Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

Celebrity Chef Sam Talbot on Living The Sweet Life with Type I Diabetes

  • Broadcast in Self Help



Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow TheWellnessCoach.

This is my recorded interview with Sam Talbot for an article I wrote about him for MindBodyGreen.com

I was given permission to air this very intimate interview.  Enjoy and look for the article link below!

Author and celebrity chef Sam Talbot has a new book out: The Sweet Life - Diabetes without Boundaries. The Sweet Life is chock full of fresh, vibrant recipes, as well as one-of-a-kind tips from Sam on how to navigate the road of living with diabetes. Any way you slice it, Sam Talbot is the model for living a healthy lifestyle, and has a visceral understanding of how to live in harmony with the food that sustains us. I caught up with him one morning as he was headed to a yoga class in New York City.

Check out the article and some of the transcript of my interview here on Mind Body Green as well!  




0:33 Ettie

Hi, is this Sam?

0:35 Sam Talbot

Yes it is.

0:36 Ettie

Hi Sam, thank you so much for being here. This is Ettie.

0:38 Sam Talbot

Hey Ettie, how you doing?

0:40 Ettie

Hi, I am good thanks. How are you?

0:43 Sam Talbot

Really good. How about you? Thank you.

0:44 Ettie

Good. Well thank you so much for joining us. I really appreciate it.

0:47 Sam Talbot

Yeah no problem.

0:49 Ettie

Well I know that we have about 15 to 20 minutes?

0:54 Sam Talbot


0:55 Ettie

Okay. So, let's go ahead and get started. First of all there is anything that you for sure wanna cover? That you wanna talk about?

1:02 Sam Talbot

I think your question is pretty much cover, they talking about you know asking about the book and everything right?

1:07 Ettie

Yeah. Okay.

1:08 Sam Talbot

Yeah, cool.

1:10 Ettie

Okay good. So, okay I will ask you the first question, you are a chef and a foodie, you also happened to have type I diabetes, so what is your message with your new book, The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries? What do you say?

1:23 Sam Talbot

You know, there is about 26 million people living with diabetes right? There's another, actually it's more like 28 million and there is other 78 million who's been undiagnosed.

1:32 Ettie


1:33 Sam Talbot

And most of the people think that the food is successful to them that they can eat and then they taste it is just really boring or bland or they have to be almost like in the prison you know where they can eat this, they can eat that and this book is really out there to show them that that's not case which like really fresh fruit just like sort of left alone speaks for itself really great, heart healthy, you know added ingredients whether __01:59__ in a white flour normally if you were using a white flour and not using a chickpea flour and __02:04__ things like that to make sense to your body.

2:07 Ettie


2:08 Sam Talbot

So, that is kind of the general message I am putting out there that you know you can live a life and do everything you want, living with diabetes it is a lifestyle boundaries not just based to the message of the book and the coping is that...

2:20 Ettie


2:22 Sam Talbot

Everybody were eating like a diabetic they want to be a lot healthier place right?

2:27 Ettie


2:28 Sam Talbot

It has less obesity with obviously a lot of _02:30_ heart attack, heart health so it is really just a book. The foreword is written by a doctor. The preface is written by Eric Ripert. So it is really for foodie there people they are just trying to really take this seriously and nowhere comes from and where it goes to your body.

2:46 Ettie

Okay that's great. It is kind a sounds like it gives people the freedom like may be diabetics I did not think they have the freedom to eat what they wanted to or permission.

2:56 Sam Talbot


2:57 Ettie


2:58 Sam Talbot

Of course, I mean they think that they are sometimes are just like, oh my gosh I have to change my lifestyle and the thing is at the end of the day you do, and you should have to change some things about your normal eating routine if you are diagnosed with type I or type II diabetes or if you are trying to take your health seriously you know there is a lot of refine products that people eat all too often when the grocery stores __3:24__ with isle which kind was like shock out and people wait from so we can just keep it natural, keep it fresh and really show people that there is so much more exciting food out there that may be tend to fabricate towards and not the __3:38__ or the food grader.

