We recently caught up with our Balance Festival headliner Zanna van Dijk for a run at Primrose Hill followed by some juice and breakfast pots at Ripe Kitchen, Camden. Our chat covered everything from nut butter, to the Olympics and Zanna's favourite healthy cafe's. Keep reading to find out all the latest on Zanna and the exclusive programme she is designing for Balance Festival.
What have you been up to recently?
All sorts! Most of my time has been spent working on my book Strong
, and shooting all the imagery for it including the cover... which was slightly terrifying but so fun! I also went to Rio with Adidas for the Olympics
which was absolutely incredible! A real eye-opener. Not forgetting that of course I have been keeping up with my blog
and YouTube channel
& my personal training clients too.
What is your book all about? When will I be released?
My book is all about achieving a fit, healthy and balanced body. I actually focus on the topic of "balance" pretty heavily and include my "balance principles" to achieving a lasting and enjoyable healthy lifestyle. The book includes a comprehensive guide to lifting weights and structuring resistance workouts as well as bodyweight HIIT workouts, information about rest and recovery, a section on self love and body confidence, goal setting, organisation, nutrition, recipes and so much more. It is crammed with information! It comes out in December but can be pre-ordered
Why are you excited to be involved in Balance Festival?
Because it encompasses everything I am passionate about... fitness, food, travel and lifestyle! Plus the team have a real passion for education and ensuring that everyone who attends the festival has the chance to really learn about living a balanced lifestyle through cooking workshops, talks, panels, workouts and more. I think it will be such a huge and exciting event for the London fitness scene and really bring together the best of the best in the industry.
What will you be doing at the event?
I will be doing so much! I will be leading a huge workout, specifically designed for Balance Festival, with an exciting twist (stay tuned for more info!). I'll also be making a healthy feast in the live cooking theatre with a few of my friends including The Food Medic, Clean Eating Alice and Healthy Chef Steph, as well as leading panels about inspiring women, blogging and body confidence with Madeleine Shaw and Tally Rye. You will also find me doing book signings and generally browsing the festival. I can't wait to meet lots of like-minded people. It's going to be amazing.
If you could sum up your fitness philosophy in one sentence, what would it be?
Moderation not deprivation. I find that the fitness industry can be obsessed with cutting things out or going to extremes. My approach is all about balance and allowing yourself your favourite treats or relaxing weekends without any feelings of guilt. Fitness should be part of your life, not take over your life.
What does a typical day for Zanna look like?
It varies so so much! It usually involves an early morning workout but then it could be anything from meetings, to shoots, to writing my book or my blog, to recipe development, to organising #girlgains
events or even travel! No two days are the same and thats one of the reasons I love my job.
What are the health/fitness products you can’t live without?
I can't live without nut butter... the world would be such a sad place without it. Oh and my Adidas Pure BOOST X
trainers which are a total staple!
What are your favourite places to eat healthy food in London?
There are so many! I am a breakfast food lover so for brunch I adore Beany Green
in Paddington, Grill Market
in South Kensington, Bens Canteen
in Battersea and Brickwood
on Clapham Common.
What’s your favourite healthy holiday destination?
I am actually the personal trainer on the New Horizon Escapes
repeats in Bali and Koh Samui. I do think that Asia is an amazing place to be healthy as the food their is so fresh and delicious, especially the fruit! I also loved travelling in Australia recently and found Byron Bay to be an absolute haven for healthy cafes!
What is your favourite way to exercise?
Of course I absolutely love weight training and I don't think that will ever change. It is just so empowering and has a multitude of benefits. However, I also love boxing as it is a great stress reliever and I enjoy trying new fitness classes. My current favourite is F45
in London Bridge.
What do you do to find balance?
I listen to my body and I respect my body. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I workout when I am energised and rest when I need to. I look after my body by feeding it healthy and nourishing foods and exercising in an enjoyable way! I think we under estimate our bodies and often lose touch with them. When you take the time to really listen to them, it becomes so much easier to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle.