Schermafbeelding 2021-05-20 om 11.23.19

Interview with Emma Gelaude

Interview with Emma Gelaude

Hello Emma, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Most people know you from your work in fashion, but today we want to talk to you about your latest book, in which you talk about mental health and the importance of breaking the taboos surrounding it.

But first, for people who don’t know you yet, what should they know about you?

My name is Emma, I am from Ghent and I have spent most of my life in the fashion world. After being a professional model for several years, I wanted to start my own business. So in 2007 I started a personal shopping & styling agency, B2C and B2B, in which I went through style coachings and shoppings with both men and women in Ghent, Antwerp… But I also gave branding workshops to companies and organised styling events at big fairs and festivals. Simultaneously with EMMA Personal Shopping, I launched “My Fashion Blog” as a promo for my services. This ‘first fashion blog of Belgium’ quickly led a life of its own, resulting in numerous fun collaborations with top brands. As a creative entrepreneur, I worked for years on features for Marie Claire, for example, where I highlighted activists, or for L’Officiël, where I created trend mood boards.

In 2017, after working in this business for 10 years and becoming a mum, I felt it was time for a first revelation. I had been showing a lot of the pretty side of entrepreneurship through my blog and social channels, like campaign results and photo shoots, but I also wanted to talk about the other, less glamorous side. The book “Make my dream work” resulted from this. At the same time, I started an entrepreneurial platform. My dream was to create a place where entrepreneurs could come together with their challenges, questions and problems.

But then life happened 🙂 and I wrote my third book “Everything good, less for the rest”, about the personal and professional evolutions in my life. The need to break down the taboos surrounding mental wellbeing has been an important driver in this process.

 

Starting at the beginning, where did your fascination with the fashion world come from?

My feeling for fashion has become stronger during my years as a model but fashion has always intrigued me. Not necessarily because of the outward appearance, but mainly because it is an expression of one’s personality. I was also fascinated by the impact fashion could have on a person’s self-image and psyche and the people around them.

Because how you dress has an influence, whether you like it or not. You tell a story. The fact that you are not dependent but can choose what kind of impression you leave behind is something that many people are not aware of and I wanted to contribute to that.

Fashion, and the fashion world around it, are known for keeping up appearances and pure external show. In your book, you say that you too have kept up appearances for a long time, even in your private life. Was this a direct result of your career in fashion?

It’s not that the fashion world is the cause of my inability to express my emotions, but it certainly contributed to it. It is a world where the weather is clean every day and there is no depth to it. It normalised my escape behaviour and made it very easy for me to hide certain feelings, to pay no attention to what was hurting and why I felt bad. It was like a perfect world where it was completely OK to stay on the surface and focus on other things.

 

In your book, you take us through the different stages of your life, focusing on your mental health at that time. You do it based on questions. How did you come up with this idea and what was the motivation for writing this book?

I have been asked to write a book about it. That question came after I started being more honest and open on social media about my fears and insecurities. It was the beginning of Corona and I felt I had to become more honest myself. But there would never have been a book if they hadn’t pulled me out of my comfort zone. No way that I was going to share the process that I just went through.

But after much hesitation, I decided to try to write it down, because I sincerely believe that many people can benefit from it. But after much hesitation, I decided to try to write it down, because I sincerely believe that many people can benefit from it. It was the final phase of a powerful chapter in my life.

 

The idea of working with questions came naturally because for me everything starts with a question. “Why do I feel this way?” … all questions that everyone needs to find answers for themselves. I wanted to make it a kind of workbook with lots of insights and seeds of knowledge that lead to even more insights of my own. Because my answers are not your answers. Only you know what decision is right for you. Only you know what makes you happy etc..
By working with questions, I wanted to invite the reader to enter into that quest. I tell about my answers and list the ways, the treatments, the techniques, the books, the people, … how I came to these conclusions but. There is not one answer and answers also change throughout your life. That’s why I find questioning so interesting. It teaches you to be eternally open-minded.

 

You end your book with a sense of gratitude for all the phases of your life, even the most difficult. Do you consider gratitude to be a crucial element for a happy and conscious life?

That’s what I felt so strongly myself, that gratitude.

I had no choice but to end with it. Gratitude for my body, for my environment, for all my experiences. Even the difficult ones. It’s a feeling that was and still is very strong, after all I’ve been through and all the phases I’ve gone through. By feeling that gratitude, it is as if everything is also turned around, from feelings of powerlessness and a victim role in which you blame others (and therefore also the redemption) to a feeling of your own power and empowerment. Everything has also been given a reason.

 

What is the role of nutrition in this process? How do you relate to your mental well-being?

Mental well-being, or the lack of it, is a complex problem that also requires a complex solution. Nutrition is part of that solution because body and mind are so inextricably linked. After all, you can’t have mental well-being without also being physically healthy. I used to link food too much to emotions and also to outward appearances, such as fitting into a certain size, but in retrospect that focus was completely wrong. I was very busy with nutrition, but I didn’t understand it and I was doing the wrong things. When I saw that my daughter was starting to do the same things, I knew I had to do something. I started taking cooking workshops to learn how to approach food in a very accessible way.

I gradually began to see that nutrition is actually a very intuitive thing and that balance is important in this area. I left behind feelings like control, judgments or connotations. Similarly, I avoid talking to my daughter about nutrition as “good” or “bad” nutrition and imposing rules on her. Instead, I try to teach her to understand her body and the nutrition it gives her.

It is perfectly acceptable to eat a little more sugar, as long as you make up for it with extra nutrients the next day. It is also best not to eat desserts until you have had your fill of healthy vegetables.

What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in a few years?

To be honest, I have now decided to let things come to me. For a long time, I have been chasing things and taking initiatives myself, and now I want to see what and who crosses my path. And then my gut feeling will tell me whether it is a right match 🙂
Anyway, I know that helping people see themselves in all their incredible strength and beauty is my thing in life. I used to do that through garments, reminding them of who they were. Now it is by making myself very vulnerable and showing how crucial speaking your own truth is and what beauty that brings you.

 

To conclude, I still have a question that intrigues me a lot. Que voudriez-vous dire à votre jeune personne ?

The only person you have to prove anything to is yourself.

Short & sweet! Thank you Emma, it was very interesting and I was delighted to get to know you better.

Anyone can buy your book online or in their local bookshop.

sarah-de-bie

Interview with Sarah De Bie

Hello Sarah, first of all thank you very much for taking the time to see us.

Not easy to plan this with a newborn son.
How are you and Georges?

All right now, thank you! I have not been able to do any sport for a year, mainly because my blood levels were so low after the pregnancy (Sarah had to have 6 blood transfusions in total but is now fully recovered). I recently started running again and that makes me really happy! During pregnancy, that was one of the things I was most looking forward to getting back to. I am also lucky that Georges started sleeping through very quickly so my nights are good too. We are really lucky! He is a happy baby and after 5 weeks he could already roll from stomach to back. He is such a mature baby and it is great fun to follow all the developments so closely.

