Grace Van Berkum Q&A: Healing through Detox, Movement, and Nature
1. Why do you do what you do?
After growing up in an abusive environment which manifested in years of self hatred, eating disorders, and drug addictions, I knew I had to change my life or I was going to die. Luckily I didn't die. Luckily I had the courage and determination to figure out how to get better. I am now in a place to be able to see the gifts in many years of tremendous pain and suffering. These gifts include my ability to share my lessons with others that need it — on how I transcended my painful relationships with food and my body.
2. What are you currently fascinated by in your work?
My mission in life is to help people transform their lives with food and lifestyle choices. More specifically I am drawn to people who have hit their rock bottoms — who feel alone, confused, and ready to make big breakthroughs and transformations. Some people have fallen so low that there is nothing left to do but move forward. I understand this feeling because I was once was that person. I want people to know that there is hope. Change is always possible. I know because I have lived it.
Now I’m the founder of both the Gracious Living Lifestyle brand and the Gracious Living Oasis (GLO) Wellness Centre in Northern Nicaragua. I can focus on helping people heal their bodies and transform their lives with plant-based foods and superfoods, intelligent and expansive movement practices using yoga and fitness, and connecting to nature.
3. How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?
I am grateful for my experience at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat many years ago when I started my TTC, which has been an integral part of my spiritual and healing growth. Serendipitously, I went to do my TTC there without knowing anything about yoga or where I was going, and my experience there has changed my life and even my business, helping me progress and expand quite rapidly.
4. What book(s) did you like reading this year?
I’m re-reading I AM by Howard Falco.
6. If you’ve taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat before, what is one surprising thing about the experience for you?
I love the new and interesting people I meet from the ashram from all over the world each year, all connected by a common thread of connection, unity, and inner peace.
Grace Van Berkum is a registered holistic nutritionist, Sivananda Yoga teacher, certified personal trainer, and founder of GLO Selfcare Center in northern Nicaragua. She is known for her nutrient-dense and delicious raw, vegan, plant-powered recipe creations and leads retreats on nutrition, conscious eating, and yoga worldwide.