- Sarah Jessica Parker eats food I was scared to eat for 10 years
- following Sarah Jessica Parker’s way of eating unlocks your H 🙂 PPY weight
- 6 things I do differently than Sarah Jessica Parker
When I was in Grade 5 I got to my friend Ali’s birthday late.
Ali had a pool, a wild imagination she could execute on, and her loot bags were better than anyone’s gifts.
And I think she was the first person in our class to invite both girls and boys…
By Gr. 6 we were all at her house regularly. She wrote a script, akin to a daytime soap like Young and The Restless, and assigned everyone roles.
Anyways, I was super-shy so when I got to her party, I opted to join the kids watching a movie in her living room.
After tip-toeing in and finding a spot on the floor, it quickly became clear this film had ALL the cornerstones of the perfect movie for eleven-year-old me.
(And… adult me!)
Dance competition? check ✔️
Love story? check ✔️
’80’s Fashion? check ✔️
Doing something that’s against all odds because you believe in it with “your heart and nerve and sinew…”? check ✔️
At the end of the film I discovered it was called: Girls Just Want to Have Fun starring Sarah Jessica Parker (plus Helen Hunt & a very young Shannon Doherty).
After her party, Ali gave me the GJWTHF (Girls Just Want to Have Fun) video so I could watch the first half (!)
I promised to return it before noon the next day.
We lived in a one-video store town.
Sarah Jessica Parker in my ears the summer I gained weight
When GJWTHF was over, I wasn’t ready to return it.
So I set up my ghetto blaster in front of the tv and recorded the whole movie on tape.
Having the audio version was the next best thing to the real thing, baby. And I put this tape in regular rotation.
Even a few years later I packed it for a family car trip across Canada—the summer I first gained weight.
In the back seat of our Station wagon my little brother and I would alternate between making a scrapbook of the trip, pretending to be travel agents (with all the pamphlets we got from the information bureau’s dotting the highway) and listening to GJWTHF.
We’d each take one headphone from my SONY Walkman and recite the lines in unison (with the matching facial expressions).
One of my favorite Sarah Jessica Parker lines was in the opener:
I like listening to music. I like doing gymnastics. And I love to dance. I mean bases are pretty dead, unless you’re in the army. So I always had a lot of time to day dream… And my day dream was always the same:
That some day I was gonna get to Chicago.
Because that’s where they make Dance TV.
– Sarah Jessica Parker in GJWTHF
Sarah Jessica Parker goes maintstream
When Sex and The City first aired years later and got so much buzz, I felt like everyone got to the Sarah Jessica Parker Party late.
(Her Wiki page doesn’t even mention the GJWTHF movie until the end where her complete filmography is detailed.)
People were finally waking up to the magic of SJP.
And just like that… (!) My childhood Hollywood idol was a household name.
What does Sarah Jessica Parker eat?
Through the years I struggled with my weight, of course I wondered what she ate.
I mean, she was healthy and athletic and had tons of energy.
“Sticking to salads” and other forms of restriction were never part of Sarah Jessica Parker’s plot lines in the movies and tv shows I’d seen her star in.
Did she also not diet in real life?
What Sarah Jessica Parker actually eats
After my last blog post about how you DON’T have to restrict to unlock your H 🙂 PPY weight, I got a thoughtful email from a reader named Amanda.
Without realizing, she helped answer the question I had when my eating was disordered:
“What does Sarah Jessica Parker eat?”
Amanda pointed me toward an article she’d read in New York Magazine’s Food and Restaurant Blog called Grub Street:
(My laptop’s not quite so sleek. It has post-it notes with scribbled messages and memos framing the screen.)
Amanda’s email about what Sarah Jessica Parker eats:
I saw this interview and I had so many opinions on it I just had to share with someone.
A) Before your book, I probably wouldn’t have ever believed in a million years that anything Sarah Jessica Parker said in this article was true – there’s no way she could actually eat what she lists here!
B) But when you read her weekly account of all her meals, whether made at home or on the go, they boil down to your 3 Step fundamentals. (She doesn’t get into her exercise regime, though I assume as a person in her profession she has one.) What Sarah Jessica Parker eats is 3 meals a day, all roughly balanced, and not too much evidence of snacking. (What she wrote was obviously edited or geared toward meals but you could read this as an example of a close to “perfect” log.)
