Introducing Chef Robert Lewis, the Happy Diabetic

We’re happy to welcome Chef Robert Lewis, also known as the “Happy Diabetic,” to the Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) team this season. He’ll be sharing recipes and healthy eating tips on the show and the blog, so we thought we’d let him introduce himself and offer up a little insight into why he is, indeed, the Happy Diabetic. You can learn more about Chef Robert Lewis at Happy Diabetic and watch him on the season premiere of TCOYD!

Growing up in California offered to me a culinary experience I will always cherish. I come from a long line of wonderful cooks. Family food artists and guests in my home were experts in preparing ethnic and traditional dishes, which gave me a love for food and the creative outlet it provided. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1976, my personal and professional cooking journey began.

In 1998 I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. At that time I was sure my days of good eating were over. What I “heard” in those early days was only the list of food that were prohibited. As I worked through my ups and downs, I came to realize that the selection of foods I could and should eat was vast and included many fabulous favorites, Thus began my motivation to create great tasting dishes that are easy to prepare.

Requests to share tips and recipes resulted in the publication of two cookbooks, Get Happy, Get Healthy, Recipes from the Kitchen of Robert Lewis the Happy Diabetic and Simply Desserts. I speak to audiences at hospitals and health fairs across the country delivering a message of hope and encouragement. My recipes celebrate great tasting food that both diabetics and non-diabetics can enjoy.

My wish is that you will have fun as you follow my healthy cooking and eating plan. So…wield your French knife with the confidence of Zorro!

Happy cooking!

Chef Robert Lewis the Happy Diabetic

Taking Control of Your Diabetes Season Premiere: Diabetes Heroes – Urban Miyares


1 thought on “Introducing Chef Robert Lewis, the Happy Diabetic

  1. Is it the SAME Type of diabetes in both falimies? The genetics for Type 1 and Type 2 are completely unrelated. If one family has Type 1 and the other Type 2, the child is at an increased risk of either form, but it does not doubly increase the risk of either in that case. Two different diseases.Type 2 diabetes does have a strong genetic link. However,in most cases, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with a healthy diet, maintaining normal weight, and exercise, so it isn’t a huge issue. If his family has a RARE form of Type 2 called MODY, the risk is about 50% of passing it on. In this case, see a genetic counsellor. In most cases, children NEVER have to get Type 2 if they maintain a healthy lifestyle.If it’s autoimmune Type 1 diabetes you are concerned about (the severe non-preventable kind that always requires insulin), then the risk is usually 2-5% for a mother passing it on, and 7% for a father passing it on. The risk of BOTH parents having Type 1 is about a 30% chance of passing it on. I assume the risk for you would be in the range of 30% up to even 50% if there is a large family history of Type 1 diabtes and other autoimmune diseases, especially on both sides. It’s a bit of a grey area. The risk is much higher than the general population risk for Type 1 diabetes (.5%), but not 100%.There is a study called TRIGR that is looking at ways to prevent Type 1 in infants at risk. You can ask your doctor or go to their website.Putting your infant on a gluten (wheat, barley, oats) and casein (cow’s milk) free diet from birth may help delay or prevent Type 1 diabetes in *some* infants. The data is inconclusive on this, but in your case it can’t hurt. In the TRIGR study, infants are fed a special formula in which the whole casein proteins are broken down.I would also suggest you see a genetic counsellor.

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