Interview with raw vegan ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier

Organice Your Life is a place where I feature interesting people from all walks of life and in all fields of expertise. 

Interview with Brendan Brazier

Lonneke Engel interviews Brendan Brazier, Ironman Triathlete, plant-based nutrition expert and Vega founder. The location is  Candle Cafe West in NYC a delicious vegan restaurant!

Check out Lonneke visiting vegan sister restaurant Candle 79

Check out Lonneke's 10 vegan friendly restaurants in NYC featuring Candle Cafe. 

Read more about Brendan Brazier



first published in 2012

Interview with Dutch Olympic Swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo

Organice Your Life is a place where I feature interesting people from all walks of life and in all fields of expertise. 

Interview with Ranomi Kromowidjojo

When I visited my hometown of Eindhoven, I met up with dutch Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

Read more about Ranomi's successes and life story

Follow Ranomi on Twitter

Follow Ranomi on Instagram


Love, Lonneke

first published in 2012

Beau Young: Peace be with you.

A conversation with Beau Young

The name Beau Young conjures up a gorgeous image which inspires me! It's one of my favourite Aussie surfer, poised on the nose of his 9.4 surfboard, five toes over, left leg bent behind him from the knee with foot raised behind him, arms outstretched - 'crucifix five.'

How is it that I was the spoiled model who, just this morning, managed to catch a wave and speak a few words with someone that cool. In 2004 Beau Young won the world longboarding championships for his strong yet finesse surfing.

These days, Beau is pretty much a singer and songwriter full time, and - as I found out – the most passionate of animal lovers!

To refresh my memory, I played Beau's first CD 'Waves of Change' on the drive to meet him. I wanted to get a feel for his style, his emphasis on life through the words of the songs. His voice is 'Bob Dylan-ish', it's raspy tones likeable with his unpredictable emphasis, you can sure sure hear 'soul'. I played my favourite song on the disc, 'Peace Be With You' twice. It's catchy, it's kind of surfy, it's fun... 'As the last wave of summer, rolls on, along... don't waste a second, coz when it's gone it's gone... Let your future, break on down the line... Peace be with you, in your time...'

Of course I brought chocolate. I found out his favourite flavour (Beau loves white chocolate!) the day previously, and made a natural variation which I'll share the recipe for in another post soon. Chilled bottles of freshly made almond milk went down well before the surf, and we enjoyed blueberries, organic apples and my cinnamon tahini cream.

We chatted like old friends. Beau's dogs name is D-Dawgitty. He is a Yogi. He has a spot right between the ears, and loves my chocolate. Beau is so crazy mad about animals, and
lately he's written over 80 kids songs with different animalistic impersonations! I was intrigued.

So apparently lots had happened since 'Waves of Change'! As well as working on a few mainstream music albums, Beau now has a music dimension just devoted to children. His band is called ANIMALS ROCK. He played me a few new songs he'd been working on from his Iphone as well as surprising me with a gift of two childrens CD's, 'Farm Animals', and 'Wild Animalz'... he sure can impersonate some wild noises with that voice! He dresses up in animal suits too. Wow, nothing could have prepared me for this. This guy is seriously amazing.

I began by asking him what it was about kids & animals that motivated him, a world champion longboard surfer to reach out to them?
Kids are our future and they are so so intelligent from such a young age these days. Instilling a love of the natural world, our environment and our fantastic, remarkable extended family - that is the animal kingdom - on the youngest of generation gives me more pleasure than I could have ever imagined!

I wondered how Beau envisaged his work for the future? What it was that he dreamed of, and what, he would change if he could, today?
“There are so many things I would change today if I had the chance. For a start I would be playing music to millions of kids and instilling the importance of love and understanding and all the proceeds would go to great causes. Today if I had my way (the government already knows this is possible) I would have only air and water powered cars, wind and solar would be the only method of obtaining energy and everyone on any income could have there needs met. People with too much would be encouraged to give to those in need. This is a very broad question but for a start there would not be one more hole put in our earth via the coal seam gas fracking process. One more hole they would say and I would scream “No fracking way my friends.”

