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Video: Life-changing secrets for a happier, prettier you

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    >>> you know maria menounos from red carpet interviews and as a special correspondent for access hollywood . she has a new book that tells you how to do it all. the every girl's guide to life shares her fitness, health and beauty routines and tells you how to keep a busy life well organized. good to see you.

    >> thank you.

    >> congratulations on the book. we were talking about the labor of love. was it always a dream to share these things?

    >> not always. i think it just became something i knew i had to do. people would stop me at the mall and say, how do you do it, how did you lose the weight? finally after having all the exposure being here at "today" i had so much information and i have a passion for sharing information with women.

    >> i love it.

    >> i would be in the airports writing lists for people. i thought, i will put it in a book. everything i know.

    >> take this knowledge with you. i love it. let's get to the advice in the guide. the first portion is every girl's guide to health.

    >> yes.

    >> obviously you take health seriously. tell me what you have here.

    >> first i talk about hot water in the book. i think it is important.

    >> why?

    >> it's detoxifying, destressing, helps digest food and curbs your appetite. you think lose a lot of weight if you stick to hot water all day long. a lot of times you think you're hungry and you're really thirsty. if you drink water all day long -- cold water takes longer to digest.

    >> how much?

    >> i always have a mug of hot water with me constantly. it's simple. i have an electric kettle to keep it warm. you feel like it's a treat. i drive slower and i'm calmer. it's changed me in a lot of ways. just hot water , simple.

    >> and limit the portions, pay attention to what we eat.

    >> i interviewed a yogi for the "today" show. he talked about ayurvedic medicine and say we all consume way too much food. he said eat only when you are hungry. when you eat, eat simple and clean. when you get a salad don't get a million things. it's hard to digest.

    >> no longer a healthy option with cheese and everything.

    >> and it's hard to digest. so he said, have carrots and hummus or blueberries. i keep almond clusters in my purse. i never get to the point where i'm starving.

    >> what's your trick to staying organized?

    >> label maker is your b.f.f.

    >> really?

    >> if everything has a home in your home you will return things where they belong. the key to happiness is organization. i talk about it in the book. i have never seen an organized person that wasn't successful. it's a good thing to follow.

    >> interesting.

    >> i label efg in my home. i have little boxes that say camera equipment. i get home, put the camera where it belongs. my jeans are organized on a she shelf. i label right here skinny jeans , wide leg jeans . i never have to think where they are. i know where they are. in the morning i can get up, get ready fast.

    >> jewelry?

    >> i love hanging jewelry bags. they are not the perfect situation, so i have jewelry drawer organizers as well. but i like being able to see everything. i love those.

    >> now onto your beauty tips. you have great stuff. you love smoky eyes.

    >> i do.

    >> why?

    >> first of all, i used to be a makeup artist . i have had a million jobs in my life. i was a makeup artist for chanel back in the day. so i know a thing or two about makeup. this pallete from benefit is my dummy guide to makeup.

    >> smoky eyes can be tough.

    >> i learned on this because there are instructions that come with it. they teach you what to do. i love this because you can use it day to night and intensify it in the evening. my other thing i will never leave. this is like my american express card . i won't leave home without it. i use it on the inner rim of any eye. take a skinny brush, put it on the inner rim and on the above part, too, for a deeper look. when you don't know how to apply eye liner , this is your best friend. you can't make a mistake.

    >> i'm buying that this weekend.

    >> my favorite.

    >> your other tip?

    >> trimming. my hair dresser taught me this.

    >> you trim your own ends?

    >> at one point i had damaged hair. he goes, just trim the dead ends. where the split is, cut it right there, not above or below. i got healthy hair in six months.

    >> i want to get to the fitness part because you're so fit. you have a great body. this is something we need to talk about.

    >> you can get a full body workout with this for $40. you can get your triceps.

    >> what is it called?

    >> it's just an over the door gym. you can do your inner thighs, outer, butt if you put your foot in here. butt exercises, everything you need. i do it in between things. i'm on the phone.

    >> come over to the bed. there is a lazy girl's work out.

    >> i created this watching the vice president yal debate. i was on the road with no workout gear. get in the bed and put blankets on your legs and you can use it for tension. do your legs.

    >> does it work?

    >> yes. my trainer approved it. i do sit-ups off the edge of the bed.

    >> the book is called the every girl's guide to life. maria menounos , thank you so much.

    >> and we're back with recipes up next. you're compromising me here. how to live the life of a princess in kate middleton 's childhood home after

Image: "The Everygirl's Guide to Life"
Elise Donoghue
By
TODAY books
updated 4/11/2011 5:08:32 PM ET 2011-04-11T21:08:32

In the “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life,” TV journalist Maria Menounos shares her personal experiences from her life and career, offering advice on everything from health and relationships to renovations and recreation. Here, Menounos offers tips on eating healthy, growing your own food and more. Read an excerpt:

Chapter Thirteen: EveryGirl recipes

Food as fuel
When you think about food as a source of fuel more than as a source of pleasure, it’s much easier to choose the salad with chicken rather than the burger melts. I also learned portion control and that I didn’t need to eat that much to be full. The key here is to really listen to your body. When you feel full, put down your fork. If you can, walk away from the table or simply push your food away.

Ways to feel full
• Load up on veggies and salad because they will fill you up fast and have fewer calories.

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• Eat protein at every meal because it keeps you full for hours.

• Don’t have carb-only meals because your blood sugar will spike and then drop. You’ll also be hungry all the time. That’s why you really need the protein.

• Keep a small bag of almonds on hand. Eating them is a quick way to feel full when you’re starving, and they will also help you stay away from bad snacks or fast food.

