The first time I heard about Dr. Rebeca Eriksen was in conjunction with an exciting idea she formulated to get a group of Marbella residents back on the road to health: the 22-day Vegan Challenge, prepared in line with a nutritional plan and featuring recipes provided by her.

A friend of mind had joined the challenge and was delighted with her newfound feeling of vitality (and her weight loss). “The average person lost around seven kilos of weight,” noted Dr. Eriksen, yet her aims lie beyond merely changing her patients’ body mass composition.

As a Clinical Dietician who is currently pursuing her second doctorate at Imperial College in London, she is adamant about helping patients make lifestyle choices that will lower their risk for preventable diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. It is key to mention that a clinical dietician is not the same thing as a nutritionist.

The former is hospital/clinic-based and focuses on how to prevent and cure diseases (including kidney failure, liver disease, alcoholism, diabetes, etc.) through micro-nutrition. Dr. Eriksen explains the negative effects that a carnivore diet can have on cholesterol levels, yet she doesn’t espouse veganism as the only way to go. “I’m pescetarian myself. I tend to prepare mainly plant-based meals at home, but when I go out to dine, I always order fish.” After all, “the pescetarian lifestyle is easy and is good for you.

” Dr. Eriksen, who is Spanish-Danish by descent, concedes that it can be harder to find vegan ingredients in Málaga than in a big city like London, where she lived for many years. “To adopt a vegan lifestyle, you have to change your shopping and cooking habits, and you need to access healthy (sugar-free) versions of ingredients like almond milk.

To make a difference to your health, however, you also need to commit to sourcing and preparing food in a different way.” Her passion for healthy food stems from her childhood, when her father first bought his finca in Benahavís. There, “he grows healthy fruits and veggies like avocados and he always fed us such delicious, fresh foods. This type of diet is what I invite my patients to adopt; one that is free of refined ingredients and that focuses on returning to our roots.”

Dr. Eriken believes that good health should be accessible to everyone – not just those of means. Therefore, she will soon be holding a free seminar, informing everyone who is interested about the 22-Day Vegan Challenge. “The challenge is huge in the U.S., with celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z taking part. Veganism can help for three reasons: it is a natural way to detox without going hungry, it can help you lose weight, and it is good for the environment (meat is the biggest cause of pollution in the world).” It is also the way our hunter-gatherer forebears lived. “Meat was a very occasional treat for our ancestors. They mainly survived on seeds, berries, and fruits.”

Joining her on her venture is Chef Alexis Voisin of Marbella restaurant, Norman. Alexis hails from a family of three generations of French chefs and has helped Rebeca by preparing irresistibly delicious vegan dishes for busy Marbellís who wished to take up the challenge (you can also prepare your own food if you wish). “The Chef has a passion for whole, unrefined foods and traditional cooking methods. His dishes show that vegan does not have to bland, boring, or tasteless; it simply has to be well prepared.”

Dr. Eriksen designs her own supplements, which are tailor-made in a Swiss lab. They contain a high quotient of vitamins, minerals, plus herbal ingredients. Different conditions require different supplement blends. “For instance, those with heart conditions should be taking fish oil, garlic, barberry, folic acid, etc. Often, a healthy diet and supplements can be used to replace statins.” (Dr. Eriksen works alongside specialists in cardiology before suggesting this change). Different diets and supplements are used for cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

A visit to Dr. Eriksen involves testing both your genes and blood for food intolerances, vitamin levels and metabolic risk factors, among other things; information is key if the doctor is to assess your biological age and identify any areas that should be addressed – including blood pressure, cholesterol, and other complex data.

In addition to attending to patients and continuing her post-doctorate studies under Professor Gary Frost (known among health buffs as the ‘God of Nutrition’), Dr. Eriksen also speaks on TRE on a monthly basis, apprising listeners on the latest nutritional information. If you think it is time to make a lifestyle change that will heal you on the inside and promote healthy, beautiful skin, she will help you understand the information your own body is giving you, and set you on a road to a longer, happier life.


At Executive Health Marbella
Helicopteros Sanitarios Hospital Marbella CN340, Km. 175, Puerto Banús. Tel: 603 840 984.