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MTV’s The Challenge legend and Celebrity Sleepover host, Johnny ‘Bananas’ Devenanzio recently opened up with Muscle & Fitness on his pet hates of the gym. After having seeing the extreme sports fan cooking up a storm over on Instagram, we felt urge to pick his brain once again, this time digging deep into some of his healthy ideas for cleaner eating.
On his weekend late-night talk show, Bananas dons the PJs and waxes lyrical with guests such as Tiffani Thiessen, Sammy Hagar and Worst Cooks of America chef, Anne Burrell, but when it comes to impressing his guests, the famous daredevil still has a fantasy pick for that fantasy dinner guest.
“I would love to have Mike Tyson on,” says Bananas. “The guy is such an amazing, unique talent and personality. I just love to know what drives, and what motivates people”
Now 38, Bananas, who is a Penn State graduate, has matured to the point that he is more likely to cook for a party than be the life of one, and given his hacks on traditional snacks, that’s just fine with us.
“Even in nice restaurants, there’s a lot of things they will add to food, to make it taste better, that you wouldn’t add if you were cooking at home”, says Bananas. “You wouldn’t add three times the amount of your daily intake of sodium into one meal. I like to take my favorite meals and replicate the same dish at home, with the best ingredients I can find.”
“Pre-bought tortillas are just loaded with preservatives,” says Bananas. “I like to do my own spin. I like to make tacos from sweet potato. I replace the tortilla or the taco with sweet potato. I cook it an air fryer to make the outside skin crispy. Then, I add ground chicken and taco seasoning. I substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream, and with a little bit of salsa on top, it’s fantastic. The less processed, and the more natural you can go, the better in my opinion.”.
“I haven’t necessarily changed by caloric intake all that much, I’ve changed my carb types instead,” says Bananas. “I’ve tried to cut out a lot of flour and starches. The bread that I eat is flourless, and I’m a big fan of ancient grains. I like spelt, quinoa, flax… so instead of a store-bought tortilla, I’ll make an ancient grain tortilla. Cutting out those simple, refined carbohydrates helps with your weight, but you feel better too, and if you cook it the right way, you don’t even realize that you are making those substitutions.”
Whether or not the former world boxing champion joins Bananas on a future edition of Celebrity Sleepover, or joins him for one of his healthy meal plans, we are sure that “Iron” Mike would be proud of the enthusiastic chef.