Ayesha Curry is one busy woman: coming up with healthy recipes for her bestselling cookbooks, taking care of her kiddos, and keeping up with her health goals while quarantining at home due to COVID-19.
The Canadian-American actress recently opened up about her health and fitness journey after losing 35 pounds, explaining that she did it her way. And now she’s giving fans a sneak peek into her diet.
The celebrity chef shared her all-time favorite dishes and how working out has increasingly become a huge part of her life for Harper’s Bazaar’s Food Diaries series.
“Fitness wasn’t really a part of my lifestyle and I’d say the past year and a half—post having all of my kids—it’s really become a staple for me and it helps me have mental clarity. I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life,” she says. “I find that I’m happier when I work out. And so I do try to work out at least five days a week.”
Her perseverance is definitely paying off! Over the summer, Curry showed off her strong figure in an Instagram photo after losing 35 pounds. The 31-year-old demonstrated a perfect squat in two photos, wearing a pink sports bra and compression shorts.
In the caption, she wrote that her healthy lifestyle is for her and for her loved ones, which of course include the three children she has with husband and NBA star Stephen Curry.
“I started my fitness journey because I wanted to be strong and healthy for myself and the people who depend on me,” she wrote. “But it was important that I did it my way, which meant I needed working out to fit in my life, not take me away from it.”
While Curry partnered with Fitbit during the summer for a new exclusive series, she also tells Yahoo Canada Lifestyle that the premium subscription has helped her stay on track with her exercise goals. “It was great while I was traveling and out of my routine—I was able to tap into the vast library workout content anytime, anywhere so I didn’t fall off track,” she says.
On top of that, she’s managed her health by doing everything from quick 10-minute workouts to creating yummy and healthy recipes. Below, Curry explains the small changes that helped with her weight loss journey and helpful tips that kept her on track.
A quick-hit exercise is all it takes.
Despite having a hectic schedule, Curry began her fitness journey by carving out time—even just a few minutes—to exercise. While she mentioned that she “hates the term balance,” she says the best approach is to make every workout session work for you.
“I don’t think there’s any formula that works for everyone, but I do believe that creating time for yourself to exercise is never time wasted,” she says.
A few quick exercises that she likes to tackle for a weight and cardio combo? Workouts that focus on core body strength, legs and glutes, arm circuits, and HIIT bodyweight workouts, to name a few.
However, Curry loves to stay active in any way she can, which means, she’s not strictly working out on a mat. Since Curry exercises at least five days a week, she has to find ways to keep it interesting by “riding my Peloton bike, doing some sort of Fitbit workout, golfing, paddle boarding,” she says. “I’m always trying to do something these days. It’s very important to me.”
In the past, Curry revealed that her workout routine involves HIIT, floor exercises, and cardio. And as you can tell, all of these can be done without workout machines (although, there’s nothing wrong with hitting the gym)!
“Get yourself some simple equipment, such as two and three-pound weights, resistance bands, a good, cushy mat, and a bench or chair. I’m very into bodyweight, so I don’t need much, equipment-wise,” Curry says.
She’s totally switched up her diet.
Although Curry revealed in an Instagram Story that she’s “down 35 pounds, and very happy to be,” she refuses to follow strict diets as part of her routine. Instead, she practices mindful eating—with a heavy focus on nutritious foods—and eating in moderation.
“I’m really into portion control over any kind of diet, and try to stick to nourishing, delicious food in moderation,” she explains.
As far as what she cooks up in the kitchen, well, Curry dished on that too. She taps into American staples and goes back to her Jamaican roots for some nutritious meals with a flavorful spin.
Curry says she loves a good ol’ cup of Joe in the morning, but when she’s intermittent fasting, she adds in a few other ingredients. “I’ll do it with a little bit of coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and some MCT oil, which is for your brain fuel,” she says.
The busy mom does have breakfast on the weekends and enjoys smoked salmon with scrambled eggs. But she also treats herself with island classics. Her absolute favorite breakfast meal is traditional Jamaican ackee and salt fish with fried dumplings (but you can always swap in boiled dumplings instead).
After sneaking in a workout, Curry eats a nutritious lunch, which usually consists of some kind of leafy green. She likes to toss arugula or spinach with poppyseed dressing and adds in a seared protein like chicken, salmon, or shrimp.
While snacking is not high on her to-do list, if she does get a hit of the munchies, she’ll make sure it’s a healthy pick. “I feel like I gravitate towards banana chips,” she says. “If not that, I would say carrot sticks or cucumbers. I try and keep my snacking pretty healthy these days.”
As for dinnertime? Well, the celebrity chef definitely knows how to turn veggies into a whole, exciting meal that her entire family will enjoy. If it isn’t yummy, you know you won’t want to eat it on rotation.
Curry fondly says “we’re a ‘green veggies’ family” due to the amount of healthy greens she incorporates into their meal plan—from asparagus to broccoli to Brussels sprouts. But it’s how she cooks them that makes our mouths drool.
“I like to roast them on high heat to give everything a nice char and enhance the flavor of the veg,” she says. “There’s nothing I love more than a one-pot/one sheet pan dinner, so most nights I’ll season up a protein and roast it alongside the vegetables.”
However, if she’s just craving some good ol’ comfort food, she simply lightens up the ingredients to give it a healthier kick. Curry tells Yahoo Lifestyle Canada that chicken parm is a nostalgic meal for her since it was one of the first meals she made for her husband when they first began dating. “I do a lighter breading using panko instead of regular bread crumbs, and whip up a super-fast and fresh tomato sauce for the topping,” she explains.
Oh, and there’s that glorious cheat meal. “My absolute favorite meal to cook is oxtail, rice and peas, and fried plantain, Curry says. “I’m Jamaican and that is my heritage, that is the food that I grew up with and it just brings me so much comfort and joy when I make it.”
Curry admits that she changed her “entire diet (except for Sundays).” Same.
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