“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”
Walking to a meeting a couple of years ago with the head of the fantastic organization (which I must name-drop here because I so love this woman’s mission) Girl Gone International, I paused somewhere near De Pijp, surprised at what was in front of me… Stacked high in front of a sleek green and white storefront were trays and trays of tarwegras, or wheatgrass. Having lived here before – and probably having mentioned it on the blog before – I was rather frustrated during my time living full-time in Amsterdam, as saying there were few to no health food restaurants/ lunch rooms/ shops was an understatement. And don’t even get me started on the small village in Brabant where I had spent so much time prior to our big city move. I had the impression that asking for a wheatgrass shot would more likely get me some marijuana cocktail than a superfood boost. Sure, there are organic markets and chain grocery stores selling “health food”, but as many of those of us who eat clean know, these types of establishments foster their own communities of people who enjoy swapping stories, recipes, and anecdotes about recent reads on the topic. I longed for a place to sip matcha lattés and spirulina smoothies.
Being on my way to the meeting, I couldn’t very well pop in to this place claiming to be the Netherlands’ first slow juice bar and give it the attention I wanted, so I returned to Tarwegraskoning for lunch a bit later on. The inside was filled with more trays of sprouting wheatgrass and the bright green worked well against those typically-Dutch stark white walls. I discovered a back room with seating for those who wished to linger over a superfood shot or healthy meal. Naturally, I had to try a “house special” wheatgrass shot accompanied by a sort of slaw salad. Both were appropriately flavorful and energy boosting, and I left looking forward to my next visit and wondering if this was the beginning of a new wave of food spots in NL. I’m happy to report in 2015 that indeed eating fresh and raw ingredients rather than frietjes or god-knows-what from a wall is becoming more the norm and is now widely accepted and accommodated.
For the overall health of the planet, for the innocent animals killed thoughtlessly every day, and for my own selfish desires for a long and healthy life, I am super thankful that attention to health through food is catching on so strongly in one of my adopted countries.
Stay tuned for information about health food in the Netherlands coming soon…
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