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Refrigerator Look Book: Tara Milhem

Skinny_By_Tara_nutritionWhen Tara Milhem uses the word “skinny,” she doesn’t mean what you think.

“I’m not telling people how to get skinny fast. I named my brand Skinny By Tara to redefine the term,” says the popular New York city health coach. “I’m inspiring people to live a healthier lifestyle by giving them health advice and nutrition information.”

Milhem’s main platform for sharing healthy lifestyle advice has been on Facebook, where she posts recipes and inspirational mantras.

Her number one tip for her followers?

“Listen to your body,” says Milhem, who’s also a yoga instructor. “Don’t go by what someone else is saying you should or shouldn’t be eating. Being healthy is about understanding your own body’s signals.”

Here, the (mostly) vegan Milhem gives us a tour of her fridge and of some of the recipes and meals featured in her new e-cookbook, Tara Bites, launching in October.

I know you’re really into yoga as a teacher and practitioner. What do you typically eat before and after a class? Before a yoga class I like to do a banana with almond butter, or a lot of grapefruit. Immediately after I’ll do a green juice, and then I’ll wait a little bit and have lunch.

TaraI spy some Greek yogurt. Does that mean you eat dairy? The Greek yogurt is actually not mine. Some of the stuff in this fridge is for my nieces, who come over to visit a lot. I don’t eat any dairy. I feel that dairy is very inflammatory—your fingers swell up, and it just doesn’t work for a lot of people’s stomach’s.

Interesting. I see a lot of berries and other fruit. How much fruit do you like to eat per day? I’m a big fruit person. I like to eat fruit with every meal. I also snack on fruit in between meals. It’s my mainstay.

How do you eat the hummus? Is that a snack, too? I put hummus on top of my salads. I like it for the protein. I make my own hummus a lot, too.

I love hummus as an alternative for salad dressing also. You have a beautiful drawer full of leafy greens. Do you use them in green juices? I do like to use the greens for juices. Also, I’ll sautée them and put them in with quinoa, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

TaraYum. Are there go-to foods or ingredients in the freezer or pantry that we can’t see here that you like to use to cook? I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos as as a soy sauce alternative. It’s formulated from soy proteins and it’s not super high in sodium. I put that on top of my sautées. I also use a lot of cayenne pepper and my pantry is filled with raw almonds and walnuts. I snack on those consistently throughout the day.

Good to know! Take me through a typical lunch and dinner. What does that look like for you? A typical lunch is brown rice with steamed kale, grilled tofu, and a whole bunch of vegetables with the Braag’s. Three hours later I’ll have a cucumber tomato salad with lemon juice. Around 6:30 p.m., I’ll do dinner. It’s usually a raw soup in the Vitamix. I blend a whole bunch of greens or do a carrot ginger soup. Later on I’ll have an apple, watermelon, or berries.Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 4.11.46 PM

I don’t see any desserts in here. Do you have any guilty pleasures you like to occasionally eat? I crave sushi. I love sushi. I have it three times a week probably. It’s always brown rice sushi. I’m not a huge chocolate person, but sometimes I’ll do dark chocolate squares. My sweet cravings are usually met by fruit.

Nice. I don’t see any alcohol in here. Do you drink? I do when I go out to dinner socially. Usually it’s just a glass of red wine, one or two times a week maximum. I don’t feel like it affects my yoga practice at all. If anything, it’s very calming and soothing. —Jamie McKillop

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