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The 80/20 Lifestyle is Easier Than You Think

In her new cookbook, True Roots, reality TV star, entrepreneur, and lifestyle guru, Kristin Cavallari shows us that improving the way we eat doesn’t have to be difficult—just follow the 80/20 rule.

From reality television star to shoe designer to entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author, Kristin Cavallari has seemingly done it all. Following Balancing in Heels, her book chronicling her lifelong journey to health and happiness, the lifestyle guru now has a cookbook, True Roots, reflecting her new-and-improved relationship with food.

Kristin has long advocated that the key to living a healthy, balanced life is following the 80/20 rule, which is at the foundation of her enticing recipes. This way of thinking is at the foundation of her recipes. Previously sucked into diet fads, quick fixes, binges and deprivation throughout her teens and early 20s, she found a way to forge a healthy relationship with food and mindfulness. That is, clean eating 80% of the time, and with the remaining 20%, eating however she pleases.

She describes it as: instead of saying “no” to certain foods, you should just say “not as much.” Eating real food that hasn’t been stripped of its nutrients and buying organic whenever possible has allowed her to intertwine new cooking techniques with bold spices and fresh, pure flavors. First and foremost, she points out that she wouldn’t be able to upkeep this improved lifestyle if it wasn’t fun and enjoyable for her. Kristin’s shift in approaching food with cooking and eating better rather than crash dieting has positively changed the way she thinks about food and her well-being.

Now a mother of two, she realizes how important it is to build and maintain a routine that revolves around wholesome meals. Eat well and fill your body with nutrients, and it will repay you with glowing skin, heightened energy, and a better attitude. During her quest of all-around betterment, Kristin has learned what ingredients her body responds and reacts to, so all recipes are made without gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, ensuring that her body is always working at its optimum.

Riffing on old favorites, Kristin has adapted classic dishes to fit her cleaner lifestyle. True Roots encourages you to eat thoughtfully at every meal because you’ll feel good about what you eat from the inside out. Inspired by old cravings of Hawaiian pizza dipped in ranch from her Laguna Beach years, she modified it and created a salad to incorporate more leafy greens, and introduced a tangier, dairy-free (but no less creamy) pineapple ranch dressing. Her repertoire of game-day eats, to cheer on NFL quarterback husband Jay Cutler, have undergone a transformation as well. She swaps oily fried foods and fattening dips with compromises like Chickpea Fries made with coconut oil, Zucchini Chips with dill sour cream and onion dip, and Spinach and Artichoke Dip made with easy-to-digest coconut milk and sheep’s milk yogurt.

From morning to night, Kristin’s recipes keep you fueled with her revamped bites. Straying away from nutrient-depleted cereals and sugary pastries, her Butternut Squash Pancakes are a refreshing take on a typical diner breakfast. They’re made with oat flour, with just a pinch of cinnamon and vanilla bean powder to enhance the natural sweetness of the squash, packing in the fiber, potassium, and protein you need to power through the day.

For Kristin, the most important takeaway is to build a healthy relationship with food. Listen to your body—don’t deprive your body. Enjoy every moment: find a recipe you can’t wait to master, cook from the heart, and savor every bite.

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Butternut Squash Pancakes recipe


Butternut Squash Pancakes

Serves 4 ♦ Cook Time 15 minutes

These are hands down the favorite pancakes at my house. Gluten-free, protein-rich, and fiber-filled, they are as good for you as they taste. And they’re quick and easy to make in a pinch (I always make sure to have canned butternut squash puree on hand). You’ll be hooked. Replace the butternut squash with pumpkin puree in the fall or sweet potato puree for a little variety.


4 ounces cooked butternut squash puree (just over ½ cup)
4 eggs
½ cup oat flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Coconut oil, for the pan


In a large bowl, whisk together the squash, eggs, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla powder, and salt until fully combined.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Pour in about 1⁄4 cup of the batter for each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, or until bubbling, then flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with butter and pure maple syrup, or your favorite toppings.



Recipe from True Roots by Kristin Cavallari © Kristin Cavallari, 2018. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Rodale Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.


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