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


Aire de Bardenas

I am so lucky with the places that my modeling jobs have taken me to! I am taking you on a trip down memory lane for Organice Your Life®. This time: Aire De Bardenas in Tudela, Navarra, Spain.

Hotel Aire de Bardenas

I stayed at this amazing place in Tudela, Navarra, Spain called "Hotel Aire de Bardenas" once for a photoshoot of a few days for a luxury leather brand called Delvaux. It is located in an area with a large natural park with one of the most beautiful views ever! The design of the hotel is very futuristic and feels like it is standing in the middle of nowhere. The luxury of this hotel is not only found in the modern rooms, with minibar, great bed, and rain shower(love it!). It is also found in the view.

Aire de Bardenas 1

Check more pictures of this hotel here at the architects Lopez-Rivera website.

It. Is. Amazing.

There is nothing in front of u. Besides the landscape and maybe some windmills in the distance, is what you see.
And the beds in the window, are a great place to oversee it all. The hotelrooms are all cubes, some just one room, and sometimes more together in the grey cubes. The hotel is surrounded by big stones, it gives a cool look to it all.

Of course I had a great time there!

The restaurant

The restaurant at the hotel serves foods that come from their own vegetable garden! The tomatoes for instance, were simply delicious, don't remember a time when I had better ones. And the orange juice..mmm!

The hotel is so nice, and one of a kind. If you love a design hotel with organic ethics, and piece and quiet, go here. It will be a nice experience.

How to get there

I took a flight from Madrid Barajas airport to Zaragoza with Iberia, and then took a taxi about 50 minutes to Tudela. You will find the hotel just outside of the center of this village.

Modeling

I worked there for Delvaux. They are a luxury leather brand from Belgium, and make beautiful handbags. I am happy I worked with them so I could experience this nice place! It was a lot to arrange as I was told they are only allowed to have one photo shoot a month in the natural park of Bardenas Reales, to ensure the park stays good. Check out below how beautiful it is at Bardenas Reales!

Behind the scenes pictures of this shoot:

Delvaux bhs 1

Delvaux bhs 2

Delvaux bhs 3

Delvaux bhs 3

Delvaux bhs 5

The end result. Campaign pictures of Delvaux:

Delvaux 1Delvaux 3Delvaux 4Delvaux 5Delvaux 6Delvaux 2See here the links to the gorgeous hotel and the brand I worked for!

Love, Lonneke

www.hotelairedebardenas.com

www.airedebardenas.com

www.delvaux.com

 

First published on August 22nd 2013, updated in 2019


Modeling: The Option

Option. What a word. First, let me quickly explain what this word technically means in the modeling world. We all have agencies that try to get you booked for jobs. A client might be looking for a certain kind of model, and will start checking with different agencies which models they have that would fit their idea. The ones they like the best (with or without a casting), they will put on option.

Marius and Lonneke for Kuyichi by Pablo Delfos

What does The Option really mean

Alright, that was the more technical definition. Now here is what it means: we might pick you. Then again, we might not. For now, we just want to know if you're available. And if you're not, get available.

The word 'option' is without a doubt the most hope-giving and disappointing word in the modellng industry. A good option is like having an amazing guy or a girl flirt with you, and you know somewhere deep inside that that person is just too good looking, too perfect for you. Yet sometimes he or she will come and talk to you and other times, well, they go home with someone else.

What makes the option such a difficult concept as well is that the agencies normally don't help. Think about it from their point of view. They want to tell their models they are on option for big campaigns or good money jobs, because it shows the models that they are working for you. We got you an option! Yet it is always surprisingly hard to figure out how many models are on option. This is, of course vital information for your excitement. But in my experience, the answers remain rather vague. There are reasons for this: one agency might not be sure how many models are on option with other agencies. But I think there are also reasons for an agency to keep it a little vague, or to make the option seem stronger than it actually is: they need you to keep that day, or those days free. If an agency tells you you're on option, together with the major part of the models present in New York, you might plan a beach day. If it unsure how serious it is, or they tell you it is indeed serious, you'll be available.

