11 Questions With Eddie Jackson

There’s a lot to know about Eddie Jackson. Not only did this Texas-born chef win season 11 of The Next Food Network Star, but he’s also a personal trainer, food truck owner…and he had an impressive career in the NFL. Eddie’s passions are fitness and good food, and he knows the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive — the healthy recipes in his playbook taste absolutely delicious. In fact in Eddie’s world, there is no need for a “cheat” day, because his good-for-you food is packed with flavor and doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. To learn more about our favorite fit “Jack of all trades,” we quizzed Eddie as part of our friends at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “11 Questions” series.

1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, and only one vegetable grew on that island, what vegetable would you want it to be?
One? That’s so hard! But I’d have to say collard greens. They’re sturdy, versatile and so good for you. I use them in soups and sautes, and as sandwich wraps.

2. What is your healthiest habit?
I do some form of exercise every morning as soon as I wake up, whether that’s push-ups or hitting the gym. It’s so important to get your body moving within an hour of getting out of bed.

3. What is your go-to nutritious breakfast?
Oatmeal topped with roasted sweet potatoes.

4. What are the three items that are always in your fridge/pantry?
Fruit, water and protein powder.

5. What is your favorite workout?
Interval training. You can work nearly every muscle in your body in less than an hour.

6. Who is your fitness hero?
My dad. He was my first trainer when I started playing sports, and he still works as a personal trainer today.

7. How do you take your water — sparkling, flat, over ice?
I’ve got a two-part answer: flat — no ice — during the day, and then sparkling water with dinner.

8. What is your guilty pleasure?
French fries! No contest.

9. What is your healthy-eating philosophy?
Know what, when and how to eat.

10. What is your go-to nutritious family dinner dish?
Grilled halibut or cod and mixed vegetables.

11. What is the best health advice you’ve ever received?
Always practice moderation. Growing up in the South, we always piled our plates high with food. But as I got older and family members developed health issues, I learned the importance of healthy portions.

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