To celebrate World Vegan Month, author and health & fitness blogger Zanna Van Dijk, tells us about her journey towards a more plant based lifestyle. 

Zanna Van Dijk

Zanna Van Dijk

When and why did you decide to go vegan? 

I actually prefer to avoid the label vegan, as I live a fairly flexible lifestyle! I tend to call myself "more plant based". In essence I eat a 90% vegan diet with some occasional animal products (never meat). I decided to eat this way about a year ago and it’s been a slow transition to where I am now. The decision came after educating myself about various ethical and environmental issues surrounding our food production systems.

To what extent do you think veganism is helping women to empower themselves?

I think it is incredibly empowering to make a life choice which differs from the norm, to stand up for what you believe in and to make a difference in the world!

Do you think mindfulness is linked to veganism in any way? 

Definitely. I learnt about the issues in the food system a few years ago but wasn't in the right headspace to absorb this information and act on it. When I relearnt about it last year I was in a much more mindful and open minded place and I embraced the new information with open arms.

What are your favourite vegan recipes to cook at home? 

I am a fan of spicy black beans, veggie fajita wraps and chickpea curries!

Why is a nutritious vegan breakfast so important to kick start the day? 

Breakfast is the meal which powers us through our busy mornings so needs to be packed full of nutritious energy rich foods. I love protein smoothies with tonnes of fruit and nut butter, or overnight oats!

How integral do you think bloggers are to the vegan community and potential vegans? 

I think they're super important. I think bloggers really help to spread the message of living and eating more consciously, mostly in a non-confrontational manner. Bloggers have the ability to open peoples eyes, hearts and minds to a more compassionate way of living!

What vegan beauty products can you not live without? 

I am obsessed with the Nivea Q10 Plus C skincare range for my everyday routine, morning and evening. I also use sky Iceland masks when I need a boost and Body Shop bath products!

Please tell us a bit about your bestselling book Strong. 

It is my passionate project! A book which encompasses all my core beliefs from my key training principles to nutrition guidance, recipes and workouts. I am so proud of it and am so happy to see to helping so many people find their balance with food and fitness.

How do you supercharge your body in the mornings?

I apply the Nivea q10 plus C night cream every evening and I find it leaves me feeling super fresh faced when I wake up! I also do my best to drink a good amount of water before I caffeinate in the morning, to keep my body feeling energised!

What is next for you? 

A lot of travel for work, as I write this I am currently in The Maldives teaching at a hotel out here! I have a few more trips squeezed into 2017 and then some exciting eco-friendly projects releasing in 2018. Stay tuned!

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