My healthy raw food traveling supplies

Hi everyone,

Since I am a raw foodie people always ask me what I do when I am away from home.

So I wanted to share with everyone my traveling food essentials.
Whenever I leave for a job or even go on vacation I make sure I buy a few hard and ripe avocado's and ripe and unripe fruits. The reason why I say both ripe and unripe is because depending on how long I am away the ripe fruits and avocados I will eat the first few days and the unripe fruits will get a chance to ripen towards the end of my trip.
I always pack my raw food protein powder and a super green powder to make a quick and easy shake while I am away. Usually I mix the 2 powders with fresh coconut water . I prefer fresh coconut water but when I am away its not always easy to find,  So I  just buy the packaged coconut water. I travel with a super green powder just in case I can't get my hands on a green juice.

Now a days you have many options on green super raw food powders that you can buy at any health food stores. At the moment I am using "amazing grass green superfood"  and "sun warrior vanilla protein powder" Of course whenever I arrive at my destination I google health food stores and vegan restaurants to stock up on raw goodies. My last trip to Key West I got lucky and found an amazing health food store with a little cafe that served a lot of raw food,  green juices and smoothie's.

So I ate there every day and got all my raw snacks and fruit.
But these few items that I always take with me get me by in case I have no healthy options. I hope this is somewhat helpful for whenever you guys are traveling.

Much love

Teresa  Lourenco xoxo

 


Top model Lisalla Montenegro

Lisalla Montenegro 1

 Lisalla Montenegro, a 23 year Brazilian girl,  has been modeling for almost 10 years. She is adventurous, passionate for sports and a healthy lifestyle. We asked her what she has been up to, and what she is planning in the future. And of course how healthy & green she lives everyday!

OYL: When did you start modeling?

Lisalla: I Started Modeling when I was 15 years old. Everyone around me told me that I should look for a modeling agency, So when I turned 15 I did a photoshoot to celebrate my 15th,  After that I showed the pictures to my family and friends and  their reactions were all the same: "You were born to be a Model!" After that I went to an agency in my city. After signing with an agency I was called to participate in the Beauty Contest –Miss Goias- 2004.

Lisalla for Maybelline

OYL: What was your favorite job so far?

Lisalla: In my carrier I have been luck to work with amazing people and did a lot beautiful campaigns.  I Don’t have one favorite job, all of them were very special for me and I'm really grateful for each one! I do have my favorite places: the Beaches or the locations in my beautiful country, Brazil where I am lucky enough to shoot!

OYL: Are you into healthy and/or Green living?

Lisalla: Yes,I am. I am into to Both, Healthy Living and Green lifestyle. First I take care good care of my body by eating healthy food and working out.  I also like to help our environment by reducing, reusing and recycling.  Saving water,  using energy more wisely.  In My house in Brazil its full of flowers and plants I also teach my family and friends to take care of our environment.

Lisalla for Vogue

OYL: What are your dreams for the future?

Lisalla: On of my Dreams is already on the way which is to write a book about how to have a better lifestyle and I believe that anything that you dream about, you have to start with a healthy life. A Better you.

OYL: what are your favorite beauty products?

Lisalla: One of my favorite beauty product is by La Mer: Eye Cream. I use it before bedtime. Over all my favorite beauty treatment it is simple and easy: I drink water all day and always love my beauty sleep.

OYL: What is your life motto?

Lisalla: Live,Laugh and Love.

Lisalla 1

OYL: Who is your inspiration?

Lisalla: My Grandmother is my inspiration. She had 13 kids (!) ,loved them more than anything. A wise  loving strong woman. I respect her a lot. I’m like her in a lot of ways, I get bored easily, so I am  always on the go, in action, doing something new or leaning new things that helps me become a better woman everyday…

Lisalla 2

OYL: What is your favorite food?

Lisalla: Fruits. I like fruits as my favorite food because I can get almost all my nutrients and vitamins that I need throughout my day.

OYL: Do you support any Charity?

Brazil Foundation

Lisalla: Yes! Brazil Foundation. Check it out: www.brazilfoundation.org  We do have a Huge Event coming up on September 19.  Get your ticket, it will be unforgettable.

Thank you Lisalla! Good luck on your book and I hope you book many more great campaigns in the future!

Lisalla

Follow Lisalla on Twitter.


IMG model prep Lonneke

IMG Model Talk 2012

In August 2012 I spoke at the IMG model Prep 2012, an event organized by IMG models for their young models who will experience New York Fashion Week for the first time. The past years this event has become a solid part of preparation for Fashion Week by IMG, with great speakers, healthy food, nice drinks, and great goodiebags for all the models!

