Welcome to a new Salty Talks session! In this edit we ask our friends in Bali and the world to share their story and love for Bali islandlife. In this feature we’re talking to the beautiful fellow-Dutchies Isabella & Loulou Machine from Go With The Glow! An online platform run about living a plant-based lifestyle, run by 2 incredibly inspiring babes with a passion for spreading knowledge and good vibes around living vegan, girlboss entrepreneurs, yogis and Bali lovers. They’re traveling to Bali this week for their Vegan Yoga Retreat called Love out Loud yoga retreat starting May 25th. The perfect time to sit down and ask all about their journey as vegans, their healthy lifestyle and love for Bali. Enjoy!
// About the Isabella & Loulou
Name: our names are Loulou and Isabella Machine, that’s right we are sisters ;)
Born in: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Roots: we would like to call ourselves Earthlings but for the record, we have Italian and Indonesian roots
Currently living in: Amsterdam
Currently working on: we’re the founders of Go With The Glow; Your daily guide to a plant-based, compassionate, sustainable and conscious lifestyle. We believe that everything Glows from inside out and when you start eating a plant based diet you will thrive and it will benefit your health, the planet, the animals, and your soul! Therefore our mission is to empower people to make informed (Food) choices. We believe education is the strongest tool to spread awareness and heal the world.
We give lectures and workshops and our core business is organizing vegan brunches. We noticed that the best results come from experience and that is exactly what we want to create. We want people to experience how tasty, colorful and fulfilling a vegan menu can be and we challenge them to try it out for a month by handing out a Go With The Glow Magazine during the brunch, containing tips & tricks, recipes, lists of hotspots and so on. (Email us if you would like to order one!)
Beside our brunches we have been inspiring thousands of friends all over the world by spreading our vision through our online platforms instagram, facebook and youtube.
Our newest project the Love Out Loud vegan yoga retreat that is coming up, came to life as an expansion from our experiences and we teamed up with likeminded devotional Souls, Debbie Jongejan (from OHMat.nl) and former monk Liladhar Das Naumavets. Together we are taking a scary but brave new step by organizing a Vegan Yoga Retreats, starting in Bali, from the 25th till the 31st of this May! With this retreat we are offering our friendship and guidance on a magical journey that will nurture you on every level of your spiritual quest so that you can reconnect with that authentic light within and Love out Loud. Because isn’t that the core of existence anyway? Just Love out Loud?
// Could you share with us a bit of the journey of how you started Go with the Glow? And a bit of your future plans?
After finding out about the cruelty of the meat, egg and dairy industry and the catastrophic effect on the animals, our health and the planet, we decided that we would do anything, to the best of our ability, to no longer contribute in any way to the suffering and pain of any other living being. There was no solution more logical than going vegan.
Of course that didn’t happen overnight. Changing your habits may be one of the hardest things to do. We are so conditioned to certain habits and attached to occasions where food plays a big role. Food is everything. It is related to religion, holidays, emotions. Our food is the most intimate aspect of our connection with the world around us. It is when we take this world that is external and we put it inside our body and it becomes the cells and tissues of our body. We do it three times a day, some more, some less. The impact is extremely powerful.
But 10 years ago, nobody we knew was Vegan, people thought we were Cray and actually we didn’t even know what the F we were doing and that it would eventually benefit our health. The only thing we knew is that we were driven by the compassion in our hearts. There were no inspirational channels like Instagram, Pinterest and #vegan back in those days. But eventually, after some struggles, with the help of professional dietitians and personal trainers we learned to eat, work out and live again in a whole different way. A better way! It took devotion, dedication and an investment of time and energy to rearrange our lives but it was so worth it. When going Vegan it may seem that you have to give up on a lot of things when actually you are only gaining! The average person eats only 1% of all the foods available. So if you think that there is no life after your scrambled eggs with bacon and chicken sandwich, think again! We have discovered thousands of new recipes, flavors, kitchens and dishes since we went vegan. We became more fit, healthy, energized, our hair grew, our nails got stronger, our skins got better and we started feeling more connected to the Earth and the Universe. We unexpectedly grew spiritually.
