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.
Padma’s recipe for healthy living
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- Pile on veggies. “When I make my fish or chicken curry, I use four times as many vegetables as protein,” says Padma.