Thanks to the Food Network, there are plenty of celebrity chefs out there these days. From The Pioneer Woman‘s Ree Drummond to the super-friendly Guy Fieri, there’s no shortage of chefs that are both entertaining and inspiring on television. Giada De Laurentiis is definitely one such chef. The Food Network star is known for her excellent Italian cooking, but because she looks so great and has maintained both her beauty and fabulous body throughout the years, people can’t help but wonder what her secret is. But as it turns out, there isn’t really a secret.
Still, according to Delish, De Laurentiis isn’t ashamed to admit that she loves to eat. However, she typically doesn’t eat how you might imagine. "I eat small meals all day," she explained. "I don’t eat a lot of food at any point in time… I basically snack all day long." So, if you want to know what Giada De Laurentiis really eats in a day then keep reading, because the influential chef knows a thing or two about food.
Giada De Laurentiis starts each day the same way
Even though Giada De Laurentiis is known for her impeccable cooking skills and petite stature, one of her most important habits has nothing to do with preparing a feast. Specifically, De Laurentiis always starts her morning the same way, and it’s not with coffee or toast like you might think.
On the contrary, De Laurentiis wrote in her book, Feel Good Food, that she starts every day with some warm lemon water. "You get dehydrated as you sleep and need to help your body rehydrate when you get up," she wrote (via Delish). De Laurentiis added that the warm lemon water helps her wake up and feel refreshed; it also can help to beat the bloat if you’re dealing with it.
Warm lemon water might not be food, per se, but it is how the famous chef keeps healthy, full of energy, beautifully bloat-free. Hey, if it works for her, then why not try it? This is what happens to your body when you drink lemon water every day.
Giada De Laurentiis is a fan of oatmeal
While Giada De Laurentiis might sip warm lemon water every morning, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love a good breakfast, too. In fact, De Laurentiis is pretty particular about her breakfast; she’s not really an egg person in the mornings, like many of us are.
As she told PopSugar, De Laurentiis’ breakfast choice isn’t what a lot of people would consider to be healthy. "I like a carb for breakfast, and I like a savory breakfast," she said. Hey, loving carbs just made De Laurentiis the most relatable celeb chef out there!
There’s a good reason De Laurentiis specifically reaches for carbs in the morning. "If you start your day with sugar, you’re jacked for the rest of the day," she continued. "I get up really early in the morning, so I need a carbohydrate." Specifically, De Laurentiis explained that she likes having oatmeal for breakfast. "At my restaurant I do oatmeal, olive oil, salt, and marcona almonds for protein," she added. Hey, that actually sounds pretty good!
Giada De Laurentiis’ other breakfast option is unexpected
Given that many say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, Giada De Laurentiis knows that it’s a great opportunity to lock in some key nutrients. As she doesn’t love eggs and bacon for breakfast, and has a tendency to lean more towards complex carbs, it kind of makes sense that another breakfast choice for De Laurentiis is unexpected. Yes, she’ll have oatmeal sometimes, but a lot of times, she has rice for breakfast. Yes, rice.
Specifically, De Laurentiis told Eating Well that her typical breakfast consists of "brown rice with olive oil and salt, and sometimes almonds." And, of course, coffee. But for those who want to know exactly how to make De Laurentiis’ breakfast, she gave her recipe to PopSugar. "So I’ll do 1/4 cup of brown rice, with warm olive oil and salt," she explained. Clearly, having that olive oil be warm is key for De Laurentiis, and so is the coffee.
Giada De Laurentiis enjoys pancakes under these circumstances
For Giada De Laurentiis, who spends the majority of her time cooking, it would be understandable if there were times when she forgoed a gourmet meal for convenience. But even when De Laurentiis whips up a batch of pancakes, she does it big.
De Laurentiis may be a more savory breakfast person, but her idea of making a large batch of pancakes is pretty brilliant. On her website, De Laurentiis shared her recipe for lemon buttermilk pancakes, and revealed that she tends to indulge on the weekend, while also making plenty for the entire family. "When I make pancakes on the weekend I like to make a few extra and freeze them," she shared. "That way, I can defrost a few in the toaster oven on weekday mornings so Jade can have a hot breakfast without my having a lot of kitchen cleanup."
However, one key to De Laurentiis’ pancakes? They aren’t sweetened, which makes for a more flavorful pancake, and allows plenty more room for syrup — or pancake toppings that are better than syrup.
