I realized early on that healthy eating only works for me if it is also delicious. I lost 40 pounds as a freshman in college and wrote about the healthy lifestyle plan I created to do that in my first book, The Dorm Room Diet. No deprivation. No strict rules. No counting calories. My brain just doesn’t work like that, and it definitely doesn’t work like that when faced with the bounty of farmers markets, a glorious bakery tempting me with carby wonders, or pretty much any food adventure where my mouth will get to wander and explore the tempting terrain of new flavors and specialty dishes.
Most days, I head in for hair and makeup around 6 a.m. and then cook and talk about food on TV for a few hours, snacking and sampling my way through some truly magnificent meals (perks of working with a couple of iron chefs). On these days, I try to stick with my two-bite rule: the first bite lets me sample all the magic that is going on. The second lets me truly indulge and savor. I remind myself that anything beyond that second bite is probably going to taste the same, so I can make a conscious decision of whether to keep going or not. I also try to set myself up for success by eating a hard-boiled egg or a handful of raw almonds or an apple before I go on set so I'm not ravenous.
When it comes to cooking at home, that’s when I fully have control over what I am eating. Since I eat a decent amount of animal protein on the job, I tend to make our meals at home pretty veggie- and vegetable-protein-heavy with some fish and chicken thrown in a couple of nights a week. The below is what I ate when I got to be home with my kids, a 3-year-old and 1½-year-old, last Friday.