It is often the case, especially with the first child, that the parents’ lives change completely. For example, you often accompanied Wout. This is no longer possible. What do you miss most about that period?

It is actually mainly because of Corona that I cannot go along with Wout, more than because of Georges. Because when Georges was just two months old, I travelled with Wout to Italy and that actually went very well. I am lucky that my Ltd. (Sarah does the marketing and publicity for Wout) allowed me to come along and I was really happy about that. Especially for Wout, so that he doesn’t have to miss out on everything from Georges’ first months of life.

When you have a child, personal projects are often put on hold. What were you doing before you became a mother?

Just before I became pregnant, I had enrolled in a graphic design course. Because the course was based on self-study, I could follow it from a distance when I came along with Wout. First because of the pregnancy and then because of Georges, I have not yet been able to start the course, but as soon as I can, I will start it! I really want to do this course because I often have ideas for our clothing line (Sarah and Wout have started a clothing line called “Panache” for the supporters of Wout), but because I can’t design myself, I always have to outsource them. I would really like to design something myself and be creative.

Can you tell us more about that clothing line?

It is not a clothing line for athletes, but for supporters (laughs). We wanted to do more with this line than the typical supporter clothes, which are often not that nice (laughs), so we really put the effort into developing a nice logo and working with nice colours so that the clothes are also really nice. We wanted to give it a different dimension and play into certain courses which are then ‘limited edition’ etc. I used to do everything myself from labelling and packing, but because the line has grown so fast, we have had to outsource this. So it started as an extra, but has grown into much more than that.

Besides Georges and Wout, sport is also a great love of yours, combined with healthy eating. What is your favourite sport and cuisine?

My favourite sport is basketball. I played basketball for a long time, but I stopped because the combination with Wout’s schedule became too difficult. I do miss it sometimes, especially because it is a team sport, but fortunately I enjoy many other sports. I currently do Pilates and also cycle regularly, sometimes together with Wout. He cycles with a bike that has a certain resistance so that we have a bit of the same pace. Otherwise, this would be impossible for me to do (laughs). Our favourite cuisine is Italian. Especially the purity of Italian cuisine appeals to us enormously.

When Wout is at home, do you cook for him?

Yes, most of the time. The focus then is on healthy cuisine, which is of course to be expected for a top athlete. I never follow a recipe and always start experimenting, fortunately usually with a good result because I have never heard Wout complain (laughs).

We are delighted that our Açai berries regularly appear on your menu. For us, that really is a dream come true because, as a healthy food brand, we love nothing more than to have professional athletes put our berries on their menu. After all, they know their bodies like no other and can feel the effect of nutrition on their performance. How do you like to eat Açai?

We prefer to eat Açai as pure as possible. I usually use the Açai berries that I mix with fresh banana, a little milk and that’s it. For me, I sometimes add a scoop of protein powder to the mix, but this is not necessary for Wout because he builds muscle too quickly and needs to limit his protein intake. Wout prefers to eat an Açai bowl during the day because he likes to eat warm in the morning. What we will certainly try again is to add the Açai berries to warm oatmeal in order to make the perfect breakfast for Wout.

On the other hand, I find the Açai bowl mixes (150g bags of Açai with other fruit) very convenient when I am alone with Georges and have little time to prepare something or get food in the house. I just have to mix a sachet like that with some milk or yoghurt and it’s ready. Super convenient! I also ate a lot of Açai during my pregnancy and I have a famously good son, so I recommend it to my pregnant friends (laughs).

Dear Sarah, thank you very much for this very nice interview. I wish you much success with your projects, your beautiful son and of course also for Wout. May he win many more races. Hopefully our super berries can give him an extra push now and then 🙂

Are you also a big fan of Wout and do you want to show it off? Go to the webshop of Panache https://panachebywva.be and fill your basket with lots of cool but especially beautiful clothing for men, women and kids!

acai-but-different

Creative with Açai

There are few things more blissful to start the day with than a delicious Açai bowl! This fresh blend of frozen Açai pulp with other fruits is a more nutritious alternative to the familiar “yogurt with fruit” breakfast. An Açai bowl makes everyone (yes, even the little ones!) jump out of bed with joy. But an Açai bowl can also be eaten perfectly as a light lunch, hunger-quenching snack or healthy dessert! As you can tell, any time of day is a good time to get your dose of Açai power! But did you know that Açai berries can be used perfectly in a lot of other sweet and salty dishes? Well, for the ignorant this blog. Read and be (surprised) by some wonderful Açai creations !

Good taste is the enemy of creativity

If Pablo Picasso is to be believed, we shouldn’t even start. Because, as healthy as Açai may be, “healthy suffering” is really not for us. We go for delicious and healthy (and preferably also sustainable). Being creative for the sake of being creative is not what this blog is about, it is about demonstrating that Açai, like any other berry for that matter, can be used in a lot of great dishes. You might think that because the berries are only available frozen, the preparation options are more limited but that is anything but true! We, but especially the creative people behind the dishes in this blog, have not been discouraged and with these sublime recipes, we give Picasso a lashing! Let’s create, people!

Top Açai combo’s

When you look at the composition and nutritional profile of Açai, you quickly notice that this is no ordinary berry. It starts with the enormous kernel that is hidden in this berry, more than 90% of the volume of Açai consists of the kernel! So you can already think of how many thousands of berries are in a 100g bag of Açai pulp and how it is that our Açai pulp is so enormously nutritious. Take this together with the fact that Açai contains no fruit sugars and is very rich in omega fatty acids, and the link with olives, cocoa, avocado, and other healthy toppers is quickly made. The special taste of Açai matches very well with many obvious but also less obvious ingredients.

In this blog, we are mainly concerned with that second category and want to inspire you with some fun combinations. For example, did you know that Açai berries go tremendously well with all kinds of nut butters? Also speculoos spices (or speculoos paste), cinnamon, and even ginger click “tastebud wise” tremendously well with Açai! And for those who really want to go all out, try pairing an Açai dish with a good glass of red wine. You’re going to be amazed by how deliciously these two sources of pleasure go together. This is mainly due to the polyphenols that both Açai and wine are enormously rich in.

Naturals in their professions

Under the motto “cobbler stick to your last” we will stick to some nice tips and leave the real work to some naturals in their professions. Creative minds who don’t shy away from creating unorthodox flavor combinations and elevating them to heavenly dishes. We would like to briefly introduce these naturals. You can find their recipes on our recipe page.

Açai Iced Tea

“Sunshine in a glass”; that’s how we describe this wonderfully refreshing yet über healthy drink. The ever-enthusiastic natural, Olivia of Fitfoodness, creatively combines the flavor of green tea with that of our Açai berries. Boil water and add the honey and teabag. By the way, did you know that both ingredients are particularly high in antioxidants and honey is a great source of anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Find the recipe here.

