Organic vs non-organic

When you buy your fruits and veggies at supermarket in the USA, they always have this little sticker with numbers on it. Do you know what it means?

Produce from organic farms

Produce that comes from organic farms, have a sticker with five numbers, and always starts with number 9.

Organic vs non-organicOrganic vs non-organic

Produce from non-organic farms

Produce that been treated with pesticides, have stickers with four number, and always starts with number 4.

(Sorry, I don’t have non-organic fruits at home to snap a picture of it)

More information on organic vs. non-organic

  • Organic foods are foods produced using methods which do not involve synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic products are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. Click here to read more.
  • In the United States, the National Organic Program (NOP) is the federal regulatory framework governing organic food. You should visit their website to learn more http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.
  • Wikipedia offers also a list of countries with regulations on organic agriculture. It contains links to documents with the status of formal government-standards, regulations, and certification of organic farming and organic food.

Next time you go to supermarket, pay attention to it and you will see.

Have a great fruit and veggie shopping!

Love, Val

 

First published on October 31st  2012, updated in 2019


Supplements

Supplement Vitamins and Minerals?

Although we are healthier than ever before, the World population's general health is deteriorating. There are more and more "Lifestyle Diseases"  and almost half the western population suffers from some kind of chronic illness. The human population has been advancing and our life expectancy has increased year after year. But for the first time in decades we see that the life expectancy of newborns is lower than that of their parents. These days you easily get sick and it is very hard to stay healthy. But I believe that we can have a great influence on our health by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Are vitamin and mineral supplements essential for good health?

Is it good to supplement vitamins and minerals? Today, the debate flares up on the use of vitamins and minerals. It especially focuses on the high-dose supplements. Scientists claim that if you eat healthy and varied you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. According to them, high-dose supplements are unnecessary and even dangerous to your health. Many studies have shown time and again the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements, because nutritional deficiencies are very common nowadays .

Nutritional supplements have been used safely for decades and Europe and the US are very strict on safety regulations. Studies shows that only 2% of Westerners eat according to the nutritional guidelines. So what is a good balance between nutrition and supplements?

I believe that modern day diets contain too few nutrients. Therefore, I am advocating the use of high-dose supplements in conjunction with a healthy diet. Even a 100% organic diet does not prevent a lack of nutrients. This defect is easy to overcome by supplementing. But it is very important that you go for high quality supplements.

Supplements are sold everywhere, but unfortunately the quality is not always up to par. A lot of famous vitamin brands that advertise on TV and in magazines, and various private label brands do not match the vitamin structure of your body and are often filled with bad additives (in Europe E-numbers). These products are often cheaper but the compounds are poorly absorbed by the body. When it comes to supplements you are be better off spending a little more money on a multivitamin that your body can utilize for 100%.

Good quality brands that I believe in include Solgar, Vitals, Aov, Bonusan, Ortholon and Orthica . These brands are available at specialty health & wellness stores or drugstores. Some are organic and some are not. All brands have a special focus, and their own vitamins & minerals composition.

Most of all, just like with any food you eat, you need to read the labels on the package of vitamins and research what is in it. Ask someone who specializes in vitamins on what vitamins you should use, instead of deciding yourself what vitamins to take. That way you have a better chance to avoid error or overdosing. You will get the right dose of the right vitamins and hopefully it will help to feel great!

Best, Daan Kelderhuis

First published on January 20th 2014, updated in 2019


Los Angeles hotspots: Restaurant Granville

Dear readers, I…am an adventurer (*dramatic voice*). Always have been, always will be. If I don’t explore new places in the world and collect unique experiences on a regular basis, I get extremely grumpy. Recently, I moved to Los Angeles, and wow… do I have a LOT of exploring to do. As a true foodie, the exploring is usually focused around food and / or drinks. Usually I’m pretty health conscious, but I make the occasional exception for something truly awesome (I don’t need to bring up my Nutella addiction right? Please don’t make me go there.)

