The Giada at Home star said her "body was paying the price" as she sampled brownies and heavy pastas during filming
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Giada de Laurentiis trying drink2017
Giada de Laurentiis

As Giada De Laurentiis filmed her show Giada at Home, she would spend the day chowing down on rich baked goods and cheese-laded pastas on camera and then subsist on pre-packaged snacks to give her an energy boost during the long days. But it left her feeling "bloated and tired."

The days filled with heavy foods — which she'd often end back at home with take-out — led De Laurentiis, 50, to reset her diet, which is the focus of her new book, Eat Better, Feel Better: My Recipes for Wellness Healing, Inside and Out, she told Today.

"I was snacking on all the wrong foods — lots of sugar, caffeine, pre-packaged snacks — basically anything that I thought would give me energy to get through the day," she said. "My body was paying the price."

The first step, De Laurentiis said, was to pay attention to how she was feeling.

"I started really listening to my body and eating the foods that loved me back," she said. "That helped my body heal itself and also indicated what foods worked for my body and what foods didn't."

For De Laurentiis, that meant meal prepping at the start of the week and batch cooking "things like quinoa, brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes or cauliflower, and chicken broth. This made it easy to throw lunches together," she said. "Once you have everything prepped, it's super-simple to make delicious, nutrient-dense meals in a matter of minutes."

"I used to shop for what I felt like eating in the moment, but I realized that I wasn't buying the most nutritious ingredients or meals because of it," she explained. "Planning meals helps you stay on track and not over-buy."

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De Laurentiis also discovered that just because a food is considered healthy, it won't necessarily work for her. Raw kale upset her stomach, but "on the other hand, I can eat a bunch of bitter broccoli rabe without batting an eyelash."

Since her reset, De Laurentiis said that she's feeling better.

"It's all about taking it slow and really listening to your body to discover what is best for you," she said.