Healthy Cooking with Anna Scholz

anna-scholz030-small_Anna is the founder and designer of Anna Scholz (@annascolz), which makes beautiful clothes for women up to a size 28. After a health scare two years ago, the designer adopted a new lifestyle which incorporated exercise with healthy eating for a better mind, body and soul. In this new column for SLiNK, ‘Anna’s Kitchen’, Anna takes us in to her home to show us some of the tasty and easy, nutritional dishes you too can incorporate into your life.

“I only became interested in my health and nutrition after I got rather ill with gallstones and pancreatitis when I turned 40.

It’s funny but when you are young you feel so invincible and don’t realise how very precious your health is. Only when you’re ill and your health is stopping you from being able to participate in the things you love, you feel the need to look after yourself… And I did just that.

I went on a long journey of getting fit. My goal was never to be skinny or thin.
I strongly believe you can be curvy and healthy and I love curvy strong women and promote diversity in beauty in all aspects of my life.
But I also want to feel strong and fit and make sure that I nourish my body well so
I have all the energy I need for my busy lifestyle.
I changed slowly with the help of my personal trainer and dedication to a new exercise regime (now I go to the gym 3 times a week).
At the beginning, I could hardly make it on the crosstrainer for 10 min as my heartrate went through the roof. Now I do interval running, weights, boxing, resistance training, skipping etc. and I have actually started to enjoy it and miss it if I can’t go.

It’s baby steps all the way; one can just start by walking more, I have my dog Frida who gets me out every day.
But to be t and healthy it is 80% about what you eat and 20% exercise. So once I started to get my tness in gear, I had to really look at making life long changes in my diet.

I always say changing your diet is harder than giving up smoking or drinking, as you can cut those out completely, but you still have to eat, and you have to be organised and make the right choices several times a day. It wasn’t about cutting out foods for a short period of time. This is about a change for life.

When you realise how many bad products are in processed foods and ready meals and how awful the so called ‘diet’ foods are, I realised that a low fat yogurt isn’t always good for you when it is full of sugar.

Now, I am not a nutritionist or expert in this area but I have read a few books and am educating myself as I go along, but I know how I feel after a meal full of nutri- tious ‘real’ food’ and how I feel after a processed one.

Processed food makes me tired and sluggish and nutritious food makes me feel fuelled and energetic.
Of course I am not perfect and I don’t need to be. I still believe in indulging. Having a ‘cheat’ meal once a week is necessary and fun, I just don’t make it a daily habit.

I love food and cooking and I never wanted to feel bitter about missing out on food I shouldn’t be eating, but I wanted to make healthy foods more interesting and exciting for me.

So I started experimenting with new dishes and made a few simple changes. I try and avoid anything processed or ready made (unless I buy some organic sausages from my local farmers market), I make sure that I get enough greens and always shop for a list of ‘superfoods’.

I add kale, spinach, nuts, avocados and blueberries where I can and I replace potatoes with sweet potatoes. I cook with coconut oil and try to be creative with len- tils and eat sh at least twice a week.

I am also in love with organic eggs, which are a great source of many nutrients, protein and minerals.

I guess I am lucky that I enjoy most healthy foods or I’ve made them enjoyable. For example, I was never a fan of porridge until I added cinnamon (full of antioxidants and health bene ts) & blueberries; now I love it. So it is all about finding little tricks to turn some of the more boring healthy foods into tasty meals.

My real downfall is sugar! I crave, adore and love anything sugary. My body has
an inbuilt 4pm sugar craving, and when I indulge I only want more sugar 30 mins later. It is a desire which hardly ever gets satisfied. In order to combat this I’ve had to replace the sweeties with something more nutritious. So now I eat a few oatcakes or an apple with a delicious nut butter (my favourite is hazelnut butter, but any will do as long as you buy the sugar free variety) and miraculously my craving is satis ed.

I did a sugarfree month last year which was harder than giving up smoking! I started posting all my meals on Instagram and was surprised about the many messages from women who were really inspired to start cooking and being healthier and asking me for recipes.

So here I am with my new column for SLiNK magazine, where I will share some of my favourite dishes and tricks with you. Bon appetit!
Don’t forget you can watch the videos of ‘Anna’s Kitchen on our youtube:


-- Editor-in-Chief SLiNK Magazine