People speaking at the IMG model Prep

* Nian Fish – Producer

* James Scully – Casting Director

* Betsey Selman- Babinecz – Board Certified Clinical Social Worker.

* Lonneke Engel - IMG Model and Certified Health Counselor

*Anne-Marie van Dijk & Amanda Nicole Gilpin – CLEANSE

* Jessica Stam – CFDA Health Initiative Ambassador

Antoniette Costa, who also contributes to Organice Your Life®, also came to watch me speak. Coincidentally me, Antoniette & Jessica Stam went to Jimmy Fallon and Dinner with a friend of ours just last week!

Lonneke, Jessica, Jackie, Antoniette
Lonneke, Jessica, Jackie, Antoniette

IMG Model Prep booklet

they also make a cute booklet for everyone each year with my tips in it, and information for everyone about the people speaking, but also on health stores, doctors, and other important phone numbers.

IMG Model Prep book 2012
IMG Model Prep book 2012

I have done this now I think 4 times in a row, and I really enjoy doing this!

READ MORE: IMG Model Prep 2011

Models listening at IMG model prep 2012
Models listening at IMG model prep 2012

MY IMG model talk 2012

My focus was that the girls should see themselves as a business women, and that they should take care of their bodies as businesses. The better the organize their lives, the more chance they have to have a successful, long lasting career. The most successful girls in this industry, like Gisele & Heidi Klum, are true business women. While you can never know what fashion designers and casting directors want that season (meaning: if you will be picked or not) You can do your part by making sure you are taking care of all the things you do have a say in. Like eating healthy, and being prepared by bringing healthy foods with you. If you don’t eat (cause you think that will help you stay in shape during fashion week) think again: nobody is going to book the girl who looks tired and has no energy. Also important: Make sure you have all the things with you at shows and castings that you need, like a phone charger. Being prepared is key. Jessica Stam, who spoke as well, put emphasis on being on time. And David Cunningham, who initiated these meetings years ago, also said: “If you get 10 shows or not one, it does not matter. We. Don’t. Care.” That’s so nice about IMG models, they think longterm. Any girl that was present yesterday, can depend on the trust of their agents even beyond fashion week. And that they can call them throughout Fashion Week, and anytime, with anything. If they are waiting too long for a casting, or they have to see a doctor, the agents are there for them, and that is nice to know! I wished them a lot of luck in their career!

READ MORE: IMG open to all

Goodie bags

At the end, all models got a personalized goodie bag. and I got one too as a Thank You! What was in it? So many awesome things!

IMG goodie bag
IMG goodie bag!

My favorite was the black skinny Rag & Bone jeans in my size!

Other things: Uggs, Converse All-Stars, Mavi Jeans, Makeup by Covergirl & Lancome, Zumba fitness DVD's, Reebok Easytone top and pants, BR Guest gift card, Calvin Klein nude thong (u need to wear nude underwear as a model going to do shows and castings). This was a very valuable goodie bag!

IMG model prep 2012
Jessica Stam speaking at IMG model prep 2012

Afterwards a few models came to me and thanked me for speaking. And that they felt so much better and less scared about Fashion Week. And that to me is the biggest reward of doing these speaking engagements. Looking forward to more in the future!

Follow IMG Models and New York Fashion Week on Twitter!

Love, Lonneke


Carol 3

Introducing: top model Carol Fontaneti

I worked with Carol on a job for Fay, an Italian clothing brand a few years ago. We reconnected years later when I found out she is also very much into health and food. She will likely start to become a contributor on OYL and share her modeling experiences and her favorite beauty and food tips. Here is a little glimpse into the life of Carol:

Carol 1
Carol Fontaneti

Hello guys!

My name is Carol Fontaneti I'm brasilian and I've been modeling for about 10 years. I started when I was 17, what makes me 26 years old now. I am living in NYC, but I've lived all arround the world in places like Paris, Milan, Hamburg, Tokyo, Barcelona...
From age seventeen till the late eighteens, I've tried to handle both worlds : being a student and a professional model. I finished high school and started studing Advertising focused on Marketing, but I couldn't carry it for longer than a year... at that time I was living in the countryside an hour and a half away from Sao Paulo, and it was so time consuming  going after classes for castings or shoots in the city. After finishing one year of four - I quit studing to focus only on the modeling careear. Me and my family went back to the city I was born, and I started to make really good campaings for Brasilian brands until the day an agency from NY saw me and signed me in. I was just a little lost girl from a big city, 18 years old that couldn't speack a single world of English... I know it doesn't sound that bad comparing to other girls that came at youger ages from the middle of nowhere places... But I felt pretty lost.

