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Authors: Giada De Laurentiis

Giada's Feel Good Food

BOOK: Giada's Feel Good Food
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Copyright © 2013 by GDL Foods Inc.

All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

CLARKSON POTTER is a trademark and POTTER with colophon is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
De Laurentiis, Giada.
Giada's feel good food / Giada De Laurentiis.
Includes index.
1. Cooking. I. Title.
TX714.D423 2013
641.5—dc23                        2013004298

ebook ISBN: 978-0-307-98721-1
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-307-98720-4

design by Rae Ann Spitzenberger
Photographs by Amy Neunsinger


To my daughter, Jade, who inspires me daily to stay creatively hungry; to my fans, who always keep my heart so full; and to my brother, Dino, my daily inspiration to savor every bite of life.

The number one question I'm asked by fans of my television shows and cookbooks is, “How do you stay so trim?” This book is my answer. It's a personal look into how I keep my body and my mind in a happy and healthy balance!
But I want to get one important thing straight right now: This is
a diet book. I don't live my life on a diet; I just don't believe in them for me. They are tough to stick to and encourage a sense of deprivation or missing out, resulting in roller-coaster weight loss and gain—and the mood swings that come along with that. I'm not a yo-yo and I can't put my mind or body through that. Instead, I have adopted a balanced way of cooking, eating, and living that works for me and my family. This didn't happen overnight, or by sitting down and scribbling a bunch of rules to follow, but rather over time, by tuning in to my body and what makes me run the smoothest and tuning out what doesn't.
When I was younger, I was completely addicted to chocolate and sugar. I relied on them to give me an energy boost throughout the day. In fact, I would eat less “regular” food in order to leave room for dessert! If it was coated in chocolate, it was for me: chocolate-covered almonds, graham crackers, cookies … chocolate anything, really. I put tons of sugar in my coffee and iced tea. I was also a fan of the Italian custom of dipping sugar cubes in espresso and sucking on them, going through several cubes at a time.
And when I was young, this didn't seem to affect me much. Sure, I had some dips here and there in my energy level throughout the day, but I had more energy in general and didn't see a huge downside to this lifestyle.
When I became pregnant with Jade, however, everything changed. I was responsible for this little life inside of me and I took the saying “eating for two” to heart. My body needed—and my baby deserved—better. This made me rethink my whole lifestyle.
So I started making little adjustments here and there, changing bit by bit. I cut down on my sugar intake and started being more mindful of what I was eating in general. I ate more, which makes sense because I was pregnant, but that meant more vegetables, protein, and whole grains and a lot less sweet stuff. I started buying organic ingredients and produce, trying to limit the pesticides and chemicals in my system as much as possible. And guess what, I began to feel better—even better than better. I felt great. Pregnant! And once Jade was born, I didn't revert back to my old habits. Jade has taught me so many things, but I like to think of this new lifestyle as her first lesson, her first gift to me.
I continue to tweak and improve upon it, always looking to make healthy adjustments, but I have to say I feel better than I ever have. I have more energy than ever before, which is how I keep up with my crazy busy schedule! I can honestly say that, in my forties, I am healthier than I was in my twenties or thirties. I sleep better. I feel happier. Jade changed it for me and I am grateful for all the joys she brings me. I knew there would be many; this was just an unexpected bonus!
I can honestly say that, in my forties, I am healthier than I was in my twenties or thirties.
I still love chocolate—that'll never change, and I don't want it to! I still eat it often, only now I do so in moderation. It's one of my pleasures, a little treat that makes me smile.
That brings me to my number one philosophy on eating: Eat a little of everything, but not a lot of anything. It's such a simple idea but it took me a long time to embrace it fully. I don't believe in deprivation; it just fuels cravings and creates a vicious cycle of negative feelings. On the other side, overindulgence with any one thing just dulls your taste for it, leaving you eating more of it, trying to get that same pleasure, which isn't a good thing.
I'm not saying you can't eat burgers. You just can't eat them five days a week! The good news is that when you make smarter choices, your taste buds will change. Your body will tell you what it needs to run best and your cravings will reflect this.
I now really gravitate toward whole grains and keep an eye on how much wheat I consume. Being mindful also of how much meat, fat, and salt I consume has led me to discover and fall in love with many kinds of whole grains, including quinoa, hominy, and kamut. Replacing foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI)—that is, foods high in refined sugar and refined complex carbohydrates, like white bread—with foods with less sugar and more fiber has made a huge difference in my energy levels. Low-GI foods are absorbed more slowly by
the body and keep you going longer. These days, I opt for light agave nectar instead of white sugar to sweeten my drinks. (You can even buy agave packets to take with you on the go.) It's still sweet but it doesn't give you a sugar high—and the resulting crash. You'll find nondairy milks in my fridge at home—from almond to coconut—to replace some of the regular dairy. In writing down many of my favorite dishes for this book, I realized that many are gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan (entirely free of animal products), and I thought,
this born and bred Italian has come a long way!
But it's great because this way I can still eat a bit of everything—and enjoy it all!
BOOK: Giada's Feel Good Food
7.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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