Health and Happiness with Chef Devin Alexander

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Sometimes our Delivering Happiness community members just make us stop and say "WOW." Devin Alexander is one of those folks. Professional chef, bestselling author, and all-around inspirational lady, Devin's message is that you don't have to deprive yourself to be healthy.

After struggling with her own weight for many years, Devin spends her days sharing the healthy lifestyle knowledge she's gained with people through her cookbooks and many television appearances. You may have seen her doing just that on The Biggest Loser, helping contestants to incorporate healthy eating habits into their daily lives.

We asked Devin a couple of questions about her relationship to Delivering Happiness and what it's meant for her and her business:

DH: Did Delivering Happiness inspire you to make a difference in others' lives, or were you already living a life that aligned with its message? 

Devin: I have been “Delivering Happiness” through healthy food and a healthy lifestyle for years.  So often, people who most need to make a change in their diet or lifestyle resist, thinking that they need to be miserable “eating cardboard” or all “tofu and carrot sticks”.  I teach (and serve—yum!) healthy DECADENT versions of the foods people love so they can have health AND happiness.  I call what I do, “The Secret of Food”.  When you stop depriving yourself and calling yourself “bad” for every morsel that you’ve enjoyed and focus on what you CAN eat and what you truly enjoy, it’s EASY to be healthy!

DH: If you were already delivering happiness before the movement, how did you do it?

Devin: See the previous answer. :)  Note that I did it for myself first.  After years of dieting and deprivation (leading me to weigh close to 200 pounds by the time I was 15 years old), I heard  that if you cut just 100 calories from your diet per day, on average, you’ll lose 10 pounds in a year.  A light bulb went off and I immediately started focusing on what I could cut that I didn’t even care about so I could still eat (and enjoy) brownies and the other foods that I truly love!

People (including some celebrities) embraced my cooking style, which is about focusing on the cravings and getting rid of the elements that we don’t care about. In addition to working on flavor, I always make sure that I mimic texture and pleasure factor in my recipes.

DH: Does Delivering Happiness still play a role in your life? If so, how? 

Devin: Yes, after hearing Tony and learning about the movement, I’ve not only continued my own work and philosophies with food that so greatly align, I’ve embraced and incorporated many of his ideas and values of “corporate culture” into my company.  I’ve always wanted my employees to be happy and healthy, I just wasn’t quite as focused on making them feel as big a part of the bigger picture, etc.

Thanks so much for the insight, Devin! You can find more helpful words by following @chefdevin on Twitter and on her website. How do health and happiness work together in your life?

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