Véronique Liesse is a French-speaking Belgian who came to Monaco five years ago with her husband who was developing his business in the Principality.
Véronique, who also speaks fluent Dutch and English, splits her time between consultations in nutrition and micronutrients at Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, teaching nutrition to health professionals and providing in-house training for companies to improve wellbeing and quality of life at work. Even with 20 years of professional experience and a company in Belgium, she admits, “It was a new challenge to start my work here in Monaco.”
She understates her credibility. Véronique is also an accomplished writer, having penned four books tackling health – on weight-loss mistakes, hormonal issues, energy foods and immunity boosters – all published by Broché and available on Amazon.fr. Her fifth release “Ma bible pour perdre du poids sans régimes” (My Bible For Losing Weight Without Dieting) is scheduled for release on March 16.
“The book is a summary of all the factors that can lead to becoming overweight – and it is not a question of calories. The plate is key but it is much more a qualitative aspect than a quantitative one. Other things that can block a weight loss program include hormones, microbiota, chrono-nutrition, way of life, stress, sleep … and I offer concrete steps to take along with a hundred recipes.”
Growing up, Véronique says that nutrition didn’t play a big role in her life although her mother paid attention to what the family ate. “Nutrition has been a reconversion for me,” she says. “Once I finished my studies as a dietician, I quickly felt that I was missing something and so I trained more in depth in micronutrients, nutrition for athletes, children and adolescents, and in gut microbiota.”
Véronique points out the different nutritional requirements for kids. “They are not just little men and women. Today we know the importance of adopting good habits from a young age because it increases the chances of success and good health in adulthood.”
She says the same goes for elite athletes. “There are so many different sports, with different constraints and objectives, and it is important to know what we are talking about.”
In Monaco and the French Riviera, people are fortunate to have access to a Mediterranean-style diet, which is synonymous with health and quality and with an abundance of choice in local produce. “Marrying health and the art of living is the ultimate goal for Monegasques who are very aware of their health and that precious link that exists between them and their plate,” she describes.
In fact, it is the plate that Véronique examines during consultations. She looks at what people are eating to determine any missing nutrients that could help reduce inflammation and provide the immune system with what it needs to function at its best. “I also have clients who realise that diets simply do not work and in order to lose weight permanently, or for other reasons, they need to be supervised.”
She adds, “Of course, maintaining immune system health at an optimal level is a key element in dealing with this Covid crisis. This can even help to b the effectiveness of the vaccine. Fortunately, specialists are starting to talk about the importance of taking vitamin D. It really could save lives and even for children who are not at risk of Covid, vitamin D is important.”
Véronique, who has her own YouTube channel L’Healthentiel, is adamant that the impact of Covid is largely underestimated. “Beyond the direct link with immunity, our mental and emotional health has also been strongly affected. I am afraid that the damage will not be noticeable until we come out of it all. Not to mention the people who have stopped exercising or who have gained weight …
“Since the pandemic began, doing sports has seemed normal, partly because we have had more time, and partly because we were locked up. But the majority of the population doesn’t see it useful to eat better, mostly due of a lack of information.”
Like everyone, Véronique’s consultations and training came to a complete halt during the first confinement. “We are lucky in Monaco to be supported by the government. Little by little, things have been put in place, even if the situation remains complicated. Obviously, face-to-face training is impossible and has to be done at a distance but learning to adapt and bounce back is always good,” says Véronique Liesse.