#arkitaipmuse Kyra de Vreeze
In our 'Muse of the Month'-series, we're introducing you to the inspiring women that surround us. Today, we're sitting down with Kyra de Vreeze from Kyra's Kitchen.
Hi Kyra, we're so excited to chat with you today! Could you briefly introduce yourself to our community?
Hi Lea! So nice to receive your invitation! My name is Kyra and I have been a licensed naturopath for almost 20 years now, specializing in holistic nutrition and regenerative health. I live with my husband and two young daughters in the Netherlands but I was born and partially raised in Curacao, an island off the coast of Venezuela. I spent my formative years playing outdoors, under the Caribbean sky, where I was brought up in what we now call a 'climate-neutral home' on a huge plot of land. That powerful combination of nature, simplicity, and (self-) sufficiency have since proven to play a leading role in my life.
You're a certified naturopath. For those who don't know, can you explain what a naturopath does?
A naturopath is a health care professional who uses an integrative perspective to health and wellbeing. A naturopath treats each person as a unique individual by addressing all aspects of life: the physical, the emotional, the spiritual, the environmental, the lifestyle, and the attitudinal. By doing this we can uncover and treat the root cause of the health challenge.
The essence of naturopathy is that every body has the innate wisdom to heal itself. This incredible regenerative ability is not only visible in us, but in all of nature. In a similar way, when our body is out of balance, disease and complaints may occur. The state of our internal terrain matters. This is why one person gets sick when in contact with germs and another, who has had the exact same contact, does not. As a naturopath, it is my mission and priority to help my clients align with (their) nature, aid and inspire this unique process of regeneration, help optimize the state of their bodily terrain and facilitate a multi-levelled and sovereign way of healing and wellbeing.
This sounds incredible. How did your journey as a naturopath start?
I must have been about 8 years old when I said ‘when I grow up I want to be an herbal doctor.’ As a child, the wilderness and the outdoors were my happy place. I used to go out and forage for medicinal herbs and edible flowers. I knew their Latin as well as their Dutch names. I made tinctures, salves, and healing oils from them. After high school, I traveled to Australia for my gap year. When I was in the Blue Mountains I heard the word ‘naturopathic medicine’ for the first time. The description of naturopathic medicine exactly matched my idea of a ‘herbal doctor’ so I researched whether or not the Netherlands had any naturopathic colleges. There were a few so at age 18, straight upon returning from Australia, I started my education.
This is who I am and why I am here on Earth. This above described notion has been part of me always. It is safe to say it influences every fiber of my existence. It is my purpose.
What are the most healing foods that you would recommend eating?
The most healing foods are the foods grown in the healthiest soil, raised wild or regeneratively, grown locally and seasonally and eaten directly after harvest.
Are there any foods that you'd recommend eliminating from one's diet?
Anything that has been grown conventionally (thus sprayed with pesticides) or from GMO (genetically modified) seeds.
Could you tell us more about the importance of seasonal eating?
What I find so beautiful about seasonal and local eating is that by doing so we get to eat everything which grows here and now. This not only gifts us with the most nutrient-dense foods (Earth presents us with exactly the nutrients we need to thrive in that specific moment in time) but it also makes it easier for us to live in the here and now. And this is getting increasingly difficult as modern life with its digital information overload and global worries, takes over.
What does sustainability mean to you? How important is it in your everyday life?
Sustainability to me is historic terminology. To sustain means to continue the status quo - but we are way past needing to sustain. If we continue with the way we are currently living there won’t be a future for our grandchildren. It is that serious. What we need is radical reformation, to relearn how to truly thrive as a species, relearn to give and receive instead of extract and exploit and thus live in symbiosis and harmony with the Earth and all in and on it.
This is who I am and why I am here on Earth. This above-described notion has been part of me always. It is safe to say it influences every fiber of my existence. It is my purpose.
Do you have any eco-friendly kitchen hacks that you could share with us?
Because I buy almost everything we eat directly from the farm(ers), I can arrange package-free for vegetables and fruits and request paper bags for dried pantry items such as grains, nuts, and beans. The latter I buy in bulk which is cheaper, limits the amount of packaging and the amount of transport required.
What do you eat in a day?
This depends on the season, as what I desire changes with my environment.
For breakfast, I made an omelet from organic eggs from the local regenerative farm around the corner, lots of homegrown arugula from our balcony food garden, and turnip tops from the same local farm. I eat it as it is or enjoy it with a slice of homemade sourdough bread. The rye and spelt I use are grown in the vicinity of our home and either stone-milled or ground in my own grain mill.
I only eat when I am hungry which means breakfast is usually at 9.30 am. My lunch could be a homemade soup from seasonal ingredients with homemade crackers and a spread. When I don’t have a lot of time, porridge or a slice of sourdough bread with spread.
In between meals, I eat local and seasonal fruit as a snack. Right now that’ll probably be either an apple or a pear.
Recently, our favourite dinner has been homemade buckwheat noodles with stir-fried seasonal vegetables (any type of root, cabbage, and leaf), pickled cucumber, homemade tempeh, and a soy sauce dressing.
Any best practices to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to consuming food?
Seasonal and local eating is definitely the most regenerative way of eating, both for you as well as the Earth. You can also start growing a bit of your own food in your backyard, using for example the beginner-friendly square foot gardening method. It is so self-empowering to learn how to produce your own food and give back to the earth by sowing and facilitating life and abundance. We grow kilos of our own food on a city balcony that measures only 7 x 1,20m. Before starting this balcony garden, I had no experience whatsoever with tending to plants, gardening, or farming. And if I can do it, everyone can. If it can be done on a small city balcony, it can be done wherever you live.
Direct trade is also very important, it helps support small farmers who grow with passion and love, it also supports community which creates interconnectedness and resilience. So if you have the option available to you, buy directly from a local regenerative (organic or biodynamic) farm.