No, Paula, not you too.

Picture is unrelated, mostly. But TOTALLY related to my love of Paula Deen Riding Things.

Also, if you’re still in the feed reader, I apologize if, like, four images of Paula Deen invading The Hangover pop up. I’m still trying to figure all these fancy buttons out over here.

I love Paula Deen. I do. I find her infectious, and I love that she understands southern cooking and has used food as a means to overcome agoraphobia and other issues. I adore her, really. I love southern women who are loud and boisterous and understand the power of a good hug and good macaroni and cheese.

However.

While I will turn to her recipes first if I need to cook a southern classic, I am leery of putting more than one dish of hers on the table. They are mightily unhealthy. Macaroni and cheese is good. But it needs to be surrounded by steamed veggies and lean proteins. Not more fried, carby goodness. (Mmm. Carby.)

So I was saddened but not surprised when news broke this morning that Paula Deen has Type II Diabetes and will soon serve as the spokesperson for a drug related to the disease. What I find saddening is that Paula seems to feel like most adults of her generation feel – that Type II Diabetes is something they must live with and medicate. That it cannot be cured.

I feel the need to caveat my words every time I mount my nutrition soapbox because, look, I know. I know you look at me and think there’s no way someone like me could know anything about food. You look at me – overweight me – and think I don’t know anything about food.

But – thing is, I do.

I may be overweight. I’m not at what my doctor refers to as “my fighting weight” – I’m about fifteen pounds over. But my stats? My doctor is AMAZED at my stats, so much so that he doesn’t see the need for me to lose any more weight. Because I eat well, and I try and feed my family similarly, my numbers are PERFECT. I may not be proud of my body, but I’m damn sure proud of our health.

I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve seen come down the food journey with me the last few years and turn their lives around. I have had friends who came off of meds for: high blood pressure, dangerously high cholesterol, arthritis, and yes – Type II Diabetes. They did it through portion control, through exercise, and through eating well.

I applaud Paula for coming out about her disease, because the nation needs a wake-up call that fried butter may be delicious (mmm, butter), but it’s not healthy in mass portions. I can’t imagine how hard it was for her to admit that her eating and her cooking – both of which are her BRAND – led to this disease. But I wish she had taken the harder route. I wish she had said, I’m not going to back the pharmaceutical companies. I’m going to go to the farmers and the gym. Because THAT’S what the nation needs to see. Not another Wilfred Brimley hawing diabetes care supplies midday during Divorce Court.

Sorry. DIAH-BEET-TUHS.

I worry about the generation before us. I see the wrongs that our FDA started cramming down their throats start to come to fruition. They didn’t know about High Fructose Corn Syrup and what a number it does on you. They didn’t know that so much bread and grain can wreck your digestive system. They didn’t know because they were doing what they were told, and making good with what they could. I totally get that.

I just wish someone could stand up to the FDA and its cronies now and say: ENOUGH.

/dismount soapbox

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7 Responses to No, Paula, not you too.

  1. bessie.viola January 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Oh yes… yes. This is such a great soapbox to be on, I wish more people would climb up.

    I’m at the very beginning of the type of food journey you mentioned, but two weeks in? I feel amazing. I feel so much better than before, and that’s with a sinus infection. I feel lighter, I sleep better, I move more easily. It’s shocking. All I’ve done so far is cut out soda and junk food – I’m not even into eating all whole foods yet. I just had sushi for lunch; some of it had panko and I can feel it sitting there in my stomach. (Either that or I really am crazy.)

    So yes – keep saying these things, people need to think about what they’re putting into their bodies. I hope that Paula is able to get healthy, and who knows – this may spur a move to healthier recipes and cooking for her. Butter’s her brand now, but that can change!
    bessie.viola wants you to read ..of jammies and jeans

  2. Melissa January 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Honey, I’m not surprised AT ALL that Paula has jumped on this deal. She makes her living from endorsements; the TV gig is just pocket money. She will slap that overly-airbrushed mug on anything as long as the money keeps rolling in.

    This is the most recent compilation I could find of all the crap people give her money for: http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/10/paula-deen-financial-analysis.html. I remember in the past, she had a fruit & veggie brand (really?), and a furniture line that included a $3000 “recipe writing” desk.

    I know this whole comment sounds really negative, but it makes me so angry that she is profiting from her irresponsibility, while normal people have to cope with this disease on their own. Plus, it’s sending the message that you can still live her shitty lifestyle, as long as you take whatever magic pills she’s pushing.

  3. Lisa January 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I work with a guy that lost an incredible amount of weight and is now off all his meds. He went from obese to thin AND he didn’t torture himself doing it. He did yoga, he walked, and HE ATE. I know, people don’t believe you can eat and lose weight, but he enjoyed food and still enjoys food. He just eats differently. Like when they have spaghetti, instead of eating white pasta, he will grill up a bunch of vegetables and put the sauce over them. And he can eat a huge serving. Sounds pretty good to me.

    The thing that bothers me about Paula — and the Duggars, the Kardashians, the Sister Wives, and others — is that there is NO part of their lives they won’t sell anymore. This is her health, and she will completely sell it to a drug company and become their spokesperson to make a few bucks.
    Lisa wants you to read ..Friday Link Love

  4. Cherie Beyond January 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    As someone who spent her childhood injecting her Type II father with insulin, I cannot agree with you more. I get so frustrated with the lack of attention people pay to the food they eat. I get absolutely furious about what they feed their children. I want to kick things when I think about the completely screwed up way we treat food in this country, from the FDA and GMOs down to the person in front of me at the check-out line with 5 bottles of Mountain Dew.

    We don’t need to be perfect. We don’t need complex Paleo recipes and homemade sprouted grain bread. We need to react with our brains, grow the ever-lovin’ frig up, and eat our fruits and vegetables. And some protein. And, okay, whole grains because I’m never getting on the train with the anti-carb people (love you, though!).

    I, too, have known a lot of people who have turned their health around with diet and exercise. My father, sadly, was not one of them. He died when I was 22 of his 5th heart attack.
    Cherie Beyond wants you to read ..Meanwhile this morning…

  5. Elsha January 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    I find it really disheartening when people just jump straight to meds for things that can be treated with diet and exercise. Especially celebrities, since everyone seems to think what they do is the ONLY thing to do.

    I have a relative who controls her Type II diabetes with diet and another who dropped her cholesterol like 100 points just with diet. It DOES work.
    Elsha wants you to read ..Free books!

  6. Diana January 13, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    AGREE. TOTALLY AGREE.

    And part of the issue is that we’ve been told that now a “magic pill” can fix us and we don’t have to actually “try” to make our bodies the healthiest they can be. We just swallow a pill and call it a day. Problem fixed…right?

    Same reason I was so annoyed with my reflux meds. No one would help me get to the bottom of the CAUSE to my esophagitis. It ended up being a food sensitivity and not your basic “cut out acidic foods and coffee” reflux.

    :sigh: Moral of the story is, I hear you. Agree completely.

  7. AuntGee January 15, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Ah! This makes so much sense! When I came home the other day & Max was watching Paula (I guess dogs like butter too?) She kept saying “Now, I don’t eat like this every day, ya’ll…” And I kept thinking “Oh, she finally got sued”. Nope. It appears her diabetes medication sponsors have started giving her disclaimers.

    I, like you, am not going to give her a hard time about it though. She’s the product of a place & time where the food she makes was acceptable as “balanced”. Bless her heart. Plus, she started cooking professionally to earn income as a single mom. So, I don’t really begrudge her anything.

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