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Noshing with “Hungry Girl” Lisa Lillien

Noshing with "Hungry Girl" Lisa Lillien

Lisa Lillien (aka Hungry Woman) admits she in all probability doesn’t get sufficient sleep nowadays; in actuality, it’s in all probability been true for a couple of years. Lack of sleep makes full sense once you take into consideration all she has completed since launching the Hungry Woman model in 2004.

Along with creating content material for day by day emails, the Hungry Woman media empire features a vital presence on social media, best-selling cookbooks, movies, tv appearances, a magazine, podcast and weekly contributions to, and

And to assume all of it started with an e mail from a woman who loves meals.


Professionally, Lisa has all the time been in leisure. “I used to be editor-in-chief of some teen magazines proper out of school beginning once I was 20 or 21 years previous,” she recollects. “I used to be all the time taken with artistic writing and content material improvement.” She labored for Nickelodeon for 5 years after which at Warner Bros., the place she helped launch their manufacturers and convey new manufacturers on-line.

Whereas she was at Warner Bros. within the early days of the World Extensive Net, Lisa witnessed errors being made by massive manufacturers of their strategy to net content material. It was within the early 2000s, earlier than social media, blogs and running a blog.

“I used to be considering lots of people are doing it incorrect,” says Lisa. “They have been creating large portals of data for very small audiences, and I assumed, ‘What if I simply created a small quantity of content material for an enormous viewers?’ That is perhaps a greater strategy.”

That’s the place the thought for Hungry Woman was born says Lisa: “I assumed, ‘Wouldn’t it’s fascinating from a daily individual’s perspective, to put in writing about meals in a means that’s enjoyable and humorous and useful,’ and attempt to assist lots of people.”

Having all the time been a “foodie” (truly she admits to being meals obsessed) however with no vitamin or meals science diploma or background, Lisa got down to create content material to e-mail to about 100 individuals containing ideas, meals finds, recipes and real-world consuming methods.

Even earlier than the times of e-mail advertising, she realized that getting bombarded every day by emails might be annoying, so she solely approached individuals she knew. She labored with an artist to create a emblem and constructed the back-end program to have the ability to ship out a every day e-mail.

“I simply thought, OK, now I’m going to ship emails each Monday by way of Friday and see the place it goes, and hopefully, I can construct a model out of it,” says Lisa.

That first e mail was despatched in April of 2004, and immediately there are greater than 1 million subscribers who obtain Hungry Woman day by day to their inbox. Add to that the just about 1.5 million Fb followers, 149,000 followers on Instagram and 175,000 on Twitter – and Lisa has achieved her objective of constructing Hungry Woman right into a model.


The success of the every day emails offered Lisa quite a few alternatives to work with in style manufacturers and to create partnerships. In 2008, she revealed her first cookbook, Recipes and Survival Methods for Guilt-Free Consuming within the Actual World. The guide debuted at #2 on the New York Occasions bestseller record. The subsequent two Hungry Woman books, 200 Underneath 200 and Hungry Woman 1-2-Three debuted at #1 on the New York Occasions bestseller record. She has written 12 cookbooks, with quantity 13 due out in early 2019.

The inspiration for brand spanking new recipes comes from quite a lot of locations – from meals Lisa sees at eating places whereas touring to requests type HG followers. “I even have an ideal employees,” she says. “There’s a handful of us who’re fairly artistic and assist with recipe improvement.” All the recipes are created and examined at “Hungryland,” HG’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

One of the fashionable recipes they’ve created is 2-Ingredient Chocolate Cake. You combine one field of chocolate cake combine with a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree and bake. “Attempt it, it’s so good,” says Lisa. “You get your fiber, it tastes very chocolaty – you don’t style the pumpkin – and also you save a whole lot of energy from not utilizing oil or butter. It’s actually an ideal trick.”

Lisa says her favourite recipes are people who conceptually didn’t exist earlier than Hungry Woman. One such recipe is her egg mug.

“I began making eggs in a mug in all probability 11 years in the past, and it turned a factor,” she recollects. “Now everybody makes their breakfast in a mug; they don’t use a skillet. Each time I meet individuals they may say to me, ‘Your egg mugs modified my life. I by no means thought that I had time for breakfast and now I do.’ I’m pleased with these.”

Her latest endeavor is the “Hungry Woman: Chew the Proper Factor!” podcast. “I’m tremendous excited concerning the podcast as a result of I do know podcasts are rising and rising in reputation,” says Lisa. She shares the microphone with long-time worker Jamie Goldberg and Jamie’s husband, Mike Sherry.

