Posts tagged ‘vegan’

November 20, 2018

My search for conscious & natural shampoo ended at “Instituut Haar en Gezondheid”


When I started this blog, the term “consciousness” wasn’t hip yet. Luckily, conscious living and consuming became a bit of a trend. For me this process of becoming more conscious of how much waste I produce, what kind of products I use and what I consume, this awareness that almost felt natural to me, happened when I felt I was finally growing up.

The search for natural shampoo

Due to my mixed roots, my thick, dark hair is naturally curly. I’ve mistreated my hair, dyed it in many colours chemically (until I met Dianne te Mebel of Instituut Haar & Gezondheid) and used random beauty products for my hair and body. A couple of years ago I started getting rashes after showering and searched and found natural alternatives for the industrially made shower gels I used until then. The years after this though, I struggled to find good alternatives for my hair shampoos. I tried many shampoos that were advertised to be organic and natural, from many different countries, bought in local “organic shops” (“Natuurwinkels”), as well as online. The problem I had with these shampoos was, that most of them would clean my hair, but they would flatten my curls, make my hair frizzy and take away its shine. From some of the shampoos I ordered online from companies that branded as being completely organic, biological and natural, I figured out they had some chemical ingredients anyway AFTER I got them delivered at home.

Do you know what you put in your hair?

I’ve considered making my own shampoo and did some research, but you know, it’s one of those things that’s still on my To Do List for one day when I will make the time for it. For years I’ve continued my search to the perfect, natural shampoo and I occasionally tried some of the regular shampoos again as well. These actually sometimes make my curls pretty for a while, but contained chemicals and/or stuff like: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Parabens, Sodium Chloride, Polyethylene Glycols (PEG), Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Dimethicone, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Triclosan, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Synthetic Fragrances, Formaldehyde and Alcohol. WHAT? You don’t know what these are, apart from one, or maybe two?? EXACTLY! That’s my point! Then why would you put them in your hair?

What if I would have remembered her sooner?

I’d never been in touch with Dianne te Mebel again since writing those blogs, when all of a sudden I remembered she KNOWS how to treat hair. She treats hair consciously and has been doing so before this became hip in Amsterdam. I decided to ask her advice about shampoos. I contacted her and she told me to pass by, so she could introduce me to her self-made natural shampoos and other natural hair products.

Instituut Haar en Gezondheid

Dianne’s salon is very centrally located next to the Amstel river that Amsterdam has been named after and it’s warm, welcoming and cozy. I don’t think she advertises much, because for sure people always come back after having visited her the first time. When I entered, I felt like all of the clients present were regulars that have been coming there for years. Dianne’s salon Instituut Haar en Gezondheid (Institute of Hair and Health) specialises in dying your hair naturally with henna (CLICK).

Instituut Haar en Gezondheid at Amstel 186, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management

Instituut Haar en Gezondheid at Amstel 186, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management

Natural hair products!

As soon as I entered, I was pleasantly surprised. I saw beautiful shampoo bars that looked like a piece of art, natural argan oils that Dianne brought from Morocco herself, natural apple cider vinegars that will give your hair a boost, henna brownies, hair masks that look super tasty but are for your hair, rosewater to condition your hairs and many more natural products without packaging that instantly made me happy; I knew I found what I’d been looking for.


Edible looking natural meringue hair masks at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management

Edible looking natural meringue hair masks at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management


The shampoo bars smell like spices and weigh about 120 grams each. They’re being wrapped in some paper (with a cute ribbon) to safely take home (I’ve already reused these for a present), but other than that there is no packaging = no waste. They’re easy to take with you (Even in your hand luggage when flying!) and will last you about 50 washings. Oh and they’re vegan and only tested on humans!


A selection of the natural shampoo bars at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management

A selection of the natural shampoo bars at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid. Photo by DLCS Management


Heavenly hair washing

To make my morning even better, Dianne announced that she’d be washing my hair for me, to demonstrate the shampoo bar. I love having my hair washed and she was explaining what the shampoo bar was made of and where she gets the ingredients, so this was heavenly.

Eden natural shampoo bar by Instituut Haar en Gezondheid

Eden natural shampoo bar by Instituut Haar en Gezondheid

The Eden henna shampoo bars come in a few different “flavors” and Dianne chose me the “Henna Color shampoo Eden Red/Auburn”. Besides henna, my shampoo bar contains jojoba, rosemary, juniper and grapefruit, also cocoa butter and shea butter. Since my hair hasn’t been dyed for some time and is about black, we don’t expect that the henna will actually color my hair (apart from maybe the grey ones), but last time Dianne dyed my hair, it was revitalised and conditioned and super healthy again thanks to the henna (Read about this HERE) and this lasted for months.

