Is the Food Network Supporting Obesity?

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One of the Food Network’s biggest stars, Paula Deen, recently announced she had diabetes. Deen is well known for her Southern-style cooking, loaded with butter, heavy cream, sugar, sweet tea, bacon, beef, with just about all of it deep fried. Deen is famous in the nutrition world for her obviously
over-the-top (toxic and


uber fattening) recipes, such as a bacon-cheeseburger on a Krispy Kreme donut.

It appears Deen has had her diabetes for a few years, during which time she’s continued to push frightfully unhealthy recipes. Recently, however, she signed a contract with the Danish pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk. Deen will be endorsing Victoza, which is a non-insulin injectable diabetes medication. Deen and her two sons will be the faces of the campaign called “Diabetes in a New Light,” which lays out a plan that includes eating lighter foods, increasing exercise, and using pharmaceuticals to treat diabetes.

According to Deen, “I don’t blame myself.”

That’s because Paula Deen claims she’s always preached moderation – even in all of the foods she cooks and recipes she supplies the public. Because of this, Deen has no plans to change the way she cooks or alter her lifestyle in any significant way.

False Role Models

Does the public really need a “role-model” like Paula Deen? After all, she’s decided that rather than making health-supporting lifestyle choices, she’s going to just take a drug and let that control her diabetes. Unfortunately, that’s a trend in this country – not just with diabetes, but with other diet induced health problems, as well. Why make food choices that support your entire health picture when you can pop a pill to get rid of the symptoms?

When you get ill, as Paula Deen has done with her type 2 diabetes, it’s your body trying to tell you something and I’m pretty certain that message is never, “You need to take a pill.”

In our Western style of medicine, however, we support this notion that we can fix whatever ails us with pharmaceuticals – not lifestyle changes. Heartburn? Try Prilosec. Migraines? Try Imitrix. Instead of listening to our body’s signals, we shut them down with medicine, never realizing that by refusing to alter our lifestyle to deal with the root issue of the problem, we’re driving ourselves deeper into bad health.

Diet is important, and our society as a whole refuses to acknowledge it except in the most cursory way. Over the past 50 years, there’s been an alarming rise in all kinds of illnesses that can be linked directly back to diet. Which health conditions have these rising rates? Autoimmune disorders, asthma, food allergies, eczema, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and fibromyalgia, just to name a few. These are lifestyle-driven illnesses that could be significantly altered by changing our diets to the type of food human beings are meant to eat: healthy, organic plant-based foods that provide all the nutrients and enzymes we need, keep our toxicity low and our body’s pH at appropriate levels.

The “Unhealthy” Food Network

The issue extends far beyond Paula Deen, however. Her network, the Food Network, is also pushing bad health. If you ever watch shows on the Food Network (and other channels that feature cooking shows), you’ll find they really only judge food on three criteria: taste, presentation, and creativity. Unless you are watching a “healthy” cooking show, nutrition has nothing to do with it – and even on healthy cooking shows, nutrition takes a back seat to calories, taste, creativity, and presentation.

The problem is that food shouldn’t be about these three things. Foods for energy should be the basis of all diets. That’s its main purpose, yet as a society we give only minimal attention to how well it fuels the body. And the way the Western diet is structured has actually changed the human palate. With all of the flavors in our food from added sugar, fat, salt, and chemicals, we’ve come to crave things that are sweet, salty, fatty, or artificially flavored. Many Americans no longer recognize how good, healthy food tastes.

Networks like the Food Network have changed the conversation we have about food, moving away from food’s most important aspect. Mainstream media does the same, making food into a cultural and social experience rather than what eating actually is: supplying fuel to our bodies. America’s health is suffering for it, and I believe the Food Network and other channels bear some responsibility for our obesity crisis. If that seems a harsh indictment, consider the Food Network’s lineup, which includes Deen’s show, as well as many others such as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Cupcake Wars, and Dessert First. None of these shows stops to consider the nutritional value of the foods they glorify.

Even the seemingly more innocuous Giada at Home features recipes such as “Frozen Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches”, which includes ingredients such as 1 pound of of chocolate chip cookie dough, 1 pint of ice cream, and 2 chocolate-toffee candy bars (that’s right, not 1 but 2!). These are not recipes that anyone should be eating, let alone teaching their children and the next generation to eat by giving to them as “treats.” Her first fan favorite recipe listed on the Food Network Site is “Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Basil-Curry Mayonnaise. Hey, it’s only 4 pounds of red meat served with 1 cup of mayonnaise, right?

Food has become a drug in this country with the culinary industry as its main pushers. Everywhere we go, we are assaulted with messages that show us images of unhealthy food. Advertising messages and culinary shows tell us how much better our lives would be if we just ate such foods: steaks dripping with butter, gooey chocolate desserts, hamburgers with three meat patties and bacon. The problem with this message is that it promises one thing and delivers another. The promise of the Food Network, Paula Deen, and the culinary industry at large is that if you eat such foods, you’ll have a pleased palate, a brilliant social life, and be happier in general. Unfortunately, their food delivers more than you bargained for, including a heaping helping of poor health, which diminishes quality of life far more than any bacon burger on a donut will ever enhance it.

It is true that everyone is 100% responsible for their own choices. But I do wish there were more food programs out there that could support and teach people to eat healthier.

So what do you think? How do you feel about the culinary industry’s focus on flavor over health? What responsibility do networks like the Food Network have for our country’s health crisis? Let’s discuss!

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154 Responses to “Is the Food Network Supporting Obesity?

  1. I agree that society is very influenced by the media and networks, however, something we all have to remember is that it is called the “Entertainment” Industry for a reason- to ENTERTAIN us. WE are responsible for what we put into our bodies. After all, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray, etc. aren’t at home with us or at the grocery store with us. Let’s put the responsibilty back where it should be. If people were more aware of even half the junk out there in supermarkets and weren’t swayed so much by advertising, I think we would make a big step in the right direction. WE need to teach ourselves and not rely on others to “feed” us information. pardon the pun. Maybe there should be a Food Network show that teaches us the benefits of eating correctly, but I doubt that would bring any profits to the station…

    • I couldn’t agree anymore with what is said here and as much as I have watch shows on the food network many times. It doesn’t leave out my fascination with nutrition and healthy living, while practicing good food preparations, which sometimes my jaw drops, when I see chiefs so intoxicated with their over refined oils that are completely toxic from the get go. I often wonder what it would be like owning my own restaurant but I have this completely different worldview, from a nutritional standpoint that starts with do no harm and I’m pretty sure most people in the restaurant industry don’t have that in mind when they cook because their not even conscious of that understanding.

  2. Food is more than fuel for the body….what a boring world that would be. There is A LOT to be said for moderation. Eat less and exercise more, is a FOOL PRØOF way to keep healthy, even if you sometimes eat less than perfect healthy food.

  3. I used to love the Food Network. I stumbled onto Beauty Detox. I started becoming educated about nutrition. I love that I still get to dance around a kitchen and make beautiful, delicious food. What is different now? I now feel fabulous after eating my creations. Continue educating, and indulging our flavor palate and cuisine creativity.

  4. This is so true!! My husband told me about Paula Deen (we used to see her show) but it was really nasty to saw the amount of butter that she use. What we thougt is that this is very ironic to eat that way and be killing you with the same food that you think is tasty.
    In other note; my husband have hernia ( it was discover in 2007) what the doctors told him was that he have to take a pill for the rest of his life. So thinking that you are 24 years old when he discover it, it was really hard. So he start looking for more information during the years and now he don’t take any pill because of the way we eat. Have to thanks Kimberly for showing us the correct way to eat our food. REALLY THANK YOU!!

  5. I disagree that everyone is 100% responsible for the decisions that they make and I believe that society and highly influential institutions such as TV networks have a responsibility to inform the public truthfully of the food items they are promoting. People’s day to day decisions are rooted in their knowledge base, which is acquired over a lifetime of interaction and experience with others.

    So for a child born into the world with no knowledge base we consider the parents, schools and various other social institutions as responsible for educating them truthfully such that they can make accurate and reasonable decisions regarding their life, in particular their health. But about 85% of people are intentionally misinformed about so many things through these educational mediums and diet is one of the foremost deceptions. So how can a person be held 100% responsible for a decision they made based on deception. Of course each individual has some culpability in their decisions, but not 100% when misinformed. And before anyone says we are references adults not children, I would argue that many adults have the educational maturity of children via the dumbing down of America protocols, which is another subject.

    It seems reasonable to think that of the many intelligent people who are at the Food Network someone recognizes that they are promoting bad food choices, with very little attempt at bringing any kind of balance. I often have wondered if they were not subsidized by the meat and dairy industry because the meat consumption and promotions seems excessive.

    While I will not lay at the door steps of FN the sins of all that ills society, I can say with certainty that they are playing their role in bring down American health and that program has influenced many people’s food choices for the worse.