So while I'm doing some very serious research, I would like to share my best finds with you! Why? Because I love talking about food in a really snobby way, and also it’s a fantastic excuse to visit more restaurants. Oh yeah, and of course it will help you guys find the best spots in town. Some of these are hidden gems, others are tried and true classics that have also gotten my stamp of approval (whatever that’s worth).

Granville Los Angeles
Granville entrance

We begin this little adventure with one of my absolute favs: Granville in Studio City

Granville Los Angeles Atmosphere
I love the ambiance at Granville!

Granville's Atmosphere

Big fan. Granville is the kind of place that exudes an immediate ‘feel good’ vibe as you walk in. Unassuming, but not…boring. Sophisticated, but not swanky. Crowded, but not loud. The kind of place that sets the perfect tone for amazing conversation. And drinking lots of red wine.

Granville's Service

Although I’ve been impressed with the service of most spots in LA (or I guess you could say the US in general), Granville goes the extra mile. The waiting staff make a point of really catering to your deepest, wildest desires (sorry, got slightly carried away there) culinary wishes, and giving you a VIP treatment. Truly adds great value to the overall dining experience!

Owner Jon Weiss and friend and I.

Granville's Quality of food

One word: Omigod. AMAZING. Owner Jon Weiss speaks with great pride when he describes how Granville makes a point of mainly using organic, fresh ingredients. The dishes are classy and simple, in the best possible way. We had a delicious beet salad and some sweet potato fries (apparently one of their staples) as a starter. As a main course, I ordered some grilled salmon with a surprisingly awesome corn salsa on top. Originally, this dish comes with a side of mashed potatoes, but, because I was planning on partying after dinner and didn’t wanna fall asleep mid-dance, they suggested to replace the potatoes with asparagus. Granville, you guys know me better than I know myself (*wipes a little tear away*)

Granville Los Angeles food 2
the Granville beet salad

 

Granville Los Angeles food
My main course

Granville's Best Feature

Listen, I'm not saying you need chocolate to have a good time. Alcohol is also an effective way to enjoy yourself. (...someday I'll develop a better sense of humor, I swear.) ANYWAYS, I wanted to be a good girl and stick to my sugarfree diet, but I totally surrendered. Oh well.

Not only did I fall in love with their home made ice cream trio dessert (which everyone should put very high on their bucket list), I also joked to the waiter about my alarmingly severe Nutella addiction. He responded with: “I can make you a Nutella latte..?” And guess what happened? HE MADE ME A NUTELLA LATTE! (sorry, it was so good I forgot to take a picture)

Granville, y’all. Go check it out, you won’t regret it.

http://www.granvillecafe.com/home

https://www.facebook.com/GranvilleStudioCity

12345 Ventura Boulevard

Studio City, 91604

Love,

Maruja Retana

p.s. follow my work via Vocal Psychology


The Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck NYC

I do love street food. Period. I love healthy street vendors even more, and my all time favorite is "The Cinnamon Snail" vegan food truck NYC.

I love vegan donuts

I have been crazy for vegan donuts since the North American culture got into my life and I have to thank Cinnamon Snail for making the most delicious yet ' good for you '  donuts, brownies, cookies, bars and other treats. I'm sure it would catch your eye if you're wandering the streets of NYC and spot the cinnamon colored truck...

IMG_4477

 

I have good news for you if you're not a crazy "Sweet Tooth" like myself, they also have these incredible delicious gourmet sandwiches made with seitan and more cause there is a plus : they serve vegan and organic food only.

Favorite treats at Cinnamon Snail

For a non typical day in my routine, I had the "special of the day" featuring maple hickory bbq seitan with smoked chili coconut bacon, marinated kale and roasted garlic aioli on a grilled baguette. It was way to heavy for my morning, but it was worth the experience cause I've never had a tastier vegan sandwich before.  Champs!

IMG_4478
People working at the truck are super nice and helpful!

I also need to recommend the cinnamon roll, and my number 1 donut -the vanilla bourbon creme brulée : It is mindblowing!

