Indi Nikulinsky

Who said you can’t get creative with food? Indi, and her husband Ismail are proving you wrong all the way from Morocco.... yes, I said Morocco!

I met Indi a few years back through one of my close friends in Laguna Beach, CA. At the time she was taking a gap year and was traveling solo all over the world which is actually a tradition in her native country, Australia. Indi was and still is the most free spirited woman I know, and has accomplished more than I can say for myself at the short age of 21: Became a certified yoga instructor, conquered a fruitarian lifestyle, traveled all over the world, and opened up her own restaurant in Morocco with her husband and love of her life by her side.

This is her chronicle:


 Indi and Ismail at their restaurant   Let’s Be  .

Indi and Ismail at their restaurant Let’s Be.

How's a typical day in Indi’s and Ismail’s life?

Wake up, surf the morning away, check in at Let’s Be, check emails, the usual. 

We usually fast until mid day, or until our body is hungry and always break the fast with fruits, mono meal if we have good quality bulk of one fruit otherwise a big fruit salad is always amazing. We have also been doing tea ceremonies lately. It’s such a nice way to find stillness and reconnect with your truth in a peaceful and nurturing way. 

We then maybe run some errands in our van and surf again if it’s calling us. I sometimes teach yoga at sunset and Ismail and I try to always do a short practice at night. Maybe watch a documentary, our days are not to routine so it gives a general idea. 

How did you two meet?

We met in Indonesia and funny enough we met on tinder, I was traveling home to Australia for 3 weeks before starting my yoga teacher training in Nusa Lembongan and we matched as I was on my way to the airport. We talked every day when I was at home and when I came back he immediately moved to Nusa with me. We just clicked and have been inseparable ever since.

What has been your favorite travel experience so far?

 Indi’s 20th birthday.

Indi’s 20th birthday.

I really enjoyed going to Mexico with Gaby and Aaron, back in 2016 it was really special camping trip with Mojitos and Tacos. I miss you guys and California big time!

More recently I really enjoyed the pilgrimage into the Himalayan Mountains in 2017, it was so magical to spend a week carrying everything you need to survive on your back. A spiritual journey of sharing and understanding with Ismail. The waterfalls are by the hundreds and the people are the sweetest. I spent the morning of my 20th birthday in room with windows facing out all directions onto the mountains. Even to this day the mountains pure power is like I’ve never experienced (growing up in Australia the continent is old and our mountains are more like worn away hills). What made it possible was in Nepal you can hire all your trekking gear: we rented jackets for $1 a day, shoes, sleeping bags, and everything we needed. 

How did you two individually transition into a fruitarian lifestyle and why?

I tried raw vegan June 2017 for a month and felt great. I wasn't nearly as educated on it and was eating a lot of nuts and seeds to get me through. It’s lucky I didn't fall into a healing crisis for I was working an exchange at the time in Indonesia. Ismail felt sick last year whilst we were traveling, he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and his energy levels were as low as he could ever remember, loosing hair, could hardly walk and was bed ridden for several days at a time. We searched for Ayurvedic Doctors in Nepal, Healers, Diets, Supplements. We tried a lot of different methods for him but nothing was really working.

 Indi and her famous orange van.

Indi and her famous orange van.

He stumbled across a man named Doctor Robert Morse, supposably healing people of everything and anything through the raw vegan diet, more specifically an all fruit diet with some herbal formulas. So Ismail transitioned over night and when I arrived in Morocco it sounded so healthy and truth filled so I jumped on too. He has healed incredibly and is still on his healing journey. We are all here to heal.

I followed your entire journey together and saw that you preferred to travel all over the world with your rad Orange Van. How did you stumble upon it?

It’s been my dream to have a van ever since I can remember. We drove so many miles looking at different VW transporters all over Morocco, and this one was the one we fell in love with. She’s so beautiful, we have had so many memories with her and so many more to come.  

What inspired you to open up a restaurant in Morocco? And why did you choose that specific location?

Let’s Be is a restaurant that is focused mostly on Vegan food. 

 Hungry surfers at   Let’s be  .

Hungry surfers at Let’s be.

Although we also do have many items that are 100% raw vegan and are amazing. We also serve a few fish options on our menu. The location of Let’s Be is a little remote for an entirely vegan menu, the niche is just to small and our business would not survive at this stage. 

