Interview: Healthy Eating With Gabrielle Reece

AP Photo/Tammie Arroyo
For Gabrielle Reece, health and fitness is a full-time job. Since retiring from professional volleyball, she has worked as a model, spokesperson, health and fitness writer, editor and mom.

Reece, who is married to professional surfer Laird Hamilton, has three kids and splits her time between Hawaii and California. She recently revealed what fuels her workouts, why she stays away from wheat, and what foods she can't live without.

Describe your typical breakfast?
I start every day with a smoothie but it's not like a drink for me, my smoothies are thick and foody. They have to be filling to get me through my workout. Smoothies are also a good opportunity to add nutrients--like iron and protein--that you may be missing in your diet and mask them with other flavors.

What ingredients do you put in your smoothies?
Nutrilite protein powder, peanut butter, berries, almond milk and bananas--anything that will help sustain me through my morning workout.

Aside from your smoothies name five foods you can't live without?
Chocolate is number one, dark if I am trying to be good. There is something called the Barcelona Bar that is really bad ass. It's got sea salt on the top of it...oh they are so naughty and delicious.

I don't drink alcohol so I like Pellegrino or some kind of bubbly water.

I really like red meat. I don't eat a lot but at a certain point, if I haven't had it for a while, I really want it.

I also like Kombucha tea. I am really mindful of trying not to go up and down, so I stay away from sugary drinks to sustain my energy.

Every once in a while I like having pasta or pizza, but I try to stay away from wheat.

What's wrong with wheat?
Most people are allergic to wheat on some level. Some people are in denial, some people don't notice it as much. Whole wheat in a food is fine but refined wheat in breads, pastas, cookies, donuts--basically, anything really yummy--is not great.

What else is important in keeping a healthy diet?
Just like your body gets used to the same exercises, it gets used to the same foods so it's good to switch up your diet. I even take vitamins on and off for the same reasons.

How does nutrition affect fitness?
Your workout won't give you the results you want if you're eating the wrong kinds of food. You might have muscle underneath the bulge but you have to get down to it. A certain level of caloric restriction helps but it's not all about diet, it's about how foods affect your body and what you're doing to get the look that you want.

Can you sum up your nutrition philosophy?
One of my trainers says the closer you can eat to being a cave man, the better. If it can live on a shelf for 50 years, unless we're in a bunker, I won't eat it or feed it to my family.

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