Anything Is Possible: Just Ask Chef Robert Irvine  

Nothing is impossible, according to Chef Robert Irvine. You just have to commit to making healthy changes.

Photo by: Anders Krusberg ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Anders Krusberg, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Chef Robert Irvine has built a career on helping people achieve things they thought couldn’t be done. On his Food Network shows “Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible” he routinely turns around seemingly doomed situations — challenging both himself and the others involved to dig deep in order to succeed.

With the publication of his new book, Fit Fuel: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit and Living Your Best Life, Robert is taking his tough-love challenge to the masses. “I truly believe you can change your life in eight weeks if you read this book,” he says. Here, he shares some of his no-excuses brand of motivation with Healthy Eats.

What inspired you to write this book now?

Robert Irvine: Everywhere I go, I get so many questions from people about diet, exercise, what foods to eat, etc. And there’s so much misinformation out there. I wanted to share what has been a lifelong message for me: Eat real food; be active every day; and believe you can change. It really can be that simple.

What’s the No. 1 mistake you see people making when it comes to trying to lose weight and get in shape?

RI: They set unrealistic goals. And they focus on the wrong things. This isn’t about losing weight. I don’t want you to “diet.” This is about change — changing your lifestyle, which will in turn change the way you look and the way you feel.

Changing your lifestyle is kind of a big goal. How do you recommend people get started?

RI: Sit down and make a list of the things that are affecting you and causing you to not change your life. Is it stress? Money? Time? There are ways around all of that. You also need to look at what you eat in a day and why you eat it, trying to analyze the patterns that keep popping up. And then you need to come up with a game plan for dealing with whatever is getting in your way.

How would you respond to people who say, “Well, you’re a chef; it’s easy for you to eat healthy”?

RI: You definitely do not have to be a chef to eat healthy. The recipes in the book show you that it’s easy to make great, flavorful food — that also happens to be good for you. It’s about using fresh ingredients like herbs, spices and fresh juices to enhance flavor without adding a lot of sugar, sodium or fat. My mantra is “healthy, fresh food, done simply, but done well.”

And what about those who claim not to have time for fitness?

RI: I spend about 340 days a year on the road and I still manage to make fitness a priority, so I don’t really think there are a lot of good excuses for not exercising. Making fitness a part of your family routine is really important too — take the dog for a walk, kick a ball around. You want to teach your kids how important good, healthy habits are in order to be the best you can be.

Robert Irvine Book Recipies

Photo by: Ian Spanier ©Ian Spanier Photography 2013

Ian Spanier, Ian Spanier Photography 2013

Peanut Butter Crunch Protein Pancakes

The classic belly bombs get a makeover in this nutritious yet decadent recipe.

1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1 whole egg
6 tablespoons brown flax seed meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 Robert Irvine peanut butter crunch protein bar, chopped
12 strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons stevia
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir the milk and egg together and add the flax seed meal, salt, baking powder, honey and whole-wheat pastry flour until smooth.
  2. Heat the grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat, then ladle 1/2 cup of the mixture into the pan.
  3. As the bubbles form on the top of the cake, sprinkle with pieces of the chopped protein bar.
  4. Flip the cake and cook until golden brown.
  5. Repeat process three more times to make four medium-large pancakes.
  6. Toss the sliced strawberries with stevia and pile on top of the pancakes.

Per serving: Calories 302; Fat 8 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 35 mg; Sodium 430 mg; Carbohydrate 46 g; Fiber 6 g; Sugars 12 g; Protein 11 g

Sally Wadyka is a Boulder, Colorado-based journalist who writes about nutrition, health and wellness.

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