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Kitchen Confidential

What's inside the refrigerators of three reality stars? Cat Cora, Gretta Monahan, and Jackie Warner let us peek inside. Then L.A. nutritionist Robyn L. Goldberg, R.D., analyzed the contents. Let their hits and messes help you fine-tune your eating habits.

Cat Cora

Many chefs depend on high-fat ingredients, like butter, cheese, and bacon, for flavor. But Cat, a veteran host of several Food Network series and the first female Iron Chef on Iron Chef America, relies on a culinary secret her Greek ancestors have known for centuries: Fresh is best. “I always use what’s in season,” says Cat, who often prepares simple Mediterranean-inspired meals, such as grilled fish and chopped salads, at home. “I also buy all-natural or organic ingredients whenever possible because they taste so much better,” she says. “And starting with a flavorful foundation eliminates the need for heavy, fat-laden sauces.”

Cat and her partner have even managed to get their two sons— Zoran, 5; and Caje, 23 months—on board. “For the most part, we eat as a family,” she says, “though we do always have peanut butter, string cheese, and yogurt pops on hand because the boys love them.”


Fresh Berries
“I buy organic strawberries at the farmers’ market and blend them into smoothies.”
The R.D. says:
“Strawberries have one of the highest pesticide levels of all fruit, so opting for organic is smart.”

Dijon Mustard
“This is my favorite base for marinades and salad dressings.”
The R.D. says:
“Mustard lends a creamy texture and tangy taste without adding much fat or too many calories.”

Firm Tofu
“This works as well in stir-fry as it does in oatmeal or pancake batter.”
The R.D. says:
“Soy contains loads of calcium and protein. And because tofu takes on the fl avor of whatever it’s mixed with, you can use it to sneak extra nutrients into kids’ meals.”

Lowfat Yogurt
“I have a carton every day. It’s filling, high in calcium and protein, and sweet!”
The R.D. says:
“Yogurt can be very healthy, but some brands are loaded with sugar. To cut back, choose vanilla or lemon flavors over fruit-filled ones.”

Fresh Halibut Fillets
“My fish is from the seafood store down by the dock, so I know it’s super-fresh.”
The R.D. says:
“Halibut is rich in heart-healthy omega-3s and bone-building magnesium. If you can, buy the Pacific instead of Atlantic version; it’s not overfished, so it’s more eco-friendly.”

Buying local produce and seafood is good for Cat’s health and the environment, says Goldberg. And the fact that she spices up her finds with ingredients that deliver big flavor for minimal calories is savvy. “If you’re creative when it comes to your meals, they’re more likely to be physically and emotionally fulfilling,” says Goldberg. “That means you’ll be less likely to turn to food out of boredom or as a form of stress relief.” But going gourmet doesn’t mean nixing convenience foods. Having healthy packaged foods on hand, like low-sodium soups, jarred marinara sauce, and frozen whole-wheat waffles, makes it easy to eat right even when you’re short on time.

Gretta Monahan

No one could accuse Gretta of sitting pretty: When she’s not running around New York City rehabilitating fashion victims on Bravo’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, she’s dispensing wardrobe advice on the Rachael Ray show or taking care of business at her eponymous salons, spas, and boutiques in Boston.

While a two-city lifestyle and multiple high-profile positions could turn any woman into a junk food junkie, Gretta strives to eat healthy despite her crazy schedule. “I try to stick to things that are easy to prepare,” she says. “I mostly have lean protein, vegetables, and quick-cooking whole grains.” She admits, though, that her fast-paced lifestyle sometimes calls for “fast” food: “I’ve resorted to grabbing a mini cheese and fruit platter from Starbucks and even the occasional Red Bull when I start to feel my energy crashing.”


Bear Naked Peak Protein Granola
“This cereal, which I often blend with yogurt for breakfast, has less sugar than most granolas.”
The R.D. says:
“With zero trans fat and 5 grams of protein, this isn’t a bad choice. But mixing it with bran flakes would up the fiber factor.”

Salmon Fillets
““I have these cut into 6- to 8- ounce pieces at the store so they’re ready to cook. I just drizzle one with lemon juice and olive oil and pop it in the broiler.”
The R.D. says:
Salmon—which has 1,825 milligrams of omega-3s per serving—is one of the healthiest types of fish.”

