Today we are interviewing someone who most of you would probably like to have as their best friend.
Why? Because she makes raw chocolates, and she makes them so good that they have been selling successfully for several years.
Who is that?
Her name is Laura de Nooijer and she is the founder of Lovechock – a warm welcome to you!
1. Hello nice to have you here and thank you 🙂 If you would like to introduce yourself first of all, who are you, what do you do, age, where do you live?
I am Laura Joy de Nooijer (age 37), founder of Lovechock, a raw chocolate company. I started Lovechock (in 2008 in Amsterdam) out of passion for raw cacao and passion for raw food.
2. How did you start your day today?
Did a few quick breathing exercises and I made a half-warm porridge of cooked quinoa flakes with raw soaked chia seeds made nice with inca berries, coconut, cacao, spirulina, maca, camu camu, lucuma, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and stevia. The best winter breakfast for me!
3. When did you first become aware of the raw food diet and how did it start for you?
I fell in love with the diet when I met David Wolfe at a shamanic ceremony in Amsterdam, more then 10 years ago. That guy was so radiating and attractive, I wanted to be like him. I was struggling with food at that time, as I was tired most of the day, had stomach cramps and uncontrollable cravings for cookies, bread and ice cream.The Sunfood Diet became my bible and within 3 weeks I replaced coffee by green juice and became vegan overnight after reading the ‘karma-chart’.
4. What do you think is one of the classic mistakes raw beginners make and what tips do you have for a newbie?
Going to fast and making it a religion as if nothing else exists. 100 % raw was my motto at that time and I looked down on people with any other eating habits. This created isolation. At the same time it was liberating to break free from all kinds of ‘old believes’, not necessarily having to do with food. I quit my study of Psychology (never regret !) to replace that for a path of exploring alternative lifestyle and healing methods, raw food and shamanism. I lived in a raw community in Spain for half a year and explored sustainable living. After that I felt I was not ready yet to live ‘outdoors’, and felt I had to learn more in ‘society’. Starting my own raw business was one of the best choices in my life !
5. What’s always in the pantry or fridge? – Raw food staples
fridge : lettuce, tomatoes, lemons and lot’s of vegetables.
Since I started my own garden with my boyfriend, I am even more in love with vegetables. Especially the ones that grow here in Holland I feel more connected to, since growing them myself.
Pantry; A whole range of superfoods is always there, too much too mention ! My kitchen is full of food and is my favorite place in my house. I feel really good and free there and being able to afford all this food, makes me feel rich. Even when I was low in money, I always spend most of my money on good organic (super) food instead of buying new clothes.
6. What do you think of fasting?
When I started with raw foods I once did a 7 day water fast, which was not so wise at that time. Detoxing too fast, dizzy all the time even fainted on the floor. Later in my life I did a few 5 day juice fasts with colonics and a few liver cleanses. Now I have not done a juice fast for more then a year as I have been a lot, and I am yearning for the spring to come to really dive in it again. My body needs it desperately !
7. Do you take any supplements or so-called superfoods?
Many ! Every day cacao and chaga tea made with warming herbs. Also I take gojis, inca berries, maca, spirulina, chlorella, bee pollen, hemp seeds, colostrum, kefir, coconut butter. These things I do not take them for many days in a row.
8. What do you think of cacao?
That is my superfavorite !! This plant spirit has conquered my heart completely and a whole successful business grew out of it. I am deeply touched by the happiness effect that raw chocolate has on people and that makes me happy doing what I do.
9. If you ever were or are 100% raw, what is your experience when comparing 100% raw vs. not 100%?
This 100 % thing is a bit over the top if I might say. It became like a thing to say at parties, the most highest goal. Many things raw people eat are not strictly raw. I was high raw for like two years and I remember from that time that my monthly period was more light then now. The reason that I do not eat 100 % raw anymore (now 60-80 %) is because eating raw does not work for me in this climate. I am feeling still very cold in the winter. In a warmer climate I am sure I manage because I love raw food. Also I was still overeating a lot of the time on dried fruits, nuts, chocolate and lot’s of other gourmet foods so that did not contribute to improve my sensitive intestines. But before I was raw I was on coffee, white bread and cookies and I was tired all the time, so going raw was a great improvement. Now after a period of eating all kinds of cooked foods again for two years I am turning now slowly again more to raw but in a more balanced way. Raw foods enlightened my passion for food and my taste buds have become much more sensitive. Also I have to add that the benefit of living high raw for more then ten years, shows off in my skin and the lack of wrinkles haha.
