetooth® Works with Amazon Alexa by Omron

Mix a work out with household choirs

I get water bottle deliveries every few weeks, and we use this to do some light cardio by carrying them up the stairs to our apartment.

Also doing house work is a great way to be active too. Some activities make you sweat, like vacuum cleaning, lifting boxes and furniture, and window washing.

Be inspired!

I hope my 10 good things about working out motivated you to start, just like it did with me! There is no excuse to not work out in one way or another, there is always time, you just have to MAKE TIME to work out. Start before it's too late!

And if you need new running shoes, check Brazilian top model Carolina Fontaneti's article on how to find the right running shoes.

Let's all live a long and healthy life together :)

Love,

Lonneke

Lonneke Engel running 2