We felt like a calling was placed upon our hearts to speak out for those who don’t have a voice; the animals. We felt like we could no longer pretend like Global Warming isn’t a problem. We could not deny that people around us noticed that we started glowing from this new lifestyle and so it has become our mission to spread the word! We wanted to share the beautiful journey that led us to veganism and save people all the obstacles that we have experienced in between. We wanted to make it easier and more accessible to switch to a plant-based lifestyle and so Go With The Glow was born.
For the future we just keep following the guidance that is raining down on us and we trust our journey. We’ll see where it takes us.
// Biggest passion(s) in life
Our biggest passion in life is Yoga. In the Western world mainly known for it’s physical practice but yoga has brought us so much more than flexibility, strength and peace of mind. Yoga philosophy and practice has given us purpose. It helped us to appreciate our bodies and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates. It helped us to make peace with who we are. To appreciate and be grateful. To feel. To be.
Our passion and our goal, for as long as we may live, is to try and live a life where we are practicing to reduce the sum total of suffering. We want to enhance the amount of joy in our lives and the lives of those around us and we will do everything we can to carry this message on, through veganism and through yoga.
// What words do you live by?
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bavantu. This is a powerful mantra from ancient Sanskrit scriptures, meaning: May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life, contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom of all.
// Last travel destination
Our last travel destination was Italy, where our father lives. We run a Bed & Breakfast there and one day we will turn it into a self-sufficient Eco Village. We are working on that plan. The South of Italy is magic! We go there a few times a year and we get surprised every single time by it’s beauty and treasures. We would very much like to host everyone in our B&B and help out with a list of hotspots, places to see, private beaches, restaurants etc.
// Next travel destination (or dream destination on the bucket list;)
Our wish is to see the Northern light and beautiful landscapes in Iceland. From the Island life to extreme colds, isn’t that a nice contradiction?
// When was your first time in Bali?
Our first time in Bali was when we were 5 (Loulou) and 7 (Isabella). We went to Indonesia with our parents and traveled through the country. From our mothers birth place at Surabaya, to where she grew up on Java and discover the beauty of the Island life on Bali. Of course as a child you value different things. We enjoyed the beach, monkey forest, the food and we made a lot of friends!
But when we went back 11 years ago for a Holiday, we got to experience the Island more consciously and aware. Bali is so diverse. We got to dance the nights away, shopped till we dropped, we went to the beach of course but also we noticed the peaceful atmosphere on the Island. We noticed all the little flower beds that were offered to the Gods, incense and statues. We appreciated the beautiful nature around us more than as we were children. It is a very spiritual Island because of Hinduism that dominates and that touched our hearts. Our wish to return to the Island never left our thoughts since then. And so 11 years later, we are returning for the retreat, with even bigger hearts, more awaken than ever and so ready to receive much more that the Island has to offer.
// Tell us about your connection with Bali and what you love most about island life
The first years of our lives we grew up in Italy, under de sun and mostly on the beach. Sunny beach days are in our blood! We feel a strong connection with Bali since it is part of our roots, the culture, the food, the people. And as we said we were immediately touched by the magical energy that Bali has. The atmosphere, the nature and the fruits, so tasty!
// How is it to be Vegan in Bali?
The last time we went to Bali, we weren’t vegan yet. I think we didn’t even know a vegan existed back then haha! But ever since we are, we have been following cafe’s and restaurants in Bali which are vegan and some even RAW and we are hearing more and more often that Bali is like a vegan walhalla! So we have been searching for all the vegan hotspots and yoga places and can’t wait to visit them all!!!!!
// Your favorite places for vegan food
Wish list: Alchemy Bali, Nine Heaven Vegan, Down to Earth, Moksa, Yoga Barn, Spicy Coconuts and Sage. Any more tips for us?