Açaicrumble

Apple crumble, pear crumble, rhubarb crumble (and a scoop of ice cream, please :)) … but how about Açai crumble! Sounds like heaven to us! The ravishing chef, Morgane of Humbly by Morgane, thought the same way and developed this healthy dessert without refined sugars but full of flavor!

You can discover this sublime recipe here!

Stuffed sweet potato with velvety Açai dressing and fresh herbs

Here is another proof that our Açai berries can be perfectly incorporated into savory dishes. The combination of sweet potato, Açai, and spices is one that makes us coo with delight. Josefien of Yosogreen, who specializes in raw food and herbalism, shows with this creative dish that she is a real natural. What a fantastic dish!

Find all the ingredients here and get started!

Açai bowl cubes

An Açai bowl in a bite-sized chunk or rather bite-sized cube. How cool is that! It couldn’t be helped that this creative dish came from the pretty little head of natural, Barbara of Les Petites Pestes. You don’t need more than the ingredients for a classic Açai bowl and a square silicone mold (which you normally use to make ice cubes) to make this original recipe. But it is precisely in that simplicity that creativity lies! And if you stick a wooden stick through it, it becomes an Açai popsicle!

The bite-sized recipe is here

Summer Açai Terrine

The name of this dish says it all! This beautiful terrine is so pretty and light you can almost see summer in it! Annelies of Nectar Studio is as talented at recipe creation as she is at food photography. So a true expert in her field! A terrine can basically be served as a light lunch, snack, or dessert (see the similarity with an Açai bowl) but the fact that Açai is processed in it makes this version a real superfood and feel-good dish!

Taste the summer and find the recipe quickly!

Açai Chia Jam

The natural behind this recipe is the talented jack-of-all-trades Anna Santens. For her, Açai equals good energy! With this delicious Açai Chia Jam she demonstrates like no other that Açai can also be used perfectly as a spread. So, do you have an energy dip during the day? No worries, Açai power is on its way!

Find the delicious recipe here.

 

Huge thanks to the naturals in their professions for these great recipes! We hope these delicious dishes inspire and encourage you to get creative yourself with our special berries. We would love it if you would share your recipes with us via social media or via email to margaux@theholyberry.com! And who knows, maybe they will get a spot on our recipe page (with mention of the creator of course :)).

wie-sport-eet-acai

Those who do sports, eat Açai :)

Vous avez un mode de vie sportif et vous aimez beaucoup l’Açaï(ou vous en êtes accro) ? Alors ce blog est pour vous ! Nous partageons avec vous nos plats d’entraînement Açai préférés qui, grâce à leur composition en protéines, glucides et acides gras, offrent parfaitement au corps ce dont il a besoin avant ou après un bon entraînement. Because even though few Açai dishes can match a good Açai bowl, it’s always nice to alternate sometimes. Sometimes, usually not… #Açaibowladdictspeaking

Those who do sports, eat Açai 🙂

By now, most of you have already discovered how Açai helps during sports. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, try an Açai bowl before your workout. You will be amazed at the energy boost you get from these unique berries. And also after a physical effort, Açai provides your body with the necessary additives for a good recovery. This is due to the high concentration of nutrients, including proteins, 19 amino acids, antioxidants and essential omega fatty acids, all of which are hidden in this berry.

Here are our 7 favorite Açai sports recipes that will make you shine even harder during your workouts!

1) Chocolate Açai Bowl

A healthy sports recipe with chocolate…. Hard to believe! But yes, it’s absolutely possible and this recipe proves it. The reason has to do with the special nutritional profile of cocoa. Did you know that cocoa contains even more antioxidants than Açai and that it is precisely these antioxidants that are so important when you exercise? When you exercise, free radicals are released, which are substances that damage our cells. If they are not produced in excessive quantities, there is no need to worry (so keep exercising!) But it is important to “defuse” these free radicals as much as possible through a diet rich in antioxidants. Two of the greatest natural sources of antioxidants are Açai and cocoa. The perfect excuse to justify this chocolate (and Açai) addiction 🙂

You can find the recipe here.

2) Açai Overnight Oats

Rien n’est plus agréable que d’avoir un repas sain prêt à l’emploi avant ou après une bonne séance d’entraînement. Il suffit de le sortir du réfrigérateur et de le déguster avec délice. Eh bien, cet Açai Overnight Oats (= plat à base de flocons d’avoine avec de l’Açaï que vous conservez au réfrigérateur pendant la nuit) est un repas tellement sain et délicieux pour les sportifs. Très facile à préparer et plein de nutriments pour en faire un autre coup d’éclat d’une séance de sport. En plus de l’açai, les flocons d’avoine et le miel sont également de véritables super aliments. Une cuillerée de miel de qualité contient des nutriments extrêmement importants et les flocons d’avoine sont une source de fibres saines.

You can find this super easy and healthy recipe here.

3) Açai Boost Smoothie

A smoothie to boost your workout. The name of this recipe says it all! This dish contains everything you need to perform at your best and is perfect to take with you in a shaker or thermos on your way to the gym. Strawberries, raspberries & Açai as toppers in red fruit, supplemented with extra protein from the (vegetable) protein powder and from the hemp seeds. Because did you know that in addition to healthy fats, hemp seeds are rich in protein? And they give this smoothie an extra nice “bite” too!

Find the recipe here and treat yourself!

4) Açai-Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

For this Acai bowl, we don’t use juice or milk but coconut yogurt and coconut water. Why so much coconut, we hear you think. Well, when you exercise, you sweat (most of the time anyway). This is perfectly normal and feels good, but the idea is to recover lost moisture as quickly as possible. Coconut water (especially the fresh variety) is packed with electrolytes that hydrate the body particularly intensely, making it an ideal liquid during or after exercise. Et pourquoi le yaourt à la noix de coco ? Just because it’s delicious and nutritious 🙂

Find the recipe for this Açai and blueberry smoothie bowl here.

5) Açai Chia pudding

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating”, you can take that literally with this little recipe. Just try it and you will see, this pudding is delicious and oh so nutritious! The jelly consistency is obtained by soaking the chia seeds overnight in the plant-based milk. That chia seeds also contain protein makes them even more special. Also, the peanuts in peanut butter (peanuts, by the way, are not nuts but legumes) are rich in protein so let those muscles grow!

Read here how to make this recipe.

6) Post Work Açai Bowl

Açai and lime juice, are you kidding me?! No, not this time. It turns out to be a heavenly combination, at least for those who like a little “zing” in their dishes (and lives). Lime juice is packed with vitamin C which is not only hugely healthy but also ensures that the Açai bowl stays lighter in color for longer. In addition, banana is one of the greatest sources of potassium and vitamin B6 that helps the body recover after an intense sports session.

