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Interview with Lynn De Merlier about her new book “The Immunity Plan”

Hi Lynn, thanks for this interview! Would you like to briefly introduce yourself? 🙂

I’m Lynn De Merlier from “Goesting in Gezondheid.” I am an osteopath and orthomolecular nutritionist, with a practice in Lokeren. Since childhood I have been fascinated by the human body and in addition to my practice I was (and still am) constantly looking for new challenges. I launched my own granola brand “Lynn’s granola” and am the author of two books. In 2018, “Goesting in Health,” a book for peaceful bowels, was released. And last week my second book “The Immunity Plan” came out. Additionally, for several years I was the regular nutrition expert for NINA magazine, make vlogs for Libelle Lekker and regularly give lectures and presentations for companies. And who knows what the future will bring 😉

 

Within your approach, the main focus is the link between the gut flora and the general state of health. Why this focus on gut flora?

As an osteopath and orthomolecular therapist, I look at the human being as a whole. I look beyond the symptoms, and look for the cause. Often the cause of a resumption of symptoms lies in the intestines. An example : Stress makes our intestinal wall more permeable. If chronic stress is present, then the intestinal wall will let through more than is good for you. This is a breeding ground for allergies and an overactive immune system. Too one-sided (Western) diet is also not good for your intestinal wall. That’s why variety is so important. So an açaí bowl in the morning is a good alternative to favored breakfasts with bread.

 

You were one of the first to bring attention to this link. How were the reactions to that because surely you were a pioneer in that field?

Very good! From the grateful responses I received (and continue to receive) from readers of my book “Goesting in Health,” I could tell that I have made a lot of people wiser and really helped them with my tips and advice. It is also often a subject that people find somewhat embarrassing to talk about. I make all of that discussable. In my practice, there is no shyness to talk about flatulence, your bowel movements or rumblings in the belly. And believe me, there are a lot more people who suffer from gut problems than you think.

 

How would you define your approach and what makes it unique compared to the many other, so called professional, views and treatments?

I look at people as a whole and I look for the cause of their complaints. That’s where I make the biggest difference! I take my time for that. I really listen to people, map out their ailments and then work on finding the cause. I set up a treatment plan and we get to work. Such a treatment plan can range from osteopathic treatments, supplemented with nutritional recommendations, and/or lifestyle counseling. Because if I work on the bowels manually, but no attention is paid to nutrition, then it’s mopping up.

 

In your brand new book “The Immunity Plan” you go one step further and explain how important immunity is to overall health. To do this, you work on the basis of 5 pillars. Why these 5 and what is the vision behind this?

In my book, I make a strong link between health, immunity, and human evolution. Our way of life has changed dramatically over the past few centuries. We don’t travel around like we used to and only collect food from the supermarket. The pace of all the evolutions is so fast that our genes can no longer keep up with this new way of life. Our lifestyle no longer matches our bodies. And this is strongly reflected in five domains that also form the five sections of this book. To keep it as practical as possible, I developed the REMEET model. The letters of REMEET stand for the five domains you can address : Rhythm : about biorhythm and sleep, Exercise : about exercise, Mindset : about the balance between exercise and relaxation, Extra Energy : about detoxification and Taste : about nutrition.

 

“Taste” (nutrition) is one of the pillars. Since we are a food brand, we would like to hear what is central to this pillar.

That chapter is about variety, unprocessed foods, and making healthy choices that are good for your body and help your immune system work optimally. I don’t believe in black lists of foods you should never eat. Just as I don’t believe in crash diets and extreme nutrition advice. As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to foods to avoid, it’s about just about anything that falls under the heading of “processed foods. Processed foods full of additives such as flavorings, colorings and preservatives. The big problem with such nutrition is that it is all made very palatable. But this way we get much less nutrients like fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. If your diet consists mainly of unprocessed food, contains enough fiber, not too many quick sugars and is very varied, then you are doing well anyway 😉 Choose organic and fresh products as much as possible. Also, learn about new foods regularly. The Açai is another great example of this!

Açai, like many other pure and unprocessed natural products, is an ingredient you’ll love to put on your menu. What appeals to you so much in the nutritional profile of this berry species?

Besides being delicious and versatile, they contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. So it’s the perfect combination of delicious and healthy. Almost too good to be true. They also contain a high amount of omega 3, which is an essential fatty acid and very important for the functioning of our immune system.

 

How do you prefer to eat your Açai and do you have a tip for an easy and quick way to get your dose of Açai power in? 