  6. I don’t want the Food Network, mainly because I find their cooking shows subpar. Their show hosts are mostly pushing Denny’s type crap I wouldn’t ever eat at any time. It’s a shame, because when the Food Network started, it had some great shows. Somewhere along the line, it dumped a lot of great programming and started hiring JUNKY non-cooking fast-food hosts like Rachel Ray who did NOT even KNOW how to cook.

    In fact, after the first disasterous season, she had to be sent off to cooking school to be taught how to use a chef’s knife. She was a weather girl in upstate New York, completely unqualified (and still is unqualified) to host a cooking show. She’s only there for the T&A. Same with Sandra Lee, only there for the Eye Candy Factor. Her recipes are so ghastly, they have me wanting to puke if I ever have the stomach to actually sit through one of her hideous shows. She literally throws together cans of garbage to concoct these horrifically bad menus not even a dog should be allowed to eat.

    And the Barefoot Contessa. Ug!!! I can’t watch that tub-o-lard since the time we had to watch her lower herself into a hot tub. I still have nightmares from that. *shudder*

    And then there’s Mr. Worst Hair Style on Television Guy Fieri. His Denny’s style “cuisine” is basic low-brow basic diner fair. Which explains why he’s at least 100 pounds overweight. His dismeanor is as bad as his food and unwatchable.

    And Dino’s daughter Giada….you KNOW she doesn’t eat…anything!!! She weighs what all of 70, 80 pounds at the very most, so if she does eat, it’s rarely and works it off for hours afterwards.

    But there is a silver lining. You didn’t mention Andrew Zimmern from the Travel Network who lost A LOT of weight! And looks great!!! So let’s give credit where it’s due. Maybe some can get a boost so start losing weight by watching someone who’s doing it right.

    And by the way…I am not overweight, though I was at one time. I have worked very hard to lose weight, I run, am a vegetarian, eat right, enter half marathons and marathons and keep myself very fit. So I practice what I preach. :)

    • Martha, maybe you need a little something to eat…wow. How digustingly critical you are. Good for you that you have lost weight and improved your lifestyle. Next step should be your personality and attitude. A kinder heart would lessen those acidic words you spew to decscribe other people. I don’t agree with the mass amount of food and cooking shows that are so unhealthy and cater to the obession the Western world has with food, however, to put in print disgusting descriptions of people is very immature and just plain mean.

    • Ugh. How can anyone call Guy overweight and not Andrew? Just because the garbage is exotic, doesn’t mean it isn’t garbage that Andrew eats. He’s one and a half of Guy at least.
      Food Network is nothing but a sponsor-w*ore.

  7. Whoa, I’m certainly late to the discussion, and don’t have time to read ALL the comments, but my knee jerk is THANK YOU KIM. Whether we like it or not, the entertainment industry leads by example. Just tonight I saw that Pippa is sporting shocking pink (ish) jeans to brighten up the winter doldrums. Whether women look like Pippa in them or not, they’re going to wear them because she does! I can almost hear the viewer comments: “If Paula Deen is condoning 2 sticks of butter in every recipe, it can’t be as bad for me as everyone says it is.”
    I’ve never even watched her show, but as a nutritionist in private practice for 17 years, have heard all of the justifications.

    Thank God for people like you, Kim, who tell it like it is and have the reach to influence a lot of people. I am a relatively new subscriber to your site and have purchased (and am using) your book. As a an RD in private practice, I frequently deal with some pretty seriously train wreck diets, (as I’m sure you do) and often have to start from a rather conservative place. The goal is always to tell it like it is. All this “sugar coating” (among other things) is what got us into this country’s seriously troubling health debacle to begin with.

    You can’t “let people be their own judge” without educating them. There needs to be as much (in my opinion, MORE) valid, healthy, useful information available as there is all the unhealthy, entertainment-driven garbage that is killing the more than 50% of this country who have proven they are not responsible enough to take care of their own health and wellness.

    Keep up your great work Kim, and thank you!

  8. I LOVE this more than I can express. I was a big a Food Network watcher until I decided to sway my meat eating habits into a more Raw/ Veggie-centric lifestyle. Truth be told i do still eat very small amounts of animal protein and watch the Food Network from time to time but I always end up changing the channel because NOTHING they make I can really eat without feeling terrible later(not just psychologically, but physically) I
    It would certainly be nice to have a show that considers food combination and touts the importance Raw Veggie Juice as opposed to feeding the lies of Yogurt is your friend and don’t forget you NEEEEEEED animal protein! LOTS & LOTS of animal protein.

  9. Hi Kim!

    Your book is so well-written and clear that I finished it in a couple of days and changed my eating habits on the spot. It came to me at a perfect time. I recently had my first psoriasis outbreak and had to take Prednisone (a steroid) for 3 weeks, which brought on a weight gain of over 10 pounds. After implementing your plan a couple of weeks ago I had hoped to lose some of that weight, but I haven’t. I have reduced my dairy drastically, consuming maybe 1/4 cup in my morning coffee. No cheese ever again. The food pairing and the light-to-heavy rules have improved my skin and made me FEEL lighter but my size 2-4 pants are still snug. I am 5’4″ and 130 pounds, formerly 120. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted in any measure before that darn psoriasis. I don’t know if it’s the meds, or the fact that I am a few months from hitting thirty, but I will beat this flab! I was wondering if you could offer any advice to me. I WILL follow it, because my brain fog has cleared up and my emotions are stable. No more PMS mood swings, whoa!!! Thanks for this wealth of health, and good information.

    • Hi Lilly,
      That is so wonderful to hear and I am thrilled to hear of your progress! Keep up the good work! Keep us updated.
      xx

  10. As a Canadian, I’m surprised. Our Food Network isn’t identical, but often very similar. Yet, I pay attention to what is int he recipes and I have found that at least in Canada, there is one show I can think of off the top of my head that does focus on being healthy – Bal Arneson’s Spice Goddess. Her food always turns out (at least for me) and she does discuss healthy choices and healthy alternatives. I’d suggest you check it out. I’d be interested to hear what you think of her recipes.

  11. “Food has become a drug in this country with the culinary industry as its main pushers”

    -amen !!

    I am soooooo happy I stumbled onto your book at Target. Bought it, read it, am living it. I am a recovering food addict and I want to THANK YOU. I feel great and I am on a better path.

    Much thanks !!

  12. Kimberly
    I feel we are responsible for what we eat. Should we blame the food network, or McDonalds, or Coca Cola because we are obese? Although, I agree that Paula Deen is not about to jeopardize her income. I am sure due to the fact that she has diabetes, and everyone knows now, that she will start creating more healthy recipes. I sure hope so anyway.

    I do agree that it would be awesome to have a tv show that promoted healthy eating. And not just low calorie eating like hungry girl using aritificial sweetners. A show dedicated to healthy nutrious meals. I think Kim you should start such a show for us all to enjoy!

    New project for you Kim?

  13. Hi Kimberly

    I recently stumbled upon Earth Balance’s coconut spread – i guess as an alternative to using organic butter – I’ve been eating Udis Millet-Chia bread toasted in the mornings with the coconut spread and wanted to know your feelings on that.

    Thanks!

    • I’ve only been able to find Udi’s Millet Chia bread. I love it, but am confused it is a miscombination. I have the millet chia bread in the open faced avo sandwich. Kim–any thoughts on this?

  14. What I find interesting is now the Food Network is also now promoting a weight loss show called Fat Chef. Hey Kim, I have an off topic quesiton for you. Recently I was offered a promotion that would shift my schedule from working evenings (3pm to 12am) to very early mornings (I would have to be at work at 5am) What’s the best way to reset your internal clock with out resorting to taking sleeping pills in the evening and drinking lots of caffeine in the morning.

  15. Kimberly
    You should have a show on there! When’s the book coming out! I am a recent huge fan and love your recipes and have high hopes your recipes will help my psoriasis.

  16. Let me just start off by saying, from the perspective of a 26yrld female whose father & his sister both have type 2diabetes, ive always been annoyed while watching Paula. That lady would eat a stick of butter on camera if it wouldn’t completely gross out America. Its true, we have been programmed to believe eating this way is acceptable but are then dumbfounded when a disease or imprefection stricks. The simplest solution is the hardest for some…it hasn’t been battered & deep fried. We are not judging, it is really just caring for the well being of our fellow humans. I know I feel the urgency to implement wisdom I’ve grown to have as far as health and nutrition on my family members & friends. Maybe some feel its not my place to get involved, but I love them & will stop at nothing to help them stick around on this earth for as long as possible. It is sad when people rely more on the drugs they have to treat illnesses/diseases instead of changing their lifestyle. My dad was sick of taking insulin, so he changed his eating habits, started working out,& now is off his meds & barely needs to checks his blood sugar. He does have the occasional indulgence, but what drives him is the desire to see his granddaughter grow up! I’m so proud of him.

    Thank you Kimberly for caring!

