Gracious living Lifestlye

by Katia M12 October 2018

Last week I attended a workshop on “Stress-less eating” at Lux Le Morne hosted by Grace Van Berkum, a plant-powered, detox nutritionist and tropical yoga teacher based in Nicaragua.

Over a 2 hours workshop, she taught us how to embody the best version of ourselves with the art of healthy food via a diet high in fresh ingredients from mother earth while still enjoying a tasty meal. Sounds great right!

Ask yourself this question – Do you think your health is compromised? Is your body working efficiently?

The main topic of this workshop was on “Boosting your metabolism”. How food on your plate changes your body and transforms your life like the right food can fight and prevent diseases.

Grace talk was very interesting especially when she talked about her own experience and how she taught all the people she met along the healthy journey transformation to live in a healthy body. I must say that after her talk I was pretty much inspired to resume a healthy lifestyle which I, unfortunately, set aside since a while now.

It was quite intense so I will try to make a summary of the important things she discussed.

Photos from Lux Le Morne


Metabolism is how fast can your body eliminates what you put in (toxins). Most of the time, the inability of eliminating toxins causes unwanted weight, due to extra toxins being trapped. The reason why chemical food, processed food makes us feel physically low, bloated and lousy due to slow metabolism process.

A way to keep an active metabolism is to eat raw food, this would mean keeping the enzymes of the food intact. When eating processed food, our body has to work harder to process the food that in some cases can cause accelerating ageing. Try to incorporate more raw food and enzymes in our diet, for example, did you hear of the “raw spaghetti”.

The “raw spaghetti”

Did you ever hear of the “raw spaghetti” also referred to as the “Zoodles“? It is the perfect gluten-free zucchini pasta. You can choose to slightly cook them or not cook them at all, you can have them raw, boiled, baked or sauteed. In the booklet, you will find some recipes on how to make zoodles.

The question you must be asking now is which tool to use to make the zoodles? Well, they can be in different shapes based on the tools you use. It can be a spiralizer, a julienne peeler (tagliatelle shape), or a mandoline. Personally, I use a handheld spiralizer as it is the most common tool you can find here in Mauritius. It is cheap and takes up little space. The con of this tool, however, is if you are using several zucchinis, your wrist can become sore from all the twisting. But the handheld spiralizer is the best tool and cheapest we have at the moment.

You can buy it at Urban Home shops at Bagatelle and at Cascavelle.

Food addiction.

The majority of us has a food addiction, it can be salty or sugary. Because we cannot control ourselves emotionally we often suffer from emotional eating where we try to find comfort and safety in food and become prisoners of our food choices. Well, a good diet (all fresh food from mother earth) can help to cut off the food addiction, which is in most cases, sugar. Did you know that sugar is more addictive than cocaine? Sugar should rather be taken as a treat and slowly incorporating its best substitution, like adding natural sugar like dates or other dried fruits which are healthier options.

Good Fats

Good fats are excellent for the heart. A natural form of good fats can be found in fresh coconut meat, avocado, almond and cashews, walnuts, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, flax seed.

Good bacteria – probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are good for our digestive system. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help to keep our stomach healthy. You can find probiotics in supplements or in some foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, traditional buttermilk, tempeh, natto and miso.


Enzymes are protein molecules in cells which works as catalysts. Enzymes speed up the chemical reaction in the body and they serve important functions like helping in digestion and metabolism. Digestive enzymes, for instance, are crucial for breaking down food so it can be absorbed by the body.



Hydrating your body helps to flush the toxins out. Hydrating yourself takes your craving away and you will slowly notice that you naturally start to lose weight. You will start eating less and eliminate more. Start your day right by keeping a bottle of water by your bedside and first thing as you wake up is to have a glass of water. This daily morning intake will do so much to your body in the long-run.


Fibre helps to stabilize your blood sugar, regulate the cholesterol level and it is essential for a healthy digestive system. Fibre is found in plant foods like whole grains, fruits and veggies.