Needless to say, hearing you have a big option is always nice. It's always better than having no options at all. But how to handle this terribly exciting word?

Marius and Lonneke for Kuyichi by Pablo Delfos
Marius and Lonneke for Kuyichi by Pablo Delfos

How to deal when an option falls through

  • First of all, never ever take it personal if you don't get the job. Think of all the times you didn't get a job. If you would have to be personally insulted all of these times, you'll be very busy, have a bruised ego and a lot of spite towards many people you've never even met! And the worst part of it is that nothing changes because of it. They were looking for a different look, a different style. They didn't reject you personally.
  • From the moment you hear you are on option for something big, you're going to try to not think about it too much, but somewhere in the back of your head you booked it, did well, and you're spending the money. So, a second tip: do not count your chickens before they hatch. Do not spend money that's not yours yet, do not claim a campaign that's not yours yet.
  • A third tip would be to not tell too many people about a big option. Think about it, why would you? Sure, it's exciting news, but on the other hand, it's not news yet! And then when the option doesn't go through, you'll be stuck with curious friends with the best intentions constantly reminding you of the disappointment, by asking you if you got it or not.
Marius by Alique
Marius by Alique

My Strategy

My strategy, after some too exciting options that bombed in the end has been to ask my agencies not to always tell me all the options. To let me know when it really gets serious. Like this, I don't get needlessly excited, and I know that if I do get a call about an option, it really means something. And from there on I move around with my fingers crossed.

Maybe by now I've slightly terrified you of this innocent-looking word, and if I did, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to.  I've just been fascinated for years by this word and the implications of it. To end it on a bright note, it's good to remember that no matter how deceptive the word is, you will always first need the option before you get the job.

Cheers!

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 May 12th 2012. Updated in 2019.


Modeling: Brag/Share

Paris! New York! Milan! Tokyo! London! You name it, the models go there. Pretty cool, to be our age and travel the world and experience so much. I remember going from hitch-hiking in Southern Africa, sleeping in crappy hostels, to roaming the Seychelles, having my backpack transported in a golf cart, since of course I don't have to carry that myself, sir. I laid in bed that first night, being overwhelmed, shocked, amazed, happy, humbled and lonely at the same time. I remember thinking, 'how do I ever explain this?'.

My start in modeling

When I started modeling, I still had one semester to finish at my university.  I remember a conversation I had during lunch with a fellow student. We had Wednesdays off, and I spent it working in Spain. I asked him 'what did you do yesterday?' He told me he watched three movies and played some basketball. Then he asked me the same thing. I told him that I spent the day on the beach, learning how to waterski in the South of Spain. This is when I started feeling a problem. For years after that, I was thinking a lot about 'when am I sharing, when am I bragging?'

The thing is, so many exciting things are happening, that you want to share it with the World! But then, the World might think you're a show-off douche. Catch 22. I handled this in a few different ways in the beginning years of modeling:

My 4 ways of sharing my modeling experiences

The Share-It-All

I just got started, I was flying around, making some money, and meeting the craziest people. So what do you do with this? That's right, you tell it to all your friends and family, and just about anyone with a heartbeat. You are exploding with enthusiasm, and the strangest things are happening in your life! Soon enough, I started realizing that not everyone's reaction was as excited as I hoped it was. After some initial disappointment, I remember thinking that that kind of made sense as well. I mean, here I am telling all these big stories, what are you supposed to say? And it wasn't happening to them, so how could they fully join me in my excitement? I decided to try hard to control my innocent excitement and start inaggerating (oh yes, I mean the opposite of exaggerating. Is it a word? Not sure, but I like it).

