On the Road for Diabetes with Celebrity Chef Charles Mattocks

Recent update on Charles Mattocks - What Charles is up to now.

Editor’s Note:  This article came out in one of the previous issues of our magazines and the information has not been updated.

Charles MattocksCelebrity chef Charles Mattocks has offered tireless efforts in educating and inspiring others to help spread diabetes awareness and raise funds for research. A determined advocate for diabetes, Blue Ribbon champion, and spokesperson and writer for the America Diabetes Association cookbook, he is passionate about working to find a cure to diabetes all around the world. His documentary “The Diabetic You” helps many understand the disease and what steps to take. Charles Mattocks travels around the country, to other islands, and countries to create programs to implement serious change around the world. He developed a RV Testing Tour that appears in sporting events, malls, fairs, and many other venues. He traveled to India and helped with diabetes for thousands. Charles Mattocks continues to inspire, educate, and care for all diabetics everywhere.


It’s only been a week into my RV Tour for Diabetes, and some of you may wonder what a diabetes RV tour is. Many of you may know me from my appearances on TV as a celebrity chef, being featured on such shows as Dr. Oz, The Today Show, CNN , The Talk and many other nationwide shows. I made my name as “The Poor Chef”, and became known for making healthy meals that cost $7. I really thought I was eating healthy – I was going to the gym and working out. Suddenly the world as I knew it was turned upside down. After a weekend spent mainly in the bathroom, I went to see my doctor who delivered me the unwelcome news that I had type 2 diabetes. To be honest, I was shocked. Here we have a guy who was putting his face all over the TV telling you how you should eat, and I had to stop everything and take a good hard look at my own health! That was no easy thing to do.

That was three years ago now, and I am excited to say that what was a bad moment in my life has turned into one of the most positive experiences. As soon as I got home that day I got online right away and started to figure out what this ‘diabetes thing’ is. There was no way that I wanted to end up on medication – I had to be responsible and accountable for all you people out there. I didn’t want to just become a number, a statistic. I began to chronicle my days with this disease, the highs and the lows. I even began shooting my own documentary about diabetes, a film that has taken me around the world from India to the islands, sharing stories of those people who are suffering from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Even our children are being diagnosed as diabetics at a young age today with a disease that was seen for the most part as the domain of the adult generation. Being a father, that touched my heart on an even deeper level. I met people that really didn’t know what good habits to adopt to make sure their kids didn’t end up the same way as them, and this inspired my recent cookbook “Diabetes and Healthy Eating”. It is aimed at talking directly to children, helping to show them that it does matter what you eat and that we can break the pattern. Even though there are a few healthy and fun recipes in that book for kids to make, I had begun the transition from the chef that started out making cheap, healthy meals to an informed advocate for diabetics and pre-diabetics. If I, being a so-called ‘healthy’ chef knew nothing about diabetes, how informed could others really be? For those that know me, you will realize that I’m a passionate kind of guy. You will know that I just had to find a way to reach out to these people.

And that is how the Diabetes RV Tour was born. So far it has been very rewarding that people have come out to see us, sat down with us and spent time talking over their struggles – in turn, we have been able to offer hope, inspiration and strategies that can help to manage the challenges they face, from managing diet, to healing wounds and coping with depression. Many of us don’t have a face or someone to talk to, and what is equally a big problem is that many don’t have their own doctors that they can truly get time with. Me, I like to face things head on, get straight to the heart of the matter.

When I see people that need serious help and they aren’t finding solutions that are working for them, it hurts me. I know I can make a difference to these people. Just the other day I met a lady on the tour who said she was pre-diabetic, so I asked her what her numbers were. Her reply was 274!

If you are familiar with those readings, you will know that those numbers are telling you are way past pre-diabetic. In fact she told us that her kidneys have already been damaged. Her case was similar to many others I see. With no insurance, she was resigned to treating herself. Unfortunately the way she was managing things was not working, but thankfully her auntie heard about the tour and brought her down to meet me. By the time she left she was feeling great, and took with her hope, a smile and some great suggestions and literature that we pass out on the tour. And I know when she left she was feeling great, and took with her some great suggestions and information we pass out on the tour.

