How Maria Menounos Dropped 40 Pounds
What do you serve when Kim Kardashian stops by unexpectedly? Television star and best-selling author Maria Menounos actually needs an answer for dilemmas like these. Menounos struggled with her weight in college before hitting upon a sensible eating plan that turned her into a fitness icon. Here, she explains how that eating plan informs everything she does—including last-minute entertaining—and leads to rapid weight loss.
(For even more slim-down tricks, check out Maria Menounos' 6 Essential Rules for Weight Loss.)
ETNT: In your last book, you talked a lot about "the 50-Year Plan." What is that, exactly, and how does it shape your relationship with food?
Maria: The 50-Year Plan is a philosophy that looks at life holistically. It was inspired by my father, Costas, whose goal is to be as healthy and vital at age 90 as he was at 40. For me, it means looking at every choice I make about food and asking, "Is this an investment that's on my 50-year plan?"
ETNT: Does that mean everything you eat is healthy?
Maria: Not at all! I used to weigh about 40 pounds more than I do today, and I would try to stick to diets and fall off them all the time, the way most of us do. Then I developed the plan that I outline in The EveryGirl's Guide to Diet and Fitness. It's based on a 75/25 idea: 75 percent of the foods you eat should be healthy and really good for you. And 25 percent can be splurges. You have to earn your cupcake! (And get the flat belly you want with these 4 Teas That Melt Fat!)
ETNT: How does that inform the way you cook for yourself and your family?
Maria: My mother is a brilliant cook, and she and I have collaborated on literally hundreds of recipes. We use a lot of fresh vegetables, and a lot of traditional Mediterranean spices and oils. Everything we cook tastes rich and flavorful and decadent, even though it's healthy. That's the key for me: Use fresh ingredients, find the spices and flavors that you love, and make something wonderful. You always want to be serving food that says you care about the health of your friends and family.
ETNT: Do you have a healthy go-to recipe that you whip up for last-minute guests?
Maria: Bruschetta is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It's so fast, and people really appreciate when you can give them fresh, wholesome ingredients instead of standard chips and dips. I always have feta and fresh tomatoes on hand, just in case. (And keep that waistline toned and tight—in record time—with these essential 14 Ways to Lose Your Belly in 14 Days.)
MAria's GREEK Bruschetta
MAKES 6 TO 8 HORS D'OEUVRE SERVINGS
1 loaf fresh Italian or French baguette bread cut into 1-inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil (for brushing)
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon oregano
Pepper to taste
1 pound feta cheese, crumbled
HOW TO MAKE IT:
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place bread slices on
a baking sheet and brush each slice with the oil. In a bowl,
combine tomatoes, oregano, pepper, and feta.
● Bake bread slices for 8 minutes or until bread is crispy.
● Top each slice of bread with some of the mixture.