Joyce Bergsma # 20

Joyce Bergsma # 20



The Sunday Session welcomes Joyce Bergsma!


I meet Joyce on the Sunday 20th December, almost the shortest day of the year although there is a strong light blazing through the huge window at the Van de Buurt cafe on Rijpgracht, Amsterdam.

She appears to be Dutch with red hair and tall in stature, although after we greet I realise that she is Canadian with Dutch ancestry.

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After completing a course in nutritional therapy 5 years ago in London, she was presented with a few directions to pursue with her new found qualification; work for an institution, an N.G.O or go freelance, she chose the latter and to reach out to individuals with health issues perhaps rooted in dietary habits. We talk about diets, fat, sugar and misconceptions about food. I ask Joyce about my sweet tooth and my love for orange juice. She says that whether sugar comes from a natural source or processed, its still sugar although of course OJ comes with Vitamin C. And as we all know too much sugar makes us crash from loss of energy.

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As I said, Joyce has individual clients, occasionally friends ask her if they can take some advice and/or take some nutritional therapy with her, she informs them with a smile that she will be asking them not just about what goes in, but what comes out. Sometimes an occupational hazard? Not for her, its just part of the job. In addition to her profession Joyce also grows herbs and vegetables at her plot just minutes from the cafe, this is where she wants to be photographed.

We leave the cafe and make our way out into the sun and into her plot, she is carrying with her a tupperware box with compost. The plots are curiously located within a residential block, we enter through a main door leading along a straw laden corridor into a gardeners oasis. I feel like I’m simultaneously in everybody’s garden, eyes on me, but no-one is to be seen. After ten minutes I’m at ease and find the atmosphere calming as Joyce gives me a tour of the different plots. I reminisce about the first time I dug for potatoes in my family’s garden, I was amazed to find these little delicious gifts hidden way yet ready to be discovered, I can’t think of another vegetable the keeps multiplying without seed. 

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Joyce continues to research and consult as a nutritional therapist. Discover more about Joyce here.