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 [email protected] 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


Start the New Year right!

Organice Your Life is wishing everyone a wonderful New Year with lots of love and good health! May all your wishes come true the coming year! Let's talk about how you can start the new year right:

How to start the New Year right

We can't wait to bring you much more inspiration the coming year. More tips and insights on how to organize your life in an organic and nice way aka "Organice" your life. Let's start the New Year with a good detox of your body and soul. But remember always that every day is a new day to start the rest of your life! So even if you go off-track one day. Don't worry! The next day you can start over and be the best YOU!

READ MORE: How to survive the Holidays

Watch more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUgqvK1b_3s&t=70s

Happy Holidays: Your 5 good intentions in the New Year using the Circle of Five

  • Make your house your home and get a habit of organizing and cleaning regularly for a healthier YOU.
  • Try every day to spend a bit of time to organize your agenda, finances and career.
  • Eat healthy foods, drink water. Move and Appreciate your body.
  • Spend time with people (or animals) you love and who love you.
  • Give back to your Community.

You will have great days, and bad days. You will win some and lose some. You will make it or you will fail. It can all happen this new year, but the thing is: DO NOT STOP! You just need to keep on going if you are passionated about it and really want to achieve something. No one achieved big things by quitting. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. So let's do it and make this New Year one for the books!

Happy Holidays Artwork by Haus of Joey for Organice Your Life


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


Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by Alique

Wubbo Ockels and his Universe of Happy Energy

On May 18th 2014 dutch physicist Wubbo Ockels died. I interviewed Wubbo a few years earlier, on May 21st 2011. I like sharing it with you as Wubbo inspired a lot of people with his stories, achievements and energy. May he rest in Peace. 

Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by Alique

Prof. Dr. Wubbo J. Ockels (1946) is a brand in itself. His track record is impressive. He was the first Dutchman in Space aboard the last successful trip of the Space Shuttle Challenger before it exploded on its 23rd flight. Wubbo Ockels is a physicist, a professor at TU Delft University of Technology, director of ASSET (Applied Sustainable Science, Engineering and Technology), and not only that: Wubbo Ockels is THE man who has put sustainable energy on the agenda in the Netherlands and beyond. In addition, Wubbo Ockels has survived many life- threatening situations, including an airplane crash and having his heart stop beating for 6 minutes. But that doesn’t stop this optimistic “Energy Hero”. He started many international, power projects including the Superbus, the Ecolution Ship, the Nuon Solar Team Challenge, and his “Happy Energy” project. He does all of this while dancing his way through life and enjoying it fully, and by surrounding himself with the young people of our future, sometimes even at the Supperclub in Amsterdam. It certainly does not seem like he’s going to stop anytime soon.

“Optimism is a responsibility one cannot win without” - Wubbo Ockels

Interview by Lonneke Engel. Pictures by Alique.

Lonneke- Let’s go back to the beginning when it all started. You were the first Dutch person to go into space. Have you always been interested in going to space?

Wubbo: I wasn’t particularly interested in Space in the beginning. In reality, what happened was that one day, I came across an advertisement from the European Space Agency (ESA), looking for people who would want to go “to Space”. I signed up. I think it was a bit of a coincidence. I think I was a difficult student in school. I was even thrown out of High School at some point, but I followed my own talent for Physics, and later on I even graduated Cum Laude from the University, and that got me the chance to go to Space. I think you need a bit of luck in your life, and to be able to catch opportunities when they come your way.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

 

L: You went to space in a Space Shuttle about 26 years ago, in 1985. can you tell us what it feels Like to travel there, and see things from that perspective?

W: The take off was really intense. But then, you get the first view of the Earth, and it is overwhelming - you feel extraterrestrial. It is something you have to experience to understand. On that note: I have ambivalent feelings about commercial space travel. When you see the Earth like that, you get an even stronger desire to protect our planet. But on the other hand, we travel too much already. It is a consuming activity and one that is bad for the environment. Do we really need to start regular flights into Space? Don’t people just want to escape their environment for something new? That is something we should think about. But the view is amazing, that is for sure.