    *teeny tiny sidenote: any tips on how to get rid of pet/animal allergies?! Haha! I love the furry creatures but am almost deathly allergic to dogs!!

  17. Thank you so much for this. I am beyond angry about what Paula Dean is doing. She earned herself a disease by eating garbage and is now saying there’s a magic pill to cure it so that she can continue to eat the garbage that got her here. Bravo Paula! What are the side effects? Has the drug been around long enough for long term testing? How many studies on it? How many participants? Prescriptions are not the answer and I’m nauseated at my own culture. How many people do you know over age 40 on 1 medication? Then they add another and another, each needed to fix something that the last medication damaged. How about stressing how NOT to earn type 2 diabetes? Our food and greedy doctors are killing us. I never questioned my doctor when he told me not to worry about the side effects he was required by law to warn me about. Well at 31 years of age I found out that I need a hip replacement. Multiple doctors told me separately that it’s because of the medication I was on, and being on it too often. Yes I’m angry, but I took responsibility. I said no more unnecessary meds. I took myself off one that I noticed made me gain 80 pounds over almost 10 years. I knew that if I continued, I’d have heart disease and diabetes and I wouldn’t deserve any sympathy because it would have been my own fault. I came off the med and realized that I was fine without it! Then I found a naturopath who gave me a strict diet. I had been on multiple long term chemo pills to cure my pain and after 6 months of eating a perfect diet, I didn’t even need my opiates anymore! I’ve lost 50 pounds so far, 30 more to go. Now even though I have a limp because I am doing physical therapy (which works) and putting off the inevitable surgery for as long as I can, I still look hot and turn heads. I earned it and people like Paula Dean can be sick and not have energy and not LIVE all they want because that’s what she earned.

  18. I’m sorry, but are we forgetting that we have a free will? Who cares what the Food Network is cooking and baking. It’s our choice whether or not we eat and/or make the food that they’re sharing with us. If you make every single Paula Deen recipe and expect to be slim…then you’re slightly disillusioned. All in all, it’s a network that shares recipes. When did people become so misguided that they began to blame their obesity on everything and everyone but themselves?

    • Helloooooo!!!!!! As I read Kim’s post I kept thinking, “what about our ability to make choices????” We all have the ability to make a choice. We choose what we are going to cook, we choose what we are going to eat when we’re on the run, we choose, we choose, we choose …. No one forces us to eat bad things. It’s not even just about food necessarily. There’s all the prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, etc. Basically, we have the choice of what we put in our bodies for food. Just because somethings out there (let’s take McDonald’s, for example) doesn’t mean that that’s what we should be eating most of the time. But McDonald’s (or whatever your fast food fix is) a few times a year isn’t the end of the world. Highly lethal drugs are out there too, but like really bad foods, and excessive medicating, it’s a choice, a choice we all make. So let’s think about blame, and instead of pointing fingers at every external thing, let’s choose to be smart consumers who CHOOSE to eat better and get enough exercise.

  19. What responsibility does the Food Network have on how I nourish myself? Really? Is anybody telling me that a TV network has any responsibility on what I put on my table and in my belly? WAKE UP PEOPLE! Throw your TV out of the window and live life RESPONSIBLY, the only people who are not responsible of their lives are babies! And that’s only temporary. TV is made by those who watch it, where there no shares, there would be no Deen’s show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Cupcake Wars, and Dessert First. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE OF OURSELVES AND OUR KIDS, so let’s give them a PROPER education, and let us not leave the Disney Channel do that for us. It’s the same as letting the Food Channel educating us on healthy diets. The way we eat is part of that education, and this comes from an Italian raised on pasta and bread, luckily enough in our kitchen there have always been fresh fruits and vegetables, but also meat of all sort, desserts and industrial foods. The information we need is out there, one only needs to go and click for it, it’s that easy, one only needs the will and the interest to do it. Let us all change our values, let us all look up to people who really support what’s important, not only a healthy lifestyle, but also (yes, it’s cheesy, this is how bad the situation is, it’s cheesy to mention what really matters) love, friendship, support, compassion, understanding, kindness, in short humanity…

  20. IMHO it speaks volumes Paula,Deen is working with a Big Pharma.Most Big Pharma will do ANYTHING for the BENJAMINS!To advocate is great.To.work with most Big Pharmas is greed.

  21. I agree with so much of this post. However, if we want to promote better health in our children and adults, the first thing we have to do is acknowledge that yes, food is indeed a “cultural and social experience”–as well as a source of pleasure–and has been for centuries. For those reasons and more, what one eats is a deeply personal matter. I have changed the way I eat over the past few years after working with a naturopathic nutritionist and later learning more from Kimberly. I derive as much pleasure from the way I eat (most of the time–this is a constant evolution and journey) now as I did when I was eating less healthfully and less mindfully. But it is difficult even to talk to so many people about food and making the smallest changes in their lives. I don’t have the answers here, but I believe the approach to teaching better nutrition needs to include the social, sensual, and fun aspects of eating more healthfully. If eating is presented as simply a mandatory biological function, it will be a much harder sell.

    I love to cook, and to eat, and my feelings about the Food Network have truly turned into a love-hate relationship over the past few years. I was so glad to see Giada de Laurentiis making green juice on one of her recent episodes, saying how good it made her feel to drink it after practicing yoga. But it is rare to see something like that. If it happened more often I think people would be inspired and get on board.

    • What a thoughtful comment. I had a similar reaction to yours, especially when I read the line, “The problem is that food shouldn’t be about these three things [taste, presentation, and creativity].” I mean…of course it should! But not to the exclusion of health. I worry that completely ignoring the great joy people get out of eating, cooking, and being near food will drive them away from programs like Kim’s that are in fact delicious AND healthy. I love food. I love eating it, I love cooking it, and yes, it matters how it tastes! That’s not to say I cook like Paula Deen. Far, far from it (my GGS this morning was delicious, by the way). But I absolutely agree with you, Aimee, that we can’t divorce the pleasure of eating from the necessity of eating healthfully to fuel our bodies efficiently. Making changes is hard enough without feeling like we’re doomed to some kind of harsh, ascetic lifestyle forever!

  22. I agree with those.who posted …..we are responsible for are own health.To blame Paula Deen or whomever is not going help.. CHOICES.Taking accountablity,responsibilty for.what we do.Not rocket science that allot if what she cooks is not healthy.
    IMHO….what speaks volumes is she is wirkijg with a Big Pharma..Why now…..she apparently had type 2 diabetes for several years. The Big Pharmas are digusting.They do most ANYth ing for thing for e $$$$$$.If Paula Deen chooses to work with the Big Pharma she is about the BENjamins IMHO first,then about advocacy and being a role model for people struggling with diabetes.

  23. Hi Kim,
    Thanks for all the healthy eating tips and recipes!! I have a really fast metabolism and I was wondering if you knew and foods that are still really healthy but will maintain my weight (or even help me gain some)!!!!
    Thanks!!!

  24. Unfortunately, in our American culture, ignorance is bliss..
    I have found that people do not want to hear about how they can improve their health, even when a doctor tells them it is necessary to make a change! Food really has become a drug, but interestingly enough, anorexia seems to be on the rise as well as obesity, at least in my observation.

    Also observed is the number of cancer patients I have recently met, who informed me that their doctors have instructed them to not only NOT change their poor diets, but to “EAT WORSE because the chemotherapy will kill all the bad stuff they put in their bodies anyway. Oh and don’t bother eating healthy stuff because the chemo will kill that too.” How many times have I heard OVERWEIGHT cancer patients tell me that thIs year is astounding- am I wrong to be shocked that doctors would be sayIng this?? Or are these all just cases of people hearing only what they want to hear??

    Call me crazy, but maybe an alkaline diet would be a good thing for someone who has cancer. Just a thought.

  25. Crap in…crap out! Food has become a drug of choice for too many Americans including those I love dearly. Paula Dean in my opinion is like the food addicts I know. She has her head in the sand when it comes to healthy eating and will more than likely never change her eating habits. The Food Network in some aspects seems to be offering some mental “fix” for those who can’t find another way to fill them selves up with love or self esteem or whatever you want to call it.

  26. I haven’t watched much of Paula Deen, my family is southern and her food is too familiar, therefore boring. With that said, she seems like a very sweet lady that has overcome a lot! She’s not a nutritionist, she’s a woman who was able to support herself by cooking tasty food. That food didn’t make you fat if you were farming as my grandparents did, but it doesn’t work if you’re sitting at a desk. The richer foods were mostly for Sundays, not everyday. After 9/11, it was all about “comfort food”, and Paula is cuddly. I wish her well!

    • I wish her well too. But tasty food that makes people sick is not something that I think is beneficial for people to learn and emulate every day. We are all responsible for our own food choices, but b/c she is so “cuddly” people want to emulate her and eat her food.