C) So many people will read this article about what Sarah Jessica Parker eats and still punish & deprive themselves, thinking if they could just lose a boatload of weight by dieting and restricting, then they too could one day eat the way Sarah Jessica Parker does!
If you read this article through the lens of your book, it’s almost identical. And radical… compared to all the diet advice out there. Not to mention that eating the way you and SJP eat is also enjoyable!
I love all of Amanda’s observations.
For point C (above) you can feel Amanda’s frustration!
It’s the same feeling I had when I got healthy. And why I started this blog.
When people want to get healthy, why is dieting mainstream?
Getting into a healthy routine should be mainstream!
As I shared in my last post, you can unlock your H 🙂 PPY weight by:
eating ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods
& ROUGHLY balanced snacks made MOSTLY of whole foods between meals
(when you’re hungry)
exercise 3 times a week for 25 minutes
& move your body each day
How to get into a healthy routine
A. Reflect on what you’re eating and how you exercise.
B. Slowly start to:
Cut back on anything excess, like processed foods, disproportionate amounts of any food groups and extra exercise
Include whatever food or exercise is missing
C. TRUST THE PROCESS & BE PATIENT!
When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.
― Jacob Riis, social reformer
D. Get busy with all the stuff you LOVE ❤️ to do.
You’ll unlock your HAPPY weight.
Here’s the Grub Street Article about Sarah Jessica Parker.
And here’s the highlights:
what Sarah Jessica Parker eats
Plus 6 things I do slightly differently.
(See if you can spot them as you go…)
Sarah Jessica Parker’s diet includes:
- hard boiled eggs from a farm
- restaurant-bought spicy-tuna sandwiches
- homemade, from-scratch chicken soup
- homemade matzo-ball soup
- bacon grease saved for future cooking
Example of what Sarah Jessica Parker eats for breakfast:
a soft-boiled egg with a little salt and pepper
& some 2% cottage cheese
I have weird eating habits. I don’t usually eat breakfast unless I’m shooting, and when I’m shooting, I have a full, massive, crazy breakfast. When I’m home and going to work on my own, I’ll get up really early and just have coffee.
– Sarah Jessica Parker, Grub Street
Example of what Sarah Jessica Parker eats for lunch:
bagels from her favorite local neighborhood spot
toasted with Kerrygold butter “wall to wall”
Grey Poupon mustard and four slices of salami
+ a banana and a cup of coffee
Examples of what Sarah Jessica Parker eats for dinner:
Classic meat, veg & potato
grilled lamb chops seasoned with butter, salt, and pepper
+ cabbage, petite peas, and mashed sweet potatoes with butter
oven-baked beans with rosemary and chile
(dried cannellini beans, carrots, celery, rosemary, garlic, onions, tomato paste, and dried red-pepper flakes)
My husband soaks beans three nights a week. For real. He orders beans online. He gets massive bags of dried beans sent to our house and makes very complicated, beautiful bean recipes. There are always beans in the house— Sarah Jessica Parker, Grub StreetSpaghetti
bolognese sauce with spaghetti, served with romaine salad and sliced baby cucumber
+ a homemade dressing with red-wine vinegar, olive oil, shallots, and a bit of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Another meat, veg & potato option
sweet and spicy Italian sausages sautéed in olive oil with red peppers, fennel, and yellow onions
served with lemon baby potatoes, thyme and olive oil
Sarah Jessica Parker discovered instant coffee in Greece
Ok, so this isn’t a nutrient thing, but it’s funny she LOVES instant coffee too!
So I drink one of two coffees: I drink Nespresso pods or — are you ready for this? — Nescafé instant coffee. It’s like being in Greece— Sarah Jessica Parker, Grub StreetAlex and I went to Greece for 3 weeks just before we moved back to Canada. It was a “20 dollars a day” trip, when we were both between jobs, and just before the drachma switched to Euros. We rented a Jeep, used a Swiss Army Knife to make tomato and brie sandwiches for lunch on-the-go and stopped for SJP-approved sugar-free iced coffees and fresh fruit as we drove through the beautiful villages.
