Daily NYC Lockdown update

The coronavirus has finally made it to New York City. I am here to tell you daily what is going on. 

I am a homebody by heart, so I have been preparing for this NYC lockdown all my life it feels like! It feels NYC has finally adjusted to my lifestyle. I am going to keep you posted on what is really going on in NYC and what I have to deal with as a resident of this amazing city. So subscribe to my channel  and chat with me daily at 3.30pm!

READ MORE: Be prepared for the Coronavirus

And see all the other daily videos HERE: LONNEKE ENGEL YOUTUBE NYC LOCKDOWN UPDATE.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvxmpRJh0Sc

 

Love, Lonneke


Lonneke Engel BMW I

My story of working for the BMW i3 & i8

One of my first steps into promoting a Greener lifestyle, was to tell my agent IMG I wanted to only work with companies that are trying to do their share to make today's life & energy demand more sustainable. I am not interested in modeling just for money, I only want to try to connect my face and image with a brand that is doing good. When BMW said they were coming out with electrical cars,  the BMW i3 and i8, and needed to make promotional videos, of course I wanted to do this!

BMW going green

BMW, although they always were on the forefront with their cars already, started thinking how they can make their business more sustainable. They believe in hydrogen, and tried to use this technology in a BMW 7, but now it was time to make an all electrical car.

The BMW i3 is made more for everyday city life, while the i8 is a true sports car. Since I have always had a love for design, I get excited when I see totally new concepts like these ones! Although at the time of the shoot I did not see the actual cars, as they were not present, I know I will soon.

Shooting for BMW

I shot the campaign shots in a studio in NYC, and for the video I travelled all the way to Munich. The shoots were really well arranged and I had a lot of fun doing it. It was my first time to Munich also. I did 2 campaign images and 5 shots for the video:

modeling for green and good brands

When I decided for myself I did not want to model anymore for brands that are known to be not so healthy or good (think junk food like cheap chocolate, alcohol or cheap clothing brands that are known to produce their clothing not in a good way) of course this shrunk all the possible collaborations for me and possible ways to make a living. But I was adamant I wanted to only work with companies that were trying to make a difference.

I always loved BMW's and wanted to promote Green initiatives, I wanted to do this campaign! So I asked my agent Peter from IMG models NYC to push for me, and I got the job! As I was very picky the past years with jobs, I was happy I would also make some money doing something good, so I could support myself. I just want to try to make it the right way.

Learning about BMW

At the shoot, I also learned a lot about BMW's new way of thinking. They told me that besides producing the BMW i3 and i8, they were also looking at ways to make all their factories carbon neutral, and they said even small and simple changes that are sometimes overlooked, saved so much energy (and money) that now they claim their factory is indeed the World's most Sustainable factory.

This is the commercial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQap4ot5wpI

Love, Lonneke

video & pictures by BMW

First published in 2012, updated in 2019


Lonneke wearing Minitials

YouBeauty's Green Lifestyle Columnist

A nice little memory I want to share with you: Once upon a time I was green lifestyle columnist of the website YouBeauty by Dr. Oz & Dr. Roizen!  I really loved being part of such a powerful team. I met the people behind the website a few times in NYC, and I thought it was very inspiring to be involved.

YouBeauty Articles

Below are a few of my articles that I submitted to them.The website has changed, and many of my articles have a changed look, but you can still read them, and over all of those years, my message has stayed the same. Enjoy!

You Beauty old logo

The old logo of YouBeauty when I actively submitted articles

and then it became this logo
the latest logo

 

Lonneke for Youbeauty

My articles for Youbeauty:

On avoiding stress in your body & mind: When your Body says 'NO': avoiding a Burnout"

On simple rules to eat a healthy diet: What should I eat?

On how to Organice Your Home: Clean up your life.

4 tricks for a Summer body: 5 simple tricks for looking great!

How to stay beautiful during stressful times

A peek into my life: introducing Organice Your Life to readers of Youbeauty.

Tips to: stick to your New Years Resolutions.

Motivation to start living your life the way you want to: Who says you can't follow your dreams?

Organice Your Relationships: Invest in your relationships

Introduction to myself: Lonneke Engel

 

Love, Lonneke

First published in 2013, update in 2020

 


In My Memory: My family Home

 Bringing you a personal story this time, I want to take you through some fond moments I have in my memory.

2020 is the year in which many of my multi-year 'projects' come to a close. Some of them are happy projects, some are harder ones . One of these projects was to say goodbye to my family home, the place I hold dear and where I have made so many lovely memories.

Modeling career

In 1998 I was 17 years old and my family and I had lived for years in an urban neighborhood close to my elementary school. Since a few years I had started modeling and my career took off. At my young age, I had become the breadwinner of the household. My father became my manager and started to travel with me. Modeling went so well that we could look for a farm house so my dream of having our horses stabled at home could become a reality. On the front page of the local real estate paper my sister saw a picture of a cute white farmhouse in a little village I had never heard of before: 'Soerendonk'. We went there for a showing, and on the spot we all decided to buy this farmhouse with the money I had earned from my contracts with Guess, Covergirl and Ralph Lauren. The little village of Soerendonk became our new home.

Over the years I did a few photoshoots there, like this one for Dutch Marie Claire by Roger Neve, and once Reinout Oerlemans visited me for his TV show Heart Break Hotel. The pictures you see in this article are from the shoot with Roger.

 

in front of our house on the street overlooking the meadows. With our neighbor's baby piglet

My horses at home

Eventually our horses Key West and  my sister's pony Jitmar moved in the little stables in the back. We had chicken, an aggressive rooster who would literally pick on me once a while, and we even had 2 goats. My father built in a swimming pool, and added a little wooden house and a blue worker's shack on our land ( I don't know why, because we really did not need more space). And we had an apple orchard. We had some other ponies live there as well over the years. We leased land next door to make a dressage ring and have a few acres of meadow for the horses. I had a bedroom to the front of the house next to the street. Every day our cats - which we adopted from a local farmer - would climb onto the roof and even get into my bedroom and sleep with me on the bed. When we would arrive home from grocery shopping, it was such a cute sight all those cats on the roof welcoming us home. And when I would call "poes poes poes!" They would run towards me from all over the place, hoping it was time for dinner. At night all cats, chicken and horses would all go to the barn to sleep and I would tell them good night each day.

 

on the land we leased from our neighbor. You can see the dressage ring in the back.

 

Every early morning the Sun would shine into my bedroom, and the farmers would wake me up by driving their tractors so close to my bedroom. I would open a side window and check on the horses, they would whinny and I would go open their stable doors, and give them their breakfast. Afterwards I would have breakfast, bring the horses to the field, clean the stables, do homework and in afternoon ride my horse Key West either in the dressage ring or outdoors in the nearby forest or through the village. This daily rhythm made me perfectly content and happy. And many days I would take my horse Key West, walk him onto our trailer by myself, and the 2 of us would go to a dressage lesson or local competition.

Our house looked out onto a meadow of our neighbors, and the house therefore truly had the most beautiful Sunset every day. To me this place was Heaven on Earth. Whenever I traveled far away, it was always nice to come back home.

 

In the living room of our home in Soerendonk

 

In the hallway to the front door in our home.

 

In the hammock in our garden, and in the blue worker's shack on our property.

Good memories

So many specific memories I have from this place. I remember especially the 3 boys living next door peeking over the fence when we moved in. They turned out to be always friendly and helpful, especially when there was danger they would help out or check on our house. Like that one time my horses Key West and Jitmar escaped and ran through the village towards the highway. My neighbors jumped in a car and chased after them with me, catching them just in time. The Weekend after I won 1st price at a dressage competition. My dressage teacher joked that "I should let them escape more often". (No thank you!) That's what is so nice about living in a small community: everybody helps each other. So this city girl became part of the local activities, joined the carnaval club "De Herrieschoppers" and really morphed into the country girl lifestyle. I made friends, many of which I am still in contact with to this day.

My sister's pony Jitmar  (RIP) and I for dutch Marie Claire by Roger Neve in the apple orchard at home.

 

Looking happy up to my father on the balcony after Key West (RIP) and I won a competition. in background you see our chicken run.

Losing it all

My dad and I during a job for Covergirl in NYC in the 90s.

 

Many years I lived there with no worries, until 2001 came along. Not only did we lose the famous Twin Towers on 9/11, I also lost my father Rob on 10/18 after 6 months of battling cancer. His last days he truly enjoyed the Sunset every night from the living room. After he passed away, my life changed, for the worse. I can tell you so much about it, but in short I was forced to say goodbye to that lovely life I had right there, lost everything in my life except my horse Key West. I took him with me to another stable. We had to move on, and I moved to NYC, away from it all.

 

With our dog Winka (RIP) and our dog Kenya (RIP) in our garden in Soerendonk.

I want to honor the lovely animals I have spent time with there, including our dogs Kenya & Winka, cats Alaïa, Dani, Moya, Baer, Sushi, Pepsi, Eddy & Henkie, My horse Key West, my sister's pony Jitmar, our fearless rooster and chicken, goats and more animals who lived there at one moment in time, some of who I wasn't able to say goodbye to, for one reason or another.

My horse Key West died suddenly in 2016 at the age of 24. I was devastated as I loved him so much, he was with me 18 years of my life. I felt he was the last link I had to my dad and previous life.

They will all be in my heart forever.

Live consciously

In the end, the message I want to share with you is that you really need to live in the moment and consciously enjoy the good times, because you never know when it might end. It may end when you least expect it. Enjoy it while you can! I did not think it would be over so fast for me. Memories are all that you take with you in the afterlife. Make sure you make some good ones that you can cherish forever.

READ MORE: The art of letting go

This month, it was an end of an era, finally I can close a chapter. My family house has been sold to another family, and I hope the new owners will make beautiful memories there. This property in Soerendonk has given me much happiness in the years I lived there when my father Rob was still alive. Unfortunately I don't have that many private pictures of this time, my father, my animals, but these pictures by Roger Neve as well as the memories no one can take from me. They are always in my heart.

I have made it my mission in life to make more of these wonderful memories, but now with my husband Dirk and my dog Bane.

Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened - dr. Seuss

In My Memory by Tiesto

Lastly, I want to share this music with you called "In my memory" by Tiësto released in the year 2001, the year my father passed. Not only because of that fact, and that I talk about something that is in my memory, but also because after my father had passed I became friends with (the team behind) Tiësto and even appeared in his video for Love Comes Again. This music helped me through a tough time in my life. It is still one of my favorite pieces of music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KqGmwi_Z5w

Love, Lonneke

pictures by Roger Neve for Marie Claire, and Rob Engel.

also Thanks to Sanja and her wonderful website dedicated to my modeling work where I found these pictures. You can find more pictures of this photoshoot and other work here.

 


Sunset NYC

The Art of Letting Go

I am going to talk about something personal with you. I love making memories, but I have a hard time of letting go. When I like something, I don't want to lose it. And when it is time to say goodbye, it is pretty hard for me to let go. Sounds familiar?

The simple things in life

I like simple things in life. I love my marriage, my dog, my apartment, my life. I don't need or crave much else. My life is all about creating memories with the ones I love, and inspiring others while doing so. I wish everything could stay the way it is now, but life is not like that. Life is constantly changing, good and bad things will happen. Good times will pass, but Bad Times will pass too. Experiencing deep lows, will make you appreciate the high times in your life. Life is about dealing with everything that comes at you, every single day of your life. It is very hard and especially for a Highly Sensitive Person or HS Person like myself.

DO THE TEST: Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? 

Keeping things the way they are

You can't keep everything the same even if you want to. Kids grow up, your favorite pets die, people break up and so on. And if you stay stagnant, you do not grow either. You have to move on, and let go of some things to be able to enjoy these new things that come your way. Step by step, day by day. If you have to make changes in your life, do it slowly and start with one project and move on to the next after the first one is moving along. That's what I try to do. Every day I try to tackle one thing, especially when they can cause an emotional reaction within me. As a PTSD sufferer, I need to really process and digest every stressful thing that comes my way.

The Art of Letting Go

One thing I work on everyday through Organice Your Life  is getting better at letting go.  I really think it is an Art if you can do it without causing too much emotional distress. I want all the things that made for happy memories stay the way they are forever. I can think for hours about good memories from the past. I really appreciate the good things that happened in my life, still regularly visit the sweet places I once was part of, and stay in contact with the nice people who have been such a big part of my life at one point in my life. I don't want them to change, but they do. And if we deal with changes in a good way, we can be stronger and enjoy and grow with them.

Life is about Birth and Death and everything in between - Lonneke Engel

Saying goodbye

In my life I had to say goodbye to so many People and things. And a lot of times I had no say in it at all.  I had a good relationship with my father. Then one day my father died. I had a good relationship with my Grand mother, and one day my grand mother died. I had friends die on me, I had acquaintances die on me. My horse Key West was in my life for 18 years. I did not want him to die ever. But one day he died. My dogs Kenya and Vito died. Because the only bad thing about dogs is that they don't live forever. And one day my favorite cat Sushi did not come home. You get the picture: good things in my life disappeared.

The older you get, the more you will deal with Death and be forced to say goodbye. Only when you are all grown up you realize this concept is true. So the sooner you learn the Art of letting go of anything in life in a peaceful way, the better you can deal with these intense life events.

My horse Key West

Breaking up is a mourning process

Besides the ones who died,  I also had to say goodbye to some people as well during my life. Because we did not match, did not get along, or wanted different things. When you break up with someone you have to go your separate ways. And you can't be best friends with all of then. For instance with your exes. That would be weird.  Every break up it felt like something was dying on me, and it is the same mourning process as when someone close to you dies.

