Dutch Smiling Yogi & friends have a new food blogger. We’re proud to present Leyla Ramadan; our new food guru.
In the middle of the night, you can wake her up with some dark chocolate. If you don’t have it with you, you better let her sleep. She might be a yogi, but not a morning one. Leyla Ramadan, Dutch Smiling Yogi & friends’ new food blogger prefers the night and a shot of coffee in the morning to get started.
Next to her morning coffee shot she has a big love for food. Healthy food. Although that love wasn’t always there: “In my teens I had an ‘unhealthy’ relationship with food, like a lot of teens seem to have. It was a long, hard journey, but over time I began to understand the importance of taking care of myself. This included becoming aware of what foods were good for me and what weren’t.”
Healthy and delicious
The dishes she creates for herself now-a-days are healthy ones. Healthy and delicious. Although there are still a lot of people who think healthy food, lack taste and substance Leyla believes this is due to not experimenting enough. “If you’re not open minded and have an attitude that it won’t taste nice, it won’t. Some foods I disliked in the past ended up being my favorite foods. It’s all in the mind.”
Her own repertoire was a bit limited in the beginning. “My dad is the cook at home. He’s got a passion for Asian food, but not much else. Mum doesn’t enjoy cooking and neither were very experimental When I started to travel the world – at the age of 23 – I discovered new flavors, wanted to re-create them myself. I became more experimental, gained a new found gratitude for food and my palette completely changed.”
Except for the dark chocolate she hasn’t got a favorite, healthy recipe. “I have many, but I love avocados, sweet potato and spinach. These are present in many of my recipes.”
Food blogger and yogini
For Ramadan food is part of her yogi lifestyle. She has been interested in this lifestyle ever since she was a child. Although she didn’t know the yoga label back then. “As child, love and kindness were always a big part of me. I found the word ‘yoga’ around the age of 16 and dedicated myself to it in my mid 20’s. For me a yogic life is a life of being in the moment, being awake, a feeling of being love, spreading kindness, seeing all as one. Focused, flexible, and balanced in mind. Open to learning as well as teaching. Treating your body with respect through healthy food, water, chosen lovers, breath and movement. Being aware of the unity between mind, body and spirit. A commitment to the path of developing yourself and inspiring others.”
It’s the life she wants to lead, but she admits: “Some days I feel I get lost. I get monkey mind and feel a bit chaotic. I notice it, take a deep breath and come back to yoga.”
Teaching at Mind Body Om
Her love for living a yogic lifestyle brought her last year to India, where she studied yoga at Sampoorna Yoga. Now she combines her work as a photographer for Ripple Photography – a London based company she is the CEO of – while also teaching yoga at her other company: Mind Body Om. “Teaching gives me the opportunity to open my heart and welcome others into all that I am learning along my path in hope that they can find some comfort, and inspiration in it.” And next to that – of course – she is going to share her best recipes with Dutch Smiling Yogi & friends as our food blogger. So keep an eye out for that!
You’ll find all our recipes on our recipe page.