Lonneke & Carol for Fay
Lonneke & Carol for Fay

Lonneke & Carol for Fay 2

Lucky me, I always had my families support, which made me strong enough to keep on track and slowly I was getting in touch with my truth self and learning about me and what I wanted for my life.

Carol 2

So here I am today to talk about what is my passion in life for!
First of all, as I grew up in a BIG , busy city called Sao Paulo as I said before and my childhood had a lack of contact with nature and freedom. Growing up surrounded by buildings and car horns, I did not have the chance to have a pet or anything , also my Mom used to say she would be probably the one taking care of , cause me and my brother were too lazy to do so ourselves...
So as soon as I could, I adopted my very first pet! All the accumulated love and care from all these years, is now on this little fellow  :) My dear NINIS. ( he is passing in front of the computer back and forth right at this moment to catch my attention )

When it comes to passion I must say the biggest one I have is for FOOD, no doubt. I started to care about food, and acknowledging this is the most important tool for a healthy life when I started modeling, but not because of it. I want to stay healthy for life, not only because I'm a model. I always have been living this healthy life not smoking or drinking, I only like to have a glass of wine once in a while and champagne for special occasions, so for me it is not that hard.
Of course I have my flaws ... but I push myself to don't get lazy about exercising and making my own food at home. Of that last thing, I can give all the credits to my boyfriend, cause he loves homemade cuisine and we share the dream to have a restaurant in the south of Brasil - where we want to retire from the modeling career.

Meanwhile we stablished a routine of excercises and it really helps when you have someone to go to the gym with together. So after we go for a run , we  eat a good lunch, searching for the right way to prepare plates we most love only adding or subtracting ingredients depending on our needs.

To finished talking about passions, I get inspired a lot from the arts, I have a very artistic background since my mom used to paint and draw all the time when I was little, I got this expressing myself artistically sense of need , and first of all it came out as writing journals and little poems and it grew to writing blogs or just littles phrases to myself that I never get to show anyone.
I've accumulated journals since the age of 15 till my 23 and it always felt confortable do it when I was by myself traveling or living on my own away from my loved ones.
Now very often I get this feeling that I must do something to express my feelings instead of my job , and I found this in writing.

That's pretty much it and I wil finish my text with a" cliche" but very useful phrase:

BEAUTY COMES FROM THE INSIDE OUT!!

XOXO Carol Fontaneti

Carol 3


Lettuce wraps

Lettuce wraps option 2

I recently made a video for lettuce wraps!

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

but the recipe below is a variety on this recipe!

I use sesame oil to stir fry it as it gives a delicious flavor to the vegetables.

Love, Lonneke

Lettuce wraps option 2
easy butter head lettuce wraps

Author:
Recipe type: lunch/dinner

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • butterhead lettuce
  • carrots
  • onions
  • zucchini
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pine nuts
  • sesame oil
  • hot & sour sauce

Instructions
  1. Chop all vegetables until they are all really small cubes.
  2. Stir fry all vegetables in a bit of sesame oil with , pine nuts salt & pepper.
  3. Wash the lettuce, and dry off.
  4. Fill the lettuce leaves with vegetables.
  5. Wrap it up.
  6. Dip in hot & sour sauce.
  7. Enjoy!

Sesame oil
Sesame oil

Hot & Sour sauce
Hot & Sour sauce

Lettuce wraps

Yummy!
Yummy!

 

 


Valentina by Alique

Interview with Top Model Valentina Zelyaeva

Valentina by Alique
Valentina by Alique

Get to know top model Valentina Zelyaeva through the Organice Your Life® circle of 5: What’s it like to see yourself in almost all the advertising for Ralph Lauren? What does the perfect day look like for her? What does she love? Valentina, top model and THE face of Ralph Lauren, gives us a sneak peek into her life following the circle of 5 from Organice Your Life®!

 

Lonneke: Can you give me a short introduction to yourself?

Valentina: "I was born in Ulan Ude, Russia. My father was in the military (a Russian colonel), so my family had to move from place to place. Finally, my parents settled down in Moscow, where I grew up. Being the tallest and the skinniest girl in school, I was constantly being picked on by the others. Growing up, I wanted to become a flight attendant - traveling all over the world was my biggest dream. When I was 16, my friend took me to the Elite Model Look competition. I thought if I made it, I would make some extra cash for me and my family, but I never imagined that I would be living in New York and modeling full time. I didn’t win the modeling contest; I didn’t even take any place. In fact, my two friends won. But I did meet a scouting agent from Tokyo. He invited me to go to work in Japan for 2 months. I spent 2 years in Tokyo, modeling for local catalogs. I have traveled all over Japan, and I loved living there. I got to know the Japanese culture and I received a lot of modeling experience like traveling by myself, speaking English, becoming comfortable posing in front of the camera, etc. When I was 20, I came to New York for the first time. It was September fashion week. My agency sent me to meet with clients and designers. I had booked a few good shows, but the biggest and the most important show of my career was Ralph Lauren SS2004. Ralph Lauren chose me out of hundreds of girls to open his show. It was a huge start for me, the start every model can only dream of. And it happened to me! After opening the Ralph Lauren show, I booked ads. After that, I signed an exclusive contract. I think this was due to the fact that I’m very professional and that I take my job very seriously. I’m in the middle of a great, and most importantly, long career. After discovering raw food, the organic lifestyle, eco-friendly and natural products, I have really learned how to take care of my body, my skin, and hair through healthy eating and regular exercise. Modeling is all about the looks, so it is very important to always be in your best shape and to be healthy! Also, it’s very important to maintain a good relationship with clients."

