Introducing Health Coach Brenda
My name is Brenda Waldekker, MSc and from early on, I have had an interest in health, nutrition and cooking. In 2015 I received my degree as a Weight Loss Coach and soon after I started my online practice. During this time I was already looking into the benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet and in 2016 I became a Vegan. Over the years I have studied a lot of material on plant-based nutrition, weight loss and human psychology. I continue to do so to be able to help teach as many people how to live a healthier life.
These days it is possible to learn many things, yet it seems it has become a lot harder to make the right choices when it comes to our health and nutrition. TV commercials, diet fads and famous people with weird eating habits determine more and more the way we think about food. This misleading information leads to greater confusion about what healthy eating habits are. In order to make good choices, I believe it is important to have a clear and complete picture and to know in which way your day to day choices can drastically influence your health.
Unfortunately, I have not always had such a healthy relationship with food. For example, in my student days, I often ate unhealthy foods. Because of stress and difficulty dealing with emotions, I found it hard to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight for my body. My weight fluctuated a lot. Gradually, I started reading more books about health and cooking healthy foods. (Although I also love baking, so I ate a lot of cakes along the way). I learned how to cook and started to try out many recipes. This gave me more and more insight into what healthy eating means and how I should take care of my body and mind.
Over the years I have gained a lot of personal experience on healthy weight loss, but I wanted more. I wanted to help other people so they wouldn't have to figure everything out by themselves, like I did. I wanted them to have support from someone who could give them all the information and help them get through the tough times. So I went back to school and learned everything I could about the body, healthy eating, the psychology behind eating etc. and I started my own coaching business.
My Qualifications as a Vegan Coach
In 2015 I received my certification as Weight Loss Coach, and in 2016 I finished my specialization in children's weight loss care. This means I am fully qualified to coach people to obtain a healthier lifestyle and weight and to assist children and their parents with weight loss (or weight gain) issues and/or unhealthy eating habits, in particular. I love teaching families healthy eating and life style habits, so they are able to build a solid foundation for a healthy future.
I have a very broad knowledge of nutrition in general and plant-based nutrition in particular. I have knowledge of the psychology of weight loss and behavioral change and I have first hand experience with weight-loss, healthy eating and plant-based living.
I also have a University degree in Cultural Antropology and therefore I am trained to read and understand scientific research. This is pretty important these days when the internet provides a jungle of information and it is often difficult to assess whether certain information is true.
I have noticed that more and more children around the world are having problems with unhealthy weight or even obesity. They are getting an unfair disadvantage in life, despite the best efforts of their parents. Children who are too heavy or obese at a young age, risk having a much higher chance of obesity and associated health issues.That is why I find it extremely important that children and their parents have access to reliable information on nutrition and that they can enlist the help of a professional Health Coach.
Currently I am into my second year as a Vegan (read the whole story about how and why I became Vegan here) and I am 100% convinced that a plant-based diet is the best way to ensure physical and mental health. Many renowned doctors and scientist continue to find evidence that support this.
My mission is to help as many people who want to change to a healthier, plant-based lifestyle, as possible and provide them with the tools to do this safely, responsibly and permanently.
Areas of interest: Whole Foods Plant-Based, Veganism, weight loss, weight gain, emotional eating, long term success, personal focus.
I have made it my mission to teach anyone, who is motivated to change his/her life for the better, how to achieve a healthier lifestyle. The key concepts in this process are self-reliance and permanent change. A diet should be for life and healthy habits are absolutely vital.
- Qualified 'Weight Loss Consultant', Civas Opleidingen (Education), Haarlem, The Netherlands;
Officially recognized specialization 'Kind en Voeding' (Child and Nutrition), Leefstijlwijzeropleidingen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands;
- Self study on Veganism and Plant-Based Nutrition. E.g. knowledge of:
- Master's degree in ‘Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of Non-Western Societies‘, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands;
Guidelines and Insights
I largely work in keeping with the following guidelines and nutritional insights:
- Dr. Campbells, 'Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) diet';
- Dr. Greger's 'How Not to Die';
- Dr. Esselstyn Jr.'s 'Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Program';
- Dr. McDougall's 'The Starch Solution'.
- BGN (Association of Weight Consultants Netherlands) guidelines for weight loss consultants;
- ‘Richtlijnen Goede Voeding 2015‘ (Guidelines for Good Nutrition) of the Dutch Health Board;
- ‘Richtlijnen Schijf van Vijf‘ (Guidelines Nutrition Diagram) of the Dutch Center of Nutrition (Voedingscentrum);