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Joanna Gaines is a television star, best-selling author, owner of multiple businesses, blogger, interior designer and mom of five, who somehow excels at everything she does. This Texas girl has made the entire country fall in love with shiplap and try their hand at Southern-style biscuits and gravy.
It's safe to say she keeps pretty busy all year long, which has us wondering—how does Joanna Gaines eat to keep up her energy to power through busy days of home renovations and TV spots and still manage to get dinner on the table? Turns out, her diet isn't as lard-laden as her Magnolia Table cookbook might have you believe.
If you've ever watched Fixer Upper, you've likely noticed Gaines treats coffee cups like an accessory, having one in her hand pretty much at all times—and for good reason. She told Country Living that she prefers to sip on her coffee throughout the day when she needs a jolt of energy instead of chugging a mug full first thing in the morning.
An egg-centric breakfast typically accommodates Gaines' morning sips of coffee, as her family raises their own chickens in the backyard. She loves a farm-fresh scramble or veggie-packed quiche to start off her day with protein. You may also find a slice of homemade bread on her plate, as Gaines is a major fan of bread-baking and often gives bread makers as holiday gifts.
We think she would absolutely love our Tomato & Feta Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust when she has the time to whip up an impressive breakfast, or quick and easy Summer Skillet Vegetable & Egg Scramble on busier mornings.
As you might imagine, Joanna Gaines is a very busy woman, and she says she puts a lot more effort into breakfast and dinner than she does lunch. She often grabs lunch from one of her dining establishments (or relies on leftovers) and typically opts for a salad with grilled chicken when she can.
Since Gaines is a Mexican food fanatic, we think she'd be a big fan of our Grilled Chicken Taco Salad with a stellar tangy lime vinaigrette or our Cobb Salad with Herb-Rubbed Chicken to show off her latest bounty from the vegetable garden.
Since lunch is more of an afterthought, Gaines is a big snacker in the afternoons, relying on foods like protein bars, trail mix and fresh fruit to get her through to dinner. Her family is also a big fan of juicing their garden-fresh produce and she loves having juice on hand for a little pick-me-up. However, she does admit to stowing Snickers bars in her purse when an orange just won't cut it!
We have more than a dozen delicious trail mix recipes that provide the nutrients your body needs without all the added sugar. Our Trail Mix Balls are the perfect snack for keeping in your purse for "emergency rations" when you're feeling hangry and our Almond-Honey Power Bars are perfect for nights when you're working late on a project (like Joanna).
Joanna runs the gamut on what makes it to the dinner table, but she prioritizes home-cooked meals with veggies fresh from the garden when possible. She's a big meal planner—check out her personal meal planning template, here—and is dedicated to chopping up fresh produce or roasting a pan of seasonal vegetables at the beginning of each week.
Chicken enchiladas are a staple in the Gaines household, with all the fixings—from guac to homemade salsa—included! She loves using rotisserie chicken as a shortcut for healthy weeknight meals in a hurry. We think it's safe to say a Gaines' family dinner looks more like the Grilled Salmon with Meyer Lemons and Creamy Cucumber Salad recipe from her best-selling cookbook than her fried chicken and mac n' cheese recipes.
We think the Gaines family would love our Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole, which can be prepped in advance for an easy midweek dinner. And since her kids are used to eating all kinds of fresh veggies, our Sheet-Pan Chicken & Brussels Sprouts is a comforting, easy meal for any night of the week.
We all know by now Joanna Gaines loves a good biscuit, and she is all for an indulgent weekend breakfast—especially when Chip is cooking! One of her favorite ways to spend a morning is when Chip cooks a loaded breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon and the whole family gets to eat in bed.
We also think you'd agree our favorite plant lady has a massive sweet tooth. She once referred to chocolate cake as her "love language!"
"Typically with sweets, I go all out," Gaines told Health. "If you're gonna make the cake, just make the cake."
While she's more of an eggs-and-veggies gal for breakfast than her cookbook may make her out to be, Gaines is certainly one to enjoy life's celebrations and indulge guilt-free. You won't find alternative flours, sugar substitutes or any superfood products in her cookbooks or restaurants, and that's likely the case in her pantry as well. She's not afraid of a little white sugar and flour in her diet—that's probably the least of her worries with such a busy lifestyle.
Our Strawberries & Cream Pancakes are a perfect way for Chip and Jo to use up farm-fresh berries before summer's end, and we just know our fan-favorite Died-and-Went-to-Heaven Chocolate Cake would be a hit in their household, too.
The Bottom Line
Just like everything else she does, we think Joanna Gaines hits it out of the park with her approach to healthy eating. She prioritizes protein, fruit and veggies throughout most days so that she can enjoy a homemade cookie without batting an eyelash or feeling a twinge of guilt.
Gaines doesn't have time to waste obsessing over her diet, so she meal plans and preps each week to make sure her entire family is fully equipped to eat nutritious foods (even when life gets crazy). We think this is a much better way to live than counting every calorie and following a rigid diet plan!