3:39 Ettie

Okay, that's so great. Okay and just to know what do you mean by your mindbodygreen.com which is a wellness yoga and wellness community so that will be perfect for them. They gonna love this and okay and then okay so then you quoted in saying that I can go to some of juvenile diabetes site. You have to look at food in a certain way, noticing them not does not mean to survival, but it is the way that you would like to survive so why is sustainability so important to you both in terms food and lifestyle?

4:12 Sam Talbot

Well you know in lifestyle, it is just you know I want my kids and their kids be able to enjoy what I enjoyed growing up, etc. and you know it would takes an extra bead to be able to protect the ocean a little bit more, to recycle a little a bit more. I just think it is a beautiful thing so I am really heavily involved with, programs like the Seafood Watch program in Monterey Bay in California. You were involved __04:43__, but also here in the city. During that _04:50_ about it is just keeping it you know let's try to keep it as _04:55_.

4:58 Ettie

Okay. And then why do you love food so much? __05:04__ ask that question.

5:05 Sam Talbot

Why do I love food so much? I mean food is the whole thing, right and it's you know, you and I might not both agree in the same musical, artist or we might like the same piece of art or you know we might like to dance to different beat, but at the end of the day like there is one thing one strain that everybody in the world have in common that's food and let's try it like you know you can't really getting in more grandiose or magnificent to that right?

5:36 Ettie


5:37 Sam Talbot

Yeah. So, you know foods are needs this is the basic, this is the means of like I said it is the way you would like to survive the way, you know, your body is a machine and it was like the old saying as you truly are what you eat so.

5:52 Ettie

Yeah. Okay yeah that's great and I really like your book by the way too. I thought it was really great I like the combination.

5:58 Sam Talbot

Oh thank you.

5:59 Ettie

Yeah, I like the combination of your fabulous recipes and then also just the way you kind of describe your story and your lifestyle and all of that so.

6:09 Sam Talbot

I appreciate that, yeah so what your question about yoga __06:09__ to do yoga and walking down the street for years.

6:14 Ettie

Oh you are? Oh wow!

6:14 Sam Talbot


6:16 Ettie

So then -- so let me ask you so why is yoga one of the main parts of your workout? How did you get into it and how does it benefit you, what would say?

6:25 Sam Talbot

Yeah I mean one of my colleague's friend turn me on to it just because you know when you are dealing against whether you are diabetic or not the reason why you know I love doing yoga is because it keeps me -- remember, I have worked out all the time so it keeps me where I am not so where I am always constantly stretching, keeps me leans, keeps me toned.

6:48 Ettie


6:49 Sam Talbot

You know and the other thing is when your are living with diabetic meals, the first one with diabetes, this thing is awesome for diabetes because you know this is _07:00_ a point which and takes care each sugar and yogurt doing that same thing that is really and the instructions, etc. so yeah it is just it is great thing I did that long time as much as possible.

7:14 Ettie

Okay and then I also noticed in your book you said that you do like 10 minutes in the beginning you do like it's like keep clear your mind and do some kind of something is that...

7:24 Sam Talbot


7:25 Ettie

Well I am just curious what that was about?

7:26 Sam Talbot

Oh yeah I mean that is just sort of like you know living in New York City and all the benefits are with you like a mom in middle America, no matter where you or what you doing, what you are doing right away you are stuffed by there and thought your instruction worthy. There is a lot going on for some times let's just like to take it but in the general it is not _07:49_ before going where it is I just like to take 10 minutes sort of like look down and see then felt like feet on the ground and then I will check my blood sugars and it is sort of like and then just a reflected is that like you were going too deep meditation or anything it is sort of right you know the blood sugar is full, everything is in line.

8:12 Ettie


8:13 Sam Talbot

Just lie from there.

8:14 Ettie


8:15 Sam Talbot

And now make sure you do today's chores, do not do it because if not, you can just get you know hide in to this dark. In that dark, you can just be probably afraid, __8:25__ let's cut it off you know.

8:31 Ettie

Okay, absolutely. And then also, oh go ahead.

8:37 Sam Talbot

No what you said?

8:38 Ettie

Oh, I was just gonna ask you also -- I said, absolutely. So it kind of something gets centered to you?

8:43 Sam Talbot

Yeah. It's the moment of _08:45_ and grounding exactly of the thought that.

