My healthy: Ben Ford

What wellness means to the adventurous LA chef and newly minted author.

Diet isn’t a word you’d expect to hear out of the mouth of a chef known for manly fare often cooked in a cinder block pit or cowboy cauldron. But Ben Ford, son of Harrison and founder of the popular Ford’s Filling Stationrestaurants, says he relies on a healthy diet to balance out the hearty feasts for which he’s known. “It’s about staying active and working out—in the gym, hiking, doing stairs—but also about diet. I need to watch that with what I do,” says Ford, who played baseball at USC before injuries quelled his hopes of going pro.

Following the release of his first cookbook,Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, which celebrates the large-scale outdoor feasts Ford grew up with, and on the eve of the launch party for his third Ford's Filling Station, which opens in downtown LA this fall, the man himself gave us a peek at what helps him thrive.

a good breakfast

"I love a high protein cereal like Kashi—it gives me brainpower to start the day and sustains me until the next meal. I choose an option that has fiber and is super low in sugar and then add berries, one of the healthiest foods on the planet since they’re extremely high in antioxidants."

visits to the farmer’s market

"Southern California has more Farmers Markets per capita than anywhere in the world. Some are strictly organic like the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Santa Monica and others, like the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Hollywood, are great for their people watching and food stands. On Tuesdays, we also have a great little one that’s two blocks from my restaurant in Culver City, so it’s ultra-convenient. I shop throughout the week to make sure the foods my family and I are ingesting are full of nutrients."
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dynatronics stretch out strap

"Stretching is one of the most important things I do to start my day. With a long list of old sports injuries, it’s an absolute necessity. I focus on my breath, which also makes it a nice meditation and an opportunity to focus. This strap helps me stretch without the need for a partner."
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"I love to hit hillside trails, and sometimes go off trail. I’m a big forager, so while I’m at it, I’m constantly searching for nutritious wild plants. Some of my favorite places to go are Topanga Canyon and the surrounding trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. I also like The Baldwin Hills Overlook behind our neighborhood. It has challenging steps and some of the best views of the city from a side people are only now discovering."


"I rely on this holistic system of soft tissue manipulation and movement to reorganize my body. Los Angeles is home to a few of the world’s top Rolfers and the best of them is Dan Bienenfeld. It rejuvenates me and puts that hop and skip back in my step."
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"A miracle cream. The combination of natural, active ingredients helps relieve my minor aches and pains."
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"Nothing fills my heart with contentment more than time with my family. I have two kids and a wonderful wife, and time spent with them helps me keep a healthy perspective. We’ll take sunset walks on Malibu Beach and get a bite at Malibu Seafood, or spend a day at Griffith Park and Travel Town where the kids can climb on and investigate the old trains. Another way we celebrate time together is with Sunday dinner, which we all cook."
Practice indulgent nourishment

"Cooking is one of the best things you can do for your health.”

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