Giada De Laurentiis' Slim-Cooking Secrets

When youre not on the road, whats your fitness routine?
I do yoga with an instructor for an hour three times a week. I started doing yoga when I was pregnant, and I was told by my OB/GYN that I could no longer go to the gym because my daughter wasnt growing enough. I was a big gym rat for a long time—treadmill, elliptical machine, StairMaster, weights. But I started doing yoga and paddleboarding, which is peaceful, almost like a meditation. And I go hiking.

Besides exercise, what do you do to keep yourself healthy?
Andrew Macpherson

Lots of water. Two liters of water a day at least. And lots of olive oil. It keeps my skin healthy. It keeps my whole [self] healthy and glistening.

Your skin looks amazing—do you ever use it on your skin?
I do use it on my face. I have a whole 30-minute regime that I cannot go to bed without doing. And I keep my skin—especially my face and neck—out of the sun. My brother died of melanoma eight years ago, and Ive got SPF on all the time, 24-7. It makes you realize, the sun is a wonderful thing, but it can be a very devastating thing. So sunscreen is key, and a lot of laughter, too. Laughing is so, so, so important in your life. It keeps you happy.

When are you happiest?
Im happiest when Im in my own kitchen without any cameras. Im cooking for my daughter and husband, and theyre hanging out with me.

What goes on when there are no cameras?
I cuss a lot. People say to me, "A pretty girl like yourself and that mouth?!" I have a really bad potty mouth; theres no question. Ive had to try and scale it back because my daughter will copy everything.

Youre 41. Did you have any epiphanies when you turned 40?
I was so nervous to turn 40, but the last year and a half has been the most fun I have ever had. I became a lot more confident. It happens to a lot of women. All of a sudden you realize, Im comfortable in my own skin. I know Im not going to ever be Cindy Crawford or Elle Macpherson. I want to tell Jade to enjoy every moment of life because its so fleeting and insecurity is such a waste of time.

Weeknights is your sixth cookbook. What was your inspiration this time?
It has become trickier to get Jade excited about mealtime. I have to reinvent the wheel each time to keep it interesting. And for my husband as well—I came up with a global chapter with some of Todds favorite Thai dishes. Lots of little fun twists that youve never seen from me—thats what makes this book different.

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