The Downplay Share

I think I spent a lot of time in the beginning trying to prove to everyone that I was still a nice guy, that I stayed normal (a Dutch obsession), that modeling didn't change me. I now look back and think I wasted time on that. I would downplay everything I experienced, just to not have too many, too big stories to share that could give people the wrong impression. I felt like this might be the way to go, but more and more I realized that also this way of sharing was not working. This was for two reasons: firstly I felt like I wasn't able to truly say all the things I was feeling and experiencing. Every word I said, I was weighing it, checking if it didn't come across as too pompous, too arrogant, etc. But because of this, I got blocked from sometimes just letting it out, whether 'it' was superpositive (I am in Russia, can you believe it!) or supernegative (the Milan castings, hearing 'no' 1000 times a day is painful). And another problem turned out to be that my attempt at modesty backfired, and some people actually thought I was very arrogant for never seeming that impressed, or that excited.

In the beginning this hurt me a lot, and it made me feel helpless, since it seemed like quite a task to prove my niceness to seven billion people. So I stopped trying. I tried to accept that some people would judge, no matter what I was trying. Another thing I wanted to accept was a beautiful thing. That, to the people that know me, I had nothing to prove. On neither side of the spectrum. They know me and understand me.

The Selective Share

So I think I finally figured it out a few years ago. There are a handful of people that know everything about my job. All the good sides and all the bad sides. And everyone else? I keep it shallow. Most people stop asking after a few standard questions anyway (which famous brand have you worked for/what famous people have you met?).  And I have also realized: isn't this kind of normal? Think about it, how much do you truly know about the jobs of friends? Sure, I can summarize what they do for a living, but really, exactly know what a day in their working life is? What's their desk like, who do they speak to for lunch break, what kind of stress are they under? In my experience, we know a lot about each others' jobs in the basics, but there are only a few people that really know the daily ins and outs of whatever your job is. So why would mine be any different?

There! My mind process. One possible conclusion after reading this is  that 'that Marius guy needs to stop thinking about what others think'. And you would be right. But if I am honest, I know I think a lot about these things. And I find them very interesting (I probably shouldn't study Psychology if I didn't). I wanted to share this funny dilemma with you, and I would be curious about how others (models or not) handle this, or what they think about it.

So no summarizing attempt-at-funny, self-depreciating punchline this time. Just a question: what do you think? As a model, did you feel this dilemma at all? Is it just me? As a non-model, can you see the point, or do you think I have created problems by overthinking stuff? Let me know! Marius@organiceyourlife.com, or you are most welcome to share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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 March 9th 2012. Updated in 2019.


Modeling: Model Behavior

'Ah, you're a model! So, you fly around the world to nice places and you get your picture taken. No skills involved. Easy and overpaid job.'

This is the reaction I have received so many times over the years that a big part of me believed it as well. However, to do modeling as a job involves a lot more things than most people can imagine. I think, especially in the beginning years I would have agreed with those who said this. Yeah, piece of cake.

Modeling is not easy

Yet now I don't agree anymore with this 'modeling=easy' reflex many people have. So what's changed now? The actual work? No, I don't think that has changed for me. I would still not describe it as at the same difficulty level as rocket science. What has changed my mind more and more is all the other circumstances that you must deal with as a model, which are foreign to most other professions.

Think of both job and personal insecurity. Think of the times away from your normal social environment: family and friends. Think of being alone in a very foreign place. Think of what to do when you don't get booked for a while (not sure how many models will admit it, but 99,1% of us do hit the occasional dry spell). Think of the temptations a model faces when he or she decides to party a bit, or a bit too much. Think of how to deal with disappointment if a big option falls through. Think of how to handle too many compliments at a too impressionable age. Think of how to handle too much critique at a too impressionable age. Think of the pitfalls of the irregular life. Think of how to prepare yourself for a life after modeling (it does arrive for most of us) and the difficulties and temptations that come with it. And I'm only getting started!