You can find all the info you need on their instagram @cinnamonsnail , but I can bring you good news: they cater and have pickup locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Hoboken.

IMG_4479
Have you spotted a green one and guessing what flavor is? It's Basil coconut!

When my favorite friends Dirk and Lonneke were about to leave NYC for a while, Fabio and I run earlier that day to grab an assortment of our favorite bites, and paid a visit to share some goodness and free the stress of traveling abroad for a while... I was lucky to bring some leftovers back home!

xo Carol


Tropical vegan fruit dessert

When I am visiting the Netherlands with my husband, one thing we love to visit his family. My Mother-in-Law Marlies makes the most beautiful and best-tasting dishes. She is a true top chef. This one was my favorite dessert ever, I HAD to have the recipe for this tropical vegan fruit dessert! So I can also share it with you guys :)

 Enjoy! 

Love, Lonneke

Tropical vegan fruit dessert
A delicious light dessert that is all vegan full of healthy fruits!

Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 4 avocados
  • 3 oranges,without skin, cut in parts
  • ¼ cup of orange juice
  • 3 kiwis, cut in parts
  • 4 dates, chopped
  • 4 dried apricots, chopped
  • 4 pears
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups of raspberries, mashed
  • Pure shaved raw chocolate
  • ½ a cup coconut milk
  • handful of almonds, crushed
  • 4 tsp of Coconut flakes

Instructions
  1. Blend the avocados with the coconut milk until fully blended.
  2. Remove the pear's skin and cut in pieces.
  3. Cook pear with the cinnamon stick and the brown sugar in a bit of water until pear goes soft. Cool down.
  4. Add all ingredients layer for layer into a glass.
  5. For each person one glass.
  6. First add the avocado mousse
  7. Then layers of orange, kiwi, pear.
  8. Add the dried apricots and dates.
  9. Add a bit of orange juice.
  10. Add the raspberry mousse on top.
  11. Add the shaved chocolate, coconut flakes and crushed almonds on top
  12. Enjoy!

Notes
You can choose another sweetener to cook the pears with, or just leave it out. other sweeteners are agave syrup,maple syrup, honey or stevia.


OYL vegan black bean chocolate brownies

I love chocolate! And what is better than a brownie? Organic & vegan black bean chocolate brownies! Here is our version of this delicious organic treat, that is not too bad for you considering a large part of the brownie is made with black beans! I LOVE this brownie! And Dirk Verest makes this one for me all the time.. lucky me ;)

Love, Lonneke

blackbeanbrownie10

OYL vegan black bean chocolate brownies
A healthier version of a chocolate brownie made with black beans!

Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 240gr of drained canned black beans cooked for an hour (keep in mind there is water added in cans, you need to take the weight without the water, a can of 400 grams is usually 240 grams of black beans)
  • 2 tbsp broken flaxseeds
  • 4 tbsp of water
  • 10 gr cocoa powder
  • 40 gr quick oats
  • ⅙ tsp salt
  • 40 gr maple syrup
  • 35 gr agave syrup
  • 20 gr coconut oil/cream
  • 20 gr cacao butter
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 130 gr chocolate chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 180C/350F
  2. Mix the flaxseeds first with the water and stir until the flax seeds have absorbed the water and the consistency is more solid.
  3. Add all the other products except the chocolate chips together and mix everything together in a blender to make a smooth texture.
  4. Mix in the chocolate chips. (if the chips are too big you can cut it with a knife before mixing it in)
  5. Pour in a greased baking dish of 20cm by 20cm (8 x 8 inch) and smooth out.
  6. Put in oven and bake for about 15-18 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes
You can add freeze dried organic coffee or cinnamon for a different flavor!

I used pure organic 70% cocoa chocolate for the chocolate nibs

blackbeanbrownie1blackbeanbrownie2blackbeanbrownie3blackbeanbrownie4blackbeanbrownie5blackbeanbrownie7


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


Pear mint smoothie

 This is a recipe for a delicious easy pear mint smoothie!

