I get ridiculously excited to crack open a new book. But, I do not devour it right away. Nope, it is a reward I create for myself. It sits on the shelf until I get that "to do" list out, get my work done, find a quiet place, pour myself a cup of tea and savor every last page.
I received a lovely Christmas present this year, Giada's Feel Good Food by chef Giada De Laurentiis, that allowed me to do just that. With tea in hand, I savored, I chilled and I learned a bit more about Giada and her secrets to feeling good.
Recipes But So Much MoreTechnically, this is a cookbook. But, it is not just another recipe guide from a famous Food Network chef. For me, it is more than recipes and beautiful food photography, which the book is full of, by the way. Something else jumped out to me. The take-a-way I got from this book is one that resonates with me and one that I firmly believe in: enjoying good health is not just about what you eat, although a crucial branch of it, but a culmination of many healthy habits that you formulate in your daily life.
Giada does many other things in her life to create a healthy lifestyle for her and her family besides creating delicious healthy food. Here are a few of the habits and routines she does that keep her feeling good that she shared in this book and ones that I myself do as well:
No dieting. Opt for balance instead. Giada does not follow a specific diet plan but eats whole foods and watches portion sizes, especially while eating out.
Tune in. Listen to your body and find what works or does not work for you. That includes the type of exercise and when, what you eat and don't eat, what time you wake up and go to sleep, whom you choose to socialize with, etc.
Follow a routine. Giada starts her day off with a healthy morning routine much like mine - lemon with warm water to start the day (I talk about why here.); yoga (benefits and types here); breakfast (I talk about my usual choice here.); and a nice splash of cold water to the face in the morning for an exhilarating wake up.
Use natural products for your skin. Giada uses many natural food products (She is a chef!) for her skin like olive oil (She is Italian!) and white rice flour. Here are some other ideas on using natural food products to better your skin.
Try acupuncture. Giada has turned to acupuncture for relief and prevention of sinus infections. I, too, have had great success with acupuncture in treating migraines without drugs.
Tame the sweet tooth. A great tip of hers is to freeze small amounts of sweet things and then you can savor the sweet taste longer as it melts in your mouth. Some of her favorite items to freeze are chocolate chips, mini peppermint patties, and fruits like grapes, bananas and berries.
Get social. We are not just talking social media here. Get together with real people on a regular basis and share your life!
Healthy EatsI am still working through the book and trying and adapting some of the recipes, but here are a few of the ones I really enjoyed recently:
- Spanish Potato Omelet: This is no ordinary omelet that I made for dinner one night. It is packed with flavor and the red romesco sauce is a great addition! Olives, feta and thyme give it that Mediterranean flair. Serve with a big green salad and dinner is on.
- Buckwheat Pancakes: These high fiber pancakes are so easy with the Arrowhead Mills mix Giada recommends. Serve with lots of fruit though for that touch of sweetness.
- Citrus Parfaits: Grapefruit is in season so this yogurt parfait was wonderful. I added extra raw honey, of course.
- Whole Wheat Orzo Artichoke Pasta: So fast and so great. I used both frozen organic corn and artichokes as they are not in season and it tasted great.
- Salmon with Basil and Chive Tzatziki: Even salmon haters will probably like this. The sauce is great so make extra to use the rest of the week as a dip or in pita sandwiches, etc.
I have loads more I want to try as these recipes are quick and easy! I will tweet or update you on some others as I go along. Stay tuned.
And, if you, too, would, like to learn more and want to get inspired, here is where you can order Giada's book.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kmar/497595874/">K嘛</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>