the art of living a conscious & creative life
Janne Vollert, private chef

Janne Vollert

I am convinced that role models can help us achieve our own wishes and goals. That’s why I launched the series “conscious creatives telling their stories”. Here I would like to introduce you again and again to people who are consciously and creatively shaping their lives.


Janne Vollert is a certified plant-based cook and nutritionist and will be answering my questions today. She will take care of our well-being during “Back to the wool“, the sustainable knitting retreat, and treat us to culinary delights. With her training at the Plant Based Institute, the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the Ecodemy, she is breaking new ground in the profession of the cook and is also giving workshops on these topics in Hamburg.

Dear Janne, …
… when did you realize that you would like to make cooking your profession and how was your way towards it? Or has there never been this one moment and your life has just developed in that direction?

There never was this one magic moment. It was a process. I am very inquisitive and enjoy learning for my life, and after completing a scientific online course in plant-based nutrition, I wanted to go deeper into the topic. That’s how I came to do a training as a plant-based cook and nutritionist in addition to my then full-time job. And during that training, I felt that I should really change something fundamental in my life. Away from the desk, out of the “nine to five” routine, towards more joie de vivre and creativity.

I actually did the termination without knowing what to do next. I had no plan, but relied on my intuition. That’s how my independence started.

Janne Vollert preparing food

… did you grow up with parents who were very open and conscious about life? Which aspect of your education had the most lasting effect on you?

I think my parents have lived and taught me something that is called mindfulness today. The small things, the small pleasures in everyday life and in nature always stood in the foreground with us. As a child, I was out there a lot, learning to recognize birds, identifying trees and plants, assessing the weather, feeling at home in nature. This is certainly one of the most defining aspects: the bond with nature, with the earth, with the universe – a deep security and a feeling of being cared in the world.

“I have found that one can lead a creative life even without creativity and art.”

… who and what inspires you?

I am inspired by people who are completely authentic without apologizing. Who stand up for themselves and others. For example, pioneers of the vegan movement such as the athlete Johanna Jahnke or the cook Sophia Hoffmann, who are both interdisciplinary for other concerns.

… at some point, every person who deliberately deals with life will come to the question of what he can do with his actions to the world and to people. Have you ever asked yourself this question?

plantbased breakfastWhen I had my full-time job, which meant nothing to me except the covered account at the end of the month, I often asked myself that question and almost broke up on it, feeling I did not do anything useful.
After the termination and in my training this question has moved into the background. Since I cook full-time, give workshops and courses, advise and offer my food at events, this topic is approached from the outside: “Janne, great that you now help others to eat healthier”, “Everything vegan? Super, that’s better for the animals, for the health and for the environment! “, “Your food is crazy delicious!”. Only then I did start to think about what I actually contribute. I think it’s more complex than I can grasp right now. But it feels really good.

… in what form do like-minded people matter? Are you well off talking about the topics that move you deeply, or do you prefer to spend your time silently doing it?

I like being alone with myself, but I can not and do not want to forgo good company. Smalltalk is not my thing, I’m silent then. Real exchange, on the other hand, is very important to me and I always find such discussions very enriching. I have a rather small circle of friends, but these deep friendships are very valuable to me and I care for them well.

… what does it mean for you to live a “creative life”?

For a long time I thought that only artists are really creative. For me, creativity has always been inextricably linked to the arts, and since I am by no means artistically talented, I have this topic for me, if a little wistful, simply ticked off. However, I have found that one can lead a creative life even without creativity and art: a life in which one breaks with conventions, gives nothing to the demands and expectations of others, is less satisfied, listens more to love and one’s own intuition, strengthens relationships, practices mindfulness, and always is yourself.

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