An interview with award-winning author Pascale Naessens
As published in Gourmet Magazine in July 2020
How did you get started into cooking?
I initially ventured into the kitchen as a result of issues with food and romance.
I started cooking healthily after struggling with my eating habits for a few years. I learned all about the very distinct link between cooking and romance once I got a boyfriend, but I certainly wasn’t prepared to give up on the healthy food. So I decided to effectively combine the two: the art is in creating enjoyable and delicious dishes which are still good for a healthy body too. Many people have completely the wrong idea where healthy cooking is concerned, they think it’s all about reduced portions, starving yourself, tasteless food, whilst the opposite is actually true. I eat a lot of extraordinarily tasty food and I always feel full and satisfied. I don't shy away from fat, but do avoid fast-acting carbohydrates. You will end up with tasteless food if you remove all the fat from the kitchen (or the ingredients). This is therefore clearly something I don’t do.
I acquired a few major insights into why ‘healthy food’ always went wrong for me during my search. Perhaps the most important insight is the fact that we all react differently and that it’s completely absurd for everyone to eat in line with the exact same model. Every country has its own official guidelines, but these don't work for many people, quite the contrary in fact. We need to put much more focus on the individual, which will then clearly demonstrate the fact that we can distinguish between different groups. A large group won't respond well to an excess of fast-acting carbohydrates: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes… Whilst this happens to form part of the basic diet in many Western countries and if you add all the refined foods of the past years into the equation too (= also fast-acting carbohydrates), things really do become disastrous. Many people end up addicted to all those fast sugars and will completely lose themselves in these. That’s exactly what happened to me too. These excessive amounts of fast-acting carbohydrates make us overweight, ill and addicted.
People often end up on strict diets and starve themselves in order to shed those excess kilos. That’s what classic nutrition has taught us - you will lose weight if you eat less and exercise more. But this categorically does not work, on the contrary, anyone starving themselves is guaranteed to minimally get those exact kilos back afterwards.
* These are a few excerpts from the article. The full article can be found on the PDF files below.
"Perhaps the most important insight is the fact that we all react differently and that it’s completely absurd for everyone to eat in line with the exact same model."