Let’s face it: you’re probably never going to host the Super Bowl in a bikini or get sassed by stars on the red carpet like Maria Menounos. But if you could snack your way to looking just a little bit like her, wouldn’t you want to try?
We caught up with the E! host and The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness author in New York City to get the skinny on her snacking philosophy, and what she stashes in her red-carpet clutch.
And when it comes to snacking, we can all eat better, so here are her top five tips for healthy snacking:
FOLLOW THE 75-25 RULE
“I try to eat clean 75 per cent of the time so I can have a little bit of fun. I never want to look at food as, ‘Oh my god, this is my splurge day,’ because I don’t want it to be out of the norm… So I’m not saying don’t splurge and don’t enjoy, I’m saying you can do it every day, but you have to balance it with 75 per cent good.”
As for guilty pleasures, Maria doesn’t have any (sort of). “I don’t really view [food] like that. I don’t feel guilty when I’m eating them, I feel good, like, ‘Oh, I love this ice cream right now, or nachos or – oh, I had these crazy desserts last night at White Street! This sticky toffee pudding thing and this chocolate crispy peanut butter whatever. Are you salivating? Oh my god, it was so delicious,” Maria tells us. “But that’s the other thing you have to keep in mind, because even though something tastes good, you don’t have to keep eating the whole thing. So eventually I told my brain, ‘Okay you need to intervene here, because the taste buds are not going to stop’…So I had half of both of these, and I stopped.”
BE PREPARED (WITH ALMONDS)
“Smart snacking is so important. We’re all going to snack, so you have to premeditate what’s going to be around you in that moment of need, when you’re really hungry. And so I keep almonds in my car, I keep them in my purse…my travel bag – you’ll rarely ever see me without almonds unless I’ve just eaten every one of them. They’re my go-to snack. That and I’ll carry a banana in my purse, Greek yogurt, blueberries and apples.”
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
“I really listen to my body and my stomach. If I’m driving and I’m starving and my mind’s thinking ‘drive-through!’ then I’ll probably have a good handful of almonds with my water in my car, and I’m like, ‘Okay, I don’t want that anymore, I’m fine.’ You know how they say ‘idle time is the devil’s playground’? It’s the same with your belly! So you want to not have that moment…Eat until your body sends a signal and if your signal comes, then just stop.”
“I try to eat from the ground as much as possible. When you eat from the ground, anything that’s produced from the ground – almonds are produced from the ground, lettuce is produced from the ground, vegetables and fruits – that’s what you know is the purest. Everything else is created now, so you want things that are as natural as you can have.”
HYDRATE WITH HOT WATER AND LEMON
“I love it. I start my day with it; I generally will end my night with it and try to do it throughout the day. If I don’t have lemons I’ll just do hot water. Like I say in the book, it’s detoxifying, it’s de-stressing, it helps digest the food in your stomach, and it has that alkalizing property in there, so that’s really good for you. And so for all those reasons that’s why I drink as much of it as I can.”
Want more healthy eating tips from Maria Menounos? She’s over the moon about this Brussels sprouts and broccoli stir-fry – “It was so good; I was eating it for breakfast! It was so good!” she says.