by Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
Celeb chef Paula Deen has lost 36 pounds from her 5-foot-6 frame since her announcement a year ago that she was battling type 2 diabetes.
She says in the February issue of Woman's Day , out Jan. 8, she'd like to shed 12 to 15 pounds more. But it's a daily challenge.
"It's about moderation. I just needed to learn to eat a normal portion size and not overindulge," she says. "I want to be here for my grandchildren. I think about them every day. My daddy was dead at 40. My mother was dead at 44. And look-I'm 65 and I'm still here! Go, 65! Waking up every morning is very exciting for me, to see what the day is going to bring."
She says the longer she goes without eating a beloved food, the less she craves it. But while she says she avoids bread and is currently on a "Brussels sprout kick," she admits that at a recent event she couldn't resist trying some macaroni and cheese and a biscuit.
Deen, who has taken up creating shell art, also has a fondness for sucking on a See's Lollypop after some meals. "They're incredible," she tells Woman's Day. "Having that sweet for 10 minutes in your mouth will take care of your craving. Butterscotch is the best."
And for some dishes there simply is no substitute. "In my refrigerator, there's no light mayonnaise. I'd rather eat less of the real thing and have it taste really good than have diet stuff that tastes awful."
That includes her peanut butter pie. "It doesn't taste good if you do a lighter version. Some of those substitute ingredients taste nasty. So you just have a small piece of the real version."
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