8:49 Ettie

Okay, okay and then also I know that you are huge __8:51__ of exercise in general, why is exercise so important for you?

8:57 Sam Talbot

Exercise is just the outdoors. The whole thing about exercise to me is no matter what shape of performance comes in you know. I live in New York so I walk everywhere I go so give me exercise like that and you know I am choosing yoga and just weightlifting. The whole thing is that just being healthy and being fit, being able to do all the things I wanna do whether it is travel, whether it's jump in just like you know jump on a plane and go surfing in Costa Rica or go to hiking in Wyoming, whatever it is like I need to be fit, I need to be healthy and me in active lifestyle or healthy lifestyle. It is just the only, it is really the only options there is no other options to take that's sort of diabetes or not. I remember of the kids like, the most kids outdoors gonna run around in the valley like that diagnosed at 12 and never changed. If anything it's teaching me more to be you know more as healthy as possible, as fit as possible and exercise and just like for me it comes in all shapes, guides and elements. Like I said walking everywhere in New York City, surfing, you know surfing is one of the best forms of exercise when I do it, I do it for hours and _10:10_ friends and it is one of the most therapeutic like cooking almost you know it just _10:16_ and there is no Blackberry there was no iPhone there was no onions to be chopped, or anything in the kitchen you know its just kinda like _10:29_.

10:32 Ettie

Okay, what did you say?

10:34 Sam Talbot

_10:34_ in the kitchen, that same sort of design, like there is something that it gives me that same intensity that same drive that same thing happens you know. To think it happened in the water, so.

10:46 Ettie

Interesting. And then I was going ask you how did you get into surfing, and that was great _00:53_ you just said about it.

10:55 Sam Talbot

Yeah. One of my close friends, I have my really close friends with the family. There parents surf everyday then there is four boys and that they surf all the time and one of the brothers taught me how and then I got the very first wave I have started _11:13_ it is like I they all you can do that _11:19_.

11:22 Ettie

Wow! That's amazing.

11:23 Sam Talbot

_11:23_ or even watching surfing _11:26_ open a restaurant called The Surf Lodge and the whole things.

11:30 Ettie

That's so great and then how does other __11:33__ I can only do what I do best when I feel my best and it sounds like you or really like can you talk about this new book to you like how your -- you have to kinda be like a model for healthy living and type I diabetes gives you the -- its like you kinda look that way, because of it, but also maybe inside of it.

11:58 Sam Talbot

Yeah. What you say beside of it?

12:00 Ettie

Yeah, well just yeah regardless like it is just a healthy lifestyle.

12:05 Sam Talbot

Regardless you know at the end of the day you are your own model like I am no wonders no other person that like I have to look at the mirror every morning and be like. Okay, what you see it's just me. So I am my own role model and everyday and I just need -- for me it just about pushing and driving and thriving and living. I am sitting and I am not doing, I get agitated like I get Ettie do started a tear at the wall, you know what I mean. So when I am moving I am dead, when I am creating outdoor in the nature in the elements that one my final _12:45_ so I am just constantly pushing and what I am you know again as the person with diabetes or without I think that my core friend, the people that I associated with on a daily basis. They have that same mentally. It is just it's the lifestyle and it was something you know when you believe in those things like sustainability, when you believe in protecting the ocean, when you believe in protecting the lands and the smaller farmers and eating fresh and cooking fresh and using the right ingredient to think that will harm the earth and your body at the same time. When you take all these things and you loved being outdoors and you loved just living whether, walking whether it is just driving yourself I think, yeah.

13:26 Ettie

Yeah. That's so great. I mean I said -- that's kind of answers my other questions it is like I was asking you what are, the last question was what are some hard one tips you can give to those who have type 1 diabetes or to those you just wish to live the healthiest lifestyle possible. Is there anything that you wanna add to that?

