Giada De Laurentiis Reveals Why She Started to Say ‘No’ More Often

Giada De Laurentiis is one of today’s most popular television personalities, hosting several shows on Food Network including Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, Giada Entertains, Giada in Italy, and Giada’s Weekend Getaways. The celebrity chef is also a best-selling author, restauranteur, and single parent to 11-year-old daughter Jade.

With her demanding career, the culinary queen had to start prioritizing her schedule and turning down certain opportunities to make more time for this very important reason.

Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis | Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for SOBEWFF

Dealing with divorce

After 11 years of marriage, De Laurentiis split from husband Todd Thompson, where they both focused on amicably co-parenting Jade. Their daughter was very young at the time of their divorce, so De Laurentiis is always mindful of lingering effects.

“Her dad and I got divorced when she was 5, and although she doesn’t remember a lot, and she does pretty well, there’s still a lot of stress that builds up over time,” she said, according to Parade.

The famous chef says that she and Thompson work as a team when it comes to raising Jade, which has made the the transition for their daughter less tumultuous. “We live a stone’s throw away from each other, like five minutes, which has really helped keep Jade stable and just keep her environment as similar as possible at both places,” De Laurentiis told People in 2017. “Getting along with my ex-husband really helps, as well. We’re supportive of each other and, in turn, supportive of Jade.”

That important 2-letter word

Between her restaurants, cookbooks, and television shows and appearances, De Laurentiis had to start making some tough decisions when it came to her work schedule. The professional demands of her career were robbing her of time with Jade. “Years ago, I used to jump on a plane every week and go to New York, do the Today Show and work,” she told The Cut last year. “And then I realized, ‘If I continue this, I will not see her grow up.’”

The realization motivated her to make some changes, which were even more necessary when she became a single mom. “I started to make decisions about my schedule — what I can bring Jade to and what I just had to say no to,” De Laurentiis shared. “I started to say no to a lot more things, and then I got divorced, and now I say no to even more things because my time with her is limited.”

Still working on slowing down

Though De Laurentiis implemented some much-needed reductions to her schedule, slowing down is still not her strong suit. Embracing a strong work ethic, the culinary guru finds it hard to just relax. “Taking a break is not the easiest thing for me because I feel like if I’m not doing something then I’m wasting my time,” she revealed. “I like to make the most of every second I have.”

Her reasons for seizing each day and wanting to maintain a high level of productivity stem from her late brother, Dino Alexander De Laurentiis. “Thirteen years ago my brother, who was two years younger than me and who I was very close to, died of cancer,” the Food Network star shared. “I realized that life is fleeting and it can be taken away at any time. I feel like I only have a limited amount of time on this planet. I have to get as much done as possible. As sad as that might sound, it’s the truth.”

Even with her lightning-fast pace, De Laurentiis knows what is most important. “I always had at the back of my mind to think about my family first,” she said. “Make sure that when you look at yourself in the mirror, you’re happy with the choices that you’ve made.”

Read more: The Real Reason Giada De Laurentiis and Todd Thompson Divorced