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Eating is a pleasure. That’s the motto adopted by Yovanee Veerapen. A registered dietitian, she has a background in Food Science and Food Nutrition and Dietetics. But beyond the academic aspect, the 35-year-old loves eating and preparing food for others.

“Eating is one of life’s simple pleasures.” And for Yovanee Veerapen, a registered dietitian, “life becomes too dull if you start depriving yourself.” She’s not one for restrictive diets. Instead, she advocates healthy eating habits that are both enjoyable and sustainable. That’s why, five years ago, she founded NutriSmart, with the goal of transforming the way people approach food.

Her journey began with her studies in Food and Nutrition in college, and continued at the University of Mauritius, where she developed a passion for nutrition and a desire to make a positive difference in her community. She first started with studies in Food Science and then continued in Food Nutrition and Dietetics.

At the heart of her philosophy is the belief that food should be both nourishing and enjoyable. It is possible to enjoy a variety of foods in moderation, in harmony with the rich culinary traditions of Mauritius. “We can continue to enjoy staples like rice and grains by making thoughtful adjustments to our meals. The goal is to enjoy eating,” she emphasizes. And she adds: “But of course, you have to be reasonable and above all listen to your body and your intuition.”

Yovanee Veerapen’s stance against restrictive dieting is strong. She advocates for a balanced approach that allows for all types of foods to be consumed, fostering a healthy relationship with food without the guilt often associated with diet culture. This inclusive approach is at the heart of NutriSmart’s mission, helping customers find pleasure in their meals while making healthier choices.

One of its notable initiatives is the Food Freedom Journey (see below), an online training designed to help individuals break free from societal pressures around food. The program allows participants to adopt a balanced and enjoyable approach to eating, defying the conventional norms of diet culture.

Today, her aspirations extend beyond Mauritius. She aims to take NutriSmart to the international stage, sharing her message of healthy eating with a wider community. “Initially, I want to bring together several other nutritionists and dieticians within NutriSmart to make a difference in society,” she explains.

As Yovanee Veerapen continues to promote her vision of healthy eating, she remains dedicated to making a difference both locally and globally. Her work with NutriSmart demonstrates her commitment to fostering a more balanced approach to nutrition and wellness. Dynamic and outgoing by nature, she enjoys being around people, especially those who help her evolve and grow.

Yovanee Veerapen’s journey is a testament to the impact that can be made with passion, dedication and a balanced philosophy towards nutrition. With NutriSmart, she is not only transforming diets, but also lives, encouraging a healthier and happier way of eating, deeply rooted in pleasure and cultural appreciation.

Young committed woman

Beyond her work with NutriSmart, Yovanee Veerapen has been a fixture in Mahébourg. As past president of the Rotary Club of Mahébourg, she has collaborated with people from diverse backgrounds, leading initiatives that focus on mental and physical health. Under her leadership, the club has hosted several events focused on health promotion, highlighting its commitment to holistic health.

The “Food Freedom Journey” looks international

Free yourself from the dictates of society by adopting a new approach to food. This is what Yovanee Veerapen proposes by developing the “Food Freedom Journey” program which aims to regain food freedom. This is a 12-week program aimed in particular at those who are tired of strict diets, food restrictions or even overeating. People who need help to improve their body image can also benefit from this program, as well as those who want to improve their relationship with food once and for all.

“The goal is to help those who do not want to start a diet again and especially to support those who no longer know what to eat and who want to learn how to prepare balanced meals without counting or weighing,” she explains. Until now, this program was open to Mauritians, but Yovanee Veerapen wants to make it available to more people by allowing foreigners to have access to it as well.

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