L: Perhaps there is some inherent risk in flying to space as well? I mean, the flight you were on was the 22nd flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, flight sts-61a. that was the last successful flight of the Challenger before it exploded mid-flight killing 7 crew members including your roommate Dick Scobee. it was one of the great “challenges” in your life so far. how did you react to it when you heard the news? Did you feel like you escaped a disaster? Will fLying into space always be dangerous?

W: I learned about the Challenger’s disaster when I saw film crews at my house. I asked my wife if there was something wrong with our kids. I was relieved to discover that that was not the case. Then I was told about the explosion and about the death of the 7 crew members, and the passing of my roommate, Dick. I felt really sad. My 2nd emotion later on was that I got angry. As it turned out, there was a design flaw in the solid rocket boosters that could have been prevented. Later, we found out that of the 23 flights of the Challenger, 8 had issues with this problem, including my flight. So this disaster could have struck on any one of those flights. So yes, I feel extremely lucky that I am still here. Later on, I was impressed by NASA - they did some very good and thorough research on the Challenger.

READ MORE: OYL Circle of Five by Wubbo Ockels

L: One of the reasons NASA sends Space Shuttles (although now the program is almost discontinued), is to do experiments. What do you think has been the most important result to come from those experiments?

W: I think the Hubble Telescope has given us so many insights and beautiful images of the Universe. It might have raised more questions than answers. In my flight I was most fascinated by the Human Being experiments, like awareness of state and position, and reflexes, etc. Take the “Gaze Experiment”: When you focus on a spot, and close your eyes, you know where it is when you are on Earth. But in Space, you can’t do it. It has to do with time maybe? It made me think differently the rest of my life, and it made me think differently about our notion of time.

L: what do you think the future of space travel will be?

W: In the next 20 years, commercial Space flights will grow enormously. But we can’t afford the rocket launches since they require large amounts of fuel and are hazardous to our environment. So, I think we are going to use cables to basically “lift” us into Space, using nano tubes made of strong fibers. I think this technique will also be developed more in the coming years. I might go on one of the first commercial flights that will take off from Curaçao, but only on the condition that they use their profits to clean up Curaçao and make it a nicer place.

L: Do you believe in life outside of Earth?

W: I think it is unacceptable that we think we are the only ones who are aware of the “Cosmos”. Extraterrestrial life is all around us. We just see what we know around us: Earth type parts of the Universe. Since Galilei, we have built instruments to learn more about the Universe, but for instance, the Egyptians thought the Earth was the center of the Universe and Galilei thought it is the Sun. Our interpretation of what we see changes when we learn new facts but our eyes still see the same. Now we think we are in a non-specific place in the Galaxy. Suppose you ask the old Egyptians: “Is there another Earth?” They would answer: “wrong question, the Earth is the center!” and when you would ask Galilei:”Is there another Sun?”, he would answer similarly. I compare that to asking today: Is there another Now? Is there another Time? I think others lives have different time and that is why we don’t see them (yet). - everything is related to the present time but I am curious about what we can do with another notion of time.

L: After your work in the field of Aerospace, you shifted your interest towards sustainable engineering and technology. Where did this interest come from?

W: Really, Space is not so unique. But Earth is unique. If you could see it from Space, you’d know what I mean. The Earth has the blue of water, the green of trees, and so on. I learned that the earth is beautiful and that we have to take care of it. I was always an inventor my whole life. I like to think outside of the box, and some say it might also be my handicap. In 1972, I had an eye-opening moment when I read “The Limits to Growth” by the Club of Rome. In 1996, I started inventing again, and in 2004, I got a Professorship in Sustainability at the University of Delft. I enjoy working on different projects, and with a new way of looking at data.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

L: You Like to travel. what is your favorite place on Earth to travel to?

W: I used to travel a lot, but I have cut down on it recently. I also think there are many beautiful places to visit close to home. I like the “Waddeneilanden” (islands north of the Netherlands), I like Amsterdam, and I also loved Big Band National Park in Texas when I lived there for 4 years. I think many people travel now just to change the scenery, like they escape from their own reality. We might need to restrict our travel because it is not good for the environment.

READ MORE: OYL Checklist by Wubbo Ockels

L: What do you think the situation of Earth is as of now? What do you think we should all do for Earth in the coming years?