Here’s a packet of Greek instant coffee I found in the back of our coffee mug cupboard:
Alex’s mom gave us a bunch after their last trip to Kefalonia.
Summary of what Sarah Jessica Parker eats
Amanda’s point is that Sarah Jessica Parker has a healthy routine.
And she doesn’t appear to be following any specific eating plan or have any strict rules.
Her eating isn’t regimented.
She simply eats balanced meals made of natural food (vs. grazing all day) and isn’t afraid of natural fat.
Sarah Jessica Parker looks forward to fresh food and doesn’t crave sugary stuff. There was no mention of her love for cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery (!) or anywhere else.
And I 100% agree with Amanda and SJP.
What I do differently from how Sarah Jessica Parker eats
These are mostly small differences:
1. I don’t skip breakfast
I always eat 3 meals a day. Very occasionally we do brunch. Otherwise I love Steel Cut Oats or an egg breakfast, etc.
2. My meals are always ROUGHLY balanced
You know SJP’s egg-mango-avocado-cottage cheese breakfast? I’d add a piece of toast or two.
I love cottage cheese with sliced tomatoes, or really good cherry tomatoes, and I love Breakstone’s 2-percent-fat cottage cheese. Love. I don’t like nonfat, because I think, What’s the point? It breaks my heart— Sarah Jessica Parker, Grub Street
3. Sarah Jessica Parker mentions 2% cottage cheese
While that % of fat is much closer to it’s natural state than fat-free, we eat 14% when we can find it.
4. My protein choice is often not meat
We’ve been eating less meat over the last few years purely from an ethical and environmental standpoint (not calories). And it’s always from an organic certified butcher. It costs more and we eat it way less. Beans are such a great protein alternative. Here’s an easy recipe I LOVE (that includes of all things, chocolate. Yes, you can eat chocolate!)
5. I snack when I’m hungry
As Amanda pointed out, Sarah Jessica Parker’s food log is likely edited to focus on meals. I do try to consume the majority of what I eat during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then I can put my meal on a plate and know everything looks pretty balanced and MOVE ON with the day. But I usually have some almonds, a banana and a latte or milky coffee as a snack, at some point during the day.
6. I don’t use Nespresso pods
Again, because of the waste they create. Even if they can be recycled, the fewer single-use items we purchase, the better it is for our oceans, air and all the animals in them (including us). Instant coffee comes in a big, recycle-able jar and makes like 100 cups. (I would know!)
Amanda’s right about what Sarah Jessica Parker eats
Pre-learning the 3 steps in my book (that took me 10 years to patch together from all different sources) I also would have thought that SJP was pretending to eat those foods regularly.
(You know how celebrities pose with stuff they don’t actually eat?)
Or that she was “one of the lucky ones” with a fast metabolism.
Celebrities often share that they go on strict diets leading up to the Oscars. Then giggle to the press about how they’re going to In-N-Out Burger straight after the ceremony.
But going to extremes makes it HARDER to reach and maintain a healthy weight!
And anyways, you SHOULD eat a proper meal, like a burger, without feeling guilty.
The weight-loss industry and society in general keep diet culture alive.
They make it so tough to believe that eating what Sarah Jessica Parker eats is possible.
…But it is!
For me, a key part of recovering from a crippling eating disorder and unlocking my H 🙂 PPY weight has been meeting my body’s needs regularly via balanced meals and snacks when I’m hungry. Don’t go hungry!
As Amanda said in her email… you don’t have to restrict, punish or deprive yourself to lose weight.
Sarah Jessica Parker has a pretty FABULOUS healthy routine
And you can too!
Steer clear of processed foods.
And go back-to-the basics.
Eat ROUGHLY balanced meals and snacks made MOSTLY of whole foods.
Ready to try eating like Sarah Jessica Parker eats?
Alex also read the Grub Street article spotlighting what Sarah Jessica Parker eats.
He loved all the beans and salvaging.