These days I still have some health issues to face (candida), facing the sugar demanding demons. The Body Ecology Diet that I am doing now is feels more and more like a permanent fit. I want to be free of sugar cravings and permanently live low-glycemic as I believe this is more healthy.
10. Do you have any dental problems (through) the raw food diet?
Yes , for while I had more cavities. Probably because I was eating too much dried fruit and too much nuts. And also I had my fillings removed by an organic dentist, but there is still lot’s of mercury in my body so I think he did not remove it well.
11. Who or what else influences you most?
My own will power and longing to be healthy ! I never give up and I always look for new ways how to live, eat and enjoy.
At the moment the Body Ecology Diet is inspiring to me. I fall in love with cultured vegetables and kefir and making those things. I fully trust this diet will help to restore my intestinal balance an propel me into excellent health.
12. What is your recommendation for raw food in winter?
Listen to your body. Do not force it to eat raw. For me eating raw in wintertime did not work as my system had been too coldish for too long. Especially my spleen. My reflexologist tells me this will disappear once the emotional blockage from my lower chakra’s is removed and my inner heating is restored. Who knows…but still I see moving to a warmer country as a serious option as I believe I will feel better eating raw. Also living in a more natural environment (instead of the city) will help with maintaining a raw diet.
13. How do you come up with all these great Lovechock recipes?
The first three flavours of my chocolate came after lot’s of error and trial. In my first chocolates I threw all the superfoods I could find in order to create a super-alchemy. Later I learned the art of simpleness and letting things out.
14. Would you like to share one of your favorite recipes with us?
I keep the Lovechock recipes secret as they are so successful. My passion is to develop more chocolate recipes for Lovechock and also to dive into the superfood-superherb elixirs
15. Do you prefer to drink juices or smoothies, and do you have a favorite recipe there as well?
Mostly smoothies as they make a complete meal.
Favorite winter smoothie: Juicing kale, apple, ginger, lemon, fennel and then blending it with soaked chia seed, fresh cranberries, gojis and lot’s of cinnamon and stevia.
16. You also have a blog .. what is that one about?
Mainly my job at Lovechock is R&D (Research and Development ) and Quality manager. Besides that I have little time to write but I love to post nice things on Facebook.
17. Are you self taught on all your raw knowledge or did you train somewhere, eg Tree Of Life, Matthew Kenney, Institute for Integrative Nutrition etc?
I did read a huge amount of books and had also a raw chef training of four days where I learned all about the gourmet foods. Not a long training but enough to start my own raw home restaurant at that time. I love to make food and love to see people happy ! Later I started to like to make raw chocolate as my favorite skill in the kitchen as it is flowing so sensually and is kind of light to do.
18. Tell us one detail about you that most people do not know.
Schizandra berries help with sugar cravings !
19. Do you do any sports and how important do you think is exercise/sports?
No sports. I am on the bike for like an hour a day here in Amsterdam and this is enough for moving. Besides that I go dancing every week. My condition is good !
20. What do you think is especially important for optimal health, food and sports aside?
Doing what you love to do.
21. Do you have a spiritual connection to food?
Yes !! Eating raw brought me back to my connection with the earth that I am so thankful for. Finally I could feel the power of the foods I was eating. Now I just want to grow it and play with it. Nature means everything to me and I have a deep longing to be there. My vision is to make Lovechock even more sustainable, and to start a foundation to support Forest Gardening. My dream (and I will succeed) is to live with my man on a self sustainable land where I grow my own vegetables, build my eco house, eat raw, sing, dance and bask in the sunshine!
22. In which direction is the raw food movement going in your opinion?
In all directions as it seems. First of all the superfoods are very trendy now. And although it became highly commercial, a lot of new people get into raw foods through their juices and smoothies and the things they blend into that. I am happy in general the tide is turning and more and more people become food conscious. One thing that is missing in Amsterdam is a proper raw restaurant; but I have heard even that will be solved soon…mmm looking forward.
23. What are your current projects and plans?
I am currently working on a new flavour for Lovechock at fall time. The next years I will focus more on product development, PR and research.
Dear Laura, thanks a lot for your time!