W: I think we still have a way of doing business on Earth where profit is the driving force. The Earth has been suffering because of it. I see that we have to make a change in our mindset. We need a different culture... There is also a big potential for recycling products, and we can still improve in capturing heat from existing buildings and products to heat our houses. There is a lot of potential to do better, but we all have to look at ourselves and change our ways. For instance, in my opinion a car using the commonly used fuel is so old-fashioned. I think if you wantto make the world a better place you need to embrace the future. Electric cars will make tremendous progress, and you will see many more on the streets in the coming years as batteries get better and the total production of electric cars becomes more sustainable. And once you realize the true beauty of a car is not the noisy engine, but rather the silence of an electric car, we will have made the right shift. I think we have all gone too far with certain ways of capturing energy, including nuclear energy. It is the arrogance of the Industrial Revolution. This way of getting energy is too big for human kind. That’s also why I started the Happy Energy movement as a new way, a new paradigm in looking for energy, that does not harm people, animals, or the Earth.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

L: What is your mission with Happy Energy?

W: I want to encourage young people - the people of the future - to think about sustainable energy and to help them set up projects that use renewable energy sources. I embrace new ways of communication like social media to get them excited. 

READ MORE: www.happyenergy.com

L: Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are working on and what you think the world of sustainability will look like?

W: I have been working on a lot of different projects over the past years. They are all in some way related to new ways of using certain types of energy. Some are successful and went into production, others were just ideas. I worked from 1994-1998 on the Euromoon 2000 project from the ESA. We as Europe mark a space in history so this project would have been an extension of that. The idea was that we put an extraterrestrial station on the moon, and use the moon for energy. One idea was putting up solar panels there that would give us year-round solar energy. We would live there through village robots in what is called “telepresence” so, while not actually living there. I also worked on the “LadderMill” concept, that is an attempt to “grab wind energy” high up in the sky. The “Superbus” concept will make a difference for travel over roads, with luxury transportation to wherever the passenger wants to go (usually zipcode to zipcode travel).

L: What can you suggest for someone who wants to become more sustainable? What can he or she do to start?

W: First of all, I encourage people who want to become more sustainable, to go to people who have the knowledge. Education is key. Learn how you can do better. Also, I think solar panels will flood the world in the coming years as they become cheaper. They are a great way of capturing energy that is basically free. So, adding that to your house is a great step forward. Maybe countries should encourage their citizens to use more renewable energy sources. And companies can be more forward in giving suggestions to their buyers.

L: What countries do you think are doing well on that subject and what countries can improve?

W: Germany is doing well. Their government has made a clear decision to promote sustainability. They have about 350,000 people working now in the sustainable sector. My own country, the Netherlands, is really not focusing on green ways at all and I wish they did. As it turns out, doing business with green ethics in the end will be at least as profitable as not thinking about it. So there is no reason not to do it. China will also probably save the world. Their government is different than in the Western world, and they keep a long political strategy. When they open a coalmine, they already plan for its closure in the future. The essence of sustainability is the treasure of the future. Not just thinking: “it’s so far away, let’s only think short- term”.

L: The Mind Shift, what should that be?

W: Right now, society seems to be largely managed by fear. People communicate with prejudgement that has to do with fear, and they use that fear to set up more armies, boundaries, walls, etc. We need to learn howto communicate with each other based on trust. When we all live without fear - and are positive - life becomes more beautiful. And we can all live with happy energy from within ourselves. - May 21st 2011

If the world ends today, I’ll be ok because I am happy with the way I lived my life

- Wubbo Ockels

Wubbo Ockels : Almelo March 26th 1946 - Amsterdam May 18th 2014

READ MORE: Wubbo Ockels: Goodbye with a smile

 

Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by Alique

All pictures copyright by Organice Your Life® and Alique. First published in Organice Your Life magazine in 2011, and online on February 18th 2012.


Lonneke Engel for Grazia Nederland

A few years ago I did my first photo shoot after 2 years of being ill, and the result was published in 2014.  In this edition of Grazia magazine I share my story of recovering from a burnout and post traumatic stress disorder, as well as suffering from an autoimmune disease. I also open up on how I spent those 2 years. The shoot was conveniently at my own loft in New York City, as well as on the streets of my favorite city.