Giada De Laurentiis will have a green smoothie sometimes
It’s no secret that food is important to Giada De Laurentiis, as she is a chef, after all. However, there are times when De Laurentiis needs a break from heavier foods like pasta and oatmeal. On some occasions, De Laurentiis will just have a green juice or smoothie in the morning to help fuel her body and stay regulated.
For a food diary for Shape, De Laurentiis shared that since she’s so busy and travels so often, green juices are a part of her regular routine. "I try to eat lightly and often when on the road to keep my energy up and my system not overworked," she wrote, adding that a delicious juice was one of her favorite ways to do so. "My favorite combo for juices are kale, spinach, a little apple, lemon, ginger and cayenne."
Additionally, when De Laurentiis feels bloated, she likes to have a green smoothie for breakfast instead of her normal heavier, carb-filled breakfast.
This is the one ingredient Giada De Laurentiis can’t live without
No matter what time of day it is, there is one ingredient that Giada De Laurentiis can’t live without — and it might surprise you that it’s not pasta. In fact, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, De Laurentiis wants to have this one thing available, and it actually makes sense.
In an interview with Cooking Light, De Laurentiis explained why she chose one specific staple to always have on hand. "You’re probably thinking I would say garlic or olive oil, but for me, it’s lemons," she shared. "I use their juice or zest to bring out the flavors of almost everything I make."
De Laurentiis went on to explain that lemons aren’t just delicious, but they’re also "fat free and full of clean flavor, and [they’re] especially useful for lighter dishes." Additionally, she gave a pretty useful tip for anyone who doesn’t like to cook with alcohol: lemon juice is a great substitute "for the crispness of white wine in a recipe," she added. Now, go ahead and stock up on some lemons, because De Laurentiis said so.
Giada De Laurentiis’ snacks are healthy
There’s no denying the fact that just about everyone loves to snack. Whether you just get a little hungry between meals, or you like to inhale an entire bag of chips while watching Netflix, there’s no wrong way to snack. And for Giada De Laurentiis — who’s undergone a stunning transformation — snacking tends to be something she isn’t afraid to do, but she still makes healthy choices.
As De Laurentiis told Eating Well, in addition to adding a green smoothie to her daily eating routine when she’s feeling a little snackish, the chef will also munch on some yummy nibbles. "11ish, I have some fruit, like blueberries, or apples and almond butter," she said.
But De Laurentiis doesn’t always snack on healthy items. As she told PopSugar, her lifestyle sometimes demands that her snacks be more robust than just fruit. "If I’m in my restaurant or testing recipes for my cookbook, I’m constantly tasting as I cook," she explained. "A few bites of pasta here, a brownie there…it’s always different! I keep roasted vegetables and pasta in the fridge to snack on, too." Celebrity chefs, just like us!
Giada De Laurentiis’ lunch options are intriguing
Giada De Laurentiis might be a chef, but for as much as she enjoys creating new recipes, she also values routine. And as she’s told multiple outlets, her lunch options typically consist of the same kind of salad. However, she puts her own spin on it to make it more interesting and fun to eat.
De Laurentiis told PopSugar that she typically eats her own Candied Lemon and Arugula Salad for lunch. "I always try to get in something green," she explained. "I love arugula and this salad recipe is the one I reach for 90 percent of the time. The dressing is from my restaurant, but it’s simple enough to use every day."
De Laurentiis also told the Food Network that she likes to adds walnuts to her salads. "The nuts give me some protein," she said. "And I like the combination of crunchy, creamy, and soft all together." No wonder De Laurentiis looks so great, as she eats so mindfully, even when it’s the same thing every day.
Giada De Laurentiis values protein in her diet
Listen, Giada De Laurentiis, would love to eat nothing but pasta every day as much as everyone else. However, that’s just not a realistic or healthy diet in the long run.
So, no matter what kind of day she’s had, or if she’s traveling or working or trying to debloat, De Laurentiis always has protein. The Italian chef seriously values the nutrient, and tries to have it throughout the day, but ensures that she has some in the evenings. "If I don’t eat protein at night, I don’t sleep well," she explained in an interview with the Food Network.
Protein is so important to De Laurentiis, that she even make sure she gets some when she’s doing some kind of fast. "I always incorporate some protein when doing a juice cleanse," she wrote in her book, Feel Good Food (via Delish). "For me, it’s an important component in getting my strength back and feeling balanced."
Protein is definitely an important part of a balanced diet — here are signs you’re not getting enough protein — something De Laurentiis definitely understands.
