Hunger is not a game: Skinny chicks eat real food

Put down that bow and arrow.

Foraging for natural food is a big element of survival in The Hunger Games, lucky for us, hunger games don’t exist! Oscar-nominated Jennifer Lawrence (“Katniss”) prepared for her role by eating foods for body sculpting and fuel.  

Jennifer’s conditioning coach Dr. Joe Horrigan put Lawrence on “a very intense program” that included a meal plan with… CARBS! Dr. Horrigan reported that Lawrence complained that she had been on high protein diets in the past and that they made her feel lethargic.  Who knew? A superstar CAN look good and eat carbs!

Celebrity Nutritionist, Christine Avanti, author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food, offers favorite tips– without having to fight to the death.

  • Eat a diet of real food. The secret is managing micronutrients.
  • Reorganize. Clean out your pantry of all packaged foods that have more than 5 ingredients that you cannot pronounce.
  • Shop Right. Shop for foods at your local farmer’s markets- such as freshly baked bread from a local baker, organically grown and seasonal fruits and vegetables, dairy products from your local dairy, eggs from a local ranch.·         
  • Switch it Up. Try an interval workout routine at least 3 times a week.

Want some meals fit for a Hunger Games Goddess? Feast on Christine’s Real Food Recipes such as:

·       Tuscan Kale Salad

 Tuscan Kale Toss Recipe

This is a basic Tuscan kale salad with the addition of cannellini beans to boost up the protein and the cherry tomatoes add a hint of sweetness to this salty, citrusy dish.  Bon Appetito!  Serves 6

  •  1 bunch of kale
  • ½ cup cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans)
  • ½ cup croutons (preferably homemade), crumbled
  • ½ cup small cherry tomatoes, halved


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon anchovy paste

Wash kale and tear leaves away from the stems.  Cut into kale into ¾ inch ribbons and set aside in a large salad bowl.  Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon, mash garlic with sea salt until it becomes a paste.  Add Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and anchovy paste.  Whisk to combine all ingredients well.  Add sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

 Add dressing to kale, toss well (because this dressing is quite thick) and let sit for 5 minutes so that the lemon juice can begin to soften to kale.  Next, add cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes and crumbled croutons and give the salad one more thorough toss.  Bon appetito!

  • Nutrition facts:
  • 165 calories
  • 5 grams protein
  • 12 grams carbohydrates
  • 12 grams fat (7 grams monounsaturated fatty acids, which help burn belly fat!!)

 ·       Lentil Soup

Italian Lentil Soup recipe SERVES 8 PC

Lentils are a great source of protein and taste amazing in this soup, which is similar to the one my grandmother Rosemary made often on our family ranch in Gilroy, California. She added mini pasta shells, the kind used in macaroni salad. This is major comfort food for me. . . . I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I have. Swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian option. I like to soak the lentils overnight, but if you don’t have time, soak them for 1 hour and use an additional 2 to 3 cups of water to simmer the soup.

  •  1 pound lentils
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons 0% or 2% Greek yogurt (optional)
  • Cover the lentils with water and soak overnight. Drain the lentils and set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium or large pot (at least 6 quarts) over medium heat. Add the dried oregano, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for
5 minutes. Add the stock, 8 cups of water (increase the water to 10 to
11 cups if the lentils were not soaked overnight), the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for several minutes. Add the lentils, return to a gentle boil and cook until the lentils are very tender, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish each serving with fresh oregano and a dab of Greek yogurt if desired.

  • Nutrition facts per 11⁄2-cup serving:
  • 330 calories,
  • 19 grams protein,
  • 42 grams carbohydrates,
  • 8 grams fat

·       Butternut Sage Soup

Butternut Sage Soup recipe Serves 8

Each fall when there is a crisp chill in the air, all I want is something that will warm me from the inside out.  For times like those, this soup hits the spot. I sometimes garnish the soup with a  bit of crumbled organic goat cheese; however this will increase the fat content of the soup, so don’t overdo it.

  • 1 slice uncured beef bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 2 ¼ pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 2 cups white sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  • 8 tablespoons 0% or 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 springs fresh sage, chopped

 Cook the bacon in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until extra crisp, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon bits to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving any rendered fat in the pan.

Add the oil, onion, and garlic to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the squash, stock, and chipotles and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 5 minutes. Using a hand blender or regular blender, puree the soup, leaving some chunks or to your desired consistency. Garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon Greek yogurt, a few bacon bits, and some sage.

  • Nutrition facts per 1 ½ cup serving:
  • 190 calories,
  • 6 grams protein,
  • 30 grams of carbohydrates,
  • 6 grams fat.

·         Razzy Peach Parfait

Razzy Peach Parfait recipe Serves 1

This parfait also works as a fantastic lunch, snack, or dinner for times you don’t feel like cooking.

  • 6 ounches of 0% or 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted toasted hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • 1 peach, diced
  • Fine sea salt.

Make layers in a tall parfait glass in this order: Greek yogurt, honey, pumpkin seeds, raspberries, peaches. Repeat the layering until you reach the top of the glass and all the ingredients have been used. Alternatively, combine ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well, and spoon into a serving dish.

  • Nutrition facts per serving: 341 calories
  • 24 grams protein,
  • 48 grams carbohydrates,
  • 9 grams fat.

You can find more delicious recipes on Christine’s website or in her book

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