Daphne Oz's 2-bite rule is pure genius

When it comes to eating and drinking, Daphne Oz -- Dr. Oz's 31-year-old daughter and a co-host on "The Chew" -- wants every bite and sip to be an experience. That's why, despite always striving to maintain a healthy diet, she never deprives herself of anything (and neither does her father, she says). That's also why she couldn't resist joining forces with Pure Leaf to bring exotic specialty tea creations to life (she raved about the Chai Tea Latte, and boy was she right).

We caught up with the mom-to-be (for the third time!) at the Pure Leaf Tea House pop-up shop in New York City (open until September 24) on Tuesday and chatted about her childhood tea rituals, how she lost 40 pounds in college, her ingenious two-bite rule and what her famous father is "terrible at." Read on!

Tell me why you're excited to be here.

I work in food, and flavor is a big thing for me. I want quality, I want exotic, I want something that feels like an experience when I cook -- and the same is true, obviously, when I'm drinking. For me, Pure Leaf is that real-brewed taste because it's real-brewed tea. Their whole motto is "Our Thing Is Tea," [and] they take such pride [in] sourcing the beautiful leaves, explaining to the customer the process of that harvest. And for me, I always want to know the origins of my food, especially for my family. I want to know where it's coming from, why did you make this choice, what's special about this? And how cool [is it] to be able to have this little oasis at the Pure Leaf Tea House in the middle of New York?

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Do you cook with tea, as well?

You know what's funny? I grew up in New Jersey, and there's a Korean spa near where my parents live that does tea eggs that I've been dying to figure out how to make. It's so good, and they're dyed this wonderful crackly brown, so I've been dying to learn that. But I do use a tea rub, occasionally, on pork loin. On tenderer meats and not so fatty meats, it really works nicely.

It's almost a double-edged sword. Tea is so good on its own -- black tea, iced or hot -- that people never bother with all the other things they could do with it. The reality is the universe is huge, and all these cultures have this wonderful tea ritual, and there's a reason for that. There's something extremely cathartic and soothing about sitting down and pouring yourself and a friend a cup of tea.

What would you say is the greatest health benefit of tea, for you personally?

Well, two things. One is, when I'm pregnant, I don't drink that much caffeine. There are so many herbal options, and I have every tea under the sun. I just love how I can have 15 cups throughout the day of different herbal teas, and it's a wonderful way to add flavor without having to do a whole lot extra. And obviously, [it's] calorie-free, if you don't doctor [it] with a lot of stuff.

My family, for whatever reason, really adopted tea time and tea rituals, so the second we would get home from school, my mom and all my siblings and I would make tea, go up, go to her bedroom, we'd get in bed and talk. It's always been that way. When we sit down for a movie, we have popcorn and tea. When we wake up on Saturday morning, it's tea and bagels. It's like a thing for me. So people come over and they look at my tea cupboard and they think that I'm insane. But it really has always been a passion for me and just a way to experiment with flavor.

On the note of your family, how has your father [Dr. Oz] influenced your healthy cooking?

My dad's a terrible cook. Truly, a terrible cook. But he loves to eat. So one of the things that I always tell people is, my dad talks about the best of the best health information. He shares this so that you can be the expert on your body, and he shared that with me so that I could be the expert on my body. But having all that information doesn't mean you can't still sometimes, and he does, make the decision to have the amazing pork ribs at the place that makes them as a specialty. For him, it really is about having those rich life experiences.

When I wrote the "The Dorm Room Diet," I [had been] 180 pounds as a high school senior, [and] I went to college and realized, "This is freedom, and it's also a chance to make some changes in my life." I lost the 40 pounds in a way that allowed me to maintain my love of food, but do it in a way that also supported my health. A lot of that is not feeling deprived, ever. So the way that I cook now -- and it is healthily, but I call it healthy and happy -- is I'm always making comfort food. [But] if I make a pasta dish, I'll use half pasta and half white beans. For lasagna, I'll make half pasta sheets and half zucchini noodles. If I'm having a meat, I'll have it as a side portion. I'll have that as a side dish and bulk [up] the rest of my meal with what other people might think are the sides -- which are the salads and the vegetables -- and that way, I never feel deprived.

One of the things I learned my first year at the "The Chew," I started talking about my two-bite rule. I taste everything. The first bite lets you experience everything and just see what's going on and explore. The second bite lets you indulge. Every bite after that tastes the same. So you can make a conscious choice of either, "I'm going to go for that, I love it" or "I tried it, and nothing's going to change from eating the rest of this plate." In that way, I get to have my experience, but do it in a way that I think is really approachable for people who don't want to be told they can never eat what they love again when they're trying to be healthy.

