The Today Show's Joy Bauer Talks About Why We All Need More Eggs - Exclusive Interview

Whether you grew up watching Meredith Viera on "The Today Show" or are more familiar with the Hoda Kobt contingency, you're likely familiar with longstanding correspondent Joy Bauer, a registered dietitian who has been telling NBC audiences how to eat healthier for more than 16 years. In her years on the epic morning show, Bauer has been a steady voice of nutritional reason as Americans have flirted with various weight loss trends ranging from low-fat to low-carb. She's also offered countless healthy recipes to make those wellness goals a bit more obtainable for us all.

Most recently, many of those recipes have included one common ingredient: eggs. If you follow Bauer on social, you probably noticed that there's egg all over her IG feed as well. As it turns out, Bauer has partnered with The Incredible Egg to encourage more folks to eat their yolks with an Instagram contest that offers 2,022 eggs, among other goodies, as a grand prize. What's with the egg advocacy? In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Bauer explained why, from a health perspective, eggs are indeed all they're cracked up to be.

Why eggs are so healthy, according to Joy Bauer

Why did you decide to partner with The Incredible Egg?

Eggs. First off, I think that 2022 is literally going to be the year of the egg. Everybody is embracing eggs and it's not really a surprise. I love eggs. They're versatile, they're budget-friendly, they're accessible, and they work with a bazillion different recipes — obviously for breakfast, whether it's scrambled or poached or omelets or frittatas, but honestly I have breakfast for dinner probably two to three nights a week. I also whip them into so many desserts and so many sides. I've been embracing eggs forever.

I think also with the pandemic, prices across the board with food have exponentially increased, and also accessibility. Eggs are such a comfortable go-to for so many people. Plus, I think in the past, maybe people were a little bit afraid of the poor little yolks and now even the American Heart Association is like, "We're embracing them." I think people don't realize the capabilities that eggs have. We know them as more of a plant-forward protein, right? If you're environmentally friendly — right now, who isn't? — it checks the box with that as well. They also house a lot of other really important nutrients.

One of the things I want to call out is vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of these vitamins that we hear over and over again, for boosting or strengthening or supporting a healthy immune system and also healthy bones. There's very, very few foods that vitamin D is naturally found in. Even milk is fortified with vitamin D. That egg yolk has it naturally, which is really cool.

The other thing is choline. Choline is really important for brain development and across the life cycle. With pregnant moms, you're helping the fetus to develop a healthy brain and as we get older, it helps with memory and clear thinking and mood, and choline is another one of these things that we tend to let fall through the cracks — no pun intended, but that was kind of funny.

For all these reasons, I think that it's really important for people to know that eggs really should be a go-to and there's so many fun things about the white versus the brown and these fun little tidbits and questions. I was really excited and jazzed to partner with the Egg Farmers Across America.

Here's how you can win 2,022 eggs

How does the egg contest work?

We're doing this wicked cool contest. The contest is called the Complete Training Table Contest, and all people have to do to enter is to submit, either through the direct link or on your Instagram, a picture or a video of how you incorporate eggs into a healthy lifestyle. It could be anything, it could be hilarious, it could be creative, it could be humdrum and standard, and then we have three expert egg judges. They're actually from the health arena, they're registered dieticians in different genres, and they're going to be testing on nutrition and motivation and creativity, and all sorts of different things, and the prizes are amazing ... [There is] a comprehensive ten-piece fitness set and an in-studio, NordicTrack bike, and also ... for the new year, 2022 eggs... that's a lot of eggs!

There's also going to be a fan favorite. I am going to be telling everybody to also cast your votes for who you think should win ... once you vote on a fan favorite, they're going to select winners just from people who have voted as well. If people feel a little shy and they don't want to actually post their own egg love, [they] could vote and then [they're] submitted for other prizes. It's like a feel-good all around.

What is your favorite way to add eggs into your diet?

That really depends on the day of the week and what I am currently making. If you would text me on Friday, I whipped up these fudgy brownies that had three eggs in it. I probably would've said my brownies, but tonight I am making a frittata with caramelized onions, sauteed apples, and poultry sausage. Right now, I am going to say the brownies [but] in a couple of hours, I am probably going to say the frittata, and I could give you any leads to recipes if you want as well. I just love eggs!

This is what it's really like being on The Today Show, according to Joy Bauer

What is it like being on "The Today Show?"

It's super fun. I think first from the health standpoint, what a privilege, what an honor, that I have a media platform that reaches millions and millions of people with a realistic and practical, manageable message of health, and on the fun side, we're like a family. If you could imagine, I've been with "The Today Show" for going on 16 years now as their health and wellness correspondent. That's mind boggling! It feels like home and we do a lot of laughing. Every segment is an adventure. We have time restraints, I drop things in the kitchen, but you roll with the punches and it's really been such a great gig, and I feel incredibly blessed and grateful. Specifically from ... yes, from the fun standpoint, I get to meet a lot of cool people and I love my "family” and how close we are there!

From delivering a message of health to so many people, what an honor! I have to tell you, I think I have the best job in the world, and there's no more rewarding feeling than walking down the street with my mask or without my mask, and having people come up to me and say, "Hey, my husband is off of his statin medications, thanks to some of your tips." [I've also heard] "I finally dropped a handful of pounds and feel more comfortable in my skin," or "I have more energy than I ever had before," or "My kids are eating broccoli thanks to you," and that is  the best and I never take it for granted.

Joy Bauer talks about diets and fast food restaurants

What is the biggest mistake people make when they go on diets?

I think they create these goals that are super restrictive, and I think people should start to add, instead of subtract. One of the things that everybody could do this year in order to impact their health in a huge way is to start adding veggies to each and every meal. In other words, for breakfast, whip up an omelet and stuff it with whatever leftover vegetables you have from dinner the night before. With lunch, if you have a sandwich, lift the top slice of bread and layer on lettuce, tomato onions, roasted red peppers — the higher, the more voluminous in produce, the better. With dinner, again, follow my lead, make the frittata with the caramelized onions. Amazing.

What do you think of fast food? Do you ever eat it?

Rarely, but I also ... I never want to be a Debbie Downer. I think that by doing better, you are putting your best foot forward. I don't think anything is really off limits. I think, if you are somebody who needs the convenience of fast food, the good thing is that there's options for everyone. I would say, every once in a while, get whatever you want at a fast food chain, but if you're frequenting these fast food restaurants much more often, you definitely want to look for the grilled chicken sandwiches or now a lot of them have vegetarian burger options, pass up on the fries, get the salads on the side, [and] drink water instead of soda. There's a lot of great options out there now, which is great.

If you were going to have an indulgence at a fast-food restaurant, what would it be?

I love pizza. Give me the pizza with the extra cheese. I do like a thin crust. Yeah, bring it on, and another thing I love, truth be told — ice cream, melty vanilla ice cream. Can't pass that one up.

If you could have anyone in the world cook dinner for you, who would it be and why?

Oh... It would be Bruce Springsteen because I really don't care what he's making. I want him to bring his guitar and serenade me ... throughout the whole meal. In fact, I would say to him as he started cooking, "Honey, sit down, let me take over. Here's your job."

Follow Joy Bauer on Instagram. To enter the Complete Training Table Contest, visit the Incredible Egg website.