Being both a student of psychology and a model, I would like to expand a bit on these topics. Not so much to convince readers we got a rough life (tough sell), but more to expand a bit more on the part of the lives of many, if not most models. A part that is mostly overlooked, since it is not so glamorous and possibly also not openly talked about. Yet still a part of the models' life!

Marius and Lonneke for Kuyichi by Pablo Delfos

Who knows, maybe you find it interesting to read, maybe you're a model and you feel like I am overlooking something important, or you just think I am plain wrong. Should be interesting, no? Here are 2 articles I wrote about the subject:

READ MORE: Modeling: How to deal with insecurity

READ MORE: Modeling: The Option

Cheers!

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 March 26th 2012. Updated in 2019.

 


Healthy Food: Ask and you shall receive

I've had crazy weeks in my life... 4am starts, 12am wraps, you know - all those glam 'life of a model' moments. Nothing I hate more than eating stuff that makes me feel lethargic, heavy and clogged. Unfortunately when working long hours or late sometimes models have to choose between skipping a meal or eat fatty, processed, or chemically treated food! Certainly not the ideal for a gorgeous figure and face that needs using again tomorrow, the day after, and hopefully the day after that.

Little collage of my green juice, quinoa salad, and lovely location of one of my shoots last week.

How I prepare for photo shoots

I usually pack an enormous fridge bag full of healthy food like dehydrated snacks, green juices, organic salad vege's and fresh fruits, bottles of my 'Supergorgeous Almond Mylk' and plenty of raw chocolate options for snacking, such as my raw cacao protein bars (from the book), goji berries and cacao beans, and a nice big slab of raw chocolate. It lasts a few days usually.. This time, unfortunately I ran out.

That one time I ran out of healthy snacks

I was driving 4 hours homeward bound, late at night with only a few hours sleep from the night before and soo tired. I was wishing I had some delicious SOMETHING to keep me awake and there was no organic coffee, or organic anything at the service stations... So I asked for something crazy! I wanted a Chia Latte but without the 'powder' they make it on which is full of sugar, flavorings and other evil things... but they couldn't get their head round that one, so I asked for a 'Earl Grey' (delicious tealeaves infused with Bergamot) Latte with a big pinch of cinnamon and a spoonful of honey and, made on non GM soy (lucky they had this!). It was the best of a bad bunch and ended up tasting delicious! I drank it with the last of  my healthy snacks, my dehydrated cacao cookies and felt very thankful.

My delish raw cacao cookies, makes for perfect travel food ;)

Boost Juice on my way home

On another big drive home I was fortunate enough to have access to a Boost Juice bar (a juice bar chain all over Australia) where I custom ordered a beetroot, pineapple, lemon and ginger juice and asked them to create a frappe with it adding in frozen mango, and green tea powder and it was PERFECT!

Organic farmers market tomatoes made a yummy energizing snack!  

Ask and you shall receive

I'm writing this post to encourage you to be bold! Go ahead, ask for crazy things to suit your needs! Even in places that you think won't have any healthy food that you could eat. The more we do this, the more people will realize the need to have healthier, raw, GF/ DF/ SF, organic, non-GM etc options available in places where now there is only fast food as an option.

Love Abigail O'Neill xxx

First published on November 28th 2012, updated in 2019

 

 


Modeling: How to deal with Insecurity

Personal insecurity. When your job is linked to your looks, how do you detach the two?

Insecurity when modeling

So how could it be possible that you are insecure, when you are able to make money and build a career sheerly based on how you look? Ridiculous! Alright, ready for some online honesty? I am very insecure about how my body looks. Why? The true awareness and insecurity came with this job. I can imagine that you would expect this exactly the other way around, because apparently the way I look is nice enough that people pay to make pictures of it! I wish it would be that easy. Really. But think for a second to whom I compare my body on a daily bases. I work with some of the best looking men in the world, that have bodies that are stunning. And then there's me. Of course, compared to them I don't exactly look like a stud muffin.

