How to Live A More Balanced Life with Adeline Desjonqueres of Nutu Moringa
Adeline Desjonqueres is the co-founder of Nutu, a social business whose mission is to bring moringa, the world’s most nutritionally complete, environmentally sustainable plant, to the international market.
Originally from France, Adeline has lived in Paris, Lisbon and London and has been calling New York home since 2010. After years working as a top executive in the ever-changing fashion industry, she felt the need to be more grounded. So decided to step out of her Louboutin shoes and take some time out to slow down, which led her to complete a yoga teacher training and to reconnect to nature.
Adeline’s quest for a more balanced and healthy lifestyle turned into founding Nutu, a regenerative moringa business based on sustainable agro-forestry.
I’m fascinated by Adeline’s journey towards a more engaging and purposeful life through Nutu, a business that aims to nourish people, their communities, and our earth from the ground up. Read on for all her simple tips for living a slower, more intentional life, the health benefits of moringa, and her favorite moringa recipes!
FOUNDER | LOVELEAF CO.
All Photos / Nutu
How did start Nutu? What’s your story?
I stumbled upon moringa in Togo while working for a company fighting deforestation in the subtropical areas. We were looking for a fast-growing, high-value plant that could provide a living wage to the local population: moringa provided just the solution.
I discovered that children eating moringa leaves on a regular basis grow stronger and have an increased immunity helping them fight diseases. In the months after my return, I came to discover the benefits of moringa in my own life. In powdered form, added to a smoothie or juice, it gave me a clean, clear sustainable energy and powerful boost of protein. I then made the decision to devote this next chapter of my life to this remarkable plant, and in 2018, founded Nutu on the belief that we all need a little moringa in our lives.
NUTU (no͞otou/) from the French phrase nous tous - all of us. It is rooted in the concept of interdependence— the interdependence of peoples, ecologies, and economies. It is our hope to create and maintain a virtuous cycle of health—from the ground up!
A portion of Nutu’s sales go towards supporting women-led cooperatives in West Africa, distributing moringa to school cafeterias throughout West Africa, thus providing a valuable daily source of nutrients to students, and supporting reforestation and sustainable farming.
Describe a typical day.
When I wake up I think of what Tao Porchon Lynch (92-year-old yoga teacher) answered when she was asked what the secret for her youth was “start your day with a smile and put your legs up for 5 minutes.” ;)
I am not a morning person, I need time to start so I drink some room-temperature water while I prepare my tea with a mix of ayurvedic plants, then I drop my son off to school and when I come back I sit on my cushion to meditate and re-center. I take a quick shower and I feel ready to start my day!
I don’t usually have breakfast as I feel good with intermittent fasting for at least 12 hours. I am not vegan but my diet is plant-based. I work from home, I bought this height-adjustable sitting and standing desk, I love it. Lunch and the afternoon are for meetings. New York is an incredible place to meet such talented people! I do yoga twice a week plus one session of Pilates or gym. I have my favorite teachers - they are my angels!
What is something you do every day to feel your best?
“Breathing in and breathing out is a practice of freedom,” says Thich Nhat Hanh. It is so true. If we’re overloaded with fear, anger, regret or anxiety, we’re not free, whatever position we hold in society and how much money we have. Breath is the most powerful tool I know.
What’s your biggest tip for self-care?
Stay hydrated, eat the rainbow, move, shake, twist, laugh and do yoga, yoga, and more yoga.
What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
My favorite mantra is “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.” It calls for deep happiness.
Where do you look for inspiration?
When I look for inspiration I go for a walk in the north woods of Central Park or I book a session at Inscape for a guided meditation or I spend time chatting and laughing with my girlfriends or I reach out to other entrepreneurs I feel inspired by!
I also feel deeply inspired by the wonderful work of Lidewij Edelkoort. She is one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters. She is an intuitive thinker who travels the world studying the evolution of socio-cultural trends. She created Bloom Magazine in response to the ever-growing lifestyles inspired by trends in flowers, plants, and gardening. The last issue is called Earth Matters and is absolutely stunning.
What are your top money, time-saving, and/or sanity-saving tips for eating healthfully, especially when you’re busy?
I prepare a huge soup with all the vegetables left in the fridge and it makes my lunch and my dinner for a couple of days. I just add some chickpeas before warming it up. Another option is preparing enough kitchari to eat for a few days, just adding some fruits or vegetables at the last minute.
Ok - let’s talk moringa. What is it and how is Nutu’s moringa different from other brands?
Moringa is the world’s most nutrient-rich plant, containing 92 distinct nutrients and all nine essential amino acids - including methionine and cysteine, compounds rarely found in plants.
Nutu’s moringa is probably the best moringa on the planet. Its intrinsic value is linked to the health of the soil and the way it is cultivated. Our moringa is grown in West Africa where the dry, clean, mineral-rich soils, unpolluted by industry, produce trees of unusual quality.
Our farmers use regenerative agroforestry and permaculture instead of traditional intensive monocultures. We keep processing to the minimum; it is still very artisanal. The superior quality is evident even in its appearance: an ultra-fine, vibrant green powder with no trace of stems.
What are the health benefits of moringa?
Moringa has many impressive health benefits. It been prized by diverse healing traditions, including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for:
Reducing inflammation, preventing free radical cells damages and balancing hormones (36 anti-inflammatory compounds and 46 antioxidants, isothiocyanate, flavonoids)
Improving digestive health.
Boosting immunity (it has a quite unique combination of disease preventing phyto-nutrients zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid, and kaempferol).
Increasing energy (30 % proteins, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E & minerals Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Folate & Magnesium).
Alkalizing and detoxifying the blood (circulatory stimulants).
Reducing blood sugar levels (fibers, quercetin-3-glucoside).
What would you tell someone who’s never tried moringa before but wants to start incorporating into their daily life?
If you love cooking or make smoothies, I would say go for the powder. Start with just 1/2 teaspoon of powder as it is such a potent plant and play with it in the kitchen. Check out our cookbook for inspiration.
If you’re don’t have time to cook, then 2 capsules a day is a great way to start.
A dropper of the tincture in a glass of water is also a fantastic way to get the benefits of moringa (except the proteins) in your bloodstream in a few seconds!
Do you have any recommendations or resources you’d like to share to live a more whole, healthy lifestyle?
If you feel the need to stop and recharge and you’re looking for a yoga retreat: Sivananda Bahamas is like pressing the reset button you get back to your full potential in a week.