At the age of 15, I was 150 pounds heavier, a complete couch potato, and prediabetic. During this time, I suffered from emotional eating and would eat all my problems away. Throughout the last 10 years, I have healed and transformed my relationship with food. Not only have I healed my childhood traumas dealing with my sexuality and parents' divorce as a kid, but I've stopped blaming myself for everything. I chose to no longer be a victim and became empowered to take charge of my health. I now see food as a way to heal my body and have sought out other ways to work through my emotions—meditation, exercising, spending time in nature, and connecting with friends and family. I've managed to keep the weight off for years and am now a successful chef and television host, traveling the world to explore different food cultures.
My approach to health is not just about what we consume but the state of mind we are in when we eat. I support advocating for a healthy relationship with food, no longer shaming our bodies, and feeling guilty when we eat so-called bad foods. I always say if you are going to eat a hamburger or stray from your "healthy" lifestyle, enjoy it! Own it, and be proud of it! As I have traveled around the world, I have seen how much more how you eat matters than what you eat, and the importance of the company you're in and savoring each bite with loved ones. So slow down, chew your food, count your blessings, and enjoy this lifetime.
Breakfast: Meditation, Chocolate Smoothies and Protein-Spiked Avocado Toast
In the morning, the first thing I like to do is count my blessings, meditate, and journal. This keeps my mind in the state of gratitude, more calm, and ready to rock my day. Instead of coffee, I drink a cacao smoothie to support my mental focus and alertness—and who doesn't love chocolate and goji berries? You can sneak some spinach in there and you won't even be able to tell. Goji berries support vision health plus kidney and liver detox.
I usually follow it with some avocado toast, but to switch it up I add some yummy hummus to my guacamole for extra protein to fuel my workouts. Instead of regular bread, I like to use sprouted Ezekiel bread as it is easier to digest.
I then get to the juice shop to order a shot of wheatgrass for an extra boost of energy to fuel my workouts. I love training and switching out my workouts. Some days I do yoga or cycling, or, like today, I box.
Lunch: Quinoa & Vegetable Salad
I spend a lot of time in New York and Los Angeles, but one of my favorite things to do is to walk in the city. I love feeling my blood circulation flowing, and observing in the city gives me instant motivation to have the best day ever. Around lunch time, I'll make a yummy salad if I am at home. I love adding quinoa as it is super versatile and packed with plant-based protein; as for my veggies, I try to switch it up based on seasons so my body doesn't become used to it. I have some lotus root vegetable, avocados for healthy fats, cauliflower, and some watermelon radish. Depending on my mood, sometimes I'll add in some hard-boiled eggs or grass-fed meats, although I didn't do that today.
Dessert: Coconut Water Ice Pops
I save dessert for when I get home, so I know I can have a healthy treat (and I don't have to feel deprived at the restaurant). I make these in advance so I always have a stash in the fridge—they have a coconut water base, with fresh strawberries and lemon blended together. It totally hits the spot, and I get my daily serving of low-sugar fruits.