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10 Unbreakable Diet Truths From Celebrity Private Chefs
September 15, 2015
I’ll never forget being a junior in high school, sitting on my best friend’s canopy bed in the Fall and preparing our “looks” for the upcoming football games. I remember when Herbal Essence shampoo came out and had scratch and sniff ads in Cosmo and Seventeen! This was back when Jennifer Love Hewitt was the “it” girl and did all of the Noxzema commercials, so like any card carrying white girl we had to go out and buy everything she did. Don’t laugh. You did it too.
Why is there an idea that gets embedded in all women from about high school forward that movie stars and the Hollywood elite have special diets and beauty tips that they guard mercilessly from the rest of us? Beauty marketing and magazines use this hook on us all the time... and we respond because, Hey! Those beautiful celebrities must be doing something different than the rest of us!
While this is probably less about a secret illuminati book of beauty, and more about finding a talented Photoshop editor, I will spill the beans on a collection of truths that I call the "Unbreakable 10 Diet Truths from Celebrity Private Chefs."
If there was a club, a quiet underground network of personal chefs sharing their perspective, and I'm not saying there isn't (the first rule of fight club? You don't talk about fight club!) I think we would all share a common understanding of these essential habits of people in the spotlight.
Why? Because we're often in charge of cooking for our clients, their friends, and their parties, large and small. And because you don't quickly forget hand building a 4 foot premium, imported, world class cheese tower at your client’s al fresco all day birthday party and watching it melt slowly as it's passed over for sliced apples.
Here is the 10 celebrity diet truths that all personal chefs know.
1.Egg whites are horrible,which is why every day starts off with 1 egg and 2 egg whites.
Unless you’re preparing for your next roll in Ironman in which case you may be looking at 1 egg and 5 egg whites, you’re never going to get past the breakfast is the most important meal of the day rule.
When we were kids it was to fuel the brain but these days it’s to fuel getting the metabolism going so that you start burning calories earlier and at a faster rate. Protein keeps you fuller longer and some research suggests that by merely loading up on protein in the morning, you eat less all day long.
I’ve tested it and can personally attest that a well-balanced protein rich breakfast will keep you full until well after noon. When trimming down, fat is going to be limited throughout the day, so one whole egg is desirable for flavoring the egg whites that you’ll no doubt need to include to hit a good protein goal for breakfast.
If all of that sounds a little intense for you, check out the myfitnesspal app which will set your protein goals for you based on your weight and height and let you track meals. Then start the day like the rest of us, with 1 egg and 2 egg whites.
2. Coffee creamer is for Christmas morning, if at all.
This is really going to be painful. Coffee creamer, though DELICIOUS, has got to go. That doesn’t mean coffee has to go though! Without coffee there would be darkness and chaos. It’s filled with antioxidants and it makes you happy! It needs to be enjoyed black or with real half and half. I’m not going to argue the calories of half and half versus coffee mate but I can tell you that more research is going into loading up on sugar in the morning and how that may cause you to crave sugar all day.
For a plus one, switch to green tea. I personally lost 5 pounds from switching my morning coffee and creamer to green tea. It took about 4 dark mornings of tears and hopelessness, but guess what, it doesn’t last forever and your pants fit better. Bottom line our clients do not drink their calories for breakfast. Ever.
3.I don’t care what the question is, the answer is fruit.
This took me a long time to accept. I tried to fill every buffet of every party with the most beautiful, creative bites for every palate from goat cheese and exotic roasted pepper rouilles to teeny wagyu steak sliders with stilton and port reduction. We tried barbecue, ethnic foods, dips, sandwiches, fois gras…
Fruit (of all things) is the most popular dish on the party table every. Single. time.
The swimsuit models will actually come in the house asking for little platters of fruit if we don’t have any available on the buffet at parties.
When my clients are down, they don’t reach for chips, or cookies, or even dark chocolate. It’s always a piece of fruit. And truth be told in my head I really don’t remember my clients in terms of their favorite dishes. I think of them according to their favorite fruit.
Not a big fruit person? Try honey crisp apples and honey (and keep those God forsaken red delicious apples away from me) before a jog or workout, raspberries and sprouts in a salad, and peaches at the time of the year when you can smell them 8 feet away, usually around September here in Texas.
4. No one actually drinks beer.
True story, I once catered a primarily celebrity packed party where we had so much beer delivered we had to store it in the guesthouse for months before we had another party with a much more general crowd there that would drink it.
This rule goes double time for celebrity athletes. Wine? sure, Vodka tonic? Definitely, Bud Light? Never in a million years. Beer is bloating, you drink much more in volume, and it leaves you puffy the next day. I buy it now for the handful of family members or business dudes who may go up to the bar and order one. I do not stock up on it like I would catering your average party. No one drinks it.
5. Physical Activity is a more common part of life.
I don’t know what past times your family enjoys but here in Dallas it’s a lot of eating, watching football, lounging, chatting and generally resting. It’s a very sedentary life compared to what I see in my celebrity client’s homes.
I see parties comprised of 6-8 hours of sand volleyball, taking hikes, canyon runs, playing sports, swimming. In nutritional terms, every day is a high calorie burn day.
The truly unique part is that it seems to be woven into the very fabric of family life. Everyone goes to the gym daily, it’s like brushing your teeth. The children are taught this from a very young age. The outlook isn’t “Wow I need to get up and go to the gym”, the outlook is “Every day you go to the gym just like Mom and Dad”.
I can’t stress this enough, activities are planned around physical activity of some kind and going to the gym is as routine as taking a shower.
6. Water is the beverage of meal time.
You’ve probably heard this in diet books and from fitness trainers but let me tell you first hand. The beautiful people with the body you want drink water with their meals. Not diet coke, not milk or juice, or soda. Water. Occasionally coffee with breakfast. Maybe hot tea on a cold day. Usually water.
7. Bread and Chips before meals might as well be a table centerpiece.
This rule always gave me a little giggle because it’s not like carbs are not a part of the meal. My pasta recipe file for my professional athlete clients is my biggest file for a reason. Athletes love carbs! Carbs are a good thing at the right time of the day or on the right days. Carbs are even great right after a workout!
I’ve just learned that it’s pointless to put something like bruschetta or chips and fresh guacamole out before a meal. It may get picked at but most people are waiting for the main course to be served so they don’t load up on excess calories.
8. California food is the poster child for a healthy diet.
I love Texas but Californians have it easy. Take one trip to LA and you'll find yourself in the land of whole-food eating! Popular restaurants include Tender Greens (a fast food spot) with a whole menu of lush, glowingly fresh chef made salads with fresh dressings and amazing protein choices like a honey glazed seared shrimp skewer, ethnic foods based on clean eating like quinoa bowls from around the world, and sushi that dwarfs anything you find in my state. The fast food is even healthy in California! This style is what I base my personal chef services on and what I personally feel is the secret to vibrant living!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!