SOME MIGHT CONSIDER THEA BAUMANN’S JOB THE DREAM GIG. AS GOOP‘S FOOD EDITOR, BAUMANN OVERSEES ALL RECIPES ON THE SITE WHETHER IT’S A COMFORTING DONABE BOWL OR A ROASTED BEET & GARLIC PRE-BIOTIC SOUP. “At work, we usually try to keep things pretty clean—we steer clear of white sugar, play around with all the alternative flours, and generally make recipes that are as healthy as possible without every compromising on flavor,” says Baumann of the Goop-y parameters of her gig. Alternatively, when she’s nourishing herself and her growing family, she sticks to basics. “At home I focus less on eliminating elements–thankfully no one in my family has any food sensitivities,” she continues. “I do make a conscious effort to get as many organic, unprocessed, sustainably- and locally-sourced, whole foods into our diet as possible. Lots of veggies, some meat, fish, legumes and whole grains.” We caught up with the Cali-resident who took us through a day in the life, her pantry musts and her philosophy when it comes to Swedish fish.
How would you describe your personal approach to your diet and philosophy when it comes to eating “healthy”?
Now that I’m a mom in addition to having a full-time job, I don’t have as much time to cook, so I try to keep my diet simple — grilled proteins, veggies, and lots of salads, with legumes, eggs and pasta mixed in. I’ve always gravitated toward “healthy” food (I grew up eating lots of vegetables and a big salad with dinner every night) and I find that if I’m cooking with whole ingredients–even if it’s something considered “unhealthy” like carbonara—I feel good. That being said, sometimes after a long day of recipe testing at work, cooking is the last thing I want to do, so I try not to beat myself up about ordering a pizza or hitting my favorite taco truck. It’s all about balance, right?
What are three pantry ingredients that can liven up any dish?
Anchovies lend great umami flavor to everything from pasta sauces to salad dressings; good chiles–I love Aleppo, Maras, and urfa biber; and Dijon mustard–I put it in salad dressings, use it for marinades, and slather it on grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.
What ingredient/spice/herb are you obsessed with right now?
We have some lemon basil in our little vertical herb garden at work that I’m really into right now. It tastes just like lemongrass and is delicious rolled into spring rolls, infused into cream for panna cotta, or steeped in hot water with lime, ginger and honey for a quick tisane.
What’s the biggest crowd-pleasing dish you make at home?
The Zuni Café chicken from It’s All Easy is a favorite. Oh, and chicken enchiladas. My husband and daughter both love those.
What are your favorite 3 health food products you rely on?
Kimchi: Full of probiotic goodness and just so delicious—I usually eat it straight out of the jar.
Goop Wellness’ Balls in the Air: These daily vitamin packs, specifically designed for busy women with a lot to manage (pretty much the entire goop staff), are a lifesaver. The antioxidant-rich regimen keeps me feeling energetic, focused and ready for anything.
Collagen powder: I was skeptical, but after talking to a nutritionist, I learned that while it’s (unfortunately) unlikely to reduce wrinkles, collagen powder is a great source of protein and helps support a healthy gut and joints. It’s also pretty neutral in flavor and can be stirred into just about anything—smoothies, soups, martinis, you name it…
What are your top 3 favorite clean beauty products?
I’m not a big makeup person, but I do try to take care of my skin. These are my 3 essentials:
Take us through a day in the life from wake to bedtime including any meals, drinks, snacks.
5:45—my alarm goes off. Hit snooze and try to squeeze in 10 more minutes of sleep.
5:55—up, in the shower and dressed by 6.15. Turn on the kettle for coffee and if Frances is awake, I help my husband make her breakfast.
6:45–out the door with a cup of black coffee and a jar of coconut chia overnight oats (I love these because I can make a big batch and my whole family will happily eat them for breakfast all week).
6:50—spend what feels like an eternity on the 10 freeway…
7:30—arrive at the office, catch up on emails, and make a list of things to accomplish that day (I love a list)
9:30—start prepping ingredients in the test kitchen (unless we’ve got a shoot, my associate food editor Caitlin and I are cooking in the test kitchen pretty much every day), snacking as I chop. We’re testing detox recipes today, so I make myself a little coconut yogurt, toasted almond, chopped date snack.
12:30—I usually eat whatever we’re testing for lunch, which means sometimes it’s a pretty odd mix. On the menu today is a crunchy chicken salad with chickpea miso dressing and a turkey meatball pho.
3:30—I leave the office and listen to the new cherry bombe podcast on my commute home.
5—arrive home to my daughter Frances. I make us a quick quesadilla with avocado to share, and we go for a walk on the river path.
6—I clean some lettuce for dinner and start cooking the kale and chickpea curry from goop’s 2016 detox (I often make a double batch and freeze half for busy nights).
6:30—I feed Frances dinner (tonight she’s having leftover herb-roasted pork tenderloin with polenta, peas, and broccoli + sugar cube melon for dessert), give her a bath, and put her down to bed at around 7:30.
7:35—pour myself a glass of wine and catch up on work emails/anything I didn’t check off today’s to-do list already.
8:30—my husband Oscar comes home, we eat chickpea and kale curry with brown rice and a salad, then half-watch something easy on tv/half work. Oscar’s been on an ice cream-making kick, so I’ll have a small bowl if we’ve got some in the freezer.
10—In bed with a book (although I never make it through more than a few pages…)
What is your favorite self-care ritual?
Does a glass of wine and an episode of Parenthood count?
How do you approach feeding your family? What’s your philosophy when it comes to treats and “junk”?
Growing up, our pantry was fully stocked with Costco’s finest (chips, cookies, Kudos, you name it) but my mom also made her own yogurt and cooked dinner from scratch every night. I tend to opt for healthier “junk” in my house, but I try to emulate that balanced approach. In my experience, if you make things off-limits to kids (and adults, too, by the way), they’ll just end up wanting them more. So I guess my philosophy is provide as many nutrient-dense, healthier snack options as possible, but I’m not about to rob Frances—or myself, for that matter—of the occasional joys of Swedish fish (once she’s a little older).