Hello, my name is Marianne van den Heuvel. In the end of 2015 I came back to Amsterdam after 5 years living in the Philippines with my family. I have a background in Education and Anthropology and have been working in this field for many years (both as a teacher and working for non-government organizations) in the Netherlands and the Middle East.
The Philippines stole my heart. It were beautiful tropical years with fresh coconuts every day! It was wonderful to be able to work on projects that were in my mind for a long time. With my love for handwoven fabrics, I created a small social business, designing and making bags of traditional textiles of the Philippines (www.ipilcollection.com). I also supported some other small scale social enterprises, such as a families making bracelets using glass beads and gemstones. I enjoy making designs and select the colors and beads in the local markets.
Color of the jungle
I love colors and green is my favorite. It is quite funny but most of my clothes are green. I found out that wearing green in the urban jungle of Manila gave me the feeling of being surrounded by nature. It really works!
My discovery of raw & vegan food
These past years, I was fortunate to take time to do a Yoga Teacher Training course and focus on how to heal myself from years of stomach pain. I was not able to digest my food well. I was very active and in the same time I could tell my digestive system drained my energy. I visited many doctors and health specialists but it did not really bring me much. It took me years and lots of experimenting to find release and ways to support myself.
Discovering raw food is a result of a long journey trying out different food to treat my sensitive digestive system.Eating food based on raw food techniques, in combination with warming spices and some lightly cooked grounded food, does me really well. It makes me feel light in lots of different ways. Now I feel so healthy. I feel good and touch with my emotions. My eating habit has supported me very strongly to find this new balance.
Raw/vegan Food Chef & Holistic Health Education
I did the Raw Food Chef & Holistic Health Education course at Elaina Love’s Pure Joy Academy in Bali. I am very happy I did that. Here I can combine refined food preparation techniques with my creativity. I am very inspired to share my learning.
Specialised raw food preparation skills are soaking, sprouting, fermenting, juicing, dehydrating, knowledge and use of superfoods, detox protocols etc. I love the Asian and Middle eastern cuisine and have been fortunate to live in those regions for many years to get inspired and learn about many different dishes.
I also integrate the knowledge of the Ayurvedic food and nutrition concepts (constitutions/doshas, use of herbs and spices), the Traditional Chinese Medicine (warming & cooling) and macrobiotic cooking to create dishes that are suitable for all seasons and constitutions or types of people.
KOKO Kitchen is created to promote healthy food and share the learning. I offer catering and products, organise workshops about vegan food preparation and coach people in indivual sessions. As a yoga teacher and Kundalini Yoga coach, I can combine the health coaching with physical exercises. It is a great combination to gain more awareness on what your body needs.
Coconut products & Cookbook
I am currently building partnerships with coconut farmers who are producing high quality organic and fair trade products to export to Europe. I will be selling those products here in Amsterdam.
Further, I am working on a cookbook. A book about my Asian inspiration, the love for beautiful and colorful healthy food. With personal stories and with information about coconut oil, sugar and nectar etc. and how to use all those great ingredients in the kitchen! With many recipes to give you ideas on how to make nice and simple dishes.