By Tehrene Firman. Photo by: Alex Lau.
The chefs’ life of sampling dishes, developing recipes, and eating at friends’ restaurants isn’t exactly a recipe for health. If anyone needs a good solution for getting back to baseline, it’s them. We asked chefs around the country what they eat when they need to counteract the effects of their taste-everything lives.
Be a temporary vegan
"I like to start the year with a clean fresh start, so I commit to 30 days of no drinking, no animal products, and a strict workout schedule. Because my schedule is so chaotic throughout the year, Veganuary allows me to commit completely to starting the year right. My wife, Amelia, does it as well, so we like to get creative and find all different kinds of vegan recipes. I make homemade nut milk, tofu jerky, veggie burgers, and riffs on my own recipes from the restaurants. 30 days of a vegan diet is tough, but I always feel great and lose at least 10–15 pounds. Some of the vegan creations even end up on the menus at the restaurants." —Jonathon Sawyer, owner of The Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat in Cleveland, OH
Replace the booze
"I haven't been drinking following my recent health changes, so during parties and dinners, I've been making a cocktail-like recipe that my homeopathic nurse gave me. The drink is organic apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, and ginger. I steep all the ingredients together, along with a bay leaf, and drink it hot or served chilled over crushed ice. The kick in the vinegar and ginger is really reminiscent of a cocktail, and in the meantime, the health properties of all the ingredients are amazing." —Matt Jennings, owner and chef of Townsman in Boston
Go Whole30, or 40, or 50…
“I’ve done a couple of things ranging from a three-day juice cleanse to a week-long juice cleanse. They’re quite energizing and motivating, but they’re hard in a kitchen when you’re staring at and tasting food all day long. Another practice I’ve been doing is removing all processed food from the diet. This started as a Lenten fast my wife and I did—she was inspired by Michael Pollan’s Food Rules—and we do it yearly for the 40 days. The basic premise is we must make everything—condiments, snacks, drinks, and sweets—and when we’re eating out in restaurants, we order items we know won’t have processed foods,. It takes a lot of work on our end but really changed our overall eating habits, and my wife became a better at-home cook from it, too.” —Galen Zamarra, chef and owner of Mas (farmhouse) in NYC
Close your eating window
"If I've been overly indulgent, my reset consists of a few things: I limit my eating of solid foods to a window of eight hours, which usually means not eating from 9p.m. to 1p.m. I also drink broth throughout the morning, sometimes with the addition of good fats buzzed in. And finally, I try to be hyperconscious about the foods I eat, which means more vegetables, slow carbs, and clean meat." —Marco Canora, chef and owner of Hearth, Brodo, and Zadie's Oyster Room in NYC
There’s always juice
"During a restaurant or shop opening, I subsist on gummy candy and cookies. Then you're starving and there's just all this food lying around, so you shove four rolls in your mouth. Or you judge a charcuterie competition and can hardly make a fist the next day from all the salt. So you have to cleanse a bit. There's really no time for a balanced meal or making a salad. So I try to juice all day and then eat a big dinner. Juice is the only way I can get vegetables. My hands are perpetually covered in meat so, really, my only option is something I can get through a straw."—Jocelyn Guest of White Gold Butchers in NYC
"Juice cleanses are my thing! I lasted about a week on a juice cleanse on a bet and realized then that I'd never felt better before in my life. I usually make carrot, apple, and ginger juices at home using my Breville juicer. It's awesome because it’s quiet and has a big hole that you can fit a whole small apple in. I will say, though, when I’m out and about, I’m not scared of bodega juice—I’m definitely not trying to spend $12 for some ground-up and squeezed out carrots. Just yesterday I was so hungover and that juice set me straight!"—Daniel Holzman, chef and owner of The Meatball Shop in NYC
This story originally appeared on Bon Appetit.
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