Even though 2013 is still super fresh, I can already tell I am doing things a little different this year. Like celebrating Christmas on the beach with a bonfire, how very untraditional of me…
Some things will never change though, like me writing my yearly recap a few days late (like I did last year ).
Here are the highlights of my 2012, a very memorable year for sure… (all the pink links are clickable!)
I started off the new year with a bang; the release of my very first (and to date most popular!) eBook; Raw Chocolate Made Easy ! This book was, and still is, a major contribution to putting myself on the raw food map, so to say. It’s partly because of this book I have been asked to do workshops, demo’s and little catering gigs in super cool places. Yes, raw chocolate really does have super powers . A little heads up; RCME will get a baby brother or sister this year!!
Another pivotal moment was when I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach. IIN has brought me more than I can put into words. I made new friends for life. I gained the confidence (and credentials!) to make health coaching my full time job. I went to L.A and met my raw food hero David Wolfe for the first time.
Although the book release was an awesome accomplishment, January mainly sucked balls for me. Though at the time I didn’t speak openly about it on the blog, I got my heart broken for the first time in my life and spend most of January crying and sobbing (including my birthday), to the point where I was seriously thinking I was depressed (turns out it’s called a broken heart ).
This month I was, seriously, plotting moving to California. I wanted a new start. I felt Holland was too small, and like there was no-one out there ‘like me’ (read: a hemp seed loving raw vegan hippie freak). I was saving up and trying to figure out when would be best to move…
I did meet a new soul mate this month whom I still hold very dearly. He lit up my dark January month at least a little bitFebruary February. My nemesis. My least favorite month. Cold, rainy and with NOTHING remotely excited going on. Oh and did I mentioned February 2012 was quite possibly THE coldest dutch February known to mankind?! I seriously thought I wouldn’t survive. One faithful morning I spotted a temperature of -18C (-4 F) on my phone display. Awesome I thought to myself, hell has frozen over. I felt increasingly uncomfortable and lonely living in Amsterdam and hit the point where I knew I either had to get the heck out of dodge, or manifest change. And so I did! I hosted my very first potluck! Although it might seem & sound like something small and insignificant, potlucks really changed my life for the better. I met and connected raw foodies – and other beautiful consciousness warriors – from all over Holland. I no longer felt alone on my life path. In fact I made so many new friends this whole year, mostly due to potlucks, that it’s safe to say we have our own community, our tribe, in Amsterdam. A family that always feels close to me, wherever in the world I am. I love each and every one of them and I love bringing us all together in a big, messy, food porn party! February also marked two other very special events; my first Chocolate Club party in Club Lite (aka my second home) and, meeting there that same night, a special person who’s become one of my dearest friends over the year. Yup, discovering Club Lite/Conscious Clubbing is another one of those things that changed my life for the better! I have introduced many a friend to Club Lite and got them hooked so that’s another place where our tribe meets at least once a week . This month I also wrote one of my most popular and powerful articles to date, and got featured on Evolyfe.com; How I Unlocked My Highest Potential Through Raw Foods. Another very noteworthy article this month was On Eating Disorders and Overcoming One . I just reread it and love it, and hope it will reach more and more people who need it! March My March started out rather blissfully with a trip to California for a health seminar from IIN! It was awesome meeting up with so many like-minded souls from literally all over the world and have a weekend jam-packed with interesting lectures (and lavish dinners at Cafe Gratitude!). And to see David Wolfe shine his light on thousands of people! But the best thing about March? My bestie moving in with me! We’ve had such a blast living together <3 Us: I wrote a lot of workout posts this month! HIIT it hard & An ode to the Pushup. April April was such an eventful month, where to start?? In April I released my second eBook after months of hard labor; Raw Food Made Easy ! I am still so happy with, and proud of, this