Burnout

This period was the toughest for me so far in my life, with many ups and downs. I quit modeling while I was recovering from a burnout, but I was also getting married. I turned out to have hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's Disease but I also adopted the best dog ever: Vito The Dog. You can say that those 2 years forced me to look at my life and think about what I really want in life, and focus 100% on my health and happiness. It made me go in a totally new direction than I was going in before I fell ill. Right now I feel it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It made me who I am today, and I am much happier, and have more love in my life than ever before.

Now it is 7 years later and I am going to share more about how to deal with an autoimmune disease in the future, and how I got myself healthy from feeling really sick. It did not happen overnight, I had to take it easy for at least 6 years.  I hope I inspire people that these things can happen to anybody, and to "Organice Your Life" is a continuous process throughout a lifetime, with a few bumps in the road. I am here to take these bumps with you.

Love, Lonneke

Client: Grazia Magazine

Photographer: Christian Högstedt

Stylist: Erin Walsh

Make Up: Dominique Samuel

Hair: DJ Quintero

Location: New York City

Lonneke Engel Grazia NederlandFirst published in 2014,updated in 2019


Models listening at IMG model prep 2012

IMG Model Talk

Did you know for years I helped young models live a healthy and organized life? For instance, on September 1st 2011, Anne-Marie van Dijk and I went to my agency IMG for the first annual IMG Model Prep which happens right before the agency's new girls start Fashion Week.

Fashion Week preparations

Not only is the fashion industry a demanding industry, the weeks leading up to Fashion Week season, and fashion weeks themselves can be mentally and physically exhausting. (Young) models have to run around town going on castings, fittings, shows, and afterparties, subway in and out, and this continuous for weeks from the early morning until late at night.

IMG which is the top agency in the World, was the first to create this event where they bring in industry professionals and experts to advise the girls on tips on what to do doing castings and shows, support and how to handle the crazy business that is fashion. Most girls need to HALT at some point because they are "Hungry, Anxious, Lonely & Tired: HALT". A great clinical worker named Betsy Selman-Babinecz explained this principle to the girls.

READ MORE: IMG Model Talk 2012

My IMG model talk

I shared with the girls my past experiences in the industry and starting at the very young age of 13, and how I continued having a successful career. I advised the girls and gave them valuable advice about how to handle the stressful fashion week season (i.e. always carry water, snacks and take time by yourself to recharge and breathe), but also about having longevity in the business, which in my view is most crucial. It is about caring for yourself, so you are able to have a long and healthy future in this very demanding and competitive world.

My friend Anne-Marie introduced her CLEANSE program. It works with models, and the CLEANSE team which is comprised of experts ranging from nutritionists, personal trainers, psychologists and beyond. They have a model counselor who works with the girls individually and allows them to have a healthy body, mind and soul.

READ MORE: IMG Models open to all

Girls were given goodie bags with nice things to help them in their modeling work. There were different tables with nice companies that were giving samples, like the sample juices from BluePrintCleanse.

At the end of the night, everyone left inspired. It was a wonderful evening on the beautiful IMG terrace, celebrating health and hopefully a lot of success of the girls this season and in their modeling career.

Love, Lonneke

First published on September 1st 2011, updated in 2009


Candle 79 vegan restaurant NYC closing in 2020!

When you go organic & vegan, most people think you eat the most boring foods. WRONG! Candle 79 (and its sister restaurants Candle Cafe and Candle Cafe West) show that vegan food can be inspiring, warming and delicious! A great restaurant in New York City especially if you love original vegan food!

UPDATE: Candle 79 will shut its doors forever on January 1st 2020 due to real estate issues. So you have to hurry to enjoy some lovely foods for the upcoming Holidays! Check out what I like about it below!

Candle79-2

Romantic vibes

Candle 79 is a romantic restaurant with nice low lights and candles (the name says it all)  located in the posh Upper East Side neighborhood, and serves high-end vegan cooked foods since 2003. They have a great selection for raw foodies too, but most of it is true home cooked meals brought to another level by owners Joy & Bart. They have been rated #1 vegetarian restaurant by Zagat twice and everyone who loves vegetarian food raves about this place. They bring food from the farm to your table without harming anyone and any animal, only healthy food in a holistic way.

