food Bethenny Frankel

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Very often, I go shopping for food with friends and discover that they always buy exactly the same things. They eat the same meals every week; they are stuck in a food rut. Either they stick to what they like, or they think their families won’t want to try new things. I understand that people know what they know, and are sometimes intimidated by change. I see the same reaction when people order in restaurants. They know they like something, so they order it all the time. Maybe this sounds corny, but I truly believe that variety is the spice of life.

Nowhere else can you find nature’s amazing variety like in the world of real food. Take some time, walk down the produce aisle, and see what looks vibrant and interesting. You’ll start to notice how some of the choices change as the seasons change, while others are always there (shipped from other countries).  Notice which things look good, fresh, and ripe at which times, and try to pick what looks best today, rather than always getting what you always get, whether it looks good or not.

Some people are afraid to try a new vegetable or a new fruit because they don’t know how to cook it. But the truth is that no vegetable takes very long to prepare in a simple, delicious way. Do you always make the same salad? Do you buy the same greens, vegetables, and dressing because they are safe and you know you like them? Small changes make a world of difference. I used to cook for clients every day and surprise them with the smallest alterations, with big results.

Add new vegetables to your salads, like sweet grape tomatoes, grated red cabbage, crunchy diced celery, fresh chives, baby peas or corn kernels, and roasted vegetables like eggplant, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Break out of your vegetable rut by sauteing or roasting broccoli or spinach with garlic and olive oil, squeezing lemon, and sprinkling with Parmesan. Marinate portobello mushrooms in a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette (I’m obsessed with Skinnygirl’s version) and broil them in the oven or grill them on the barbeque.

This is an excerpt from Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, available on