“Life is hard, food should be easy.” Joy Bauer‘s food philosophy had us at hello – because let’s face it, a girl cannot live on kale and cashews alone. With so many different viewpoints on what’s trending in the health world, things can get confusing and downright frustrating when we pile rules upon rules. This TODAY Show health expert, best-selling author, and founder of Nourish Snacks is straightforward and pragmatic in her nutrition advice, and judging by her daily menu, she’s taking a page from her own book.
From mocha granola in the morning to buffalo wings in the evening (really!), this celeb nutritionist’s day is our kind of healthy. Here’s what a healthy day actually looks like for one of the nation’s top nutrition pros – you might be nicely surprised!
Mornings are hectic! Typically, I’m out the door by 6 a.m. and off to the TODAY Show or my office. I need something quick, totable and packed with protein and fiber to keep me feeling energized during my chaotic a.m. routine. My go-to breakfast is a container of nonfat Greek yogurt and a snack bag of cocoa-dusted almonds mixed with mocha granola (Mocha-mazing) or dark chocolate chia-oat clusters (Cocoa Loco ). Both snack bags are from my Nourish Snacks line, and I love that they give me permission to indulge in chocolate first thing in the morning! I’m also crazy for eggs, so when there’s time, I’ll whip up an over-stuffed egg-white omelet. And, of course, I never leave the house without having my cup of black coffee!
My lunch location is somewhat unpredictable, but my order is almost always the same… a souped-up salad. From kale to spinach to romaine – packed with as many vegetables as humanly possible – I just love salads. For staying power, I’ll add grilled chicken, tofu, black beans or chickpeas.
I love to cook and try to make dinner for my family most nights during the week. I’m always experimenting ways to “healthify” traditional favorites like cauliflower-crust pizza and buffalo chicken chili. I just made a delicious version of General Tso’s chicken that’s way slimmer than the typical take-out version. And I promise it tastes just as good! My husband and three kids are my taste-test guinea pigs.
I love to snack throughout the day (who doesn’t?!), so it’s no surprise I started a snack company. When I’m home, I’ll munch on baby carrots, cherry tomatoes and sliced jicama sticks dunked in salsa or hummus. I also keep my freezer stocked with bags of frozen fruit like mangos, pitted cherries, mixed berries, grapes and peaches. I eat them right out of the freezer bag… it’s like whole-fruit ices!
And when I’m on the go (like, always!) I munch on my own Nourish Snacks – they’re stashed in my bag at all times. I’ve created 25 flavors – sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy – and each variety comes filled with nutrients like protein, fiber and antioxidants. Plus, they’re all perfectly-portioned at less than 200 calories, so you can’t overeat. Some of my current favorites include crunchy chia-coconut granola bites (Coco’nilla Crunch), bbq-roasted chickpeas and peanuts (Mind Your Ps & BBQs), chocolate-banana granola bites (Monkey Love) and spicy peanuts and half-popped corn kernels (Hot and Popular).
I try to work out everyday, but in reality I average about 5 days a week. I focus on an hour of cardio (jogging, treadmill or a stair-climber machine) and 10-15 minutes strength training. Since my workout intensity is pretty moderate, I usually keep my pre-workout fuel light. A banana is perfect because it provides potassium, an electrolyte that gets depleted when you sweat. And I pair it with a cup of coffee or tea about 30 minutes beforehand because the caffeine gives me an extra boost of exercise energy.
When I finish a workout, I almost always enjoy tart cherries with either roasted edamame (Sweet & Salty Kapow ) or roasted almonds (Almonds to Cherries) – each provide a hit of protein for muscle restoration, and tart cherries, which contain compounds that have been shown to speed up recovery after exercise. And, of course, I’ll guzzle a big glass of water to rehydrate.