Beau had a few words to say on the phrase 'Organice Your Life, World' ~ His mind runs so expressively...
“To me to OYW sounds like a universal understanding that together we are one. No segregation due to skin colour, race, religion or monetary income. Everyone together. The world as we know it has a very small voice and the voice should not only sit with the few. They say charity starts at home and with the family. Well this world is our home and and we are all in this together. The one thing we truly need is to look inside ourselves and from there our environment, how fortunate we are and deep down understand that it may begin at how but I swear this planet feels like it has less than 6 degree's of separation and you know what everyone I happen to talk to these days ultimately feel the same way. So just when you thought this world was spinning faster and crazier than ever, it turns out - we're all grounded and believing in the same positive vibe.” As he spoke I could hear the lyrics from 'Peace Be With You' playing in my head, 'Doin' it ain't so difficult, couse we'll all be honding hands... Doin' it ain't so difficult, but we only got this one chance...'

Any health tips from Beau Young?... Organice Your Life readers might like to know?...
“For me and how I like to feel, it's all about yoga, exercising once a day and eating well. I like to try and stay strong and positive in mind and body as much as possible. I think it tends to keep everything on an even keel. It ain't easy but just like love, there really is no other solution than the positive. Hiccups occur and things happen all the time, the bright side of life definitely is the way and I can breathe it all in through a slow Hatha yoga and meditation session at any time of the day; and just like surfing I can take that emotion and empowerment with me.”

Beau dedicates monies from his work to charities for endangered animals, and for children who are deaf and hearing impaired. It seems if he can't touch them with his music, he'll touch them – with his heart.

First published in 2012, updated in 2019


OYL Circle of Five by Wubbo Ockels

The 5 steps of the Organice Your Life Circle of Five can help you organize and improve your home, your finances, your career, your health, your relationships and you supporting others. How are other people doing it? We ask them!

Organice Your Life Circle of Five: Wubbo Ockels


Organice Your Home:

“I have solar panels on my house. I also sold my 4 cars and now
 I don’t own any car. I take my bike everywhere, or I take public transportation if I have to go somewhere far."

Organice Your Agenda:

“I like giving lectures and teaching, especially to young children because they soak up the things they hear. I think education is something we should really put time into. I also think that the
 term “profit” making is shifting away from simply meaning money making and more towards making friends and doing the things that you love to do.”

Organice Yourself:

“I like going out, and I love dance music with a groove. For instance, the Supperclub in Amsterdam is a spot I like to go to with friends. O also like the Supperclub cd dJ Jorg made a lot. Without groovy music, I get sleepy.”

Organice Your Relationships:

“I've known my wife Joos for 47 years, and we’ve been married for 42 of those years. We have 2 children: our son Martin (30) & our daughter Gean (37). We have 2 grandchildren ages 6 and 1. and two bosom friends 
a man and a woman. I also enjoy spending time with young & fun people, it keeps me young as well!”

Organice Your Good Heart:

“A lot of the projects I am affiliated with are non-profit, like Happy Energy and the Frisian Solar Challenge."

Amsterdam, May 21st 2011 


In Memoriam Wubbo OckelsWubbo Ockels March 28th 1946 -  May 18th 2014

Read Wubbo Ockels' In Memoriam on the website of Happy Energy.

OYL Checklist - Wubbo Ockels May 21st 2011

OYL interview with Wubbo Ockels by Lonneke Engel May 21st 2011

Wubbo Ockels: Goodbye with a smile May 18th 2014

Text by Lonneke Engel. Photos by Alique. Copyright Organice Your Life®


OYL Checklist - Wubbo Ockels

We ask our most inspiring people what personal things they have on their checklist. This is the checklist of late dutch Space Shuttle astronaut Wubbo Ockels.

Wubbo Ockels by Alique

Organice Your Life Checklist - Wubbo Ockels


“Purple Rain” by Prince. I took it with me to Space, it was and still is my favorite song and a strong human expression.”


“I got the Happy Energy logo tattooed on my arm, it was a present for my 65th birthday.”


“I like fish, especially prepared the way they do it in the South of Italy. I also like risotto.”


“I think fashion is the way to get young people excited to make changes in their lives. that’s the reason Happy Energy works together with other companies 
to create nice clothing, maybe even from recycled and/or organic fabrics.”


“’The Age of Stupid’ by Franny Armstrong.”


“I am dyslectic so I don’t like to read that much. However, my daughter wrote 
a book about my life called: “the Seven lives of Wubbo Ockels” (7 levens van Wubbo Ockels) about all the really unbelievable, life- threatening situations I have been in in my life. Including the issue with the Challenger.”

Inspired by:

“W. Herman Sheer, a german politician that promoted sustainability. Fritz Butcher, a biochemist who was part of the Club of Rome.”


“Perspective beyond today’s problems gives you the power to solve them.” and I also 
like the one that John F. Kennedy said: “We choose to go to the Moon [We choose to do these things] “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

Amsterdam, May 21st 2011

Wubo Ockels - Goodbye with a SmileWubbo Ockels March 28th 1946 –  May 18th 2014

Read Wubbo Ockels’ In Memoriam on the website of Happy Energy.