  27. I haven’t watched much of Paula Deen, my family is southern and her food is too familiar, therefore boring. With that said, she seems like a very sweet lady that has overcome a lot! She’s not a nutritionist, she’s a woman who was able to support herself by cooking tasty food. That food didn’t make you fat if you were farming as my grandparents did, but it doesn’t work if you’re sitting at a desk. The richer foods were mostly for Sundays, not everyday. After 9/11, it was all about “comfort food”, and Paula is cuddly. I wish her well and that people stop bashing her.

  28. This is kind of off topic but what do you think about the paleo diet? I know its the opposite of what you believe and It doesn’t make any sense to me. Why do you think it works for some people? Thanks

    • I think it works for some people b/c they cut out some junk food with it, so they inevitably improve. I do disagree with the principles of the diet though.

  29. Have you ever stopped to think about how much food in general is overrated?

    Before anyone can gain a clear head about food, the person really needs to detoxify for a few months. I have only been in Phase 2 for eight months – no deviations because I do not want to deviate. But my point is, only after this period of cleansing was I able to gain a clear perspective on food.

    The residual chemicals from eating dairy and meat have begun to lift, and so has the craving for such foods. Detoxing cleans your head, heart, mind and appetite. Living this way changes more than your skin and digestion. It gives you a lightness and a feeling of detachment from so many low, heavy, corporal things of earth. Intuition and empathy are heightened, and it brings a feeling of connectedness.

    It is sad to think of so many people doped by the rich foods they put into their bodies. I do not judge people who continue to eat bad foods; they are missing the fullness of life. Being in a detoxified body brings such spiritual awareness that it transfers life into another plane, much like distance running. It awakens you. How sad to miss that for a doughnut or some gloppy pasta.

    What’s the big deal about shoving things into a hole in your face anyway?

    Great article, thoughtful comments.

  30. I agree that it’s just a Network. I would put more of the responsibility on the parents and the school system. I think there should be a mandatory nutritional class in schools to help educate children on how to eat properly as well as a complete overhaul of the cafeterias across the US (i.e. Jamie’s Food Revolution). Not to mention, the big culprit… the media which is more than likely being influenced by the Meat and Dairy companies. However, in the end, it’s up to the individual to take responsibility for themselves. It’s time to start taking a good look at what we are putting into our bodies.

    • Hi Jamie, as I said above, that is true and everyone is 100% responsible for their own choices. But I just wish there were more programs out there that could support and teach people to eat healthier. And as you mentioned, teaching kids to be healthier from the start would be amazing and help to alleviate so much suffering later in their lives. xx

  31. Thanks Kimberly ,you point it out. I work right now in the US but I am from Germany.
    Yes, we do love our cakes, breads and chocolates, but in Balance.Sure we have people who are overweight we make no exeption.
    A recent Survey point out that over 60% of people in Germany eat fresh Veggie and Fruits on al daily basic.that is the Way I was brought up, Meat ,Deli Meats Sweets in Moderation .
    But in that is shocking to me , Americans love their fake Butters(Magarine),unhealthy Oils(to hight in Omega6), believe in everything which tells them it is light,has no fat and sugar.Their are obsessed in their Sodas and Fast Foods
    Obesity is the new Way of Life and like many of my Patients have told me, you get sick ,you go to the Doctor and get a prescription.
    I stay away from any American made Food and buy everything organic as much as possible. Did you know that theK American Food chain contains ,but you find it also in Cosmetic and Plastic has still more than 1000 Chemicals ,which are banned in Europe i.e.BPA? But their are people outhere who are turning the deadly tide wave around and trying to eat and live healthy.
    Well the US is shoveling it’s own Grave.
    You are doing a great Job , Kimberly, go on and tell the Truth
    I love your recipes
    Wish you the Best

  32. I remember many years ago there was a cooking show called The Galloping Gourmet, starring Graham Kerr. He was British, but cooked French type food, with lots of butter and sauces. After his wife had a stroke he completely changed his ways and began to prepare healthy foods. He’s still at it, his wife is still alive, and now he’s into gardening. If Paula Deen would do the same, people would love and honor her the way they do with Graham Kerr. PR-wise it would be a great opportunity for her. I love Paula, she’s a lot of fun to watch, but I never actually used one of her recipes after seeing her prepare it on her show. It’s entertainment, that’s all.

  33. I have to admit I have been a fan of the Food Network for many years, and have grown to love many of the people on it and their network shows. Although I am a healthy eater and vegetarian, I still tune in and watch the shows occasionally. I have to admit though that I often do get disgusted at the amounts of red meat, butter, sugar, and other unhealthy foods that are commonly used in their recipes and often in copious amounts. I used to make some of their recipes back in the day, but I do not make them now. When I tune in, it’s purely for entertainment purposes and to see some of my favorite chefs. However, I can’t say that this is the same for others and that there aren’t people who watch these shows and think that it’s “OK” to eat these foods because it’s on the Food Network. I was not aware that Paula Deen had been diagnosed with diabetes, and I agree with you that taking a pill to mask the underlying health conditions that she has is not sending out a good message. Unfortunately, this is commonplace in today’s society and it really is sad. I am a huge fan of the Beauty Detox Solution and practice it daily, and I am also working on my master’s degree in Human Nutrition. All that we can do as health professionals is educate as many people as we can about the dangers of the standard American diet and conventional medicine, and show them that there are other much more healthy options available to them.

  34. Hi Kimberly,
    I was so happy to find this post in my email today! As I flip through the channels and see some of these food shows, I find myself repeatedly uttering the words “and this is why Americans have diabetes, heart problems, etc” Thanks for also commenting about the “health” food shows as well because I agree that they are not necessarily promoting healthy eating. For years it has always amazed me people would rather pop a pill than not eat what is giving them heartburn.
    Thanks for being amazing and continuing to inspire us!
    -Jen

  35. Thanks for including this Kimberly. It’s nice to see some discussion-provoking topics.
    For whatever reason, it has always bothered me when people say things like “eat to live” or that food’s only purpose is to fuel our bodies. While I DO agree that health should be the top priority, I feel that taste has to at least be a close 2nd (or tie for first). Food can be healthy and tasty. There has to be moderation. We are human – I don’t think it is possible, or beneficial, to make yourself eat something that tastes terrible to you, and you sure aren’t going to convert other people to make healthy choices if you make health food all the time that is not tasty. Food will always be more than fuel – it will be entertainment, friendship, a hobby…the list goes on. But simply referring to it as fuel is sad and makes me want to give on on eating! haha. I know that wasn’t the point of this blog, but I just had to add my thoughts. And I think Paula is irresponsible. The end! :)

    • I agree, Lori! Humans are ‘allowed’ pleasure, and taste definitely counts. Some people can eat strictly for fuel, and more power to ‘em, but I love to cook and eat, and sometimes a green smoothie just doesn’t cut it. (Well, beyond my daily breakfast shake, of course.)

      What I have been doing for years, however, is modifying my farm-raised Tennessee recipes, eating controlled portions,and the majority of my diet is very clean. Balance and moderation plus a lot of exercise is working for me. My blood presser and such are good, I feel good, and my taste buds are happy, too. :-)

    • I agree. I love having nice meals with my family, cooking with my mom, and having romantic dinners with my boyfriend. But I think those memories can be built around healthier (even if not perfect, but better) choices which promote your loved ones getting- and staying-healthy. xx

  36. hi kim this is jennifer toland there are a few important things to ask and sometimes you get fluttered with a lot of things on twitter lol so my questions are as follows..
    Can we use almond milk in our oat groats or quinoa flakes??
    
can we use tofutti sour cream with spices to change it up for a dip for our veggies?
    
is it a sign that i can move on to phase 2 cause i am getting sick of all the veggies and dont wanna fall off the wagon,i only started on bloss beauty cause i have a sweet tooth i was already doing gluten and dairy free????
    and all a sudden eating raw veggies im getting heartburn????

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I don’t ever recommend tofutti sour cream. Try my Chickpea-Less Hummus recipe, salsa, regular hummus if you are in a bind, or the Green bean-Miso dip.
      Try Radiant Beauty and the GGS and see how you do.
      If you’re having trouble with a huge amount of raw veggies, then steam your veggies at dinner, and let your digestion build up naturally. xx

  37. Kimberly I completely agree. I have always really enjoyed eating and am very passionate about cooking. I often watch food network out of interest and find it so alarming the way that these people are eating and supporting food that is in reality totaly disgusting! I wish foodnetwork promoted cooking shows that had actual nutritional and healthy meals but unfortunately the american society has become so obsessed with eating like pigs that the food network doesn’t take a chance on trying to promote anything like that.

  38. I’ve been waiting patiently for the Food Channel to have a vegetarian, vegan or raw food chef with a 1/2 hour show. If there is one, would someone please let me know. Thanks.

  39. I went into the break room at work and there are slices of left over birthday cake and I picked one up, but then put it back .. making that all important free will, free thinking choice of NOT to have trans fat laden cake. I went back to my desk and ate my apple and 1 tbs of peanut butter.

