If you've ever worried about looking your best for a special event, somebody along the way has probably told you to stay away from pasta.
And yet, as hundreds of celebrities prepare for the flashing lights of the red carpet and the biggest night in Hollywood entertainment — that's exactly what they'll be eating.
They have Margot Micallef to thank for that.
The Calgary entrepreneur has been invited to an exclusive Oscars party this weekend where she'll serve up samples of her superfood pasta made from teff — an Ethiopian grass with twice the protein content of quinoa and half the fat.
The folks who compile the Oscars swag bags (worth more than $200,000 US this year) caught wind of the growing buzz surrounding her company's "skinnypasta" — a high-protein, low-carb linguini alternative — and thought it was exciting enough to include in the decadent goodie bags.
Roughly a decade ago, Micallef gave up eating pasta entirely because of its high-carb, low nutritional content which she says was quite the task for a woman of Italian heritage.
After fruitlessly searching for a nutritious and delicious alternative, Micallef and her sister Gabriella decided to open their own business.
Shortly after their launch, Gabriella was diagnosed with cancer.
"What we found when she got sick was that trying to eat in a health fashion can often be really isolating," Micallef said.
"The more challenging her diet became, the less she was able to socialize with people."
Micallef recognized the untapped market demand for healthy food that was also worth sharing.
After Gabriella died three years ago, Micallef renamed the company in her honour.
"She's still my inspiration," Micallef said.
"We really reflect on a regular basis about her life, and about what she stood for, what she went through, and it inspires us in everything we do."