Interview Wubbo Ockels by Lonneke Engel, May 21st 2011

OYL Circle of Five by Wubbo Ockels May 21st 2011

Wubbo Ockels: Goodbye with a smile May 18th 2014

 Text by Lonneke Engel. Photos by Alique. Copyright Organice Your Life®

Lonneke & Wubbo Ockels by Alique

Interview with Mimi Kirk - the raw food diet enthusiast.

Curious about raw food diet and its benefits? I interviewed a 73 year old Mimi Kirk - the raw foodist, winner of an annual contest "Sexiest vegetarian over 50" and an author of    "Live Raw" the  raw food recipe book.  She shares with us her skin care routine, her exercise, a basic raw food recipe for beginners and her thoughts on the date December 21 2012.


You won an annual contest "Sexiest vegetarian over 50". Congratulations! You were a vegetarian for over 40 years. Why did you decide to "go raw"?

I went raw after finding out my blood pressure and cholesterol were up, and I started feeling little arthritic pains in my joints.

Once you went from cooked vegetarian to raw-vegan, did you notice any physical changes?

It really seemed the changes were very quickly noticed. My skin looked better, and I just looked younger. I certainly felt younger and after 6  month, my doctor said my cholesterol was down 26 points and my blood pressure was normalized, and I've never felt an arthritic pain since going raw.

How do you stay motivated?

the results of how I felt and looked eating raw foods, and of course my age was enough motivation. I felt if I didn't change my diet, even though I thought I ate healthy, I could get worse as I aged, so it was easy for me to make the commitment.

What recipe would you suggest, from your book, for someone who is new to raw food?

I like to encourage people just starting out to fix a green juice or smoothie every morning. Don't give anything up, just add the drink. slowly you will notice how good you feel having this nutritious drink will help you transition. Then have a salad for lunch, eat a cooked healthy dinner and slowly make the change to raw. I find all raw best for personally, but if someone at 75-80% raw, that would make a big difference in one's health.

A basic green juice contains 2 apples, 4-5 stalks celery, 1/2 cucumber, 3-4 handfuls spinach. Juice. If you blend, you will need to add water to desired texture. I changed this basic drink by adding berries, a banana, or other fruits in season. There are lots of green drinks and smoothies in my new book "Live Raw", raw food recipes for good health and timeless beauty.

What are your favorite places to shop for local and organic produce when you are prepering your meals?

Being a California girl, I have to give a top grade for my home town. I now live in the San Diego area and there is a organic farm stand 10 minutes from my home. They have some of the best produce I've ever tasted. I also like to support all local organic growers. I really think the produce is superior to even health food stores.

What's your skin and hair care routing like?

I use 100% coconut oil on my face and body. It is so nourishing to my skin. I even use it in my hair before I wash it. Any products that are organic and not tested on animals I will give it a try. My hair is colored in a beauty shop, they claim what they use to colr my hai, has very little chemicals,a nd since there is no smell or burning on my scalp, I tend to think that is true. My hair is very healthy beacuse of what I put in my body more then what I use on the outside.

I've read somewhere that you practice Qigong. Tell us little bit about it.

I do a varity of exercise, Qiqong is a spiritual practice as well as a external one. I also like yoga for the same reason. They both are gentle stretching with an inner balance. I also like to walk as I feel it's like a meditation.

In your opinion, what are the essencial keys to harmony living with your body and nature?

I think our bodies need nature. we should walk barefoot on grass, in the sand and feel the Earth to ground us. Being in nature is so healing. Deep breathing, and feeling the connectedness to all living things is very energizing.

There are a lot of theories about the date December 21 2012. What are your thoughts about it?

I think the world is going through a major change at the moment, but nobody knows for sure what will happen Dec 2012, its all speculations, but when I first learend to meditate at age 30, my guru mentioned the Kali Yuga happening in 2012. He said it would be a time of realization, some who are already working on this will have it easier, than those who have to adjust quickly. I think it could be an evolution of consciuosnedd, and perhaps a refinement of our mental energies. I think we live in very exciting times, and Im looking forward to experience what life has to offer.

One place that we will never see Mimi Kirk?

Jumping out of an airplane.

What's your motto?

