Long days on set call for these deliciously healthy snacks.
Filming Food Network Star is one of my favorite parts of my job - it's so amazing to get to know all of these talented newcomers, and to help guide them toward revealing their true personalities on camera. It seems like only yesterday I was in their shoes, frantically learning what to do before I began making Everyday Italian!
But it can also be tough work. We're on the set six days a week, 8+ hours a day, and a lot of that time is spent in stressful deliberations over who gets to stay and who has to say goodbye. While I get plenty of time to hang out with Bobby, Julie, and Sam (there's a lot of waiting in TV!), you can also sense the tension that these contestants are feeling as they pour their hearts and souls into this shot at TV stardom. I don't know about you, but stress makes me want to eat - preferably chocolate.
It isn't always easy to make smart food decisions during these long, intense days, especially when I'm faced with the delicious creations of our contestants. To prevent a total nutritional meltdown, I keep a stash of these healthy snacks on hand at all times.
Just a little dried fruit goes a long way - it's surprisingly high in sugar - but it's a lot better to nibble on than candy. Mango is a great source of vitamin A and fiber, both of which can help regulate your metabolism.
Where have you been all my life? I just discovered these beauties, and I'm obsessed! A quick hit of dark chocolate and some protein from the cashews makes these the perfect energy boost.
Healthy fats like avocado are a great way to feel full longer without sacrificing your cholesterol. Your body needs fats to function at its peak! Plus, it helps that this toast is totally delicious.
Blueberry Muffin Tops
OK, these may not be the most nutritious snack in the world, but Sam and I are both devoted to these organic blueberry muffins we get from Le Pain Quotidien. Everyone knows the tops are the best part!
Healthy Trail Mix
One handful of this fruit-and-nut-packed trail mix is all it takes to squash hunger pangs fast. I mix up a big jar of this at home so I can refill the little baggie I keep in my purse whenever I need it. The goji berries add a tart punch that wakes up a tired palate.