Written by By Valentina Censio, CNN
Gabrielle and Dolvett Quince ‘s new book, “Homegrown,” investigates the larger issue of how healthy eating leads to a lifetime of wellness.
The longtime fitness instructors’ curated collection of recipes and exercises draws on their personal experiences in helping families shift the way they eat, but there’s something special about working with kids.
Mailing them out to homes where they live has inspired Dolvett to practice a new technique.
“When I ask a kid if their parents have sent them or tried it, they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah. They made us lemon lemonade, and they had our name on it,'” he said. “Those kids come in and they’re about 16, and they’re the ones that know how to start the technique we teach them.”
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Measuring out specific portions at the table — a basic technique that works the way 1,500 calories works the way a calorie does — has been a fun new concept for the chef.
“It just was so funny to watch these kids turn over and look at the kids around them, and their eyes say, ‘These kids are weird. I’m not trying any of that,'” he said.
One of the most popular sections of “Homegrown” is the chapter dedicated to melatonin, or dream food. The formula, made of plant sources including oat bran, and extracted from other plant foods, studies have shown to reduce cortisol levels and calm even the most jittery dreams.
Gabrielle Quince ‘s book, “Homegrown.” Credit: Cover art: Les Grandes Organzations de la Lettre
“What it does is really moderate adrenaline, and actually calms you down,” said Dolvett. “It’s the same as eating green vegetables to stave off jet lag.”
To make a small dose of melatonin easier to digest in the kitchen, Dolvett stresses blending it first.
“At first, it’s harder for adults to do that, so it’s easier to just grab a shaker bottle,” he said. “Once you get a nice round blob, that’s going to tell them not to drink or eat or eat too fast or eat too little. It’s really fun.”
Homegrown is Dolvett’s second cookbook. His first, “Quince Morning,” served as his training to join the original cast of “The Biggest Loser.”
“My hope with ‘Homegrown’ is that it gives the backyards to those kids who never had that resource before,” he said. “It’s just a way for us to kind of feel better and be good for the kids.”