Rens Kroes Shares Her Happy and Healthy Philosophy on Food
ens Kroes is a health superstar from the Netherlands with a happy outlook on food and health and a robust global following. With over 375,000 Instagram followers @renskroes and three cookbooks about preparing real, minimally processed food (power foods), Rens’ wholesome approach to maintaining a healthy diet (try to be healthy most of the time) is relatable and achievable for even the busiest of busy people. Rens’ newest cookbook, “Power Food on the Go” is all about creating vibrant, healthy recipes that are prepped beforehand, packed into stainless steel containers or jars, and stuffed into your purse before you run out the door. And we’re not just talking about your average smoothies and homemade granola bars; we’re talking about Carrot Pancakes, and Buckwheat Noodle Salads — recipes that look as good as they taste, leaving you with zero reasons to seek a less-than-healthy alternative. We spoke with Rens about her latest book, her philosophy on health and wellness, and what she hopes people will take away from reading “Power Food on the Go.”
Q: So, what exactly are Power Foods?
Rens Kroes: Whole foods or unprocessed foods that make your body happy. With ‘whole’ I mean eating food that still looks as it did growing in nature, or very close to it. Basically, food that has not been messed with, or only minimally messed with.
Q: Your grandmother is an herbalist, your grandfather is an organic farmer, and your mother is a nutritionist. Health is important to your family. What is your philosophy on food and health?
RK: My philosophy is pretty simple: try to be healthy most of the time, be aware of what you are eating and enjoy, have fun! Nutrition or food is a very important component, but there are also other factors to be aware of like exercise, your metabolism, your current lifestyle and your history with food on a mental, physical, emotional and social level. Your relationships with others, sleep, stress and work all play a role in the balance. All of these aspects are connected. We all have the same overarching goal in mind: finding the right balance that makes you happy. If you are in balance, I believe that you are in good health.
Q: Maintaining a healthy diet is a lifestyle, what’s the first step to making good new habits stick?
RK: Look around you. Create awareness. To make a start, it’s good to first have a clear, honest picture of what you’re currently eating. Look at the ingredient list on the package. Look what you are putting in your shopping cart. Or keep a food diary for one week, writing down what, when, and how much you’re eating.
Choose quality, not quantity. And I’m not only talking about food (Eat real foods, the higher quality food, and drinks you consume, the better the quality of your health!) but also, your social life, material, etc.
Be positive, enjoy cooking!
Q: Sunday Prep is paramount to maintaining a larder of healthy food to grab on the go. As we all know, life can be busy. If you don’t have a lot of time on hand, which recipe do you prefer to batch cook?
RK: Chocolate banana bread! It’s so moist and yummy. Perfect for on the road! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELw0dZgIgjs
Q: That sounds delicious! Also, do you have one go-to recipe that you find yourself making time and time again?
RK: I love to prep muffins, granola, spring rolls, quinoa salads, kickstart, mylks (almond, oat & cashew) & cauliflower couscous.
Q: Paint me a picture; What do your pantry and fridge look like on any given day?
RK: A lot of oat mylk (for my granola & coffee for in the morning), greens (broccoli, arugula & spinach) coconut yogurt, homemade hummus & mayonnaise dressings, leftover food (love it!).
Q: We love that you advocate reusable containers like cloth sandwich bags, to pack food on the go. Any particularly favorite vessels to carry your favorite food on the go?
RK: Stainless steel food containers & water or smoothie bottle.
Q: I envision your purse to be enviable and brimming with your tasty recipes! What are the top 5 essentials you carry in your purse on the go?
RK: Water bottle, my RMS lip balm, credit card ;), vlog camera & perfume (natural).
Q: You live a busy lifestyle, how do you combat stress?
RK: I meditate every morning and do yoga.
Q: Also, relaxation is key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. How do you relax?
RK: True! I love to hang out with friends, go out and dance. But also Netflix, do yoga or have coffee with my favorite people!
Q: Sometimes we all need something indulgent. What’s your philosophy on cheat meals? And what’s your favorite indulgent food?
RK: I believe when we view food as a “cheat” or “treat” we instantly start labeling food as “good” or “bad” — therefore spurring on a silent war (inside our heads) with food — like it or not. My favorite indulgence is french fries with peanut butter sauce + mayonnaise and curries; you can always wake me up for that!
Q: You have an incredible Instagram following! What’s on your Instagram feed right now?
RK: Good food, videos, positivity, inspiring quotes.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from “Power Food On the Go?”
RK: Clean eating and a healthy lifestyle don’t have to be complicated, even if you’re busy! Prepping is everything 😉