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Forever Young: Happiness Diaries Of Multi-Passionate Teresa

Teresa is my oldest friend in age, but I felt connected to her from the moment we met. She is a weekly inspiration for me during our Dutch conversation classes and she never fails to make me laugh.

With her healthy glow and seemingly infinite amount of energy (she studies Dutch, French, writes books, takes Zumba classes twice a week and travels around the world regularly), I’m always wondering what her healthy habits are. How does she stay so unbelievably fit, energetic & happy?

Well, dieting is certainly not a part of it! Helping others is.

how do you start your day?

‘I wake up, take a shower and splash a bit of cold water on my face. I always use serum, eye and facial creme. Every single day. When growing up in Bolivia, there were not so many cosmetics, so I used tomatoes, avocados and yogurt to clean and hydrate my face. I’ve been taking care of my skin very well since I was about sixteen years old.

The I always apply some make up, even when I’m at home. It makes me look and feel better.”

what’s your diet like?

“I eat a little bit of everything. I don’t believe in dieting: no one should tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat.

I believe we need all types of foods so I eat grains, yogurt, fruit, meat, fish, a bit of wine. It feels like common sense to me.

I eat what I feel my body asks for and I eat regularly throughout the day. This works for me. Never have I told myself not to eat a certain type of food: I enjoy food!”


Teresa & I during our weekly Dutch conversation classes.

what do you eat in a day?

“For breakfast, I have fresh orange juice, natural yogurt with some cereals and honey. Then a coffee with a dash of milk and sugar and a piece of bread with some cheese.

I try to eat with the seasons, so for lunch I would have a salad in summer and soup, pasta or meat in winter. I like to keep it light in the evening, so I’ll have a small piece of fish or meat with some vegetables.

Oh and I always have a little healthy snack with my tea in the afternoon.”

what is your go-to ritual when you’ve had a bad day?

“If something bad happened, I go to my piano and play something from my repertoire: Bach, Beethoven, Debussy or Mozart. But never Liszt, I’m not that ambitious!

Playing piano always helps me, it improves my mood.

I really think everyone should some form of escape. It doesn’t matter what: running, reading, watching a movie, dancing or playing an instrument. Something that helps your soul.”

when do you feel happiest?

“When I help my family and the people I love. Whenever I realise I have so many people to think of, it makes me feel truly blessed.

It’s a privilege to have to remember so many birthdays!

The worst thing for me would be if I had only myself to think about. It fills my life to help and support people around me.”


40-year old Teresa in 1980.

what is the most important lesson you taught your 5 children?

“Be yourself.

But you know, I never gave lectures to my children. That’s not how they learn. Kids learn from just living,  observing and sharing. They pick things up anyway if you are just a good example.”

what would you like to tell your 19-year old self?

“To have more self-confidence. But I believe this comes and grows with the years.

When I look back on my life, I’m happily surprised by all the things I’ve done. When I was growing up in Bolivia, I knew I wanted to see different parts of the world and have different experiences.

I left Bolivia when I was 19 and started working in New York, where I met my wonderful husband Jan. We had 5 children who live in different parts of the world with our 13 grandchildren. We also lived in the Netherlands for a while and now live in Madrid.

I might have been shy and insecure when I was young, but I overcame my fears and did it anyway.”

what is your life’s motto?

“Learn every day. I believe we can learn just as much from a queen as from anyone else.

Everyone can teach you something, so keep an open mind.”


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  • Reply Brenda Pulido June 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Eliza.

    I’m so grateful for finding your channel on YouTube more than a year ago. Your videos and website have changed how I live daily and helped me cope with very stressful situations. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and great energy. I live in California but hopefully I can come meet you and take your class in Madrid one day.

    With much gratitude,

    Brenda Pulido

    • Reply Eliza Coolsma June 22, 2016 at 6:07 am

      that is so wonderful to hear Brenda! these kind of beautiful words keep me going <3
      great job on reducing stress: in the end it's you who has to do it, I can only suggest things : )
      I hope we'll meet in Spain or the US one day!
      lots of love,

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