The Booktopia Book Guru asks
author of Life in Balance
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you raised?
I grew up on Sydney’s southern beaches.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
Ever since I started baking with my grandmother when I was about eight years old, I’ve always had a love for cooking and magazines. After college I was lucky enough to get a job in the Women’s Weekly test kitchen and that was really where things really started. I launched my magazine when I was in my early thirties, so I guess I’ve always been lucky enough to do what I love.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
My Mum always told me, “where there is a will, there is a way!” – I like to think I still believe that, although some things are definitely more difficult than others!
4. What big events in your life or the world around you most influenced your philosophies on food?
Becoming a mum and cooking for my two young boys has influenced how I eat at home, plus as I’m so busy all the time I have to I plan ahead! I always try to ensure they have healthy, balanced options for their lunchboxes and plenty of wholesome snacks in the freezer that we can defrost. I often bake a batch of healthy muffins or make up some bliss balls on the weekend, so they can have then during the week. We still always have room for treats, though. The boys love to cook with me, too – food is so much about sharing and eating together.
5. What is a dish you wouldn’t eat as a child that you love now?
I think the eight-year-old me would definitely not be pleased with the green smoothie I have every day! Every morning I make up a smoothie with kale, watercress, coconut water and spinach that I drink throughout the day in the office – I think you’d be hard-pressed to convince any child to drink that!
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
Life In Balance is all about helping people embrace a fresher approach to eating. From power snacks to leaner dinners and meals packed with good grains and proteins, it’s full of inspiring ideas to help you enjoy a wider variety of delicious, nutritious foods and embrace a more balanced lifestyle. I’m really excited about this book, as it’s really how I love to eat and cook.
7. If you had to highlight one recipe from the book, what would it be?
There’s an amazing raw chocolate peanut butter slice that I can’t stop making! It’s made with dates, almond and cacao and has no refined sugar so it’s a better option when you’re looking for a sweet fix.
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
Anyone who dares to be different, creative, or make the world a better place.
9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
I’m not really much of a goal setter! I’ve been very busy this year as I’ve been working hard on building my brand and there are some exciting projects in the works. I’m always looking towards the next thing. Personally I’m trying to work through a bit of a bucket list – I’d love to do the Sydney to Hobart yacht race one day!
10. What advice do you give aspiring home cooks?
If you need to build your confidence in the kitchen, start simple, pick a classic recipe and go from there. Then, don’t be afraid to try new recipes or experiment with new ingredients. Cooking meals that taste delicious and look great doesn’t have to be tricky!
Donna, thank you for playing.
Life in Balance
by Donna Hay
Australia’ most trusted home cook is celebrating a fresher approach to eating.
These days we’re bombarded with so many messages about what to eat more of and what to eat less of and what to give up altogether, it can all get a little confusing and, let’s face it, overwhelming. When there are so many passing fads and extreme diets out there, it’s a relief to turn to a voice of reason, Australia’s bestselling … Read more.
About the Contributor
Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.