(I don’t like posting pictures of myself on this blog, but I just had to show you how happy Dianne’s hands & products made me) . DLCS Management

 DLCS Management

Already after a minute I loved the smell. My hair felt clean. After washing my hairs twice, she also conditioned it with her “Sweet Rose Conditioner bar” enriched with sweet orange oil, shea butter and avocado oil and then sprayed in some of her apple cider vinegar (includes plants, blue malva and lemon), which made my hair shine and made the skin on my head feel fresh. Of course I had to test her rosewater and argan oil as well and this stuff smells and feels so amazing!

(I don’t like posting pictures of myself on this blog, but I just had to show you how happy Dianne’s hands & products made me)  


After this visit I really stretched the time I waited until washing my hair again, just to observe the effect of Dianne’s products on my hair. After a week, my hair still felt and smelt clean. I just really couldn’t wait to try the shampoo bar myself, so I decided it was time. I figured out that you only need to make the bar a little moist to get enough shampoo on your hands and then hair. It foams a lot very easily! There is no way I’ll squirt shampoo in the shower instead of in my hands again and it’s just a tiny little bit that I need for every washing. I’m sure this bar will last for quite some time! It’s been a couple of weeks now and I’m still happy.

Institute Hair and Health, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management

Institute Hair and Health, Amsterdam. Photo by DLCS Management


So. My conclusion? Until one day I’ll get to my To Do List and will make my own shampoo, I will never use anything else again.


My Eden natural shampoo bar by Dianne te Mebel . Photo DLCS Management

My Eden natural shampoo bar by Dianne te Mebel . Photo DLCS Management



Oh wait, I almost forgot. I’ve got some exciting news as well.
1.:  Soon Dianne will dye my hair with her natural henna products at Instituut Haar en Gezondheid again and I’m very much looking forward to this.
2. : There’s a webshop! See: . For now most of the website is only in Dutch, but Google Translate is your friend and of course you can leave me a message if you have a question. The Henna brownies come in 25 colors and there’s a step-by-step manual on the site (If you’re not confident enough to color at home with the manual AND you’re located in The Netherlands, FYI, every once in a while there are workshops in the salon where you can learn to color your own hair, how to best treat your hair and receive more tips while enjoying a healthy lunch).
Instituut Haar & Gezondheid
Amstel 186
1017 AG Amsterdam
(The Netherlands)



Which natural products do YOU use for your hair?

Are you as conscious about what you put in your hair as about what you put in your belly?


DLCS Management logo

DLCS Management logo


March 23, 2012

Heavenly! Neighbourfood market @Westergasfabriek, Westerpark Amsterdam

Last Sunday, the 18th of March, I woke up dazzled and hungry after a busy Friday & Saturday in which lots was consumed.

I was too lazy to get out of bed, too uninspired to make breakfast, so I stayed in bed, awake and browsed the IPhone. It was around 10. I was wondering what to do that day and didn’t feel very energetic. Or quick. Or awake, but I couldn’t sleep anymore. Then I read that there was a NeighbourFood market @ the Westergasfabriek, in the Westerpark in Amsterdam. I remembered I visited the 1st edition, I was not so impressed then. Then I saw something written like; “Did you go out? Are you hungry? Want to cure your hangover? Forget about making breakfast and come to the Westerpark to have your breakfast. Just make sure you wake up before 15h.” Hmmmm that sounded perfect… I hopped in the shower, jumped on the bike & went to the park. I got more and more hungry on the way….

When I reached the Westergasfabriek, I saw some marketstalls outside, there were some raindrops, there was a Dutch  girl baking very goodlooking hamburgers and I kind of  instantly decided I wanted one of those. The hamburgers were € 4,– or € 5,–; a very decent price for a hamburger in amsterdam. They looked tasty. They smelled great. There was also a stall with grilled vegetables on a sandwich, looked great too, but to kill my hunger I was really craving for some meat. The sweet waffles I saw I was not interested in. I decided I shouldn’t go for the burger immediately; there could be more choice inside, so I went into the factoryhall.

I immediately stumbled upon an Italian Mister from whom I bought a  heavenly capucino, decorated with a heart. With the coffee I walked around and was amazed by the smells, the decoration, the beauty, WHAT A WAKE UP! I wished I could visit this market every Sunday! I was happy I came so early, some people were still setting up their stands, it was not too busy too walk around and all the food was freshly made and actually in some stalls, still cooking…

The first stalls I was interested in, was ran by some Greek food-lovers. I spoke to the people of  De Groene Griek (The Green Greek), who import their olive oil from Greece. They told me about their oil and about the island of  Lesbos and said; “Too bad you’re drinking coffee, so you can’t try the oil”. I told them I’d go for a walk, finish my coffee and come back, after all, I had only just woken up.

Next I past an Italian stall… my eye fell on them ’cause their ingredients, many vegetables and breads, looked real. The boy & girl working at the stand didn’t have customers yet, were not used to standing at a market yet, and had to even call the owner of the place, Mondo Mediterraneo, to ask what was the price for the bread I wanted to buy. It didn’t matter. They were super-polite, I had time and felt relaxed. The stone-oven-baked-bread from Puglia looked gorgeous and indeed tasted much better than a Dutch bread. This is something I bought to take home. They do food and catering, I’ll check out their place soon.

I picked up a free Vega magazine and then I saw what was going to be my breakfast. Something much more heavenly than a hamburger; I was happy I didn’t immediately go for the burger outside. You may have seen a pic of my breakfast already, I posted it live last Sunday;  
It was similar to what the Dutch know as (Indonesian) bapao’s, but these “braised pork buns”  as chef FongYee Wong calls her very popular and very delicious specialty, are much tastier, very VERY heavenly I would almost say, I think they’re one of my new favourite foods! The pork meat is braised in stock, the steamed buns are excellent, she made pickles from rettich & carrot, added some chopped peanuts, grated coconut and  chillisauce too if preferred. After I ate this bun I felt regenerated. I later bought another one to bring home. I spoke to Ms FongYee Wong and the lady that acompagnied here, I just had to ask her where she’s from and where this food comes from. The explosion of flavours reminded me of Thai food, but I thought the two ladies did not look Thai (Not that I’ve met many Thai people in my life). She told me she’s from Singapore, and this food could be described as Malaysian food. I’d love to meet her again, I’d love her to teach me about food too. And if I ever organise a party or event, I’d hire her in a sec. to organise some pop-up food on location. I’m sold. Check out the Baoproject for these amazing pork buns. Chef FongYee Wong will present her buns at Claire Sullivans next pop-up dinner My Table too, so keep an eye on her! Unfortunately I will have to miss the April 3 one. When I do visit one of these pop-up dinners, of course I’ll let you know all about it. 

So I had coffee, food, I could finally think again.

I passed by the Groene Griek again, where I tried the very good olive oil from Lesbos.  I ran out of Croatian olive oil and when I came home I regretted I didn’t buy a bottle. It was obviously natural. They proudly showed me the picture of the old woman who makes the oil.

My eye then fell at their neighbour, Olivity, a Greek stall full of natural, vegan delicasies, made with olive oil, ran by Ms. Caterina Tzoridou. I loved everything she offered on first sight,  and was now ready to taste the olive oil delicasies.  I was totally impressed by the beet & walnut dip, for some reason I didn’t buy any to take home.   I did buy handmade vegan lemon-poppyseed cookies, suitable for sugar- and lactose- intolerant people, a piece of Tiropita; feta cheese crumbled pie and some coconut cake. Caterina Tzoridou, the owner and founder of Olivity, a very conscious food loving Greek woman, even gave me some cookies to try at home. Her store is in her house for now, so appointment required, but on her website you can get a bit of an impression of the well let’s say it again; heavenly Greek foods she creates.

When I left the place, with some food-goodies to test at home, I felt much better than when I woke up, and was ready to REALLY start the day. I felt tempted when I saw some stalls putting up cocktails, limoncello and prosecco, I thought it was a good time to head back home.

Haha how many times did I use the word heavenly in this post? Sorry for that!

NeighbourFood Market

NeighbourFood Market

Next edition; Sunday 22 April, from 10.00h (It’s always in the Westerpark, 3rd Sunday of the month, but the exact location in the park will change).
Do I see you there for breakfast????

More info (There are marketstalls available for the next edition too!); and

Mondo Mediterraneo

Chef FongYee Wongs Bao Project
and to stay up to date;!/BaoProject

Ms. Caterina Tzoridou’s Olivity
and to stay up to date;

Ms. Claire Sullivan’s pop up dinners in Amsterdam; My Table

January 19, 2012

The naturalists. Food=fashion dinner experience

I received an invitation from De Culinaire Werkplaats (Read about my 1st introduction to this place HERE ).

I would have chosen De Culinaire Werkplaats to win the Puur Restaurant Week last year for sure (Read what I wrote about that HERE) , but as one of two founders/owners Eric Meursing told me; It’s okay, we’re not a restaurant anyway. And that’s true. De Culinaire Werkplaats (The Culinary Workingplace) is a guaranteed unique food experience.

Curious? Cool! ‘Cause founding mother Marjolein (Wintjes) and founding father Eric allowed me to share my invitation with YOU, my dearest readers…..

De Culinaire Werkplaats presents; The Naturalists, a food=fashion forward dinner experience.
Have you ever put your teeth into a colour and texture forecast?

