Feeling Good with Giada

So how does Giada de Laurentiis stay so thin?

“It’s the number-one question I get asked by fans,” the Food Network star laughs. And it was that query that inspired Giada’s Feel Good Food, the latest cookbook from the chef known for her Italian cooking and California-inspired comfort food.

Making the switch to “feel good food” a few years ago was a no-brainer for de Laurentiis. A self-professed former chocolate-and-sugar addict, the Giada at Home host began to pay more attention to her health when she became pregnant with her daughter Jade, now 5. “I’m a working mother, and there are responsibilities I have in my life. I need to be more careful about what I eat so I can give 100% to all the things that I do, including my family.”

Her latest book goes beyond the kitchen to reveal the different ways de Laurentiis finds balance. “It’s more of a lifestyle book,” she explains. Giada’s Feel Good Food offers a glimpse into de Laurentiis’ life through her own travel and beauty tips, as well as exercise routines. Of course, food takes priority: the book contains 120 recipes, each with a nutritional breakdown, and features many that are appropriate for special diets.

But have no fear: moderation comes into play in the recipes, and treats are allowed, too. De Laurentiis calls out not only her one-pot turkey chili but also her chocolate fig bites as favorite recipes from the book, as well as a rich avocado hummus that she says is “a real treat” for everyday.

De Laurentiis now considers herself to be at her healthiest, and credits her family for sparking her new lifestyle. “I think that our lives change as we get older, and our inspirations change. My daughter was a big, big part of that journey of changing… Getting older is inevitable, and it can happen gracefully and can be a good process.”

Giada de Laurentiis will be signing copies of her new book, Giada’s Feel Good Food , Sunday, November 10 in the Rotunda at the Mall of America—and she’s looking for restaurant recommendations while she’s in town. Send them via Twitter @GDeLaurentiis.