    No, I don’t think the Food Network is supporting obesity. Make the right choice to eat healthy – plain and simple.

    M.

    • Yes that is true Monica and everyone is 100% responsible for their own choices. But I just wish there were more programs out there that could support and teach people to eat healthier.

  40. Even before I was eating clean I found her recipes to be utterly unappealing. If she won’t change her brand (along with her herself), she will be a sad example of what poor nutrition does for you. I used to love the Food Network and find it so hard to relate to now.

    Sidenote: can you talk about juicers vs cold pressed, masticating juicers? I know you love your vitamix for smoothies, but I’m confused by everything I read re juicing & with all the cold-pressed juiceries here in LA. Does cold-pressed really preserve more nutrients? Thanks from a loyal learner!

    • I will write more on that in another post James! Some companies use juicers like the Norwalk juicers which do preserve the enzymes longer and some do not. xx

  41. I’m from Azerbaijan and I have been leaving in Canada for 9 years. All these years I tried to keep our culture because of my daughter. What usually kids eat here: burgers, fries, mac and cheese..pop… Back home we eat a lot veggies and herbs. I offer my daughter;s friends (15-16 years old) healthy smoothies, salads with fruits and veggies, parfaits and when they eat, it makes me happy. My point is we have to educate young generation, make healthy food at home. They eat whatever we make.
    What about Food network??? I stopped watching it . It’s business. Let them make money and let people make healthy choices. Everybody should be his own doctor.
    Thanks to you Kimberly for your book. I took recipes and advices from that.

  42. It is not 100% accurate to say that diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and autoimmune disorders are directly linked to lifestyle. Yes, lifestyle can be a factor, but there is a genetic component to these diseases as well. As a health care provider, I have seen some individuals at a healthy body weight who have a good diet and exercise habits and yet they too develop Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other diseases. On the plus side, they seem to be better able to manage their disease with little or no meds.

  43. Sorry, my mobile causes things to get published too soon sometimes. I eat a healthy vegan gluten free diet but I still need medication for my asthma. People seem to want things to be simple but just as medication isn’t the only way to treat illness, for many people a combination of diet and medication is necessary.

    • Thanks for commenting Francesca. We all have to do what is best for our bodies, but I think that a healthy diet should be part of every healing program. xx

  44. I think saying that the media is responsible for food being a social and cultural experience. It was that long before TV existed. Media is not the only reason we eat more and less nutritious food. Industrialization and technology started that. Technology has allowed packaged food to exist. The rich, who had everything prepared by servants in olden times, ate rich, bad for you food. As these kinds of foods became more available to the not-rich their use increased. But that isn’t modern media’s fault.

    Also, I get really bothered when people say diet is a cure all for a long list of diseases. I

  45. Excellent!! Thanks for your expertise Kimberly!! I am 60 and follow your detox and do yoga. What a difference that has made on my life. More energy, skin looks great, less noxins in my body and clearer thinking.

  46. How about we start an email petition to Food Network to ask for shows that add “healthy” to the “taste, presentation, and creativity” criteria?

    It’s not necessarily about killing shows like Deen’s, it’s about adding something better. Just like learning to eat healthy, it’s not just what you remove, it’s what you ADD.

  47. I prefer a raw, vegan diet myself, but want to weigh in with the idea that other people are not our role models unless we choose them to be. We can go too far into childishness and blame others’ choices for our actions. Personally, I don’t watch the Food Network. What Paula Deen does is her choice, and we’re all allowed to choose for good or worse. To “criminalize” wrong choices that require our complicity to become dangerous is in itself dangerous, in my opinion.

    I agree with pointing out in great detail how poor choices if followed will not bring health.

    The “health” sector’s assault on others choices isnt any different than the government trying to take raw milk away because they have decided it’s bad for us. Let’s allow choice to all, knowing that consequences carry with them their own lesson.

    • As I said above, that is true and everyone is 100% responsible for their own choices. But I just wish there were more programs out there that could support and teach people to eat healthier.

  48. I feel bad for Paula Deen. It is sad how many american’s really don’t have the knowledge and understanding to made better food choices. Hopefully this situation will have a positive outcome of the awareness of how much food choices matter!

  49. Food Network is a typical representation of corrupted America in modern age. Greedy corporations have no concern about population and its needs. Just think about how many shows like that create a market that generates money from sales. And who cares that it is not healthy because guess what?! they also sell medications to “help” you… When you and I are making decisions with health in mind, we are no longer contributing to the money making machine (i.e. food industry, drug industry, healthcare providers etc). This is a really sad situation. But I hope that as long as many of us make right choices and educate people around us, the market will soon change to accommodate our healthy choices. And who knows maybe we’ll even see Paula Deen advocating for the rights of kale and spinach in our meals!!! ;)

  50. Food Network is just a network providing the recipes.
    Paula Dean is just Paula Dean.
    I don’t like her horrible unhealthy food and don’t cook it.

    My point is: if you care about your health, do research on what’s healthy
    and ignore Paula’s crappy shows. Our health is in our own hands, and we should blame only ourselves for being obese and sick.

    • True, everyone is 100% responsible for their own choices. But I just wish there were more programs out there that could support and teach people to eat healthier.

  51. THANK YOU KIMBERLY, you’ve confirmed my feelings on this matter! After multiple discussions (one actual argument…) with co-workers who support Deen’s decisions, I began to feel like maybe I was “too extreme.” As an educator (from the South) I was very disapointed when I read that she chose big-pharma/business over the lives of her devoted followers. She had THE opportunity to make a major statement and appeared totally unaware of this.

    Everyday, I am thankful to have YOU as a lifestyle role model. I am happy I chose to follow someone trustworthy, knowledgable, and caring.

  52. I agree with you 100%! I live in Europe but also lived in The US for about a year. Although I don’t think my country (The Netherlands) is a particularly “healthy” country (we consume disturbingly high amounts of dairy, which makes me an outsider as I’m lactose intolerant hehe) I was raised on a balanced diet always including a lot of veggies, fruit and vegetarian options for dinner. When I came to live in The US I was very surprised at everything I’d see in restaurants, in the supermarkets and on TV. The portions in The US are gigantic!

    I remember back then I’d still occasionally go to Mc Donalds (no longer, don’t worry;). The first time I went I ordered one portion of small fries. However they gave me a large fries – I thought “how nice, more fries!” but only to discover that this actually was a small portion – it’s just that a USA small portion equals a Dutch large portion! I always thought that was weird, but I saw it everywhere. In supermarkets you can buy so much meat and gallons of soda – you can’t buy those amounts here, people would think you’re crazy buying anything more than 1 or 1.5 liters (regular size of a big bottle here) of soda. It’s more about portion control here.

    Anyway I noticed these things on TV too. The cooking shows are really gross to me. Consuming so much butter and fat? I remember in the beginning I’d think they were a joke – like no one actually eats these unhealthy foods right? But I quickly learned that they do. Of course not everyone, I don’t want to offend anyone on here =) But that definitely set me apart from for example many of my co-workers in The US. I would happily eat a big salad for lunch but eating a burger and fries seemed the norm for many. I did end up gaining some weight by the way in that period because I wanted to fit in somewhat, but it all came off once I moved back to Europe.

    I love The US and love coming back but I will never understand its fascination with unhealthy foods!

    • Thanks Sofie, I am from Gemany, yes we love our Pastry and breads
      but we still watch out for a Balanced Diet. A recent Survey said that 60% of Germanys eat fresh Fruit and Vegetable everyday.
      But like you I never understood Americans for their Love of unhealty Food.
      As a Nurse I see it everyday, the terrible suffering ,starting already in childhood because of the wrong Diet and no exercise. Of course their are exeptions.

  53. Hi Kimberly,
    I completely agree and I’m so glad you shed light on this issue! It’s so hard to watch people think of food in this way and complete disregard nutrition. My question for you is, could you provide advice for helping family members who cook this way? And more importantly how to attend dinner parties or family meals where food is prepared this way? Any tips on what to do without being rude or pushy but I just cannot eat that way because I am following the Beauty Detox Solution! I’ve mastered what to do when having to eat out with ordering a green salad first but since you cannot order when someone’s hosting any thoughts?

    • Hi Katie,
      You MUST check out my blog, “How to Explain Your Food Choices to Others” (title is something like that). Look it up! xx

  54. Paula Deen selling anti-diabetic medication is akin to a smoker with lung cancer pushing nicotine patches while still smoking cigarrettes.

