Components in Food Are the Magic Behind Good Health
Components in Food continues
Being proactive about nutrition is one of Magee’s passions. “I want to get America cooking,” she says. “I want to help average Americans improve their health—in mind, body, and spirit. It’s never been about pounds on a scale or a dress size. I believe health comes in all shapes and sizes.”
She points out that if you’re obsessed with how much you’re eating and how much you weigh, you won’t be healthy in “mind.” “I’m anti-obsession. I’m the anti-dieting dietitian,” she says. “Some people will look at me—I’m a fit size 12—and say, ‘You’re not thin enough to talk about health.’ That just makes me more determined to get myself out there.”
So does all this mean no more chocolate chip cookies or even chocolate? “I would tell people wanting chocolate chip cookies to make my cookies,” she says. And she’s not about to give up her “little bit of chocolate every day.” “I totally believe in enjoying life and food. Don’t deprive yourself. For all my baking, I use a majority of whole wheat flour, less sugar and fat than called for, and increase smart fats (canola oil, margarine with high level of omega-3s). I’m helping people still have coffee cake and chocolate chip cookies.”
Magee, 46, makes her home in Northern California, with her husband and two teenage daughters. She speaks with great passion not only about nutrition, but about politics, school (her kids’), hard work, and plans for the future.
Magee became the “Recipe Doctor” about 10 years ago, after starting a column by that name in a local newspaper. In those columns, she would make over recipes so that they would have less fat, saturated fat, calories, and sometimes sugar and sodium—while increasing fiber, phytochemicals, omega-3s, and monounsaturated fat. The column was picked up on the newswires and ran in other papers around the country. Several years ago, she “self-syndicated,” so she knows which papers and magazines are running the column; it currently runs in 15 publications nationwide. She started working for WebMD five years ago and is the Recipe Doctor at that site.
Her first book came out in 1990. Book topics have included creating lighter versions of favorite foods (including restaurant recipes), making healthy “fried” foods, and cooking for children. Eight other books are part of a medical nutrition series, whose titles begin with Tell Me What to Eat (if I Have… or to Help Prevent…) and conclude with health issues such as diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, breast cancer, acid reflux, headaches and migraines, and menopause. Three of those books are being reissued in the fall with updated information.
She loves helping people make their favorite recipes as healthy as possible and still be delicious. “I’ve been making over recipes for 20 years,” she says. “I have thousands of makeovers under my belt, and I can pretty much look at a recipe and know exactly what I can get away with.”
For her blog on SilverPlanet, she is modifying her recipes so that they make fewer servings. There will be a new recipe each week, two feature articles a month, and four blogs a month.
Published May 23, 2008
Silver Planet Staff