Plant Protein

Like a lot of people, I had this question: Do vegans get all the nutrients necessary in their diet? This was back then when I did not empower myself with knowledge. Yes, and it can be found in nuts and seeds but also in vegetables like broccoli and sprouts. Your body can only absorb a maximum 25-30g of protein per day may you be a professional athlete or fitness person.



Consider adding more greens in your meal: fresh mint, thyme, basil, coriander, parsley, kale, zucchini, cucumber and spinach. Chlorophyll helps to oxygenate your blood.


The human body contains toxins, there is no way to completely avoid them to get in. Detoxification means cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver where toxins are processed for elimination. Maintaining a diet high in detox foods is one of the best ways to keep overall health. Performing a full body cleanse diet at least twice a year is recommended. How? By eating detoxifying foods like fruits, green foods (kale, spinach, barley), citrus fruits (lemons, oranges and limes), garlic, broccoli sprouts, green tea, mung beans, raw vegetables, seeds and nuts and omega-3 oils.


Organic food

Organic food means no usage of pesticide/chemicals and the produce is grown in healthy soil. Local organic is even better. Well, my parents have a garden from where we grow most of our vegetables. Knowing the source of my vegetables is stress-free and they taste fresher. Of course, I do buy vegetables at the market too. It is advised to properly wash your vegetables to get off the pesticide on the surface.

How to eat?

Once your food is on your plate what’s next? Chew your food properly, take your time. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you had enough food. Also, by eating slower you become more mindful and you concentrate on the flavours.

I guess by now you are more familiar with the terms discussed above, and you know what are the foods your body needs to function properly. Now let’s get practical. In this particular workshop, Grace showed us how to make almond milk, coconut milk and some smoothies. It’s no secret that almond milk is expensive in Mauritius and most of us cannot afford it. Guess what, Grace made it so easy and cheap to make your own almond or nut milk.

Making your own Almond milk

Making your own Almond milk:

  • Soak about 1 cup of almonds for 8 hours or overnight until the water turns brown.
  • Throw the brownish water away.
  • Add the soaked almonds (with the skin) and 3 cups of water in a blender and blend it all.

Here you have your fresh almond milk and you can keep it in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

You can drink the plain almond milk or add it to your cereals, puddings and smoothies. For a sweet taste, add raw honey or dates to the almond milk. If you do not like the almond chunks left at the bottom, use a strainer.

Almond milk is low in fat and high in protein and calcium. You can also repeat the same process with cashew. It has a more intense taste and only requires about 20 -60 minutes of soaking.


A smoothie is a thick and cold beverage made from pureed raw fruits and sometimes vegetables. You can also add milk or other non-dairy alternatives such as soy and almond milk to your mix. Smoothies are healthy drinks as it increases your vitamins, minerals and antioxidant intakes to strengthen your immune system.

Here are two smoothies recipes which Grace taught us

1. Coconut smoothie:

  • Coconut cream
  • Water
  • Ice cubes
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Ginger
  • Raw honey
  • Basil leaves

Blend all the ingredients. Your smoothie is ready.


2. Avocado Smoothie:

  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tbs of raw cacao
  • Self-made almond milk (1 cup)
  • ½ peeled cucumber
  • Bananas
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 tbs of Raw honey

Blend all the ingredients. Your smoothie is ready.

Optional: Adding spices like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon…to your smoothies are great and healthy!

If you want to start this new conscious lifestyle and give your body the right type of food then the two PDF ebooks on “Easy and Raw Vegan Faves” and “10 Healing Recipies” from Grace Van Berkum is a good start. In these ebooks, you will, in turn, make sweet and savoury dishes, which will help your body to work at the best of its ability and prevent and even heal diseases.

Introduce yourself to a healthier way of living, incorporate plant-based food, fill your refrigerator with fresh vegetables and fruits and try to reduce processed foods.


Hit the Download button at the bottom of this post.


For more guidance and recipes or if you want to position your health in a more righteous manner here is how to get in touch with Grace:

Website –

Email –

Also stay in touch with the Lux Le Morne Facebook page they often have some health and fitness workshop throughout the year.

Please do not hesitate to share this post with your friends. Sharing is caring and loving.

Leave a comment behind if you want more posts like this.


With Love



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