• When you feel full, listen to your stomach. Stop eating.

• In restaurants, ask to have half of your huge entrée wrapped to take home before they even serve it. Most restaurant portions can easily feed two people or make two meals for you.

• Eat only when you are hungry. A lot of times we reach for food because we think it will “taste” good or it “looks” good, when the reality is you’re not hungry!

• Drink hot water, it fills you up and curbs your appetite.

My LA story — The food edition
By the time I moved to California, I had lost the weight and kept it off, and my career was soaring. I ended up working around the clock, just as my advisors had warned me. I was traveling constantly, and the only thing I had time for was fast food. In LA, I saw too few quality mom-and-pop sandwich shops and more fast-food joints than I’d ever seen.

Click here for more on Maria Menounos

Because of limited time and money, I picked up breakfast, lunch and dinner at all of them, often eating in my car, on my way to shoots. I worked forty-eight out of fifty-two weekends while at "Entertainment Tonight," at about fifteen-plus hours per day. With my schedule, I thought it was impossible to eat any other way. Luckily, my weight didn’t fluctuate, probably because my portions weren’t that big. Plus, I was so busy working and running around that my metabolism burned everything off. Having lost the weight over such a long period no doubt prevented it from piling back on, too.

But there were serious consequences when overindulging in so much fast food. As I said before, the initial purpose of my losing weight was more for my health than for my looks. Well, now my health was failing. The crazy work schedule, combined with my disorganization and unhealthy diet, was taking its toll. As I touched upon earlier in the book, I was continually in and out of the hospital for stuff like exhaustion, malnutrition and dehydration.

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My fast-food dependence was only curbed through my friend Rachel. Rachel is highly educated, and many members of her family are in the medical field. (Remember what I said about having a diverse set of friends and an advisory committee?) Rachel understood the health ramifications of consuming fast food and, as a result, has never eaten it. She was the one who connected my poor health to my diet. Because of her, I cut out fast food for a year and stopped getting sick as a result — not even a cold. Today, I’ll do fast food if I’m in a rush, but unless it’s a treat, I’ll select from the healthy menus.

The smart way to do fast food
A few possibilities include:

• A salad, veggie burger, or grilled-chicken sandwich at Burger King

• A salad, grilled-chicken sandwich, or grilled-chicken wrap at McDonalds

• Diet Fresco items at Taco Bell

• A grilled-chicken sandwich and baked potato at Carl’s Jr.

• Subway is also a great stop for quick and healthy choices with a vast selection of vegetables to add to your sandwiches. Subway is a place I take out from all the time.

Maria’s meal plan
Being a part of "Today," "Nightly News" and "Access Hollywood" exposed me to some of the best dietitians and health-care practitioners. The more I’ve learned, the more I realize that my father may just be the best example to follow. As I said, he’s in his mid-sixties but has the energy and body of a twenty-five-year-old, even after enduring forty years of type 1 diabetes. This is due in great part because of his diet.

As I touched upon earlier, Dad ate very little meat, avoided sugars, kept his carb intake and consumption of processed foods to a minimum, and included a variety of fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables in his diet, along with plenty of garlic and olive oil. His food portions are small to moderate. He doesn’t smoke but will indulge in the occasional glass of homemade red wine. And he is active. He’s not doing triathlons or hitting the gym, mind you, but he’s always doing chores and finding ways to burn energy.

If food is fuel to our bodies, then my father has run his on high-octane. Just as high-octane fuel is designed to make an engine run stronger and last longer, so, too, does a high-octane diet. The people from his village who eat and behave in this manner have lived well into their hundreds.

On the following pages, I’ll explain how my dad does it — and you can, too

Try growing your own food
Having a garden of your own is fun, rewarding, cost-effective, convenient, and healthy, too. Recently I did a segment with a great company called GroOrganic. Representatives from the company came to the house and taught me how to plant an organic garden. We installed two four-by-eight planters in my yard, filled them with dirt, and planted tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, eggplant, basil, garlic, carrots, cantaloupes, and more. Within months, the garden flourished, and I was so inspired that I started cooking more.

Before I had the garden, I would work till I was starving, then be forced to go out to eat. With my garden, I can whip up almost anything because I usually have the veggies or ingredients right outside my window. The meals are much healthier, too. You can’t get more high-octane than toxin-free fresh veggies.

The garden’s great for my wallet, too, as I eat out less and make fewer trips to the supermarket.

From "The EveryGirl's Guide to Life" by Maria Menounos. Copyright © 2011. Reprinted by permission of It Book/HarperCollins Publishers.

Recipe: Portobello mushrooms wrapped in eggplant

Ingredients
  • For the wraps:
  • 2 big, long eggplants, sliced the long way (1⁄8 of an inch or about 5–7 slices)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 pound Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or seeded and diced jalapeños
  • For the sauce:
  • One 7-ounce can tomato sauce (see note)
  • One 10- to 12-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray or brush the eggplant slices with oil. Place them in a baking dish and bake until they get some color, about 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven to cool.

In a sauté pan, cook the mushrooms in the 1/4 cup of oil until golden brown on all sides. Add the onion, spices, and peppers and cook for a few more minutes. Let cool.

Place one tablespoon of the mushrooms into the middle of an eggplant slice.

Wrap the eggplant around the mushrooms and place the roll on a baking pan.

Repeat until you run out of mushrooms.

To prepare the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook all the ingredients together for 7 minutes.

Spoon the sauce over the top of the eggplant rolls. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: Instead of canned tomato sauce, another option is to dice 6 to 8 fresh tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes.

Serving Size

4 servings

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