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Daphne Oz is co-host of ABC’S THE CHEW, a 2008 graduate of Princeton University and author of the national bestseller, THE DORM ROOM DIET. Daphne’s work has centered around finding practical, delicious, and easy solutions to achieve life-long health. Her hope is to enfranchise eaters everywhere by raising awareness about health access and food politics in America through television, print and web platforms.
Daphne is an in-demand speaker on health, diet, and lifestyle issues. She is a regular contributor to Oprah.com andThe Huffington Post, and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "Food for Thought," covering topics ranging from alternative medicine therapies, to healthy cooking concepts, to quarter-life crisis coping strategies, to her experience as a newlywed honing her homemaker skills.
Daphne and her work have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, People, The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Cosmo Girl!, and Glamour, and on The View, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, The Dr. Oz Show, The Nate Berkus Show, The Tyra Banks Show, and NPR's Weekend Edition.
Daphne is an ambassador for and helped to found HealthCorps, a non-profit that equips teenagers with nutrition, exercise, and stress management education in over 50 schools nationwide.
Daphne and her husband, John, live in New York City. She tweets about all things food, fun, family, home, health and life from the handle @daphneoz. (bio via author's website)
Let's ask Daphne a few questions to learn more about her and her book...
Where are you from?
I live in New York City and grew up in New Jersey.
Tell us your latest news?
I’m a co-host on ABC’s The Chew and at work on my next book, out in 2013!
When and why did you begin writing?
I always kept journals and was probably the only student who loved writing papers, but I didn’t start writing professionally until I published The Dorm Room Diet in 2006. I began work on the book in 2004 after graduating from high school as a way to document my transition to a healthy lifestyle in preparation for taking on college life. I wanted to learn how to make health a priority and not an obsession while avoiding the “Freshman 15,” so I committed to researching healthy habits, developing simple ingredient swaps, and generally looking for ways to adjust my attitude so that I would be prepared to face all the “danger zones” and come out unscathed. As I developed my own healthy lifestyle—and successfully lost thirty pounds without ever going on another fad diet!—, I realized how useful it would be to share this information with my friends and peers. Six years later, I am so grateful for the experience of having been able to share my story with so many, and to have seen my readers find the same success on their own health journeys.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I received the first copy of my book,The Dorm Room Diet.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I try to write as I speak. So often, good information gets lost if the vehicle isn’t right. My goal is to write as though I were speaking with a friend—how would I want to hear something? How would it make the most sense? What’s the advice I can use right away? It’s a fun, relaxed format that is about giving you good information, but making sure you’re entertained while you’re learning.
How did you come up with the title?
I was in a dorm, and I wanted to redefine how we think of the word “diet.” Diet just means “eating regimen.” So many of us are conditioned to shudder when we hear the word: we think of guilt, shame and failure. That was me for 10 years while I struggled with my weight as an adolescent, trying every fad diet under the sun. But The Dorm Room Diet is all about creating a permanent healthy lifestyle. My “diet” became about finding ways to enjoy the wonderful foods I love while cutting corners on fat and calories where it made sense and where I could do it healthfully—and it was never, EVER about deprivation. It’s about being healthy AND happy!
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You should always be in control! If you’re struggling with food issues, it’s because you’ve allowed food to take control of you. The easiest way to put yourself back in the driver’s seat is to reevaluate your relationship with food—see where you are using it for reasons other than sustenance, like to soothe anxiety, quell boredom, or even celebrate happiness—and look for ways to satisfy those needs in a healthier way. Stop making food taboo; this gives it power over you it should never have. Instead, allow yourself to indulge in moderation, enjoy and savor the food without any guilt, and then commit to eating healthfully most of the time.
How much of the book is realistic?
All of it! It is the step-by-step plan I used to successfully lose thirty pounds in college—and keep it off for good!—without ever going on another fad diet.
Do you see writing as a career?
I always love to write! It’s what I do to relax, and I hope I have an opportunity to keep writing professionally for many years to come.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
We came out with a new edition in 2010 to include a chapter on easy, healthy recipes that could be made in the dorm, and a chapter on sustainable eating so that my readers could learn about the power of their wallets to change our food system for the better.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting started! That’s always the hardest part when you have a huge project ahead. As with everything, take small bites, chew well, and stop when the meal is done (as in, don’t overthink it!).
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I am a huge Hemingway fan. He is a master of character development, and also of keeping just enough hidden: his characters feel like they are a part of me and unfamiliar to me all at once.
Thank you to Daphne Oz for doing this interview with us... To learn more about Oz, keep up with her latest news or purchase her book... visit her site HERE