Celebrity chefs are sharing their recipes online during quarantine to inspire both new and experienced cooks to try new things in the kitchen. Chef Art Smith is inspiring people in a different way, as he is sharing his weight loss journey online for all to see. Since February, Art has lost 70 pounds all thanks to a friend who came to visit before the health crisis began.
Art specializes in southern cuisine and was Oprah’s personal chef until 2007. In February, before any official lockdowns were put in place in the United States, Art’s friend Lucas Cancelier came to visit. Lucas is a rugby player and fitness trainer from Argentina, and while visiting he decided it was safer if he stayed with Art’s family in Florida instead of flying back home during the pandemic.
Since then, Lucas has been helping Art accomplish new fitness goals while in quarantine. Art has told TODAY that he has struggled with his weight in the past and believes his appearance reflects his work in the kitchen as well. In 2008, Art was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
“When you go into a restaurant and see a chef that looks heavy or sloppy, what do you think? You’d maybe think that the food is going to be heavy and sloppy,” Art told TODAY. “I think this affects everything. You have to be good to yourself and take care of yourself to be a good businessperson.”
While quarantined with Lucas, the two began working together toward Art’s fitness goals. At first, Art set a goal of losing 30 pounds, but he has since lost 70. “February 1, 2020 a friend from Argentina came to visit and saved my life,” Art wrote in an Instagram post earlier in May.
Lucas put together simple workout plans for Art to follow and paired them with a quick jog during the day. Art has also cut down on processed sugars and sweet treats, which he also wants to reflect in his cooking. The chef has been sharing “Healthy & Comfort Cooking” tips on his Instagram that show mindful versions of dishes like mac & cheese, pizza, and pastas. As for his ongoing fitness goals, he hopes to be able to run the Walt Disney World Marathon as soon as he can.
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