Here’s how wellness chef Charles Chen turned his life around.
Ask anyone who has made a drastic change for their health—like quitting smoking or losing a significant amount of weight—and they’ll likely tell you it came after a wake-up call of some kind or another. There’s nothing like being smacked with an unwanted reality, like a serious health diagnosis, to motivate some major lifestyle changes.
That’s certainly the case with wellness chef Charles Chen, who learned at age 15 that he was prediabetic. His doctor told him if he continued going down this route, he would “die at a very early age.”
Chen is a chef, entrepreneur, and vivacious host of the online cooking show Kitchen Hustle, where “hustlers learn how to fuel their passions.” Throughout his childhood, Chen struggled with his health. As a teenager, he was prediabetic and a self-proclaimed couch potato who had no energy or motivation to make healthier choices. After hitting what he calls his “rock bottom moment,” he reclaimed his health, lost more than 100 pounds, and now helps others fuel their “bodies, mind, and spirit starting in the kitchen.”
The world isn’t exactly set up to encourage a healthy lifestyle, and you’re “bombarded” by junk food ads, liquor stores, and fast food, says Chen. “There needs to be more wellness warriors who step up and talk about these things, and give people the tools.”
A wake-up call might be a powerful motivator, but you don’t have to wait until hitting your own rock-bottom moment to make positive changes. “If you know better, you’ll do better,” says Chen.
Charles Chen is a chef, host, and wellness expert based in Los Angeles and New York City.
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My names is Charles Chen.
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I am a wellness chief.
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I gained over 100 pounds.
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I was prediabetic.
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I had heart problems,
food actually saved my life.
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I transformed my life through food.
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My family actually comes from a history of
being diabetic, my grandma was diabetic,
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my aunt was diabetic, it was a lot
of people, it runs in the family.
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And I was diagnosed with being
pre-diabetic at the age of 15,
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went to the doctor and he just said,
you need to lose weight, and
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if you keep going down this route,
you're gonna die at a very early age.
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To me, to hear that at the age of 15 while
my friends are outside playing was a huge
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Like holy shit, this is real.
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The scariest part about being
diagnosed as pre-diabetic was, and
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I thought, this is just
something old people go through.
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50 year olds, 60 year olds.
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I'm not saying that's old,
I'm saying older.
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You never thought it would be you,
and I think that's with any diagnosis,
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people are like no,
I didn't wanna deal with it.
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It took me like two days,
I was a little traumatized.
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All these illnesses and
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diseases that can be easily prevented
with nutrition and lifestyle.
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That means we can prevent these things.
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If we can prevent them
why are we not doing it?
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So we're bombarded with different
brands and different people with their
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own ulterior motives that doesn't
have the best interest for us.
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And there needs to be more
wellness warriors who step up and
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talk about these things and
give people the tools.
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Because if you are surrounded by liquor
stores all day long, all these fast food
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joints, you're gonna only do what
is really convenient, cuz I did.
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But if you know better, you'll do better.
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So my whole thing is, I wanna educate,
but also, in the meantime, entertain and
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have fun with it.
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