Aside from learning how to cook Southern fried chicken and Pound Cake made with a pound of butter, there are some life lessons that we can learn from Paula Deen, who after three years of secrecy announced that she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
Lesson 1: We Are Not Immune. Paula Deen has been a successful restaurateur and TV personality on the Food Network for many years, and despite having access to the best of everything, her position, title, and influence could not prevent her from having diabetes.

Lesson 2: There is No Substitute for Cooking Healthy Whole Foods. Simply put, if we continue to cook unhealthy, it will lead to a number of harmful, sometimes deadly diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Through the years, we watched Paula in the kitchen cooking beautiful meals that made us all salivate. As we attentively watched her every move and talked back with her, as if we were sitting in the kitchen as her guest, she made each ingredient sound so delicious and good that the thought of whether it was good for our body, never entered our minds, and I guess Paula’s either!

Lesson 3: We Are Responsible for What Happens to Us. We all have our favorite actors, athletes, and celebrity chefs that we follow, and from time to time we may follow their advice without even thinking if it’s right or wrong. Marketers know this, which is why they look for celebrities to endorse their products that will appeal to us--like Academy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson endorsing Weight Watchers, LA Lakers Basketball Player Kobe Bryant endorsing Nike, and Paula Deen endorsing Smithfield (a pork company). Some of the most popular, successful people endorse a plethora of products, but in the end, we MUST be the captain of our own ship and make decisions that aren’t detrimental to our bodies!

Lesson 4: Stop Making Excuses. When Paula was asked if she got Type 2 Diabetes from her style of cooking, she didn’t say yes or no, but instead she fell back on the excuse that it was hereditary because it runs in her family. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that excuse, I would be a millionaire right now! Yes, there are some cases where we must not ignore family genes. However, when it comes to Type 2 Diabetes, it is preventable by eating healthier and exercising. So, if that has been your excuse, stop it!

So, enough about Paula Deen and her business decision to use her diabetes secret to create a new line up of TV shows, cookbooks and other products. Let’s spend our energy on taking an inventory of what we eat and making the necessary adjustments (even if it means getting rid of unhealthy cookbooks) in order to make a lifestyle change and prevent diseases like diabetes.