Discover this delicious combination here.

7) Tartelettes Açaï à base de granola

Vous voulez une tarte? Ah oui, pourquoi pas?! And indeed, why not! In life you have to enjoy and especially when it is healthy enjoyment. An Açai-based tartlet with a granola base, ideal to take with you to snack on before or after your workout. We quickly sum up the power foods for you:

  • Dates: a force of nature, ideal for sweetening dishes in a healthy way.
  • Oats: source of high fiber and slow carbohydrates
  • Açai: Meanwhile, you know why, right?
  • Blueberry: in addition to Açai, it is also very rich in antioxidants.
  • Coconut fat: interesting composition of the fat with many important nutrients

Find the recipe for these pies here.

selection-holy-berry-products

Kickstart your day with our 3 new, feel good Açai bowl mixes

Hurray, hurray, there they are at last! Blood, sweat and the occasional tear (from Stephen) this project has cost us but we are very proud of the result: 3 delicious Açai bowl mixes with which you can conjure up your favorite Açai dish on the table in less than 3 minutes. Why the development of this range was so challenging, we tell you briefly in this blog.

The Açai berry challenge

Açai, a fantastic berry species with a special nutritional profile. The berries grow wild in the Amazon forest, which helps explain why this primordial berry is so nutritious. What nutrients there are in Açai, we do not have to repeat here. We have already dedicated a whole page to it on our website (about Açai).
You can vary endlessly with these top berries and they are so nutritious that hunger will stay away for hours. BUT … there is one aspect of Açai that poses a great challenge: in less than a day after picking, the berries are spoiled.
Specifically, there is not a minute to waste during the processing process. Picking, pitting and freezing the Açai pulp or grinding it into powder. It goes so fast that even many Brazilians (who have the Açai palms in their backyard, so to speak) have never eaten fresh Açai.

De Açai pack challenge

If you are reading this blog, you may have already heard, seen or tasted our Açai pulp packs.
These are the Holy Berry originals, for the Açai pioneers of the first hour. They come in 2 varieties: 100g packs with pure Açai pulp and 100g packs with Açai pulp and some guarana juice. The packs are the size of an average cell phone and when they come out of the freezer they are so hard that you could smash a door with them. Making an Açai bowl with these packs is not difficult, you just have to get the hang of it. Here’s a well thought out tip: Let the packs thaw for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start working with them. From the moment you can break the pulp into the pack, the pack is “ready to mix” and the preparation goes very smoothly. You mix this semi-frozen Açai pulp with other (fresh or frozen) fruit and some juice or vegetable yoghurt (/milk) to a delicious fresh and creamy whole that you finish off with granola and other toppings. You can also let such a packet melt, then it becomes more like an Açai coulis, which you can easily mix under yogurt, oatmeal, add to a smoothie or…. pour into your mouth in one gulp (yes, there are people who actually do this). These 100g Açai pulp packs can be found in most health food stores (check our points of sale) and are the real deal for anyone who wants to build their Açai bowl in complete freedom.

Our challenge

Now this all seems easy and stress-free but from the many testimonials, questions and “cries for help” it doesn’t always seem that way. People, at home or in the kitchen of a restaurant, are sometimes so enthusiastic or in a hurry when making an Açai bowl that mixing the frozen Açai pulp sometimes causes some problems. Well, dear (impatient) Açai lovers, for this situation we wanted to find a solution.
We took a close look at the process and asked a few Açai addicts in our immediate surroundings which proverbial barriers they experience in the preparation of their favorite Açai dish and this was our top 4:
1. Either they didn’t let the pulp thaw enough which made mixing difficult or they let the pulp thaw too much which caused the granola they sprinkled on top to sink to the bottom of their bowl after 1 minute (read: too liquid).
2. There are many ways to cut open the bag of pulp but they still had not found the right way (result: clothes and kitchen full of Açai)
3. Choice stress or no choice: Which fruit do we add to the Açai?
4. Time is money and especially in the morning so points 1 to 3 are 3 too many.
Great success !
With this input we started experimenting, tasting and mailing back and forth to partners who could help us and yes, we did it! We developed 3 Açai products that are so easy to use that you can start your day full of energy but also completely zen.
We removed the first threshold by giving the Açai pulp its berry-like shape back. These Açai pulp balls mix so smoothly and are easy to proportion.
The second threshold has been eliminated even faster because now you can just cut open the bags and pour them out.
For the third threshold, we didn’t take any chances. The question “Which fruit goes best with Açai?” was answered differently by several people, which did not make the final choice any easier. What we did know for sure was that – for the 2 Açai bowl variants with other fruit – at least 2 thirds of the product had to consist of Açai. Only then do you get the health benefits of Açai and a delicious, strong, healthy drink.
And the fourth barrier was nicely wiped away by tackling the first three with the result that you can make delicious Açai bowls and smoothies for the whole family in less than 5 minutes!
All you have to do now is run to one of our Delhaize points of sale, choose from our 3 heavenly Açai bowl mixes andstart the morning full of healthy energy!

 

Interview with Miriam Melchers of Plant Ahead

Who? Miriam Melchers, founder van Plant Ahead

Where? Amsterdam

 

For our third interview we’ve chosen to go beyond the national borders, more specifically Amsterdam, to the wonderful story behind Plant Ahead. Because Açai is ideally eaten from beautiful coconut bowls (and on an idyllic beach), we often come into contact with brands that offer these bowls. However, it is very important to us that they are sustainable and not just a nice gadget on Instagram. Critically searching for the most sustainable yet beautiful coconut bowls, we ended up with Miriam and her company Plant Ahead. Read & get inspired!

ABOUT PLANT AHEAD

Hello Miriam, would you like to introduce yourself briefly?

My name is Miriam and I work every day to make the world a little more sustainable. I lecture on how to live sustainably, sell sustainable products and, as a partner in The Footprint Challenge, help companies and their employees to reduce their footprint.

I have been involved in sustainability for years, working for Tesla in California, among other things. It was then that I became aware of my impact on our planet and realised how much difference each individual can make, just by eating plant-based. After three years, I decided to return to Amsterdam to realise the dream of my own business and share my insights with others.

Why did you start up Plant Ahead?

From my passion for sustainable and plant-based living. I especially want the positive customer I want to highlight the positive side of plant-based and sustainable. It started with the sale of sustainable products including coconut bowls. The bowls are made from coconut flakes, a waste product of the coconut industry, which we give a new life as a beautiful bowl to be enjoyed every day. We have since expanded our collection with products such as coconut candle holders and straws, we organise cooking workshops together with a plant-based chef and I give workshops on how to live sustainably.

Plant Ahead has a double meaning. On the one hand, because I see a vegan future ahead before me. That, I believe, is the only way to guarantee a future for people at all. On the other hand, in order to realise this vegan future, we must plan ahead and not stay behind.

