Joy Bauer is one of the country’s most recognized nutritionists and the go-to expert for everything related to health, nutrition and well-being. In addition to her fame as “America’s nutritionist,” she is also a bestselling author, TODAY Show regular, founder of Joy Bauer Nutrition Centers in New York AND mom of three kids.
She recently talked to contributor Jeana Lee Tahnk about her two recently published books, Your Inner Skinny and Slim and Scrumptious and the ways in which they can help people live more healthfully. Joy also shares advice on ways we improve our children’s health and despite her incredibly hectic schedule, still manages to cook dinner at home and eat with her family at least five nights a week.
When people start a diet, many lose steam or quickly revert back to “the diet really starts tomorrow” because of the difficulty in breaking bad food habits that have been engrained over time. Why is it so hard for people to commit to change when it comes to food and what has made the Your Inner Skinny plan different for the thousands who have realized such great success with the program?
I think that it’s difficult for people to accept the fact that, in order to finally lose the weight and keep it off, they really need to make a permanent lifestyle change. It’s much easier to tell yourself you can eat well for a few weeks to shed pounds fast, and then go back to eating your favorite foods—but that never works in the long run. Weight loss is just as mentally challenging as it is physically challenging, especially since food and eating is so tied to your emotions and mood.
With Your Inner Skinny, my goal was to put together a realistic, foolproof plan that knocks off the pounds, but gives you enough freedom and flexibility so that it’s easy to stick with and incorporate as part of your regular lifestyle. Your Inner Skinny is completely doable AND it delivers remarkable results. And throughout the process, I teach you how to prepare healthy meals, make smart choices when dining out, and indulge appropriately so you don’t fall back into old habits after you reach your goal.
The recipes you created for Slim and Scrumptious look so delicious, it’s hard to believe they’re all so healthful! Did the recipes evolve from tastes that you and your family enjoy?
Yes! My three kids Jesse, Cole, and Ayden (plus my husband, Ian) were my guinea pigs for all the recipes in the book—and my toughest critics! My family inspired many of the dishes in the book. For example, my kids love to order chicken lettuce wraps at restaurants, so I mastered a leaner, healthier version for the cookbook. My daughter Ayden looooves mac and cheese, so I came up with a slimmed down version using whole grain macaroni and reduced-fat cheese that I feel good about feeding her. They also love sweets (who doesn’t?!), so I developed decadent yet light splurges like oatmeal cookies and frozen hot chocolate. The Bauer brood ate very well this past year.