The agriculture is rich here and the food is of very high quality, yet if you have travelled Morocco you will know that you can only eat Tagine and bread a number of times before you start to crave something fresh and healthy.

We opened the door to feed people with all sorts of special dietary requirements.

We chose Tamraght because it's a groovy little fishing village in the south of Morocco and its home to some beautiful long right hander point break and the stunning atlas mountain range rolls into the Atlantic sea.

What’s your personal food philosophy?

I believe it’s all about balance, adapting to your environment and always eating as fresh, alive and organic as possible. Fruitarianism is great for healing, re-aligning the body and cleaning the lymphatic system, although don't let your diet detriment your lifestyle, for example not traveling to places because of lack of fresh food. Life comes first, experience it.

What was the first recipe you created together for Let’s Be?

 No, you’re not dreaming—these are just a few menu items at   Let’s be  . Raw pizza, huge alive salad and raw cinnamon rolls.

No, you’re not dreaming—these are just a few menu items at Let’s be. Raw pizza, huge alive salad and raw cinnamon rolls.

Funny story when Ismail and I were creating the menu, we were deep in our healing journey on raw fruit. We didn't actually try any recipes, didn't try the bread quality from the bakery, didn't try the combinations in our bowls. We let the feedback speak for us and it was so positive we must have done the right thing. One exceptional benefit from eating just fruit is I have learned the flavors of spices like never before, combinations and how to cook even if we did. I believe it had something to do with the break down of mucus and plaque from the tongue so you begin to taste food for what it really is. 

What’s your favorite item on the menu?

The Soul Bowl; A raw vegan dish with a creamy saffron pesto and zucchini noodles. Yum, it was Ismail’s creation he made one day for dinner and now we have been eating it ever since, and even better we serve it to people daily. 

How did you feel when you first launched Let’s Be?

I was nervous, there’s no restaurants here and it feels like somewhat no people around, yet having over 100 surf camps in the village alone we knew they were all hiding somewhere. Once we opened we really got to know the community here and find how many people are around. Learning to surf, on yoga retreats or traveling Morocco solo. You meet so many inspiring people. 

What’s in the future for the business?

 Acquiring food for   Let’s be  .

Acquiring food for Let’s be.

At this stage we just growing day by day, trying to find the balance with work and surf. Who knows what the future holds.

Are there any specific words you live by?

Love, Passion, Patience, Gratitude, Communication (is a good one for relationships)

PLAY. ALWAYS PLAY.

Life is a play.

What has the response been like from the public?

It has been so positive for Let’s Be, it’s really ‘the talk of the town’ 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from starting your own business?

I think the most important thing I have learnt is responsibility, I never really had any kind of responsibility. I would work a few months and travel until the funds ran out, I quit a job to go to a festival in the middle of Australia and dance around in the dust, I would just go where ever I liked, whenever I liked, I traveled alone so I never was on anyone else's agenda, and I love that, they are such good memories. 

 If   Let’s be  ’s food is not art then I don’t know what is.

If Let’s be’s food is not art then I don’t know what is.

Now with Let’s Be I feel like its anchored me which at first was a little overwhelming, although I am starting to really enjoy it. We went away on a 2 week trip to Senegal and it felt great to come home to my own comfy bed, a beautiful restaurant and our pet Tortoise. Responsibility can be both a blessing and a curse, and thats the most important thing I’ve learnt from opening my restaurant. 

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of opening up their own business?

Whatever you want to create, It’s 100% possible, if its to far out of your reach at this present moment, just start to dream about it. Dream of ways it can work and each day move consciously closer to your goal in your mind. When things start to move faster, stay healthy, it’s your own business and the harder you work to more real it becomes, yet if you don't look after yourself mentally and physically you will fall hard. Burnout is real my friends! So look after yourself !

What do you love the most about being a creative person?

Manifestation takes you places, having an imaginative mind can grow your dreams into reality. I am a very visual person and visualize how I want the future to look often, and more often than not I manifest exactly what aligns with me. It’s been really fun to have the space to create a space and see how it turns out. Let’s Be is just one masterpiece of many to come.


 Indi during her time in Nusa Lembongan getting her yoga teacher training.

Indi during her time in Nusa Lembongan getting her yoga teacher training.

 Indi living her best life.

Indi living her best life.

I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE PHOTOS ABOVE UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE

All photos were provided by Indi and Ismail

Gabriela PeregrinaComment