  55. Thanks for your insight, Kim. I have always admired Paula D. For her tenacity, creativity and business savvy.
    That being said, she lacks integrity because she calculated and strategized her game plan. She withheld her illness so that her dynasty wouldn’t suffer. I find that dispicable. How can someone in good conscience use their celebrity to continue to influence us in bad nutrition.
    Additionally, she is either in denial, not well informed or just plain stupid. She claims to keep eating and cooking as she has! WHAT! I am hoping that we all learn a good lesson from this and the wonderful insightful bloggers. Thanks to all if you.
    In good health, Hanna

  56. I need to chime in on this as someone who actually works for Food Network (and drinks a GGS for breakfast at her desk!) While I agree that a lot of the shows/recipes lean towards the indulgent, the fact of that matter is that that’s exactly what America wants to see. There are healthy shows on the air, like Ellie Krieger’s, but in general the programming is responsive to what people will watch. If Americans would watch an entire network’s worth of healthy cooking shows, that’s exactly what would be on the air. People often blame Food Network for forcing certain shows or content down people’s throats, but unfortunately, the shows that are on the air are the shows that people want to watch. NBC doesn’t keep running shows that people don’t watch, and neither does FN. It’s sad, but that’s the reality. If enough people would watch a vegetarian, vegan or raw food show, then they would put them on the air.

    And for what it’s worth, I totally agree with Kim about the medicating part of the American lifestyle. I am so sick of all the ads for heartburn medications telling people that now they can eat their “favorite foods”. Maybe your body is telling you to stop eating chili dogs and pizza!

    • Hi Emily,
      Thanks for contributing! I am glad you are a GGS drinker.

      I with that programs on healthier foods could be made as equally fun or entertaining as something like Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

      I also have an issue with “healthier” programs promoting low-cal products such as artificial sweeteners. That is not really healthy to me.

      Come visit again. xx

      • Totally agree Kim– they should be made to me fun and entertaining, not positioned as a “trade off”. And I would love to see artificial sweeteners go away too…

    • I would like to add a comment to the person that works for the food network. While the viewer is responsible for what they eat, many are them are addicts! Would you show a drug addict more ways to obtain drugs just because that is what they want? To many, food is a drug. Until the food network acknowledges this and takes a bit of responsibility for what they show nothing will change. Most likely a few of your so called “chefs” or hosts will unfortunately at the least be very sick from their overindulgence which I find quite disgusting. If you actually watch earlier shows you can see the fluctuation of your hosts weights change which I would think would concern you just on a human level!
      Bottom line to your network is the all
      mighty $! Wake up America and take back your control!!!

  57. My husband and I feel very disappointed that someone with Paula Deen’s influence chooses to endorse pharmaceuticals instead of revamping her recipes for healthy living. What a missed opportunity!

  58. Hi Kim,

    I loved your book and your site. My question is, I’ve read a little bit about the metabolic diet where some people fair better with a little bit of animal protien in there diets, can you tell me your thoughts on that. My husband is battling cancer so I’ve had him omit animal protien and dairy but he seems a little weak .

    Thank you,
    Sharon

    • Hi Sharon,
      Everyone’s body and genetic makeup is different, and some people do better with different foods that others. I have some clients that feel better with some animal protein in their diets- and that is okay, but we greatly reduce the frequency and amount of their animal protein consumption.
      For someone going through all illness/disease a vegan diet is recommended because it is so alkaline-forming, and brings more oxygen into the body, while simultaneous acidic foods are reduced. For strength, you can add healthy whole grains like quinoa, millet and millet bread.
      I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, but I pray for his healing and recovery.
      Keep in touch xx, Kimberly

  59. As a devotee of Food Network, I have been appalled by the content of some of the recipes. But Paul Deen, literally, takes the cake. The day I saw her make a lasagna sandwich with her equally overweight girlfriend, I knew she had jettisoned into a different statosphere. Moderation?? I have never heard her utter the word. I’m sure she was trying to protect her lucrative brand by waiting three years to come clean.
    But she could have done a real public service had she approached it more like,,,
    “I have just been diagnosed with Type II diabetes which, in addition to heredity and other factors, is closely linked to diet. I am going to alter my recipes and eating habits to control my disease and encourage all of you to join me on this journey to a healthier lifestyle.” She would have generated plenty of great press and been seen as an advocate. Instead, she is dealing with some weighty backlash.And leaves it to her son to step forward with a new show called “Not My Mama’s Cooking.” So now she’s making money from her own show, her son’s show and a drug company. Certainly squeezing a LOT of lemonade out of her lemons!

  60. You GO GIRL! While I think that taste and presentation are important to the relationship we have with food and in the social & cultural & emotional role that it does play (really it does, and we cannot deny that) those should be second to none when it comes to nutritional value and the good for you factor. Eating does bring us a sense of joy and how better to say I love you to those that mean the most, right? Well why can’t we have it all, just put nutrition first. Who says a plate full of veggies can’t look great, taste great, and also be great for you!!! If food network really wanted to something good for a population that is so obsessed with food it would create a show that puts nutrition first and teaches people about food nutrition, preparation, and combining with the “feel good” factor that would make it more desirable and easier to be health conscious and let go of all the old mores we have with food and emotions. Problem is that the companies that rule the food industry also own these networks so there is a real conflict of interest for them in doing what’s right.

  61. This article made me think of a line from “The Wire”
    “In this country, supermarkets are cathedrals. I worry for you, buddy.”

    I agree wholeheartedly with Kit. Too bad you can’t have a show Kimberly! I would love to see you make some of the recipes from your book. :)

  62. Kimberly,

    I agree with this post. America does have a skewed view of what is and is not healthy to eat. I ordered your book a while ago and was glad to be taught how to eat healthy and to eliminate processed foods. I am trying (slowly) to make my mind see food as a fuel source that directly impacts the efficiency of my body. I was never taught this growning up. I grew up eating t.v dinners and fast food. I had a high metabolism so I never gave much thought to what I ate. I only started thinking about it after I started gaining weight and had to change my habits. I am 29 years old and finding it so hard to fight against temptations. Luckily, I have the knowledge to start any future children I may have off to a good start with good eating habits! Thank you!

  63. I have been saying they need to do a show with raw vegan food, but they never will because that would be like admitting the other shows are wrong and they would lose marketing dollars.

    • Love your idea Jamie.
      For those who are saying we shoudn’t blame Paula and the Food network, I say why not. People ought to be educating themselves about these things but they don’t, and the children are being fed what the parents are buying and preparing. So they may be watching these shows and if instead we had all cooking shows showing healthy ways to eat, maybe they would learn this way. For a lot of people,this is how they have been eating all their life. Hard for them to change. And this society is about letting people get sick, give them pills to try and treat it, cut out parts of their bodies; thats what Paulas doing. She gets a disease and then is supporting taking pills for it. Wrong. The way we eat (Badly) is responsible for a lot of our ill health

  64. Food has always been my drug of choice and Food Network show’s (and the like) and food commercials are my pushers. They tell me look at how good you’ll feel how good this is, just like cigarrette commercials.

  65. The first thing I did after learning about Paula Deen’s health was write to the Food Network about how they need to incorporate a healthy cooking show into their line up. There are so many amazing vegan and raw recipes out there, that it requires its own show and it will teach America how to prepare healthier dishes.

  66. Kimberly –
    Your book is my new bible. I LOVE it… my husband and I been drinking the GGS every day – after my new Vitamix arrived. We have already lost about 10 pounds each and feeling so much better – eating tons of organic greens and making sure we have raw veggies before every meal. THANK YOU – your book is so wonderfully written…

    I am a big health advocate for children and I agree Paula Deen’s cooking and others is fattening up America.. the other one I always cringed at was Sandra Lee – Mario Batali needs to go on your program too!!!

    Juice Plus is a way to get 17 fruits and veggies into kids and everyone else every single day and encourages healthy eating and backed by human clinical trials… the new complete nutrition is packed with all the beauty grains you talk about including Organic Millet, Organic Amaranth, Organic Quinoa, Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Alfalfa sprouts.. and so much more – all high quality plant based protein and fiber…
    Kids are free for three years when sponsored by an adult. The company will be offering Tower Gardens in the Spring so everyone can grow fresh fruits and vegetables.. so exciting.. To good health!!!!! Sara

  67. I am a fan of Paula’s and I also have several family members with diabetes. I also had a boyfriend of many years pass from diabetes complications. All of that being said Everyone has a choice of what they put in their mouth! Paula has nothing to do with what you, me or anyone else eats. I am very tired of people trying to blame someone else for their situation instead of just looking in the mirror. Furthermore there are alot of factors that come into play with diabetes besides diet/food because I know some skinny diabetics.

  68. Agree 100% with the post. This article needs to go mainstream. I am living proof of the negative outcome of the food newtwork. After marriage and before kids my husband and I discovered the food network and were addicted. Cooking the meals from our fav shows became our new hobby. We started printing recipes from our fav shows like crazy and making a new dinner every night. Before we knew it we each had gained about 50 lbs and our grocery budget expanded from buying all the expensive cheeses, meats, etc. each recipe called for. We felt so cool and knowledgeable in the kitchen.

    Luckily 10 years later I crossed paths with The China Study, other books, then your book!

    • Thanks for weighing in Angela. I’m so glad you switched gears!!!

