I cannot tell you how often I shock people when I tell them I am a chef. Some reply… “Never trust a skinny chef”, but most people ask me “How do you cook for a living and stay so thin?”
I am not going to stand here and say that I don’t like to exercise or break a sweat. Most days you can find me throwing down my yoga mat to practice but I have found I do this more for my mind than my body. The deep inhales and exhales clear my head space and keep me present and in the moment. There is nothing as gratifying as leaving a class with that yoga glow and carrying it with me all day and sharing it with others.
But the truth of the matter is that Ab’s are built in the kitchen not in the gym. It is 70% diet (the food we put into our bodies), 30% exercise.
I am not a vegan, vegetarian, juicer or intolerant to gluten, sugar or dairy. I love all foods equally and eat meat, cheese, bread and chocolate. I also think an evening glass of wine is great for the heart. I believe the more we restrict our diets the more intolerant we are to certain foods and our body needs a variety of nutrients to stay balanced.
The trick is that I prepare most of what I eat. Nothing boxed, bottled or prepackaged. It all begins with what you put in your shopping cart and in your refrigerator. This should change depending on what is in season and what is freshest at the time. Tons of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, grains and nuts. We eat with our eyes first and variety tricks the body into being fuller quicker. Also each colored food gives us different vitamins that are essential for good health.
I believe portion size is key. A little of everything but not a lot of anything. I eat 6 small meals a day to keep my metabolism up so it is continuously burning calories. I drink at least 3 liters of water a day but I love to eat.
I have taken a page out of the European lifestyle book. Food is a treasure to be savored so I sit down for meals and take my time enjoying each and every bite focusing only on eating and not multitasking.
A lot of my students have lost a lot of weight by getting into the kitchen and cooking for their families. No starving or crash diets. Merely a lifestyle shift that slowly becomes routine. Without much thinking or planning the pounds fall away. So start cooking your way to the body you always wanted.
xxxx Chef MM