Treat your bread choices as you should red meat or any other creature protein. Be selective of its origin. I love a good steak maybe once or twice monthly, and it better be a choice cut, preferably ethically raised and sourced, and seasoned and cooked beautifully. Poultry is also best served when the chickens, turkeys, or ducks are pasture-raised without soy and definitely without lab-based enhancements.  When I do enjoy animal protein, it tends to be on my travels. Far away from my kitchen, I tend to dine out more often, and the lack of good vegetarian offerings in many parts of the world means I’m usually better off ordering the best meat or fish I can find. In contrast, Los Angeles has so many accessible vegan options, be they restaurants, markets, or my kitchen. I started interspersing meatless meals of grilled seasonal vegetables, buckwheat soba noodles, quinoa, and colorful salads in my overall daily diet as a way to balance what I consume.  On regular rotation are favorites such as kabocha squash soup; an omelet  or egg salad with truffle sauce (I always keep on hand a jar of Truffle Gatherers  Sauce by the funny-titled Fungus Among Us); sweet potato roasted with curry, turmeric, and coconut oil; a green salad with homemade oil-free tahini-and-  almond-enter dressing I’ve premade; or grilled chicken smeared with one of  my fancy mustards. When I have friends over for dinner I use it as an excuse to be more indulgent, but always balance it with the best ingredients I can find when I make signature dishes such as coq au vin or my famous saffron absinthe vegetable potpie.  One of the best reasons for cooking at home for myself or for others? The leftovers. I was raised to finish my plate or save whatever was left for later. So when I had a boyfriend who refused to eat any kind of leftovers, I knew there was something awry. What kind of guy won’t eat a turkey sandwich the day after Thanksgiving? Red flag!  Some of my everyday favorite beauty-building snacking boosters include crudités with a homemade dairy-free dressing such as tahini; raw almonds (in moderation!); homemade guacamole; gluten-free Mary’s Gone Crackers; and  coconut or almond milk (in lieu of cow’s milk). Plain coconut water is good,  too, as long as it’s not rife with artificial flavorings or sweeteners; also stay away from concentrates, in which the coconut water is heated down to syrup and then reconstituted with water.  In terms of diet (and by this, I don’t mean dieting but overall nutrition), it all comes down to balance and discipline. He’s a very sensible eater because, like me, he’s big on corsetry. Rustlers clear of overindulging by skipping the dining hour at any big gala or other events. He prepares healthy meals at home instead of loading up on all the fancy, endless courses. He also keeps dining out to a minimum, cooking at home when he can, because so many restaurant meals are prepared without concern for health or corsets.

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