      I hope healthier shows/programs will start that can teach people to eat and prepare food in a healthier way. xx

  69. There are many ways for people to obtain correct information on what is healthy & unhealthy. We have a choice. The campaigns, websites, commercials, tv shows, etc that shine a light on obesity & how to fuel your body properly are everywhere. We know that donuts, butter & fried food are foul. In my opinion, it’s an individuals responsibility to educate & choose wisely for themselves. Not The Food Network or anyone else.

  70. Kimberly,

    I agree with you on so many of the things you’ve said in this article except for one thing. Food, to me anyway, is not just fuel for my body. It is fuel for my body in addition to a cultural and social experience. There’s nothing I enjoy more than tasty, wholesome food and sharing it with those I love. A meal over candlelight with my partner, a family celebration with food, a birthday party.

    So many of my happiest memories involve food. I agree that bacon cheeseburgers on krispy kreme donuts should be illegal but I also think moderation in everything. I think food can be a sensual, heartwarming, fulfilling experience and not just fuel for my body.

    I continue to read the articles you post and appreciate them very much. I just wanted to weigh in here because I’ve heard the “food is only fuel for my body” phrase before and it’s always struck me as true but also kind of sad in a way too.

    Thanks again for your good work, keep it up!!

    • Maraget, I completely agree with you. If that same logic was applied to so many other necessities of human life, i.e. clothing, shelter, hygiene we’d need to criticize and support radical change in more than just the food industry. No more luxury homes, no more expensive hair cuts, no more makeup and the list goes on. But the truth is we live in a society where excess is embraced and present because we aren’t fighting for survival everyday. We can be uber healthy because we can afford to. To eat very healthy requires money and resources and we’re lucky to live in a country that has both. I think the human body can survive with a little splurging now and again, even if it is on Giada’s crazy dessert that has no ounce of health to it. You only live once and I think enjoyment of food whether healthy or unhealthy in a social and personal setting is worth every bite. In life, moderation is key, in every aspect. I think there is such a thing as too healthy when it becomes an obsession as opposed to a way of life.

    • Hi Margaret, I agree with you that there is an emotional and social aspect of food. We never have to be denied that. I too love having a great meal with my family or a romantic dinner with my boyfriend.

      I think we can have all those amazing memories and experiences be built around healthier foods, and they can be just as enjoyable. xx

  71. Hi Kimberly,

    I definitely agree with what you’re saying, and I think what the food industry (most restaurants included) are sending the wrong message. However, they are doing the same thing as every other business in the country: Trying to make money at whatever cost. Think of television. They don’t broadcast what is correct and a good positive message for everyone. They broadcast what sells, which is sex and violence the same way the food industry pumps out unhealthy good tasting food. That’s what sells. So as much as I agree with you that restaurants and Food Network should revamp their menus, I don’t think it will ever happen. So I think we should stop playing the blame game think for ourselves about what we put into our bodies because no one else does.

    I love your blog and your book!

  72. Anyone who thinks Paula Deen is a role model needs more than their diet revamped!!! I watch a lot of those shows because they are entertaining, but not once do I say to myself “wow, that looks so good for me”!!! The Food Network and the chefs on it are there to entertain and make money. It is up to us, the individual consumers, to do the research necessary to understand what is good for us and what is not. You can’t put it off on someone else, regardless of what they say or do. In addition, while many of us would choose to revamp our diets and make changes to improve our health, Paula Deen took a different track. That is her choice. We can choose differently, but that doesn’t mean what’s she’s doing is wrong. You said it yourself in an earlier post. We all take the steps that we think we can take to improve our lives and our health. It’s 100% personal.

  73. While I think it is irresponsible for Paula Deen to have kept her condition a secret until a marketing deal came around, I also think that we all have a responsibility to ourselves to take care of our bodies. Yes, people create shows, write cookbooks, and open up restaurants that are far from healthy, but no one is twisting anyone’s arms to go and gorge on that food.

    Yes, we, as a nation need better food education and accessibility to higher quality fruits and vegetables, but we also need to stop blaming the media and the fast food chains and start taking a good hard look at the choices WE are making.

    No one is making you watch the show, buy the book, or go through the drive thru except OURSELF.

    • While I think this is so true that we are responsible for the choices and decisions on what we eat, there is an enormous disparity between the unhealthy food available EVERYWHERE (restaurants, books, shows, vending machines, etc.) compared to healthy nutritious whole pesticide free food available, and that’s a shame.

      I truly don’t think it’s ‘people’ making bad decisions that are the source of the real problem. One has to make a concerted effort to make the healthy decisions and while we happily do it: what about our children, and those who live in areas where healthy options aren’t readily available? It’s upside down of how it should be to find just ‘whole natural food’. Just think if the preponderance of food was truly HEALTHY nutritious options everywhere and marketed everywhere (in much the same fashion as all this toxic processed food) how much healthier so so many people would be?? It would have such an incredibly enormous global impact it would be mind boggling.

      This was such a fantastic article and so spot on, Kimberly!!

    • Absolutely true, but I do wish there were more programs out there that were equally fun and entertaining that gave people resources and info on how to cook healthier. xx

  74. I am so glad that you are shedding some light to this. Ever since I read your book I started looking at food (and life) differently. I’ve never been a fan of Paula Deen’s cooking. She seems like a sweet lady but her food is so ridiculously bad for you. Who in their right mind would sandwhich their burger with krispy kreme donut?!!!!

    Keep up the good work Kim!!!!

    • sorry for butting in, i just wanted to say that i had a coated white tongue for a while and it was because of candida overgrowth. if you google it or read kims book there is a lot of info on candida. i cut out sugar and dairy and alcohol, and started taking probiotics and it helped a lot.

  75. Great article. Unfortunately, the same mindless food philosophy applies to Good Food Channel that channels such programmes as Barefoot Contessa (sweet lady, but does not cook or look healthy), Man v Food (it made me feel unhealthy just watching it for 5 minutes!), Ace of Cakes (you can actually see how over time all the bakers gained weight), Nigella Bites etc.

    Sugar, butter and white flour seem to be everyone’s favourite ingredients….just imagine this chocolatey, floury goo flowing through your veins…I actually made a papier mache sculpture the other day….guess what I used as glue – flour and water! Yummy!?
    The question is what we can do about it? I love cooking and would like to be able to watch a programme without cringing every minute.

    What also upsets me is language manipulation, changing the meaning of word such as “good for you” and “home made”…what is “home made” about a store-bought chocolate bar, melted in your pot and mixed with more sugar and flour at home? I have no idea. We should write a petition or something!;-)

    • The more issues like this get discussed, the more ideas can spread and hopefully promote introspection then change. xx

  76. When I began my quest for better health, I began to realize the nutritional wasteland that is the Food Network. I am sorry to hear about Ms. Deen’s diagnosis, but for her to continue to promote this kind of eating is felonious. I have watched her in the past when I was still eating that way and I do not remember her ever saying that her food should be enjoyed in moderation. Just as people expect sports figures to be role models, so too should she be a role model.

  77. I think The Food Network is irresponsible and Paula Dee is horrible to her fans, its not only until she can profit from her illness does she announce it to the public. I been actively trying to eat right lose weight for about a year now, and even though I did great (losing 17lbs) Im looking for something better, a whole new way to look at food. I’m half ways done with your book, and i can’t believe i have lived my whole life “eating the wrong way” hahahah its made perfect sense (light to heavy) I really hope i can lose these last 10lbs, I am nervous though since i also plan to ween my self off my migraine medication since those pills must be really hurting my organs. Ok wish me luck. Thank you for writing that book:)

  78. What a fantastic blog Kimberly. I don’t think anyone could say it any better than you just have. Problem is, the many people who should be reading your articles and educating themselves would prefer to read the menu at McDonalds. I hope that you efforts will continue to raise awareness on just how critical good nutrition is.

  79. Unfortunately the part of the population that really needs to be aware of this probably doesn’t read your blog. And they’re missing out because of all this misinformation the media does.

  80. Wow, what a thought-provoking post! I never thought about cooking shows this way before, but you’re right. All the food they highlight is almost always indulgent and laden with fat and sugar. There’s ALWAYS meat as the main course. The vegetables, if shown, are usually cooked at high temps. Even the “healthy” shows promote using sugar substitutes like Splenda (which is poison!).

    Thanks for writing this – you’ve brought an issue to light that definitely needs some attention.

    • Hi Missy, as others pointed out above in earlier comments, people do have to take responsibility for their own diets. But that being said, I think with the dire obesity and disease crisis/collapse of the health care system that is at hand, certain things need to shift for the betterment of all.

      One of those things would be programs to teach people how to cook healthier foods, and where meat doesn’t have to always be the main course.