The menu has many options to choose from

When I get here, I never know what to choose, their regular menu already has too many options that make my mouth water, but they also have a few daily specials. What I love here the most is that they are the best at preparing seitan, and all their seitan dished are amazing. (Notice: NOT Gluten-free!) The World Famous Seitan Piccata is one of my favorites, as well as all their dishes with roasted fall vegetables and mashed vegetables. Every dish has many flavors on one plate and that's why this is one of my favorite restaurants in the World. Candle 79 has many homemade original cocktails, with organic alcohol or virgin ones. the coconut and ginger blend is great, as well as the rosemary infused sparkling pear juice.

Candle 79 -2

Seitan entrée with fingerling potatoes, onions, butternut squash, apple & more.
Candle 79 -3Tempeh Entrée with string beans, brussels sprouts, fennel salad, mole, mashed pumpkin

Candle 79 - 4Dessert special: soy vanilla ice-cream, candied figs, almonds & sauce.

Our favorites at this restaurant

  • Anything with their seitan : it's amazing! Like Seitan chimichurri, or seitan piccata with lemon caper sauce.
  • Avocado tartare with kale chips
  • Their ravioli or any other pasta
  • Dishes with any of the following: garlic mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash, mashed pumpkin, roasted brussels sprouts, porcini mushroom sauce, marinara sauce, grilled tempeh, grilled seitan.
  • Seitan piccata
  • Their daily specials
  • Any of their virgin cocktails  or "Smooth sippers" as they call them.
  • Also, even if you never take desserts: Candle 79 makes desserts so good you can't believe it is vegan!

 

Cookbooks

They also have great cookbooks!

I love to make their seitan piccata lemon caper sauce from this cookbook (Click on picture for more information and/or purchase)

 

And they also have a great vegan Holiday cookbook! (Click on picture for more information and/or purchase)

Address

Candle 79

154 E 79 street

(between Lexington & 3rd)

Or try their other 2 cafes in NYC!

Love, Lonneke

First published on November 28th 2013, updated in 2019


Mano Macchiato by Joey Holthaus

My friend Joey Holthaus (Illustrator) and Mano Macchiato, known for their exclusive hand-painted shoes, collaborated on an exciting project.

One of a kind sneakers

You know, craftsmanship is the future, and you will see it more and more around you. People want to know how things are made! People want something unique. That's why I am excited when I see people around me being super creative, it gives me energy! And don't we all love shoes, and especially these one of a kind sneakers. A true piece of art!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QWLrWBXzbU

READ MORE: 5 tips to consume less and live more.

Mano Macchiato is known for transforming luxury leather items into a hand-finished art pieces. It was founded by brothers Dirk & Pim Verest. They started hand-finishing dressed shoes (patina), which became a big success. Pim Verest can go all over Europe to show his unique finishing techniques, Dirk is based in the USA. A typical dress shoe takes about 2 to 6 hours to finish, depending on colors and design. All wishes from customers can be granted as Pim finishes each shoe from scratch. Since the start Mano Macchiato also transitioned in the World of leather furniture, horse tack and car & yacht interiors. Basically anything made from leather can get a Mano Macchiato touch. Mano Macchiato will also offer leather goods using sustainable materials like biodegradable eco-friendly leather and natural coloring. Great idea! (Also check out their more affordable line Miotinto!)

Joey Holthaus

Joey Holthaus creates original illustrations with his HAUS OF JOEY. He has designed amazing artwork for Organice Your Life ® and many other people & companies. But Joey's biggest passion is using the inspiration of pop culture to make his illustrations. His best work includes Illustrations of Madonna, Prince, Lady Gaga to name a few.

Check out these new sneakers they made together. What do you think?

video credits:

Sneakers illustration: Joey Holthaus for Haus of Joey

Sneakers hand-finishing by Pim Verest for Mano Macchiato

Executive producer, film & editing: Mano Macchiato

Love, Lonneke


Sunset at Palmetto Bluff

My stay at the Palmetto Bluff Resort

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin (now known as Hailey Bieber) got married at this beautiful resort in South Carolina, called Montage Palmetto Bluff resort. Funny thing is that I had a photoshoot there for Ralph Lauren a few years ago, and I wrote an article for Organice Your Life about it! 