It’s funny the positions you find yourself in through life. I don’t consider myself a celebrity chef in any form or manner. I’m a regular guy with a family and a home that I love to spend time in, but I truly love people and they don’t need to be suffering as much as they are. Diabetes is a condition that last year took almost five million lives worldwide. Someone has to confront this situation and be a voice for these people, and I guess maybe I have decided to take on that responsibility. And it’s no easy challenge, but it is one that I welcome. I try to make myself available for each email, each tweet, and each phone call. Whatever I have to do to try and change one person’s life, I will do my best.

The idea for the tour came after seeing The Big Red Bus, the one that collects blood, and I thought, “Why don’t we have one for diabetes”. So I reached out to some great people from Shire and Heal Together and suggested we team up and hit the road. Heal Together focuses on wounds, and so many have no idea the severity of wounds and diabetes and how they can be avoided and treated, so we are now going across the country to touch as many as we can. One of my hopes that that some of these multi-million dollar companies can work hand in hand with me to reach out to the people, identify those at risk and get them the help they need and teach them better management skills. We can reach out to schools so we can reach kids at a younger age by going into elementary schools and just talking to them kids for thirty minutes. Maybe if I had been better educated on how you get diabetes, I may not be sitting here telling you this entire story.

My goal is to inspire and help those that want the help, and if we have to do that one person at a time, that’s what I am prepared to do. I’m not out for recognition or to get exposure for a product or brand, I want to talk to the husbands who have brought their wives down to see me because they want to keep their wives around, the person in the wheelchair that came down to say thank you for the hope of a better quality of life, the mother that learned something she didn’t know before she came and maybe will look at the food she gives her kids in a different way now. We need to work together to stop these numbers spiraling out of control, and more importantly realize that these are not just numbers – they are real people, someone’s mother or father, brother or sister, our children and their future.

The response we have got from this tour has just reinforced that this is so worth it. This won’t be the last tour, it is just the beginning. I have some great things at planning stage, and we will be hitting colleges and stadiums, testing and educating people on diabetes. I have some big names that will join me on the next and the next after that, we will hit colleges and stadiums testing and education people on diabetes. So don’t let your loved one become a number – come and see me and join the ride!

For more info, visit http://charlesmattocks.com.

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Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN—an award-winning RD, certified diabetes educator, and past national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is the author of The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, which received the Favorably Reviewed designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes.

Dr. Lori Shemek, PhD, CNC, CLC, the best-selling author of “Fire-Up Your Fat Burn! and leading health and weight loss expert, is also known as “The Inflammation Terminator.” She has made it her mission to educate the public on the toxic effects of certain foods and lifestyle choices and how they create inflammation in the body. She is a leading authority on inflammation and its role in weight loss, preventing disease and optimizing health.

Rebecca Bitzer – MS, RD/LD, CEDRD is an award-winning Registered Dietitian, writer, speaker, blogger, and REBEL Dietitian business owner. Rebecca and her team of six Registered Dietitians have counseled thousands of clients struggling with diabetes for over twenty-five years. They work closely with each other along with internists, endocrinologists, therapists, and families.

Maureen Sullivan – RN, CDE has worked for many years as a Registered Nurse, most of them in emergency and trauma services. She is a Certified Emergency Nurse, Certified Diabetes Educator, and the former manager of a hospital stroke program. Maureen’s wealth of knowledge, passion for nursing and education, and ability to engage people makes her an excellent teacher and a captivating lecturer. Recently, Maureen has been concentrating on writing, speaking and teaching, as well as working on her award-winning weekly podcast, “The Health and Humor Show.”

Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN is a nutrition communications specialist, registered dietitian in private practice, social media consultant, speaker, spokesperson and corporate consultant. She is currently the owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, LLC and www.NutritionStarringYOU.com. Lauren strongly believes that we should “Think Healthy, not Skinny”, and “EveryBODY is unique, your diet should be too”. Lauren was co-host of the Family Food Experts Kitchen radio show, available for listening on iHeart Radio and iTunes. Also known as one of the “NutritionBabes”, Lauren co-founded NutritionBabes.com, a popular Health and Wellness website in 2009. NutritionBabes.com was voted one of Healthline’s Top 100 Health Blogs in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Mark Heyman, PhD, CDE is a clinical health psychologist and the director of the Center for Diabetes and Mental Health (CDMH). In addition to treating patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, Dr. Heyman provides training for health care providers on how to identify and address the emotional and behavioral aspects of diabetes in their patients. He also works with pharmaceutical and medical device companies to help them understand these issues and incorporate this information into their sales, marketing, and patient education materials. He is particularly interested in empirically supported behavioral interventions that promote behavior change and improve physical and mental health in people with diabetes.

Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and author with an expertise in nutrition communications and curriculum development. She is the co-author of “Diet Therapy in Advanced Practice Nursing” (McGraw Hill, 2014) and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Nutrition at the University of California San Francisco and University of San Diego’s graduate schools of nursing.

Dr. Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE (aka “Dr. Bev”) is a clinical psychologist and certified diabetes educator, author and speaker. She specializes treating the emotional issues of people with diabetes. In her private practice, she provides individual, family and/or group therapy utilizing a cognitive behavior therapy orientation, combined with a spiritual approach. Her goal is to empower her patients to manage their diabetes.

Dr. Bev is the author of two self-help diabetes books. She has written numerous articles which are published in print and online – always focused on diabetes from the emotional perspective. She also speaks to audiences of people living with diabetes, as well as, to audiences of healthcare professionals and diabetes educators. Dr. Bev, herself, has been living successfully with type 1 diabetes for 40+ years.

In August 2016, Dr. Bev was honored to receive the “CDE Entrepreneur of the Year” Award from her Metropolitan NY Association of Diabetes Educators.

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, FAND is an internationally recognized nutrition and diabetes expert with more than two decades experience. Through writing, speaking and one-on-one coaching, Jill empowers people to grab control of their health. She has worked as both a nutrition counselor and a diabetes educator in the hospital and research settings, and now in private practice in Newport News, VA. Jill is known for her practical approach and caring attitude. Her no-nonsense strategies to eating well include foods that both taste good and are good for you.

Marlene Koch (pronounced ‘cook’) is a nationally recognized nutritionist, popular TV personality and New York Times bestselling author. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science. She is a registered dietitian and one of a select group of dietitians to hold an advanced certificate in Child and Adolescent Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Marlene has taught professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation the principles of healthy cooking and eating. She has been adjunct Nutrition professor and cooking instructor for Columbus State College and the Columbus State Culinary Academy, and she is a nationally recognized expert in weight loss, diabetes, child and adolescent nutrition, and sugar substitutes.

Marlene has sold over one million cookbooks, and is a regular guest on QVC.

Barbara Ruhs – MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Neighborhood Nutrition LLC, a consulting firm focused on providing solutions to help food companies and supermarkets improve consumer health & wellness. She’s a former supermarket dietitian and has run a successful business for 17 years. A leader in the field of nutrition, her mission is to help people by impacting the way food is produced, marketed and sold. She’s a strong advocate for supermarket dietitians and believes the retail food industry has the greatest potential to impact public health.

Cheryl Orlansky has over 25 years of experience in health promotion and chronic disease prevention and management. Her first career as a registered dental hygienist led her towards a path of wellness and nutrition! Her expertise is in diabetes, weight management and cardiovascular disease for individuals and groups. She works in a large private practice including endocrinology, internal medicine, rheumatology, neurology and sleep medicine. She is an award winning dietitian with current leadership positions in state and local dietetics organizations.

She has been interviewed and quoted in media outlets for WebMD, Atlanta Sports and Fitness, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. She has partnered with V-103 Radio to lead supermarket tours as part of a community outreach during National Nutrition Month.

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Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and classically-trained chef. With a passion for helping people (including her father) with diabetes, she’s author of The With or Without Meat Cookbook: The Flexible Approach to Flavorful Diabetes Cooking and the award-winning The All‐Natural Diabetes Cookbook, both published by the American Diabetes Association. Jackie is also author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes and Big Green Cookbook. Her next book, The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook—2nd Edition, was published in 2015.

Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH is the author of the best-selling book, The One One One Diet. She holds a master’s degree in public health nutrition from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and is also a Wellcoaches Certified Health and Wellness Coach endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

OmnichannelHealth Media, publisher of DiabetesDigest.com, does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.