Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Devin Alexander’s Healthy Decadence

New Healthy Eating TV Show!

“I don’t have any cravings I can’t satisfy,” declares chef, author and, now, TV Host, Devin Alexander. “I haven’t had a French fry since 1987. That’s when I turned the corner and didn’t want to be fat anymore.” A heavy teenager, resentful of the skinny girls, Devin says that instead of going to prom, she stayed home and made cookies. “I was out of control. I would have a day of gluttony and just binge. Now, I simply don’t have to do that.”

Devin experimented in the kitchen, and learned to create lean recipes, based on her favorite
fattening foods. Attributing her natural culinary talent to two Italian grandmothers, Devin’s healthy recipes helped her shed 55 pounds, which she has kept off for over 15 years.

While studying writing in college, Devin was awarded an internship through the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (who bring us the Emmy Awards). During that program, she brought in healthy treats for her colleagues. Soon, people were hiring her to cook for them. She remembers, “I didn’t want to wait tables while waiting for my brea
k as a screenwriter, so I went to cooking school.” Within a short time, Devin had launched a healthful catering business.

With that endeavor flourishing, Devin jokes that she had a mid 20’s early mid life crisis. I thought, “Wait! I was supposed to be a writer.” So, she landed a gig at Muscle & Fitness Magazine, writing a column on healthy eating. Her popular column led Devin to write her first book, Fast Food Fix, which offers good-for-you alternatives to junk food (which still taste like they could be deliciously bad-for-you…). Today, she is a the Contributing Food Editor and Cooking Expert for Women’s Health Magazine, where her articles are featured, monthly.

As destiny would have it, Devin’s publisher was in the midst of negotiating The Biggest Loser Cookbook around the time Fast Food Fix came out. The TV show producers were looking to hire someone to write the book. Devin, who had both writing and TV experience fit the bill.

Devin calls the New York Times best-seller “A diet book that isn’t a diet book” because it boasts chocolate-raspberry smoothies, 3-cheese macaroni, and breakfast banana splits. She explains, “The Biggest Loser Cookbook got a great following. People started realizing that they could make healthy food to feed their families, without them even realizing that it was healthy.” She says that people wrote letters to her, excited that they had lowered their cholesterol, lost weight, and raised nutrition value at family meals.

Her own TV show, Healthy Decadence with Devin Alexander, launches Thursday, March 29 (at 10:30 in LA) on the Discovery Health Channel. “I never sought to be a celebrity but you need a certain level of celebrity to reach people.” She is happy when people recognize her as “that healthy cooking girl” because her message is getting out. “I don’t have any girlfriends who can’t cook now. By watching me in the kitchen, they think, ‘I can do that!’”

Devin says, “I started out wanting to help teenage girls but now I receive letters from mothers, grandmothers, pregnant women with cravings, and single dads who never cared about what they ate, but became concerned with nutrition once they had children.” Devin is happy that healthy cooking has wide appeal, and is so confident about her cuisine that she declares, “I don’t have one dish that I wouldn’t serve to a potential mother-in-law!”

To people who say they don’t have time to cook, she retorts that going to the doctor, due to ill health, takes a lot of time. She also muses, “20 minutes in the kitchen is way better than 3 hours on the stair master!” Amen to that!

Learn more about Devin’s new show on the Discovery Health Website.

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