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Dining with Danielle: My Tips for Healthy Eating

People always ask me how I stay so skinny. Especially as a model and a Registered Dietitian my health, body, and diet are important to me. It is important to note that this has been my body type my whole life, and genes do play a role in it. However, I do have health and weight loss tips that I can share with you guys.

Missoni Resort Fashion Show/ Photo Credit: World Red Eye

The good news is, a diet of diet soda and lettuce is not necessary, and would I never recommend such a calorie restriction to any of my clients and patients.

The first step is to shift your mind frame from eating healthy as synonymous with boring and gross. The truth is that “eating healthy” is a lifestyle and can be delicious and effortless!

Backstage during Caffe Swimwear for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Also, as a model I spend a lot of time on-the-go, running from casting to casting and spending hours on jobs. This is why eating on the go is so important to me. The key here is to be prepared! When you are not prepared a 500 calorie muffin from Starbucks finds itself in your belly! I spend my off days, like sundays, going to Whole Foods or Fresh Market and going up and down the isles looking for easy snacks to take with me that are low in calories, high in fiber, low in saturated fat, and contain some protein. There are so many choices like dried freeze fruits (my favorite are Crunchie’s,) fresh fruit, certain granola bars (check the label, some are extremely high in calories,) baby carrots with low-fat ranch, rice cakes, baked chips with low-fat cottage cheese, greek yogurt with fresh berries, and portioned out nuts and seeds.

Having fun during a job for Gilt City and The Webster Miami

In addition, I choose “grazing” as my way of eating. I eat 6 small meals per day. Two to three of those meals are snacks like those listed above and the rest include boneless skinless grilled chicken breast or fish like sea bass or snapper with grilled veggies, or fresh veggies and grains like whole-wheat couscous or rice. I also love sandwiches with whole-wheat bread and loaded with fresh veggies, or soups. The reason why grazing is a good way of eating is because you never get very hungry, which causes you to over eat at your next meal. You also learn to never have that “stuffed” feeling and eating enough to be satisfied, it feels so much better to be able to continue your day after eating rather then being in a what some call a “food coma.” I avoid getting large amounts of calories from drinks and liquids, because liquid calories don’t fill us up as much as food does, so I stick to water or tea most of the time. For example, eating an orange is better than drinking a glass or orange juice.

During National Nutrition Month at Broward Health

Last, I still enjoy all of my favorite foods! I never deprive myself, but I eat treats in moderation. You may have heard this before, but moderating your favorite “fatty foods” allows you to stay on track for the long run while not feeling deprived. Always portion out your foods and enjoy them far away from the kitchen.

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014