78: Chef AJ on Achieving Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight


“I’m slimmer than I’ve ever been in my life, but I get to eat as much as I want, whenever I want.” Chef AJ has been a vegan for 40 years, but she wasn’t always this healthy. Despite her vegan diet, she weighed 200 pounds and was in the first stages of colon cancer. “My husband used to say I was the only vegan in the world who ate no fruits or vegetables.” She was addicted to her a diet of refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Her wake up call? “I woke up bleeding,” she says and then knew she had to deal with her cravings.


Chef AJ chose to detox at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, where they grow their own organic foods and serve up a menu of fresh nourishing plant based goodness. She abstained from all the foods she craved the most, the most addictive: flour, alcohol and sugar. But food addiction is both physical and psychological, it needs to be tackled from all directions! It isn’t just about diet, you have to move your body, you have to stimulate your mind. Discover how Chef AJ completely changed her life with a combination of wholesome plant based diet, exercise and meditation.


She now teaches others how to make the transition from a diet of processed foods to healthy, healing foods through her website, her YouTube shows and her books. After publishing Unprocessed – How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight five years ago, she’s writing The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss, which will be bursting with tasty unprocessed recipes and perfect for people transitioning into vegan foods. Chef AJ is also passionate about helping people overcome food addiction, and she shares some of her best tips with us. Our favorite: don’t try to deprive yourself, instead crowd out the junk foods with wholesome foods, especially vegetables—filling up on smoothies work great!


Did you know most Americans consume on average 800 calories a day from sugar alone? Chef AJ is a spirited advocate for cutting out this nutrient-deficient food from our diets. She is a tornado of facts and figures and this episode is packed with everything from how to overcome food addiction and how to eat a delicious sugar free diet but still indulge in your sweet craving… and you’ll learn how to make fruit ice cream!


Chef AJ’s Bio

Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-based diet for almost 40 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ which airs on Foody TV. With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and more. A chef, culinary instructor and professional speaker, she is author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, which chronicles her journey from a junk-food vegan faced with a diagnosis of precancerous polyps, to learning how to create foods that nourish and heal the body.


Based in Los Angeles, Chef AJ teaches a monthly sold-out seminar featuring cooking instruction, nutritional science and song parodies, all delivered with comedic panache. Never content to leave her audience with mere “just do it” advice, she teaches how to create meals to transform their health, how to deal with cravings and food addiction and addresses the emotional side of eating. She is the creator of the Ultimate Weight Loss Program, which has helped hundreds of people achieve the health and the body that they deserve.


Chef AJ was the Executive Pastry Chef at Santé Restaurant in Los Angeles where she was famous for her sugar, oil, salt and gluten free desserts which use the fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the whole fruit.


Chef AJ is also creator of Healthy Taste of LA and the YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian, and is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol. Chef AJ holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell University and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.


Chef AJ’s Links

Website: chefajshealthykitchen.com

Chef AJ’s Blog




Our Favorite Moments:

@7:40 My mouth just dropped open! Vegan, but you didn’t eat any fruits and vegetables!

@10:01 Going unprocessed is a process.

@16:30 I’m telling you, results ARE typical if you follow the program.

@18:14 When diet and exercise fail, pop this pill… it makes me mad!

@21:10 He was doing it in his 90’s!


Listen NOW on iTunes!



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Tweet: Processed foods isn’t food, food is supposed to come from a plant @therealchefaj #FoodHealsPodcast http://bit.ly/ChefAJ

Tweet: If god made it, eat it; if man made it, don’t eat it @therealchefaj @FoodHealsNation http://bit.ly/ChefAJ

Tweet: If you’re not hungry enough to eat vegetables you’re not hungry #FoodHealsPodcast http://foodhealsnation.com/78

Tweet: If you wanna avoid taking blue pill, eat a couple of leaves @therealchefaj @FoodHealsNation http://bit.ly/ChefAJ


This episode is sponsored by:

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Links from show:

Healthy taste of LA

A Taste of Health Vegan Cruise

Chef AJ will be speaking at:

The Fat Vegan by Dr. McDougall

The Hunger Fix by Dr. Peeke

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.55.49 PMThe End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by Dr. David Kessler



Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.37.30 PM Unprocessed – How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight by Chef AJ



Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.57.36 PM Salt Sugar and Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss




Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.58.20 PMSugar Blues by William Duffy




Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 7.05.33 PMSuicide by Sugar: A Startling look at our #1 National Addiction by Nancy Appleton




Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 7.01.08 PM Fed Up movie – this is amazing, a real eye opener. We highly recommend you watch this!



Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 7.02.07 PMForks over Knives





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About Us:

Being hailed as “Sex and the City for Food,” The Food Heals Podcast brings together experts in the field of nutrition, health and healing to teach you the best-kept natural secrets to being a hotter, healthier, happier YOU!
The Food Heals Podcast is hosted by Allison Melody and Suzy Hardy – two self-proclaimed natural chicks who will rock your world and change your beliefs about health! This sexy, savvy duo provides eco-friendly advice on a variety of issues including the healing power of nutrition, living authentically, turning your passion into your career, choosing the best natural health and beauty products, the benefits of a plant-based diet and so much more!

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