RELATED: Daphne's favorite healthy restaurants

Daphne Oz's Favorite Healthy Restaurants
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Daphne Oz's Favorite Healthy Restaurants

Read on for Daphne Oz's favorite restaurants. P.S. they're healthy too!

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ABC Kitchen, New York City

"I love ABC Kitchen here in NYC, [and] I eat there whenever I can. Dan Kluger, the chef there, does such a good job," shares Daphne. "I think that part of the reason people think they don't like vegetables is because they grew up eating them out of a can or from the microwave with butter on them. He is so creative in the way he pairs flavors and makes vegetables really sing. He doesn't treat them like a side dish [or] a cast off. He really lets them be their own dishes, and they are so amazing."

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Victory Garden, New York City

Daphne recently discovered this Greenwich Village ice creamery that makes goat milk ice cream and soft serve. "I know that sounds crazy, but trust me. My dad's family is Turkish, and they have a chewy ice cream that stays cold a lot longer and doesn't melt on you the way normal ice cream does. You pull it off the cone and it creates a little arch, and it is so delicious."

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Beyond Sushi, New York City

"There is a place called Beyond Sushi that does all vegan sushi, which is interesting especially from a pregnancy standpoint," reveals Daphne. "That is one thing that I have stayed clear from—eating raw meat or fish or raw dairy. You don't think how challenging it would be to find a vegan sushi option, but they have it all sorted out."

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Dishes To Go, New York City

Daphne confesses that she hasn't actually eaten at this restaurant yet, but word of mouth travels fast. "Everyone I talk to keeps telling me I have to eat there and that it is the most amazing place in terms of getting pre-prepared food that really lets you be healthy at the same time," she tells us.

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Pure Food & Wine, New York City

"Pure Food & Wine has an incredible outdoor garden that is great for cold cocktails on a warm evening, or an overflowing salad bowl and coconut water in the afternoon," Daphne explains.

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Candle Cafe, New York City

"Candle Cafe makes a paradise casserole that is sweet potato, sautéed greens and a grain with gravy, so hearty and so good for you," says Daphne.

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Esca, New York City

"Esca's crudo options are always the best in the city. I've missed them so much while I've been pregnant!" Daphne admits.

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Mole, West Village

"I love the fish tacos on fresh corn tortillas at Mole in the West Village," Daphne explains. "For me, they're the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent, so long as I don't devour the entire basket of chips before they arrive."

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Daylesford, London

"It's a farm partnership with a big farm in the countryside, and they've opened two or three outposts of this restaurant out of the farm. They only serve their own eggs, dairy and meats, and then they have a big garden to supply their greens," explains Daphne. "They do an egg toast with sautéed Shitake mushrooms that [is] so good. It's not about depriving yourself. It's not about straight-up green juice. It is about having the best quality ingredients in a moderate portion."

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Ottolenghi, London

"Any of Ottolenghi's restaurants would be my perfect choice. I eat roughly half of my meals there every time I'm in town," says Daphne.

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Cafe Gratitude, Los Angeles

"They do cool, interesting combinations," says Daphne. "They do beautiful drinks and teas—ginger lemon tea and lots of green juice and smoothies. Out there they are pretty indulgent with their health food, so they make almond chai milk smoothies and they do shaved raw vegetable salads."

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Hugo's, Los Angeles

"I go there every time I go to Los Angeles because they have a breakfast frittata that is basically soaked oats, barley and grains, and they soak it overnight and make a frittata out of it so it is part savory and part sweet. They top it with apple sauce, sour cream [and] strawberries. It is so good," reveals Daphne. "You know when you go to breakfast and you want the pancakes and the eggs? This gives you the best of both worlds."

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Pressed Juicery, Los Angeles

"Not really a restaurant, but I love Pressed Juicery in LA," Daphne reveals. "Their spiced almond milk especially is to die for. I'm a cardamom fiend, and this shake is like the most delicious (and caffeine-free!) chai you've ever had."

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Malo, Los Angeles

"Malo in Silverlake makes amazing Mexican food. Their salsa crema should be illegal it's so addictive. Same goes for the margs," says Daphne.

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The Ivy, Los Angeles

"I love the chopped vegetable salad at The Ivy," Daphne says.

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Newsroom Cafe, Los Angeles

"The grilled artichoke at Newsroom Cafe is my all-time favorite. They get the perfect char, and they're aioli dipping sauce is a gift from beyond," Daphne says.

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Cube, Los Angeles

Daphne says, "Cube makes this tomato, peach and burrata salad that is, well, crazy good."