My trip to Palmetto Bluff

I am so lucky that I get to go to amazing locations for shoots. One time, I landed in Savannah, Georgia, and drove to a nearby town called Bluffton, where this amazing resort was located: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.

The Cottages on the property.

Photo shoot

Here I shot Ralph Lauren, together with John Dennis, a male model I know from way back, when we shot Ralph Lauren when we were really young. That's the nice thing about the Ralph Lauren team: you really get to know each other, and become friends! This team was again a group of people that I have worked with for years, so it almost feels like going on vacation! 

The Spa plus pool & Gym

The resort itself

Back to the resort: The Palmetto Bluff is located on a 20.000 acres (!) piece of land. It used to be owned by a big industrial company, but then got sold and became a resort around 2006. And in and around 2008 it was taken over by the Auberge group, and it seems that in 2013 it was taken over by Montage Resorts . Now it is just an amazing resort with cottages, little villas, a little wedding chapel and located next to the beautiful May river. The food is great and you can find the southern hospitality here.

 

My roomservice salad with green beans, yellow beets and goat cheese.

The rooms

My cottage had a fireplace that turned on with the switch of a button. It also had a steam shower (loved it!) and a nice bathtub. Wireless internet is also for free, and there are a lot of local tv stations. You get a bike for free with your cottage so you can ride anywhere yourself (smart!). Or the golf carts can bring you anywhere.  Since our flight got delayed a day, we ended up spending more time at the resort, which was definitely not a bad thing!

The fireplace.

Ghost stories

I was told a story about a possible ghost haunting the premises, but I have not seen him! It is supposedly a little boy, who died over 100 years ago on this property. The manager of the resort told us he appeared to cleaners in the gym/spa area, and now nobody dares to clean by themselves. Honestly, I was fine, was not scared by that ghost, but did watch out for the alligators that are in the waters in the area.

The cemetery on the property of Palmetto Bluff. one of the people who died is a 3 year old boy, is he maybe the ghost?

Staying at Palmetto Bluff

But back to the good stuff: I really like the nature, the water and the resort in this area, and think it is beautiful to have a luxurious vacation, golfing or enjoying the high-class spa, or even get married! (This is most likely the chapel that Justin Bieber and Hailey got married in.)

 

The little chapel where you can get married, really cute and romantic!

Palmetto Bluff in the early evening.

 

I hope I can go back again sometime! I can recommend this beautiful property for a wonderful vacation or even a wedding. Wishing the Biebers lots of love in their marriage!

 

Love, Lonneke

First published on December 3rd 2010, updated in 2019


Models listening at IMG model prep 2012

IMG Models open to all!

I am so happy when I find out that people in the fashion industry are making a difference! Especially when you have been seeing it up close from the beginning. That's why I love my agency IMG.

My years with IMG Models

I have been with IMG Models worldwide (New York, Paris, Milan, London) since 2005. Right from the beginning, they have embraced who I was and what I brought to the table, no matter my size or shape. I think they only measured me once, and I did not fit the standards, which was not really an issue, as they worked around it. (I have never been the perfect size ever FYI). Compared to other agencies I visited when I was looking for a new agency back in 2005 who all had a different vision of me, IMG saw my qualities and gave my career a new boost with many new campaigns, after my exclusive Ralph Lauren contract ended. I loved my agents Peter in NYC, Jurgen in Paris, and Andrea and Giovanni in Milan, and Kirsty in London, as they always were very helpful and got me great bookings. Also Ivan, who is the Vice President of IMG Models, was always there if I needed advice. I know it is different at many agencies.

Certified Health Counselor

In 2008 when I became a Certified Health Counselor, they asked me each year to come speak to their young models at their yearly Model Prep 101 event just before September Fashion Week, and give them tips on how to be healthy during Fashion Week ,and every day working as a model. I have done that 3 or 4 times now, and this year I unfortunately couldn't join the team because of my illness that made me quit modeling.