I eat an açai bowl for breakfast at least 3x a week. That’s very easy to make. Coconut yogurt, açai, banana and topped off with my own Totally Nuts granola. The “No mixer” smoothie bowl drops I’m definitely going to try too. That will also be a hit in our family! I also love experimenting. From brownies with açai to açai ice creams,…you name it. It is a very versatile product.

 

SUPER BERRY COMP-View 3

“No mixer” smoothie bowl gamma – Out now!

It is with great pride that we introduce the two new jewels in the Holy Berry range:

Our “No mixer” smoothie bowls

 

And if they are jewels! We are happy to explain the idea behind this new range in this short but powerful blog.

Start at the beginning

What is a smoothie bowl? A preparation based on (frozen) fruit mixed with some liquid or (plantbased) yoghurt that is usually finished off with toppings such as granola, seeds, nut paste, coconut flakes, fresh fruit, … A smoothie bowl is an ideal breakfast to kick-start your day but can be eaten throughout the day, even up to dessert. When you use frozen fruit pieces for your smoothie bowl, it has a slightly frozen texture, which reminds you of a delicious ice cream. And who wouldn’t want that for breakfast!

It literally takes 3 minutes to prepare and you really don’t need a super deluxe blender. A large pot and a powerful hand blender will do the trick! And that is precisely why smoothie bowls are so popular with children and their parents. It is an enormously nutritious breakfast that can be prepared in minutes and for the whole family. Pour everything together, mix it up, put toppings on the table and finish off! Delicious, easy and ooooh-so healthy. Sometimes, you CAN have the cake and eat it too 🙂

 

 

 

Açai bowl als the queen of the smoothie bowls

Açai, you know, that super healthy blueberry full of nutrients with a unique taste. Well, we think these berries are essential in the perfect smoothie bowl. Why is that? Well, because Açai is so rich in antioxidants and omega fatty acids but while also low in natural sugars, this berry variety provides long-lasting satiety. Try it yourself and you will see, no hungerpains in the next few hours. So it should come as no surprise that we have incorporated our Açai berries into this new range. As there can only be one Holy Berry, Amen!

 

 

Fancy a smoothie bowl but…

Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you want it to and there are obstacles that prevent you from preparing your smoothie bowl.

Here are some possible scenarios:

OR You are in the mood for a delicious and healthy smoothie bowl but you are “mixer-less” (yes, that’s a thing)

OR You’re in a super rush and the very idea of having to take out the blender to prepare your smoothie bowl causes you extra stress (don’t need that).

OR You don’t want to make any noise at all because the kids and/or your partner are still sleeping and the sound of the hand blender is not really a cosy alarm clock (as if cosy alarm clocks existed…NOT)

 

Here’s our solution:

Our 2 “no mixer” smoothie bowls!With these 2 (if we may say so ourselves) delicious products, you can prepare your smoothie bowl in no time. Did we say “make”? There is no making to it! The bags contain balls (also called “drops” after their respective drop shapes) that contain all the ingredients of a super deluxe smoothie bowl. From our very own Açai (dahhh!) to other topfruits like pink pitaya, blueberries, passion fruit, sweet cherry, …and even some plantbased yoghurt for that extra creamy texture. No preservatives, refined sugars or animal products (vegan, in other words) and with our premium and sustainable Açai berries incorporated.

 

 

The manual

There has never been such a short manual. In one sentence, all the guidance you need:Pour the desired amount of drops into a bowl, let them thaw, stir and finish with toppings!
Defrosting can be done the night before, but it is also possible to defrost it briefly in the microwave. The thawed drops then get a nice yoghurt thickness, ideal to carry that mountain of toppings (choosing is losing).
As promised: No other ingredients or mixer required. Well, we couldn’t help it if you choose a name like that… 😉

 

 

Do you like your smoothie bowl like an ice cream?

We get you! And of course this can be done too. Just mix the frozen drops with some water, (plantbased) milk or yoghurt et voila! Jouw extra frisse smoothie bowl is klaar! We may not call it a “no mixer” smoothie bowl, but who cares! As long as it is enjoyed in all its fragrance and colours! And speaking of colours, these 2 smoothie bowls each have a beautiful colour, which steals the slogan “Colours your day” right from VTM!

 

 

 

 

Go get them and enjoy, our friends! We hope you will like them!

From September 2021 we will start to make the Spar shops customers one by one (feel free to ask for that extra push) and from November in all OKAY shops!

