Paula Deen promotes healthy eating after diabetes diagnosis
By Chase Cain, Reporter -
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
She's known for biscuits, butter and fried chicken, but lately, Paula Deen has been putting an emphasis on cooking and eating much healthier.
"I still eat my butter, honey," Deen joked with FOX 35's Chase Cain. "But, I've tried to cut back on that. For about four months, I gave up everything white but my husband, Michael. He was the only thing white in the house," Deen said.
Her change in diet and cooking style followed a diagnosis of type II diabetes two years ago.
"I kept thinking [my doctor] was wrong, and every time I'd go back to the doctor, [I was thinking] the diagnosis would be different," Deen said. "Then, finally, I could deny no more, so I started making changes about a year and a half ago... reconstructing my plate.
"I gave up pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, everything," Deen said.
Now, the queen of Southern cuisine wants others to join her.
Deen stopped in Central Florida to share healthier recipes with a huge crowd at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando.
Her appearance helped launch Florida Hospital's "Healthy 100" program in more than a dozen local restaurants. The restaurants agreed to offer healthy menu items that are doctor-approved.
"What we're trying to do is create a movement in our community, and no one person can do that," Florida Hospital's Sy Saliba said.
Cocina 214 in Winter Park was one of the first restaurants to join the program with their most popular menu item, the Don Carlos fish tacos. Owner Lambrine Macejewski said the tacos won approval, in part, because Cocina makes "everything from scratch. We use fresh ingredients, and in some cases, we cook better here than in some peoples' homes."
Deen is also providing an incentive to make healthy changes by offering several chances to spend the day with her in Savannah, Georgia. Go to DiabetesInANewLight.com to enter to win a chance to meet Deen.