Example of insecurity during a fashion shoot

Another example is the following circumstance (which has happened on several occasions in the past years): While working on a shoot they are considering having me in the picture shirtless. 'Hey Marius, take your shirt off for a second? Ah, okay, you can put it back on now.' This always brings me relief (I don't like being photographed without a shirt on), but on the other hand, it hurts as well.  A last little example is the reaction of people that hear you are a model. I was reminded of a very funny incident a couple of years back. I was at a party of a dear friend, and a friend of his asked me what I do for a living. I responded by telling him I am a model. He looked me up and down, looked me straight in the eyes and told me 'No you're not.'  His theory was that I needed to be better looking, and dress super sharp to fit his idea of what a model should look like. Even though this example is a funny one, there is a hint of truth in it: once someone knows you are a model, you are looked at in a more critical way than others.

How insecurity works in the modeling World

I would like to elaborate a bit on the following illogical logic: booking big campaigns = I'm looking good, no work for a while = I'm looking lousy. When the big jobs are rolling in, you're on top of the world. Besides the challenge to keep yourself grounded, these are amazing days! Doors are opening, bookers are friendlier, many new friends await (although I am quite sure not the permanent ones). But the challenge comes in when the phone stops ringing for a while.

We all feel insecure sometimes

A key point to remember is that insecurities are familiar to us all. Model, doctor, mailman or scientist, I think we all have our thoughts and insecurities, and as long as they do not become a problem and hinder you in your daily life and decisions, I think it's fine to have them. Maybe it's even good for me to have them, otherwise maybe I would consider myself quite the superstar by now. When you hit a dry spell though, as mentioned before almost all of us hit one here and there, it is very tough not to grab a mirror and start analyzing what got less nice. The tough character of insecurity lies in its self-fulfilling element: grab a mirror, be convinced something is not looking good, and you will find it. I try not to grab that mirror.

READ MORE: Modeling: Model Behavior

The fashion World is a fickle one

As a model, I think it is good to remember that the fashion and catalogue world is a fickle one. Sometimes, it's just not about you. Maybe regular clients decided to go for a fresh face, maybe a client saw a polaroid that they didn't like. Maybe they didn't see you at the casting because they were noticing that there was too much sugar in their coffee. The point is, fashion many times is about small moments, small windows to impress, small chances to be taken or to miss. Sometimes it's luck, sometimes it's hard work, and many times it is about factors that you just cannot influence. Don't get me wrong, if you want the work, you have to put in the effort and time to look the way that is expected of you, but a dry spell does not always mean you are to blame.

READ MORE: Modeling: The Option

Don't take it personal

What I learned to do is to not take comments made at work in a personal way. Let's face it, a photoshoot is not about me. Modeling made me so nervous in the beginning, since I had the feeling that everyone was looking at me. But slowly I understood this was not the case. Let's break that down: the stylist is checking if his clothes are looking good. The make-up artist is checking if his work is in order. The photographer is checking if the picture is coming out how he wants to. The art director is thinking if the picture fits in the story he is trying to tell. The client is checking if his product is coming out right. The assistants of the photographer are checking if the light is good and if there aren't any funny shadows anywhere. Who there is really looking at me, Marius Hordijk? When you look at it like this, not that many people at all, even though you are in every picture. This realization helped me a lot to understand the role of the model, and to not shy away too much from the perceived attention. And when they tell me to put my shirt back on? I put it back on. It's not about me.

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 11th 2011. Updated in 2019.

 


Healthy snacks on the GO!

I've been asked a lot what I do to avoid unhealthy eating habits , so this article is dedicated to that. Some basic actions can really save your day!

Everywhere I go, I try to look for new places where I can find exciting organic food options. Also I go for greener options as much as I can, re using plastic and paper bags or water bottles for example - and always manage my diet to be the best as possible in the most different situations.

foto 1

Airplane Food

I don't like how plane food tastes and how it makes you feel bloated - so I've found a solution for it: always pack a few healthy snacks and a nice home made meal to eat on the plane...