Letting go of friends

Friendships come and go. I am lucky that I have a few friendships that have lasted for decades, but there were moments in my life I was super close with someone for a few years, and then something happened and we weren't friends anymore. Again, that feels like a mourning process.

with my lovely besties since high school, Maruja & Lianne!

READ MORE: Organize Your Relationships

Proper closure

Either way, I am happy to see when all the people who I had a close bond with in my past are doing well and are happily married or something. If I have to say goodbye to them because we are going in a different direction, I really need the separation to go well, otherwise I suffer and can't deal with it. It has to be a smooth break-up, and I have to be on good terms, otherwise it bothers me too much for the rest of my life. I spend a lot of time on closures of different things.

And sometimes I go back to these people after decades if I feel that there wasn't a proper, rightful closure. When that finally happens, I feel closure.

Changing careers

The one thing I surprisingly had no issue with saying goodbye to, was my successful modeling career. Looking back I think it is because the industry had changed while I had stayed the same, and it made the experience less fun for me. In my opinion, I had achieved everything I could dream of regarding modeling. Due to hard work of myself and the people I worked with, I experienced the exclusive contracts for makeup, skincare and clothing brands, the beautiful shoots and wonderful trips, as well as that Vogue Cover. It was time to move on, and work on projects that were more about using my brain, than my looks.

Ralph Lauren by Regan Cameron

Making Memories

We inevitably die one day, we can not take anything physically with us. The only thing we can take with us are the memories we made, so make them worthwhile. Enjoy people, animals, things, places and happy emotions once they are present, because it all ends on day.

The one thing we can be sure of is that tomorrow the Sun will come up in the morning, and in the evening the Sun will go down. The rest is all one big surprise.

Mental Picture

My husband told me a story of a little 5 year old boy he met. And this stuck with me. The little boy said when he liked something and he had to leave it behind, he would take a "mental picture" of it (with the actual hand gestures of holding a imaginary camera and taking.a picture) so he could take with him forever. And I have been using this technique ever since I heard that boy do it. When I have to let go of something, I make sure I spend time consciously taking it in, taking that "mental picture". I noticed once I do it more consciously, the memories stay with me in a stronger way. We can learn a lot from kids if we are open to it.

Love, Lonneke


Lonneke and one of her loves: Cooper Milo

Horse Welfare

I absolutely love horses! I continue to educate myself every day, and am eager to learn new things about these magnificent creatures. Science comes out with new insights every year, and as a horse owner you need to continue to read up and keep an open mind to be able to give your horses what they deserve! That is what horse welfare is all about.

Me with one of my horses: Cooper Milo
Me with one of my horses: Cooper

Horse lovers unite

You don't need to ride horses to appreciate them. Horse lovers come in all shapes and sizes. Since horses are smart, trustworthy, big and strong, they can help us in every day tasks. A century ago they brought us from one place to another, or helped on the land. These days we also compete with them. The past decades competitions, whether in dressage, jumping racing or another discipline have become more lucrative, with horses selling for large sums of money, and people competing for big prizes, even including the Olympics.

My experience with equestrian competitions

Years ago I also competed with my horse Key West and I enjoyed the two of us going to different places and be a team. I just liked going on adventure with him and winning was not the major incentive, even though we won quite a few prizes! As I live in NYC I could not continue riding but stayed involved, and I made sure my horses were well taken care of at all times (or I thought that was the case).

Horse Welfare is in the spotlight

For years riders got all the attention and applause when they would win medals in competitions. But there is a movement going on. More and more people realize that horses have feelings too. They just can't really express themselves like for instance a human or a dog can do. They cannot scream or whine when in pain. That makes it that many people miss the signs of discomfort in a horse, with sometimes terrible results. (just like my court case about my abused horse U2). There is an awakening happening. People realize that many riders "use" horses for their own gains, and maybe sometimes at the expense of the wellbeing of the horse. Just like I had to open my eyes the past years to see the Truth, they want to change the equestrian World and bring more horse welfare to it. Because if we don't speak up, who will?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXsJuDtxuAo&t=6s

What is horse Welfare?

Many people have different ideas about what is horse welfare. Some people think it is a safe stable, a clean bed, and a horse that gets a massage or is washed every day. Others think it is a horse that can roam around 24/7 with his or her friends, and can find shelter whenever he or she wants to. I think it is just a horse that can spend his day showing natural behavior, a horse that experience the least stress as possible. A horse that doesn't experience pain inflicted by humans. I think we can achieve that while still enjoying the company of horses. (As long as it is not all about the money or winning prizes)

My horses

My horses U2 and Cooper are doing fine under the circumstances and I have brought them to a place where they get exactly what they need. For me ever since I owned horses, it has always been the most important to give them the best care I could find.

The future of equestrian

Recent articles (in the Netherlands) questions the wellbeing of horses at competitions like Jumping Amsterdam, as well as discussing the idea if we really should ride horses at all. This is a discussion that the equestrian World wants to dismiss as "just wanting to put the amazing equestrian sports in a bad light", instead of actually listening to these claims, which have Truth to them and working on making the sports better. If they continue to dismiss and continue life as is, the opposition will just get stronger and it will start hurting the equestrian businesses and competitions. It is in the riders' hands how they treat their horses and work to improve the wellbeing of the horses that will determine the future of the sports.

There is a lot to discuss about horses, for instance on how we treat and keep them, and I will continue to be a voice for them!

READ MORE: the carriage horses in NYC

I have made a video about horse welfare (see above) I hope you check it out and subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

Love, Lonneke

Some photos by Joey Holthaus


Why Friends is the Best

Last year marked 25 years since the first episode of the sitcom "Friends" first aired. While the celebrations are still ongoing (the anniversary was in September 2019) and a reunion has been announced,  I  started watching a full rerun of Friends AGAIN on Netflix. just before the end of the year when Friends was leaving the streaming service. Here I am going to explain why Friends is the Best, even after 25 years, and why I will keep watching it even when I am 80 years old!

The Storyline of Friends

Friends is about 6 friends: Rachel Greene(Jennifer Aniston) Ross Geller ( David Schwimmer) and his sister Monica Geller( Courteney Cox), Chandler Bing(Matthew Perry), Joey Tribbiani (Matt Leblanc) and Phoebe Buffett (Lisa Kudrow) who are living in New York City. It is mostly centered around a lilac colored apartment in the West Village on the corner of Grove street and Bedford street. Across the hall is a second apartment that gets a lot of air time. The friends spend a lot of time together, each have a special bond with one another, and you really see them mature in front of your eyes while we follow them in what life throws at them. Even though the storyline is a bit outrageous here and there, it is well-written by the shows creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, and all show's main characters shine at their own times. The whole show is thought out so well, that every part is why the show is such a success and most people love to watch it over and over again!