You motivate and inspire people to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle”. What does such a lifestyle entail?

A lifestyle in which you see yourself as part of the earth’s ecosystem. This means that you consume consciously and make decisions that are not only in your own interest but also in the interest of the planet. The ultimate goal is to Eco-Positive which means minimising your footprint and increasing your handprint – that is your positive impact on the planet. So you do more good than harm. Sounds good, no? [laughs]

You have a wonderful range of products, from coconut bowls to candles and straws. What makes your products so special? What is the common thread throughout your range?

Thank you (laughs). All my products are made of sustainable materials. They are handcrafted and given beautiful and unique designs by our local team in Vietnam. You literally bring a piece of nature into your home. With this, I want to show what beautiful things our planet has to offer. In addition, we work in a fair way, with fair prices for everyone in the process; From our farmers and craftsmen in Vietnam, to our Plant Ahead team in the Netherlands. In this way, I also want to set a new standard. Many products are far too cheap. And if you don’t pay the price, someone else will…

WELL-BEING & MORNING RITUAL

What does well-being mean to you?

For me, well-being means feeling healthy and happy. This is only possible if you take good care not only of yourself but also of the world around you. Our current lifestyle is often focused on wealth, economic growth and pressure to perform. But it’s already known that happiness does not increase proportionally with material things. On the contrary! More and more people suffer from stress, burn-outs and psychological complaints. I believe that nature is the basis for human well-being. And as nature gets more and more out of balance, people also get out of balance. We can counteract this by adapting our lifestyles and reducing our footprint. I can enjoy nature so much again now! We live on such a special planet and if you pay more attention to that, you automatically start making more conscious and better decisions.

How have you experienced this corona crisis so far?

Yes, what a strange time! At first, I did panic, because I followed the news from China and Italy closely and saw that the virus was also coming our way. At the same time I felt very strongly that this did not just happen, that Mother Earth has a clear message for us. The earth is slowly becoming exhausted. I hope that this crisis will bring about a lasting change. One thing is certain: we cannot continue to drive, fly, eat meat etc. this much. For me, this crisis has made me work even harder on my mission and it has also brought me a lot of peace. I’ve started to think more about the things that are really important and I go out into nature a lot more.

Do you have certain rituals, habits, … to keep cool during stressful times?

I have been doing a lot of personal development lately, because I am really a workaholic and can work non-stop. But I did not become an entrepreneur for nothing. I want to stay in control of my own life and therefore I want to create more peace and schedule time for that as well. For example, I really enjoy having a morning ritual, consciously taking a breath every now and then, doing a dance when I get stuck doing something or going for a mindful walk.

Do you have a morning ritual and if so, what does it look like?

Yes, for sure! I have had several international jobs over the past 10 years, but no matter where I was, and how busy I was, I always had a morning ritual to get ready for a busy day.

At the moment, I start the day with a glass of water with lemon juice and a coffee. Meanwhile, I watch the news. I often secretly check my e-mail but I’d rather not! Then I turn the music on and do a 30-minute HIIT workout. I immediately cross that off my To Do list. Then I jump in the shower, put on my working-from-home outfit and, with a healthy juice in my hand, open my laptop.

In weekends, I always make a breakfast bowl, like an Açai or other smoothie bowl. Served in a coconut bowl, of course. With a coffee on the side. Delicious, the combination of a strong hot coffee with a sweet cold breakfast bowl.

What is your favourite recipe with Açai?

Açai Bowls are really my favourite! When I lived in the US, I made a green Açai Bowl every day and at the weekend I always went somewhere to buy one. There are lots of smoothie and juice bars there, with the best Açai. In the Netherlands, I still find it difficult to find really good Açai. I hope Holy Berry will come to the Netherlands soon!My favourite recipe: Açai, banana, spinach, bimi broccoli, lemon juice, a bit of ginger and some vegetable milk. Start blending! En as topping some homemade granola with peanut butter. LOVE IT!

 

Discover the full range viathe Plant Ahead webshop or get started with Miriam’s delicious recipes (and no, they are not all Açai bowls :)).

ellen-charlotte-marie

Interview with Ellen Charlotte Marie. An inspiring healthy foodie and mom of 4.

Hey Ellen! Hi Ellen! Would you please introduce yourself?

I am Ellen Demeulemeester but most people know me by my Instagram name “Ellen Charlotte Marie”. These are my 3 names and since Ellen Demeulemeester was already taken when I started my food blog, I chose to use them. Not necessarily an exciting story, but that’s how it went (laughs). I am mainly into recipe creation, photography, styling, and writing books. I am now working on a new book, which is completely different from my previous books, but I would like to keep the topic secret for just a little while longer (laughs).

We are very curious to hear how it all started.

My blogging adventure started about 8 years ago when I started an Instagram page with mainly photos of my kids. It was a period in which I was very tired and I wanted to do something about it at all costs. I started looking for sources from which I could get energy and that’s how I ended up with my diet. Little by little, I started to change things in my diet and I started to eat more plant-based foods and really, I felt the effects immediately! I started experimenting a lot, and since I am a photographer by training, I was increasingly capturing my meals. And that is how the ball started to roll. So, we can speak of a hobby that got out of hand.

Your beautiful photos and tasty meals motivate people to cook delicious and, above all, healthy meals. Would you like to tell us more about your vision on nutrition?

In the beginning, I mainly wanted to eat as healthy as possible. My focus was on unprocessed food and on avoiding “empty” food. Gradually, this changed into eating plant-based food and now, I eat completely vegan. Through my photos and recipes, I want to show that eating as much plant-based food as possible only has advantages, both for their health and for the well-being of our planet. Because in addition to health, animal welfare and climate issues have also become increasingly important factors in my food choices. You can hardly be an environmental activist without also being vegan. I want to prove in a fun way that plant-based food is delicious, and above all that you don’t have to miss out on anything. And all of this without finger-pointing or without being too extreme. I want to raise awareness among the general public and make them think about the impact of their food choices.

In addition to your food blog, you have also published a couple of beautiful cookbooks. They are all little gems. One of them is called “One healthy family”. There you emphasize healthy food for the whole family. What was the motivation for writing this book?

The main motivation for writing this book was to share recipes that both young and old would enjoy, always with plant-based ingredients in the leading role. As I started to eat more and more plant-based, I realized like no other that it is not easy to cook a separate meal for each member of the family. The second reason was that I noticed in my environment that eating plant-based was often associated with having to miss out on dishes that you like. That is not the case at all! For example, you can make a perfect white “cheese sauce” but then completely plant-based, and also mashed potatoes can so easily be made vegan by using olive oil or vegetable butter instead of butter. You can also use a lot of vegetables in it to get extra vitamins. These are two vegan dishes, but they are very easy to make. You just replace the animal ingredients with a plant-based alternative, and that’s it. This may be a challenge at first, but if you take it one step at a time, it quickly becomes doable. After all, you can’t change everything from day one to day two, especially when you have children who join you at the table. Guiding and inspiring people to make this transition easy and fun, was the aim of this book.