  81. Good for you– telling it like it is, Kim!

    Before reading your book (and blog) I had an extremely skewed view of what healthy eating was! I would constantly throw back a bunch of expensive supplements and prescription antidepressants and wonder why I was miserably depressed, anxious and zity! Since discovering your savior of a book, my depression is so much better (Im off the meds) and I haven’t had one zit in months!! For every friend I have told about your program, they have told another 5!

    As far as this Paula lady goes, it is disgusting that instead of promoting a healthy lifestyle that is PREVENTATIVE, she is electing to endorse a pill when it is already too late. If the majority of people cleaned up their diets and in turn didn’t get devstating diseases such as diabetes, the pharmaceutical compnies would lose billions, so I suppose that is why they want to keep the endorsements going!

    Kim, please salvage the health of this country by getting on tv with your own cooking show!

    • Hi L,
      Wow, that is fantastic about you getting off meds and your skin! I’m thrilled that you have discovered for yourself the healing powers of a great diet.
      I hope to have a show one day. :)
      xx

  82. This is frightening. It’s horrific what mainstream thinks of as “healthy.”

    I just want to wave my GGS about and tell them what the healthy hokey-pokey is really all about!

    Thank you for having the courage to point it out!

  83. I find this all extremely scary and I’m so glad that you’re shining a much-needed light on this issue. Even scarier to me is the over-abundance of commercials targeted towards children that promote unhealthy restaurants and snacks and, therefore, unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits. Although many fast food places now offer healthier options, I don’t think that apples and suger-laden caramel are exactly “healthy” for kids to eat. You covered some of this in a previous post as well and I’m so thankful that you’re bringing attention to these issues. Thank you SO VERY much!!

    • I think we are all forgetting that the Food Network is just that…a Network. Networks produce programs designed to entertain and bring in revenue. How else can you explain Jerry Springer, the Real Housewives and the Real World (just to name a few of the stellar TV options available today). These shows get produced because people are watching them. As free thinking adults, we all have the choice to watch…and eat, whatever we like. I’m not sure when it was decided that it would be the responsibility of the entertainment industry to lead us all down the paths of righteousness and healthy eating. I say, reserve that burden for our parents and Dr. Oz, and leave Paula Deen alone. People have got to stop blaming everyone else for their problems and start making their own decisions. If Paula Deen is single handedly making the world heavier, then we can certainly blame the cast of the Jersey Shore for making us all dumber. Until she comes to your house and starts spoon feeding you banana pudding, she has not personally inflicted any harm. She has also never marketed her show as a guide for healthy eating or pretended she was offering anything other than Southern comfort food…which, as a Southerner, I happen to LOVE. Yes, it’s unfortunate that some people can’t separate TV Land from reality and thereby pattern their lives after celebrities, but I fail to see how the weakness of a few individuals should interfere with our regularly scheduled programming. I think it’s fair to say that we, the readers of Kim’s blog, have all made healthy decisions for our lives. So, let’s each give ourselves a big pat on the back and then lead by example, not by casting stones on others, not by trying to make everyone live as we live and certainly not by trying to make the entertainment industry into something it’s not.

      • Courtney – I couldn’t have said it better myself. I 100% agree with you. People need to be responsible for their lives and stop blaming others.

      • Agreed! Thank you for sharing this. We have to stop judging everyone around us and blaming them for our maladies. Take responsibility for your own life and your own health – mental, emotional & physical!

      • Courtney, you hit the nail on the head! Let’s quit blaming everybody else for our poor decisions. Nobody’s holding a gun to your head and telling you to watch Paula Deen. Geez, take some responsibility for your own life and quit blaming others.

      • I can’t say I agree with this. I think if Paula Deen had come forward when she first had the illness and stating that she had diabetes and was going to continue to eat like this, she knew her following ($$) would plummet. Hiding this was completely irresponsible. And I think it’s a personal problem so it’s her choice to disclose or not, but to continue to promote herself and her extremely unhealthy food in that industry all the while knowing she has this disease is so wrong on so many levels. I’m not blaming her as a sole reason for the ills of so many peoples health, but she certainly has not helped and keeping this hidden when she is in a food industry is morally wrong. And the Food Network among others are as guilty for promoting this entertaining garbage. So sad because they could just as easily promote healthy eating. I’m just calling a spade a spade, that’s all.

        So on another note…

        Thank you Kim for your nutritional insight. I’ve learned so much from your book and blog. Hopefully someday there will be a healthy food network of sorts that is healing.

        You mentioned autoimmune diseases can be changed with diet. Any suggestions specific to psoriasis sufferers? I try to stay away from all the steroid creams and trying to take care of this as holistically as possible.

        All the best!

        • Hi Jade,
          Thanks for participating in the discussion.
          I’ll write more blogs on skin issues like psoriasis, I have some clients with that very issue. xx

      • HI Courtney, you are absolutely right, that we all make a decision to eat what we want to eat.
        But I think it is important to point out that the entire network doesn’t really have any healthy shows at all, and teaches that food is all about taste and presentation. I for one, wish that an entire network about FOOD could have some show(s) on nutrition or healthier options. xx

        • Yummy and super healthy recipes should be made available for the masses on the network. Can we all agree that people should at least have access to this information?

          We all deserve to feel as healthy as possible. We shouldn’t have to dig so hard to learn the truth. If I knew then what I know now (and am still learning!) I would be better off.

          It’s a joy to share knowledge with others when they ask me about health. I keep my fingers crossed someone will come up with a hit raw and/or vegan show on the network!!

      • That is true and everyone is 100% responsible for their own choices. But I just wish there were more programs out there that could support and teach people to eat healthier- that were equally fun and entertaining.

        • Hi Kimberly,

          I agree with you, however, I tend to visit Foodnetwork.com website more often because of Ellie Krieger. I have been watching her videos and using her recipes for a long time and it’s sad that her show is not on Food Network TV anymore. She had great tips for portion control and healthy eating (with her being a Nutritionist as well). I don’t know if it was ratings or not very well promoted like other shows, but I would have definitely tuned in more to this network if her show was on.

          I follow her now on Facebook and can only hope they bring her show back to promote more healthy living choices. I have learned a lot from her just from watching her 2-5 minute videos than any other show on that network. I love to combine what I have learned from you and her to completely change the way I eat. It’s people like you that deserve a show to branch out to a wide range of audiences and open their eyes to what they are really consuming.

          As a born and raised southerner who was practically eating only “Southern Comfort” and mostly deep fried foods, it was up to me as I got older to be aware of what I was consuming. I know now that if I am going to eat something deep fried, it would be a treat (for me) and not something to overindulge in. I have watched Paula Deen’s show and yes, it’s not for the health nut. I have made some of her recipes and tweaked them to my liking. It may be the network to blame, but at the same time then why was her show on the air for as long as it was? Maybe it was timing? I think now with so many health issues raising concern around obesity (especially in children), healthier options in shows should be in the forefront. I’ve seen it in some Food Network shows, so I wont place complete blame on them. Working for a major food website, we have a variety of healthy options and non-healthy options. I feel it doesn’t necessarily mean we should cut out the unhealthy options, but maybe have a ‘cheat’ every once in a while.

          It’s kind of a tough one, I must say.

      • I agree Kimberly. If promoting unhealthy food that gives people diabetes or other ailments are merely entertainment, than how about a show where it gives you a recipe for the latest partydrug? Wouldn’t that send the wrong message too?

        Thank you Kimberly for your wonderful book and promoting a healthy lifestyle. If no one did, It would’ve taken me much longer to find out what’s healthy and what’s not.
        If a big network like the Food Network would start promoting real healthy food, health would be easier to come by for all of us.

      • It’s a lot more than “a few individuals”…it’s most of america that drools when watching someone prepare bacon and pancetta covered deep fried donuts (I love how Giada says pancetta!…she’s so cute!!).

        I have stopped watching cooking shows cuz they just make me want to eat high calorie junk.

    • I love to cook and it has been really hard to create dishes that I know will benefit myself and my family. I know that there’s some cooks/chefs on that channel that try to go for healthier options but some of them like hungry girl ( it’s supposed to be a diet.low cal show) but all it does is use artficial sweeteners to make dishes low cal. I don’t care about Low cal! I want healthy make you want to run a marathon healthy. Kimberly I love that you are coming out with a cook book and I can’t wait, and the recent video how to’s are extremely helpful! Please come out with a cooking show! There’s a lot if ingredients that you work with that recquire prep work and some I have never heard of. Your videos help a lot and a show would be a life saver. I will vouch for you girl, let’s do it! :0)

      • Hi Cindy,
        I’m so glad you don’t consume artificial sweeteners.
        The next book has tons of healthy recipes, and more videos are coming soon. And hopefully a show one day! :)
        xx

        • Hi Kim,
          I am an RN and next week will be starting to work the night shift from 7 pm to 730 am. How do I incorporate the ggs and rest of your plan while switching back and forth from day to night, i only work 3 nights a week. Also do you have any suggestions on how best to make this crazy schedule as healthy as possible?
          Thanks!!!!!

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