Valentina and her dad

 

Valentina with her dad as a young girl

 

ORGANICE YOUR HOME:

Where is home? And why do you like it there?

Valentina's view in NYC
Valentina's view in NYC

"New York has been my home for the past 9 years , but about 2 years ago,  I got a cute place in Miami, Florida. Since then, I have been alternating between living in New York and Miami Beach. I just LOVE the weather in Miami! But I miss New York a lot when I spend too much time on the beach. New York is such an exciting city. I never get bored here! Besides, I know all the best restaurants, farmers markets, juice bars, healthy food stores, gyms, and places to see. I truly feel like home here!" 

In what style did you decorate your house?

"My home has to be in clean, calming colors - it is my place to relax after a busy day. I love candles, so you see them all over my place. I love fresh flowers, and I always bring home live flowers after visiting the farmers market. I want to start framing the pictures that I took while traveling, and put them on the walls. It adds a personal touch to a place."

Her apartment in NYC
Valentina's apartment in NYC

What is your favorite room in the house? 

 "When I’m in New York, I love to sit on my cow chair with an iPad and my cats close by.  Here I find myself relaxed and inspired to write new posts for OYL And when I’m in Miami, I spend my time on the most comfortable sofa in the world, reading a book or watching a movie."

What “green” or healthy contraptions do you have in your home?

"Well, I have few “green” things that I would highly recommend for everyone. Here they are:

1. Last year I finally installed a Kangen water machine. Basically what it does, is that it turns tap water into alkaline oxygenated healthy living water. I drink this water, I cook with it, I wash my face... It is the best investment in your health.

2. I also bought produce bags (no more plastic bags for wrapping apples).

3. I have a tea container made of glass, which I take with me when I’m working so I don’t have to use plastic cups and throw them away right after.

4. I have a glass straw, which is a brilliant way to replace all plastic straws! (I wrote about it in our first issue of OYL magazine)."

 What other places on this earth do you love and Why?

"I love warm countries. I like visiting Brasil. I feel like the people there are always happy no matter what! Besides, the abundance of fruit and vegetables is just beyond belief! I went to Anguilla last year for a photo shoot, and I was lucky enough to stay a few extra days. I fell in love with the island! It’s so tiny you can cross the island by car in 30 min., but there are so many beautiful spots for snorkeling. That’s what I did for the rest of my stay! I also love my mom’s countryside house, not far from Moscow. My mom has planted tons of vegetables, berries, herbs, and flowers. I go there every summer for a health boost, to hike in the nearby forest and to swim in the lake. Last summer I went to Santorini, Greece. It was so romantic and so beautiful! We rented a boat for a day, and did a round trip around the island. We snorkeled, ate local grapes, drank organic house made wine and we watched the sun go down. Santorini is the #1 place on Earth for the most breathtaking sunset!"

 

ORGANICE YOUR AGENDA:

Ralph Lauren.

RL ad Valentina

 How is it to have been the iconic face of Ralph Lauren for so many years?

" I can’t describe enough how lucky, grateful, and proud I am to have been the face of Ralph Lauren for ALL THOSE YEARS!  To me, he is the best designer in the world and the best American clothing designer! I was a big fan of him before I came to the US for the first time, and from the moment I signed an exclusive contract, it was like a dream come true. To have such a contract for so many years is the best thing that can happen to a model."

 What  is Ralph Lauren like in real life?

 "Working with Ralph Lauren closely is like watching a great artist. He is aware of everything and he is involved in every step of designing the clothes. He is a generous person and has a great sense of humor.  He is very loyal to his employees, some of them have worked for him for over 25 years! It is extremely rare in this ever changing fashion world. I'm proud to say that I have been working with Ralph for almost 10 years now! He comes from immigrant parents, was born and raised in the Bronx, a self made man. Today he is one of the most successful designers in the world."

What does a day of work for RL look like?

