What Giada De Laurentiis Eats in a Day to Make 50 Look Like 30
Here's how the Food Network star stays fit while eating plenty of pasta.
Just like her fellow Food Network show host Ina Garten, who has recently opened up about the fact that she's so over doing dishes and a fan of queen-sized cosmos, the more we get to know about Giada De Laurentiis, the more we love her.
As part of her new partnership with Marshalls' Share WOW, Get WOW initiative, we were lucky enough to hop on a Zoom with De Laurentiis in early October. She joined the video call from her home kitchen, the same one where she's been filming new episodes of Giada at Home with 12-year-old daughter Jade, and was quick to admit, "My average day has changed in the last eight to nine months. I used to eat very clean, but now the sugar and alcohol consumption has gone up." Same, Giada, same!
But somehow, this fan of farfalle (and all kinds of homemade pasta) seems to never age. At 50, she looks about half her age and isn't letting the pandemic slow her down one bit.
"I shot a whole cooking show in my kitchen and shot a cookbook, which will come out in March 2021. A couple new shows will air late this year or early next year," she told EatingWell.
As for the biggest lesson she's learned during the pandemic, De Laurentiis shared that it's all about being present and intuitive, which seems to align with her no-rules healthy eating mindset.
"Our lives are normally scheduled far out. This time has taught me to live right here, right now. Everything is ever-changing," she said. "These days, I have to live in the moment."
Living in the moment currently means crushing the TikTok game with Jade. It also means preparing for Zoom holidays with family and friends, at which she'll serve Pumpkin Carbonara or Creamy Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls and some classic Italian dessert like Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce. And it means dishing about what she eats in a day. After getting the scoop, all we have to say is, "We'll have what she's having."
What Giada De Laurentiis Eats in a Day
De Laurentiis admitted to our sister brand Food & Wine that eggs aren't her jam. At least not first thing.
"I am not a protein person for breakfast ... I'm a starch girl because that's the way I was brought up," she said, noting that Italian cookies, cornetti or bread was what she had when she was young.
These days, "I really like a carb in the morning and make it savory. I usually have oatmeal or brown rice with olive oil and salt, and sometimes almonds," De Laurentiis told us, along with a cup of coffee. (Psst ... we found her Brown Rice Breakfast Bowl recipe on the chef's website.)
"11ish, I have some fruit, like blueberries, or apples and almond butter," she said. De Laurentiis is also a fan of smoothies as snacks, including this Ginger Green Smoothie and this tasty-looking sneaky-spinach Coffee-Chocolate Smoothie she demoed on TikTok.
The midday meal is where De Laurentiis' diet has changed the most during 2020. She used to have a lighter lunch like this Candied Lemon and Arugula Salad or this Updated Waldorf Salad with Apple Vinaigrette, but since Jade is home a lot more often now, "It's whatever my daughter wants for lunch! We have a lot of pasta and quesadillas," she told us.
For balance after a more-decadent-than-normal lunch, "Dinner is lighter and healthier," De Laurentiis told us, including an arugula salad with olive oil and lemon plus baked salmon, chicken cordon bleu or turkey meatballs. "I do like to vary what I eat," she added.
As far as beverages, "I drink a lot of water throughout the day," she said, which she sometimes infuses with cucumber or lemon slices. "Plus wine in the evening occasionally—I've been doing that a lot more than before the pandemic!"
The Bottom Line
De Laurentiis' all-things-fit and don't-beat-yourself-up philosophy is similar to our non-diet diet philosophy. The less you put off-limits, the more you can enjoy food, within moderation.
EatingWell.com assistant nutrition editor Jessica Ball, R.D., thinks that variety is a strength in De Laurentiis' diet. "Any eating pattern should be flexible, and several people can relate to how her diet has shifted a little as a result of the pandemic," Ball said. "She focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nutritious proteins to keep it well rounded, while still enjoying foods like pasta, wine and desserts in moderation."
De Laurentiis revealed to Al Roker in 2018 that "How do you stay like that and eat all the pasta?!" was the most annoying question she gets—and she gets it a lot.
"I eat a couple bites of pasta," she said. "I don't eat all of it!"