13:44 Sam Talbot

Yeah. I mean, I think that when if you are living with or without and it is something that like I mean you know when you see me you don't see diabetes, you see is whatever cooking, surfing and that's because with the way I eat is the lifestyle that I mean like it's obviously go the other way I could not carrying some of these things _14:04_ my pantry, my refrigerator so I was felt like you know when -- the first thing you gonna do is that you have to start with like some makeover for your refrigerator or your pantry and after like you have stand there and you have to raid your pantry and you raid refrigerator called the bottle sauces and you know the sugary barbeque sauces and corn surf within cereals and breakfast bars and all these things that are just like bringing your body down slowing you down of maximum amount we're like, no matter how hard you try they just can feel sluggish or just, you are not gonna have that same pop, but if you do that you learn about and you know its something of the street life, it tells you how. What is the alternative _14:52_ make sense for your body whereas you can make _14:55_ for your family then try to __14:57__ there is ton of butter, have a ton of white flour have a ton of bacon and some heavy cream, clam chowder, it is in the book, uses -- I think it is __15:03__ and instead of white flour, its brown white flour, and instead of bacon, its smoked fennel you know like those sets of things where you can still have the same food that you grow up on the same food that maybe your family made for you or that your mother made for you and you used to make with your mom or your grandma and just switch a little bit to make some sense for your family and for your body and for your heart and for your mind and your soul and that's how we do it. We're gonna clear the refrigerator out, we clean the pantry out and then you come in you refill it with _15:35_ all the things in the book that we talked about and _15:42_ once she make that same amount of these things and they are not in your face everyday and you family is _15:47_ and everybody is grooving a beautiful place.

15:53 Ettie

That's so great and then, yeah I notice your mentioning some of the staples that are on your recipe, but also manage your blood sugar levels, right? Like the, agave.

16:03 Sam Talbot

Yeah agave, cinnamon, __16:05__ like if you notice in the book a lot of my recipe they had some serious flavor and some serious spice.

16:12 Ettie

Yeah definitely.

16:12 Sam Talbot

Because what the spices do for your overall wellness and work and ginger and three of the most antioxidant elements, natural elements you can put in your body so I incorporate those in my diet everyday you know I take chops of ginger every morning, I take the cinnamon supplements, which is not a supplement, I just took cinnamon and take it. So I am sending it to take a cinnamon supplement. So yeah.

16:45 Ettie

That's so great. And then, okay I just wanna respect your time here, so I just want to ask you if is there any kind of take away that you wanna leave with people for the interview or another question would be what was your turning point or did you have a turning point, do you what I mean?

17:02 Sam Talbot

No. _17:03_.

17:04 Ettie

Turning point like when, okay, sorry it should be more clear. Like when were diagnosed with type I diabetes, did you have a turning point like, and just also getting into a healthy lifestyle in general is that something I cannot remember what is your story says.

17:19 Sam Talbot

I mean, yeah I mean I have always like -- I think probably when I was like 15 to 16 and I was like friends are eating pizza after football and I would eat pizza after football and then would feel like shit and would be able to do anything because the blood sugar would be 350 like I just started to realize like alright like period, there's gonna be a catch. Like they are just what'0s the catch, the catch is still like you know the only pizza at the football. _17:47_ simply like you know my mom was always super creative like not making me like feel so dam out. So its peanut butter and apples or if were at a pizza place, like I would get a big Greek salad or something like that you know.

18:05 Ettie


18:06 Sam Talbot

I am sorry __18:07__.

18:08 Ettie

No. No, that's okay. This is all great. Yeah, so okay. So and then if you have like a take away like or something like you wanna leave people with.

18:20 Sam Talbot

Something that you want to leave people with. Yeah I just think that if you are diagnosed or you nearly diagnosed or a family or __18:28__ when he was diagnosed that it is not it just have to be as medicinal and as glooming as it sounds. Sometimes when you hear that thing, you just black out and that's not the case like I said there is 27, 26 millions others out there and sincerely that we all sort of band together. I think it would be a lot better off so you are not alone and I don't think like __18:57__ and all the fruit lines and __19:06__ and keep learning, yeah so you are not alone.

19:11 Ettie

That's great. Well I just -- thank you so much Sam, this is -- I did really appreciate this and I will definitely send the copy when its post on the website to __19:22__ he can send it to you and then -- I just really appreciate this and like I said I think your book is amazing and your message is great.

19:29 Sam Talbot

Thank you very much.

19:30 Ettie

Yeah. So thank you so much for doing this.

19:33 Sam Talbot

Okay, cool. Have a great day Ettie.

19:35 Ettie

Okay thanks to you.