" I always look forward to RL photo shoots, because the whole team has become a big part of my life and I love them all. The locations are always exciting and the pictures we create together are of timeless beauty! So, if I have to travel for a shoot, I usually leave the night before the job. The day I arrive on location I have a fitting, then I have some time to relax. I usually go to a spa or sauna, or go for a walk to explore the location and maybe to buy some souvenirs. The night before the shoot, I have a very light early dinner (room service) and go to bed. I usually have a vegetable salad with olive oil and a cup of chamomile tea. Call time is around 7 AM. We meet with the crew at the lobby, then I’m off to the location. While getting my hair and makeup done, I chat with the makeup artist and hair stylist. We have known each other for a long time so we have lots of catching up to do. If I need to cut my hair, I always take the opportunity to do it on the set. And I always get the best results! Before lunch time, we go through half of the outfits - around 5-6 pictures. The lunch is always great! I try not to over indulge, so the food doesn’t drag me down. If I need a boost, I ask the production team for a cup of green tea or I snack on dark chocolate. There are always lots of snacks around: fruits, veggies, guacamole, nuts. We finish at 5 p.m. or so. After that, the team gathers together and we go to a local restaurant for a dinner to celebrate a successful day."

Valentina shoot
At a Ralph Lauren Shoot

Modeling.

 What do you like best about modeling?

 "The best part of my job is the chance to see the world. I travel a lot, and I have been to many amazing places. I enjoy the chance to meet with different people from different countries. They all have great stories to share and great experiences. Many people also have great advice. Because of my job, I speak foreign languages that I could never have imagined being able to speak."

And the least?

"My least favorite part of my job is feeling homesick, jet lag, and sometimes lack of healthy food on the set." 

 What has been your favorite trip for a modeling job so far?

"My favorite trip was 4 years ago when I went to Zihuatanejo, Mexico to shoot Ralph Lauren ads. We were shooting at a private house, located on a cliff facing the ocean. We had private chefs who prepared food for us. I have never eaten so much, or eaten such good guacamole as I had there! The hotel I stayed at was located right on the beach. It was the time of the year when sea turtles lay eggs on the beach. The hotel staff had collected tiny little baby turtles in a special pool, and at night all of us guests of the hotel had a chance to release baby turtles into the ocean! It was like an episode from National Geographic. These are the type of memories I will never forget. We had to stay an extra couple of days because some of the outfits didn’t arrive on time. A couple of crew members and I used this opportunity. We took a van and drove to the city. I bought a nice handmade necklace for myself. We had a chance to visit the farmers market and flea market. I love when I get to see local places. At the end of the shoot, the owner of the house hosted a dinner party with the best Mexican food and margaritas! We also enjoyed the live band a lot! Wow! It was by far the best trip I’ve ever had.Plus, the pictures came out absolutely stunning - one of my favorite ads."

with the baby turtles!
with the baby turtles!

 What do you do on a day off?

"When I have a day off, I use it as much as I possibly can! For instance, I organize my desk, my closet, and old stuff that has been lying around that I haven’t decided what to do with. I also use my day off to take care of myself - pedicure, manicure, massage, and facials are involved. I check my fridge and see if I need to make a trip to the farmers market to buy fresh, local produce."

 What are your favorite pastimes?

"My hobbies are reading inspirational books, searching the internet for more info on raw food and a healthy lifestyle, skiing, wake-boarding, capoeira, cooking, creating new smoothies and juice recipes, watching movies on Netflix, and writing for OYL."

ORGANICE YOURSELF:

 Body.

 What is your secret skin care regimen that leaves you looking so healthy and beautiful?

"It is more important what you put inside your body, than what you put outside. So I eat lots of fruits and veggies. I mean, really a huge amount - I make vegetable juice first thing in the morning (cucumber, fennel, kale, oranges, celery) followed up by big fruit smoothies (apple, banana, celery, strawberries). Then I snack on more fruits in between the meals, and I have a big salad or two during the day. My skin care routine is quite simple: I wash my face before I go to bed, using a toner followed by a treatment serum (Vitamin C). First thing in the morning, I dry brush my face with a very gentle face brush. It helps to remove dead skin and helps to renew my outer layer (better than a scrub!). After that, I spray Evian water (I try to stay away from tap water as much as possible) and, using cotton, I wipe my face with alcohol-free toner. Then, I take moisturizer and add a few drops of Argan Oil. I apply it all over my face, and then I use light eye cream. That’s all I do!"

Your favorite workout?

