We got chatting with the brilliant Zita Steyn, holistic chef and creator of Food Fights. In this interview Zita tells us about her daily life and what she does to get energised or unwind. Read on for some health tips and great foodie advice.
What is your morning routine?
I get up around 6:30am, drink a glass of water, do some stretches, get dressed and get the kids ready. We then all head downstairs for breakfast, which could be either fermented sorghum porridge with “chocolate mylk”, teff muffins with apple butter, chard and feta omelettes, or home-made rye bread with avocado and boiled eggs.
What do you snack on during the day.
I mostly try not to snack, but a cup of rooibos tea with a banana or an apple and a handful of nuts certainly hits the spot when I need it.
When are you most energised in the day.
After I’ve put the children to bed! It’s like my body knows I need to get a days’ worth of work done in two hours!
What is your daily work out or fitness activity.
I usually try to go for a 3 mile run twice a week (and I incorporate sprint and hill training into this), I do some skipping and HIIT (high intensity interval training) and there’s often a swim session in there too. This summer I signed up for a couple of triathlons (which I loved!), so my training involved a lot of cycling too. I live at the bottom of one of London’s best cycling climbs, so there was a lot of up and down that hill over the summer :-)
How do you relax?
I page through a foodie magazine or cookbook, and plan menus for my next workshops/supper club/dinner party. Over the weekend, we often go for long walks in the park.
Shower or bath?
I love my shower! Although a weekly soak in an Epson salt bath is also a great way to detox and relax.
Last book you read.
The boy who loved apples, by Amanda Webster, about her son’s struggle with anorexia. It was an eye-opener on so many levels.
What place did you last visit that inspired you.
Denmark! Even though I have no Danish heritage, I feel so at home there. Danes are generally healthy, active, polite and friendly, I love their laid-back style and the food is super.
What physical space or room do you feel most at ease in.
My kitchen. 100%
Put yourself out there. The universe favours the bold.
Weekend food indulgence
Brunch at Milk in Balham. The Gaia is absolutely delicious! Avi and green tomato smash on sourdough with green pea hummus, Clapham Underground herbs and edible flowers…
Cooking in or eating out.
For me, cooking every time. Although I have, of course, had some amazing meals out too! But I just get too excited about planning a lovely meal, so whenever the opportunity presents itself, I grab it.
Coffee or tea?
I love the smell of coffee, but have not had a sip of it for 18 years. I had a severe reaction to caffeine as a student, and decided there and then to avoid it in future. Thankfully I love strongly brewed rooibos and all kinds of floral and herbal infusions.
Silence or noise?
I do like silence, especially as it is hardly ever quiet in a house with three rowdy children. But I love listening to BBC Radio 4 or World Service when I am cooking, to classical music when I am working, to punk rock when I’m working out, and anything that gets your toes tapping for all other occasions.
Any health tips?
Think of your health, wellbeing and happiness holistically. Your body, mind and soul cannot function independently of each other. And be kind to yourself.