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Chef Julieta is known for serving some of the richest cuisine you’ll find in New York City. In her Chelsea “cocina refinada” Crema, the gourmet Mexican restaurant serves dishes with a French flair – including such delectable delicacies as foie gras tacos, a casserole of cheese and Mexican sausage (Quesos Flameados), and glazed Peking duck breast service with a potato cheese enchilada.
Yet, when one meets Chef Julieta, one of the first comments many guests exclaim is how can a Mexican chef be so thin? Despite the temptations of her food, she maintains her petite figure – enticing some patrons to want a bite of more than just her food.
Here Chef Julieta reveals her dietary secrets for the first time ever.
Her first tip: begin the day with grapefruit or lime juice. These two citrus favorites help jump start your metabolism, and are believed to help prevent fat absorption when eating during the day.
While working, Chef Julieta picks and samples – but never gorges or even properly eats. To ensure the standard of quality her fans have come to expect, she tests her many sauces and dishes while managing her kitchen. This grazing staves off hunger and gives her energy, while preventing any weight gain.
One of the most surprising tips is her regular cleansing regimen. Whenever Chef Julieta is not working (usually one or two days per week), she refrains from eating anything until the sun goes down. And then, she will only have steamed chicken and broccoli – with no salt and no sauce. On her days off, she also tries to catch up on her sleep – another factor closely associated with preventing fat gain. She will regularly sleep ten to twelve hours on her non-working days.
Her work-out plan includes many lifestyle choices that allow her to squeeze exercise into her busy schedule. Chef Julieta is a fan of her Shape-Up tennis shoes – wearing them around the city and to work in her kitchen also. She hits the gym twice weekly to do her sit-ups and squats, but carrying plates and cases of items at work is all she does to keep her upper body in shape. Whenever she can fit it in, she’ll use the stairs instead of an elevator.
Finally, her favorite drink is a white liquor, such as vodka or silver tequila (100% Blue Agave, of course), with Equal, sparkling water, and a couple of squeezed lime wedges. The drink is sugar free – so the only calories come from the liquor – and has lime to again fight fat absorption. And stay away from beer. Chef Julieta developed a taste for it briefly, and ten pounds quickly stuck to her small frame. Six months of focus, working out, dieting, and almost no drinking later, she’s sworn off beer for good!
ABOUT: Chef Julieta Ballesteros, from Monterrey, Mexico, trained at New York’s French Culinary Institute. She fuses traditional Mexican cuisine with a beautiful French presentation. This Zagat listed celebrity chef has created a Michelin rated Chelsea hot spot that is refined and fun. Crema’s interior plays with traditional Mexican colors and textures in a modern New York way. The original paintings on display were custom created for the space by the celebrated artist and mother of the chef, del Bosque.