From Supermodel to Super Chef: Meet Pascale Naessens
Interview by Kimberley Fisher Boone, for LuxeEpicure
If you ever had the pleasure of meeting the statuesque Pascale Naessens, the first thing you notice is her ease, and effervescent personality. After a career as a model (complete with eating disorder) Pascale decided she would focus her after-modeling career on helping others through nutrition.
As an iconic figure in Belgium, she sold over 1.5 million copies of her seven books. Her latest, Pure & Simple, is the first U.S. release. We sat down with Pascale and chatted on life, love, food and more.
How did your path to natural foods and healthy eating start?
"When I was a model, my agency told me I would get more work if I lost a few pounds. It was actually pretty easy to do, because I was highly motivated. It wasn’t difficult for me to eat less for a few days, or just survive on a handful of nuts. After one week, I weighed a few pounds less. But then I gained them right back in the next weeks. After a while, I admit I ended up suffering from the so-called Yo-Yo effect. And at a certain point I was tired of periodically starving myself. Besides, I do love good food and I was convinced there had to be a better solution for my problem—so I started to study nutrition in my spare time. After a while, I developed my own way of eating. I discovered that it was possible to enjoy good food in combination with good health and weight loss."
You have traveled around the world as an international model. What trends do you see in eating habits around the world?
"It was some time ago that I worked as a model. But through the traveling I did at the time, I was introduced to the international cuisine that inspired me to create the fusion recipes you find in my books. I was inspired by Asian foods in particular. At the heart of the way people eat is a kind of respect for food. They live in harmony with their environment, and food is an especially important aspect. I was often amazed at the sophisticated and healthy food even roadside stalls served. At first glance things did not seem very hygienic—rats sometimes ran across the table—but the food was like the title of my book: pure and simple. Asians are less inclined to eat carbohydrates than Western Europeans, despite the ever-present mounds of rice."
* These are a few excerpts from the article.You can read the full article here.
"I was inspired by Asian foods in particular. At the heart of the way people eat is a kind of respect for food. They live in harmony with their environment, and food is an especially important aspect."