“Food is not the enemy!”
So says the petite and remarkably lovely Giada De Laurentiis. She’s a self-proclaimed chocoholic and a famed chef who knows Italian food like nobody’s business.
She is also quite correct. Food is not to be feared and abhorred.
It might seem that being surrounded by wonderfully decadent food on an ongoing basis would be unbelievably tempting. I mean, how could you possibly resist gobbling it all up? Panini with Chocolate and Brie? Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese? Sun - Dried Tomato and Mozzarella Kebabs? Filet Mignon with Balsamic Syrup?
So how does Giada cook up such fare and yet still stay so slim?
She will admit that, in part, good genetics are on her side. Yet still, the right genes won’t guarantee you’ll be able to slip into your skinny jeans if you consistently over indulge. And thus, therein lies a lesson: savor your food but don’t eat as though it’s your last meal.
”You should eat everything, but a little bit of it. Make each morsel satisfying, the quality of ingredients is paramount,” she says.
Giada offers some sage advice – eat real food as it will satisfy you in a way that no “fake” food could.
I recently found out just how true this is. I sampled a shortbread cookie. It was a gourmet version and it was wonderful. It was creamy and rich and I loved it. There weren’t very many in the package, though. And so, wanting a bit more, I switched over to another version of the same treat. It was a totally different experience. The other version was the mass produced, full of funky you-can’t-even-pronounce ingredients. The difference was unreal. There was just no comparison. It just wasn’t as satisfying as that first decadent version had been.
If you eat real, delicious fare, then you are satisfied with less.
The other part of this is portion control. The food will be there tomorrow. There is no need to eat it all up as if you might never, ever see it again.
What applies here, too, is the abandonment of the diet mentality. You know what that is – the “I’m going to enjoy this food now and I’ll just eat nothing but salad tomorrow to make up for it” thinking. If you anticipate that you’re going to suffer later, that the food you really love won’t be available to you, then you’re more likely to eat too much.
Stop doing that! No food is off limits.
Have what you truly want – but of course remember that there is no need to get out of control with it. You still have to think about balance. And naturally, you’ll want to favor the healthier items (like veggies) over the less than ideal stuff (like cake).
Giada is all about eating what she wants. She doesn’t forget, though, that the richer stuff should not get the spotlight. She enjoys her meals, but recognizes that she needs to fill up on the stuff that is good for her: “I eat pasta, but a small portion, not a giant one, and I eat more greens.”
Then too, she also is aware that movement is vital to keeping her body fit. Along with yoga, she also gets in her regular cardio sessions. “Getting up and getting my blood going gives me energy for the whole day.”