I’m Monique, Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner
I offer select private nutrition counseling to expats whose health and digestion has been compromised as a result of transitioning into new environments, cultures, climates, and foods.
I spent the first 18 years of my life in a small town in the Netherlands, surrounded by the warmth of my family, familiar faces everywhere and the comfort of routine. I spent a lot of time outdoors, walked to school and biked everywhere else. I had the same best friends from kindergarten to high school and knew the area like my back pocket.
The stability of those first 18 years of my life are a stark contrast to the 28 years that followed. I left home to study and after 4 years I left the Netherlands to do my masters in France. This is where I met my husband who is from India and we have been moving around the world ever since.
Having lived in France, India, Maldives, Singapore, USA, India again and now the Philippines, I am a member of a large community of global citizens that move around the world with family, bag and baggage.
My family and I navigate change and new environments with an ever growing level of experience and an ability to adjust and settle into a wide variety of different locales with what appears to be a lot of ease.
Yet, it wasn’t always that way. As everyone who lives the expat lifestyle knows, international relocations are never without challenges and stress. However experienced you are it takes time to adjust and find your footing in each new environment. It can be stressful on a mental, emotional and physical level to deal with changes, hunt for the perfect place to stay, settle children into school, find new friends and understand new cultures and food.
The combination of stress, climate changes, and different food can affect your health as well. My first few years in Asia were tough on my tummy and I carried the resulting digestive issues with me throughout the years that followed.
I am genetically built to live in a northern Europe climate, eat a Northern European diet and the dramatic shift to hot, humid, and spicy wasn’t something my body handled too well.
The effect of environment and climate change on my gut along with the stress of relocating and exposure to new foods and micro organisms is the reason that I and in fact many expats who move across the globe deal with digestive issues and the resulting health complaints.
I remember taking a vacation with my husband in Bali and instead of the romantic getaway that it was supposed to be I spent most of my time sleeping. This was the height of my health challenges and my digestion all over the place, resulting in feeling constantly fatigued and hormonally out of whack. To top it all I was desperately seeking, in the midst of all these transitions (or maybe because of them!) the greater purpose of my life.
This was the moment I realized I needed to take control of my health and my life. The conventional medical system wasn’t geared up to deal with these kind of chronic issues: there was no diagnosis for what I was dealing with and the typical solution was and still is to prescribe medicines to deal with symptoms. So I embarked on a mission to reclaim my health and I spent the next years studying health and nutrition.
With certifications in Yoga, Holistic Health coaching, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling under my belt and training with leading functional nutritionist Andrea Nakayama, I was able to figure out that the imbalances in my digestive system were at the root of everything else that was going on.
I had to dig deep to uncover and treat a lingering stomach infection, hypochloridia, food sensitivities, nutrient malabsorption and bacterial imbalances and navigate a way of eating across the different countries and continents that was aligned with my genetic make up and bio individual requirements.
Fast forward to today,
I am 47, I feel healthier now than I ever have, with high levels of energy, deep and restful sleep and a well functioning digestive system. I am married to an amazing man, have two wonderful teenage sons and I have found my passion and purpose in life. Health is an on-going process of course correction, especially when you move across the globe but I have learned to tune in to my body and tweak my diet and lifestyle according to its ever-changing needs. THIS is what I want for my clients as well.
Life’s too short to feel bloated, or constipated, cranky and unable to get out of bed in the morning. You can no longer afford to ignore these signs and symptoms. Your life is waiting for you to live it, to explore the world, to feel positive and energized and find and fulfill your passion and purpose.
12 years ago, when I was struggling with so many confusing health challenges while living abroad, I wished I had someone to show me the way. I didn’t it and it took me a long time to put the pieces of the puzzle together.
My mission is to help you resolve your health and digestion challenges, only faster so that you can get on with living your most optimal adventurous global life.
Here is what I suggest you do to get started: