No matter your gender, there really does come a time when you notice a slow crawl in the ol' metabolism and at that point you might ask yourself, what can I do? With a New Year comes new resolutions we try to keep about eating better and living a healthier lifestyle and if you need a little extra help, Melissa d'Arabian is here to save the day. We first "met" Melissa when she won season five of The Next Food Network Star and since then, she has been, as they say, "really cooking." Her helpful show Ten Dollar Dinners (on Food Network) provided amazing recipes on a shoestring budget, and her cookbook Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes & Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week made The New York Times Best-Seller List in its first week!
Melissa's star is burning brighter than ever with her Cooking Channel show Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping heading into its second season staring this January 19th. Before the show kicks off its new season, we got the chance to ask Melissa what we can expect from it, how we can save money while feeding the family, and advice on how to stop shoving potato chips into our mouths. Oh yeah right, it's just me huh?
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OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): In this economy it's important to stay on budget and still feed our family healthy meals. What's the best way to do that with the endless choices in the store?
Melissa d'Arabian: I think the biggest misconception out there is that you have to spend a lot of money to eat healthy food or that processed food is cheaper than food you make yourself, and nothing can be further from the truth. I like for people to refrain the way they think about the food they're buying. Not just price per bite, but price per nutrient. In other words, someone may buy a bag of potato chips and think at $1.99 it's super cheap but if you were to weigh those potatoes in that bag and put a price on it, you're looking at spending eight or nine dollars a pound for those potatoes! Whereas fresh potatoes in the produce aisle run about 29 cents a pound so the difference between processed foods and whole food is truly incredible. My best advice for anyone who is on budget who wants to eat healthy and meet their nutrition goals is to load up in the produce aisle. Go there first. Something as simple as going to the produce aisle first and loading up, you almost can't break your budget.
Do you happen have any snack ideas that would be good for people that sit at a desk all day?
Yes! I'm either traveling or in the office and the snacks are very similar. The power is in bringing your own snacks, it's sort of being in charge of your own nutritional needs. For me it's all about having some good "go-to's." My number one go-to is raw and unsalted nuts. And I will tell you this, I am not big "nut fan." Like if I am making brownies and nuts are optional, it's always a no for me. This is just me saying, this actually satisfies my snacking so much so, that it's worth developing the palate for it. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike nuts at all, but now they have become my very favorite go-to. My favorite is raw almonds and you can have about fifteen of them in a good size snack. I pair them with some sort of raw fruit or veggie and I start there. It's amazing how a handful of raw almonds with blueberries make a great snack. I even throw in a piece of dark chocolate if I'm really feeling like I need a treat. I can have those three things and it really supports my energy, my mood, and my weight goals. I do not travel without raw almonds.
I'll have to try the almonds. I've been trying veggies but then it's like...I really want potato chips!
I'm like you though, if I give myself a plate of cut of veggies who am I kidding? Then I'm just annoyed. I just start feeling, do I not deserve to enjoy life? It's just not what I'm craving. To completely ignore myself and what works for me makes me feel like I am punishing myself and I think that is a dangerous road to go down when we are trying to support and love ourselves. A really good strategy is to make it harder work for yourself. For instance, maybe you only have potato chips when you go out to eat and you buy a bag as a treat and don't keep a bag at your house. It's the same with something like cakes or brownies. If you have to work for your treat, it's going to be a little bit more self-regulating.
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I love it! That is such a great idea! So give us the scoop on this season of Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping.
We've changed it up a little bit from last season where now it's more of a talk show format and a little less of a cooking show. It's women in different fields coming together to share their expertise and also throw in their personal experiences. They'll share what works and what doesn't for us, what we struggle with, and there will be recipes as well. Not only experts in the culinary world, we also have a psychologist that comes, we have exercise experts, so not only do we talk about our expertise, but we talk about our experiences as women. It's a really nice mix of talk show, information, and talking it out. Drop 5 Pounds is really hitting on a lot of different angles this season and I think it's going to be a lot of fun to watch. For me, it was the most fun I've ever had shooting a show. I'm really excited to see it!
You can follow Melissa d'Arabian on Twitter @MelissadArabian and pick up her book and find helpful tips and recipes through her website www.melissadarabian.net. Get more info about Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping on the Cooking Channel's website www.cookingchanneltv.com and catch the seasib premiere of Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping on January 19th at 7:30am.