YES! Haha: “Peloton Supershop in Canggu, Earth Cafe in Seminyak and The Elephant & Moksa in Ubud!”
// You’re organizing your first vegan retreat soon. Why did you decide to have it in Bali?
For this yoga retreat we teamed up with yoga teacher Debbie and former Monk Liladhar. Debbie has lived on Bali for a year, followed a teachers training there and experienced some yoga retreats. She knows the Island like no other and actually it was Debbie who came up with the idea to have our first retreat in Bali. Of course we agreed right away!
// What will the retreat be like? And who can enter?
The Love Out Loud Vegan Yoga Retreat is designed with compassion to serve with Love, to ease the mind, relax the body to experience a journey where we awaken the joy of our spirit soul.
We believe that it is important to nourish the body and soul by delighting the senses through organic plant-based food, spiritual practice of yoga and stillness. For this reason we organize this magical journey that will nurture on every level of your spiritual quest.
We created a sacred 7-day full circle of Yoga program, that goes beyond daily yoga asanas (physical practice) and aims to reconnect with your true enlightened nature that lays unspoiled in your heart, behinds all the layers of passed experiences, and which allows you to unveil your authentic Light within.
It will be a transformational and supportive journey for all levels! Each day we will explore a chakra point with meditation, yoga, self exploration, reflection, kirtan, soulfood and ancient yoga philosophy from former monk Liladhar Das.
For more information check out our website www.loveoutloudretreats.com and feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
// Describe your perfect day on the island during the retreat
Although the music beats of all the clubs, and the colorful shops that called us out many years ago, we feel now to awaken early morning with the sounds of the birds working their way into the day, the smell of the incense from the offerings of the Ibu’s. Hearing their ‘pagi’ good morning from their mouth and their motherly eyes with an approving bow.
Doing our morning meditation with just the single sound of Bali nature and moving into our morning asana flow, with a soft gaze outward and inward we already feel the tangible breeze and the gentle wind around us when we picture this.
Then feeling fresh and rejuvenated from the night ready for a healthy breakfast in one of our newly to discover Vegan spots on the island.
And with a full belly discovering the island, the beaches and cruising around on our motorbike to that spot that is not so crowded yet. Or going on an adventure more inland, to see the temples and understand more the meaning of their lifestyle.
Listening to sounds of the temple bells and experiencing a water or flower ceremony with a local High Priest. Not only to walk the path of our spiritual longings, but also to understand their rituals in honoring their devotional life.
Bali holds all of this and they say it’s still to be found off the beaten track. This is where a perfect day will unfold by itself, in the unseen and unspoken mysteries that Bali holds.
Opening ourselves as children again to the feeding soil and nourishing food.
So a perfect day is when we set off the beaten track, to find ourselves in the middle of all of this..
// What are your tips for readers who’re considering to become vegan as well?
1. We believe that the most important thing about going vegan is knowing why. When you do something from the heart, you will be driven and motivated in a natural way, without forcing it. You will understand that it is not a restriction but it is about gaining. It’s not that you are not “allowed” to eat certain foods, but you actually don’t want to.
2. We recommend documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Food choices, What the Health and books like Skinny Bitch, The Kind Diet, Yoga & Vegetarianism and you can download the e-book – Questioning Meat – for free on www.questioningmeat.com.
3. Inform your friends and family about your journey and ask for their understanding.
4. Preparation is key! Bring some vegan snacks or bars whenever you leave the house or call that restaurant where you are planning to eat tonight to ask in advance if they can make you something vegan. Believe us, they would love to.
5. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the proces. The journey is the reward!
6. Follow some inspirational instagram and pinterest accounts, you will find out about a thousand recipes you would want to try out!
// What do you think everyone MUST do when in Bali?
Love and respect the Island and all it’s inhabitants. Make compassionate choices whenever you can.
Love out Loud ;)
Check out our other Salty Talks right here. More amazing stories up soon!