We haven’t covered Giada De Laurentiis in over three years, which means she’s been relatively low key and not messy. The last time we talked about her was when she did a “what I do in a day” type interview with The Cut. At that time she did acupuncture once a week, yoga about five days a week and was on over 20 vitamins and supplements a day, given to her by her acupuncturist. Plus she got something called “vitamin pushes” from her doctor once a week. She said got sick with sinus infections and needed vitamins to keep her “immune system going.” Giada may have since solved most of those issues with her diet. She has a new book out called Eat Better, Feel Better: My Recipes for Wellness and Healing, Inside and Out. In an interview with CNN, Giada said once she gave up sugar, gluten and dairy she felt so much better. It doesn’t sound like she totally eliminated them forever, just that she cut way back. While I haven’t read this book, it doesn’t seem like she’s pushing a radical “eat only these foods” type of diet, or that it’s promoting diet culture. It’s more about what worked to help her feel better. So much of what she said resonated with me.
De Laurentiis tells CNN that getting her health back on track was the inspiration for her latest book, “Eat Better, Feel Better: My Recipes for Wellness and Healing, Inside and Out.”
“Sugar was a crutch to get my energy up,” she said. “Sometimes it would be as basic as taking a sugar cube, dipping it in espresso and eating that directly. I ate jam directly from a container…Over time all of that and those cravings, once you’re introduced to sugar it’s very difficult to break. It’s like a drug.”
De Laurentiis said her symptoms first began 10 years ago and that she was running on overdrive. Between her numerous television appearances, book tours and overall demanding schedule, she knew that something wasn’t right.
“I started feeling tired, really tired, really foggy. Interrupted sleep, where I couldn’t sleep for hours in a row, lots of bloating and sinus infections,” she said.
After two years of taking antibiotics for reoccurring sinusitis, she says she began having digestive issues. That’s when De Laurentiis says she began to eliminate sugar, dairy, gluten and refined sugars from her life.
“I started to slowly decrease those things in my diet,” she said. “I told myself, ‘I’m going to start for three days, then slowly re-introduce it.’ Almost immediately I realized what inflames my body and that sugar and dairy really inflame my body.”
In her new book she encourages her readers to do her three day reboot.
“Most integrated doctors will tell you it takes at least a week, but I found three days is a really great way to feel relief,” she said. “In the three days, it is food. I’m not saying to go on a cleanse and have liquids all day. It’s just so your body has a minute to breathe.”
But how does a chef, who’s Italian recipes made her a household name, find substitutes for those cheesy dishes?
“I knew I can’t cut out cheese! I eat parmigiano with almost every meal,” De Laurentiis said. “What I did was find ways to enjoy it but minimize the amounts I was using.”
As far as diets go, this seems somewhat sensible. The three day test, which sounds similar to an elimination diet, isn’t that difficult in that you can still eat food. This isn’t a goop-level smoothie diet. Also, I use sugar like she used to, especially with the amount of stress I’ve been under lately. I’d really like a solution for weaning off of it. I read the reviews for this book and they’re mixed. A lot of readers say it isn’t any different than a typical ayurvedic diet and that the recipes aren’t that innovative. I was really interested in this so I got a book from my local library called The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book. It’s ok, but I’m not going to give up gluten, dairy, sugar, coffee, peanuts, etc. Maybe I should do this three day reset she suggests.