IMG Model Prep

It was also a first in the industry: an agency that organizes a great event to help guide their models the right way. Previously agencies were just the ones that booked the job, and agents did not have time to be the go-to person for the models for any other business than the show business, but these days IMG agents are helping girls on every level they can. Need a trainer? They arrange it. You need a new outfit? They help you. You need someone to talk to? They are there for you.

Lonneke IMG model Talk 2012
Lonneke at IMG Model Prep in 2012

READ MORE: IMG Model prep 2012 story by me on Organice Your Life®

Fashion Week

IMG Model Prep 101 usually is on a night before the September NY Fashion Week, when the girls are gearing up for castings, fittings and shows. A team of about 5 or 6 experts come in and give a short speech on their subject of expertise, and the models can ask questions. It is really an event to support and embrace the girls, and organized by IMG'S David Cunningham and his team. One thing David Cunningham said to the models at the event that I remember well and thought was great was: "You are all here because we believe in you. If you do well at NY Fashion Week, that is great! But if you don't book many shows that is O.K. too! Because we believe in you, you are here and we hope to work with you for a long time in the future, no matter how many shows you book"  These words I thought really gave the girls a good feeling, because their career did not rely only on the success of their NY Fashion Week. After all, runway work is a totally different thing than modeling for pictures or video, and every girl has their own talents! The event is held on the beautiful terrace of the Penthouse office of IMG Models in NYC. There are always great healthy foods and drinks sponsored by NYC vendors, and the goodiebag is really, really good (trust me I have gotten many goodiebags in my life and IMG's goodie bag is one full of useful products, especially for models.) A few things in the goodie bag: All stars Sneakers, makeup, fitness clothing, teeth whitening system, skincare, discounts, free gym membership, drinks and more. ( I know you like to hear about those details!)

The experts speaking have changed the past year, but some have been regulars like Betsy Selman-Babinecz, a Board Certified Clinical Social Worker who really helped girls- and myself-  by giving "emotional tools" to deal with the pressure in the Fashion Industry. Also present were Nian Fish, a Creative Director/Producer who started the CFDA Health Initiative, and Casting Directors like James Scully. Other experts the past years included trainers, lawyers, PR agents,and more. Last year Jessica Stam spoke shared her experiences as a top model, and I gave tips on healthy food and essentials for Fashion Week. All our tips were put together in a nice booklet provided by IMG. I hope to be part of this great initiative for more years to come!

READ MORE: NY magazine article on the IMG Model Prep 101

My life after modeling

When I decided regular modeling was not for me anymore, as I worked as a model for over 20 years and I feel there is not much to "win" anymore that way in the fashion industry, IMG was very supportive.

Lonneke for Twirl fragrance by Kate Spade, shot by Phil Pointer, booked by Peter from IMG Models NY
Lonneke and other models for Twirl fragrance by Kate Spade, shot by Phil Pointer, booked by Peter at IMG Models NY 

The future of IMG Models

I am happy to see that IMG is also still developing in an even better agency. I was very excited when I read this interview with Vice President Ivan Barth for Cosmopolitan, in which he shares that IMG will from now on just focus on the best models and personalities, no matter age, size and shape. Because really, great women come in all shapes and sizes. It is a great development in an industry I find has become too much fast fashion and everybody looking the same. I don't see any fun in extremely thin girls that all look the same, and even I, someone who has been in this industry for so long, can't say who's who anymore sometimes. I myself gained some weight and I feel happier and look better this way I think than when I was trying to fit in as the standard size model. I am happy to know that IMG models really wants me to be me, and that will only make me a better public figure, and a happier person.

Lonneke for Clarins, booked by IMG Paris
Lonneke by herself as a canvas for Clarins, booked by IMG Paris

Lonneke for Brunello CucinelliLonneke and other models for Brunello Cucinelli booked by IMG Milan

Fashion Insider

I will share more fashion secrets on Organice Your Life I want to make this industry a healthier place by sharing my experiences,  as I know us models are role models for women around the World.

So good news for everyone dreaming of being a model. You now have a chance with IMG Models no matter what size, shape, length, age or color you are: Because only the best is good enough for IMG Models.

Love, Lonneke

Featured image: Lonneke for JCrew booked by IMG NY (note: not all models are represented by IMG Models in this picture)

 

First published on November 18th 2013, updated in 2019