Butter, ya'll. Let's talk Paula Deen.

Paula Deen could totally be Elizabeth Taylor for Halloween next year.

In reference to Paula Deen's recent admission that she has had Type II diabetes for three years, I have to say that I see some validity in rainbows, unicorns and butterflies lover, Anthony Bourdain.

"When your signature dish is a hamburger in between a doughnut, and you've been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you've got Type 2 Diabetes ... It's in bad taste if nothing else," celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, told People.

(I did sort of snicker.)

You cannot eat that way.
There I said it.

You simply CANNOT eat with that much butter, that much salt, that much oil, that much sugar... and not expect to experience some repurcussions. Especially if you are inactive.

There's always a volatile differing of opinions regarding how much media influences real life, and I refuse to blame Paula for America's obesity issue, but it's statements like this that DRIVE ME NUTS:

"People see me cooking all these wonderful, Southern, fattening recipes... it's for entertainment," Deen said. "People have to be responsible." 

Ok, ok, ok. It's for entertainment? Your 3 cups of sugar and 2 sticks of butter is for entertainment, but the truth of the matter is -- you are releasing into the atmosphere that it is acceptable to eat like that on a regular basis. It's your legacy, Paula. OWN it.

And, she says that she hasn't really changed her diet too much, but she's attempting to be more active. She is aligning with drug company, Novo Nordisk that provides the Diabeetus drug she's on, Victoza. Perhaps a new marketing promotion will allow fans to buy one of her cookbooks and get a free sample of Victoza. (Catty, I know.)

I'm not a huge believer that you need to eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan lifestyle in order to be healthy; we've all read stories and seen first-hand that daily-runners and athletes can develop heart disease or cancer.

But Type II diabetes can often times be prevented... by getting up and moving. Race, age, and genetic predisposition do factor in, but diet and a sedentary lifestyle is also incredibly important.

Now, I don't think Paula's running any major marathons, but with a regular show on Food Network, cookbooks up the wazoo and all of her TV appearances, I don't imagine she's a couch potato. I'm sure she's active... But continuing to capitalize on fatty foods and crazy-sugar-laden comfort dishes while you know the potential health hazards is comparable to leading the sheep to the slaughter.

Yep - the sheep have minds of their own, but why does the shepherd have to be a jerk?

Before you think I'm insensitive, let me put forth my disclaimer: I wish NO ill will on this lovely grandmother. I truly don't. But I hope her experience provides an inspiring opportunity for others to make change in their diets.

I guess when you know better, you do better.

So, will Paula Deen lighten up her traditional southern cooking?

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3 comments:

  1. "Diabeetus"... LOL

    So, I don't think Paula Deen has any kind of responsibility, as a foodie star, to sell health or project a healthy lifestyle. She has never claimed to be on that side of the line. I watch her show occasionally, and I actually DO think it's entertaining. I have made one Paula Deen recipe, ever (and man, was it GOOD)... but I know that moderation is the key.

    It's like blaming McDonald's because I ate a cheeseburger every time I saw a commercial for one, and now I'm a big, fat fatty with diabeetus. *heh*

    If she were some authority on food and was actually saying that eating that way all the time is fine, I might equate it to leading sheep to slaughter... but she's just one of lots of people in the food industry promoting their respective products. We make the choice to be informed or not, to eat delicious Paula Dean food or McD's cheeseburgers in moderation (or never) or all the time.

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  2. i've been mulling over this today, too. sucks for paula to have to deal with this disease. sucks for anyone that has to deal with it. but i hope it's a true wake-up call for her. that she takes charge of her life and her health and makes the (drastic) changes she's probably been needing to make for some time. i hope that instead of partnering with a drug company, she partners with a trainer or a dietitian or someone to promote healthy living and PREVENTION, instead of a pill-based "fix." she has a platform in place to become a positive influence and role model to all her butter-loving fans. to show that you don't necessarily have to sacrifice taste to eat healthier.

    should she change who she is? nope. could she change how she does some things, and hopefully impact a bunch of folks for the better? yep. and hopefully this lovely southern grandmother will live lots more healthy years to be with her grandbabies. :)

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  3. "Diabeetus" hahaha! Awesome. (I love Wilford Brimley)

    Well first off, this was not a surprise. I mean you cook with that much fat and sugar there is a pretty high chance that this or other health related issues will happen to you.

    I am torn on this, well as much as I care to be torn on it!

    On the one hand, WE need to start be responsible for our actions. As adults, we know that something made with 3 sticks of butter and/or 3 cups of sugar is not good for us and we shouldn’t be eating like that on a regular basis. I have tried some of her recipes, but I don’t own a cookbook for the simple fact that I wouldn’t make her recipes on a regular basis or even enough to merit owning a cookbook. The food is just not good FOR you. Anyone with common sense should know that this is not lifestyle eating (though it does seem like she promotes it that way), but rather the type of food you splurge with on occasion.

    On the other hand, to go three years with this and not make any effort to change your diet while still “selling” your brand and this way of life is ridiculous. How could you continue preaching butter, butter, butter while giving yourself a shot of insulin or taking medication?! I mean, I get it you are Southern and like Southern foods, but if she at least would have made a cookbook with lighter Southern food options or started promoting healthier living that would have been a step in the right direction. The thing that I like and hate about celebrities is that they can and DO influence people and the decisions they make. People see the way you are cooking and want to mimic that. And if Paula can eat like that then so can we. However, because you have that avenue to HELP other people and influence how they eat, maybe you should put your brand aside and encourage a healthier lifestyle….at least on occasion.

    And honestly, by just going on medicine and not really changing her diet….that is saying she doesn’t want to change or feel like she needs to change. And I think that speaks volumes as to the type of society we live in right now. People don’t want to change things about themselves and are just looking for that quick fix. And well, that is a whole other rant!!!

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