Celebrity Chef Donatella Arpaia's Recipe For a Healthy Life
As a celebrity chef, restauranteur, cookbook author and Iron Chef Judge, Donatella Arpaia spends her busy days surrounded by delicious food and treats. As a mother, Donatella hopes to pass on healthy lessons to her son, while still enjoying great food and the occasional treat.
Donatella spoke with BowFlex Insider to share how she balances work and life, while also trying to lead an active, healthy lifestyle:
Between filming, writing cookbooks and managing your restaurants, how do you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle?
I make appointments for working out, otherwise it won't get done. Things always happen so I usually try to do them in the morning, if I can, because there are many reasons during the day why things can get cancelled.
What is your current workout routine?
I like to mix things up a little bit and I'm definitely not the type of person who really likes to go to the gym. I prefer workouts at home, but I like to create a little variety so I don't get bored. I do yoga and cardio. Soon I'm going to start doing some strength training.
What's on your playlist when you're working out?
My husband makes playlists for me of my favorite songs. They always have inspiring songs that get me going, as well as some of the latest stuff. I like pop, dance music and things like Justin Bieber.
What is your workout must-have?
For me, I need my phone and music. I can't work out without music—I think too much about the workout and don't push myself as hard. Sometimes I like to watch movies or Netflix. When I'm doing something more intense like the BowFlex Max Trainer®, I listen to music.
What is your favorite way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet?
As a rule, I always have a large salad at lunch with a protein—just to make sure I'm at least getting some vegetables each day. I naturally like eating vegetables since I grew up eating a Mediterranean diet. For people who don't, like my husband, I really try to incorporate them into food like pasta dishes. Many people neglect breakfast as a time to eat veggies, but it's easy to do things like add vegetables to your omelet.
What healthy habits have you and your husband tried to pass down to your son Alessandro?
My son has a big sweet tooth so I think he takes after my dad. It's a constant challenge and some days I'm more successful than others. I'm always making him try new foods. When he does like a vegetable, I'm constantly giving it to him even though his tastes seem to change each week, which can be frustrating.
Another great way to help develop healthy habits is to let them cook with you. When you make them a part of the process, they are more likely to try something that they would normally not.
Who is your fitness inspiration?
When I was younger, I did it just for the visual aspect. I wanted to look good. Now that I'm a mother, I do it to look good, be around for my son for a long time and to be healthy. My husband is also a huge influence on me. He'll do six surgeries in a day, be exhausted and still come home and workout.
What recent fitness trends have you been loving?
Cycling. I do it at home and sometimes with my girlfriends. I also want to do a dance class because I miss dancing. I use to dance as a child and I want learn a new skill like tango or ballroom.
Do you have a favorite post-workout snack?
One thing that I love that really satiates me is part-skim ricotta with cinnamon, which is a great metabolism booster. I sprinkle just a touch of stevia and blueberries on top. It is definitely my favorite!
What's the one treat you have to have, no matter what?
I'd have to say a nice slice of pizza. I'm a bread girl and I can't live without it. I can't have it every day, but every once in a while is a treat.