In 2002 I came into contact with raw food. It was as if a door opened for which, unconsciously, I had been searching my whole life. After the birth of my eldest son in 1990, I discovered that he was sensitive to sugar, food dyes and E-numbers and I tried to avoid them. The whole GMO thing also worried me but until then I had never thought about the effect that food has on our body and our health.
I myself had no health challenges but with two children, one of whom was hyperactive and the other one had asthma, I was fascinated. The idea that my youngest son would no longer have to use steroids for his asthma if I changed our diet really appealed to me.
In September 2002 I completely changed the way we ate and we went completely raw from one day to the next. How this story continued and the challenges that I encountered with the Dutch government agencies, can be read on my website www.iklustjerauw.nl
Up to then I had never occupied myself with spirituality but within a few weeks of switching to a raw vegan diet, I literally “woke up”. After living my entire life in a totally self-centered way, I became “aware” that we are all one and connected to each other.
I also became aware of the far-reaching suffering we cause to animals and our planet through our food choices and the way our food is produced.
It took a while before I fully integrated this new way of eating and my new consciousness of the world around me. And this process is still going on.
From the beginning I felt a strong need to share my experiences with nutrition and awareness with other people. I put our story about the confrontations with the government institutions and the many lawsuits on my website in 2017, told in my own words instead of by the press. I thought that once I could let go of that, I would at last have time to do this but I could not find the form in which I wanted to do this. There are already so many websites and blogs about raw food and raw recipes, that was not what I wanted.
10 years ago Bart Schouten asked me to help him create a program to be offered in schools, challenging children to eat healthier for a week and experience how that feels and educating them about nutrition.
3 years ago I met Barbara Zuidema, also looking for a healthier way of life, at my market stall in Amsterdam. Barbara shared the desire of Bart and me to give people the information they need to make more conscious nutrition and lifestyle choices by organizing lectures and events and the WeRconscioUS foundation was born.