Pop superstar Rihanna is a stunner with an amazing body. But the Barbadian beauty readily admits that she loves to eat. But with her packed schedule of running a cosmetics empire and working on her budding movie career, it makes sense that Rih would have a personal chef at her disposal.
Debbie Solomon is a Jamaican-born chef who has been cooking for the singer for about five years. Solomon said Rihanna is a moody eater so they never have a set menu but she does have a few faves. A Caribbean native herself, Rihanna is fond of the Barbadian and Guyanese dishes of her childhood. In fact, Solomon consulted with mama Fenty to get the flavors just right.
As a fellow West Indian, I jumped at the chance to eat like Rihanna for a week. I'm St. Lucian and the same dishes can have a different spin depending on the island. But I was up for the delicious challenge.
Solomon made an appearance on "The Doctors" and shared Riri's breakfast of choice. On a regular day, I am all about a bowl of oatmeal but Rihanna prefers to load up on protein.
Her typical breakfasts consists of four hard-boiled eggs, one slice of toast without the crust, and a mix of berries. I recreated the meal almost to the letter but adding some mango and watermelon to my strawberries. As a fellow island girl, I figured Rih would understand.
I was a bit concerned about the cholesterol I would be ingesting but I found that eggs are chock full of benefits like stabilizing blood sugar and supplying essential amino acids. Eggs do contain saturated fats but the bulk of its fat content is the heart-healthy type.
I was excited to try out Solomon's chicken curry recipe, which she also demonstrated on "The Doctors." It was one of the dishes that landed her the coveted spot as Rihanna's personal chef in the first place. West Indians love a good curry with rice and peas so I wasn't surprised that this was a favourite of the popstar.
It was also comforting to season my meat with familiar Caribbean staples like Maggi and Adobo. And when the simmering curry scent started wafting into the air, I was in heaven. As an IBS sufferer, beans are not very kind to my stomach so I settled for plain rice and a side of fried plantains. I swear there were potatoes on my plate but I couldn't resist gobbling them up before taking a pic. Rihanna is also partial to chicken drumsticks which happen to be my least favourite part. I chopped them in half to provide a happy medium.
This was probably the best meal of my week-long experiment.
If there's one thing I firmly stand by it is this - salad is not a meal. Nothing makes me hungrier than just having a salad. It doesn't matter if it's filled with ingredients. I'm just not a fan. So when Rihanna's trainer, Ary Nuñez, shared that one of the songstresses usual meals to keep her in tip-top shape was a salad with fish I was not amused.
Still, I grilled a large piece of salmon to ward off hunger pangs and paired it with a green salad. It wasn't that bad but I will stick to my philosophy.
Rihanna once told Fabulous that she had egg whites, pineapple, and hot water with lemon for breakfast as part of her fitness routine. I am allergic to pineapples so I swapped that out for mango.
It was a satisfactory meal but I would've liked to have a bit of bread with it. And there may be some truth to the powers of hot lemon water.
I put together a meal of bowtie pasta and grilled chicken, with a side salad of mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomatoes. It was pretty light but filling.
Another staple is fish with potatoes and a salad. I am not a big fan of fish with my beloved potato so I had some chicken instead. I may have over roasted the potatoes but it was still good.
This is a quick, simple meal that takes care of all the major food groups for a balanced meal. It also came in clutch post workout.
To end my week, I went back to the beginning. Curry chicken and potatoes for the win! And this time I didn't even stop to take a pic. So good and a tasty reminder of home.
I've read up a bit on a few celebrity diets and I feel like Rihanna's has been the most realistic for me. Outside of a couple of personal preferences and allergies, I could eat like this on a regular basis easily. But to be fair, we share a similar cultural background so these flavors and spices are not new to me. If anything, this week just confirmed my belief that it is possible to eat delicious but healthy, wholesome food.
Also confirmed - salad will never be a satisfying meal. Sorry Rih.