WATCH ME VISITING THE APARTMENT BUILDING OF MONICA GELLER IN THIS VIDEO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDMkYFHV7Eg&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1JzuuUGqBrj4jktlGRDQE9KbQTGFkRTewBqujTffX3WYY_k1Z6Ntcn-2A

Friends intro

First of all, the intro helps this sitcom be a success. You hear an upbeat song that is easy to sing along and you are excited to watch another episode. Even if you are watching episode after episode, I notice I do not skip the intro but let it play, as it really makes me happy every time I hear (and see ) it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-HbHCcK58

 

Apparently the show was going to be called differently first "Friends like us" and the theme song would be REM's Shiny Happy People":

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl5751mttoE

As you can see this song is beautiful, but wrong. If they would have gone with this song and intro, I think it wouldn't have become such a success. Most people do not realize what an intro song does to how you perceive the rest of the show. The intro sets the tone. if the tone makes your heart make a little jump, most likely you also enjoy the rest of the show.

READ MORE: The story of the shoot for the final FRIENDS intro

Also, the lyrics (written by the Shows writers!) is like it really resonates with you.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke
Your love life's D.O.A
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but....
I'll be there for you.....

Everybody has that feeling sometimes where everything is not going well and you have to keep the Faith and keep going!
or as Monica would say:

Welcome to the real World. It sucks, you're gonna love it

My thoughs on the storyline

Partly believable. For instance, the rent of the apartment of Monica and Rachel would be so high in real life they were probably not able to afford it. But what happens to each character in career and private life can happen in real life as I have been living in NYC for over 15 years and have seen even crazier things happen to myself or my friends! New York City is a place where spontaneous things happen. You go to a meeting and you end up at a theater show. You go grocery shopping and end up joining friends to a gallery opening. Anything is possible if you do not plan but just let life happen while being in NYC. (that's what I love so much about this City!) I also love Rachel and Ross getting together, even though I think Rachel was a bit hard on Ross at times. Chandler and Monica should have started dating earlier in the series if it was up to me. Phoebe had her shining moments with her songs "Smelly Cat" and others that stay in your head... Joey's storyline was great that he was so nice and struggling in his acting career but kept going and made it! Phoebe, Rachel, Monica and Joey all struggled throughout the ten years, but kept going. This is very normal in NYC. People never give up in getting a career. Ross had a steady job and even though Chandler switched jobs, he also had a more steady income stream. But most of all: I just love how most scenes happen at their cosy home. This is how I love my life too: with my best friends spending quality time at home!

Friends reruns over and over again

Why do I watch Friends reruns all the time and not other sitcoms? I mean, I watched other sitcoms, and also ones that are based in NYC like "How I Met Your Mother", "Seinfeld" and even "Sex and the City". But for some reason they all have something in the show that makes me not wanting to watch it again. Or that I am happy I watched it, but it was something that I watched during a certain stage of my life. Why do I keep watching Friends? I have thought about it, and these are my reasons why I still think Friends is the Best:

My 14 reasons why Friends is the Best

  1. Every time I hear the intro, it makes me happy!
  2. With everything bad going on in the World sometimes, it is great to just tune out and turn on a familiar sitcom you know is going to make you feel better!
  3. Everything was just better in the 90's/beginning of 2000's. When people did not have a cell phone yet and people would leave messages on their answering machines. If you watch the show episode after episode you see that this is a topic that comes back all the time.
  4. When I have to do household chores or work on my website or other serious things and I have to focus, I play a Friends episode in the background.
  5. Watching the show feels familiar as I also live in NYC and certain scenes are exactly like how a New Yorker would do it. For instance the episode where Rachel and Ross are going to do laundry together. It is so New York! (even though I am now one of the lucky few who has her own washer and dryer in her apartment, a true luxury in NYC!)
  6.  I walk by the street where the apartment is supposed to be located almost daily. Whereas the steps to the house of Sex and the City's Carry is not attracting as much attention anymore compared to years ago, the facade of the building that we see all the time in "Friends" episodes still gets many fans to visit to take pictures.. even though the apartment is not there as everything inside was filmed in a studio in Hollywood!
  7. The apartment itself is like a copy of my own apartment in NYC. I moved into my loft in 2006. My friends who have visited my apartment since, and who I have spent endless nights with chatting and cooking together remember the colorful green, orange, lilac, and blue walls all over, and the eclectic mix of furniture and little ornaments that I found at flea markets, the colorful and overpriced "Bazaar" ABC Carpet, or even sometimes on the streets of NYC (because New Yorkers throw out the most expensive stuff as space is expensive and storage is as well, throwing out a piece of furniture is a better financial option than storing it). I also had magnets on my fridge, I also had a weird lamp. Everything in my apartment goes together, while nothing matches and everything is all over the place. The way Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica and Phoebe use apartment 20, is how I have used my apartment over the years. A place to hang out for me and my friends and to host lovely holiday parties. While I have since toned down the colors on my walls ( I have grown up after all) the spirit of my apartment is still the same and I still love to have people over just like Monica did! And by the way.... I also have a naked guy in the apartment across the street in the Summers for years.
  8.  What Friends character am I? Reading the previous comment it is obvious that I am a "Monica". Or "Lonica" (how many people in the USA pronounce my name) I might just be a mix of brother and sister Geller. I am a cleaner, a cook and a perfect host, and a bit uptight sometimes ;) But I am also clumsy like Ross, I choose to be a bit naive like Ross, and I am funny when I am not trying to be funny, and I am not funny when I try to be funny: just like Ross. (and I might have been a bit like Phoebe for a while, when I was all into alternative healing stuff and a vegan lifestyle.) I am for sure not Rachel, Chandler or Joey.
  9. I have so many favorite scenes! Probably the ones with Ross (no not the Pivot scene, although it is good!) Like when he is on the phone with Julie and he has an issue to hang up and Rachel does it for him. And I loved the wedding of Monica and Chandler, and Phoebe in the Winter cold. Because I just love NYC in the snow.
  10. My favorite characters are from favorite to least favorite: Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe.
  11. My favorite guest characters are "Richard" Burke Monica's boyfriend played by Tom Selleck and of course.... JANICE!!
  12. I am not a crazy fan of Friends or the 6 celebrity lead actors, I do think they are great. These 6 people are one of the big reasons why this show is a success. What I am trying to say is that I appreciate all parts of the show equally. I also really like the writing and the way the show looked, the stages of the different scenes. It looked so colorful and cozy. Marta Kaufman once said the show is like comfort food, and I think that is exactly what it is!
  13. Rachel (I love her last name) ended up working at Ralph Lauren, Of course I love that because Ralph Lauren is also the reason why I could live in NYC.
  14. Is there something I don't like? Well, now I have matured myself, and now that I am married, I look back at the show a bit different than before. I now watch episode after episode, I noticed HOW MUCH DATING these characters do during 10 years! Just like Sex and the City this show is really pushing the notion that twenty year olds date a lot and sleep with a lot of different people in NYC. It is kind of normal. Now looking back, I think that part could have been a bit less.. But these love interests of the main characters have definitely given enough funny storylines in the show that is for sure!
A Holiday party with my friends at my apartment in NYC back in 2008/2009, when the walls were still bright orange and I had all this eclectic stuff everywhere!

