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Chef Giada De Laurentiis' Tips for Healthy Cooking and Staying Fit

Written by Lauren Cardarelli, FITNESS Editorial Intern

Celebrity chef, TV personality, mother, author and entrepreneur, Giada De Laurentiis manages to find time to lead a healthy, fit lifestyle. How does she do it all?  We got her fitness tips, cooking secrets and menu for her lunch with the Royal newlyweds after interviewing the charming Emmy Award-winner. Here’s what we learned:

Lauren with Giada De Laurentiis

Lauren with Giada De Laurentiis

1. Adore your knife. “You need to have one knife that you absolutely love,” advised De Laurentiis. “This will give you confidence and make you feel good about cooking.” De Laurentiis grew up using mezzalunas in Europe, a curved blade knife with a handle on either side used to chop, and wanted to design an affordable, user-friendly product for just that. Her Stainless Steel Mezzaluna Knife, available at Target for $20.79, is lightweight, feels great in your hand and has a dip in its blade created for skilled and amateur choppers, alike. “It rocks back and forth so it makes chopping really easy and actually really fun,” she said. “It’s very unique to the market.”

2. Everything in moderation. Being a chef – with Italian roots, nonetheless – can certainly have its palatable perks, yet De Laurentiis always seems to maintain her petite, fit figure. What’s her secret? Small meals, several times a day. “I’m a big chocoholic and I like sweets a lot but I try not to overeat anything, basically, and I think that’s sort of the key. It’s calories in and calories out so if you overdo it one day, you have to take in less the next.”

Read on for Giada's workout, creative cooking tips and what she plans to serve to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

3. Make time for fitness…and yourself. “I used to do a lot of cardio before I had my daughter,” De Laurentiis reminisced. After a shift in work and free time schedules, alongside sensing a change in her body post baby, De Laurentiis switched to yoga before work, at 5 a.m. (one hour, four days a week). Now that’s what we call dedication! Besides penciling in a workout, De Laurentiis urges women, specifically working moms, to have more ‘me’ time. “If this machine isn’t running well, nothing else will,” she laughed.

4. Get inspired and look beyond the same old, same old. In 2010, De Laurentiis teamed up with Target to launch her own food and appliance collection with a dream of sparking culinary inspiration in the homes of consumers. “I think people kind of lose creativity and even if they want or feel that they want to become creative, they don’t have the time and nor do they know where to start.” According to De Laurentiis, her food line gives people a chance to easily add variety to their everyday cooking. Try her Marinara with Artichokes Pasta Sauce. Its chunkiness adds a new, fresh twist to spaghetti night!

5. Pick seasonal, colorful produce. “I kind of created a menu that would give them a feel and taste for what California cuisine is,” said De Laurentiis when asked about what she has in store for Prince William and Kate Middleton on July 9th during a charity polo match at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Although she couldn’t disclose the entire menu, De Laurentiis shared that she will be preparing individual sweet corn lasagnas and a grilled vegetable salad dish. “It’s like little bits of food, nothing is huge.” Light, fresh, organic and seasonal ingredients – with some kind of chocolate to please both Prince William and De Laurentiis’ sweet tooths.