Anjali Shah is a food writer, board certified health coach, and owner of The Picky Eater, a healthy food and lifestyle blog.
Her work has been featured on Oprah.com, Women' s Health, Cooking Light, Reader's Digest, CNN, Food Network, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal, Whole Foods, SHAPE, and at Kaiser Permanente.
Anjali grew up a “whole wheat” girl, but married a “white bread” kind of guy. Hoping to prove that nutritious food could in fact be delicious and desirable, she taught herself how to cook and successfully transformed her husband’s eating habits from a diet of frozen pizzas and Taco Bell to her healthy, yet flavorful recipes made with simple, wholesome ingredients.
Through her blog, The Picky Eater, Anjali shares her passion for tasty, healthy cooking.
1. It was really interesting to read through your profile. It's great that you've converted your husband. Does this mean he's off pizza and donuts for breakfast?
Yes! He is for sure! He eats bran cereal, or has fruit & milk for breakfast now - it's a big change! Occasionally he does have a donut with milk though, but instead of 4 donuts he only has one :)
2. Has he influenced your diet as well? What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
I definitely think I've influenced his diet more than he's influenced mine. I eat pretty much the same way that I did before we met. I think the thing I've learned from him has really been around flexibility and reducing stress -- which is less about food but more about overall lifestyle
As for my guilty pleasure -- I have a HUGE sweet tooth! Warm chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, chocolate brownies and cake -- pretty much anything cakey or chocolatey is a guilty pleasure for me. And I will enjoy those indulgences from time to time - I believe in moderation - no foods are off limits all the time!
3. What made you decide to start a blog? What is the most rewarding thing about being a food blogger?
Originally I started my blog as a way to chronicle my adventures in cooking healthy meals that my husband would enjoy. Before I started my blog I didn't know how to cook - I didn't even know how to use a can opener!
So, I used my blog as a way to keep track of the recipes I was making that were healthy but also were really tasty too. Over time, as people began finding it through search and word of mouth - I realized I could turn it into something more and really have it be a platform for people to connect, learn about healthy food, and help people live healthier lives overall.
The most rewarding thing has been when I get emails or comments from my readers, telling me how much their lives have changed for the better since they started making my recipes at home for them and their families. It's amazing and incredibly rewarding to know I have been able to help so many people through my blog!
4. You've been to many countries. How does traveling influenced your cooking? And in your opinion, which country has the best cuisine?
Traveling has definitely influenced my cooking -- mainly just because of the exposure I've gotten to so many different flavors and cuisines. I'll often come back from a trip and try to recreate a particular dish or recipe we might have had during our travels. I think traveling has just made my cooking more diverse and adventurous overall.
As for which country has the best cuisine -- honestly I don't think I can pick! Each country has so much to offer that no other country has, which is one of the reasons I love traveling so much!
5. Name three of your husband's favorite dishes that you'd recommend to our readers.
I'm giving you 4 to choose from!
- My French Toast Bread Pudding (great for breakfast or even breakfast-for-dinner!)
- My Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables (a true crowd pleaser)
- My Black Bean Chilaquiles (you won't believe how healthy these are for you - they taste so good!)
- My Thai Yellow Curry (the best non-takeout-takeout you'll have)
How to Reach Anjali Shah of The Picky Eater