Monday, February 14, 2011

February Week 3: Giada Week!

No one likes food better than me…except for maybe Giada De Laurentiis, the vivacious and world-famous 5-time cookbook author and host of Giada at Home! (130, 133) And that body! [Jealous eyes, slacken jaw] She has the petite body of a pixy, or some mythical creature that doesn’t even eat food. [again with the jealous eyes] The combined qualities of amazing chef and fantastic body make Giada the perfect inspiration for this week’s Redbook health plan.
Welcome to Giada week, baby!
In a Q&A session by Lori Berger in the Feb. 2011 issue of Redbook, I learned all about how Giada handles a crisis, juggles work and family, and even about her insecurities while growing up. (Spoiler Alert: She was an early-bloomer developmentally, which matters so little now to her D cup-sized career. Love you, Giada! And your rack looks great!)
During the Q&A, Berger asked Giada about weight loss, and here’s how she did it:
Giada: “After Jade [was born], I knew I had to get [my sugar intake] under control. So I started using agave nectar instead—it’s sweeter, so you need less—and I started to see my body shrink” (134).
Rule one of Giada Week: No sugar. Use agave nectar in place of sugar or another substitute with less calories. Check. What’s next?
Giada: “There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal—nothing! When people ask me what the best restaurant in L.A. is, I say, ‘Uh, my house.’” (134).
Rule two of Giada Week: No eating out. You got it! But what about exercise?
Uh…nothing mentioned about exercise.
No problem. I’m dancing my way through February. Why stop now? I love love love Hip Hop Abs, so that’s a keeper, but I’m going to couple it with a new Dancing With the Stars workout DVD called DTWS: Body Tone.
            Rule Three of Giada Week: Workout with Hip Hop Abs and DTWS: Body Tone.
Things I’m also going to try to keep out of my diet during Giada Week:
1.      Red meat (No worries. I bought some salmon and chicken for proteins this week.)
2.      Cheese (Man, I struggle with this one.)
Now that that’s squared away. Here’s a little Q&A of me just for fun. (Questions are the same questions used in Giada’s interview—with some slight modifications—and answers are all me.)
RB: How has life been less than perfect? (132)
ME: Uh…I get paid ½ salary of a teacher and the economy sucks toe right now. My furniture is 80 % hand-me-downs from family members and my couch looks like it belongs on the curb. I actually have one curtain in my house that’s made out of a sheet. Wow. This sounds pathetic.
The upside is: I married my best friend from high school. We laugh all day long. Even when we argue, we can be a little flirtatious. We have two beautiful and feral children. Vin, 2, is going through a naked stage right now. Well, more like a “never-nude” stage. He runs around the house in his Spider-man undies and looks like a Mexican wrestler. Lane, 6, is learning to read, which I want her to hurry along so we can talk about the newest YA literature fad book. (A long time before she’ll get there, I know.) Life is good. We’re happy and blessed.
RB: What made it hard for you to accept yourself before now? (132)
ME: I’ve always been pretty accepting of myself, which is probably one of the reasons I put on so much weight when I was pregnant with Lane. I still thought I was awesome even with 50 extra lbs. I have all kinds of confidence and faith in myself, but I’ve slowly discovered that not many others share this point of view about me. (I was once told by a loved-one—and I’m paraphrasing here—that my life’s ambitions could be summed up in marriage and babies. This same loved-one encouraged other members of my family to shoot for ambitions like “become a judge”, “apply to grad-school”, and “get a government-job”. Also, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to do the marriage and babies thing unless I lost weight. I have since forgiven this person, but it was still one of those defining moments.) That only makes me push harder to achieve my goals.
Body conscious wise, I’m not a huge fan of my huge thighs. Or my nose. (I am currently a member of the Big Nose Club, where my father holds the role of President and my brother VP, respectively.)
RB: Was [Rick] into food when you met? (133)
ME: Wow. Let me paint a word-picture for you. Rick could be a marathon eater. In high school, Rick used to eat two school lunches with extra fries and four milks every day. And usually an ice cream treat too. He was notorious for finishing off an entire pizza, an order of wings, and an order of breadsticks by himself, then ask, “Can I have some of yours?” or “Are gonna eat your crusts?” He has changed many of these bad eating habits to fit a healthier life, but it’s still true that the boy likes to eat. However, he is very picky.
Rick won’t eat unless the food tastes delicious, which wasn’t very good for us at the beginning of our marriage, cuz I don’t really cook much. I can bake like a mother [The Feminine Mystique is rolling over in its book jacket, probably cuz it’s too old to catch onto the idiom I tastefully truncated. Don’t worry FM, I’m a believer.], but not so much cook.
Next question.
RB: Do you ever come home, open a can of tuna, and call it a day? (133)
ME: First of all, eww. Gross. People do that? [wince] Secondly, did ya hear what I said about Rick? He would never eat that. Neither would I. On a day I don’t feel like cooking, I eat leftovers. I freeze almost all of my leftovers, then eat them for lunches at school or meals at home. My kids love pancakes—and I make all kinds: banana, cinnamon, peanut butter and chocolate chip, strawberry jam, applesauce, etc—and I always freeze the extra. (I do the same thing with muffins.) It’s a quick and easy way to prepare a meal when I’m in a hurry. Plus they are often good enough that my kids will eat them plain. No syrup necessary.
RB: When you think about the next 10 years, what do you see? (134)
ME: This sounds like a job interview question. I’m on to you Redbook. I’m on to you. [wink] Lemme see. I want to keep writing. I’ve tried a myriad of writing styles; newspaper columnist, short stories, novels, blogging, research, journals, creative non-fiction, and poetry. I am really enjoying this project right now and hope somehow it will transfer over to the actual Redbook magazine or their online blog. I see myself as a staff writer for a magazine or newspaper. I see myself as a fit and healthy spokesperson for healthy lifestyles, and I see myself running a half-marathon…for charity if possible. (Also, I hope there’s a new couch in there somewhere. There’s only so much kid-goo that a girl can take.)
There you have it.
Thanks for joining me.
Love you, readers! And wish me luck this week.

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