" I have a few favorite work outs:

1. I practice capoeira in New York with a private trainer twice a week.

 

2. Sometimes I take a yoga class when I feel like I need a good stretching or just to release stress.

3. I just discovered Pilates! It does wonders to my body.

4.  If I’m in Miami, I go for a run on the beach. Running helps to clear my mind and to release negative emotions. "

What do you do to relax and/ or pamper yourself?

" I can truly relax at home doing nothing! I put on some music without lyrics. I call it “spa music.” I make myself a cup of herbal tea, read books, or watch movies that make me feel good."

Raw.

You are into raw foods. Why do you think it is so important to eat foods raw?

"This is one of my favorite topics of conversation. I can go on and on. But I’ll try to explain it in a few sentences. When we cook our food, we destroy 50% of the vitamins and up to 80% of the minerals. Worst of all, we completely destroy essential enzymes that every living food has. We need these precious enzymes to digest the food that we eat. When you eat cooked food, in order to digest a meal, your body must steal its enzymes from itself. By doing this, we age slowly and different sorts of diseases start to appear (cancer, heart decease, diabetes). It is very important to include as much raw food in your diet as possible. I’m not suggesting to go 100% raw, but start to add more salads, juices, and smoothies to your diet. And, by “raw food” I don’t mean sushi or steak tartare! I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds."

 

 What is your favorite recipe?

" I love this recipe for gazpacho tomato soup. All you need is blender to make it. No cooking involved, and it takes 3 min. to make it:

•4 tomatoes •1 celery stalk •1/2 red bell pepper •1/2 cucumber (skin removed) •1

clove garlic •2 Tsp olive oil •Sea salt + pepper Blend everything in a blender. Ready!"

 What do you eat when you cheat on your diet?

 " I love seafood pasta! I have it, when I am in a really good Italian restaurant. I like milk chocolate, so I look for organic/fair trade chocolate. I can't get enough of Laduree macarons from their store in Paris! "

 Favorite restaurant?

"I like  "Caravan of Dreams" in NYC. It is a vegan place with lots of raw food options. For fresh seafood I go to "Avara" Greek Restaurant. "Le Pain Quotidien", they have great vegan and vegetarian choices, plus they mostly use organic ingredients. I go to "One Lucky Duck" it is a raw place with a great juice bar and amazing salads."

Fashion, design & shopping.

Favorite shop?

" I shop at Ralph Lauren all the time. I always find great items. Sometimes I go to Intermix, as well as Barneys. I love the vintage market on Lincoln Road for unique jewelry."

What is your favorite thing to shop for?

"I love to shop for natural beauty products:  essential oils, organic skin care, natural sunscreen, chemical-free shampoos, natural tooth paste, aluminum free deodorant... I like to shop for kitchen tools: new pots, a new blender, glasses, etc. I also like to shop for fruits and veggies at farmers markets, because I always discover new things. I also like to go through vintage jewelry at flea markets."

 Have you ever made a mistake purchasing something that you did not like in the end?

"This used to happen to me all the time, but now I only shop if I really urgently need something. I was going through my closet and found out that I have so many clothes that I bought but never wear, or only have worn it once! I was able to make four big bags and send it all to my sister and cousins in Russia."

 Best buy?

"My best buy is my juicer! It was money well-spent, because I juice every day, even sometimes twice a day.

 Favorite piece of clothing you own?

"My absolute favorite piece of clothing is a Ralph Lauren cashmere wrap sweater. I use it everyday: at home, underneath the jacket when I go outside, and I wear it on the plane when I travel. I’m thinking of buying it in all the available colors."

RL ad

Favorite designer or artist?

"Favorite designers would be Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney. Their clothes are timeless, classic, and beyond chic! Both of them do not use real fur.

 

ORGANICE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:

Friends.

What do you like to do most with friends?

"We like to go out and dance, catch up over lunch, and discover new and healthy restaurants."

 Best way to stay in contact with friends?

"The best way to stay in contact with friends is to pick up the phone and call them. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Vkontakte, Skype, etc. And I think this is a great way to find your friends and stay in touch with them. But nothing compares to lunch or dinner with a group of friends."

 Love.

Are you in a relationship, if yes, Why is this person so important to you?

"I have been with the same person for almost 7 years now. He always supports me in every situation no matter what. He is always on my side and is always there for me when I need it most. With the time passing by, I'm falling more and more in love with him. I'm so incredibly lucky to have found a person like that!"

What do you see for yourself in the future when I say: baby?

"I can’t wait to be a mother! I truly hope my  husband and I will be a great example to our kids as loving and caring parents. I will do my best to raise my kids to be healthy and happy."

 What is your favorite thing to do on a special day like Valentine’s Day?

"To me, every day with my boyfriend is Valentine’s Day, but to make it even more special on the 14th of February, I’d like to give him a sweet little present, cook a dinner at home, open a bottle of wine and cosy up on the sofa."