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Gjelina, Los Angeles

"Gjelina has my favorite pizza anywhere: The Marinara. It's vegan, and even without the cheese it puts everyone else to shame. Make sure to ask for the extra oregano and chili flake on the side," Daphne explains.

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Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

"Osteria Mozza's butterscotch budino would be my last dessert on earth," Daphne reveals.

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Pure Fare, Philadelphia

Daphne describes this restaurant as an "amazingly cute, boutique-y fresh juice bar." "They do prepared snacks—you can get a little cup to go with cubed chicken and a little honey mustard dressing or apples and peanut butter. It is really well done. The environment is so cute."

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Vedge, Philadelphia

"There is another place called Vedge, which could become the hottest all-vegan, all-natural place to eat anywhere, but it started in Philadelphia. It [is] creative and thoughtful about dishes."

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Talula's Garden, Philadelphia

"[It has] that Los Angeles setting. You can sit outside in this fairy-like garden," Daphne describes. "Most people in my family are vegetarians, so when we go out to eat as a family we have to find a place with many vegetarian options. They do beautiful stuff for those of us that don't just eat dashi broth. The ambiance is so nice there."

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Vernick, Philadelphia

"It has an old-school marble bar with killer cocktails and unreal food. The seasonal toasts are creative and perfect, and I love the pots of seafood roasted in their wood-burning oven," explains Daphne.

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Osteria, Philadelphia

"Osteria is my other must-have in Philly. My husband, John, and I always start with the mixed vegetable antipasto…to make up for the decadent and totally worth–it pizza we order next!" Daphne reveals.

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Now wondering what to order? Daphne has some healthy ordering tips just for you!

Watch out for Hidden Calories.

"If you love a Caesar salad, get a Caesar salad but don't think you are doing yourself any calorie favors because chances are you are eating as many calories as the cheeseburger you were also eyeing. The creamy dressings are a huge calorie pack and same goes for creamy sauces on pasta and creamy sauces on meat," offers Daphne.

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Preparations to look for and those to avoid.

"The more you can go for dishes that are steamed, sautéed or quick pan-fried as opposed to pan-fried or boiled, the more nutrition you'll have. Boiling pretty much saps all of the nutrition because it goes out in all the water they dump," Daphne advises.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Fill up on Greens.

"For my job I eat out a lot, and the way I've been able to balance it is I tend to fill up on a big salad as my first course," shares Daphne. "I'll ask them to give me a double portion and pay them for it, so I have the bulk of my meal as that salad option," Daphne tells us.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Get a Kiddie Portion.

"For the main course, I'll ask them if they are comfortable doing a kiddie portion or a half portion. And if they are not, that is fine. I'll take the adult portion. I'll just have a little of it and treat it as a side dish, or I'll skip the entree all together and do three vegetable sides," says Daphne.

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Enjoy Portion Control.

"Because you are not starving by the time the main dish gets to you, you can afford to have a quarter or a half of it and not feel deprived or hungry and still do it in a way that is very moderate," shares Daphne. "Take the portion home and have it for lunch or dinner the next day, and spread the joy out over a couple days."

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Cook at home!

"The beauty of a regular commitment to home cooking is that it is much easier for you to be thoughtful about food in a way that allows you to make healthier dishes," Daphne explains. "When you are out to dinner, you are pretty much eating what the chef wants you to eat, but when you are home, it is easier for you to [think], 'if i take this little thing out, or add this or supplement this with this, it makes for a much better meal for me.'"

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If you're telling someone they can't have something, it makes it that much harder.

It's all they think about. It's like an ex-boyfriend. It's consuming for people to feel like food is taboo. And I learned this the hard way. It puts food in the power position when you, as the eater, should be in the power position. When nothing is off-limits, and you have all the control, you can decide, "Tonight, I'm going to eat mac and cheese for dinner because that's all I really want." And then tomorrow, you correct. We've lost sight of that, because we've made health so black and white, but it's balance. And by the way, it's your one life, so you get to live it how you want to.

Lastly, do you eat differently when you're pregnant?

When I'm pregnant, I feel extra [committed] to being healthy. I also feel like you have to be easy on yourself still, because there are times when I'm just craving something and I don't have the willpower to fight my brain. I do this throughout the year, because my kids love it; I start the day with a smoothie. That, for me, is like an insurance policy. When I say smoothie, I'm not talking about a whole mess of fruit with a tiny bit of green in it. It's all greens, a quarter of avocado, some yogurt and just a few tart cherries or a few grapes or half an apple -- or banana for the kids -- to sweeten it up a little bit. That gives my kids a huge boost in nutrition, it gives me a huge boost in nutrition first thing in the morning, so that if the rest of the day gets away from you, at the very least, you know you're getting that.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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