book! It’s really my baby. I reached my goal of selling 50 copies on the day it launched! In april I also hosted my very first raw food workshop (also called Raw Food Made Easy) which was not only a ton of fun, but also a big hit! And I felt from the start that this is something I wanted to be doing more of! Not long after these two milestones, I hopped on a plane to beautiful, magic, sacred BALI. This trip marked the start of a huge love-affair with traveling. By myself. Meeting new people and exploring the bounty of beauty this world has to offer! In Bali I embarked on a beautiful and transformative journey; a 3 week juice fast! I teamed up with Saar for this adventure and when all was said and done, we published our whole experience in a free eBook (that you can still get your hands on by subscribing to my newsletter! ) that became quite popular! May The day after I got off the plane and set foot on Dutch grounds again I naively picked up my very first hoop, not knowing it would turn into a very time-consuming hobby obsession passion. Hooping is now my second biggest passion, after raw foods & holistic health! Hooping lights my every day and gives it color and playfulness. It’s a great ‘moving meditation’ &
helps stagnant energy flow freely again <3 Pretty soon after my return home I gave my second Raw Food Made Easy workshop , this time outside because of the blasting heat. Another fully booked workshop, one of many over the summer! I also wrote a quite elaborate raw foodie travel guide to Bali which spurred quite a few people to book a trip to Bali, awesome! See here and here . Can’t wait to be back myself… June
In June I hosted 2 potlucks – to make up for lost time – and the potlucks were now really growing, forming and shaping. A big ‘core’ group that showed up every time, and lots of newbies every time too.
This month, only a month after ‘Raw Food Made Easy’, I proudly launched my third eBook; ‘ Detoxing Made Easy‘ ! Fasting and detoxification are huge interests of mine and one of the main pillars of my coaching and I am so happy to have a handy, resourceful guide on it readily available for all my readers. I spend a lot of my time in Bali writing this book, while juice fasting. It was amazing!
In June I also danced my butt off in the first ever DUTCH DANCE WALK. I love dancing. I love acting silly. I love gently provoking and inspiring by being an example. That’s all what dance-walking is about for me. Showing those around you that you can have fun anywhere, anytime, and you don’t need to feel ashamed for doing so. Between collective dance walks I would often solo dance walk or even dance cycle .
In July I created one of my favorite recipes to date and it still gets shared all over the blog-o-sphere: Mango Coconut Dressing!
In July the creative mastermind behind Chocolate Club in Club Lite asked me to start doing Raw Chocolate workshops which I of course happily did. Still grateful for this amazing and FUN opportunity. I really love combinging work and play, since it’s the same for me anyway! However most of July was spend looking forward to…. BOOM FESTIVAL! Most epic week of my life, bar none. I spend a week in la-la-land in beautiful Portugal surrounded by my best friends (oh, and made a bunch of new ones). This month I connected, quite randomly (or was it?) with a guy through Facebook. We ended up meeting each other soon after in the park, and then again at BOOM festival. He is now one of my dearest friends <3 August Between recovering from BOOM festival, writing for my next eBook, coaching 16 (!) clients and a quick trip to Ibiza, I had no time to write for the blog. Yes people, this is also Ibiza! It’s not all drunken sluts and sleazy night clubs. Ibiza has some of THE most beautiful nature I have ever seen and a cool hippie community! When my plane from Ibiza to Amsterdam landed, I literally raced back home, showered and got dressed and surprised my ‘family’ by showing up at Chocolate Club (“wait… weren’t you in Ibiza or something?” lol). That same weekend I jumped in to the best thing that has ever happened to Holland; Magneet Festival (see video above)! I can’t describe how much fun I have had working, hooping and partying (sometimes all at the same time?) at this event. Magneet festival is every friday-saturday-sunday for 4 weeks at the end of the summer. I did Raw Food 101 workshops (a short version of my Raw Food Made Easy workshops, created especially for festivals and events) and Raw Chocolate demo’s. I went around the festival handing out raw chocolate goodness with my mom, and I did my first radio interview! Woutiiii! September In September I got back on the writing horse and wrote a