 

ORGANICE YOUR GOOD HEART:

Charity. 

What charity do you support?

"I support the breast cancer charity Polo Pink Pony. Money goes to a cancer research center. Also, I support a charity called LakayPam. Donations go to victims of the earthquake that happened in Haiti a few years ago. 

Polo Pink Pony
Polo Pink Pony

What else have you done to help others in your life?

"It’s hard to remember everything, but the first thing that comes to mind is:

•sometimes I send donations to a charity that provides food for homeless people.

I send money to children cancer research center.

•I send money to my family in Moscow, and with it they were able to build a country house.

•I adopted my cat from a vet hospital in Miami.

•I buy organic produce from local farmers markets. By doing this, I’m supporting small farmers and helping them grow.

•I have signed up for one of the local and organic home delivery services, that way, I can also support small farmers.

 

Valentina loves:

•Animal: Siberian Tiger

•Color: White, green.

•Fruit: Persimmons

•Tv Program:  "SMASH" & "Downton Abbey"

•City: New York City

•Travel: Caribbean Islands & Brasil. 

•Car: Tesla Model S (all electric car)

•Movie: Documentary “Food Matters”

•Song: “Coming Back” by Citizen Cope

•Inspiring person: Dalai Lama

•Favorite quote: “Value who you are. Enjoy your uniqueness and don’t compare yourself with others and put yourself down. Love is everywhere!” Deepak Chopra

Valentina on Cover of Organice Your Life® magazine nr 4.

5 tools for a healthy kitchen by Valentina Zelyaeva

Want to change your diet and achieve a radiant health? But don’t know where to start? Start with your kitchen.

5 tools to make your kitchen a healthy kitchen.

Here are 5 essential tools that will help you to create delicious and healthy meals. I have all of them and use it every single day. I can’t imaging a healthy kitchen without those 5 musts.  Ok, here they are:

1. Blender

To blend smoothies and soups as well as salad dressings and batter.

2. Juicer

To juice those healthy fruits and vegetables.

3. Bamboo steamer

To steam your vegetables and other foods like dumplings.

4. Nut mylk bag

To make almond, hazelnut, brazil any kind of nut milks.

 

5.  Ceramic knife and bamboo cutting board.

Like these Kyocera knives, or these bamboo cutting boards.

 

 Love, Valentina Zelyeava


A Snake's Tale by Marius Hordijk

I wish I didn't have an excuse to not have written on Organice your Life, but I do: I've been recovering from a very unusual episode while being on vacation in Thailand. Below you will find a summary of the e-mails that I have sent to friends and family during this period (the ones that either knew I was in Thailand, or heard what had happened). Like this, it saves me having to rewrite and remember some stuff I really don't feel like remembering just yet. Organice Your Life is about health, and I don't think I have ever been happier to be regaining my health than at this moment. I am doing well enough that tomorrow I am even flying off to Capetown to work. The thought of not constantly thinking about all that has happened and at least partially having my normal life back is making me very happy. This might be the longest post on OYL up to date, and I apologize. So here it is, an unexpected turn of events in Thailand.

17 October, from Phuket Hospital

"For those of you that don't know, I got bitten or stung in the toe by something while snorkeling at Maya Bay, off Ko Phi Phi island now about 40 hours ago. The pain was immediate and spreading fast and we took the boat back to the island ASAP. The color of the front part of my foot was darkening. Also the toe was getting very swollen. while walking to the hospital my leg started to stop working more and more and I could feel I was getting close to losing consciousness. I ran to the hospital where they told me it was a stingray. This is still a possibility but I still find it unlikely, there were many fish around me but I didn't see a stingray and they're hard to miss. They gave me some medicine and said, don't worry it's fine. I later found out that this 'hospital' is run by volunteers and there are no doctors. But, I felt a bit relieved and went to bungalow to shower. When I tried to walk to have dinner I realized my right leg was dragging behind me, it felt rubbery and I lacked control. Also, there was big color and temperature difference. This concerned me enough to start coming home sooner, this is not how you want to feel on an island with no roads and medical care. With help of my wife and my parents I was going to come home yesterday (16 October), taking the first boat off the island. I had noticed as well a numbness in my right arm, but it was minimal. After the boat in the taxi to airport was when the real concern began, since the numbness and lack of muscle control started spreading fast through my right arm, then left arm and then up my neck. At this point I had been already at the airport but decided to go find a hospital since I was afraid that it might be too late by the time I would finally get to Holland. In the hospital here they ran blood tests, did cardiograms and other tests and they have been in touch with toxicologists in Bangkok and based on the story and symptoms (in the blood you cannot see exactly what animal bit you) they say it was a highly poisonous animal that bit or stung me, either a stingray, water snake, or others. Highly poisonous, but not poisonous enough to kill me, and they are quite sure also not poisonous enough to leave permanent damage.