I spend so much time in airports and airplanes that if I don't take proper care, I will end up eating something not good for me. The first time I made my own bowl with plenty of healthy food I felt much more vitality and energy to handle those never ending 10 hours seated on a plane. Everyone should try it! No shame! Even the plane staff helped me out heating the meal, and there it goes a tip if you wanna do the same: take an aluminum bowl to make it easier, then ask someone to heat for you just the way they do it with regular food they serve it.

fotoThis beautiful plate was made with love by my boyfriend and it's all organic quinoa beets and carrots with tilapia filet and caramelized onions and some boiled egg whites! YUMMY

foto 3That meal was the first one we made to eat healthy on the go: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweet potatoes and fish filet

Snacks at work

Sometimes at work, snacks before or after lunch time, are not nutritious enough to help me get going through my day of hard work. So again I've found a solution. I ALWAYS take with me energy protein bars, nuts and other organic healthy snacks in little bowls that fit in my bag. I will never go to work unprepared, because we never know what's for breakfast and lunch. I'm known by stylists and beauty artists for doing it ( they usually sees me sneaking in my purse ), they call me "smart girl" and I have the pleasure to share my treats with them.

foto 2

foto

These are a few simple things you could integrate in to your routine, or if you don't have a routine (in my case).  You just need to think ahead of all difficult situations you're gonna be dealing with, so you are prepared for everything!

Follow these tips on a daily basis:

  • Try not to stay more than 3 hours without eating, ALWAYS have some good snacks with you, otherwise will won't even notice that it's been hours since you bite something.
  • Drink water! sometimes your body will trick you, so you might think you're hungry and would end up cheating with bad snacks, when your body it's JUST thirsty !
  • If you don't exercise that much ( or as much as you'd like to ); always goes for smart choices: stairs instead of elevators, go walking or biking to work  - do not ever lose a chance of moving your body!

foto

Stay healthy!

XO Carol

Follow Carolina Fontaneti on Instagram!

First published on October 8th 2013, updated in 2019


My photoshoot in Aspen

Working as a model has brought me so many opportunities, and one of the most challenging is to deal with the constant change of weather.

Dealing with the weather as a model

As for now I'm enjoying a great warm Brazilian summer, but a month ago I was in NYC with the blizzard invading the American sky, I was freezing! This past November I got to work at a photoshoot in Aspen, Colorado. It was my first time visiting a place with ski stations in the mountains. I got really excited as soon as my cold feet stepped into the city so I went straight to exploring this different kind of city that was all new to me!

Exploring

I couldn't help but noticing that I wasn't prepared at all for the low temperatures, and after 15 minutes walking and taking pictures, I could barely feel my fingertips anymore and it only got worse... So I took my strong Brazilian body back to the hotel, but only after finding my supplies for the night: fresh pressed beet,carrot,ginger, lemon juice and a yogurt parfait with organic berries - I was lucky to find a nice café house opened out of season.

Getting ready to shoot in the cold weather
Getting ready to shoot in the cold weather

What I ate during this photo shoot

I ended up eating my homemade bowl of food for dinner and the juice and yogurt parfait in the morning. As you guys know, I always carry some food with me for unpredictable moments. I wrote an article about in the past read it HERE .

Nothing better than my own food made with love
Nothing better than my own food made with love

Basically it was made of organic veggies such as brussel sprouts, aspargus, carrots and a fish fillet with organic quinoa, SO Yummy !!! I ate half of portion in the airplane and the rest of it comfortably chilling in my hotel room. Next day I was ready to work hard whenever they needed me at my photoshoot in Aspen... I got lucky we shoot most of the pictures inside a beautiful location house in the middle of the mountains.  So inspiring!

The other "model" for the day and I . Feeling happy!
The other "model" for the day and I . Feeling happy!

Aspen seemed to be a nice warm and cozy little place despite the white mountain tops covered in ice...I really like to come back another day to enjoy some ski fun and hot cocoa with friends ;)

Will share more stories of my shoots and healthy foods I take with me with you in the future!