 

Thanksgiving dinner with friends, hubby and my dog Vito at my home (when I had repainted the walls!)

Here are a few lovely scenes for you to reminisce, while I am going to overthink if I should get that "Friends" sweater that I saw at Urban Outfitters today...

Love, Lonneke
Updated in 2020

 

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


Lonneke Talks videos

I have been doing my " Lonneke Talks" videos for a few months now

These "Lonneke Talks" videos are so far about 3 different topics:

Politics

Anything about the current USA politics and the situation of my home country of the Netherlands and the European Union. But any topic around the World can be a subject of a video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZTr43y-GLs

Animal Welfare

Anything about the welfare of animals, including my big loves Horses and dogs! I cover issues like Breed Specific Legislation and welfare in equestrian sports.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXsJuDtxuAo&t=46s

Organice Your Life

I also share videos about tips I share through my website OrganiceYourLife.com. This way both outlets are complimenting each other!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUgqvK1b_3s&t=6s

Subscribe

You can subscribe to my channel HERE.

If you are not interested in all those makeup tutorials or challenges videos of " influencers" online, but want honest information on different subjects I have researched extensively, you have found the right place! You might learn some new things through my videos or be more conscious about different issues.

I am having fun making these videos as it also helps me to focus and organize my thoughts.

READ MORE: Lonneke Talks: I'm Back!

Tips for videos

If you have any topic or question you want me to cover in a future video, or have some great information you want to share with me, please email me at Tips@Lonneke.com.I h

Love, Lonneke


The best of San Francisco

San Francisco is a lovely city on the West Coast in California. A lot of people around the World know it as the place where Full House was filmed. But San Francisco has more to offer than the typical tourist hotspots, especially for those eco-conscious people. Luckily we went to visit our friends Jen Ferland and Daniel Zmak just before they were getting married, and Jen is like me a health-freak. They gave us great tips, and we also discovered a few ourselves! In total we stayed 10 days in the SF area.

Common touristic things to do

Going to the island of Alcatraz and learn about this once high security prison. In high season tickets are hard to get, reserve months ahead of going is advised.

Ride a cable car. Pretty cute way to see the city!

Visit the Golden Gate Bridge. Well, you probably have seen that famous orange bridge on TV before! We drove over it, but we also went to get a gorgeous view from the Presidio National Park in SF. On the other side of the bridge is a cute town you should go visit, named Sausalito.

Walk around Fisherman's Warf, one of the most touristic and busy areas of SF, but you have to see it so you can cross it off your list.

Visit the Painted Ladies. A row of Victorian houses, overlooking a park (known from the last shot of Full House intro). By the way, we saw much better looking Victorian Houses on our many walks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EL65KLdEHE&t=5s

Climb the Twin Peaks, and overlook SF. We thought it was nice to see, but very windy, as I had fear of heights I was worried we were going to get blown off!

2016-08 San Francisco Twin Peaks

Lombard Street: The famous street with 8 hairpin turns in Russian Hill. It is fun to drive down to show your manoeuvre skills, or just take a picture in front of it. A cable cart stops right in front of it on the top, so that's easy.

Coit Tower observatory. A little climb up the stairs and you get a beautiful look of San Francisco. (pictures below: #1 you see me after the hike up to the Coit Tower, #2 Coit Tower on the right on the hill, and Alcatraz Island in the middle)

Go to a Game of the San Francisco Giants, in their AT & T Park stadium which is located literally right on the water. You can also canoe like some people do, and catch a ball.

Well that's all great, but I think there are better reasons to visit San Francisco than only for the famous tourist attractions!

My reasons to visit San Francisco

San Francisco( SF) has a lot of hills. It is actually said to be built on seven hills. It is easy to explore the many different neighborhoods by walking. Yes, you can take the typical cable cars, but climbing those hills are a great workout for your behind! SF is definitely a place to be active. And being active is good for your health. Great! You can really get a good view of the cute victorian houses, not to mention get great pictures of those crooked houses on the steep hills. I know I had a lot of fun with it as you can see:

Every neighborhood in SF has its charm, and there are many neighborhoods all together! Great to explore on foot. Our favorites are:

Family oriented: Noe Valley. A nice flat area with a Whole Foods (we love that) cute houses and cafes, and a nice view of all the hills surrounding it. Oh, and the rumor goes that Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook guy, lives here when he is in SF. There is also a very fun store called Green 11 (UPDATE 2019: this store is permanently closed unfortunately), where they have all your household and personal items for you to refill your bottle or jars. Very eco-friendly I must say!

2016-08 Green 11 Noe Valley2016-08 Noe Valley inspiration

Gay: Castro. For the colorful amongst us, the gay-oriented Castro is a nice area to see and hang out.

Young and hip: Hayes Valley. Maybe my favorite area. A relative new neighborhood in SF, I love that they have sustainable fashion stores like Alternative Apparel, which is one of my favorites stores in NYC. Also seen are many juice bars and healthy coffee stores. The houses are cute, the stores are cute, no wonder many young and hip people gather around here.

2016-08 San Francisco Alternative Apparel Hayes Valley

People and Character: North Beach. This area is like little Italy with cute Italian cafés to get your morning coffee or a good pasta at night. It even has a Washington Square Park like NYC has. Great to walk around. You can walk to the Coit Tower from here.

Lights and fun: China Town. Of course no city is complete without a China Town. Many lights, and many restaurants: it's even considered the largest China Town outside of Asia, and the oldest in the USA!

Hippie Chic: Haight-Ashbury, The district in SF which is considered the birthplace of Hippie Culture. Great shopping! I especially loved the vintage stores, Wootbear/(like KidRobot, which sadly closed its store in SOHO, NYC) and the specialized socks shop, I found a nice pair of socks made of bamboo by Goodhew.

2016-08 Sockshop on Haight San Francisco

Beautiful homes: Walk around Russian Hill, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow and Nob Hill. The latter one is also a great place to stay in a hotel. We also liked driving around Sea Cliff, where many rich people have their mansions overlooking the ocean.

Historic ambiance: Stay at the Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill (like we did) or have a lovely breakfast or tea here.