As if all of this was not enough, you have also developed an app called “Effortlessly healthy”. In this app, you’ll find lots of delicious recipes for every moment of the day. How did you get the idea to develop an app?

Many people don’t know this but actually, my app was first, even before my books. The idea for an app came because my Instagram page was exploding and I had a big international audience, not so much Belgian. And because releasing a book in Dutch, when far fewer people knew me here, didn’t seem logical, I automatically landed on an app. You can easily create an app in two languages and you are not bound by national borders or shipping costs. I did have my doubts for a while because it was a big investment, but in hindsight, I am very happy that I took this step because a lot of people still use my app.

Where are most of your followers from?

Mainly in the United States and Australia. In Belgium, I am growing, but it goes a bit slower. Maybe this is because I always communicate in English and I am not so active on Facebook, for example, to share recipes there in Dutch. But I have a hard time focusing on multiple channels and communicating in multiple languages. That’s why I’m sticking to Instagram and English for now. (laughs)

Besides healthy food, sports also seem to be a passion of yours. We are seeing more and more videos of your workouts. Tell us more about your vision on sports, what you like to do and how you see the combination of nutrition and sports.

In addition to healthy recipes, I’m indeed starting to share my workouts more often, because I want to communicate that one is inextricably linked to the other. It is so important for your body and mind to move, no matter how healthy you eat. Sport can be so much fun, it doesn’t always have to be hard work. This brings us in the direction of my new project… It will be about the combination of exercise and nutrition but this is the only thing I’m going to give away (laughs).

No problem, we are waiting in suspense!

Now that we know a bit more about your professional activities and plans, we would like to talk about the person behind the blogger. Because that is at least equally important!

What does well-being mean to you?

For me, wellbeing means first and foremost to feel truly healthy and to be aware of where my limits are, and to set them. You can’t compare yourself with people around you because everyone has different limits when it comes to health, resilience, needs, and goals. It is just important that you know where yours are and that you’re able to stop in time. This allows you to maintain inner peace and to have enough energy to do the things you like to do. Also, your boundaries can shift throughout your life, along with the different phases of life. For example, I am a mother of 4 and especially when my children were young, it was not always easy to set boundaries. But I realized that this was a phase, a period in which you forget yourself a little and that later on, another period would come in which I could focus more on myself and on the things I like doing.

Covid has a huge impact on our lives. How do you experience this period and are there things you will take with you after corona?

The impact of covid is indeed enormous. I try not to dwell on it too much and consciously push it away from me. For example, I avoid the news and focus mainly on making myself and my family strong by going outside a lot, eating healthy, and not allowing too much stress. It has also been a period during which I started thinking about which path I want to take, professionally speaking, and about what I want and do not want anymore. It’s a big challenge to do this when you have full-time kids around you, but I try to make time for this thinking exercise. What I also notice is that I am more aware than before of who I really miss and who is therefore important in my life. This realization will make me look for these people even more after covid.

Do you have any rituals, habits…to keep your cool? I think many people are looking for concrete tips so if you have any, please share.

I exercise every day. Tonight, for example, I’m going to swim, tomorrow I’m meeting a friend to do sports outside. Sport is something I make time for every day, but always with a lot of variety in what I do. Sport is my outlet and could be anyones. So, even if the weather is bad, just go outside. That’s my most important tip! I also recently put a meditation app on my mobile phone and I now meditate every day. I usually do this before I take a bath or shower. I just close up for a moment, it doesn’t have to be long, but it works and it makes me feel good!

You regularly use our products, thank you very much! How do they usually appear on your menu?

I usually use your products in a smoothie or add them to my protein shake. I drink similar smoothies every day. It’s a really easy way to vary and get all my vitamins, fiber, fats, etc. in. I enjoy it every time! Both your Açai products and your pitaya and passion fruit packs are regular items on my menu. Smoothie bowls are also very popular among my children. I have two very difficult eaters and I can get them to eat all sorts of fruit and even vegetables, such as spinach, without them even realizing it (laughs). And in the summer I make nice creams with it every day. Besides smoothies and bowls, I also really enjoy experimenting with your products. For example, I recently made a jelly of pitaya, which was very tasty and original, if I do say so myself (laughs).

Thank you so much for this fascinating interview Ellen!

Discover Ellen Charlotte Marie’s beautiful creations on her Instagram page and get all her books or download her appEffortlessly Healthy to make the step to a plant-based kitchen extra tasty and fun!

Ellen’s favorite recipe with our Açai can be found here!

 

 

 

Interview with Stefanie Baert from FOODLOVE

Who: Stefanie Baert

Hometown: Ghent

Although these are bizarre times, we want to keep a positive note and share stories about special people with you. We at Holy Berry spoke with Stefanie Baert. A great and inspiring lady, who has managed to turn her passion for healthy food into a wonderful business.

Can you tell us briefly about FoodLove?

I started FoodLove five years ago to encourage people to eat healthier, both at home and when going out. In the meantime, I have written a cookbook “Ready Set Go”, I give workshops and I organize “food tours” in Ghent where I take people to healthy hotspots in the city. Soon, I will also launch FoodLove Academy, an online platform where you can learn everything about healthy food and food photography.

Quite a big (and tasty) job! You clearly lead a busy life. Can you share your morning ritual?

I make a cup of tea with my sleepy eyes and if I’m really serious I do some stretching or yoga, haha. That’s sometimes only once or twice a week, I won’t lie about that. I then immediately start working; I do my mails and write down my daily to-do’s. I only have breakfast when I am really hungry. That can be at 9 o’clock or just as easily at 11 o’clock, depending on what my body is asking me. With breakfast recipes, I try to vary as much as possible, and there is both sweet and savory on the table. A colorful, fresh smoothie bowl with pitaya and passion fruit is not uncommon.

We are speaking at a, to say the least, strange time. How do you keep cool and healthy during the time of covid?

I just try to put things in perspective and try to see opportunities rather than only see problems. Because yes, I have seen my income disappear, I have had to cancel all my workshops for the coming period – for who knows how long – but I have taken this as a moment to finally work on new projects. FoodLove Academy is something I have wanted to do for a long time but unfortunately put off too often. My focus is on the positive!

We often see new concepts and beautiful photos appearing on FoodLove. Where do you get your inspiration from?

By traveling and eating out, I get the chance to steal away with my eyes, taste, and discover new ingredients. Once back home, I really get to work on this. I cook with what I have tasted, and I am not afraid to experiment.