Be kind, compassionate, laugh a lot, and give and recive love with all your heart.


check out Mimi's website

Organic Wine: Interview with Founder of Yellow+Blue Wines

With the booming popularity of natural and organic grocery stores has come a greater demand for organic wine.  I interviewed Matthew Cain, the Founder of  Yellow+Blue Wines about the company and the growing industry. Yellow+Blue is one of OYL's favorite organic wine brands because its top of the line taste, affordability and eco-friendly packaging.

Can you explain what differentiates organic wine from non-organic in terms of production? Is there a difference in flavor?

Organic wine is essentially produced with no chemicals.  None in the vineyard and none in the winery.  "Normal" grape growing and wine making typically employs a plethora of chemical treatments to find a homogeneous house style.  We try to let the vineyards and vintage speak for themselves, naturally.

What motivated you to venture into this market with the Yellow+Blue Brand in 2007? Is there a story behind the name?

My background is small production French and Italian wine.  I've been in the wine import business most of my career, and at some point started thinking about the business model of wine itself.  It seemed to me that there was a lot of waste built in to the model, and given the advances in technology and packaging, I decided to make my best attempt at building a 21st century wine business.  We buy only certified organic or certified sustainable wines, ship them in an environmentally friendly way, and "bottle" them in modern packaging.  This allows us to have a carbon footprint that is half of what it would be in the "traditional" model.  We also offset the balance of our carbon footprint with carbon offsets.  Thus... Yellow+Blue=Green!

Where are your vineyards located? How do you select your winemakers?

We work with high quality producers in Argentina, Spain and California.  I personally visit the growers we work with a few times per year.  I taste and select the blends for all Yellow+Blue wines.  This is the fun part of the job!

In a 2010 survey , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that less than 25% of wine and liquor bottles are recycled. How is your eco-friendly packaging a better option?

The number of wine bottles that are recycled is closer to 15% in the U.S. glass recycling is important for sure.  However, it's not the only important aspect.  Glass is very energy intensive to produce, very heavy and expensive to ship, and expensive to recycle.  A 9 liter case of wine in glass weighs 40 pounds.  It's made up of half glass and half wine.  A case of my wine weigh 28 pounds for 12 liters.  It's 93% wine and 7% packaging.  In addition, the packaging itself is made primarily of paper from sustainably run forests.  As I stated above, our carbon footprint is half of what it would be if we worked within the traditional wine import model.

A number of upscale restaurants in NYC are starting to carry wine in Tetra Paks- do you believe that the stigma of boxed wines as being of lesser quality is starting to dissipate? Have you noticed a higher demand for your product? If so, what do you attribute this change to?

We work with many quality conscious restaurants all across the U.S.  We work with upscale restaurants like Rouge Tomate, great wine bars like Terroir, and cool joints Momo Sushi Shack.  The restaurants where we are most successful...don't hide the fact that the wine is in a box.  They promote the wine and the packaging because they believe in what we're doing.

I personally believe that, given all the information, the general consumer is quite fine with what we're doing.  If we have an impediment to success, it's really the wine business itself. As an importer, we can't sell direct to consumers.  We must sell through a distribution network, which then re-sells the wines to retailers, who then sells to the consumer.  The distribution and retail networks are very traditionally minded groups that don't live anywhere close to the cutting edge.  Our difficulty is selling them on our new model of the wine trade when their view is fundamentally different.

It's a tall task, but I think we're doing something right.  Our 2011 revenue was four times larger than our 2008 revenue.  In addition, we were recently named to Entrepreneur's list of 100 Brilliant Companies.  We were the featured beverage company, and the only wine company on the list.  I like to pull that out whenever I'm having a bad day.

My Interview with Denise Mari: Founder of Organic Avenue

In April myself and a few other Organice Your Life contributors were lucky enough to to complete a cleanse with Organic Avenue, which was part of our OYL Detox week, and where we each documented on our blogs a day by day breakdown of each day! (Look back at past posts to see our reviews and experiences!). It was an amazing and unique journey, and I was lucky enough to interview Denise Mari, Founder of Organic Avenue, where she shares her wisdom, inspiration and passion for a green, vegan life! Check out the interview below, and by the end I have a feeling you will finally take the plunge to embark on your own beautiful cleanse with Organic Avenue.


With summer around the corner, the word ‘cleanse’ is thrown around a lot. With heaps of people looking to embark on a cleanse journey, especially here in New York City where there are many to choose from, what sets you apart from the rest?