number of articles. This was also the month I learned more about my skin, hormones, and natural skin care, improved my skin dramatically and ditched the make-up for good. I challenged y’all to do the same in Guts, No Glam; The No Make-Up Challenge which some of you happily accepted! (A reader wrote on facebook; it’s so lovely to be able to go to bed at night without having to take off anything. I think I will stick with this a little while longer!). I wrote the post ‘ My Top 5 Natural Beauty Products ‘ which is all ‘products’ that helped me make my skin more beautiful. Another topic that I care about deeply is organic food. You can read in the article ‘ Why I Eat Organic (and You Should Too) ‘ why I recommend eating only organic food. I wrote a funny article called ‘ 10 Things We SHOULD Have Learned In School‘ more as a joke but got tons of positive feedback. Happy to notice more people are wakening up to the shortcoming and potential danger of our contemporary educational systems =) This month, another one of my best friends moved in and I felt a deep sense of joy and gratitude, living together with my two of my best friends. It was a very special time! Us: In September I also finally discovered the epitome of raw food heaven; Durian , and fell madly in love.. This month we had some truly epic potlucks. 40-50 people showing up, in the park, bringing delicious foods, hoops, slacklines, poi, juggles, kids, dogs, fireworks and fire poi, sound systems, the whole shabang baby! Last but not least this month I created one of my favorite recipes to date; Raw Vegan Caramel Sauce (warning; it’s addictively good!). October
This month was spend mostly in a frenzy of packing and planning and my stress levels were an all-time high. I was preparing for my longest trip so far while all the while knowing the lease on my apartment would probably end during my time away, so I was packing my whole life in boxes at the same time. Much less fun than it sounds, I tell you.
In October I sold raw goodies at the first edition of Shine in Club Lite with madly popular Chocolate Mint Superfood smoothies (and shared the recipe on Facebook )!
I celebrated two years being meat-free , what a great thing to celebrate!
I shared this yummy Raw Sate Sauce recipe with you all, have you tried it yet? It’s definitely become a staple in my kitchen .
Just in time for the new season I wrote my top tips for staying healthy and flu-free this fall and winter in ‘ My Top Tips for Boosting Your Immune System ‘.
This month I also did a lot of, yet again, book writing! Phew, looking back at this year I was pretty much constantly in the process of writing a book (and I don’t see that changing anytime soon…).
In the first week of November I hosted the biggest potluck so far! Almost 50 people came to hug me goodbye because I was off to…. COSTA RICA !
After many long hours on a plane (good thing I follow my own travel tips!) I arrived in San Jose and made my way to La Joya Del Sol , or viva la raw, an all raw vegan farm nestled in the mountains of San Isidro. I spend about a month here, learning about gardening and farm life, and finishing my fourth eBook: ‘ Raw Beauty – Ditch the Make Up and Reveal Your Natural Glow ‘.
I enjoyed eating a high carb/low fat and saltless/superfoodless diet for a few weeks and the pristine air and fresh spring water, and of course the stunning waterfalls. All blissed out! You can read about my experience of Viva la Raw here .
Say hello to my little friend!
I spend all of December in Pachamama which has been a complete whirlwind of emotions, ranging from ecstatic and blissful to sadness and grief. Pachamama ain’t no vacation – it’s spiritual bootcamp! I did a ‘primal feelings – freedom from the past’ workshop which had me in pain all over my body and feeling unable to move for a day from all the emotional shit that was coming up and needed to be released. I did the silent retreat at the end of the month. In between I worked at the raw cacao bar and got some work of my own done but was mainly exhausted from all the self work I was doing. Worth it? Definitely.During this time I also took my last IIN exam and…. !!! After all this hard work I am treating myself to a few weeks on the beach for some R&R before heading on to my next adventure here; a two week ayahuasca gathering including a spirit quest! My new office <3 (and yes that’s totally raw vegan nutella. By the jar, that’s how I roll)
Oh my word…. it took me 4 days to compile this post and with every hour I put into it I became increasingly more amazed, humbled and grateful over how amazing my last year has been! What a crazy ride. Thank you for being a part of it!
I LOVE MY LIFE