By Emma Stessman
As the nutrition director of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Jaclyn London has been helping women distinguish between fact and fiction related to healthy food for years.
Now, she’s sharing that wealth of knowledge in her new book, Dressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked). Using her serious smarts and a research-backed approach, she takes on topics like spotting fake (nutrition) news, why eating dessert every day is part of her healthy lifestyle, and the importance of making conscious choices.
“There are times we just need to consciously skip a workout class, consciously say no to a sad conference dessert (so that we can eat a real dessert when we get home) or consciously say no to work projects that create frenetic energy, rather than making the choice to do something more worthwhile to us,” she says. Those decisions, then, can help quiet the noise of ever-changing myths and fads related to how you should eat and live.
Below, London shares some of the healthy choices that fit into her most Nutritious Life—like frequent snacking in lieu of lunch and catching up on podcasts while running.
How Does Jaclyn London Live a Nutritious Life?
What’s your go-to breakfast? I’m following my own advice lately on this one, which is to make breakfast a two-part experience. In the morning, I have something like a tablespoon or two of nut butter, a piece of whole grain toast with cheese, or a handful of peanuts, almonds, cashews, or whatever we’ve recently stocked up on at home. Then when I get to the office, it’s a 16-ounce latte with milk (I’m currently into Fairlife or oat milk—both make for a super creamy hot beverage) and either coffee or matcha. I’ll have a piece of fruit, more nut butter, or some nuts along with that. If I’m running to a breakfast meeting at a restaurant, I’m keen on soft-boiled eggs (but at home I can’t get that timing JUST right, no matter how hard I try!).
Your go-to workday lunch? My job means I’m constantly snacking all day, and I’ll go through a phase depending on what we’re testing (for example, ice cream can be lunch sometimes if you want it badly enough). While in previous jobs I’d be psyched to have a big soup with lots of veggie and beans or have salmon and salad, I’m currently in the habit of snacking throughout the day. But I do so with the intention of trying lots of things in filling combos (protein, fiber, and fat) to actually make sure I’m not ready to eat my computer mouse by 3:00 p.m. On that note: At around 4:00 p.m., the real constant in my day-to-day eating is cheese and fruit. I don’t even think I can remember the last time I went a day without cheese.
What’s the one food you always have in your fridge? Sparkling water, several types of cheese and chocolate, and wine.
The snack you always have with you when traveling? Wonderful no-shell pistachios, a piece of string cheese (or snack cheese, like Arla, BelGioso, Polly-O—something that’s pre-wrapped so it’ll hold for longer) and some type of chocolate (I’m THAT person loading up at Cibo Express/Hudson News on those wrapped chocolate squares… so sorry if I left none for you!) I love all three of these because they’re relatively mess-less in my carry-on.
Your favorite food indulgence? Fries. (Hand over the fries, and no one gets hurt.)
How often do you exercise, and what’s your workout of choice? Walking or running with an audiobook or podcast in my ears is my favorite way to multitask. Recently, it’s been a long treadmill run or walk (because it’s winter and I’m a big baby about being cold) and something totally scary. I just started Monster the podcast about the Zodiac Killer, and it’s extremely dark/its own breed of meditation––you’re thinking about nothing else for those 40ish minutes of listening.
What’s your go-to tool for managing stress? Reading!
How do you pamper yourself when you need it? Alone time is the definition of pampering, in my opinion. We are constantly connected—from social media to what I call “boundary bullies”, a term I use frequently in my new book. Boundary bullies are the people, events, circumstances, and obligations that take your time and energy away from you against your will without you making the choice to allow these time and energy vampires into your midst. I cover combatting those in detail in my book. But, for me, having a few hours of time to myself, both to get sh*t done or to unwind and zone out, is the pinnacle of #selfcare.
How do you express and spread love? Spending time with family and friends.
What’s your weirdest healthy habit? Organizing—both items in the kitchen and otherwise. Maybe it’s not all that health-promoting—I am a lunatic about organizing and reorganizing, and I’m often doing it when I should be sleeping—but being organized makes me feel better about doing just about anything else (or whatever is next on my list… including sleeping).
RELATED: How to Finally Organize Your Freezer
Meditation or massage? Massage.
A hot shower or a soothing bath? Shower.
Almond butter or peanut butter? Peanut butter.
Coffee or tea? Matcha.
A long run outside or a dark spin class? In the summer, a long run outside. Winter = turn down the lights and turn up the temperature, please!