2016-08 Fairmont hotel 12016-08 San Francisco Fairmont Hotel roomservice

The vibe is great in this beautiful historic building, and in the hall ways towards the tower rooms you find many historic photographs explaining its long history of Presidents and other important people visiting. We had a room with a fantastic view of the whole city, with Alcatraz lying right in front of us. And did you know this hotel has like the largest Penthouse Suite totalling 6000sq feet spread over the entire 8th floor? Famous NYC Vlogger Casey Neistat was lucky to spend a night here:

[youtube id="8sqY6QXtTsI" align="center"]

3. Parks: We loved Mission Dolores Park! We were lucky to visit it on a Sunday, and locals were enjoying themselves in this parc, even having little picnics, like I am used to in Central Park in NYC and Vondelpark in Amsterdam. Alamo Square Park (the park across from the Painted Ladies) was under construction at the time, but that seems to be a nice park too. But Golden Gate Park is a must-visit, which is close to Haight Ashbury on one side, and the residential Richmond district, with the nice Botanical Garden which we visited, and the Japanes Tea Garden, the oldest in the USA.

2016-08 San Francisco Botanical Garden Bamboo

4. Drinks: There are other nice places close to the Fairmont to visit. The Fairmont has a famous Tonga room & Hurricane Bar in its basement. A place that serves tropical cocktails and food, and has a thunderstorm show every 30 minutes. Also across the street you can find the Scarlet Huntington Hotel with it's restaurant The Big 4 (named after the Four men who were for a long time reigning supreme in San Francisco). This restaurant is very chic, and the inside give you a feeling of going back in time. Usually a Pianist is playing. The "Top of the Mark" bar in the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins (Mark Hopkins was one of the big 4) is also a place with a great view. I loved reading about the history of how San Francisco started, with Nob Hill and these residences in the center of it. I am sure our favorite areas I mentioned before have more nice bars, so check it out! (We just preferred drinking Kombucha and going to bed early to get a good rest)

5. Food: We were lucky enough that our friends cooked for us one night. Daniel and Jennifer made the best deviled eggs, sautéed scallops and 2 salads. We brought baked treats for dessert that we gathered on our walks through SF. I love their cute Miniature Bullterrier Tusker Bear who was best friends with my late Bullterrier Vito.

Even though San Francisco does not have a Le Pain Quotidien which is my favorite easy-going organic place to go to in NYC, there are other healthy food places to try out. Jane on Larkin or Jane on Fillmore for instance, is a hip place to get your avocado on toast, and glutenfree treats. The Plant Cafe is totally organic, and has many locations. Our favorite was in the Dogpatch Neighborhood (an upcoming artist oriented neighborhood), as the kitchen was extremely clean and organized, and we ate the best food here. I found that the other locations needed a bit of improvement on certain things after visiting it twice.

2016-08 The Plant Cafe Dogpatch lunch

We also found a French bakery with organic baked goods and delicious treats. So many, we couldn't choose which ones to take! The first time we came in, the owner was very rude. We hoped the owner (French?) had a bad day, and because her treats were so good, we decided to go back and give her another chance. Well... she was rude again! I guess she doesn't want customers coming in and buying her food. Anyway, if you don't care about how you are treated and just want nice organic and glutenfree food, BIO Cafe is the place to go. (picture is us trying out all the goodies at our friends house in SF!) UPDATE 2019: I heard this place went out of business,and the link is now a health page?

2016-08 SF baked goods Jen Ferland

We also went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's in Pacific Heights, and went to Gracias Madre restaurant in The Mission area, which we didn't think was as good as the one in LA, but still o.k. to go to. Their kitchen was very organized and clean as well. We also had a lovely dinner at neighborhood restaurant Olea in Nob Hill.

6. Shopping: Union Square has all the high-end shops, and is usually very crowded. There are many artists in the square showcasing their art. I prefer to shop along Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights in one of the many little boutiques, as well as Haight-Ashbury area for vintage and Hayes Valley for modern and sustainable options like Alternative Apparel and Amour Vert.

7. Nice unknown places to visit:

  • Sutro Baths. This historic landmark is nice to walk around, and learn about its history, built in the 1800's by Adolph Sutro, a selfmade millionaire. It used to be a magnificent glass public indoor saltwater pool, once the largest indoor swimming pool facility in the World. but a fire destroyed this beautiful glass and steel structure decades ago. Now you can see the remains, and enjoy a tranquil walk around, get a tea at the cafe, shop at the shop, or have lunch or dinner in the restaurant Cliff House. If you drive a little further, you find a beautiful beach as well, called Ocean Beach.
  • KitTea. San Francisco's first cat Adoption Café. If you want to hang out with the cats in the cat lounge it is recommended to make a reservation in advance, as space is limited for walk-ins.

8. Weather: SF is colder than for instance LA, and the weather even changes in what neighborhood you are. If you don't like the heat, or the cold, SF is the place to be. It is almost always pleasant. San Francisco does get foggy frequently, which sometimes clears up during the day. The valleys are usually more grey, foggy and dark, and the hills experience more wind and sunshine. it is always smart to bring a light sweater even if it seems hot out. You don't know if you end up somewhere more windy or cold. High season is not the best time to visit San Francisco. The best time to visit San Francisco is September to November. Tip: bring a bodywarmer like Dirk did. I borrowed it most of the time!

Best overall tip for San Francisco: Rent a car for a day. Drive all around San Francisco neighborhoods, and take a drive to Palo Alto, THE place where the tech World comes together. Facebook, HP, Tesla and other tech companies are based here. But don't dream of buying a house here; the prices for even a small house are ridiculous, everyone wants to live here it seems. But it is nice to see it all for sure! Also visit Stanford University with its beautiful buildings, which was founded by Leland Stanford, who started this little town.

 

2016-08 Palo Alto Stanford University

You can also drive by the little garage in which Hewlett Packard started many years ago. It is just in a suburban neighborhood, but it shows you that you can make it with a good idea, even if you start small. We did not have a lot of time here, but we had a great gluten free and health lunch at LYFE Kitchen before driving back to San Francisco. UPDATE 2019: too bad this place is also out of business, otherwise you could have tried the chia ginger cooler.

2016-08 LYFE kitchen chia ginger cooler

And when we were early for our car return, we did something fun: we went up and down the high hills of Nob Hill, which was scary and fun. All together we had the best day!

I hope you enjoy San Francisco just like we did, let me know what you think, or  love about San Francisco?

Also check out my articles about My Los Angeles Hotspots and My California Road Trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco!

Love, Lonneke

Photos Copyright Dirk Verest, Lonneke Engel & Organice Your Life ©

First published in 2017, updated in 2019


Lonneke trying out things

That time I visited the Vegetarian Butcher

April 2012: A "butcher" who makes "vegetarian meat"? yes it is true! Products that give you a feeling of eating meat but are not derived from animals. The flavors are like meat, and using it in a dish it looks exactly like meat. De "Vegetarische Slager" in The Hague, the Netherlands IS the Vegetarian Butcher, and I wanted to visit this place for months, until I finally went this week! Besides that the Dutch government is located here, the work palace of our Queen Beatrix and the UN Tribunal/International Court of Justice, there is something else here that is worth visiting!

