[caption id="attachment_2528" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Anna Silk as Bo, "a Succubus who feeds on the sexual energy of humans" from the hit TV series Lost Girl on Showcase"]
[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2529" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Anna Silk as Anna Silk: home cook, food lover and proud Canadian"]
[/caption] OK, I'll say it. I fell in love with Anna Silk. This
-born star of
- which begins season 2 this Sunday September 4th at 9pm on Showcase - takes being a role model to young women very seriously, plus she's a huge foodie (her grandfather was a chef), and one of the most well-read vegans I've spoken to. "Oh, I'm not perfect," she laughed multiple times over the interview. Really? Our quick Q&A is below, plus Anna shares her favourite recipe - "Grandma Pembe's Fasolia recipe" (which she's preparing in the image above).
What kinds of foods did you love eating as a kid growing up in New Brunswick?
I was a weird kid in that I was a good eater. We didn't ever have junk food in the house, not that it was a crazy rule we just didn't have it. My mom made everything from scratch, even our own yogurt. My favourite thing to do when I was really little was to eat cup-up fruit while watching TV, it was my favourite snack. We went to the market in Fredericton once a week, which is something you take for granted growing up. Mom bought everything fresh and made really good food. We didn't eat lots of meat at home, but we did eat a lot of bean salad. It shows her Mediterranean roots, and what she grew up with. She even made
her own baby food
for me, long before today's trend.
When did you find out you were gluten-sensitive?
It's been two years, and diagnosed after I had a lot of stomach aches. It's really not that hard [to live gluten-free], just takes some advance planning and bringing food along while you travel. A lot of junk food is gluten-free but it's still crappy food, you don't want to eat that stuff!
What turned you towards veganism?
I'm a nighmare houseguest! [laughs] Growing up I was never a big meat eater and didn't like it much. I would meet people who were vegan and think, "Why can't I do that?" My husband and I were out for a walk one day and I said I didn't want to eat chicken anymore. "Then don't," he said. So I got a ton of books - cookbooks, nutrition books, everything all at once. As I was reading I shared with my husband, trying not to horrify him [laughs]. In the end he became a vegetarian! I feel good, he feels good, and it's nice for us to do this together. Your diet is an individual choice, but I personally think this is a healthier lifestyle.
As a busy actress with a heavy schedule, how do you get all your proteins and dietary needs into the day?
Set caterers are good about being accommodating, but I do really like to cook. I keep stuff in the house I can grab-and-go: pre-made brown rice, chickpeas, kale, and Bragg's Liquid Aminos. I always carry nuts and seeds, just to keep handy. Some people become junk food vegans, so I try hard to have real food on-hand.
Do you have advice for the vegan-curious?
I feel passionate about veganism, and strongly about good nutrition. I can't believe what passes for healthy food sometimes. It's all about research and reading. Veganism really isn't a difficult thing to do, start with some really great books and continue to do research online. It's a learning process, so slowly educate yourself. People could start cutting out red meat and start feeling the benefits. Jumping right in is worth it, but you have to know what you're doing.
What is your message to body-conscious young girls who look up to stars like you and want to emulate your great figures with their own vegan lifestyle?
I was also a body-conscious young girl at one time. They need to know that what you see in the media is not what people are. People need to take care of themselves at a young age, so do your research and eat a certain way to feel good, not just to "look" good. I think and feel strongly about how women perceive women in the media, and that this can be damaging to people and young girls. Empower yourself with the education you need to live a vegan lifestyle, if that's what you choose.
Do you identify at all with your character, Bo, on Lost Girl?
Absolutely, and big chunk of our fanbase are young women! Bo grew up thinking she was like every other girl, but learns she's not human but a succubus - a creature who feeds on sexual energy [laughs] which explains her urges beyond normal teenage urges. Bo is really cool and tough, and does cool things, but I identify with her because deep inside she is actually vulnerable and scared. I like to play someone who has vulnerability and fear, but who has to be strong and push through it. That's what I've done as an actor for the last 12 years! Bo learned a lot in season one, and she's smarter, stronger and taking more control in season two. [caption id="attachment_2530" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="One of Anna Silk's favourite recipes - her Grandma Pembe's Fasolia"]
From the kitchen of Anna Silk: Grandma Pembe's Fasolia recipe
Beans....either one cup of dried beans or a large can of beans like white kidney beans or Romano beans etc. 3-4 tbsp of olive oil 2 medium onions, sliced 4 garlic cloves ,chopped 1 14oz can of tomatoes 1 tsp of sugar or honey 1 bunch of parsley, chopped 4 ripe plum tomatoes salt and pepper and Lemon cut into quarters Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic until soft and the add the canned tomatoes and half the parsley. Add the cooked or canned beans and sugar or honey and bring to boil and then let simmer ( about 25 minutes) Cut up the plum tomatoes (you can drop them into boiling water to get the skins off if you wish) and put them in with the beans and add the rest of the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve over cooked Kale and with a lemon wedge. It's also great the next day served over brown rice or quinoa. You can eat it cold too!