Qatar’s Raw Food Health Expert Tells Us How to Lose Weight

Nicole van Hattem talks to us about how she dropped three dress sizes and improved her health
ByDawn GibsonTuesday , 25 February 2014
Qatar’s Raw Food Health Expert Tells Us How to Lose Weight
The Raw Health Coach Nicole van Hattem says it's easy to change your diet to include more raw food

Qatar-based Nicole van Hattem dropped three dress sizes and 17kg when she transformed her diet with raw foods. Now, she works as ‘The Raw Health Coach’, running workshops and advising clients all over the world. We asked her how the approach works…

The personal experience that led to you becoming a raw food coach sounds amazing. How did you do it?
There were no holistic health coaches in Qatar when I started four years ago, so I had to coach myself. I worked my way through all the dieting myths and misinformation to change the way I approached wellness as well as food. 

What are the basic guidelines to follow?
Raw foods are those that are not heated above 41C (105F). Overheating food can destroy vital enzymes and lowers the nutritional value. With each meal, you need to look at your plate and ensure that at least half of what you’re eating is raw, and increase this over time. Choose foods that are unprocessed or lightly processed and eat a wide variety of colours.  

Critics of the raw food approach say it’s difficult to put into practice with ‘normal’ eating. What do you say?
It's easy to add more fruit to your breakfast, salads to your lunch, fresh juices, nuts and seeds for snacks, and more vegetables to your dinner. Nature provides an astounding variety.  

You held your first Qatar workshop at The St Regis Doha in January. What can we expect coming up?
Qatar's wellness landscape is growing and, with the increasing numbers of residents looking for holistic ways to de-stress, rebalance their bodies and live well, this will be the first of many more special wellness events with The St Regis Doha.

INFO: For recipes and tips, go to Nicole’s website: www.TheRawHealthCoach.com