From 20 ’till 28 January 2012 you can experience an unforgettable “food=fashion forward dinner experience” at De Culinaire Werkplaats. For the 6th time this artistic eating initiative in Amsterdam is one of the participating locations of the DownTown programma (The DownTown programme) of the Amsterdam Fashion Week. This years’ project is called; The Naturalists. Especially for this Amsterdam Fashion Week culinary designers Marjolein Wintjes and Eric Meursing have created a tasty foodspecial and a few collages in which they “caught time in a colour and texture forecast for fashion fabrics in food in 2013 and after“. The result is an exciting food=fashion discoverytour in which the relationship with nature is central, in order to ask attention for our vulnerable ecosystem.

Food equals fashion; the naturalists.

  • The foodspecial consists of 5 dishes; 3 savoury followed by 2 sweet. The 5 dishes are a playful interpretation of a colour and texture forecast in which the global trends  new romanticism, nesting, down-to-earth, new landscaping and ethnic chic will reflect.
  • The exposition in movement exists of collages and contains amongst others samples of edible conceptual fashionfabrics and colour/texture code per trend. As always it’s an exposition in movement, which will continue to develop itself during the fashion week, so you can also experience “the making of”.

Practical info:

  • When? January 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 & 28 2012;
  • Openinghours? Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 17.00 – 22.00 h & Saturday from 12.00 – 22.00 h;
  • Outside openinghours? After reserving open on appointment for groups of minimum 15 pax;
  • Where? De Culinaire Werkplaats is located at the Fannius Scholtenstraat 10 huis, 1051 EX Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
  • Reservation? Yes, please! Dial 0031-(0) 6 54646576 or send an e-mail to;
  • Price? You decide afterwards. For any eatingexperience at the Culinaire Werkplaats YOU decide what your experience was worth. Visiting the exposition is for free.
  •  More info?
Invitation the naturalists - De Culinaire Werkplaats

Invitation the naturalists - De Culinaire Werkplaats

They definitely got me curious. I still don’t know what to expect, I think I just need to pass by and try ‘n taste.
How about you? If you decide to go too, please come back here and share your experience with us!

September 22, 2011

Pure Pact by Veggie in Pumps at De Culinaire Werkplaats

As announced, Lisette Kreischer of (amongst others) Veggie in Pumps (, invited me to the official presentation and Dutch product- launch of Pure Pact; a new organic haircare productline ( Last Tuesday this happening took place at De Culinaire Werkplaats in Amsterdam (


I can’t give you my opinion on the products yet, I’ll take my time to test them and will keep you posted. Everyone who I’ve met who tried the products though, was super-enthusiastic, amongst which Dianne te Mebel, director and owner of Instituut Haar en Gezondheid (, a hair-saloon in Amsterdam which specialises in working with (and particularly painting with) natural products. They are one of Holland’s first saloons to use Pure Pact.

If Pure Pact is as good and honest as they say (100% purity allows raw material to activate long after application. 100% pure organics – from herbs, plants, flowers and fruits – extracted with the newest technologies for the purest result, preserve the maximum from nature’s gifts for cosmetic use), I’ll become a fan. I’ll let you know! My comment so far is that I wonder what is the meaning of all those ingredients on the packages… is it all truly biological and ecological? Minus; I want to know what’s in the products I use and I’m not a scientist.


Lisette, now I’ve met you live, I’m even more impressed with your style. You know how to market a product and organise an event. No, to create an experience! Of course she didn’t do it alone, so big up for the whole team of Veggie in Pumps; I also had the pleasure to meet Amadea, Dieke and Marloes.

As expected, I love the location the event took place at; De Culinaire Werkplaats is a beautiful experience on its own, their team made very good vegan snacks to trigger all senses, with flavours connecting to the Pure Pact products. For example;a “cocktail” of black carrot, lime and cres, a “spoonfull” explosion of chocolate, strawberry and mint, or vegan “bitterballen” with quinoa and sesame and soy-yoghurtsauce- very impressive! This has been the first time I liked a soya-“dairy”-product. My favourite snack was chips made of lotus root. I’d never seen a fresh lotus root so I asked Eric Meursing (together with Marjolein Wintjes he is creator of de Culinaire Werkplaats), where I could buy one and he gave me one. I’ll also let you know what I did with it soon! Also I would like to thank the beautiful “Kleine Medewerker” of De Culinaire Werkplaats, because she seemed to put passion and love in the lovely snacks she was making. They turned me on!

I met some interesting and inspiring people at this excellent networking event ; June, with her stylish blog on tips and ideas on ethical fashion, eco beauty, fair food en eco travel;   ( , Liv, a “beautyblogger”, who blogs about natural cosmetics, ethical fashion and pure food; (, I also met two lovely ladies from Den Haag & Rotterdam (forgot your names, sorry!), one of them is working together with Lisette to develop an innovative and unique concept, I’ll see if they’ll allow me to write about that when the development hits a next stage. And last but not least, thank you Dieke for the nice head & shoulders massage! Very relaxing and very recommendable(

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