So, concerned about her health, the 65-year-old Food Network star instituted not only a change in diet since then that has subsequently seen her drop a whopping 30 pounds, but also a new mindset when it comes to her eating habits.
"I do think differently now [about food]," the Georgia-born Deen told People in this week's issue. "I'm more aware."
So out with the fatty fried chicken, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, cream corn and high-calorie butter cakes, among her other favorite recipes, and in with a menu that's, shall we say, a bit more on the Mediterranean side—dishes like Greek salads and baked fish, stuff that's much lower in salt, fat and especially sugar.
But in the Queen of Southern Cuisine's view, it's a change for the better, especially after taking heat from fellow celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who criticized her for serving up food that's increased America's obesity rate.
"It took me a couple of years to get to this point," Deen added. "If you make a few small changes, they can add up to big results."
And a slimmer waistline.