Yes, you heard me.  Now what do I mean by that exactly?  It seems to me that Ms. Deen has been eating a little too much of the bad stuff – and by bad stuff I mean things that happen to be white.  Sugar, salt, lard and flour – all white and all not good for you.  In fact, this is a problem that I see happening all across America; people have way too much white in their lives and not enough color.

How many times have you heard me saying that we need more color in our lives?  Now since I tend to speak in as many broad terms as I do specific, this can mean anything from adding colorful experiences to your life, colorful relationships, perspectives – what have you.  But today, I’m talking about adding color to your diet.

As a doctor, I am always telling people to eat fruits and vegetables (these end up replacing sugar for the most part), move to sea salt, get excited about eating quality whole grains and turn to good fats like avocados, nuts or olive oil.  I’m human though and of course there are times when I want to have some sugar.  That’s when making the choice to have raw (turbinado) sugar or stevia makes sense.  Sea salt naturally helps your release excess water – who needs water retention – AND it has higher mineral content.  Quinoa is a food that is so undervalued yet it has amazing properties.  Not only does it taste great, but it is high in protein so when you have pasta made from quinoa, you end up loading up on the healthiest of proteins while scaling back on all the white, processed junk from typical white flour or rice pasta.  Good fats like those that come from coconut or olive oil, nuts and avocados actually taste better than lard, which should only be used as a skin moisturizer and not as a food, mind you.

Here’s what I have to say to Paula: We all love tasty food.  In fact, I enjoy comfort food whenever I end up having it – probably once a year around Thanksgiving. But take it from someone that has a lot of color in her life; make the simple switch to natural products.  You need to get out of that southern mentality at least when it comes to the ingredients in your delicious southern foods – and start infusing a LOT more color into them.

I feel bad that Paula is sitting on top of worldwide scrutiny after signing on with a drug company as their spokesperson almost days after revealing to the world she has diabetes.  But how much of this is really her fault?  What could be worse than having to share your personal plight with a totally preventable disease, than to have an international pharmaceutical company pounce all over you while only considering what’s in it for them? Shame on the selfish company Novo Nordisk (the maker of the diabetes drug Victoza) for taking advantage of Paula at a time like this!

Pouncing on her vulnerability in this situation was not cool.  Here she is, a woman that has clearly made some bad choices – choices that have landed her in this spot where she now has to completely do a 180 to adjust her lifestyle. But I know she can do it.

Paula’s goal should be to get off of Victoza and get on the track of a healthy lifestyle that addresses the problem of a deficiency of healthy nutrients rather than a drug deficiency.  I trust that her doctors are treating her in the best way that they know how, with this magic little pill to “make it all go away”.  But it’s only a temporary fix and the next time Paula is in the news, I want to read about how she turned the tables around, aligned herself with quality, complementary healthcare practitioners and methods (Chinese acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic, etc.) and reversed the clock on years of making bad choices.  I want to be able to flip the channel over to Food Network and see a smiling, happy, chirping Paula that epitomizes good health, healthy cooking where she is an even bigger celebrity for figuring out how to make delicious southern-style food that is actually good for you.

If I were her doctor, this is the advice I’d have given Paula: Take a few pills for now but don’t for one second imagine that they are the magic cure for this condition – and live the ultimate goal of being able to live and enjoy life with healthy food, holistic living and all-around wellness.