Lonneke at Vegetarische Slager

The shop looks like a fancy butcher shop. While the owner Jaap Korteweg (husband of Dutch political Party for the Animals "Partij voor de Dieren" founder Marianne Thieme) was not present, butcher Paul Bom was, and wore a typical butcher uniform. But... you won't find any animal derived products, no nasty blood and dead corpse smell or anything else that vegetarians hate in this shop. It is a vegetarians heaven! Besides maybe the use of organic eggs and some milk that they use in their famous "gehaktballen", most products are vegan though, made from a plant named "Lupin" or soy.

Lonneke and vegetarian butcher Paul Bom
Lonneke and vegetarian butcher Paul Bom

I tried many different things, and bought a lot.Even though I know they have 200+ selling points in the Netherlands now, you can't beat getting the products from the original place, with explanation from the person who made it all!

Lonneke trying delicious things
Lonneke trying tasty things!

I got the bacon, the meat balls, the minced meat, the fake chicken....They also have "saucijzenbroodjes", bread rolls with meat, but of course without meat. Also, besides fake meat, they sell things like sauces, juices, juicers (I love my new Versapers Juicer!) wines, teas, chocolates, nutritional powders, ready-to-go meals and more.

Lonneke trying out things
I got a lot of delicious products!  

 Because some products are so right on, they even have a campaign "Fool your partner once a week" (Bedrieg je partner 1 x in de week).

 

I loved the no-tuna salad. I am sure some will be fooled!No tuna salad on toast

Food guru Mark Bittman visited De Vegetarische Slager and wrote an article on it for the New York Times. He was blown away by the flavors and possibilities! I guess he thought the USA is on the forefront when it comes to completely new food products, but I guess us Dutchies can do some great things too ;)

Lupin chicken pieces by Vegetarische Slager
Lupin chicken pieces by Vegetarische Slager

Some vegetarians say that you should not eat meat like products. Because you should not want to eat something that taste like meat. But some people who want to transfer from eating meat to not eating meat, will miss the texture or flavors. I think for those people this could be a great option, and it will maybe help more people to eat a more vegetarian diet. And it just gives more delicious options for cooking a pure vegetarian meal.

Lonneke at Vegetarische Slager
There are a lot of products in the freezer you can take with you to use at a later time!

Love, Lonneke

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJSQ6IXv5b0

Update 2020: Even though I think the taste of the meat of Vegetarian Butcher is great and it is a good option for people who want to eat less meat, I do want to add that these are modified products made in a factory. You have to check the ingredients as well. This small company first raised capital from small investors and did well, but then in my opinion "sold out" to the big bucks and is now owned by the big company UnileverRead more here about that sale on the investative platform Follow the Money.  Because of the story behind this development I have to admit I am disappointed and I am not a customer anymore.

First published on April 20th, 2012, updated in 2020


10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants

I love eating healthy food and I prefer to visit affordable restaurants! This is the list of my 10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants in 2019, where you can go and find healthy food any time of the day. I have stated which ones have good gluten-free options, and all restaurants are in different price categories as well as locations on Manhattan (where I live) My first choice would always going for an organic restaurant, and most of them in my list do focus on offering organic food, except for a few. These are easy going restaurants the bring-your-friends-or-family kind ( no reason to overdress), with a good take-out and delivery selections.

MY Top 10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants of the moment:

  1. le Pain Quotidien (LPQ): This is a staple place to visit whenever you need a good breakfast or lunch. As a true dutchie, I love bread. Since I stick to a gluten-free diet, I am so happy that they have THE BEST GLUTENFREE BREAD IN THE WORLD! There, I said it. LPQ also has great salads, breakfast items, many vegan and vegetarian options (a leaf sign on the menu means the dish is plant based), and most of what they serve is organic. This also counts for their coffee and decaf coffee. My favorites are the different tartines, the chia seed pudding, the lentil avocado salad. LPQ is take out and sit down. Multiple locations around the city. $ www.lepainquotidien.com 
  2. HU Kitchen: This is a great place with paleo dishes and take out treats and juices. That means everything is gluten-free, no dairy, and organic. They serve organic meat, chicken and vegetarian plates.  My favorite is the chicken burger. Every weekday they have a special, sometimes that is a vegan and gluten-free pizza (love it!) One location on 5th avenue between 13th and 14th $$ www.hukitchen.com 

    HU Kitchen NYC
    The Paleo Chicken Burger at HU Kitchen
  3. Dr. Smood: a chain with restaurants all over the city, this place calls itself "probably the healthiest cafe in town. They have a philosophy that people should spend their money on organic healthy food (the real healthcare as they say) and not on doctors. I love getting chocolate treats here, and the strawberry shake is delicious. www.drsmood.com
  4. Caravan of Dreams: A hole in the wall, this eclectic restaurant is dark and cosy, and a perfect place to take your friends for a vegan meal. Everything is vegan, organic and even kosher. They also serve a lot of raw food dishes. They have live music almost every night of the week. Favorites: all salads are amazing! I like the house salad dressing a lot, and the mediterranean salad. I love their seitan. Also the smoothies are great, and i like the ravioli of the day with sautéed greens, garlic tomato sauce and avocado. The raw brownie for desert is delicious. $   www.CaravanofDreams.net
  5. Spring Natural: Formerly Spring Street Natural restaurant, I order from here a lot as well, as they have daily changing menus, with a lot of vegan and vegetarian options. On top of that they try to get organic and local ingredients where they can. Think of this place as an American healthy diner. The salads are huge and their stir fry with veggies and rice can never go wrong. After 40+ years they moved from Spring street to a location just around the corner on Kenmare street. $    www.SpringStreetNatural.com  UPDATE: The location on Kenmare street has recently closed after 47 years of service, and the uptown one has been taken over by the new restaurant Thyme & Tonic. End of an era! Now instead maybe check out the different locations of Jack Wife's Freda!
  6. Bare Burger: Yes it is an organic restaurant and serve juicy and calorie-rich burgers and milkshakes, they also have a big selection of tasty salads and even many vegan and vegetarian options for a burger. I LOVE the black bean burger, and the fava bean falafel. $ www.bareburger.com

    Bare Burger dinner
    turkey burger with gluten free bun and sweet potato fries at Bare Burger
  7. Cafe Clover: This restaurant has a very beautiful look, and I love their out-of-the-box healthy salads and dishes. Sometimes a bit small, and maybe sometimes pricey, it is a nice place to have a nice date with a friend or lover. You can sit outside on the nice terrace too! By the way if you go here, also check out the Clover Grocery next door, as it has delicious organic treats! $$ www.CafeClover.comCafe Clover Salad
  8. Eataly: This inside market across the street from Madison Park gives you a chance to eat the most delicious local dishes. Everything is divided in categories. Of course I like to sit in the vegetable section, and sometimes in the fish section. It is worth a visit even if you don't sit down for food. $$ www.eataly.com
  9. Candle Cafe: I am always amazed by the warm filling nurturing delicious dishes they come up with. Full of many veggies, they are a treat and I keep coming back. The restaurants are completely vegan restaurants and located uptown in the Upper East and Upper West side.  Favorites: anything really. I am drooling just thinking about it. And especially the dishes with seitan. $$ www.Candlecafe.com .
    Candle Cafe
    2 of the yummy vegan Candle Cafe dishes that change daily.