Love, Carol


Olympic Gold Medal London 2012

Go for GOLD! part 1

Olympic Gold Medal London 2012
Olympic Gold Medal London 2012

Are you watching the Olympics in London?

Are you just as inspired to get in shape by all these amazing athletes? I know I am!

Swimming just finished, And the Netherlands had great success with 2 Gold medals by Ranomi Kromowidjojo besides some silver and bronze medals. I recently interviewed Ranomi about her sport and inspiration and you can watch that interview here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHhQzrz4kCI[/youtube]

 

Ranomi Kromowidjojo
Ranomi Kromowidjojo
Go Ranomi
Family of Ranomi are there to support her
Ranomi with 3 medals
Ranomi on Instagram @RanomiKromo

Other great achievements were the ones from Team USA Michael Phelps becoming the athlete with the most Olympic  (Gold) medals ever won by any Olympic athlete in history.

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

Ryan Lochte was also successful and won medals, but he was more in the news because of his looks and what his mom said about him and women. He is also in the race to become #HottestOlympicAthlete. A contest I am holding on Twitter. Join me there if you want to tell me which athlete, man or woman, you think is the hottest one!

Ryan Lochte
Ryan Lochte

I watched all the swimming from my cute hotel room in Paris because I was in Paris to work:

My Paris hotel room
My Paris hotel room
My Paris view with Eiffel Tower in background
My Paris view with Eiffel Tower in background
Lonneke work in Paris
Lonneke work in Paris in an old Mansion/Night club

 

The rest of the week I am going to enjoy the equestrian sports. The Dutch team can win a team medal and Adelinde Cornelissen & her horse Parzival could potentially win an individual medal as well in dressage.. Great-Britain and Germany are other contestants that could win a medal in this discipline... Germany already won team Gold in the Eventing and at this moment all countries are competing in Jumping as well... exciting!

Extra attention to Salinero, the horse ridden by Anky van Grunsven in dressage: It is 2 TIME OLYMPIC GOLD WINNER Salinero's 3rd Olympic Games and with his 18 years old he might be a Senior but he is in really amazing shape! Anky is up for her 7th (!) Olympic Games. They are up for a good placing as well!

Anky van Grunsven & Salinero
Anky van Grunsven & Salinero

See their Olympic Gold ride in Beijing 2008 here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV3HYtIZ-NM[/youtube]

Good Luck to all remaining athletes competing. May the best one win!

What are your favorite sports or athletes? Let me know who you are rooting for!

Love, Lonneke


Lonneke for SI

My 1 day food diary

May 22nd 2012: I decided I want to get in my best shape for my vacation. I will be going to Ibiza beginning of June! I want to get in best shape possible for my bikini those days of course. So I decided to keep a food diary. Food and work out is a big part of looking great! So I am going to go for as close to 100% eating perfect, and working out every day. Plus I will get some great treatments, to improve my appearance.

This is what I look like right now:

Lonneke by JBC
Lonneke for JBC

Not bad, I did this job in Corsica a few weeks ago, but I am noticing I am not as toned as usual. And a bit pale :s. I have been working too hard on organiceyourlife.com I have not worked out as much! Bad girl...  I want to get back to my Sports Illustrated shape as below!(with the tan preferably ;) ):

Lonneke for SI
Lonneke for Sports Illustrated 2010-2011

That means I have to be tough on myself! No chocolate all the time, eating healthily and also moving my *ss more! You have to work for result... So, I am telling you exactly what I am doing coming weeks. What do I do to get in Top Shape again? I will show you my improvements, and you will also get to see what I eat, and how I change in shape and how my skin will improve! Trust me it will happen, just from one day, you already start having hydrated skin if you drink a lot of water...  We can all look great then coming sunny days!

