December 12, 2018 08:30 AM

Sure, Ryan Seacrest was immediately drawn to Shayna Taylor’s beauty and intelligence when they first met through friends in 2013. But the game-changer? Food.

“It was the first time we were together, and she said, ‘I make these amazing gluten-free pancakes,’ and I said, ‘What?! Well, tell me everything!’ ” Seacrest tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

“That is all it took for me to really fall,” he shares.

Indeed, the pair, who moved to New York City from L.A. together in 2017 when Seacrest was tapped to co-host Live With Kelly and Ryan, has serious “food chemistry,” says Taylor, a trained chef.

  • For more of the exclusive interview with Ryan Seacrest and Shayna Taylor, please pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Jeremy Liebman

But beyond clean eating and a passion for fitness, health and wellness, the couple’s overall compatibility is undeniable.

“We’re very in sync,” says the Live host, who calls their cross-country move an “adventure” they’ve both embraced.

“Moving to a new city together was fun because we were also having a new chapter together,” says Taylor, who grew up in Corona, California, listening to Seacrest, 43, on KIIS-FM radio and watching him host American Idol. “Living together is easy.”

After an initial breakup in late 2014, they rekindled their romance — “We had both matured,” says Taylor, 26 — and haven’t looked back.

While Seacrest is famously one of the busiest stars in show business, he and Taylor, who runs the fast-growing food and wellness blog Shayna’s Kitchen, are committed to making time for each other.

RELATED: Ryan Seacrest Gushes Over Girlfriend Shayna Taylor: ‘She’s Got It All’

“For the last six months, we both wake up an hour earlier than we used to so we have time together to work out, take a walk, take our time without having to rush. … It’s been wonderful,” says Seacrest, who counts tango lessons, boxing and yoga among their recent favored activities.

For now, with their lives — and hearts — so full, the couple isn’t focused on what the future will bring. “Family is so important to me, and to Shayna as well, but I’ve always tried to put life into a master schedule with deadlines, and I don’t want to do that [with Shayna],” he says.

Says Seacrest, “We both try to actually be in this moment, feel this connection, enjoy it and let it grow.”

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