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Healthful eating, Malibu lifestyle keep chef Page Moll in shape

February 23, 2009|Jenny Hontz

Page Moll

Chef at the Beachcomber Cafe at Malibu Pier

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At work, Moll whips up decadent dishes such as braised short ribs with Gorgonzola ravioli and s'mores with marshmallows and chocolate. "Unfortunately, in this business, fat is flavor," he says.

But with a discipline level many monks would envy, Moll rarely indulges in his own food. "I don't get off work and get drunk, I never eat late at night when I get home -- and no dessert!" he says. "I'll make you a great creme brulee or flourless cake, but I'm not going to eat it."

It's not that hard to resist, he says, because cooking is actually an appetite suppressant. "I'm around food all day, but it's almost the opposite effect [of temptation]," he says. "I don't want to have a big piece of cheesecake. I'll have a bite to test for texture and flavor, but if you're doing laundry all day because you work at a laundromat, the last thing you want to do is come home and do laundry."

His one weakness is for Hot Tamales candy at the movies, but "it's occasional." Instead, Moll eats a healthy breakfast of oatmeal, then sometimes grabs a fruit or protein smoothie with a ginger or wheat grass shot after exercising. At his restaurant, he eats soup and a turkey sandwich for lunch or snacks on apples, dried fruit and granola. "I taste more than I sit down and eat," he says. "I'm nibbling, and it kind of fills me up."

For dinner, he prefers a Mediterranean diet of fish and pasta. "Carbs give me energy," he says.

Moll, 31, is 6 feet tall and still maintains his high school stats: 155 to 160 pounds, with a 31-inch waist. "I do a lot of sit-ups every morning," he says. "Exercise is a huge part of my life."

Moll typically wakes up at 6 or 7 a.m., stretches and practices Pilates. Then, on the hill outside his apartment building, he lifts weights for 30 to 40 minutes looking at the ocean. He also runs three to five miles five days a week and really appreciates exercise as an escape. "No cellphones -- it's my time away," he says.

Living near the beach in Malibu makes being active easy. He rarely drives a car. Whenever the waves are good, he bikes to Zuma or Surfrider beach with his board before biking to work. He recently ran the Pier to Peak half-marathon in Santa Barbara, which is entirely uphill from sea level to 4,000 feet.

"That was actually tougher than the L.A. Marathon," he says. "It's just the will to be healthy."

-- J.H.

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