A Chef’s Story on How He Lost 75 lbs

By: Vincent Vanhecke

Can you trust a skinny Chef? Is an overweight Chef the epitome of our food?

My name is Vincent Vanhecke.  Executive Chef with 32 years of cooking experience. Classically trained in French cuisine, living and working in California.

At 285lbs/129 kilos and 49 years old, my Doctor informed me once again that my cholesterol was high, as was my blood pressure and that I was a hair away from Type II diabetes. My acid reflux was terrible, I had sleep apnea and was my diet in general was terrible.  “We have pills that can fix all this” said Dave, my Doctor and personal friend.

I don’t like pills!

I have known for a while that I needed to lose weight.  I always have been pretty active, always been a member of a gym, worked out with the philosophy of “calories in calories out”, but over the years I just gained and gained and gained weight regardless.

I don’t like pills, but I tries a bunch of diet pills of every shape and color.  I went to work shaking and hyper on many a day.  I lost 10lbs and gained 15lb.  I became a classic yoyoer for many years.

Around two years ago, I came across a book called “The Santa Barbara Diet” by John Bishop.  It affected me profoundly.  It was an eye opening introduction into how food has changed especially in the Western world for me.  “How could this be?” I asked myself.  “I am a food service professional!  I know everything there is to know about food!”  I was shocked.  I actually knew very little about how food has changed over the years.  Even as a food service professional, you are not told and the changes have been so gradual that they have slipped beneath the radar.

Since then, I have become an avid researcher of facts:  Books, documentaries, discussions, observations and websites.  What I have learned has managed to get me off all pills, no pre-diabetes, great cholesterol, no acid reflux, good sleep, better work outs, more energy and a much happier me.

Joe Cross and” Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” has been a big part of my journey in losing weight. I juiced exclusively for 30 days following a 80% Vegetable to 20% Fruit principle.  I still juice twice a day everyday as my body craves the nutritional benefits, especially green juice.  I supplement my juicing with healthy nutritious dishes, finding that some days I can go completely vegan and others looking forward to excellent sources of proteins.

I have always found Joe and his team to be very gracious. There is a genuine willingness to help others get better with good nutrition.  I am delighted to share recipes and juices with them for our good health. Stay tuned for those!

I have lost 75lbs/34 kilos and I am 49 years young.

Juice on!


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Vincent Vanhecke

Vincent Vanhecke is the Executive Chef at the Valley Club of Montecito in Santa Barbara, CA. He has been in the food service business for 32 years; born in Belgium, trained in France, worked in England and in east and west coast USA. Vincent started eating a healthier diet and juicing in January 2013 and has since dropped from 285lbs to 210lbs currently. Food is his livelihood. Vincent have been awarded many accolades including one of the" best young Chefs in America" in 1992, has been a guest Chef at the James Beard house in New York on 3 occasions, and on Great Chefs TV on Discovery Channel. Vincent loves food and enjoys the newfound relationship he has with healthier choices.

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