     

  10. Westville. Probably not organic, but they have the biggest selection of vegetables. I love to order the market vegetables plate with a choice of four vegetables on the market vegetable list. they also have other nice options, I also like the veggie burger. Nice ambiance to hang out with friends.  Multiple locations $ www.westvillenyc.com

Love, Lonneke

All pictures by Organice Your Life®

Curious to know what changed in my list of 10 best healthy NYC restaurants since my last top 10 list? Check out my previous 10 favorite restaurants HERE!

Last tip: If you suffer from celiac disease you should be careful with these restaurants even if I state they have gluten-free options. There is no guarantee that there is no cross-contamination.


That time I did an 1 day juice cleanse

I once did an one day juice cleanse. All the way with the cheesy "I kiss my juice" pictures as proof.  I had a bit hangover from just drinking 2 bellinis at the Operation Smile Ball the day before. So when you don't feel so great, what do you do? Exactly you take care of yourself! Eating really healthy is your own medicine. So I decided to visit Organic Avenue.

About Organic Avenue

Organic Avenue was a vegan and rawfood chain in New York City. It was founded by Denise Mari, and back in the day I did an interview with her. There were so many new Organic Avenue Locations popping up around town at one point. To me it seemed they had a lot of success, but they also seemed to grow too fast. After a few years Denise sold the company, and from what I've read, she came back on board to run the company.  OA incorporated different foods into the menu besides cleanses (the vegan chicken and waffles was great!) but eventually they went out of business :( . Sad story of a vegan health food store I enjoyed so much in NYC! I notice many of my favorite restaurants have gone out of business, it is just part of doing business in New York City.

Organic Avenue Soho location
Organic Avenue Soho location before it closed

Now back to the juice cleanse story: There used to be an Organic Avenue Location in Soho, close to where I live, and I decided to do their one day cleanses.

The 1 day juice cleanse

I received 7 bottles of juice. 1 small one to start the day with chlorophyll, and 6 juices.  You were told to drink water in between..

1 day cleanse from Organic Avenue
1 day cleanse by Organic Avenue

8.30 am

Let's start this juice cleanse! I woke up tired and had my first juice at this time. A chlorophyll shot that made my tongue green! It has a specific taste, but it is not bad. Chlorophyll comes from plants and is an "extremely important bio molecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to absorb energy from light."- Quote from Wikipedia  

chlorophyll shot
chlorophyll shot

10 am

My first real juice is a nice simple orange juice. A great way to start a morning with some sweet citrus fruit juice.

orange juice
orange juice

12 pm

Green Love juice. Cucumber, celery, chard, spinach, pear, collard greens, kale, romaine, parsley, lemon juice. This one is a bit hard to drink due to the large amount of greens in this juice. So it took me a bit longer to drink this juice!

Green Love juice
Green Love juice

2.30 pm

Turmeric Tonic,  lemon juice, ginger juice, purified alkaline water, coconut sugar, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cardamom, himalayan salt. This one was spicy but I actually liked this juice! It tasted a bit like something from the Middle East because of the spices. I drank it quite fast.

Turmeric Tonic
Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic

4.30pm

Veggie Vibe: carrot, cucumber, beet, celery, chard, spinach, ginger, parsley, lemon. This one is hard again! Took me longer time to drink. But you feel really healthy drinking it.

At this point I felt really energized and fit! Getting so many minerals and vitamins in, plus water is really doing good for your body, right?

6.30 pm

Spicy Avocado Soup: avocado, purified alkaline water, spinach, lime juice, celery, cilantro, garlic, Himalayan salt, jalapeño, cumin. This is my least favorite. maybe because of the garlic and that it is thicker. It took me some effort to drink it.

Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup
Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup

8pm

Last juice of the day! Fresh, sweet coconut juice. I love ending a day like this with something super yummy!

Although some people do cleanses a few days in a row, I think it was nice to just do a one day cleanse. This way it does not "shock" your body while still replenishing your body with the essential nutrients. It is also a great that for that day you have a plan, and the 7 juices keep you on track. You don't have to think what you are gonna eat or what's for dinner at night. The cleanse is telling you that already so it relieves stress that way as well!

Why a one day juice cleanse might be good for you

Because you drink the whole day so you are very much hydrated.  And you don't have much time to feel hungry. Right when you feel hungry, you have the thicker Spicy Avocado soup that is filling. I think anyone can do a 1 day cleanse to just feel better and get rid of toxins or indigestion, if you don't get tempted by any food! So do this during a rainy day when you are likely to stay at home, or if you are stuck at the office with no food in sight, that's my recommendation.

You start to appreciate food more while on a cleanse, that is for sure!

Why juicing might not so good for you

You notice there is a lot of parsley added to the juices. This is because parsley contains lots of Vitamin K, a lot of antioxidants, which helps our bones and strengthens our nervous system.(that's good!) But I only learnt later that Parsley, other green leafy vegetables and beets contain a lot of oxalates and goitrogens. I will go into that some other time why that is actually not so good for some people like myself (oxalates can form crystals in your body and can cause kidney stones, goitrogens slow down a thyroid). Not to mention the high sugar intake which research suggests due to the lack of fiber that helps release sugar slowly into the blood system, a juice is causing a sugar spike. And juices that are not pasteurized, can bring harmful bacteria to your gut which can cause a whole other range of issues.

Maybe, just maybe, juice cleansing was a hype from 2006-2016, and now people just have one juice once a while and are onto another fad, like Keto or Paleo?

Related: Why no one does juice cleanses anymore

Organic Avenue used to offer their juices in glass bottles, but they were more expensive as there was a fee for returning the bottles. Now they serve the juices in BPA- free plastic, I thought that was a nice thing! Of course with the demise of Organic Avenue, their bottles are gone too. (I just kept one as a souvenir).

If you want to do a cleanse, there are many places in New York City and beyond to get a juice from, including Juice Press, Pressed Juicery ,Blueprint and Juice Generation

Related: 5 cleanses that get delivered to your door in the USA

p.s. for my readers in the Netherlands: you can order from Sapmeesters.

Final thought on cleanses: You should decide yourself what works for you! I will now enjoy a small juice once a while!

Love, Lonneke

First Published on May 6th 2012, Updated with new insights in 2019