We caught up with actress/The Real Girl’s Kitchen blogger/Cooking Channel host and all around awesome chick Haylie Duff to chat about her New Year’s resolutions, how she balances eating healthy and indulging, and her favorite good-for-you spots around LA.
What are some of your New Year’s resolutions this year? HAYLIE DUFF: My New Year’s resolutions are like most people’s: to try to eat a little healthier, a little cleaner. I try to stay away from the word ‘dieting’ because I tend to not be able to hold up to that resolution, so I’m trying to just make it about being healthier. Another resolution is to make time to read more. I was doing a lot more of that when Ryan was first born and now that she’s a toddler I don’t do that as much. So I think just giving myself that ‘me time’ to read a little more. I’m trying to also sleep a little more—like go to bed a little earlier. Those are my three big resolutions, which all somehow seem to do with resting a little more. That’s life the mom of a toddler I think.
What food-related resolution do you think everyone should make this year? HD: I think, like most people, the resolution has to do with always trying to be healthier, you know? And that’s one of the reasons why I was so excited to work with Burt’s Bees to develop these recipes at the beginning of the year, because so much focus is put on kicking your year off right and eating healthier, or being this ‘new you’ or ‘better you.’ This [partnership] to me was such a realistic way to be a healthier version of myself, and incorporating these smoothies into my everyday routine and everyday life was a very realistic goal for me. I can definitely do this. So I was excited to work with Burt’s Bees because their outlook on food and their philosophy on food is very in line with mine. And so this was just a no brainer partnership for me. I love that these protein powders are organic, plant-based, and environmentally friendly and aware, and that’s very important to me. It’s a really beautiful product and I’m so excited to be working with them.
What are your tips for actually sticking to a New Year’s resolutions? HD: For me it has to do with it not being too unrealistic and being low-maintenance, especially having a little girl at home who is very much on the move and keeping me really busy. Making resolutions that aren’t going to require a lot of time or grocery shopping or things that are really too unattainable are ways that are going to help me keep to my New Year’s resolutions. Especially in developing these recipes, and with Real Girl’s Kitchen too, I try to just keep them very simple. So with the Cherry Chia Chocolate Smoothie, all those ingredients you can keep stocked in your freezer. Same with the Banana Chai Steel Cut Oats, the Chai tea packet can be in your pantry all the time. You can keep frozen bananas in your freezer—that can go right in. They’re all kinds of things that you can keep stocked in your pantry so you really have no excuse to keep up with your resolution, you know?
What are some of your favorite quick and easy healthy meals? HD: Well I am a big fan of a one-skillet supper. So anything that I can do with easy clean up or something that I can throw in one pot and cook it simply that tends to be for me. I do a one-skillet chicken. There are recipes on my blog and I tend to do those a lot. Or I’ll do a salmon on a sheet tray with vegetables and roast it. I do that all the time. I tend to try and do things that require as little clean up as possible because now that Ryan is running around, she does not make it easy to make dinner and play with her at the same time. So anything that is one and done is my go-to dinner right now.
What’s a typical food day look like for you? HD: Right now, I’ve been making smoothies a lot and trying to stick with my resolutions. Ryan is a big fan of oatmeal, so I’ve been making a lot of steal cut oats. I cook a lot in my house, so I’m constantly in the kitchen throughout the day. Having a toddler, you feel like you make meals all day long—like as soon as breakfast is over, it’s time to make a snack and then its lunchtime. So it does feel like I’m constantly cooking all day.
As a big foodie, how do you find balance between eating healthy and still indulging from time to time? HD: It’s not always easy to find that balance, but I think that has sort of been my goal from the beginning with Real Girl’s Kitchen is to find that balance. Being from the South, I think that’s sort of been the way I grew up was eating all the foods I loved from my mom or my grandmother. And, also growing in LA too, I’d grow up eating the farmer’s market foods like kale and fruits and vegetables, so I’ve always known that funny balance of the overindulgent foods and then the healthier foods. But, you know, I think if you go have something that’s a little worse for you one night at dinner, the balance is to have that healthier smoothie the next morning. You know, try to not do it multiple days in a row, but if you do the up and down of things then more than likely, you’ll be okay.
What are your favorite healthy restaurants in LA? HD: Tender Greens. I think that’s a pretty healthy restaurant. There’s one in my neighborhood called Olive & Thyme that I love. Mantee [Café] is also really good—it’s like kabobs and stuff, I used to go there all the time with Ryan when I was pregnant and get the Fattoush salad. I think anywhere where you can get a salad that has simple dressings with vegetables, fish or chicken, and things that are lighter and not too over sauced tends to be pretty healthy.