How Fit Men Cook’s Kevin Curry Is Keeping Black Women on Track With Their Health and Fitness Goals
With over a million followers amassed on Instagram alone, Kevin Curry knows a thing or two about inspiring people to live there best (and healthy) lives. The self-taught chef who is based out of Dallas, Texas, is the creator of the No. 1 bestselling food and drink app, FitMenCook, where he inspires millions of men and women to eat healthy through the app, website, and his very own YouTube channel.
If you follow Curry on Instagram, then you know he’s a man on the move.For those who might be dedicated and committed to your fitness journeys while you’re at home, and have trouble balancing when you hit the road (i.e. not indulging), Curry has come up with a solution for you. The food and fitness influencer has partnered with Homewood Suites by Hilton to highlight how easy it is to have fun with food, even when you’re traveling. With recipes such as Avocado Pasta with Shrimp and Rotisserie Chicken Fried Rice, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been cooking like Kevin all along. Whether traveling for few nights a month for work, or abroad with your girlfriends, Curry has come up with simple recipes and tips, that you can implement in any in-room kitchens.
In this interview with ESSENCE.com, he discusses his personal journey with food, and shares some hacks to staying healthy on the go.
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What is the biggest challenge that black women are facing when it comes to eating healthy when traveling?
The biggest thing that not just black women, but people in general complain about, or have trouble with, is having time. But that’s why I’ve come up with these simple and easy recipes that most only require 5 ingredients or less, and are quick and easy to make in any hotel kitchen, such as the Homewood Suites. Most people think it’s difficult to do, but it’s all about prioritizing your health when you travel.
How can women apply these same principles when they are home?
Black women are juggling a lot, especially in the corporate world. You’re doing double duty, because you’re doing your job, and also put on that facade so you can maintain and just survive that day. You also have family and extracurricular stuff as well, so often times the diet can be put on the backburner because you are juggling so much. The main thing that I tell people, and people of color especially, is that you need to prioritize yourself and your health as a part of that. Your health and wellness is not the icing on the cake, but apart of your every day eating plan. Oftentimes we approach it like, “well if I get to it than that’s okay.” No, being health and eating healthy and taking care of your body is apart of your overall wellness. It helps you to perform better, it helps you think better, it helps you to be a lot more creative. Especially right now in America. We need to be healthy so that we can endure and face those challenges of today. You’ve got to prioritize that.
People don’t even realize how much diet comes into play. For people who don’t think it’s so important, what are lessons that you’ve learned to help guide you in your own personal weight loss journey?
The biggest wake up call for me was that I got super depressed. And part of the reason I was depressed was because I wasn’t losing weight, and I didn’t like the way that I looked. I was killing myself in the gym – spending 3 hours a day in the gym, at least 5 days a week. I spent more time there, that I did at work sometimes. For a full year I did that, and then stepped back and had to ask, “what’s going on?” It was my wake up call. A trainer asked me, “so what are you eating?” And in my mind, I was eating healthy. Or at least I thought I was. And Thursdays and Fridays, I would reward myself from all this hard work, but I had no idea what it was doing to my body. It really kind of hit me the fact that I really wasn’t making progress, and that making small tweaks to my diet could make that happen for me. And I had been there before, where I didn’t like what you see in the mirror, and people are taking pictures of you, and I’m pulling on my shirt and clothes because of that discomfort. And I just did small things. First, I stopped drinking so much on the weekends. And then I decided that the weekends are not a free for all. If I had one cheat meal, than that was okay, but not everyday. When I tell you, after that, the weight just fell off of me, that was my huge wake up call. All this time I was doing twice and triple the amount of work, when all I needed to do was just watch what I eat.
You raise a good point: alcohol is a huge contributor to maintaining a healthy diet. What about women who drink socially for work or while traveling. Whether at networking events, or work happy hours? What are some tips to help navigate in those settings?
I think that you can and still be able to enjoy drinking. Here’s what I did: I was all about double fisting. So I would have water in one hand and drink in the other hand. The water is at least 12-16 oz of water, and for every cocktail I drink, I had to have this amount of water. What I found myself doing, was going back and forth to the bathroom more and more throughout the night. And I also felt full, and satiated, so I couldn’t drink as much. The second thing I stopped doing was mixed drinks. I felt a little bit more sophisticated because I was drinking straight whiskey, which is pretty low calorie itself, and there were no additional sugars from the juices and sodas. So I would still go to the happy hours, but I wasn’t drinking as much.
To see some of Kevin Curry’s on-the-go hotel recipes visit Homewood Suites.