Thomas' Hearty Grains 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins
“When I have to eat on the run, I’ll spread one of these with almond butter, put it in a zip-top bag, and throw it in my purse.”
The R.D. says:
“These muffins have three times the fiber of the sourdough ones, so they keep you full longer.”

“One of my go-to meals is a salad made with cucumbers, feta, and a little lowfat dressing.”
The R.D. says:
“Since the fiber-rich skins are the most nutritious part of the cucumber, I always recommend eating them unpeeled.”

Jell-o Gelatin Cups
“Sometimes I’ll empty one into a bowl and add sliced bananas and apples to boost the nutrition content.”
The R.D. says:
“These singleserving cups are actually a good way to satisfy a sweet tooth for only 70 calories.”

“When friends come over, I’ll break out the bubbly. It’s my signature drink.”
The R.D. says:
“A couple of glasses of alcohol a week can be very heart-healthy. But as with anything, those calories can add up quickly (there are roughly 80 in a 4-ounce glass of champagne) if you indulge too often.”

Pine Nuts
“I add these to salads for a little crunch.”
The R.D. says:
“Pine nuts are the best source of pinolenic acid, which has been shown to lower cholesterol. For maximum flavor, try toasting them.”

Healthy shortcuts, like buying prewashed—or even frozen—fruits and veggies and individual servings of fish or meat allow you to prepare quick meals (think pasta, salads, and sandwiches) in as much time as it takes to order takeout, says Goldberg. Just be sure you’re not leaning too heavily on the same standbys. “Since it’s hard to get all the nutrients you need from just a few foods, try picking up one or two new items each time you shop,” she says. Try trout instead of salmon, pumpkin seeds in lieu of pine nuts, and snow peas in place of cucumbers.

Jackie Warner

This Los Angeles trainer has a lot of workout balls in the air: Jackie runs Sky Sport & Spa (the setting for Bravo’s Work Out reality series) and SkyLab, an intensive boot camp program for people who are overweight. Add to that a line of workout clothes, a new exercise DVD, and a drama-filled personal life, and it’s a wonder she finds time to eat at all.

But Jackie’s just as passionate about her lowfat, high-protein diet as she is about her fitness empire. “I really believe you are what you eat,” she says. “So I stick to unprocessed, healthy foods; they make me feel energetic—and like I can take on anything.” Every morning Jackie assembles all her meals and snacks for the day and packs them in an insulated bag. “By doing a little prep work, I know I always have something healthy to eat,” she says.

On weekends, however, Jackie takes a break from her strict regimen with “cheat” meals and snacks (her favorites include movie popcorn and cheeseburgers with fries). “I’ll either go out to a restaurant with friends and order whatever I want or stay in and have ice cream,” she says.


“I’ll hard-boil a dozen, peel them, and divide them into six zip-top bags. They last me all week.”
The R.D. says:
“Eggs contain all eight of the essential amino acids your body needs—for just 72 calories apiece.”

Fresh Spinach
“I add three cups of this leafy green and a banana to my morning smoothie.”
The R.D. says:
“By making your own smoothies, you avoid the added sugar often found in store-bought versions (which can have up to 660 calories!).”

Raw Carrots, Broccoli, and Cauliflower
“I snack on fresh-cut veggies all day.”
The R.D. says:
“Crudités are defi nitely healthy, but they have more staying power when paired with protein-rich hummus.”

New York Strip Steak
“A few days a week I have this—grilled, sliced, and tossed with peppers and onions—for lunch.”
The R.D. says:
“If your saturated fat intake is minimal, New York strip is fine. But for a leaner cut, try eye of round, with fewer than 2 grams of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving.”

“I eat an apple every single day. They’re high in fiber and don’t get squashed in my gym bag.”
The R.D. says:
“This fruit is chock-full of pectin, which keeps you full by increasing the time it takes for your stomach to empty.”

EAS Myoplex Original Ready-to-Drink Shake
“This has 42 grams of protein. I down a carton after every workout.”
The R.D. says:
“You do need protein to build muscle. But half a shake and a piece of fruit will help you recover postworkout for fewer calories.”

Almond Butter
“Often I’ll eat it right off the spoon.”
The R.D. says:
“Nut butters have healthy fats and potassium. For portion control, spread a little on a couple of crackers.”


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