I also carry this through in my business: I listen to the people around me as much as possible and convert their feedback into new projects. Someone came to tell me that she really wanted to follow a workshop, but unfortunately never had time to get here. A light goes on in my head: time to start experimenting with online workshops!

You live in the lovely city of Ghent. How do you experience the evolution of healthy food there?

For me, Ghent is simply the epicenter of healthy and vegetarian food. The great concepts you see abroad are the first to appear on menus in Ghent. The range of healthy vegetable, veggie, and vegan places is incredible. I feel very lucky here.

Then we’d love to hear about your favorite places in Ghent!

If I may choose three: PLUS+ is a favorite for delicious salads and açai smoothie bowls. The two owners have a great dynamic. GUST is a fun brunch spot and my second home where I do a lot of cooking workshops. O’yo and their vegan pancakes with pitaya coulis are my regulars in Ghent. I’ll also throw in a fourth one if I may: Aroy Aroy. They do not necessarily focus on healthy but I go there when I crave tasty and original Asian food.

“Well-being” means different things to different people. What does “well-being” mean to you?

Well-being for me is mainly finding balance and living according to the “no obligations” principle. It’s not well-being for me if I force myself to go to the gym every day and feel guilty if I skip a session. Wellness for me is just being kind to myself, not getting too caught up in the latest health hype, and not going to extremes.

What is the next step on the horizon for FoodLove? Is there anything exciting in-store?

My next big thing is to launch and further develop the FoodLove Academy. In time I want to integrate not only food photography workshops but also cooking workshops. Maybe I will work with a videographer to take everything to the next level. Up to now, I have figured everything out 100% by myself. There is still a lot to be done!

If you could choose one favorite product from Holy Berry, which would it be and how do you like to prepare it?

I don’t have to think about that for long. The pitaya pulp is my absolute favorite for a smoothie-bowl. The color is incredible. I mix the pulp with The Holy Berry passion fruit for that “acidity” and some yogurt for smoothness and top my smoothie bowl with homemade ‘speculaas’ granola. For me, the ideal way to keep me going.

Pay attention now!

Are photography and food really your thing? Then be sure to register for Foodlove’s e-course Food photography at foodlove.be/food-photography-e-course

A very informative and qualitative course that you can follow whenever it suits you! Highly recommended!

And because we like to support each other, you get a 10 euro discount by using the code: HOLYBERRY10

Also, check out the website of these top entrepreneurs:

https://www.foodlove.be

https://www.plus.gent

http://www.gustgent.be

https://oyobar.be/en

https://aroyaroy.be

Meet the founders! Margaux & Stephen from Holy Berry

For our THB interview series, the tables may turn once in a while. We are usually so occupied with mails or deliveries in our açai-mobile that we don’t have time to introduce ourselves properly. That’s why we asked our interviewer on duty to throw some unfiltered questions at the both of us. So here it is, raw and pure, as it should be for good açai, our THB interview – The Holy Berry edition.

Preliminary round

– Who? Stephen and Margaux, founders of The Holy Berry

– Hometown? Ghent

– Favourite travel destination? Portugal

– Favourite dish? Shakshuka

– Morning or evening? Morning

– Favourite sport? As much variety as possible

Hi Margaux and Stephen! For those who don’t know you (enough), can you briefly introduce yourselves?

Of course! I (Stephen) did top sports and Margaux studied psychology in Ghent. We have been a couple for 14 years now. After our wedding in 2015, we traveled to Australia together and from there, our challenging adventure in frozen superfoods started. Oooh! And two years ago we had our beautiful daughter Asa. An even more challenging adventure if possible (laughs)!

A psychologist and a top athlete… At first glance, that seems to have little to do with superfoods. Why did you create Holy Berry?

Hmmm, more than you would think at first glance. Our trip to Australia was all about our first business idea: a practice that combines nutrition, psychology, and sports. Far too often, each element is looked at in isolation, although the three are inextricably linked. In Australia, we followed intensive courses in personal training and nutrition. It was there that we first came into contact with Açai. I still remember my first Açai bowl as if it were yesterday; very fresh and a flavor I had never tasted before. Instant addiction! When we came back from Australia, we had found a property for our practice. We wanted to serve açai to our guests… and to ourselves (Margaux laughs). Only there was no good quality açai to be found in Belgium.

After a first, difficult attempt to distribute an Australian açai brand, we had to make a big decision after 8 months of trying very hard. We either could quit açai or start something ourselves, but this time according to our criteria of quality, sustainability, and product development. And the rest is history 🙂

Wonderful! Of course, I am curious to know how your story continued…

From the very beginning, we had a very good connection with our Brazilian partner, a committed and passionate lady who lives in the Amazon forest and with whom we still work today. Her vision and motivation (maximum protection of the Amazon forest) were very inspiring and step by step we started building our açai brand. From designing the açai boxes to searching for the few people who knew that açai is not pronounced “Akai” nor that it is some kind of flower. In short, we worked our butts off. Our very first customer was Aula in Ghent, a butcher’s shop! At first glance, this shop could not be further from our target group. But we gave them so many tastings that even the most conservative eater had to give our açai a try. The owner of the shop at the time eventually became a super fan himself. Every day, he drank a bag of defrosted Açai in one gulp, just pure from the bag! Isn’t that great! At our very first event, we sold 2 (two!!) açai bowls, one of which to my mother-in-law. We got so many “no’s”, but we kept going. The real turning point was probably our presence at Tomorrowland. That gave a lot of credibility towards catering businesses, which from then on dared to put a dish with açai on their menu.

Five years ago, no one had heard of açai bowls – apart from a few passionate travelers – how do Belgians now view smoothies and açai bowls?

We feel that we have contributed to the success of such bowls. At one point, we were doing tastings in supermarkets every Saturday. In the beginning, you convince people by word of mouth, and over time you create real fans. During the lockdown a few months ago, it exploded on social media. People spontaneously showing us how they like their smoothie bowls best, is the most heartwarming thing for us! Not once have we had to pay for a post with influencers. These are people who are just sincere fans. Açai is a product that lends itself to that. It looks good in the photo, it is super healthy and tastes great too. How can you not love it? We still get up every day with an appetite for açai.

What also helps enormously is that people are traveling more and further. Bali is a popular destination and they serve smoothie bowls everywhere. Or Brazil, where açai is part of the food culture. But it can become even more mainstream as far as we are concerned. In Hollywood, for example, they could make açai bowls appear in more series (laughs).

Talking about series! For some couples, choosing what to watch in the evening is already a struggle, what is it like to run a business together?

We wouldn’t know how to do it any other way! Doing it alone is far too much work (Stephen laughs). As a couple, you have much more respect for each other’s professional life, because you know what the other one is going through. You also have a bit more freedom and can fill in your schedule flexibly (which is nice when you have a two-year-old daughter). The disadvantage is that there is little security and that you take the same risks. Fortunately, we are also very complimentary. Margaux is strong in “front of house” and communication. I am better at practical tasks such as product development, the supply chain, imports, etc. If you can also build a team with super professional and committed people like our CFO Philippe and, since January, our sales force Stefanie, then you have hit upon a good formula.

