Giada De Laurentiis' Slim-Cooking Secrets
I bet the number-one question you get is: How do you eat all that great food and stay so slim?
That is the number-one question, and the answer is I eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything. Everything in moderation. I know that’s really hard for people to understand, but I grew up in an Italian family where we didn’t overdo anything. We ate pasta, yes, but not a lot of it. Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat.
Would you ever do a kids’ cookbook?
I don’t believe in kids’ cookbooks. Jade eats what we eatfood the entire family eats. I grew up eating what my parents put in front of me.
What’s the secret to serving fresh meals quickly?
Doing your homework ahead of time. Stock up your pantry and your freezer with things that aren’t perishable: Your favorite jar of tomato sauce that lists "tomato" as the first ingredient, lots of grains, olive oils, vinegars, tomato pastes, onions, shallots. When you go to the store, you only have to pick up meats and produce.
You’re very close to your family.
I wouldn’t be who I am today without my family. I’m a product of three people: my grandfather, who had the passion. His family owned a pasta factory in Naples before World War II, so he had a real passion for Italian food. My Aunt Raffy, who’s on the show a lot, is the creative one. She brings me recipes from all over the world. And my mom. She had four children and had to get food on the table as quickly as possible. My mom [taught me] speed.
How do you keep your energy up when you’re on the road?
I do yogastretching and core work. Every morning I do sun salutations. Sometimes I do a little meditation. My sister-in-law introduced me to Deepak Chopra’s website, which sends you daily reminders. I try to center myself because I’m around a lot of different energies, and it gets a little crazy and chaotic.
What are your travel must-haves when it comes to food?
Almonds are my staple. They’re nonperishable and can sit in my bag for the entire book tour. Plus lots of water, andI’m not gonna lieAmericanos [an espresso-based drink] everywhere I go, with a little agave because I don’t do sugar.
Do you ever meet any overzealous fans on the road?
A few years ago at a book signing in Seattle, a young guy asked me if I would sign his salami. I just looked at him like, "Oh my God," and then he pulled out a real salami from behind his back. It was cute. It was definitely a fraternity dare because all of his buddies were laughing in the background.
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