Going with the flow of the island


Healthy and vegetarian
Good nutrition and exercise are the main thread in Tina Woodleys life. She was a pioneer in many ways, was successful in diverse careers and lived in various countries. Health always remained the core of its activities. Tina currently operates the only official vegetarian restaurant on Bonaire; Gogreen. With her small restaurant in Antriol, Tina hopes to show the people of Bonaire that as a vegetarian  you really do not just eat salad or pasta with cheese sauce. She wants her customers to experience that well-prepared vegetables are very tasty and can be made a wide variety of dishes without meat or fish. Tina’s is the sole proprietor manager, hostess, cook and waitress. Only when they prepare food for large groups, they enable assistance on request.

Businesswoman at heart
Entrepreneurship is an integral part of Tina’s personality. The versatile businesswoman has always been guided by what she herself needs and what her surroundings need. At the age of 27 Tina went to the Netherlands to further develop as athlete in powerlifting and bodybuilding. She made a mental note to become world champion within a year. Nine months later, she became the first female world champion in powerlifting in 1985. She moved to Austria where she opened her own gym, and then moved to Germany where she opened a center for women with weight problems. Tina knew what she wanted and gave them everything necessary to achieve her goals. The sporty businesswoman has now been living on Bonaire for seven years. “After 32 years in Europe, I got up one day and wondered what I was doing here,” Tina says. “I lived in a country where almost everyone suffers from stress and where people barely laugh.” She felt it was time to return to the Caribbean, where she had roots. But when she came to Bonaire, she wanted something different than just sport. Tina saw that many people on the island were overweight due to unhealthy diet, so she decided to contribute to society and opened a shop where they sell organic foods. She herself was always busy with good food: “I ate organic before the term organic existed at all!” To promote local producers and local farmers to sell their fresh produce, they also founded the ‘Farmers Market’, which is still open to visit every first Saturday of the month. In her own store they offer mainly imported dry foods, smoothies and sandwiches. The store ran very good, but when Van der Tweel Supermarket settled on the island and also went to offer organic products, she knew it was time to shift her focus. So Tina Woodley focused solely on organic prepared meals.

“As a vegetarian, you really do not only eat salad or pasta with cheese sauce”

Certificate of Excellence

Go Green is open for lunch four days a week. Despite its small size, the restaurant is leading on TripAdvisor. Tina recently received the “Certificate of Excellence” based on the numerous rave reviews that guests leave on the website. Tina is proud of the position they have acquired and the advertising that she can use for the whole island. The authenticity of the meals and the natural origin of the ingredients make the distinction, according to Tina. Nothing comes out of a packet or bag and, where possible, ingredients are sourced locally. This ensures not only freshness, but also stimulates the local economy and to a much lesser extent, the nature. It’s Tina’s desire, in addition to tourists, to get more local people in her restaurant. Through her meals she hopes to transfer knowledge and ideas so that one can make any changes in his or her own diet. Good information is the key to good health and should be accessible to everyone, according to Tina. Even outside her restaurant she encourages healthier lifestyles. She coaches people in ‘lifestyle changes’, she gives Ayurvedic massages, she organizes various workshops, and they recently released a book about vital aging, entitled “Every Day, one day Younger.

Realizing dreams
Meanwhile, Tina ponders her next venture. Eventually, she wants to bring together all of her experience, knowledge and passions in a center where all aspects of health are discussed. A center for everyone involved with aging, for anyone who needs time to de-stress or just to recharge. She hopes to join forces with other people on the island with this project. It is precisely at a time where we are becoming more individualistic, so it is important, according to the independent businesswoman, to understand that we need each other to move forward. How does Tina manage to achieve her dreams again and again? “You should be a go-getter primarily,” the former world champion admits. “You have to have vision and courage to go for it, regardless of whether other people find it strange.” In addition, according to the passionate businesswoman, it is also important to be able to adapt to your surroundings. Especially on an island this is essential. “It is not possible to give way to another city, so you have to go with the flow of the island. Finally, it is obviously important to do something that suits you, “We are working so many hours, do something what you like!” Tina herself still has a lot of pleasure from preparing organic meals for its customers and the promotion of good nutrition on Bonaire. You can find Go Green at the Kaya Korona 47. They are open for lunch on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 15:00. For more information and activities see www.thegogreengroup.com.








Leave a comment