Nikki Joel Talks Healthy Eating for the Whole Family

The Los Angeles lifestyle expert reveals the pitfalls of the frozen yogurt diet and more

Los Angeles lifestyle expert and mother of two Nikki Joel is talking to The Daily Meal about healthy living for moms, kids, and the whole family. Her blog, Lifestyle Lemonaid, covers everything from mommy advice and mommy must-dos to relationship advice, beauty tips, and fashion must-haves. Additionally, it features "Lifestyle Lemon Drops," distinctive guidance from Miss Lemonaid herself for mommys-on-the-go.

Joel, a health nut herself, incorporates a truly unique arrangement of foods and diets into her life as well as her kids' diets. After trying it all, she’s mastered what works and what doesn’t.

Which diets have proved a true fad to you?
The only fad diet I subscribed to, which failed miserably, was the frozen yogurt diet. I somehow thought that eating frozen yogurt for dessert with a topping would be harmless. I was wrong and have not had a single frozen yogurt since last August! Otherwise, I am not much of a fad dieter. Not to say that I don't pay attention to what I eat but I've found fad dieting just doesn't work.

My diet awareness stems from the need to drop a few pounds before a significant event like my 40th birthday, which was last week. When I am preparing for something, I delete bread and snacks from my diet. I generally eat healthy, but I find it's the wine that can pack it on for me. I have learned to limit my wine intake to only a few glasses a week; usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I tried the vodka route but did not enjoy the experience as much as wine.

Which diets have been successful?
To lose a few pounds quickly, I have found that the juice cleanses from Pressed Juicery work for me. I also turn to Marlyn Diaz of The Holistic Nutritionista for healthy, helpful weight loss tips.

What is the Rainbow Diet?
You can't go wrong with anything that has bright, vibrant colors — think fruits and vegetables, not boxes of processed junk food. The Rainbow Diet incorporates a variety of different fruits and vegetables to ensure a colorful and healthy meal. Since kale and quinoa are two of my favorite foods, every day is a rainbow for me.

What is a regular dinner like, incorporating your colorful eating ways?
A regular dinner for me would include wild grilled salmon — burnt to a crisp, kale salad, broccoli, and a whole grain. Frosting is my downfall, so a random scoop here and there or a butterscotch See's lollipop are my go-to sweet tooth satisfiers after dinner.

Do you incorporate a healthy diet into your sons' lives?
I absolutely do! It is not always as easy since they are kids and consumers (laughs). My theory is to maintain a healthy diet during the week of protein and vegetables. During the weekend, I am much more relaxed and Sprite, candy, and ice cream are consumed. Completely depriving kids of sweets will only make them revolt later on by hiding what they eat and over-consuming.

What are your go-to entertaining and hosting tips for summer?
Sadly, I am not much of a cook but I do love to host summer parties. Lucky for me, my husband was raised by a caterer and is a fabulous chef. I would recommend a lot of easy snacks and great cocktails. I love cold pesto pasta salads, rosé wine, and fresh tomatoes. Easy to make or pick up and they're a hit every time!

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day?
On days like that, I allow myself to eat pancakes and frosting. This Mother's Day, I ate breakfast at IHOP with my husband and kids to celebrate.