The Food Network star, who is not shy with butter and frying up anything, came under fire when she revealed she had been living with type 2 diabetes for the past three years but continued to promote unhealthy cooking on her show (one of her dishes is a burger between two doughnuts). The condition is in part caused by obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.
But Paula seems to be finally embracing a healthier outlook -- and it shows. The chef told the magazine that her new regimen includes walking for 30 minutes every day and cutting her portion sizes in half. She has also said she is easing up on sugary treats such as cake and sweet tea.
Paula still doesn’t know how much she weighs, telling People, "We don't own a scale in our house.” She adds, "Every six months I go for a physical and find out. Now it's time to see the doctor. She'll be so happy if I've lost weight."
The 65-year-old, who has teamed up with a drug company, Novo Nordisk, on a website called Diabetes in a New Light, promised to introduce lighter versions of her Southern-style food.
Paula told the Associated Press, "I am who I am. But what I will be doing is offering up lighter versions of my recipes." Just don’t expect a vegan menu: "I'm Southern by roots. I was taught (to cook) by my grandmother and nothing I can do would change that."
Watch Paula talk about her diagnosis with Al Roker on NBC's "Today":
Not everyone is so impressed with Deen. At the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Florida, Anthony Bourdain was asked about his feud with the Southern chef, who he’s called “the most dangerous person in America” for her fatty cooking.
People magazine recounted that NYC chef Eddie Huang asked Bourdain about his hypocrisy, “Smoking on your show and making fun of this nice old lady with diabetes?" As the crowd yelled, Bourdain answered, "You're right. I did smoke cigarettes for a lot of years on my show. But I wasn't selling any [bleeping] cigarettes… And when I found a spot on my [bleeping] lung, I didn't wait three years so I could get a deal selling the patch."
Deen, for her part, thanked her supporters, saying she doesn’t understand the anger directed at her. "There have been two or three haters. I don't know why they're mad at me. I didn't choose [my diabetes]," adding, "I don't care what they say. What I do care about is y'all, and I thank you for the support... I can't tell you what it means to me."