Lisa admits that the podcast could be very totally different from the cooking exhibits she used to have on the Cooking Channel and Meals Community. “Cooking on TV is nerve-wracking, I’m not going to lie. Once I was doing my present, it was solely me speaking into the digital camera. You need to minimize issues and lookup – simply act such as you’re speaking to your good friend and telling a narrative. It’s enjoyable however difficult.

“A podcast is a bit more relaxed. It’s 30 minutes the place you possibly can chat and joke round, inform tales, and provides lots of actually nice useful info too.”

She not has a cooking present, however she nonetheless makes appearances on exhibits resembling “Additional,” “The Rachael Ray Present” and “Good Morning America.”

“I’m not an individual who ever dreamed of being on TV,” says Lisa. “Although I’ve accomplished so many appearances, tv all the time makes me a tiny bit nervous. There’s that component of: is one thing caught in my tooth, do I look OK, does this outfit look OK, is my hair all proper? I’m much less nervous on the podcast the place you simply hear my voice.”


Lisa admits that she was “somewhat chunky rising up.” Her mom, Florence, was a “yo-yo” dieter who was all the time on a weight loss plan, eager to lose 10 or 15 kilos. In her grownup life, Lisa in all probability topped out at 20 kilos heavier than she is at this time, however she all the time had an “old style” strategy to weight-reduction plan.

She remembers considering, “For those who’re on a weight-reduction plan, you’re consuming nothing that’s dangerous for you. Should you’re off a eating regimen, you possibly can eat every thing on a regular basis.” It was very black and white. “It was once I realized that that’s no approach to stay your life and never the best way to succeed at attaining a wholesome weight – that’s when every thing modified for me.”

Like many different youngsters who develop up in a standard Jewish house, meals was a central a part of her childhood. She claims that she will eat a field of matzah in a single sitting and that it’s considered one of her “set off” meals, so she doesn’t eat it fairly often.

She has revamped a few of the conventional Jewish recipes, like her butternut squash latkes and kugel utilizing noodle replacements. Her largest problem got here when her mother shared her stuffed cabbage recipe, certainly one of Lisa’s favorites.

“I had an episode of my TV present referred to as ‘Mother’s Favorites,’ and I used to be recreating all of the dishes that mothers would make. I had my mother give me her recipe for the stuffed cabbage – I virtually fell off the chair when she informed me what was in it!” says Lisa.

She by no means knew that the “neatest thing on earth” had about six cans of cranberry sauce in it! She swapped these out for a mixture of low-fat marinara sauce, low-sugar grape jelly and lots much less cranberry sauce in Floosh’s Stuffed Cabbage recipe. “I swapped that one fairly exhausting. I feel I did an ideal job on that one,” says Lisa.

For these recipes and extra, go to hungry-girl-recipes


Lisa has created her HG empire on the idea of meals “swaps.”

“There’s nothing extra enjoyable than getting within the kitchen and making an attempt to recreate one thing or replicate flavors and swap out components that aren’t so good for more healthy ones, and make one thing style scrumptious.”

Lisa says today the preferred swapping elements are cauliflower, zucchini and spaghetti squash instead of starchy carbohydrates.

She claims she is a “mad scientist” within the kitchen, however was by no means actually into cooking. “My mother-in-law used to joke round and say, ‘I really like Lisa, she’s nice, however she will’t prepare dinner.’ ”

Lisa has been married to tv producer Dan Schneider since 2002. They stay in LA with their canine, Lolly (who has greater than 185,000 followers on her personal Fb web page), a cat and a bunny.

Her objective is to seek out methods to create the meals and flavors that she needs to eat, solely with approach fewer energy. Dietary info could be discovered on authorities databases or on the packaging. “It’s nearly doing the maths and figuring out precisely how a lot you’re utilizing, and placing all of it collectively,” says Lisa.

She additionally consists of the Weight Watcher’s level values so individuals utilizing that program can incorporate her recipes.

Lisa acknowledges that through the years there have been a couple of little failures. “I don’t wish to fail, so if one thing must be a stew however it’s too skinny, I’ll simply name it a soup,” she jokes. “If it tastes good, you simply discover a method to make it work.”

She would put plenty of HG recipes up towards the actual issues. She thinks lots of them style higher and have half the energy. There are a couple of exceptions although.

“There are specific meals that regardless of how exhausting you attempt, they only don’t style fairly nearly as good whenever you decrease the energy,” says Lisa. “For instance, crème brûlée. I’ve obtained a few crème brûlée recipes, however they’re simply inferior to the actual factor.”


