Conquering Chronic Pain

For years, Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi was bedridden for a week every month and didn’t know why. At last, she got the right diagnosis and reclaimed her life. 

Ellen Byron
More Sharing +

Padma’s recipe for healthy living

  1. Take the stairs to torch calories. Padma’s favorite workouts are boxing, jumping rope, and running up and down stairs. Padma has discovered that stair climbing is a convenient workout for frequent travelers like herself. “The good thing about stairs is [you can always find them],” says Padma.
  2. Focus on low-fat, high-fiber foods to slim down. “When I’m filming Top Chef, I consistently gain 10 or 15 pounds in six or seven weeks,” says Padma. “I have to eat everything to do my job well. [When filming ends], if I’m in a detox mode, I eat only lean seafood and chicken without the skin. I eat lots of kale and legumes, like black beans and black-eyed peas. And I eat lentils of every color.” 
  3. Make low-cal versions of favorite recipes. Padma loves Indian food, but she uses low-fat coconut milk instead of the full-fat variety. Plus, she eats everything in moderation. For instance, she enjoys rice but limits her serving to the size of a tennis ball.
  4. Stock your fridge with healthy fare. Padma fills hers with cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs, as well as cut vegetables and poached shrimp. “I’ll throw the shrimp on the chopped vegetables, then make a simple dressing with apple cider vinegar, a little bit of sea salt and olive oil, and a lot of lime juice,” she says. “I’ll toss it all together and eat it with a slice of sourdough toast.”
  5. Read food labels. “Not only do I look at calories, I also look at fat content,” says Padma. “If you’re eating something that has 200 calories and 150 of those are fat, it’s not as wise a choice as something with 30% or less fat in it.”
  6. Pile on veggies. “When I make my fish or chicken curry, I use four times as many vegetables as protein,” says Padma.


July 2013