Pear smoothie
a refreshing smoothie for any time of the day!

Author:
Recipe type: smoothies
Serves: 2

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 4 juicy pears
  • 1½ cup of rice milk
  • a handful of organic mint leaves

Instructions
  1. Cut the pear into cubes without the skin and the seeds.
  2. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend.

Notes
If you think the texture is too thick you can add more rice milk.
You can also use almond milk, regular milk or coconut water.

pear mint smoothie


Raw Mini Christmas Puddings

Hi everyone at OYL!!! Well here it is. Last minute post of the year for me! I was in the kitchen this afternoon making up a raw non-chocolate version of my 'Choka-fruit Puddin' (recipe in my book) and of course posted a pic to Instagram promising to share the recipe. So here it is. These tiny puddings are the most simple, delicious Xmas treats you'll ever make, and so good, that when people find out they're healthy as well, they will probably beg you for the recipe.

Raw Mini Christmas Puddings
The most simple and delicious tiny raw puddings.The most delicious Xmas treats you’ll ever make!

Author:
Cuisine: Raw
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup organic dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup organic pitted dried prunes, diced
  • ¾ cup mixed organic sultanas and currants
  • 1 Tablespoon organic goji berries
  • ½ cup dried Kiwi Fruit, optional – for colour, diced
  • 8 large pitted Medjool dates, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • Zest of 1 organic orange
  • Fresh juice of 1 orange
  • 1 dessertspoon rum (for flavour only, optional!)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 cups almond meal (OR to make nut free – you may use ground coconut instead)

Instructions
  1. Mix together all dried fruits, spices, freshly squeezed juice, hot water and rum if using.
  2. Place this mixture at room temperature for 12 – 24hours, 2 of those hours may have mixture placed into the sunlight or in a warmer place. To be honest I didn’t have time, so only sat the fruity mixture in the sun for 1 hour then continued on with the recipe.
  3. Add in the almond meal and mix well. Form mixture into mini puddings with your hands, and decorate with goji berries or anything you fancy. Sit them in little muffin-tin liners and chill until Xmas day!
  4. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed, with freshly made raw coconut cream, raw banana or mango ice-cream (made by simply whizzing up frozen fruit in a food processor) ‘The Dreamcrème’ (again, in my book) your favourite vegan ice-cream, or yogurt such as Co-Yo.


Salud organic juice bar NYC review

I love exploring New York City and finding great neighborhood gems! This time I discovered Salud, a family owned juice bar business with 2 locations in Brooklyn and NYC.

We went to the NYC location, located on Thompson street in Soho, NYC. Salud Organic juice bar NYC is a small place with lots of turquoise color and many artsy decoration. Which I can understand once I read on the website the juice bar is a creation by a brother and sister, who are a chef and an artist.

Salud organic juice bar 2

The menu is healthy with a latin twist. They have a daily homemade soup ( I had the lentil soup it was delicious)  and a daily special. The regular menu is a mix of smoothies, juices, sandwiches, wraps, tortillas and brunch items including eggs. They serve chicken, but also "Un"chicken sandwiches. But most things on the menu are vegetarian and all is ... organic!

photo 3

We ordered the E-Detox-O ( a detox juice with cayenne pepper) and the Purple Haze, which is now my favorite smoothie! It has homemade roasted amaranth, banana, blueberries and hemp milk. For brunch they have easy organic egg dishes and I love the wrap with eggs, kale and avocado.

I will definitely go back sometime! Very happy it is close by to where we live!

Salud organic juice bar NYC 1

Salud Latin organic juice bar

107 Thompson street NYC

Love, Lonneke


John Masters Organics

I have tried many all-organic shampoos and conditioners, but nothing gave my hair a healthy shine, but they only dulled my hair. I am still looking for a 100% organic & green haircare, but John Masters Organics haircare comes pretty close, and I love to use this for my hair. In fact, when I use his shampoo, I have to go less to the hair stylist to cut my hair and put a gloss in my hair, as my hair stays much stronger and shinier longer!

