Hello, I’m Zanne. I love fitness, healthy living and ALL THE FOOD.

This is my kitchen, where I’m cooking, baking and sharing delicious food that’s healthy and nutritious and supports an active lifestyle.

During my journey towards a happier, healthier me, as I became increasingly conscious of my eating habits and the food culture around me, one thing really hit me: There is so much guilt in our relationship with food.

We, as a society – or maybe as a generation, but definitely as a gender – are obsessed with the negative aspects of eating. Look around. Listen to lunchtime conversations in the office. Read the magazines. Whenever the topic of food comes up, it comes with a massive baggage of guilt.

How many people around you are on a diet, or think about getting on a diet, or feel bad about not going through with their diet? Chances are you’re one of them. How many times a day do you year “No, I can’t eat this.” or “Oh god, I wasn’t supposed to eat all that.” or “It’ll be salads for me for the rest of the week.”

Open a magazine and it’ll tell you which diet you should be on, how to survive on 500 calories a day, which foods you absolutely mustn’t eat, ever… only to tempt you a page later with adverts for chocolate and recipes for luscious desserts.

Have a chat about any of this with your friends and I bet you’ll find almost every woman is secretly or openly beating herself up about being the wrong size or shape, eating too much or eating the wrong things, and feels a bit lost when it comes to changing things.

Because we expected to be domestic goddesses creating wonders in the kitchen, catering for family and friends with glorious meals, always having a bottle of wine on the go – and at the same time we’re expected to have the kinds of bodies that you can only achieve on a 500-calorie diet or by spending six hours a day at the gym.

Or that’s the narrative. But it’s not how it is.

A few years ago, in late 2013, I hit a personal low. Several years into a stressful job that involved long hours in the office and exhausted evening spent on the sofa with ready meals, I reached a point where I was overweight, had zero fitness, and suffered from a crippling onslaught of IBS.

I felt guilty about everything I ate, and at the same time I couldn’t stop turning to food for comfort and distraction. I tried diets. I never lasted more than a week, and each time I gave up I grew more frustrated with myself. When I finally picked myself up and did something about it, I knew it had to happen without a diet and without further obsessing about food.

So I kept eating and started to train a little bit, building it up gradually as I went along. Soon, it became a complete life change. I transformed my body to a level where I can work out hard six times a week and feel fantastic doing it. And the more I trained and looked after myself, the more interested I became in what I was eating.

I cut out junk food and ready meals, along with a lot of processed foods. Now I cook all my meals from scratch. I plan ahead and make sure I always have enough ingredients in my kitchen to always cook something fresh and nutritious, and I keep plenty of homemade, healthy snacks around for in between.

Ever since I’ve been doing this, I’m excited about every meal, I enjoy everything I eat, I feel fantastic inside my body, and all food guilt has been erased from my life.

Achieving all this was a lot easier than I ever would have imagined. Because you don’t have to deprive yourself of anything. If you change your eating habits in a considered and informed way, and get a bit creative in the kitchen, you can eat delicious food all day long and do it in a way that’s good for both your body and your mind.

This is what I’ve learned on my journey, and it’s the message I’d like to pass on, along with inspiration and practical advice on how to get there.

So this is Zanne’s Kitchen, the place where I try out new ideas for delicious, healthy food that is a joy to eat, and share them with you.

For a look behind the scenes of new recipes in the making, check out my Instagram.

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