Photo by Erick Gibson
Photo by Erick Gibson

The Model Well Fed

Let’s face it: From fashion to food and fitness, people are pretty much obsessed with everything models do. There’s a notion that in order to achieve that certain lifestyle, you must adhere to very strict standards and methods to maintain the required physique, which is precisely what makes The Model Well Fed so refreshing. Created by local model Amanda Nell Franklin, the website explores filling and flavorful, healthy meals that anyone could enjoy. Here, she shares her ideal food day and how she keeps it all in balance.


BREAKFAST: Cherry-lime almond smoothie
BREAKFAST: Cherry-lime almond smoothie


LUNCH: Avocado toast and poached egg salad
LUNCH: Avocado toast and poached egg salad


DINNER: Vietnamese ginger chicken with rice and steamed veggies
DINNER: Vietnamese ginger chicken with rice and steamed veggies


SNACKS: Nuts, fruit with maple kefir dip
SNACKS: Nuts, fruit with maple kefir dip



On The Model Well Fed:
Surprise everyone! Models, like real humans, have to eat. I love to cook, and so many home cooks don’t use recipes. My family and friends were always asking for the recipes of my food on social media, which I couldn’t provide. My blog forces me to write down what I do when I cook. It’s my recipe journal as well as a place to document my travels and any food-related interests.

On her modeling career:
I went to the College of Charleston to play soccer. I eventually had to quit because of multiple ACL tears and surgeries. A classmate encouraged me to join a modeling agency for whom she was interning. I never thought a fun, part-time activity to make extra cash in college would end up as a full-time career, but here I am. My clients include Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Destination Maternity, Saks Fifth Avenue, QVC and Tiffany.

On her food philosophy:
It’s similar to my fashion philosophy: Find what works for you. Do you need three square meals and two snacks a day? Or do you need six small meals? How does your body react to dairy? To carbohydrates? I observe a lot of people blindly diving into diet fads—most of you don’t have a gluten allergy, so go ahead and eat the occasional biscuit—and they don’t take the time to figure out what foods and habits work for them. It took me years to define my dietary lifestyle, but life is much easier once you’ve cracked that code.

On balancing food and fitness:
Food is the No. 1 tool in the fight to stay fit: I minimize added sugar, I know my body’s dietary needs, and I’m educated about the foods I put into my body. I also stay lean with a mix of yoga, barre and LOTS of dog walking.

On her favorite food trend:
The Washington Post Food section recently came out with a food waste reduction issue. IBM’s Chef Watson [app] has contributed to this movement by creating incredibly delicious recipes from ingredients already in your pantry. Restaurants promote the use of every animal and produce part in its fight against waste; though not a new concept in restaurant kitchens, it appears to be broadcasted more and more these days. I love it! Necessity is the mother of all invention, and I’m predicting some innovative dishes will come out of restaurants and kitchens of the home cook based on this food trend.


Vietnamese Ginger Chicken

INGREDIENTS (serves four)

1.5 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and julienned
1 large or 2 small shallot, chopped
1.5 tablespoon fish sauce (ex.:Red Boat)
• Juice of 1 large lime
1/2 red chili, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon high-heat vegetable oil
• Steamed white rice
• Steamed swiss chard/collard greens/kale


1) Mix together chicken, ginger, shallots, fish sauce, lime juice and chilies. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
2) In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of water until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble, about 3 minutes.
3) Add the remaining water, vegetable oil, chicken and its marinade to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes. The sugar may recrystallize, but that’s okay. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4) Serve over white rice and steamed veggies.


(January 2015)