When I recently wanted to visit the John Masters hair salon in NYC, I found out it had changed to a John Masters flagship store that only carries their products. Too bad! I hope they will open a hair salon sometime again.

What's the story behind John Masters Organics?

This is what I found out: The vision of John Masters, a pioneer in the city of New York when it comes to creating a hair salon with more than what just meets the eye.

"We only get one body, and we only get one planet."

His personal - strict- product guideline:

1. No sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, DEAs, MEAs, or TEAs

2. No GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism)

3. No petro-chemicals

4. No animal testing

5. No artificial colors, fragrances or fillers

6. Ingredients must be as organic as possible

7. All plant extracts and essential oils must be certified organic whenever possible

8. All essential oils used must be steam-distilled and not extracted with propylene glycol - which kills the effect of the oils

9. All plant oils must be cold pressed, not heat distilled - which kills the therapeutic properties of plant oils

10. All ingredients must be proven to be beneficial to the hair or skin

11. All ingredients must be harvested in an environmentally-friendly manner (wild-crafted)

12. All ingredients must be biodegradable as possible

My favorite products are:

[threecol_one]Evening Primrose Shampoo

John_Masters_Organics_Evening_Primrose_Shampoo_for_Dry_Hair_236ml_1367398513.png[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Lavender and Avocado intensive conditionerJohn_Masters_Organics_Lavender_and_Avocado_Intensive_Conditioner_207ml_1374839836[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]Blood orange & vanilla body washJohn_Masters_Organics_Blood_Orange_and_Vanilla_Body_Wash_236ml_1374839873[/threecol_one_last]

 

Besides skincare, bodycare and haircare, they also have pet care!  Check it out on the website:

www.johnmasters.com

Love, Lonneke


Bare Burger NYC review

In NYC we can find a lot of restaurants. A lot of fast-food restaurants, as well as high-end cuisine. Any kind of cuisine you can find here as well. And organic versions of these fast food & high end restaurants are here too. I really like Bare Burger NYC.

Bare Burger NYC started with I believe just one place downtown NYC close to the NYU area, and quickly expanded, maybe also because of their franchise system. Loved by students and locals who appreciate good, simple comfort food with a low price tag, this place becomes such a success fast that new Bare Burger NYC restaurants are opening all over town. There are over 15 restaurants also outside of NYC.

We go quite a lot as it is easy and very close to where we live. And the choices of salads and burgers give you plenty of different choices to choose from each time! Their menu includes big healthy salads, healthier versions of burgers with organic ingredients, organic fries, organic milkshakes & beer: Check their MENU.

I have been going here from the beginning. Their restaurant has a nice vibe and the terrace as well. Bare Burger NYC now has made 50% of the menu all vegan and even offer gluten-free options!

George & DavidBareburger La Guardia place Terrace ( usually the terrace is full of tables) with my best friends George & David

Lonneke eating Portabella mushroom burger

Love a burger? Bare Burger has a great system for you to choose your ideal burger! Pick your bun, patty, toppings, sauces and sides. Ever heard of an elk or bison burger? or a black bean burger? They got them here! And all organic of course.

Veggie quinoa burger

Love fries? I love the sweet potato fries! And they fry them in peanut oil (they say it is healthier) And they come with 4 Bare Burger original dips.. still deciding which one is my favorite....

Love a milkshake? They got a milkshake made for you from scratch! Fresh ice cream, organic fruits, a bit of organic cane sugar and shake it baby!

Oh, and if you really want to eat healthy: they have a few nice salads and you can add just a patty without the bun to it. Problem solved.

Mexican SaladThe Mexican Salad at Bare Burger

Bare Burger LogoEven the interior is from reclaimed materials, and the ambiance is relaxed, cosy and a great place to bring your friends, or go to with people who are difficult eaters. (hey, everyone likes fries and burgers right?)

Click the Button for all Bare Burger locations in NYC  and enjoy the food!

Love, Lonneke