For now they are keeping me here in Bangkok Hospital in Phuket town and today my amazing wife and superhero brother are flying here, and will arrive tomorrow morning for which I am extremely grateful and happy. It's been a little tough being alone.

Now, for some good news. I have slept alright, even though I look like a junkie at the moment with the amount of injection holes I have in me (those of you that know my little problem with needles are allowed to giggle) and the numbness in some parts of my body are definitely getting better. My leg is still a problem, I still have a Hollywood-movie-killer dragging leg, but I think it might be feeling less numb this morning. I am extremely tired both mentally and physically. The hospital is nice, my room prettier than any of the huts and bungalows I've slept in in this vacation.

The prognosis is that everything should return to normal in some days, I am hoping I can fly home with my wife and brother on Wednesday night but it all depends a bit.

It's been a tough time since it happened, but now I feel safe and confident it will be alright.

A big hug, hope to see you soon in Holland."

19 October, from Phuket Hospital

"Good morning,

First of all thanks a lot for all the messages, calls and mails full of get well wishes, how are you's, bad jokes and threats to the ocean in general.

My right leg is slowly getting better, still not recovered though. Yesterday my wife and my brother have arrived, hard to explain how happy that made me. The alone days before have been very very tough. I feel very weak, my whole body is just so tired. Hopefully every day this should get better. Maybe it's even an effect of the medicine or something.

Today is both a scary and a good day: we're flying home. Makes me nervous because I hardly have the energy to get to the bathroom, but going home is an overriding thought. Also, there will be wheelchairs at the airports and the insurance has bumped me to business class. Tomorrow I'll be going to the tropical diseases department of the Amsterdam hospital (AMC) to double-check if all is well and to hopefully hear a bit more how long full recovery will take.

Again thanks for caring guys, the prognosis is still full recovery! I am happy this bad episode is hopefully coming to an end soon.

A big big hug,

Marius"

21 October, from Amsterdam

"Hello,

I have been at the hospital at the tropical centre today and had a diagnosis which was different from the one I had received until now in Thailand. First of all, just like the first email, I want to stress that they also assume that there will be a full recovery in the end.

The poison that went into my body was most probably a neurotoxin, and not something that just affected the muscle. They also found a significant effect still not just on my right leg, but also right arm. I figured the arm was fine since the numbness and tingling was gone, but apparently I miss strength. They are not sure what it was (they are almost certain it was a water snake), and based on photo's I made during and after and based on the story they are now researching, hopefully to get more info. This could have been deadly, but I have been extremely lucky that it happened in an extremity, being my big toe. This part is the part I would like to focus on, and not linger too much on what might have been, and how close I came.

I will be going back there weekly, so they can monitor my progression. Their prognosis is that in a few weeks the effects should be gone, if not, they got a next doctor ready who can start examining my nervous system. I am confident it will not come to that.  I feel like I am still improving daily, even though I have massive swings in energy levels, am very tired and I sleep a lot.

Talking tires me very quickly (for those of you who sometimes wonder if I would ever shut up, all it needed was a water snake) and also it is not really easy for me to talk about this at the moment.

I do love your emails, I read them almost the second they come in and thank you for all the get well wishes.

The news of today was a bit of a shock, but in the end it changes nothing: I should be fine in the end.

A big hug to all of you,

Marius"

25 October, from Amsterdam

"Hello!

A good update this one will be. Today we have been to the doctor again and to a neurologist. Things were getting better, but then during the weekend we had a bit of a scare again since some of the symptoms (tingling) were returning. Today, at the neurologist a lot of tests were done and I came out alright! I came out so well that the neurologist is even doubting the other Amsterdam doctors who think they were neurotoxins. Basically, it will probably remain unclear exactly what animal got me. Whatever it was, I share the hopes of my father-in-law who told me straightaway 'If this is the effect it had on you, he's gotta be dead' :)

The tiredness, weakness, headaches and still some lack of strength in arm and leg are normal after the poison, and it should subside in upcoming weeks.

So! I am a very very happy guy, and I think this will be my last update mail, since if all goes well, there is nothing left to update you about anymore. It's been a difficult week and a half, but now all should be fine in time, if I just take it easy and recover.

Once again, thank you for all the messages, mails, cards and even a book today, I hope to see you soon.

A big hug,

Marius"

Marius was a contributor for Organice Your Life between the years 2011-2012

 This article was first published by Marius Hordijk on OrganiceYourLife.com on December 17th 2011. Updated in 2019.