One of Giada De Laurentiis’ guilty pleasures is so relatable
Clearly, Giada De Laurentiis lives a pretty healthy lifestyle. Sure, she eats more than chicken breasts and broccoli, but it’s still a lean diet, which has obviously helped her stay healthy and fit over the years.
Health aside, though, there’s one guilty pleasure that De Laurentiis has no intention of letting go of, and it’s probably something you love, too. In her food diary for Shape, De Laurentiis wrote that she’ll always make room for French fries. "Fries are some of my fave comfort foods," she explained. "I love the crispy indulgence, but I make sure they aren’t a daily habit!"
Even though she might treat herself to French fries, De Laurentiis also made it clear in her food diary that she orders a small plate of fries, so she never overdoes it on the greasy treat. Once again, De Laurentiis proves that you can eat what you want and still be healthy, though her own delicious creations aren’t always so friendly for the waistline.
Giada De Laurentiis experiments with her dinner
For most people, the end of a long, hard day at work means it’s time for a delicious dinner. Whether you cook and stay in, or order something delicious from a restaurant, dinner is when most folks typically go all out with their food, too.
For Giada De Laurentiis, while she still tries not to just pig out, dinnertime means experimenting and truly enjoying every bite she takes. "Dinner is lighter and healthier," the chef told Eating Well. She also explained that some of her most common dinners are baked salmon, turkey meatballs, or chicken cordon bleu. "At dinner, the world is my oyster," De Laurentiis revealed in a chat with Delish, adding that she eats intuitively at the end of the day, no matter what she’s craving.
Obviously, De Laurentiis was lucky enough to score some awesome genes when it comes to her body type, but she’s also pretty smart about her food choices. Dinner might be when she eats more, but it’s still always healthy and homemade.
Giada De Laurentiis enjoys a good glass of wine
Because Giada De Laurentiis is an authentic Italian chef, from Italy no less, it’s not shocking to learn that she appreciates a good glass of wine. That doesn’t mean De Laurentiis drinks wine every day — this is what happens to your body if you drink wine every night — but she does treat herself to some every so often in the evening. "I drink a lot of water throughout the day," she explained to Eating Well. "Plus wine in the evening occasionally — I’ve been doing that a lot more than before the pandemic!"
Since De Laurentiis is so well-hydrated, she can definitely afford to indulge in wine more often than not, pandemic aside. And as for what wine De Laurentiis prefers, her website has the answer: she loves Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc because it’s an "inexpensive white wine" that "is light, buttery, and pairs with a wide variety of dishes." So, if you’re ever in the mood for a nice white wine, De Laurentiis has you covered.
Giada De Laurentiis indulges in sweets from time to time
In addition to wine, one of Giada De Laurentiis’ favorite treats to indulge in from time to time is a classic: good old chocolate. Yes, the gourmet chef is just like every other girl out there when it comes to chocolate, although she has a couple of longtime favorites that might give you some new ideas.
Specifically, De Laurentiis told Health in an interview that she always keeps dark chocolate chips in the freezer for a very specific reason. "They’re cold, so it takes longer to melt in your mouth," she explained. Additionally, De Laurentiis revealed that if she could only eat one thing, it would be chocolate. Well, chocolate cake to be exact. "I would eat all of the frosting on the outside, then I would peel off the cake and eat the layers in between," she continued. "I like a scavenger hunt. It’s more fun, and it takes longer to eat, so you get more pleasure out of it."
Honestly, a simple chocolate cake sounds delicious, so once again, De Laurentiis has all the right answers when it comes to food.
Giada De Laurentiis’ version of a "cleanse" sounds totally doable
No one likes a juice cleanse, even if they do make you feel great afterwards. And honestly, juice cleanses aren’t even known to be that healthy or effective, as noted by Harvard University. So for Giada De Laurentiis, a cleanse doesn’t mean only drinking smoothies throughout the day; instead, she focuses on healthy whole foods.
De Laurentiis’ version of a "cleanse" sounds totally doable. As she shared on Twitter, she will do a "whole foods cleanse a few times a year when I need to reset." Additionally, on her website, De Laurentiis shared that her cleanse is all about fresh meals. "I stock the week with lots of veggies and fish, moderate amounts of olive oil and other tasty treats (even pasta!), and big, bold flavors," she wrote.
However, there are some ingredients that De Laurentiis avoids during a cleanse. "There’s no dairy, alcohol, or refined sugar, but you’ll find you barely notice they’re gone because you’re eating so well," she added.
De Laurentiis knows a thing or two about good food, so if she says eating pasta can be healthy, then it must be true!