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Sam Talbot Shares Diabetes-Friendly Recipes

"The Sweet Life" author dishes about health, wellness, and good eating.


You split your time between New York City and Montauk. What's your workout regimen like?

I usually work out every day. At home, I do a lot of pull-ups and sit-ups, and I do yoga. I work out at the gym with free weights. I also do 2 miles on the elliptical machine every day. And then when I'm in Montauk, I surf.

What's the hardest part of your fitness routine?

I'm absolutely terrified of the ocean. But I force myself to get in the water. I like that quote, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” You feel more enriched or enlightened. There's always a moment of sheer terror before I go in, but I get out there, and I surf and I swim, and I do what I need to do to stay healthy and fit.

When you're stressed out, what do you do to reset?

I go outside and look at both of my feet on the ground and take big, deep breaths. I just focus for a minute and realize that I'm not curing cancer, I'm not curing diabetes, I'm just cooking. I take five, 10 deep breaths, and then I go back in and attack the things on my checklist one by one. My exercise routine helps, too. On the days when I don't exercise, I start to come undone.

You travel a lot. How do you stay healthy on the road?

I do a lot of planning. I don't want to be in a bind where I have to eat potato chips or a gas station hot dog. If I'm flying, the night before I'll make a batch of granola and other stuff that travels well that I can have on the plane.

How do you cope with holiday parties?

I try to eat at my house before I go. I'll do some kind of guacamole or something that's going to sustain me. I try to go in fortified so I eat smaller portions at the party. I drink wine sometimes, but only with food. I usually drink vodka with club soda and fresh lemon, so it's fewer calories and carbs. And for every drink that I have, I'll drink a glass of water. 

What are you cooking for the holidays?

I love to braise turkeys. I take a whole turkey and break it down into parts, sear them in a pan, and then braise them with tomatoes and garlic and ginger. I serve it over brown rice with flaxseed or chia seed mixed in. It smells good, it's healthy, and that means everyone's feeling good.

Shirataki Noodles With Cashews and Chilies

This fast, satisfying dish features shirataki noodles, a low-carb pasta made from konjac, an Asian yam, and sambal oelek chili paste, an Indonesian specialty. Find both ingredients in Asian grocery stores and natural food stores.

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