On Paula Deen

This is a post I did not think I would write.  The idea crossed my mind a few times, though, after hearing all of the attacks on America’s butter queen, Paula Deen.  Paula Deen (as I am SURE you ALL know now) has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, an illness my father has managed for a number of years (after a pretty healthy lifestyle his entire life).

The reason I did not think I would write a post is that I figured soon enough the judgment, the hate, the attacks would blow over and everyone would move on to the next big story.  But, day after day passed and still I read the judgments. 

Paula Deen-killing America?

Paula Deen-hypocrite?

Paula Deen-ignorant master chef?

And, to be frank, and completely transparent-I’m over it. Completely. Over it.

Who are we to sit back and judge someone else for their food choices, or even for their cooking that has become so famous and well-known it has become a gigantic business? And, what does this judgment serve us?

Paula Deen does not advertise that her food is healthy. In fact, despite having watched her show only a few times, I have heard her say how rich, and indulgent a dish is, and that it cannot be “good for you.”  Paula Deen is not a weight-loss program, a medically sound diet, or a doctor-approved meal plan.  What, then, is Paula Deen?

Paula Deen is someone who loves butter, and has made the choice that some things are more worth it to her than maintaining absolute perfect health.  Most of us make that choice, every time we drink a beer or two (no doctor will tell you that is good for you), or overdo coffee, or eat one too many desserts.  And, Paula Deen is a good reminder that we all need to practice moderation, in everything we do.  Sure, her dishes could be lighter, but she does not want them to be, and, honestly, that’s her decision.  If you want to change her recipes, no one is holding you at gun point making you throw a stick of butter into a pan of eggs.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize a green smoothie just might be better for you than that. But, sometimes, some buttery eggs just taste good.

The interesting thing to me is that people find it so easy to blame Paula Deen rather than take personal responsibility for where we are as a nation. If we are not healthy, is it Paula Deen we have to blame? McDonald’s? Or, is it us? Have we made choices that maybe aren’t the best choices for our body? Sure, there’ll always be Paula Deen and McDonald’s and Frito-Lay, but even with their existence, we can create a healthy life for ourselves, which, gasp!, can include an order of french fries from McDonald’s from time to time without killing us.  Or-even-a Paula Deen dish or two.

Routine medical appointments are important.  Exercise is important.  A well-balanced diet is important.  Attacking someone for not following what we consider to be a healthy diet, and waving our fingers in her face saying I told you so when she faces a serious diagnosis like type two diabetes, well, that’s childish, and hurtful.  We don’t need Paula Deen to take responsibility for her food and describe it as the devil incarnate to know all that way too much butter just might get to your health after a while. Come on. We are not that stupid. She knows all that butter’s not good for you. She just likes the taste of it.

And, now, she’s lightening up some of her dishes with her son’s help. So, that’s progress for her. I wish Paula Deen the best in battling type two diabetes. And, I think it absolutely sucks that she got sick. And, I think those of you who want to attack her should just lay off. Completely. Now.

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