Julie Van den Kerchove
Plant-based chef + author
Instagram: @rawfoodchefjulie | julieslifestyle.com
MCT coconut oil makes chia pudding extra satisfying. If you’re feeling tired or stressed, maca powder is a great superfood to add to your smoothies and breakfast bowls. It will help to balance your hormones and increase your energy levels.
The power of greens:
I’m a big believer in the power of greens to cleanse and energize your body. Green juices, salads, steamed greens, chlorella or spirulina in a smoothie, I love them all! If you combine your greens with vitamin C and healthy fats (like lime and avocado in a smoothie, or a lemon tahini sauce on top of a salad) your body will be better able to absorb the precious nutrients from the greens, like iron in spinach or calcium in kale.
Food impacts health:
More than 10 years ago, while studying to become a professional journalist, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue. The only way for me to regain my health was to completely change my eating habits. I started by cutting refined sugars, wheat and dairy products from my diet, and gradually transitioned to a primarily plant-based lifestyle. It was during this search for optimal health that I discovered plant-based cooking. After experimenting with smoothies, green juices and salads for a few weeks, I started to see incredible changes in my energy, weight and overall health. I woke up feeling refreshed, my skin cleared up, I lost 15 stubborn pounds and my immune system got stronger by the day. The effects on both my body and mind were so overwhelming that I decided to travel to California in order to learn more about raw and vegan cooking.
Together with my partner Simon, I enrolled at the Living Light Culinary Institute, where we learned all about raw food cooking techniques, flavor balancing and the science of plant-based nutrition. It was during this life-changing adventure that I started Julie’s Lifestyle as a blog to share my experiences and my love for healthy and delicious food. Back in Belgium, I started working on my first cookbook to share my story and recipes with a wider audience. That’s how Julie Natuurlijk (translated as Vegan & Raw) and Easy Vegan met Julie (Vegan & Raw 2) came to be. I feel incredibly happy and grateful that we had the opportunity to present both books in New York and Los Angeles.