Our commitment to the best business practice that looks at the long-term effects of what we do. We bottle in glass instead of plastic for people’s health and because plastic is detrimental to the environment. We only use organic ingredients of the highest quality, without chemical or genetic modifications, and we do so because we want to deliver the healthiest product and continue to create this amazing business. We also don’t want to hurt or kill animals and believe that a plant-based diet is healthiest. Science and experience backs this up. We also utilize as cold-chill supply chain to maintain the integrity of our final product. Lastly, Organic Avenue is interested in creating more events and community-gathering opportunities. It’s very exciting to see lifestyle behaviors change and be rewarded with new friendships and conscious connections. We’re interested in creating an exciting place to work and to foster a healthy and rewarding work environment.

How do you approach a prospective client before they embark on a cleanse? Do you advise them on overall lifestyle changes, or warn them it might be a difficult process, as I really think it is an overall mental, physical, and even social experience.

We have many different ways of communicating with potential cleansers and newbies. It’s all about learning where they are, what their goals are and aiding in the transition gently so they can create a healthy foundation. I think the best place to start is with a whole food, plant-based vegan diet, and that takes some learning. Next is the exciting intake of consciously-prepared juices and raw food. Right now I’m working on a book and a program to help touch the lives of as many people as I can. There are definitely points to learn in order to experience all the benefits. I think it’s important to know about the potential challenges in advance, and to be ready to answer all the questions your friends and family would inevitably ask. You have to know how to navigate all the food options and choose healthy foods as often as possible. It’s really all about the individual experience. We want our customer experience to be gentle, loving and challenging too. We all learn most from our challenges.

Do you ever advise someone not to follow through with a cleanse? Especially if they lead a very ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle where maybe cleaning up their diet first and incorporating exercise might be the first step, then advising them to come back at a later date to start a cleanse.

Cleansing is a very personal choice and an extremely self-motivating experience. We are here to provide the products, food and resources and to point people in the right direction based on their needs. We’ve created five cleansing programs for many different entry points and we have a call center available to answer questions. We can switch someone’s program or put it on hold for as long as necessary. It is very rare that one would not be able to complete a cleanse at their own pace. We also suggest that when you sign up for a cleanse, if at any point you feel the strong need to eat something else, do it! It’s not a contest. Every attempt leads to a greater experience and results. It’s so confidence-boosting and allows you to take a closer look at your habits. Remember, most people are addicted to something. We are being played by major food companies with taste enhancers and marketing. It will take awhile to clear your mind and body. Every step is one step close toward the goal of  health and happiness.

Living in New York City, I know how hard it is to sometimes find local, organic produce, where do you source all of your produce and ingredients?

New York City is loaded with stores that stock organic produce and products. We use local sources and national distributors. Anyone in New York City has access to one of the best selections (next to California that is)!

How do you come up with the flavors? And do they change from season to season?

I love vegan food and juice, and I love to turn old favorites into healthy new favorites. I also work closely with Organic Avenue’s chef to come up with new recipes seasonally and when I’m inspired.

Does Organic Avenue differentiate between a detox and a cleanse? If so, what is the difference?

I think of detox as more of a symptom of a cleanse and a cleanse as more of an event and an experience. Cleansing doesn’t always end up with unpleasant detox symptoms. A cleanse is a boost of energy and clarity.

I completed the 3 Day Love Deep Cleanse back in April, and although I had a wonderful experience, I also found it mentally and physically difficult. I already was a vegan and eat a 50/50 diet of raw and cooked foods, but with everyone being different it all affects us in certain ways. What would be the best 3 pieces of advice you would give someone who is about to part-take in an Organic Avenue Cleanse?

  1. It is not a contest so you cannot fail. It’s an experience.
  2. Observe yourself in the process – your thoughts and your cravings. Don’t judge, just observe.
  3. Start slow with LOVEeasy (our introductory cleanse and raw food experience) and then take it a step further with LOVEfast, which gives you juices and salad. After that you’ll be ready for LOVEdeep, which is all juice. Play with it and have fun!

What is on the horizon for Organic Avenue?

More stores so we can serve more people. And more events so we can all be aware, educated and connected. Sign up on our website for a LOVEnote (email) and you can learn about our big event coming up on 11/11/11!

What is Organic Avenue’s all-time favorite Juice? And the most popular?

Our Green LOVE juice is our best seller and most necessary juice! But this summer we are also loving the Spicy Tumeric and Watermelon Juices.


Thank you Denise and Organice Avenue!

Visit to sign up for your cleanse now. After doing the LOVEdeep I can't recommend it enough! It is the perfect summer cleanse, and I truly hope everyone embarks on one, sometime during their life ;) But I think this summer is the perfect time to set sail.

Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful summer season.

love and stay cool