You sound like a perfect combo. How do you take care of yourselves – especially now? Do you have any particular wellness rituals?

We derive relaxation from the combination of family, friends, travel, sports, …

However, our greatest wellness factor, however cliché it may be, is our little daughter Asa. Raising and caring for her requires a lot of effort and is sometimes very intense, but you just get so much out of it. It is our greatest source of happiness. We also try to make sure that we don’t plan too much during the weekends so that we can spend a lot of time together. So in terms of social “commitments”, we tend to keep it low-key on the weekends.

What is the ultimate dream for Holy Berry?

Our very first goal was to change the frozen food aisle, which is now often full of peas and croquettes. In the beginning, our slogan was “We’re here to spice up the health scene”. Meanwhile, this is no longer a dream, but we have the feeling that we are doing it.

What we now dream of most is that we can continue to grow without having to sacrifice quality or sustainability. We notice that price pressure is sometimes imposed if you want to grow, but all too often this is at the expense of sustainability and quality. We are never going to be the cheapest brand, but neither do we want to be. We want to offer the best quality, while not putting pressure on our partners in the Amazon jungle. Because ultimately the farmers suffer, with all the consequences this has for the forest.

Of course, we hope to grow abroad as well. Belgium is small and so critical, so if it succeeds here, we suspect that Holy Berry could become a success abroad as well (laughs).

What is your diet like?

We try to eat as much plant-based food as possible and put as much color into our food as possible. Admittedly, we are not holier than thou. When we go out, we do eat a piece of meat once in a while (Margaux sticks to chicken and fish).

With Holy Berry, we want to inspire people and get them moving in what we believe is the right direction. We want to encourage them to choose plant-based options more often. For example, we always say to make our bowls with vegetable yogurt or milk. That way they can try something different and probably enjoy it too.

Most beautiful Holy Berry memory?

Stephen: One of the moments that I still remember very clearly is when we were tasting at a Bio-Planet, not in Ghent or so, but at a branch far from here. In the distance, I saw a couple walk in a straight line from the entrance to the freezer section and take four boxes of our açai in one go. They had not even seen me! That was such an overwhelming feeling. That people go out especially to buy a brand that you have created yourself.

Margaux: Tomorrowland was also one of the highlights. It was not profitable for us at all, but we just had a great time there. With all those Brazilians who – at one point – discovered that there was an açai stand on the site and came in hordes to get their portions super enthusiastically.

Stephen: And maybe one more! In the middle of her cooking program, Sandra Bekkari took one of our açai boxes from the freezer and prepared a dish with it. We knew nothing at all but we were so proud and grateful!

What is your favorite Holy Berry product? And your favorite way of preparing it?

Stephen: Açai with guarana (I take 2 packets), which I mix with half a fresh banana, a dash of vegetable milk, and a spoonful of peanut butter. My daily breakfast for the last 3 years! Sometimes I add a little plant-based yogurt if I’m in the mood for something creamy. That with a coffee on the side is just the best combo in the world.

Margaux: I love eating it in the morning or afternoon but with an ice cream texture. I mix 2 açai packets with 1 packet of our passion fruit pulp, some frozen raspberries, and about five tablespoons of plant-based yogurt. That light acidity is completely my thing.

What is the biggest misconception around Holy Berry products?

Oh, I can think of more than one misconception! The first is the cost: Many people think that preparing açai at home costs a lot of money. 1 packet of 100g wild-picked, organic açai costs on average 2.2 euros in the shop. This is often cheaper than organic blueberries in Belgium. If you mix it very simply with oats and plant-based milk, for example, the cost is not so high. Plus, if you eat açai for breakfast, you’re stuffed for a while, you leave out snacks, it gets cheaper again. Partly for this reason, we have chosen to package the packages separately. That way the barrier is lowered and it is easier to see the true cost. It is also better for nature, now that those boxes are no longer necessary.

A second misconception is that açai can only be eaten at breakfast, while the berries can be eaten at any time of the day; in smoothies, with yogurt, or in a workout shake, for example. We often prepare an açai bowl for dessert, like some kind of ice cream. With some chocolate flakes on top. Delicious!

A third and final big misconception is that you don’t need a crazy blender to make smoothie bowls. We make it every day with a simple hand blender and it works just fine. You just need to prepare the dish a few times (with the apron best) to get the hang of it. Add enough yogurt to make mixing easier and above all, let the packet thaw a little (you should be able to break up the pulp) before mixing.

Be sure to check out our demo videos, to avoid unnecessary mess and wasted time 🙂

 

IG__fivesechealth_520x500

Antioxidants to the rescue!

Jogging, squatting, swimming, mountain biking, yoga… Whatever sport you practice, your body will thank you for it time and time again. You will know that when you feel those endorphins racing through your body after your intense activity. But do you also know how antioxidants can play a role in how you feel after exercising and how fast you recover?

 

What are antioxidants?

An antioxidant is a collective term for all substances that have an antioxidant effect. This means that they have the power to neutralize free radicals that circulate in the body and may cause damage. Vitamins E and C are great examples of antioxidants. Another one is flavonoids: the substances that give color to our fruits and veggies.

 

Free radicals and sport

Free radicals can, among other things, originate from smoking, stress, and an unhealthy lifestyle. Interesting to know is that also, (endurance) sports create free radicals to a certain extent. When you exercise, your body needs more oxygen, which in turn causes oxidation and thus free radicals. That can sometimes cause you to suffer from inflammation or tired muscles.

 

Antioxidants to the rescue

In sports, of course, there is nothing to worry about! The disadvantages far outweigh the advantages of your sweaty activities. Not only does your body naturally produce antioxidants, but you can also get the substances from a good diet.

 

Colorful smoothie bowls

Our general rule is: the more colorful and natural your diet is, the more antioxidants you get in, and the better you boost your sporting career. That is why recipes with açai in the leading role are becoming increasingly popular with professional athletes.

Our beloved açai berry has, in addition to a quantity of protein, one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants you can find in fruit or vegetables. If you top off your açai bowl with colorful fruit, you can be sure that you have received a complete bouquet of antioxidants.

So be sure to try an açai bowl or smoothie after your next sports session. The hungry athlete in you will thank you!

 

Here is the first step towards your ideal workout shake;

  • – 1 packet Holy BerryAçai & Guarana, melted
  • – 300 ml (plant-based) milk
  • – 1 serving (plant-based) protein powder
  • – 1 tbsp cocoa powder or cinnamon
  • – 1 shot of espresso (when you need to go hard)

>Pour all the ingredients into a shaker and shake well. Delicious before or after a hard workout!