For the host of Top Chef Canada, eating decadently is a job requirement. We asked Lisa Ray how she keeps her diet on track.
Please tell me you’re not one of those incredibly fit women who claims to eat whatever she wants and stay slim?
I wouldn’t say that at all. I do tend to follow the 80/20 rule, meaning that 80 per cent of the time I eat very consciously. When I’m filming Top Chef Canada, I gorge and I don’t feel any guilt about it, but then I try to balance that out. I tend to eat a lot of organic, locally sourced food. Very plant-based, but not entirely. I’ve really gotten into vegetable juices, which have made a huge difference in terms of my metabolism and feeling healthy in general.
So then you’re a juicer.
Totally. It’s my secret weapon. Juice is what gives juice to my life these days. It’s really useful for making sure that you get all of your antioxidants, your bioflavonoids, minerals and vitamins without having to chew your way through a mountain of greens. It’s also great because it’s something you can start incorporating into your routine immediately regardless of what kind of diet you have.
A lot of people aren’t so fond of the taste of green drinks. Any tips?
I personally stick to the all-green, all-vegetable, but there are things you can add to sweeten the taste and make the drink taste more like fruit juice. Green apple is great for that. Ginger and lemon are also good if you like a kick.
Superrestrictive Gwyneth Paltrow-type diets are making headlines these days. What are your thoughts?
I don’t believe in restricting anything, but I do believe in responding to what your body is telling you. Your body doesn’t lie, and if you pay attention, your needs should be very apparent. You don’t necessarily need a doctor to tell you you’re gluten-intolerant for example – just have a meal with gluten and one without and see which makes you feel better. I’m a big believer in self-regulating and becoming your own guru. Developing an owner’s manual for our bodies is something we should all strive for.
If you only had one meal left on Earth, what would it be?
I would probably choose corn tortillas and a buffet of Mexican food that I could stuff them with. It would be unlimited, so I could just keep going back. That would be my way of delaying the last supper thing.
This interview has been edited and condensed.