DAY 1: To start off, I am making it very difficult for myself, as today right away I am taking a flight to across the Atlantic Ocean! But I took the time to wake up (if I get up fast I am tired all day, so I wake up early and take some extra time to just relax in bed before I get up) . I saw all the support tweets and messages and got excited! I started the day with a shot of Chlorophyll on an empty stomach. In the USA it is easy to get, it is the same as in a wheat grass shot, try to find it in your local health store. Chlorophyll is critical in photosynthesis in plants (absorption of energy from light). Then I looked what I still had in my fridge... And made a smoothie! Smoothie: Banana, coconut water, fresh lemon juice, flax seeds.

Banana- coconut -lemonjuice-flaxseeds-smoothie
Banana- coconut -lemonjuice-flaxseeds-smoothie

Workout: 25 min treadmill. I hate doing things for prolonged periods of time. but running while watching something on the iPad is good, and I put my favorite dance music on when I jump on trampoline. I DON'T like work out but I know that every time I start I get in greater shape and feel great after, like I can conquer the world. And feeling sweaty feels good too (release of toxins from your body) It makes your skin soft and nice too! At noon I went to get a nice facial at Tracie Martyn. Getting facials makes your skin glow! Deep cleansing and microdermabrasion. Find a good place close to where you live.

Tracie Martyn 1
Tracie Martyn Salon NYC

For lunch: I was cleaning out my fridge as I am leaving today. So I made soup!

Soup by Lonneke
Soup by Lonneke
Vegetable Soup 1

Author:
Recipe type: soup

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • chopped fresh parsley (lots of it)
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped onions
  • rosemary
  • oregano

Instructions
  1. saute onions in a pan
  2. other stock put add water, salt, pepper, soy sauce, chopped tomatoes, parsley, oregano, rosemary, onions, sesame oil.
  3. After 30 min, when soup is done, serve and let cool off
  4. add cilantro for flavor and as garnish.
  5. enjoy!

I also snacked on a honey glazed nut crunch thingie:

honey glazed nut crunch snack
honey glazed nut crunch snack

and I drank this drink:

Mamma Chia drink
Mamma Chia drink

I made a salad to go to the airport, which I ate: romaine lettuce, walnuts, cucumber, yellow peppers, a few pieces of old Gouda cheese, grapes, olive oil, salt, pepper, cilantro, parsley:

Day 1 Lonneke 2weeks2fitness dinner
Day 1 Lonneke 2weeks2fitness dinner

During the day if I felt hungry I snacked on some cherries, grapes and nuts. I took a flight from NYC to Amsterdam with KLM. Before that I took a 30 min back massage at Express Spa. You know the one where you sit in a chair and they put their elbows in your back. I love it! So I fell asleep easily on the flight and got a few hours of sleep on the way over. Day 2: I landed in Amsterdam at noon. I went to the hotel. When you are running around you sometimes forget to eat, therefore it is always good to have some sort of snacks with you, that you can eat while on the go.  I went for lunch: a nicoise salad with grilled tuna. Then I walked around the "Vondelpark" with my nephew Navy and his father (my brother-in-law Michael Lamey) for a few hours. We were so tired when we got home as it was so sunny and warm too! I also had to carry Navy, on my back or in my arms, so that was a great work out. For dinner I had a couscous salad with grilled shrimp. And a decaf latte (sorry I could not help it it helps my digestion after a flight) I was so busy all day doing fun things that I forgot food. i just made sure that when I ate, it was delicious! Tomorrow I am going vegetarian I think. I hope they have some good options at the shoot... Day 3: Sorry I did not update this day earlier, but I was shooting today for a campaign with Dutch top models Cato van Ee & Sophie Vlaming.

Lonneke & Cato
Lonneke & Cato

in the morning I ate breakfast in the hotel: 1 banana, 1 slice of bread, a few strawberries, fruit yoghurt, green tea, orange juice, 1 hard boiled egg.

Breakfast Lonneke 2weeks2fitness Day 3


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.