TV chef Giada De Laurentiis talks family, fitness and – what else? – food in the December 2009 issue of Shape magazine. The 39-year-old Food Network host and her husband Todd Thompson are parents to 20-month-old daughter Jade Marie.
On her upcoming 40th birthday: “”I can’t believe it myself. I think we all look in the mirror and see that 25-year-old. But as long as you’re eating well and moving your body every day, age is just a state of mind.”
On her post-baby diet – no sugar or cheese for 6 months!: “I gained 22 pounds, which doesn’t sound like much, but I’m only 5’3″, so it was a lot for my height. Because I had a C-section, I couldn’t work out for a long time afterward, so I knew the best way for me to lose weight was through diet. The first two weeks were hard, but I got over the hump by eating a lot of fruit and replacing sugar with healthier alternatives, like brown rice syrup and agave nectar.”
On learning to love yoga while pregnant: “I thought, ‘Oh, this will be a good way to stretch,’ but it turned out to be so much more!. It taught me to breathe, it strengthened my muscles, and it helped me relax…. If I don’t do it first thing, I simply won’t do it. With my crazy schedule, that often means cutting into my sleep. But yoga gives me the energy and focus I need to get through my day. I’m not saying I don’t need a cup of coffee in the afternoon sometimes, but it’s the yoga that definitely keeps me centered.”
On food as a family affair: “”I learned tradition from my grandfather, who grew up selling pasta in Naples; simplicity from my mom, who had four kids and had to get dinner on the table fast every night; and creativity from my aunt, who is my cooking soul mate. She finds the recipes and we tweak them. We’ve been doing that since I was a kid.”
On her brother’s death from skin cancer at just 31 years old: “”No one believed someone that young could die of skin cancer. We were all in the ‘Lance Armstrong defeating cancer’ frame of mind. That’s when I realized how short and fleeting our lives are. You have to enjoy every moment because this life doesn’t last forever…. I use sunscreen every single day, rain or shine, summer or winter. Experts think melanoma comes from burns we had as kids, so I also make sure Jade is covered in SPF and wears a hat when she’s outdoors.”