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Fitness Icon Denise Austin Reveals Her Secret to Curbing Cravings + The Minty Hack that Helps You Drink More Water! (EXCLUSIVE)

For more than 40 years, Denise Austin’s mission has remained the same: She strives to make women feel good about themselves. “The greatest gift I want other women to know is that no matter where you are in life, you are worthy,” Denise tells FIRST. “Believe in yourself because you are worth it. You deserve to look and, more importantly, feel your best.” And at 67 years-old, Denise’s signature enthusiasm and energy still shines. What’s her secret? Well, the fitness legend swears by daily walking, stretching, hydrating and eating healthy — yes, and for Denise Austin, that includes snacks!

Here, Denise reveals some of her go-to snacks, easy meal ideas and how to make drinking more water feel effortless (and taste delicious!). And for even more of her feel-great tips, grab this week’s issue of FIRST on sale now or pick up a copy here.

Denise Austin Q&A First Celeb

FFW: What nutritious go-to snacks or recipes do you reach for throughout the week?

Denise Austin: For snacks, I really love walnuts. I roast them in a pan and then I put a little bit of Celtic salt on top. Celtic salt is the good salt. Walnuts are so good for us — they’re perfect for our omega threes and healthy fats. I really like them pan-roasted. You don’t have to put anything in the frying pan — just put the walnuts in there!

Keep an eye on the heat, you don’t want to burn the nuts. Then just mix them around over low to medium heat for a few minutes and sprinkle them with a little Celtic salt. That’s it! Then, I put them into a bowl. I snack on them at home or I take them on the go in the car with me. They just taste so much better roasted — they’re so crispy and good!

FFW: Do you have any other healthy snack or meal ideas that help curb cravings?

Denise Austin: One of my other recent favorite snacks? My daughters always laugh at me over this one…I slice an avocado in half and put a little salt and pepper on it and then eat it with a spoon like a bowl of ice cream! It’s my favorite late afternoon snack lately.

I also love cottage cheese which is a throwback from when I was younger! I swear it keeps you from overeating junk because it’s so full of protein, so you’ll feel full! It also reminds me of my childhood because my mom would always have cottage cheese with peaches in the summer when we were little. In the summer, I’ll add peaches but for now I’ve been doing berries.

My daughter has also been using cottage cheese in everything! She’ll throw cottage cheese in pancakes or scrambled eggs. It’s amazing how much protein is in it. As we age, we need to save our muscles. My gift to women is to make sure they’re eating enough protein to support healthy muscles.

Denise Austin Nutrition: image with her daughter
Tom Cooper / Stringer
Denise Austin teaching a workout class with her daughter Katie at Wellness Your Way Festival at the Colorado Convention Center

FFW: Do you take any vitamins or supplements? If so which ones and how do they help you/make you feel?

Denise Austin: Yes! I’m a big believer in Vitamin D. Just because we never know if we’re getting enough. In the summer months we probably are, but most women we are low on vitamin D. And so I take vitamin D3. I also take vitamin B12. But I also have my blood checked. I always suggest getting your blood checked at least once a year to see if you’re deficient in any vitamins. For me, I take only those that I’m deficient in.

I always get my good vitamins and nutrients from foods first. And then I supplement wherever needed — for me it was Vitamin D and Vitamin B. Lately, I’ve also been putting a scoop of CocoaVia flavonals in my coffee. Flavanols are really good for our heart, our brain health and more and they’re really an untouched territory. I have been doing this for about a year and a half now and it’s great for heart health.

FFW: Do you have any tricks for drinking more water daily?

Denise Austin: One thing I do all the time: I fill mason jars with filtered water. I have a good water filter at home. Sometimes I squeeze in lemon or throw in a couple slices of cucumber or sprigs of mint or I’ll even add basil and herbs. I’m really into herbs like basil, parsley and mint — those are my three favorites. And sometimes I’ll even put a tiny splash of tart cherry juice or pomegranate juice into the water just to give it subtle flavor and a little kick!

For more feel-good tips and healthy snack ideas, check out these stories:

Denise Austin on How She’s Prepping for Her Daughter’s Wedding + Her Easy At-Home Workout

TikTok’s Cottage Cheese Flatbread Recipe Is a 5-Ingredient Protein Treat: My Taste Test Results

Denise Austin On ’80s Nostalgia, Aging, and Her Legacy: “We Need To Bring Fun Back Into Fitness”

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