Bye’kes & Love,

Het Holy Berry team

Elke Van Den Borre

Interview with travelblogster Elke Van Den Borre

We are back with a fun interview for you! This time we talked with the cheerful Açai-lover Elke Van Den Borre. Elke became a model at a young age and grew into a travelblogster. Today, she is the proud owner of her own travel agency called Soul & Charm. In this interview you will learn more about how Elke got into the travelblog world, what impact Corona has had on her life and she also gives away a few travel tips.

 

Hi Elke, first of all, thank you for making time for this interview! As usual, we ask you to give a short summary of who you are and what you do professionally.

I am Elke Van Den Borre, 34 years old. I studied beauty care in high school and after that I immediately started modeling. I was a self-employed full-time model until one and a half year ago. Because of my big passion for traveling, I started my own travel agency Soul & Charm in 2020. I do this full-time now, and I still do some modeling occasionally.

How did you end up in the travel blog world?

I kind of fell into it. Back in the day, what I posted on Instagram was actually a mix of my modeling and traveling, and then I noticed that my travel photos had much more success than my other photos. People often search for something inspiring, something different than what they have already seen. Modeling was nothing new. A photo in profile doesn’t move people, or at least not one of mine. [laughs]

Were you already an avid traveler?

Yes, I have always been that way since childhood. We always traveled within Europe and I dreamed of traveling far and getting to know new cultures. I think it’s fantastic to immerse myself in the culture, so that I feel like I’ve really been there. I also must have seen the whole country. That is why I always sleep in different places and that way you discover new places too.

You already mentioned that your work mainly consists of modeling on the one hand and travel blogging on the other. Do you also have another activity?

A couple of months before Corona I founded Soul & Charm. I started that because in the past I never found what I was truly looking for in a travel agency. They often offered me large, all-in hotels and on top of that they were expensive too. My search for something affordable combined with something charming, something with a soul in it, often led to nothing.

And then you founded Soul & Charm. What does Soul & Charm stand for and who is it intended for?

Soul & Charm stands for travel with charm. Just think of boutique hotels, glamping, ecolodges… Everything with a lot of charm, but not unaffordable. The focus mainly lies on the ‘better’ middle class. Most of my clients are couples who want something romantic. In addition, I also occasionally have families who are looking for something different, something unique to do with their children. It’s really a full-time job, and I still do some modeling too. So you may say I’m very busy right now!

To what extent has your world, and have your activities changed in the past Corona year?

I started Soul & Charm a few months before Corona and it went very well right away. But then Corona hit and everything came to a stop of course. I had no more requests for several months, after which I decided to go and travel myself. I then went to Jordan and immediately afterwards I received many requests from people who wanted to travel as well. Since then I have been super busy. However, I do notice that Belgians are more likely to opt for European destinations, while before Corona striked I booked many exotic destinations for my customers.

How do you see the travel future?

The fear of Corona is still there, which makes people having an aversion to a mass of people in large all-in hotels. That’s why I think small boutique hotels will (keep) ‘booming’. Overall I think the travel sector will continue to grow. I notice that people are increasingly looking for luxury and unique travel experiences than really material things, and that is something the travel sector can provide an answer to! You might say I think the travel future is looking bright.

Do you have some tips for our fans who want to get into travel blogging?

I think it’s very important to maintain your own style. Of course you can always find inspiration from others, but give it a personal twist so that people recognize you immediately. Moreover, it is crucial to choose one niche. I personally like less ‘me’ and more background, more ‘views’. That works great for me. I think other people have to try out what works best for them.

Since you often travel yourself and have now also set up your own travel agency, would you like to share some travel tips with us?

With pleasure! I am a huge Asia fan myself. Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia… you name it! Besides that I also love the Middle East. Just think of Oman, Jordan… Moreover, it is really not expensive. In Jordan for example you have a lot of variety, such as the Dead Sea, a town called Petra… And during Corona it’s very quiet there. Petra really is a must see! It’s not a coincidence that the town is one of the seven wonders of the world.

Did you come across Açai on one of your trips and if so, how did they prepare it?

Of course! I have already come across Açai, especially in exotic destinations. Açai is often processed into a delicious smoothie bowl, with a lot of fruit and granola as toppings. Really delicious!

Finally, Elke, what is your favorite Açai dish?

I love to eat a classic Açai bowl with exotic fruits as a topping. Just think of mango, passion fruit, pineapple… I really like the sweetness. Then I sprinkle some granola on top and voilà, ready!

 

A huge thank you, Elke, for this interesting interview. We wish you goodluck with your travel agency Soul & Charm, your modeling work and all other future plans!