This morning on Paula’s show she was cooking up even more, unhealthy, and might I add, delicious…. southern dishes. “Fried Okra Salad” and some gooey “Chocolate Brownie Bars” and “Fried Brie” are on the menu for today. WELL YUM!! Most everyone I know would enjoy fried okra and fried cheese and of course……chocolate in any form. (Remember, I live in Georgia) Sometimes I miss eating foods like this and not even thinking about what is going into my mouth and body. I’m just being honest here….I at times could devour some fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese. Or on second thought…. Some chicken fried steak and gravy.
So you might ask me, “Why do you watch Paula Deen’s show if you don’t eat that sort of food anymore?” “Why do you put yourself through it?” I have actually asked myself the same questions and I think I have figured it out.
First of all, Paula is hysterical and she makes me laugh and I love her. I could be friends with this lady. What an amazing women. She built a business from the ground up with hard work. You’ve got to respect that about her. Anyone who has been to Savannah knows what she has accomplished just by entering her restaurant, The Lady and Sons. She is iconic. Not to mention, I love her accent. It’s the same as mine.
Secondly, I watch Paula to get ideas and new recipes. It sounds strange…. but let me explain. When I watch her show, I love that she sticks to her southern roots and tends to make meals that are close to her heart…. and close to my heart too. Many of us “southern women” know these meals well and were raised on them. They are traditions in our homes. However, when I watch her show now, I am constantly looking for ways to change her recipes up a bit and make them “Cleaner” and more healthy. It’s really not that hard, you just have to be creative and try some new foods and different ideas when you are preparing your meals.
And finally, I love this show because I somehow get some satisfaction by simply “watching” her make these foods! I love watching her talk about them, stir them, bake them and, Yes, EAT THEM. It’s great to watch her lick her fingers and talk with her mouth full…..I LOVE IT! Don’t we all do that when we are in our own kitchens? (Of course we do.) I guess I’m just weird like that. I know with all my heart that this type of food is not good for us; studies have proven it, right? No matter how unusual it is, I still enjoy watching Paula prepare some of my favorite dishes from……. my, not so distant past, and watching her eat them. How goofy am I? When the show goes off and I go about my daily life I feel…. somehow satisfied. I am good continue on with my life of clean eating and try to find ways to make her dishes and other meals….a bit healthier.
Have you noticed though, in the news this past year that even Paula has made a lifestyle change? It seems that she has Type 2 diabetes. So, even the “queen of southern food” has realized that it’s time to be healthier. Her son Bobby has a new show on The Food Network, “Not My Mama’s Meals” where he cleans up some of his mom’s most famous recipes. I LOVE this show too. To me it is very cool that the Food Network came up with this concept.
It seems that more and more people are realizing the importance that foods have on our health. Recently in the news you may have seen the New England Journal of Medicine’s Mediterranean Diet Study that came out February 25, 2013. The study proved that diet plays a huge role in preventing heart disease. It states that those who ate a more plant based diet, heavy in fruits and vegetables, (and less meat) whole grains, beans, olive oil and good fats, fish and moderate wine drinking with meals dramatically reduced their risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart disease in general. In the study, they compared the Mediterranean diet to a low-fat diet and they actually ended the study early because the results were overwhelmingly evident. Essentially, the diet that I follow…. A clean diet…. follows very closely to the Mediterranean diet. The fact is……clean eating wins over counting fat grams and calories. Hands down, it wins in every study.
Me with my new best friend…..Paula Deen. Okay…. Well, it’s not really Paula. It’s just a cardboard cutout of her but…. I can pretend!
I know that people criticized Paula Deen for keeping her health problems and the fact that she is Type 2 diabetic a secret for a period of time. I personally feel that it was her right to do so. She needed time to re-group, lose 30 pounds, get her health back on track and “Figure this Thang out!” I am SO proud of her and the progress she has made and I am thankful that she will be around a while longer to pass on those amazing southern dishes. I hope and pray that everyone will watch with nostalgia and with a fresh mind of how to make these meals more healthy and beneficial to our bodies.
LOVE AND BEST DISHES FROM MY KITCHEN TO YOURS!