Healthy lifestyle à la Rens Kroes
BY SANDY STRASSER
(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 2 2016)
Food is as hip as it ever was. Around the world on social media platforms people share what they are cooking or are being served in restaurants. Frisian food lover Rens Kroes – supermodel Doutzen’s sister – is not only pretty, she is also a wonderful cook. The cheerful blogger and author of several cookbooks talks about her lifestyle and reveals the healthiest food hotspots.
Rens, please describe your lifestyle. What outlook on life does it reflect?
Rens Kroes: To sleep well, to get my rest, by just doing things that I love. Also eating healthy and doing exercises once in a while is important for me, which I love in the mornings around seven thirty just to be fresh and take a shower and get breakfast afterwards.
Where does your love of cooking and baking come from?
R. K.: From my mom I think, because she is a nutritionist. And from my granddad who was one of the first organic farmers in the Netherlands. Also my Grandma was a herbwife and knew a lot about healthy food, so this is where it all got started.
Which city fascinated you many years ago as a result of its diversity with regards to healthy food, and why?
R. K.: Some years ago I lived in New York. The surroundings inspired me a lot because they had all those new things. However, I grew up in a very small village and when I came to New York I was like “wow, this is amazing” and so it got me a lot of inspiration. I just love the city and I visit the town whenever I can because I have an apartment over there.
You travel the world looking to discover new, amazing ways to enjoy food and delicious new dishes. Which major cities are currently particularly en-vogue and practically exude culinary diversity?
R. K.: I think in terms of diversity Japan inspires me a lot as well, especially Tokyo because of all the food and the seaweeds, and I think that’s just something really new. For example I love Champuru a lot, that dish really inspired me. I wrote also in my blog about it. And of course Paris with the French kitchen is amazing.
What are your personal favourite hotspots?
R. K.: Australia, that’s a very nice country. Especially with Sydney I fell in love so much. I felt at home in this continent, I love it. The weather, the people, the food…
What are the healthy and trendy places in your hometown of Amsterdam?
R. K.: I know many lovely places there. But one of my favourites is called Lavinia. This is an adorable cafe in the heart of the city that offers not only delicious breakfasts, lunches and snacks; it’s also a storefront, selling lifestyle products and items for your home. In terms of food they have nearly everything: salads, sandwiches, fresh juices, smoothies and even cakes! We love to take a breather at this happy, cozy spot.
On your blog people can find everything about food and being active, the tastiest power food recipes and many more tips on how to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. How and when did you come up with the idea for the blog?
R. K.: That’s a funny question. Do you know Kombucha? It’s a fermented tea and it’s really healthy. I made it at home some years ago and I thought that it would be a good idea to write blogs about it. A friend of mine had a website and I started blogging to promote the drink. At the time I was also talking about healthy food and then people went crazy. It was interesting to see. Afterwards I started my own website in 2013.
How imaginative do you have to be to develop your own creations that actually taste good as well?
R. K.: Yeah, that’s hard. Sometimes I am failing as well but it’s just about being creative. Usually I create a dish or a healthy version of something. I just taste and think about what else I need and then I am using other herbs. Or sometimes I also watch Instagram and see other people’s food and create this myself. I look at the picture and just try to cook, but most of the time I don’t look at other cookbooks because I don’t want to get too much influenced by them. So I guess it’s just about trying. Don’t be scared to fail! When you think you’re going to fail you will. That’s really the most important thing.
What are you focusing on at the moment? What projects are going on?
R. K.: I would like to have a cooking channel, so simultaneously I am working on cooking videos. I have a lot of clients who would love to have more guides I created with them for them. These can be an online grocery store or food baskets. We are in the process of this in the Netherlands and it’s really cool.
What is the philosophy behind your work and how do you actually bridge the gap between the most diverse food cultures?
R. K.: I want to inspire people and to make them aware of their food habits, how they are eating and what are their diets. I love to tell people what is healthy and what is not. I love to inspire them how you can manage a healthy lifestyle. I think the most important thing is to create awareness through all kinds of facets. Some people are vegetarian and others are meat lovers. I combine all of that and just create my own vision because I am not only a vegetarian, I am also not just a meat lover. I call myself a flexiterian as I think it is better for the world to make sure you are eating more local and that you are eating organic because noone wants to have all those pesticides in the body. I don’t want to pressure anybody with all this information – people just should get inspired by my way of living.
What is essential to be stored in your refrigerator? What makes you really happy?
R. K.: I am always happy when I have oat milk in my fridge. I love to have it in my smoothies or in my coffee in the mornings. And lemons make me happy. I also have banana breads in the freezer and I have a bunch of bliss balls with nuts and dates. Those make me really happy.
Your tip for a successful holiday trip guaranteed to make the hearts of all food lovers beat that little bit faster – where should people go?
R. K.: I think California. That’s just the really upcoming place to go, and the lovely countryside of Peru.
Picture credits © Anne Timmer