Some humorous issues occur when individuals discover out Lisa is Hungry Woman. They’ll ask her the best way to lose 10 kilos in two weeks, or they may ask her if she ever eats something that’s not wholesome. The oddest one is when she goes out to dinner with individuals she doesn’t know very nicely, and they’ll wait to order till they see what she orders, after which order the identical factor.

“I do splurge,” she admits. “I reside by the 80/20 rule. In the event you really feel the necessity to reduce issues out 100% of the time, you haven’t actually mastered it. When you say, ‘I’m by no means ever going to have a chew of cake once more,’ have you ever actually mastered the entire consuming nicely factor?”

She advises considering of consuming as having a calorie “finances” identical to you could have a monetary price range. You’ll be able to’t purchase the whole lot you need, and you may’t eat the whole lot you need.

“You need to reside your life, and if it’s somebody’s birthday, I’ll have a bit cake, or if I’m going someplace the place I do know I really like the pretzel bread, I’ll have some pretzel bread,” says Lisa. “I’m not good on a regular basis, and I don’t fake to be.”

Lisa’s says one of the best a part of being Hungry Woman is assembly her followers and listening to success tales throughout her guide excursions.

“I actually love what I do, and one of the best half helps individuals and assembly individuals face-to-face. Everybody has a narrative. I really like understanding that what I do makes a distinction and that it helps individuals.”

She pauses a second after which continues, “Hungryland is a superb place. It’s actually enjoyable, vibrant and colourful, and we’re all the time simply working to place out one of the best content material and one of the best recipes – nevertheless it’s like we’re in a bubble. However once we get on the market, and we meet individuals who HG has actually affected, that makes all of it worthwhile. All of the onerous work pays off.”

It appears like Lisa isn’t going to make amends for her sleep any time quickly.

Hungryland, the Los Angeles workplaces for Lisa Lillien’s Hungry Woman empire.

Hungry Woman’s 7 Methods to Keep away from Vacation Overeating

Don’t present up hungry.
It’d look like a good suggestion – the much less you eat earlier than the large meal, the extra energy you’ll have left for the feast – however whenever you present up tremendous hungry, you set your self up for a food regimen catastrophe. Likelihood is, you’ll eat the whole lot in sight! So have a light-weight however satisfying breakfast and lunch, like an egg-white omelet and a grilled hen salad. Meals with fiber and protein will hold your starvation in examine. An hour or so earlier than dinner, have a sensible snack like an apple or a stick of string cheese. And don’t overlook to remain hydrated!

Survey all of your choices earlier than filling your plate.
Buffet-style dinners are virtually an invite to overeat! Take management by first scanning the unfold, after which planning your meal. It’s OK to indulge a bit, however first see what’s value splurging on. Then fill your plate with tons of veggies. Subsequent, add lean proteins, like white-meat turkey. Depart solely a small quantity of room for splurges, like carby sides and candy treats.

Hold cocktails to a minimal.
This time of yr is all about celebration, and alcohol is usually concerned. It’s A-OK to partake within the champagne toast or have a drink with dinner, however concentrate on how alcohol impacts you. Booze inhibits your decision-making expertise. So when you usually can say no to these cookies, after a number of martinis, chances are you’ll end up chewing via half a dozen. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Wait at the very least 20 minutes earlier than getting seconds.
It takes a while in your abdomen to let your mind know that it’s full. In case you refill your plate the minute it’s empty, you is probably not conscious that you simply’ve had sufficient. However an hour later, you may remorse that call! Make it some extent to interact in a dialog for 20 minutes or so after your first serving to. This manner, you can also make an knowledgeable determination about your starvation degree. Ask your chattiest relative to catch you up on their life … Chances are you’ll overlook all about that meals!

Supply to assist the host.
Take the main target off consuming. Assist with setup and cleanup, and the host gained’t be the one one to thanks … Your scale will thanks too! Plus, after a heavy meal, it’s good to maneuver round a bit. So don’t simply plop down on the sofa; clear some dishes! And when you’re responsible of grazing (and who’s not?), chew some sugar-free gum or pop a mint in your mouth to place a cease to senseless munching.

Contribute to the unfold.
Hmmm … I’m wondering the place you possibly can discover some guilt-free and scrumptious recipes … (wink, wink). Deliver one thing wholesome to the vacation meal, and also you’re assured to have at the very least one good-for-you choice obtainable.

Socialize and luxuriate in your self!
Once more, don’t let the meals come first. Make your loved ones and pals your precedence. And when you have somewhat an excessive amount of to eat, attempt to not beat your self up. Simply get proper again on monitor the subsequent day. Don’t let a day of overeating flip into a whole season of overdoing it. So many individuals make this error … Don’t be certainly one of ’em.




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