Lemon potatoes are what I do— Sarah Jessica ParkerWe also keep our Parmesan rinds. We eat so much Caesar Salad (the recipe is in my book.) So there’s always a few rinds around to boil with our chicken stock. It feels good not letting anything go to waste.
Tonight we did a full-on Greek meal with, you guessed it!
Sarah Jessica Parker’s playground
Last January we did the total touristy thing of visiting Carrie Bradshaw’s house when we were in NYC.
If you take a photo the home owners ask you to make a small donation to the local animal shelter via a tiny black lock box (you can see near my knee.)
We mostly visited the West Village to hang out in this iconic neighborhood. I love the steep steps on the Brownstones.
There must have been a coordinated pick up, but even their discarded Christmas Trees looked pretty!
Also we wanted to swing into the secondhand shops. Other people’s things are so much more interesting! I love finding a bracelet someone bought in the ’80s. Wore to a bunch of parties (where they arrived on time!) and then donated.
Like this one I got the first time I went to NYC:
The back of this bracelet has that whole “steam rising up from the subway through grates” look that you see at street level in every film based in NYC that takes place in the winter. You know, like, The Way We Were.
“Your girl is lovely Hubbell.”
Make Today Count
What’s your next meal today?
Keep Sarah Jessica Parker’s FABULOUS whole food’s approach in mind…
Is there a food group you’re missing or maybe eating too much of?
Make one small change to make your meal more balanced.
Tiny changes are lasting change!
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
Whatever balanced dinner made of whole foods you decide to make tonight, try doubling or tripling it. Cooking will basically take the same amount of time and then you’ll have an easy, healthy dinner ready for the next night. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact it shouldn’t be most of the time. You just want to add one-ingredient foods to one-ingredient foods. Yum!
…Even when I was really ill with disordered eating, I believed I could get better.
Some of that optimism came from renting movies and watching them in my basement when I was a kid.
No matter how different the plot was you start seeing patterns.
So often stories start with a crisis… a crossroads.
And when the main character keeps trying her best and connecting with people she trusts, she overcomes the challenge.
The best films never end the way you think they will.
They turn out better.
Sharing what goes on in our lives gives us so much hope—whether it’s via books, films, tv shows or over Zoom with friends.
What movie have you loved the longest?
Is there something Sarah Jessica Parker eats that surprised you?
What was your biggest take-away from this post?
I’d love to know in the comments below.
BIG thanks to Amanda for sharing Sarah Jessica Parker’s story. xo
Amanda’s full review of my book is here.
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
Fun and enjoyable article Kelly…… i am learning to eat like Sarah. Enjoying my meals, using real ingredients, and not judging myself too harshly! A definite game changer in respects to enjoying life more and balancing my weight. I eat more now then ever and feel 1000% better!! Thanks for your insight and sharing your story. Cheers. Oh and with left over parm rinds, we freeze and then add to a chicken soup!
You’ve perfectly summarized this post in just a few lines, M!
Real ingredients + eating more of them
& feeling 1000% better!
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Great meal ideas and encouragement!! Thanks, Kelly! I drink Taster’s Choice instant coffee when I don’t want to wait for brewing… love it! Thanks again for all your support!
Yes! Sarah Jessica Parker shares some great staples.
Eating meat, fish or tofu, veg & potatoes is a great blueprint for a healthy meal. There’s also so many chili recipes (meat or vegetarian) made with natural food that can be doubled for a few nights in a row. And spaghetti can be a quick meal with ready-made sauce if you don’t have time to make it from scratch, like SJP’s husband.
Being flexible is an important part of unlocking your H 🙂 PPY weight.
I started drinking instant coffee when I was supply teaching. I find it makes creamier coffee. Instant coffee gets a bad rap from the ’80s. It’s made to taste so much better now! Love that you drink it too Kathy!
I enjoy your website. I’ve tried some of the recipes and suggestions. It’s a sensible lifestyle! Thank you!
Unlocking your H 🙂 PPY weight is all about a healthy lifestyle. So I love that you’ve tried some recipes and suggestions Rebecca!
As I always say… your body wants to be a healthy weight so work with your body by giving it the energy and nutrients your body needs (to do all of it’s important jobs).
Thank you so much for being so kind to leave a comment!