'Student Spotlight' Mango Quinoa Salad

I'm super excited today to present to you my fellow student Vera Szutorisz, not least because her photos are gorgeous!  

What I most love is the way Vera combines both food and travel in such beautiful way, almost like a scrapbook of thoughts and memories...but anyway, that's enough from me, time for me to hand you over to Vera for this weeks Student Spotlight instalment. Enjoy!

" I grew up in Hungary in a big loving family and we ate the best diet in the world: our mum's home cooked food prepared with love. We had a huge garden with all kinds of vegetables, fruits and fruit trees. At the time having fresh produce readily available for us year around seemed very natural for us. Then came University and with my move to another city my preference for quick, frozen, out of the can meals had began. It got worse when I started moving around for the next one and half years, to London, Cape Cod and Sydney, with that I entered the processed- sweet-empty-calorie-corn-flakes-and-pie-loving culture with which I saw no problem at the time but never felt worse in my life during those months. 

Everything changed, however, when we moved to the Far East, South Korea, in 2006. Those folks really know how to eat healthy. They eat tons of greens and fermented veggies: kimchi with every meal and make every soup out of broth. That was the first time I started to take notice how much better I began to feel eating what they were eating. Then one spring Seoul night we had a very inspiring encounter with a Buddhist Monk who talked us about how basing our diet on high vibrational foods, like fruits, vegetables and rice has a direct correlation with how we feel emotionally and energetically after a meal which seemed like an easy explanation why Asians appear to have more energy than us in the West. I found this concept truly fascinating and it made a lot of sense to me and still does. Fast forward to 2009 we moved back to Europe and now we're living in the beautiful Mediterranean, in Spain, and once again I feel like we're living in the garden of Eden just like when I was a little girl surrounded with plenty of fresh organic produce that is available year around. It wasn't that easy and simple as it sounds but this is the gist of my otherwise long story."

Recipe: Mango Quinoa Salad with chickpeas

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked chickpea
  • 1 small mango, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. 

For the dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice, 1 tbsp chopped parsley (you can use fresh coriander or mint leaves too) and alfalfa sprouts for garnishing 

In a small ball combine all the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad just before serving.

¡Que Approveche!


Spotlight Interview

1- What first drew you to study with IIN?

I have always felt a calling to help and provide continuous support for others. Originally I wanted to become a psychologist but ended up getting my degree in social studies. Ever since I can remember I have had a deep desire to understand the big picture of life. Why are we here? What does true purpose really mean? How can we cross the fear zone and live life to the fullest meanwhile helping others and contributing to the evolution of human kind?

What I have learnt is that everything we do in life is a choice. A choice that has an impact on not only our life but on the lives of others since we are all interconnected. It's a choice to be kind and respectful to one another. It's a choice to select our thoughts and reactions in certain situation. It's a choice to be conscious and aware of the impact food has on our mind, body and the Planet.

I wanted to join IIN to learn more in depth how food really affects our lives and the Planet and to find my own path to a balanced way of eating in order to become the healthiest and strongest I can be, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally to be able to carry out 'big' things in life and with that knowledge to empower others to do the same and create a more loving and friendly environment for us and future generations.

 2- How has your life changed since becoming a health coaching student?

I certainly feel more organized and even more accepting towards others and other people's choices. I agree that it's important to meet everyone where they are and not where we are and respect that everyone is different with a different path to health and happiness and what living life to the fullest means to me would be something totally opposite for others. Likewise with food. 'One man's food is another man's poison'. It all comes down to our beautiful differences as Joshua would say: to our bio-individuality. 

3- What do you hope to take away into the world and how do you plan to help others once you graduate?

I'm going to focus on 'women's hormonal health'. Support women to balance their hormones naturally. Help to feel their best and deal with every-day's life stress more graciously. Help to build better and stronger digestion, increased energy level, create balance and harmony in their lives, and live life with more passion and purpose.

4- Being a ‘wellness crusader’ what one thing would you wish to change about the world?

 We all came here to learn and experience different things in life as part of our personal and spiritual growth and I would like if it was universally accepted and respected in our world.

5- What would you choose for your 'final meal on earth’?

 A quinoa salad with beans, nuts and fruits :-)

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Vera is based in Madrid Spain, Budapest Hungary and Seoul South Korea. You can check out her websites Apple and Soul and Happy and Conscious Living as well as follow her on her Facebook page.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places: