More than a mother
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I became extremely aware of what I ate. After all, I was building a person, cell by cell! But even after those 9 months, even after I finished breastfeeding my daughter -who had grown gorgeously chubby on my milk- that awareness stayed. No matter how busy I was as a working mother, I made sure I spent quality time with Zilver, eating home-made quality food. Even if she sometimes preferred fast-food and sugary sodas…
Marlies: No chips, no candy, no soft drinks. It must have driven you mad sometimes, growing up with a health nut for a mother!
Zilver: (laughs) It did, actually!
Marlies: I remember you telling me when you were little: “When I leave home, I am going to eat only junk food and take-away pizzas.”
Zilver: Yes, I must have been 7 or 8. But shortly after I said that, during a road trip, I had my first Mc Donalds. I was so excited walking in there, but when I sat down to eat, I realized the food was absolutely terrible!
Marlies: I was so proud of the fact that you hated it! To me, it was a sign that I had done something right, raising you on healthy, mostly organic food. One of the reasons I made you eat all those fresh vegetables and fruit was because ultimately, those give you the most energy. And you were an incredibly energetic child; running around, lifting your friends, long after everybody else had run out of steam.
Zilver: I have actually grown to really appreciate that. When I need an energy boost now, I won’t reach for sugary sodas. As a matter of fact, you have instilled quite a few healthy food habits in me! I’m not as strict as you are about my diet, but I understand that eating organic produce, fish and meat is much better for both my body and the environment. A traditional Dutch meal of steak and potatoes is okay to have occasionally, but not every day.
Marlies: You recently saw ‘What The Health’, an eye-opening documentary that reveals the consequences of meat and dairy consumption for our health and the environment. It had quite an impact on you, didn’t it?
Zilver: First of all, it made me realize just how much you were ahead of the times with your ideas about food. I remember, for example, that I wasn’t allowed to have school milk, because you were wary of dairy.
Marlies: Fifteen years ago, people looked at you like you were crazy if you even dared to suggest that dairy might not be good for you!
Zilver: Exactly! Secondly, I was shocked to find out what the real price of a hamburger is; how much the earth has to suffer to get that hamburger on your plate. It made me feel like I really wanted to make a change, for me and the world!
Marlies: That makes me even more proud! You know that I always believed in being ‘more than a mother’. It is so important for a woman to keep dreaming and growing, especially as a mother. After all, you are your child’s most important role model! To be able to be a mother and more – in my case, to run my own company – I had to keep a very strict schedule. But no matter how busy I was, I always made time to have breakfast and dinner with you. Do you remember that?
Zilver: I do! And I loved being in the kitchen with you, watching you cook, helping you out. I really cherished those moments, and I still do. We both live hectic lives right now, and cooking together is the perfect occasion to catch up with each other, to take a break from all the craziness.
Marlies: In the end, I believe that a beautiful, healthy meal, cooked with care and eaten with the ones we love, is so much more than food for our bodies; it’s a feast for our souls.
Zilver: To many more feasts together! I love you!
Marlies: I love you too!
REFLECTIONS FROM YOUR MIRROR
FOR THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Between king and QUEEN
Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”
Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”
The art of love!
Get your creative juices flowing
This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!