Thriving and Inspiring: Anna
Tell me about yourself (i.e. how you started your blog, what inspires you, your accomplishments, etc.)
I started Klean Kuisine as a hobby to share easy, nutritious recipes with my social network. My readership has slowly been growing to outside my friends and family, and I’ve been getting great feedback which inspires and motivates me to keep producing content on a regular basis. My goal for Klean Kuisine is to show how clean eating doesn’t have to be boring or bland, but unique, exciting, and most importantly delicious!
I am a University of Toronto graduate with a Bachelor of Science (majored in Nutritional Science). I took two years off after school to figure things out, find where my passion lies and refocus. Over the course of my reflection, I realized I want to get into Med school, specialize in cardiology and have my own practice. I want to focus on prevention through healthy diet.
How do come up with recipes for your blog? Where do you get your inspiration?
I love Pinterest. It's a great resource to finding recipe ideas and ways to combine a variety of ingredients. Another great source is Instagram. There are so many creative individuals who post inspiring style ideas and recipes. I also like to flip through cookbooks to get a better understanding of ingredient combinations and expand my knowledge of nutrition. My favourite cookbooks right now are Oh She Glows, Joyous Health and Thug Kitchen. They use simple ingredients, lots of easy substitutions and provide great tips on how to incorporate healthy recipes in your everyday life. Healthy eating is simple and easy.
How would you describe your philosophy about food and living well?
My philosophy is all about balance. In my opinion, one extreme or the other isn’t the way to live. I eat a lot of whole and raw foods and I'm not so keen on typical North American diet (grease, meat). It can be palatable and your body naturally likes the taste but it's not good for you.
I've become a vegetarian at the age of 13. I had so many questions about the meat industry and found out how animals were treated. I believe they have souls and how they are treated is very inhumane. In the end, I didn't agree with those morals. Once I converted to a vegetarian diet, I noticed my body changing and I no longer craved meat.
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. Be conscious of what products you use and foods you eat. Listen to your body to better understand what you need. We are all different and one health plan doesn't fit all.
What sort of tips can you share to keep us eating right while on the go?
I always keep snacks in my purse such as natural bars (nakd bars - date based with nuts, no preservatives, or extra ingredients), fruits or pre-cut veggies. If I need more of a boost or run out of snack, I get a smoothie or wheatgrass shots from Booster Juice or Jugo Juice. I will also make date balls with nuts, coconut and dried fruits. It's a great snack to curb your cravings and hunger.
What's your typical meal for...
Breakfast: This is my favourite meal of the day. I rotate between an egg white omelette, some form of oatmeal with fruit, or my 3 ingredient pancakes (recipe below). If I have cooked buckwheat (kasha), I warm it up with almond milk and a little honey.
Lunch: Soup, salad, or leftovers from dinner.
Dinner: Some type of soup (I love soup!): pureed butternut squash, veggie and lentil, coconut carrot, borsht, the list goes on.. I also love veggie stir frys with rice, quinoa, or gluten-free pasta. Roasted veggies with kasha are another go-to dinner.
How do you adjust your diet to reflect the changing seasons?
I try my best to eat in season because it's inexpensive, tastes great and has more health benefits. In the winter, I eat a lot more warm foods such as soups and winter squash. I stay away from smoothies and salads in the winter because my body craves warming foods and I easily get cold. In the summer, I eat raw veggies, salad, raw fruits and smoothies. We have something to look forward for each seasons.
Do you have any DIY skin care products you'd like to share with our readers?
I love using natural coconut oil as a moisturizer. I'm in the process of switching up my higher end products to more natural products. For example, I switched my toothpaste to “Nature’s Gate”. It's all natural and has a great consistency. Desert Essence facial wash is another one of my favourites! I would definitely recommend it.
What else is next for you and KLEAN KUISINE? Where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years? Any big plans you want to share?
I would love to rebrand Klean Kuisine and expand my network. I would love to do guest posts on other people's sites to widen readership and contribute to the virtual world of health. Seeing the endless opportunities and inspiring individuals keeps me motivated to keep up with my blog.
Thank you Anna for sharing a piece of your story. Below are two of Anna's famous pancake recipes you'll have to try! They are easy and a perfect dish to make even before work!
3 Ingredient Banana Oat Pancakes
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup quick or one-minute oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- oil of choice
- In a bowl, combine mashed banana & egg.
- Add oats, cinnamon & salt & mix well.
- Heat a pan on medium-high heat & reduce to medium heat. Add a little oil & using a ladle or large spoon, form pancakes with the mixture in the pan.
- Cook until edges turn golden brown, about 2 minutes, flip & cook second side for another minute.
- Serve immediately with your choice of berries and maple syrup.
4 Ingredient Vegan Banana Oat Pancakes
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 4 tbsp liquid (use a non-dairy milk or water)
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/3 cup oats (can use large flake or quick)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional, but recommended)
- pinch of salt
- Combine chia seeds, flaxseed & liquid in a bowl & set aside for 5 mins until the mixture becomes gelatinous.
- Mash the banana with a fork. I like to mash 3/4 of the banana and slice the remainder for a different texture.
- Once the chia/flax mixture is gelatinous, combine all ingredients.
- Heat a little bit of oil (I use coconut) in a large frying pan on medium heat. Scoop 4 palm-sized pancakes into the pan & cook for about 3 mins. Flip & cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate & top with your choice of toppings – I like to top with fruit, coconut flakes & nuts. Serve immediately & enjoy!
Thriving and Inspiring series is my way to share inspiring stories and connect you to like minded individuals. If you (or someone you know) would like to share your story, let’s connect! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.